Monthly Archives: April 2015

Google Now Offers Wireless Service

Google is racing ahead on creating new services for people because they know that as more people access the internet, they gain more information on the things around them and that spurs innovation. In order to be part of that movement they know people need access to the internet and the only way to do that is by making sure it is available where ever people go. This is why Google is creating, Project Fi, which allows Nexus 6 users to only pay for the wireless service they use at $20 dollars a month.

Intense Wi-Fi Demand
There was a meme that was going around on the internet saying the following

This simple concept right there tells you where our priorities are as humans. Aside from the fact that we don’t do enough for the environment as we should, like everyone composting at home, the demand for wi-fi has increased so much that people are looking for better options on their phone to ensure that they are always connected.

New York city has a plan in place to replace those old phone booths throughout the many cities and turn them into free wi-fi hotspots. You can read the article I wrote right here about how cities are doing this. I don’t think I have seen anyone use a phone booth in recent times, except in old movies, anymore because everyone has a phone in their hand, even kids. The idea of putting change into a phone seems rather weird now. The push for more companies to start offering wi-fi in their stores helps bring more foot traffic and business. Starbucks and McDonald’s were the first to capitalize on this trend and boy has it done wonders for them.

If you walk into any Starbucks you see more and more people planting themselves down for the day in order to do their work. Many of them might even tell you that they don’t even pay for internet anymore because it is free in so many places. Malls, theaters, stores, and even major events all now offer free wi-fi because the know it will draw more people there but also it helps bring attention online if they want to tweet or post a great moment they had online. Bottom line – want to ensure people are happy at any event you put on? Make sure there is free wi-fi.

Free National Wi-Fi Movement
Awhile back there was unexpected news that the US government was working on a plan to create a national super Wi-Fi network that would allow anyone to gain free internet access (Obama Reveals plans for national Wi-Fi plans, FCC proposes plan free wifi for everyone in the U.S.What Would Happen If America Got Free, ‘Nationwide’ WiFi? Google Wins, Carriers Lose). Anyone that uses the internet for valid and productive reasons understands how such an idea would change things dramatically for growth in technology and innovation. So who would be against such a great idea? Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple were all in favor of such an idea and even offered to help build the infrastructure. The wireless phone companies, on the other hand, were quick to file suit to prevent such an action of coming about. So why would they want to do this if it means helping innovation and technology grow? Easy, it would dramatically cut out their bread-and-butter of making money. You think people actually talk on their phones now-a-days? Ha!

Remember the whole point of doing business, in any form, is to make money from the products and services you provide. If you can not make money off of that, in some way, then why run a business? Don’t fool yourself about non-profits if that idea is lingering in your head right now. Creating a national free public wi-fi would kill many phone companies because they make their money off of their wireless service. There are many apps now that allow you to make calls over the internet for free instead of through voice-communication channels. We also have apps that let you txt for free, so if all you need is a wi-fi connection and the government is able to provide it then who in the world would want to be signed up with a phone carrier? The problem with that is that most phones in the US are all chipped to certain carrier’s wireless networks. If you buy a phone from Sprint then that phone usually only works on the Sprint network. There are phones that work on all networks but not as easy to find in stores but there are plenty online to buy.

If you are still wondering what happened to the government wanting to build this amazing and much-needed wi-fi network, well, they decided not to do it. It would literally cripple the wireless carriers because no one would sign up for service with them anymore. There would be no more phone bills to pay every month but remember with such a service, someone has to pay for the infrastructure and maintenance so where would that money come from? All the phone companies are the ones that maintain the networks that people use to communicate online so if they are not making money then it would be tough for there to be any reason to ensure high quality service can still be provided.

Google Provides a Bridge
Project Fi is similar to what some apps already do, they rely on the networks to piggyback off of and carry their signal where ever they go. These free apps let you chat and make free phone calls using wi-fi networks. How the service works is you make a call and it will connect to either the Sprint, T-Mobile network, or free wi-fi network, which ever has the better signal and let you txt, call, and more all for the same cost. Cellular data usage you pay for so for 1GB it costs an additional $10; 2GB, $20; and so on. For any data that you do not use you will receive a credit back on your account. The rise in free wi-fi locations shows that such a program would gain more attention because the cost for using this would be so much lower than the average cost of an individual plan, which stands at around $70 now. Infact, a user could be on a call, meanwhile the signal could be only using free wi-fi spots if there are enough in the area to support it, so the cost of that call and any data transmitted would be free. Oh and did I mention? There are no contracts involved for this service.

The downside right now is that only people with Nexus 6 phones can use the service so that prevents this program from gaining more customers. The reason for that is because Nexus 6 is Google’s phone so it makes sense to start with that but in terms of gaining more users, Google will need to expand to more phones plus you also have to get an invite in order to join the network. You can visit fi.google.com for the invite. This type of service is really more about pay for what you use rather than pay for everything even if you don’t use everything. Right now phone companies are paying attention because they know that if Google expands, it will cut into their margins big time.

Of course regional phone carriers have already started to look into the service of cellular to wi-fi systems which would help people save money on their phone bills while still being able to access the internet.

Google Giant
Google has laid out their plan very easily if they plan on becoming their own wireless carry. They offer one of the top OS Android platforms for phones and tablets, now they have their own internet service with Google Fiber, and you can even get your own free phone number with Google Voice, and now they just need their own wireless service and, instead of building their own they are using pre-existing ones, but who’s to say what Google Fiber is really up to.

In the meantime you can enjoy another option in the vast landscape of smartphones and service options if you are considering switching. Just remember since Google is not offering any contracts in exchange for low prices on their phones you will need to pay the total prices, unless you can pass a credit-check then you will have two years to pay off the phone, so that should tell you these phones are not cheap ($649 for a 32GB version).

Oh and I for one really think that we need a national free super wi-fi because that would increase innovation 100 fold easily.


News Articles

Say hi to Fi: A new way to say hello

Google Announces Project Fi Wireless Network Starting at $20 per Month

Google’s new Project Fi offers low-cost wireless phone service

Google is becoming a wireless carrier

Everything to know about Google’s new wireless service

Google unveils Fi, new wireless service

Google puts mobile-friendly websites at the advantage

Many websites today have still not caught up with the understanding that majority of the people who access online content do so from a mobile device. The challenge to accessing this information from your phone is that not all websites have a mobile-friendly option so that forces the user to have to pinch and squeeze their screen to find the information they are looking for. Google has decided to fix this problem by favoring the search results on someone’s page to match what they are looking for with websites that are mobile friendly if they are searching from a phone.

Starting April 21th Google is changing their search algorithm in order to favor companies that are already mobile friendly. This will help users navigate and find the information they are looking for rather than having to do all these finger gestures just to find what they need. Google is doing this because not every company understands that more people use their phones to access the web now. If they want to attract customers and make it easy for people to find them then they need to update their website so it works on smartphones.

Changing the Playing Field
The year is 2015 and many businesses still operate with the idea that all they need is a static website with three pages that never changes or gets updated. The first page welcomes people to their website of business and tells a little about what they offer and do. The second page lists their products/services and prices and the third page just has a basic contact form. There is no social media components, no blogs to read, and nothing to show people they are still operating. There are many websites out there now that have been up but the people haven’t taken them down because they forgot all about them.

Google wants to start weeding out the bad websites that don’t stay up-to-date with their websites. How they plan to do this is by taking your search results and altering the results based on your location and phone. How will this impact businesses that pay for online ads? It will impact them big time because they have gotten into a routine now where they just pay for ads to drive traffic to their page. Now when people search for a service or product, your page will not show up in the top results if your website is not fitted for mobile devices, enough though you paid for those ads. Why?

Google has determine that people with phones do not want to deal with outdated websites that are not mobile-friendly so why waste the time giving search results that don’t help the person on the phone. If you pay for ads and you have a mobile-friendly website and someone searches on their phone for your type of business then it will show up in the top search results. This will start to hurt a lot of companies who have only been relying on ads to drive traffic. This will also make a company rethink how they plan to manage and run their website. Google is not interested in showing websites that have no new information so there is no reason to list such websites in the first page hence why so many companies now rely on buying Google ads to drive customers. Google is changing all that because the majority of people access content on the internet differently now.

What to do about the change
If you are a company that is concerned about losing your ranking in the search results page then there are several things you can do to help improve your ranking organically but also with online ads.

First, you want to make sure your website has new content every week, if not everyday. Google likes to know what happens on the internet and indexes anything that changes so every time you add something to your website google looks at your page and updates their results so when someone searches online for something and it matches what your website talks about, with other people linking to your page, the link for your website goes up in ranking. Keep your site updated constantly with new information.

Second, hire someone that knows how to make your website mobile-friendly. This is very important because you need someone who can help make your website easy to navigate on a small screen. This does not mean making everything smaller, it just means that the user will need a drop down or slide out menu to access the different pages on your website. They need pages that will load faster along with easy to access information. People use websites differently on a phone than when they are sitting at home on a computer.

Third, test your website out on phones and tablets. You want to see what the experience is like to make sure it matches what your website offers. Have a few of your friends try out your website as well just to make sure it is easy to find the information they need. Take the feedback they give you and make adjustments right away.

Fourth, add social media components on your home page and make it easy for people to get to them. People on their phones are always connected to social media so making it easy to access your facebook and twitter page will be helpful so they can like and follow you. You do not want to make it hard for people to find these items. The harder you find information on a website, the less likely they are to come back or recommend to friends.

Fifth, your social media content should be updated at least weekly, including photos, videos, and news about blog posts and upcoming events. The more information you post the more people will see that your website is up-to-date and will want to work with you.

Improving Competition
This move is brilliant on Google’s part because it makes people realize that you cannot just stay with the same boring website month-to-month you need new content and information so people have a need and purpose for going back and doing business with you. A lot of people’s page rankings have dropped for that very reason this week and SEO managers for companies are scrambling to get everything updated so that Google will still favor their website.

There are a lot of startup companies that have trouble competing with companies that have the marketing budget to spend on online ads but many websites created today already come with the built-in option for mobile-friendly design. Creating a website from scratch is great if you know how to program and can add all the bells and whistles to it but for the majority of people they rely on basic website creators like Weebly and WordPress to create a simple enough website to manage their online presence. Sites like these already have an option that allows you to simply “enable” your website to be mobile. Just one-click makes all the difference in where your page ranks according to the search performed by someone looking for what you offer.

The times they are changing very quickly so whether you plan on starting a website soon or need to update your current on just remember that Google makes these changes all the time because they need to stay current with how people access information in relation to what they are looking for. Websites that haven’t been updated in five years won’t be anywhere need the first 50 pages if nothing has changed on your site.

But if you want to learn the real trick to beating Google’s new update I can tell you. You should treat your website as a landing page for people you meet in person who are interested in doing business with you. The quickest way to build a business with growing customers is to get out and meet new people and your website will help fill in answers to their questions. If you sit at home and buy online ads in the hopes that people will do business with you, then you are kidding yourself big time.


News Articles

Google To Favor ‘Mobile-Friendly’ Sites In Search

Mobilegeddon Cometh: New Google “Mobile Friendly Update” To Reward Sites Beginning April 21

‘Mobilegeddon’: Google to rank mobile-friendly sites higher in search results

Computers that fit in the palm of your hand

It was once predicted by the famous, but fictional Simpson’s character, Professor Frink “…that within 100 years, computers will be twice as powerful, 10,000 times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them.” Of course that is not true today (thank goodness) since computers have gotten smaller but also 100 times more powerful than even predicted. Computers will become something in the future where we will start interacting with them in the air and all around us.

The power of computers has shown that they will only continue to grow more non-existent (even though they will still be there), more powerful, and can perform more actions than ever imagined. The rise of wearables has given rise to the idea that computers do not need to be bulky or heavy to carry around now that we have cloud computing to handle all the processing power but also the storage capabilities. What Professor Frink talked about was no different than the man he was misquoted from, Thomas J. Watson, had in mind when computers were coming about. There was this false understanding that in order for computers to be able to do more they needed to take up more space in order to process more information since they figured sized influenced speed, much like, the bigger the better, right? If that was true than it reasoned that only the wealthiest people would be able to afford them and if that turned out to be true than progress in computer science would have died off if only the rich could afford them.

Luckily that did not happen and computers went in the opposite direction and are getting more affordable than ten years ago. In the case of size now, we have more capabilities in the palm of our hands than was ever imagined. I can load up a usb now with hundreds, if not, thousands of apps that I can use to manage everything from. The idea of having to carry something like that around sounds cool and all but now that cloud computing is free and available to anyone with an internet connection having to carry anything around seems a little outdated, and to be frank, annoying.

The use of USB sticks will still be needed in order to keep things backed up and protected if you don’t want to store your information on a cloud server, where you have no idea who will have access to that information or what they do with it. This is why they are still popular and in use by millions, if not billions. the great thing about USB sticks (or flash drives, pen drives, or memory sticks, however people refer to them) is that the size keeps increasing allowing anyone with a creative mind to load them up with some cool things, like say an operating system. This is exactly what Google and Intel have done with their new USB sticks.

Take Your Computer Station with You Anywhere
Imagine that you walk into a public library and you sit down to use the computer there. It doesn’t have what you need to do your work so you are limited to what you will be able to accomplish. Now imagine you walk into the same place but instead of using their computer station you can just plug your USB device into the monitor and turn it into a workstation right away with everything that you need. This will change how people use and work with computers.

The idea behind this new idea is to change how information is used and how programs are made. It is no longer the case that you go to the store to buy a physical item anymore because companies have learned that they can make more money off of subscriptions to use their products than a one-time purchase deal. This is the case now with many services that people use daily like, Netflix, Office 365, Hulu, and even Amazon Prime. Unless you are someone that needs the horsepower of what a desktop is still able to provide, using Cloud-based services will be enough for you to get all your work done. Intel was the first to create their own USB stick as well.

The efficiency in this model will be that monitors and wi-fi connections will become more valuable, if the world doesn’t completely get replaced with Hololens and virtual eyewear. Imagine for a minute that you can take a portable monitor with you anywhere you go and “plug-in” your “computer” into the monitor and then use one of these virtual keyboards to do your work with. This will change how people work but also how people access the internet to find the things they need in order to get work done.

USB Chromebit Details
2GB of RAM
Rockchip’s 3288 processor
16GB of storage
2 ports: one HDMI and one USB
Bluetooth Connectivity

Intel USB Stick
Two OS Options:Linux or Windows 8.1
quad-core Atom Z3735F processo
Linux comes with 1GB Ram/16GB Storage
Windows comes with 2GB Ram/32GB Storage
HDMI port
Micro-USB port
Bluetooth connectivity

Portable Computing with Cloud-Computing
Cloud based services are taking over everywhere. It seems like every new service that comes out they offer cloud services so you do not have to worry about your stuff. The idea of having to carry anything around with you seems almost 2005. Why carry USBs with you when you can just access your Google drive or Microsoft OneDrive from any device and see your files? Now it even seem like having a USB in your hand is pointless when you think about it. Pretty soon instead of owning a physical computer, like a Mac or PC, you will just “log-in” to your Mac or PC desktop and work from any monitor.

Think about that idea for just a minute and you begin to realize how realistic it all sounds. It would be very easy for Apple, Microsoft, and Google to make that all happen. It would be like logging in to a remote desktop which would then access your account (subscription account that is) and then give you a desktop that comes with all the programs you requested. So instead of paying $500 for a decent PC computer and a couple of hundred bucks on software to load it with, you could instead pay $50 a month for the desktop service and  an additional $5 or $10 dollars for each program you want added.

Lets say you make movies and you need the latest software and there are only three major programs you need in addition to a workstation. Mac computers are great for making movies so Apple could charge $60 a month, then you need FinalCut so that is an additional $10 and then you need FinalDraft, which is another $10 dollars so in total you would pay around $90 a month (tax included) for everything you need, knowing full well that you will never lose a file or project because it is all stored on the cloud. If you are working and you suddenly lose power you won’t have to worry if you lost your work because the only thing that happened was you lost the power to the monitor but the servers that manage your workstation won’t be affected.

That would change how people work from all over the world. Internet cafes will become a booming business for travelers but even more so with virtual eyewear when you can access your cloud-based workstation from anywhere in the world. The concept of physical computer systems, like desktops and tablets, and even phones in our hands will soon start to disappear because it makes no sense to carry any of that around with us, which all have the potential of breaking if they are dropped (and boy do people love dropping them, especially in toilets).

Computers are getting smaller but their power and capabilities are getting bigger.  We have chips and even nanobots that are smaller than our fingernails now so it is only a matter of time before Hololens becomes a full blown reality and people are accessing their stuff in the air and interacting with it like they would a person.

Subscription Based Business Models
The USB sticks come from the success of how well the Chromebooks have done in the market. Many school districts have invested heavily in ordering them because they require no installing of software and everything is online. The only down side to owning a chromebook is that they do not work if there is no internet connection so that means schools have to invest more money in making sure their wi-fi systems can handle heave traffic, which is not cheap at any rate.

The computer sticks are a one time purchase price so you will be able to do what you need to with Android operating system but you will need internet access, which the USB sticks also come with, so that way they can connect to the internet. In any case you will still be able to do all that you need to online in just in more efficient way now.

Over time though as more people start to use these little devices it will make sense for Google to charge for certain things but it only makes sense that this will be the last time before switching over to a completely cloud-based workstation environment at which point companies like, Google and Microsoft, will start to impose a subscription based model of payment. The cost of printing CDs can be eliminated completely while increasing revenue because consumers won’t even need to install anything, they can just access a special website that will turn their monitor/tablet into the desktop of their dreams. If they want more ram they can pay for it, if they need more drive space they can pay for it, and so on.

This new business model of providing services to customers while dramatically reducing costs will not only appeal to companies but people will love it as well because they do not need to worry about how to set it up and anytime something goes wrong, they do not have to run a utility program to fix it because the companies will be monitoring this stuff all the time. No one has to worry about dealing with viruses anymore because it is up to the company to provide the service at no additional charge (this is because they need to keep their system virus free in order to ensure their uptime is 24/7).

Privacy Issues
The saying goes, “if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.” The same goes for this. For anyone reading this article and saying to themselves, “but what about privacy issues if the only time you can access your computer is by paying for the service, what happens if you can’t pay anymore?” This is a very reasonable concern and why people still want to have a physical computer in their home that they can touch. This is why the whole idea of cloud-based computers will only be for people who truly embrace the future of where computers are going. People who love their privacy and don’t want to share the files they are working on with anyone will never want to use a subscription based model because not everyone has the money to do that plus they don’t want others knowing what they are doing.

The cost of buying a computer in general is hard for a lot of people so paying $700 is still high for many, so asking people to paying a monthly bill, added on top of their other bills, might be asking too much from them (regardless of whether or not people are making more money than 10 or 15 years). The other issue that will stop people in their tracks about switching over is that companies like Google have very clear wording in their Terms and Services and Privacy statements that say if you use any of their services you are giving them the right to search your stuff in order to create custom advertisements. Bottom line – you have no privacy when using Google’s services, all in the name of trying to sell you more stuff. Watch this movie to find out, Terms and Conditions May Apply.

I would love to be able to sign in and access all the programs I need but I also do enjoy my privacy when doing my work. In a world now where companies are hacked everyday for their sensitive files, it will no longer be the case that SSN numbers matter but instead that letter you wrote on your computer that explained a plan you had been thinking about for awhile but you wanted no one else to know about. That information is just as damaging as having your bank records stolen.

Now the matter becomes, when companies finally switch over to offering such a service, what guarantees do they have of protecting our personal files and not snooping? The answer currently is none and when it all comes down to providing a service, cloud-based like, it will be hard for any company to want to respect that when they know they could make money off that sensitive information but, hey, if Facebook can get away with selling people’s private information and people are ok with it then I guess it’s not such a big problem. I, for one, do think it is so for the company that does offer the service and respects people’s privacy, they will probably be the one to come out in the end.


Both USB sticks won’t be available until the summer.

News Articles

Intel Compute Stick Page

Intel Computer Stick vs. Asus Chromebit

Google’s Chromebit Turns Any TV Into a Chrome PC for Under $100

Creating Adult niche markets from Childhood Activities

Work slide at Google

There was a post I read online one time that said, “you know school stopped being fun when Elmer Glue, water paints, and crayons stopped being on the school supply list.” It’s true when you think about it. Don’t you have more fond memories from your childhood than you do of your days as a teenager? It was easier to make friends in elementary school all you had to have in common was a favorite color or food and you were instantly buddies for the rest of your school days.

The days of being an adult are completely different. You can no longer make friends as easily by walking up to people asking if you can borrow their glue. Some people instead will take the 5 mile trip to wal-mart or office depot and buy their own instead of looking foolish in front of someone for asking. (Many introverts do suffer from this condition everyday and they will go out of their way to get one small thing than risk looking like a fool in front of someone when all they have to do is ask.) I think this is why so many childhood TV shows and movies are making a comeback because they remind us of how much fun we used to have growing up (plus the audience numbers are already there) and how the world looked so innocent and nice.

Finding Those Niches
There are many things you can bring back from your elementary school days and turn them into full-time passion projects that can make money today. Remember playing in the sandboxes and how they were so much fun at school with your friends? It was the experience of playing with your friends that made it all the more fun. What about when you used to play with water paints and create funny pictures on large pieces of paper on the wall well now there are businesses that cater to this whole new idea for adults. Take a look at the company IdeaPaint, where you can paint any wall and turn it into a dry erase board. That is a lot easier than having to install huge boards in your office, classroom, or home.


Ideapaint at Masschallenge

There is a restaurant called Pinot’s Palette and they took the whole idea of painting and turned it into an evening experience. The idea behind this place is that you come in with a group of friends and paint on a canvas and drink (BOYB). The reviews online paint this place as a way to experience art and food and fun all at the same time.

Why is this business taking off and why not just join a regular painting class in college? Well the reason for that is this place provides a more relaxed atmosphere whereas in college, yes you will learn the technical stuff, in this program you won’t be graded on anything and you don’t have to follow a certain style. You just can paint, eat, and drink and enjoy your time with friends. That is a lot more enjoyable for a night out and you get to take what you made home with you.

Another concept art idea that went viral was the backpack that looks a comic book drawing. The pictures of the handbag and backpack looked like it was just a photoshop joke but they really do look like that. This is what made them such a viral hit on twitter (#thebag) and all over. People liked the fact that they were wearing something that looked like a visual illusion. You can check out their website, Jump From Paper, and see what other cool things they have made.

This is what they look like when people wear them. Pretty cool, right? Click here for more Pics

What if we look at some other ideas that seem a little far stretched but when seen in reality are totally believable. In this instance why not consider, instead of a day bed, relaxing in a giant bird’s nest.

You can see just how comfortable something like that might be. The whole idea behind this nest, what some might call crazy or ridiculous, is to create a place for you to get away and think or relax or just chat with friends. The bird nest comes in different sizes, the 2-3 people nest goes for a price tag of $3,591 and the 16 person nest has a lightweight price of $10,774. The nest really acts as a place for inspiration which is a great idea because your environment says so much about your thinking habits and what you do. Check out there website to learn more about them.

If you want to think in a new way you have to find a new place to be in otherwise your mind will not have any new stimulus coming in. It needs new things in order to create new things, this is why people who work at home eventually go stir crazy from seeing the same thing over and over. Maybe playing on playgrounds for adults might be the thing you need to help get the creative juices flowing again.

You can see how this market of taking kid ideas and turning them into toys for adults is becoming a huge industry with these 42 ideas that adults wish they had and probably do. So why the sudden interest and what other ideas are coming around that seem to be getting a lot of attention?

Creating Peace through Coloring
Coloring, for so many people, is a very personal and fulfilling way of spending their time. Many people remember back in elementary school when they were given time in class to color. This was probably everyone’s favorite time right after nap time with the milk cartons. Everyone was told that the most important rule in coloring was to stay within the lines which, surprisingly enough, was still a challenge for many. I loved this activity and was damn good at it. My thing was to always trace the outline first, since that was how the teacher taught it in class and pretend that the trace were the borders not to cross. I would trace hard to make a bold line and then color softly within those lines. That method earned me a couple of 100s as I remember.

It might surprise you to learn that the activity is still alive and well for adults today. The lives of adults is filled with a constant flow of activities and responsibilities. There are many activities that take the part of slowing down and enjoying lifee but none so much as the act of coloring. Yes there are anatomy coloring books, which many enjoy coloring just for fun, but now there is a new market popping up showing a healthy growth of interest. Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest are two of the latest books to hit the market geared towards adults who enjoy the art of coloring.

The artist, Johanna Basford, has said that it was surprising to find the reception her books have had with people. The reviews on amazon have all been 4 and 5 star ratings with people saying that her latest book, Enchanted Forest, beat expectations.

You can also see that they are very popular in other languages, even though the book is mostly just drawings on each page, something to take notice of when creating your product or service.

Many people have ordered more than one copy in order to test out different styles of coloring on the same image. But why did this take off? Well, one, it helped to have an influencer in the mix. If you have kept up with this blog then you know that most big breakthroughs happen when an someone of importance, or celebrity status, tweets or posts a photo about discovering someone’s work and all their followers spread the news. This happened when Korean pop-star, Kim Ki-bum, posted a photo on his instagram showing what a great job he did coloring in his flower wreath. It was that photo that got other people interested in learning where he got that coloring book from.

The crowd in South Korea took quickly to the idea of adults and teens coloring for fun and why not, its different, you can express yourself, and share it online with your followers. That is exactly what the experience of coloring should be about, expressing yourself and sharing it with others. Many places all over the world are putting together coloring groups which has shown to have a positive reception. The idea of coloring by hand helps increase focus, creativity, and imagination, and for older adults, hand-eye coordination.

Johanna’s luck has been all about people discovering her work. The first time it happened was when a publisher, Laurence King Publishing, found her work online and thought she would be able to find a market in children’s books. Johanna approached her publisher about doing coloring books for adults but they were hesitant at the idea that adults would enjoy doing something that they thought is really just for kids. This was the second reason why this new trend took off. If not for her push to create something she enjoyed doing, and was different, then there would not be a renewed interest in adult coloring books.

The work Johanna has created is different from all the other adult coloring books out there because her patterns are more intricate than the standard adult coloring books. Most are not as detailed as Enchanted Forest or Secret Garden which allows a richer, creative mind to develop. Her illustrations are from pure imagination rather than just standard form as coloring in animals, which you already know the colors for, so it is hard to come up with your own. Her books allow your mind to flow and find new patterns or color designs to work with.

How she got to where she is today is all history now that she has amassed a huge following, not to mention, gotten more followers on her twitter account because of her recent NYtimes article. Now she has had three influencers in her life to help push her work into the mainstream, Korean Pop star, her publisher, and the nytimes article. If she keeps putting out work like that and coming up with more creative ways to color then she will have a very fulfilling and lucrative career as an illustrator for coloring. One of her past jobs was creating beautiful wallpaper designs for hotels so maybe she will be asked to do that again. According to the feedback she has gotten from fans, the next coloring book she is working on now will be of the ocean.

If you would like to see other people who have done adult coloring books you can check out the following below.

Creative Haven NatureScapes Coloring Book – Patricia J. Wynne

Detailed Designs and Beautiful Patterns (Sacred Mandala Designs and Patterns Coloring Books for Adults

Flower Designs Coloring Book – Jenean Morrison

Splendid Cities – Rosie Goodwin and Alice Chadwick

Creating New from Old
The example this article provides is that you don’t have to rack your brain trying to come up with something completely original you just have to find a new way of doing something that has already been done before.

She put in many hours trying to come up with concept art to show to her new publisher that what she wanted to do was worth putting there. She still had to work to earn money which she did as a freelancer during the day but now that she has built the following she has now she can spend more time creating the things she enjoys.

Whether you are trying to build an app or improve a new service, look for the little habits that a lot of people over look just because it might seem “childish,” it might turn out that is exactly what people are looking for.


News Articles

Grown-Ups Get Out Their Crayons

Indiana’s New “Religious Freedom” Bill Path Speaks Volumes

It has been a bad year for employees and even customers with businesses. You would think that with all the information out there today that people would be smarter about the decisions they make and the consequences those decisions have on other people but apparently not. It is one thing to have the internet and use it correctly but it is a completely different thing when you use it only to support your given ways and not improve yourself. Indiana’s legislating body showed the US just that when Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 101 into law last Thursday (march 26, 2015).

Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 1993
The original basis from which this all started was signed into federal law by former President Bill Clinton in 1993. The idea behind this act is that states will not burden someone’s right to exercise their freedom of religious belief or expression. The act did not apply toward states but just at the federal level so states stepped in and created their own provisions called, State Religious Freedom Restoration Acts. There are currently 21 states that have their own RFRAs in order to match their state’s own interests and laws, Texas is one of the 21 stats to have their own version.

The bill does exemptions though one of which two conditions, which are both held under strict scrutiny, have to be met at the same time in order for it to apply. First, the burden must be necessary if it furthers the government’s valid and compelling interest, which is an act that is more than just routine but necessary. Second, the action of the government must be done in the least restrictive way possible. These conditions apply the federal act as well as at the state level.

Controversy with Indiana’s new law
Gov. Mike Pence has stated that, “this bill is not about discrimination and if I thought it legalized discrimination I would have vetoed it.” The challenge to that is the bill does allow businesses to discriminate if the business owner does not follow or approve of someone else’s lifestyle as this one restaurant owner has proudly declared on national radio, long before the bill even passed. In the article the business owner talks about how his restaurant is his business and he pays the bills so he should have the right to decide who gets to sit and eat his food.

There is another restaurant owner that has gone on public news and declared that if their pizza shop was asked to make pizzas for a gay wedding they would deny them service. Right after the news about this place was made public they had to close down their store because of all the threatening phone calls and hate messages they were getting. Their yelp page also received poor reviews immediately following that. The owners are currently waiting for all this to pass over so they can hopefully reopen again after all the lose business they put on themselves. It is important to point out though that in the interview they made it a point to say that they do not discriminate against anyone but that it is their religious right to believe in what they want.

This is the perfect example of what has started the backlash after signing the bill into law on Thursday. Many companies, organizations, celebrities, and people from all over have voiced their opinions about this controversial law with Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, going to Twitter and voicing his outrage at what has taken place and even writing an article entitled, “Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous.”

Many other people have voiced their concerns as well for what Gov. Pence has done.

So why did the governor sign this bill in secret? Well if you take a look at the people surrounding him you will see just who is really behind this bill and where the influence is coming from.

The people in the photo are smiling because it means that businesses, organizations, and any other group can now cry foul anytime they feel their religious freedom is being challenged, or as Mike Pence said, “infringed upon.” This was the very issue that George Stephanopoulos was trying to get at when he had a one-on-one chat with the governor when he came on “This Week” to talk about what has happened. George asked pointblank questions that only required a yes or no answer to which the governor would not answer straight out but instead gave a long drawn out answer. Politicians never like to be candid about their actions and this is just another example of that.

Pence has already made comment that he does not have anything on his agenda that would protect the rights of LGBT individuals from discrimination so it does not look like he is working to help provide equal rights in his state. Gov. Mike Pence made it very clear in his interview with George that signing that bill into law was not a mistake so it goes to show that he has put himself into hot water on purpose. After all the backlash though he will go back this week to refine the wording of the law to make sure it is not so vague. The pro-LGBT Lambda Legal program did make an effort to provide legal clarification on the matter when they put out a statement on the matter.

Negative Consequences
Many companies and powerhouse organizations are taking aim at what Gov. Mike Pence has done for his state by turning their business away from the state. Many companies have already made public announcements that they would no longer conduct business in Indiana as a result of what has taken place, even with the NBA calling them out on their actions. The hashtag “boycottIndiana” has already taken off with many people all around voicing their opinions and providing pictures that paint a clear path to what will start happening

But here is where things start to get messy, many states that don’t allow discrimination are now canceling any trips to Indiana that are paid for by tax dollars. George Takei has really been vocal on this issue showing what has been taking place.

In another tweet he put out he was sad to see that discrimination and hate go hand-in-hand by this new piece of legislation that would make it legal to kill gays through a process of “bullets to the head” that is being put to the ballot. Unfortunately there is no legal consequence for the issuer at the time of this writing to determine if anything can be done to stop it. The measure though has brought up a few questions now, one being the most asked, why can’t there be a system in place to prevent illegal ideas from being submitted?

Ellen DeGeneres posted many tweets and showed support for those speaking up about what is happening in Indiana.

Angie’s List has already made an announcement that they will not continue with their expansion of a new headquarters in Indiana because they do not agree with laws that allow discrimination to take place.

The real estate company, RedFin, has even taken to their twitter account to voice opposition to the law in Indiana. Real estate brokers know that discrimination is alive and well in their industry and laws like this just encourage that.

Marc Benioff, the CEO of Salesforce.com, made a public announcement on his twitter account saying that he would be canceling all programs that involve any travel to Indiana, which is a great move on his part. They also plan on reducing their presence and any investment in the statement so long as that bill is allowed to continue. Infact he even put a plan into effect that would help any of his salesforce employees who were impacted by the law to move out of the state.

You would think Mike Pence would get the picture that he should go back and undue what he has done but instead he has said that he is not going to change anything unless his governing body comes back to him with changes.

Gen Con is a gaming and comic book convention held in the state that also plans to look elsewhere for their annual convention. After taking notice at what Mike Pence has done they are looking to take their million dollar program and put it into a state that does not encourage discrimination. The CEO of Gen Con has written a letter in response to SB 101 and what that could mean for future attendance in the state of Indiana. Click on the link to read the full letter. Learn what the law and Gen Con really means from this article as well.

Politicians have not been silent about this issue either with Hillary Clinton making it clear what her position is on this new law. She has been fighting a lot against discrimination in many areas, not just LGBT rights but also rights for pregnant women in workplaces (think about that for a minute, women are still fighting for equal rights in the workplace).

The governors of New York, Andrew Cuomo, and Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, has also banned nonessential travel supported by tax payer dollars to the state of Indiana. It will probably follow that Arkansas will soon be on that list as well for other states banning travel to states that encourage discrimination.

In a compelling move by many athletic programs, NCAA and the NBA, Charles Barkley is asking that the final four program be taken out of Indiana because their new law allows business owners to discriminate about how attends. This law will extend to event sporting events and so many other areas. The NCAA said that he plans to continue but the fight between what is happening is only getting bigger. In a statement released by his agent, “Discrimination in any form is unacceptable to me.” “As long as anti-gay legislation exists in any state, I strongly believe big events such as the Final Four and Super Bowl should not be held in those states’ cities.”

The NCAA did post a message on their twitter account about this as many pushed to find out what their position was on this issue.

Nike and Nascar have both made statements showing their support against the law in Indiana as well. This is big when even Nascar has to weigh in on the matter with many others feeling the same way in this article.

In another attempt to show the negative consequences of the bill, the band Wilco has canceled their May 7 concert. They said they would like to come back to Indiana after the law is repealed.

It will be a long time before these bills are repealed in states that have them because the challenge to them is that they do allow discrimination to take place, either for employment, housing, education, or anything having to do with fair-public access.

Learning from Mistakes Made
Arkansas was on track to pass a similar bill that was to close to all other states besides Indiana but after all the backlash Gov. Mike Pence has been dealing with this week the people in Arkansas finally took notice and did the right thing but not following in their foot steps and riding their coat tails for the publicity. They could have easily just taken advantage of the time to start pushing bills like this through but instead the Governor, encouraged by his own son, decided to rework the bill until it provided a fair and balanced view that matched the federal law. Here is the weird part about all this, the Governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson, has already said that if it, “reaches my desk in similar form as to what has been passed in 20 other states,” then he will sign it.

This right away caused a huge firestorm of problems there too. This is why studying History is more important than most other subjects in school today but do most people understand that? No. Instead they listen to high priced advisers telling them that they should push ahead on this while the issue is still hot. Because you have conservatives pushing hard for their side, it resulted in the the CEO of Wal-Mart releasing this statement.

One of the largest employers in the state has voiced absolute opposition to this new bill. Of course this creates a whole new thing for Tech companies to join in on. Apple, Square, Box, Yelp, Salesforce and so many others are taking a stand that it is not ok to discriminate against anyone on the basis of who they are.

Axciom, a tech corporation, also wrote a letter  by their CEO, Scott Howe, to Governor of Arkansas asking Hutchinson to veto the bill and do the right thing. Mr. Howe realizes the kind of pain this will inflict on citizens who live in that state that don’t enjoy the same benefits that straight people take for granted everyday.

In a public hearing news reporters finally got Gov. Mike Pence to agree that the new legislation they are working on this week will clarify that businesses will not be allowed to discriminate against people, including sexual orientation.

The Unintended Consequences for Everyone
The issue at hand with this bill is that it gives the unfair right to businesses to discriminate who uses their products or services. The most common example used is a florist or baker that is attacked for denying a gay couple flowers or a wedding cake for their wedding because it goes against their beliefs. SNL made a joke out of Starbucks when they made a parody of Mechanics trying to start a conversation with people about sensitive topics, just like Starbucks tried to do with their “Race Together” cause. Why should companies feel they need to “tell” people what to do with their life? In the video below you can see why allowing companies to intrude on people’s lives is not ok.

Why is it ok for companies to feel they can start movements with their customers but their customers cannot bring their issues, or who they are as a person, into their places of establishment? As you can see there should be a clear line about this but since the law allows doctors to discriminate on the medicines or services they provide to patients who might be obese, gay, or looking to get an abortion, why should businesses be any different then? Aren’t private practices the same thing as businesses? Of course they are so why not extend the same rights over? Why? Because it is wrong.

The law was also written in a way that allows businesses, churches, or any establishment to discriminate against anyone that infringes on their religious beliefs, so that means, Jews, Homosexuals, blacks, special interest groups can all be discriminated against under the protection of this new law. But Republicans don’t care or see it that way, they are only concerned with protecting the religious interests of businesses and religious affiliations. This was an issue they also said they would clarify in their new bill brought before the governor of Indiana by the end of the week.

In Michigan, the state approved their own Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law that allows doctors and EMT medics to refuse to treat gay people if it goes against their religious beliefs. So much for following that oath you took in med school. What year do we live in again? It’s definitely not 2015 in some states that’s for sure. The excuse republican lawmakers use each and every time is to prevent government overreach. In this case I think more government overreach is necessary in order to prevent these kinds of laws from being passed (err, created in the first place). Unfortunately that is not how our system works in the US. Republicans are working to pass more laws that decrease the amount of government oversight in people’s lives, including taking away the regulation put in place to prevent another another collapse of our economy. Why would Republicans want to do that? It prevents Wallstreet from making more money and giving higher bonuses to consultants and CEOs. Humm…who’s really helping who here?

How did this get started?
After the Hobby Lobby ruling that made it legal for businesses to decide if they should be forced to provided contraceptive health care for their female employees it was easy for states to start using that same measure, which gave more power to businesses to discriminate against, to build a case of protecting religious beliefs, even though a corporation and the people who run them are kept separate.  This was the backlash Chick-Fil-A got when they weighed in on their views of marriage. So why do businesses need to weigh in on these issues? I don’t need my mechanic telling me how I should raise my kids or what a marriage should be like so why should businesses be allowed to discriminate against who uses patronizes their business?

The Hobby Lobby ruling gave businesses religious protection under the law which expanded their power and opened a flood gate of problems from for-profit entities who wish to use religion as a controlling tool of their employees. A female employee who needs health benefits can no longer get contraceptive benefits if their employee does not support that, even though Universal Health Care states that all employers should provide full health coverage to all employees. When Hobby Lobby cried foul on that they took it to the supreme court and won the case which allowed them to tell their female employees what care they will provide, instead of actually caring about their employee needs and providing them with full coverage like they are supposed to. A company is supposed to take care of the people who run it, not control their lives.

This new loophole has encouraged conservative republicans to jump on the bandwagon and push for more Religious Freedom Restoration bills in other states, and as you can see in this map, 12 more states have introduced similar Religious Freedom bills into their legislature to be debated.

Why are Conservatives After this kind of law?
Now that most state’s amendments banning homosexual marriages are coming to an end, conservatives feel that this is their last line of defense to protect their values and religious beliefs. The reason for this is because they lost those elections to pass the bills back in the fall so they are bringing many of them back now that republicans carry the majority it makes it easier to pass their bills.

This paints a bad picture for the operation of businesses though in the long run. A business that thinks they can discriminate against certain types of customers today will only end up getting slammed on social media. If a small hotel’s rating in upper New York state can have their fancy 5 star rating dropped down to 1 after a customer posted a negative comment and charged them for it, thinks that they can get away with it then they are wrong. That hotel has lost a lot of business now that the news outlets have picked up on the story back in the fall.

More and more news outlets will be following any kind of business that discriminates and for that their Yelp and Angie list ratings will come tumbling down. They will end up losing business and they will eventually have to change or hold their ground and go out of business. Conservatives on the other hand will cry foul each and every time that they have to allow business for anyone they open their doors to, but isn’t that the point of doing business? To maximize your profits and get as many people interested in what you are doing, or is there another part of business they don’t teach you in those expensive business schools?

Many of those expensive schools need to start teaching that discrimination in any form is not ok and that if you do it then you just wasted all your money going to business school because you won’t be making much money later on if you limit who you do business with.

Local Discrimination Event in Austin
In an effort to showcase how some businesses in East Austin were discriminating a lawyer decided he would go around to certain stores and put up a sticker on the front of stores in a certain area saying that they only serve white people. The sticker had a symbol on it that looked like it was from the city of Austin. Th symbol used was to make it look official. The act was just a demonstration to show that businesses should not be discriminating against certain groups of people.

If a lawyer goes around and is making an issue out of something like this and businesses know they shouldn’t be discriminating then why it is ok for states to pass laws that allow businesses to discriminate? Remember these types of laws can be used in housing situations, schools, and even admittance into organizations. Bottom line, it’s not.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler: ‘White people’ stickers appalling, offensive

Someone In Austin Is Putting Up ‘Exclusively For White People’ Stickers

A lawyer in Austin, Texas, has admitted to putting ‘exclusively for white people’ stickers on stores


Course of Action to Follow
The challenge with this kind of law at the state level is that it does allow for discrimination on the side that religious beliefs are more important to follow then the people who make up their state. That itself is a very challenging issue to deal with, because any governing body must decide who comes first in matters like this. Do people who practice their religion, regardless of what it is, come before people who just want to be themselves or is it the other way around? or both?

How should the law handle those matters? Any business can say their religious beliefs prevent them from providing services but do those religious beliefs need to be among those that are “approved” first. The country follows a freedom of religious expression which means anyone can start and practice any religion they like and if by some chance they feel their beliefs are being challenged they can file for protection under this kind of law, even though they may have just made it up two months ago. There is more to the issue on that matter but if you think that what I just wrote sounds absurd and no human being would try and pull such a thing then you really don’t understand people and what they will go through just to get their way.

The best plan of action that so many celebrities, CEOs, musicians, and other politicians are calling for is to repeal these kinds of laws. Democrats in Indiana say the best thing to do is just repeal the whole thing and do away with it. The challenge now is republicans hold the majority and it will be that way for awhile so unless by some miracle of chance that colleges start making people learn correctly and create with minds equipped with actual critical thinking skills, it will be a very long time before laws like this get taken off the books. Religion is important to protect but so are the people who make up the people. This is why the matter is so charged because both sides count equally.

Please take a moment to read this personal column that George Takei wrote in regards to Indiana but also Arkansas.

Progress Wins All but discrimination does not
The outcome for this whole issue is one for the books on business and politics and how they can be a messy affair. The issue of this whole matter has shown what a deep, deep divide the matter of religious beliefs carry. There were so many parties involved that influenced this matter that sometimes even the governing bodies tend to overlook them. Indiana has finally come to a head on this matter by law makers writing in provisions that explain what businesses are allowed to use and not allowed.

The consequence of passing such a law that allowed for discrimination was huge but now that the whole matter has been fixed and the law clarified to include the following provision, “does not authorize a provider to refuse to offer or provide services, facilities, use of public accommodations, goods, employment, or housing to any member or members of the general public on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or United States military service.”

Each of these measures now included can no longer be used as a defense for refusal of service in a civil or prosecution lawsuit, meaning that businesses can no longer cry foul on these matters. It might be time to start explaining what it means to really do business. You can not just set up shop and make it a “boys only club” because that would limit your purpose of doing business.

Many religious organizations that lobbied for the original say the new provisions destroyed the purpose of the law. The public support has already started to show up on twitter and more will soon follow. Now it is up to Arkansas to do the right thing and include protections against LGBT groups and others in the laws for the first time. Last week Gov. Mike Pence said that he had nothing on his future agenda saying that he would work on protecting the rights of LGBT people but with the right influence he managed to include it in his daily work.

The next time you ask something of someone that is important to deal with and they tell you don’t have the time, it just means they are trying to ignore it. so when a governor has the ability to include it into his busy schedule then it just takes the right influence for people in positions of power to see what issues they really need to be working on. This is a win for many people to come.

This what the NCAA had to say

Marc Benioff already posted a few things

Jon Stewart said it best when the Daily Show decided to show what Indiana and the lawmakers were really trying to do in this great episode. April 6th, 2015.

Thanks Jon for clearing up that mess and showing them what a mistake they were really making.

News Articles

Indiana Republicans to Revise Rights Bill to Prohibit Discrimination

Indiana business leaders embrace RFRA fix

Conservatives Admit The Truth On Indiana ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill

11 Entities Protesting Indiana’s New LGBT Discrimination Law

Indiana Governor Signs ‘Religious Liberty’ Bill, Claiming It Won’t Enable Anti-LGBT Discrimination

Gov. Mike Pence signs ‘religious freedom’ bill in private

Hobby Lobby Made Indiana’s Religious Discrimination Bill Possible

Hundreds rally against Indiana law, say it’s discriminatory

Indiana Law Denounced as Invitation to Discriminate Against Gays

Indiana’s religious freedom law: What you need to know

What the ‘religious freedom’ law really means for Indiana

Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Bill Sparks Firestorm Of Controversy

Silicon Valley Leaders, New to Social Issues, Come Together Over Indiana Law

Bills on ‘Religious Freedom’ Upset Capitols in Arkansas and Indiana

Gov. Mike Pence seeks to defend, ‘clarify’ controversial ‘religious freedom’ law

Arkansas Governor Asks Lawmakers to Recall Religious Exception Bill

Arkansas Moves to Revise Legislation as Concerns of Religion and Gay Rights Intensify