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Musings of a Money Machine Hacker

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Celebrating Small Biz & the Maker Start-Up…

In celebration of Southern Makers, April 30 – May 1, 2016 and the SBA’s National Small Business Week, May 1-7, 2016, the MMHacker team will be offering a series of business start-up/small business oriented workshops to the regional small business community. Although small businesses are superly crucial to any local economy, they are often an afterthought within discussions that revolve around economic development. Each of the workshops listed below is a small part of our attempting to address this issue as well as our working towards adequately equipping members of our regional small business community with a few tools that will assist them in their quest to obtaining and sustaining success.

Please pass this information along to all interested parties within your respective spheres of influence and keep in mind that space is extremely limited. If you have any questions or comments please address these to mmhacker@netelysis.com

 

SBA/MGM National Small Business Week Overview

click here for details

 

May 1
– 9:00am – 11:00am “Money Machine Science – An Introduction (Southern Maker Style)”click here to register

May 2
– 11:30am – 1:00pm “Increasing Revenue Through Your Website and Social Media”click here to register

May 3
– 11:30am – 1:00pm “Using EBooks To Expand Your Business”click here to register

May 5
– 11:30am – 1:00pm “Navigating Business Networking”click here to register

Any Potential Customer ≠ A Good Customer For A Money Machine

There is nothing like attending a business networking event such as a business after-hours or morning coffee session and encountering a “local business card distributor.”  No, this is not a reference to someone who does delivers or that provides a brokerage service for a print or copy shop.  This is an individual who spend her time during the entire networking function distributing her business cards, especially in an unsolicited manner.  To actually observe this process is super intriguing.  A more interesting activity though is attempting to ascertain whether or not an individual of this type actually desires to provide goods and services to each and every individual who is attending the particular networking event.  A similar set of circumstances often arises when an entrepreneur is asked, “So, what is your preferential customer type?”  The reply is often “anybody/everyone” but is this truly the case?  Should a newly created Money Machine founder embrace each and every potential customer who darkens the doors of his business operations.  Let’s just agree upon the following – doing so is a recipe for an entrepreneurial disaster of the highest order!!

This subject matter quickly becomes a point of contention for start-up founders who accept external funding, especially funding of an equity investment nature, far too early in the business development process.  For some Money Machines, accepting equity funding at any time during the lifetime and existence of the particular business operations is considered far too early.   8^)   The details of the source of this conflict all revert back to the circumstance that under the constraints of having received equity funding, the Money Machine founder has to become beholden to an individual or group of individuals who are not true customers of the Money Machine.  Simply and straight forwardly stated, investors desire a return on their equity investment and are not often too patient with entrepreneurs who desire to be finicky about the type of customer to whom their Money Machine provides its goods and services.  Some investor types may actually move to have this type of Money Machine founder committed to a mental institution but here at the “Musings…” we have elaborated on this topic before, some may say somewhat too extensively here and here.  This is why bootstapping a Money Machine’s existence, especially during its early days, is stupidly crucial.

The other side of this particular coin is the fact that there is nothing quite like having the phone ring or the email inbox receive a new correspondence and once the caller id or the “from” field is recognized the stomach of the founder begins to turn in knots and her head miraculous begins to feel pain.  This is often the result of a Money Machine founder taking on and providing products and services for someone or some organization/entity that is not his “ideal” customer.  Please keep in mind that choosing the right/wrong customer is much more that offering a product or service to someone who may or may not have a need for either.  It is also about the Money Machine founders having a filtering system in place that allows them to interview the potential customer is such a manner that before taking them on as a customer the founders has ascertained that they share the same vision, goals and path to the desired results of that of the potential customer who is attempting to engage with the Money Machine’s product or service.  This is why Money Machines are heavily dependent upon the science of the Lean Start-Up business development methodology and it is within this confine that one is quickly introduced and heavily relies upon the process of customer discovery and customer development while simultaneously measuring the experience that the user/customer is having throughout the life cycle of having engaged with the Money Machine and its goods/services.

Now you may be saying, this all sounds great but how in the devil is a start-up founder suppose to begin this process?  I am glad that you asked.  Believe it or not it all starts between the ears of the Money Machine founder when she asks the proverbial question, “What is my meaning and why in the world am I even contemplating creating and founding a Money Machine?”  Some would argue that this is possibly the most difficult question that an start-up founder will every have to answer.  Fortunately there are some superly cool social scientists out in the world like a crew out of the Austin, TX area who have begun assisting start-up founders and prospective entrepreneurs with addressing this very question.  The Austin group’s virtual presence can be found here.  For the far left brained technical types this particular type science and respective training exercises can be the source of a series of excruciating painful engagements but the research has shown and is continuing to show that this type of professional development is time well spent.

Some of the readers of the “Musings…” are now beginning to understand how the added pressure of answering to an angel investment/venture/debt funding groups too early in the Money Machine creation and entrepreneurial development process can seriously affect and hamper the greatest type of learning that needs to occur, namely, the Money Machine founder and creator learning about himself.  But a couple of questions still remain, inquiries such as,

  • How in the world does a Money Machine survive while its being superly scrupulous about the characteristics of its customers?
  • What is the methodology that founders need to utilize to vet out these precious customers among the vast number of potential clients?

These and other items will be addressed in a future installment of the “Musings…

BTW, if there is an interest in following the mmhacker saga via twitter please feel free to subscribe to @mmhackerU.

Until next time…

Lean, Lean, and Lean Again – part 0

One of the most difficult things to accomplish in life is quite simple in theory but can be a tall order to implement – keeping one’s promise, commitment or word each and every time and when failing to do so not providing any excuse of any type. It is in the spirit of “keeping my word” that I will seek to address the proverbial question, “If Bootstapping a Money Machine start-up is so wonderful and is so dependent upon customer revenue then why do so few business development workshops and courses teach and train entrepreneurs in the art of ‘discovering’ and ‘developing’ and closing the deal with real, tangible, bona fide, cash paying customer?  I have been pondering the details of this question and its answer over the last number of years.

Every business development course/workshop/training module readily embraces and provides training for a concept called “market research” or a “marketing plan” but what value does this data have to the Money Machine founder?  I once read one source that stated that a good marketing plan contains the following elements

  • Description of the product or service including special features
  • Marketing budget, including the advertising and promotional plan ie “How much money are you going to spend?” on the aforementioned advertising and promotional pieces.
  • Pricing strategy
  • Market segmentation (will one specialize in specific niche markets or a mass marketing strategy)

Honestly, even as I am penning these concepts the process makes my head hurt.  Why, why, why…

  • Would any serious amount of time be spent describing a product or service whose value and demand has not been validated by feedback from potential customers?
  • Would an individual spend a single dime on advertising or promoting a product or service in the hopes that it might attract the attention of a member of a speculative “market segment?”
  • Would anyone define a strategy for pricing a product or service when their is no clarity as to the financial posture of the product’s customer base?
  • Would a conversation be had about “niche” markets vs “mass” markets?  Heck all that a Money Machine founder needs to concern herself about are paying customers irrespective of the type of market camp from which they originate.

For a Money Machine to survive it is not about “market research” but about the process of discovering and developing a paying customer base.   The most full featured tool of choice for working through this process is the science and particulars of the “Lean Start-Up.”  Now using this term is a double edged sword due to the fact that everyone and his first cousin has heard about the “Lean” process and its relationship to start-ups.  Shucks, there are tens of books on the subject matter, hundreds of web-sites, on and on and on and on.  Your have the originator of the term Mr Eric Ries and his book The Lean Startup.  Then there is the world renown guru, one Mr Steve Blank and his internationally recognized The Four Steps To Epiphany  among other wonderful books that he has authored.  These and other books and authors provide some keen insights and business science but they really do not specifically address the intricacies of creating, building and sustaining a Money Machine.  It is in this space that one has to be superly careful not to discard the proverbial baby with the entire tub of bath water.  Here at the “Musings…” we are only interested in the portions of the aforementioned science that suits our purposes, namely, processes and techniques that empower us to create and sustain – a very small scale high tech, maker, craft/creative based, or food start-up or business that provides occupation for no more than three individuals, better known as a Money Machine.  It is in this space that we conduct our first efforts into the “hacking” of the well know/established “Lean Startup” methodology science.

So, where and how does one move forward with this process?  The entire process begins by applying portions of the scientific method to the creation of a Money Machine.  The major component in this process is a tool that has been defined as an “Experiment.”  Please note the details of the following

experiment_diagram

 

In applying the concept of an Experiment one works towards implementing the following steps

  • Step 1 – Create an original idea
  • Step 2 – Build or create a product/service around the original idea
  • Step 3 – Measure the acceptability of your product by gathering data from customers/potential customers
  • Step 4 – Learn from the data and allow the analysis help determine whether to…
  • Step 5 – Continue with the development of the original idea or pivot to another concept

Even though this only provides a high altitude view of the process it becomes quite apparent that the key item that results from an Experiment is that Money Machine start-up business development decisions are now based on data and not on the proverbial whim and a prayer.  Shucks, it is great to pray and have an active prayer life in this area but make sure to possess some reliable data over which the prayers are offered.

With this said, the following questions would be considered superly fair

  • How does one create the original idea in an effective manner?
  • Does the revision of the product/service that is offered into the marketplace possess all of the features from the original idea?
  • What measuring methodologies should be used and how is the data gathered?

All are very good questions and are items that, Lord willing, will be addressed in future editions of “The Musings of a Money Machine Hacker.”

The Baby Needs Diapers

Following one’s passion can be an interesting endeavor and following one’s entrepreneurial passion of any type can be a super exhilarating experience as long as one keeps in mind that passion is a double sided coin.  Passion can often lead to dogma and a superly skewed view of the realities of life.  It is in this area where I am appreciative to my Lord and Creator for being innately wired as a left-brained analytic type.  For me, most decisions in life have to be driven by data.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe in faith and prayer.  I would just rather have a set of numbers and/or set(s) of data over which I am praying in order to make a decision.  It is in this area that I have become a most avid fan of a sole form of Money Machine start-up financing – Bootstrapping.

Now let’s begin by describing what Bootstrapping is not

Bootstrapping ≠ Self Funding

Many would be Money Machine founders with a glimmer of tech start-up bliss glowing in their eyes one day finally build up enough gumption to dive into what is for many the great unknown, also known as entrepreneurship.  It is amazing at how many individuals often say, “You know, one day I want do that business thing and BE MY OWN BOSS.”  Really?  When one creates a Money Machine and it has customers is this individual really her/his own boss?  Sounds like the topic of a future post within the “Musings….”  Let’s just say that this is definitely not the case and for now please simply trust this fact prior to additional proof being provided.  So the budding Money Machine founder finds the courage to move forward and the first thing on her mind is “I am going to need  X number of months worth of salary so that I can continue my current standard of living.  For this I will need to

  • Cash in a portion or all of my 401K and retirement so that I can have some start-up seed funding

and/or

  • I have a certain amount of equity in the house or property, I’ll just get a home equity loan, ie a “second mortgage”, to provide the necessary seed capital for the start-up

and/or

  • The family will need to cut back while we (more like I) follow our (more like my) entrepreneurial dreams and launch the business operation

and/or

While this is great stuff and the entrepreneurial juices are now flowing at an all time high, over in the corner observing all of this is a significant other, sometimes known as a spouse, who is saying to herself/himself

“I’m all about you following your passions and dreams and your desire to be an entrepreneur and founder of a Money Machine and all but just don’t get so caught up that you forget the fact that the baby needs some diapers and momma has to have her nails done this coming Friday and btw, the nail stylists recently increased their prices.”  This same analogy could be used for daddy and his golf playing, deer hunting, fly fishing hobbies.  It is all the same set of circumstances.

To be quite candid, self funding a Money Machine can be a key ingredient in creating the greatest of turmoil within any set of family dynamics.  In many ways the pressure to succeed and to provide a return on the initial investment is far greater than the pressure that is often exerted by lending institutions and investment firms.  Let’s dare not mention the first cousin to this form of sourcing start-up funding – borrowing money from any form of a relative.  This act can cause Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July holidays, reunions, funerals and any other form of family gatherings to take on a entirely different vibe and atmosphere.  It is definitely a form of family get together that the Money Machine founder should seek to avoid creating.   8^)

Well if all of this is true, what is the aspiring entrepreneur left to do?  At this time it may be advantageous to quote a luminary in tech community space – Mr Tim Oreilly, founder of Oreilly Media, roughly a $100 million company, from a 2010 Inc Magazine news article (which is worth reading in its entirety)

“But Tim was following his inner talents.  O’Reilly never raised outside capital; he funded his projects through profits. ‘There is a wonderful rigor in free-market economics,’ he wrote in an early company manual. ‘When you have to prove the value of your ideas by persuading other people to pay for them, it clears out an awful lot of woolly thinking’

This brings us to a place where we need to narrowly define the term Bootstrapping.  Essentially,

Bootstrapping – the art of funding a Money Machine through the creation of revenue derived from customers

nothing more, nothing less.  Creating a product or service that provides another individual or entity so much value that they are willing to exchange real currency for the aforementioned product or service is the GREATEST form of entrepreneurial validation.

With this being said, the question that now arises is whether or not there is any science that elaborates on the intricacies of Bootstrapping.  There are hundreds of books on Silicon Valley type business methodologies, venture capitalism, angel investment, crowd and seed funding mechanisms but where would one find similar content on such a narrowly defined posture of Bootstapping?  Glad you asked.

This will be the core of our conversation in the next edition of the “Musings of a Money Machine Hacker.”  Until next time…

PS  For more insight into the terms “Money Machine” and “Hacker” please take a few moments to peruse the content of this previous post.  It may help clear up a tad-bit of mental muddiness.

So You Need An Investor? – part 1…

“Would it be possible to introduce me to a few of the regional bankers?”  “Why won’t those angel investors return my calls/emails/knocks on their office doors?”  These inquiries are often asked by many first and second and third… time start-up founders and while listening, from which I often develop ear aches.  It was around year two when one of the best things that ever happened to me during my entrepreneurial career occurred – a Senior VP of a local bank turned down my request for a unsecured line of credit.  That particular year was super transitional for me as a start-up/Money Machine founder and was the culmination of the entrepreneurial escapades of my first couple of years attempting to manage a tech start-up and the source of many of the upcoming topics within this blog.

So my point is?  The content of the previous post from 07.30.2015 gave a few individuals some entrepreneurial heart-burn but why was this the case?  If you happened to be a start-up founder you possibly developed heart-burn due to the fact that you have become enamored with the tales of the “one technical wizard against the world” who while just starting his firm possesses an idea so outstandingly great that a superly wealthy venture type provides her a gazillion dollars simply for this idea.  News flash – The probability is 99.99999999999999% that for 99.99999999999999% of Money Machines and start-ups

THIS JUST AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN!

I see soooo many founders heavily engaged on what could be coined “The Begging Tour” where they go from pitch session to pitch session conducting presentation after presentation in an attempt to get some initial “seed” funding.  A few ironies of all of these efforts include

  • The individuals to whom the founders are pitching often do not possess the problem(s) for which the Money Machine’s service or product provides a solution ie the pitchees are not potential customers.
  • If there is an interest on the part of the potential investor, she or he will inevitably ask the founder(s) the proverbial start-up question – “So, what’s your traction?” translated “How many customers do you currently have?”

This particular process quickly becomes a study in convolution with the founders soon running out of a launching runway due to the fact that they spend far too much of their time chasing seed investment monies which rarely materialize instead of working towards developing a better product while seeking to identify, understand and more fully obtain the only thing that really matters to an early and latter staged Money Machine –

CUSTOMERS

The funny part about all of this is that when a Money Machine has customers the probability is stupidly high that a founder will not have to seek out investors but investors of all types will seek him/her out.  It is almost like being an athletic prospect playing at a small/rural high school or college.  There was a time when the stage on which one performed really mattered but not in today’s Youtube/super-hyper, social, sharing climate.  If you have any type of athletic skills, the coaches, schools and teams will find you.  Likewise, if you have a Money Machine with paying customers, the investors will find you, so much so that some will even begin having broker types blowing up your company’s phones like a telemarketer in an attempt to determine if you are in the market to sell the entire business operation(s).  BTW, It’s a trip when this happens.   8^)   Simply stated, in today’s investment market, very few investments provide an investor the type of financial return as getting in early on a solid tech/maker/creative/food start-up.  Now many of the readers of this post may find this fact hard to believe but please don’t take my word on this matter.  Simply consult a world renowned expert on angel investing – David Rose of Gust.  BTW, his book is a very good read.

The other side of this coin is that if any form of an investor is offering loads of cash as an investment in a Money Machine without customers, even if he is some form of a business sage and can clairvoyantly predict the billionaire status future of a firm’s founder, the probability is also quite high that she/he will be requesting a large, majority, ownership share of whatever type of a Money Machine that has been created and guess who often ends up navigating this particular type of entrepreneurial ship – that’s right, definitely NOT YOU nor YOUR CO-FOUNDER(S).

The short message is this – that for a start-up of any type but especially for a Money Machine, conversations, strategies, design & development, etc all start, end and are all in between about

YOU, the start-up founder(s) and YOUR CUSTOMERS

quod erat demonstrandum or Q.E.D.  Please note that a few individuals such as Professor Lynn Stout have gone as far as to refer to current and modern concept of shareholder value as simply a “myth.”  Her book – The Shareholder Value Myth is an excellent and enlightening read.

Some may be curious as to what happened after my nascent Money Machine and me were denied that line of credit a number of year ago.  Well, initially I was mad as fire, started pouting and whining while asking questions similar to those that now are the source of my aching ears.  Its was during this time that a junior banker trainee pulled me aside and gave me the following advice.  Advice that I still use today.  He said “If you want the senior people to take you seriously this is what you need to do.

  • Build up your customer base
  • Collect cash payments from aforementioned customers
  • Accumulate and save cash collected from aforementioned customers into a bank account, preferably in our bank.
  • Allow cash to remain in the Money Machine’s bank account(s) while the account(s) stay dormant for 12-18 months

Once this is done then revisit the Senior VP.”

I took his advice but as I began focusing upon discovering and developing customers and these customers began to exchange real money for products and services provided by my Money Machine, I noticed something quite remarkable.  I noticed that the accumulation of cash allowed my Money Machine to become its own bank!

Now how did/does this process work?  Well let’s discuss these particular details during a future installment of the the Musings of a Money Machine Hacker.  Until next time…

So You Need An Investor? – part 0…

One irritating consequence of my traveling the country while singing the praises of the science behind the Money Machine concept is the disdain that often arises in the hearts and minds of certain segments of the financial world, yep you guessed right – INVESTORS.  In this instance I use the term investor as a descriptor very broadly to include

  • angels
  • venture types
  • bankers
  • self-funding zealots

or anyone who offers any form of debt relief or equity dollars or a self-funding financial “kick-start” to a tech, foodie, maker, or creative business start-up.

Now I already know that many of you reading this post have just finished perusing the most recent issues of Inc, Fast Company and Wired magazines and are thinking, “About what in the heck is this entrepreneurial fruitcake postulating?”  I am so glad that you asked.

I recently attended a local networking event where a few angel types were engaging a group of very sharp start-up founders.  As one of the angels was introducing me to the group he stated something to the effect “…he and I have very different views on funding start-ups.  He”, referring to me, “believes that founders should bootstrap their businesses and grow them organically, while I”, the angel referring to himself, “believe that start-ups should have all of the capital necessary to scale as quickly as they possibly can.”  I still shake my head from side-to-side when I think about his most inaccurate explanation of some of the coolest business science on the planet.

What I often seek to understand is why would anyone with a sane mind invest in a business enterprise of any type that has no customers and after doing so be perplexed as to why they did not receive a return on their investment?  Quite a perplexing question indeed.  Here is a modern day riddle for you the reader – “Guess what happens to any type of up front funding that is given to an individual or group of start-up founder(s)?”  That’s right – She or he or they find very innovative ways to spend it!

  • Maybe it is that batch of new $4,300.00 27″ iMacs all tricked out w/ Retina 5K displays, 4.0GHz quad core i7 processors, 1TB of flash storage, and 32GB of SDRAM, without which the firm’s software developers, designers, and ceo could not write a single line of code nor manage any of the business operations.
  • No I’m sorry and am mistaken, its that $1200 Bivi table for two, a couple of those $900 Gesture chairs and that $2000 Bivi counch, by the way, all superly cool and designed by SteelCase/Turnstone, without which the two co-founders of a particular start-up could never accomplish any work nor hold their first set of business meetings.

Am I exaggerating?  Not by much.  This scenario or one similar plays out in the start-up world each and every day and these are only a few of the front end entrapments.

When I think about the back end gotchas, an American History instructor that I once had always comes to mind.  For two consecutive semesters he began each day’s lecture with the following statement – “Nothing in this world is free!”  Many years removed from that particular history class I can only echo his sentiments – Nothing, and I do mean nothing, especially investment funding of any type, is free.  Please don’t get me wrong.  I have no issue with investment capital in all of its shapes, types and sizes.  I just personally believe that it is one of the worst ingredients for a start-up Money Machine and its founder(s).  The true cost of this infamous type of funding is a matter of to whom the Money Machine founders become beholden once funding is accepted.  For instance

  • typical debt funding – founder(s) beholden to the banks or family members
  • equity funding – founder(s) beholden to the angel/venture capitalist or family members
  • self funding – founder(s) beholden to spouse, children, or did I mention family members?

Each of these scenarios create unnecessary entrepreneurial noise and in each of these instances the founder(s) are beholden to everyone but the individuals to whom they should be superly acknowledging and paying attention – the CUSTOMER (more on this concept in a future post).  For the Money Machine founder, outside of themselves, this is the only group of individuals whose opinions really matter.  Why is this the case?  Simply stated

NO Money from Customers = NO Money Machine

But you the reader may be saying

  • “I want to create a company that scales to the point that it dominates my particular industry!  What other options do I have?”

or

  • “What about that savvy and successful banker or angel/venture type who has a penchant for providing “seed” investment funding to start-ups who possess zero customers?”

Ok, ok, I hear you loudly and clearly.  How about we chop up the details of these inquiries and some possible solutions during our next segment.  Until next time…

Money Machines (MM) and the MMHacker

So I am sitting here at the Overall Company, one of the coolest coffee shops on the entire planet and am about 60 minutes out from my next workshop session with a group of local start-up founders. So what is the point of my musing in such a digital fashion? The point is that it is nothing less than a small miracle that I am sitting here adding my first post to this blog. 8^)

For a few years now, especially over the last 18 months, I have been crisscrossing the nation presenting at tech conferences such as the Open Source Conference (OSCON) as well as at conferences similar to the last held RISE Week Austin about the virtues of how entrepreneurs, especially those of a tech, maker, creative, and foodie orient, should leverage a start-up concept called the Money Machine. I have talked, shared, and explained this concept to such a degree that someone a few months back suggested that I begin “informally” documenting my thoughts on this particular business ideology. The small miracle that is now occurring is that on this day, to the shock of many, I am taking this individual up on his suggestion.

The question may be asked, “What in the heck is a ‘Money Machine?” Simply defined

money machine – a very small scale tech, maker, craft/creative based, or food start-up or business that provides occupation for no more than three individuals.

The key words here are “very small scale.”  We live in a world that is enamored and stupidly fascinated with being bigger, stronger, and faster, especially in the realm of occupation, business and entrepreneurship.  I have often simply asked, “Why?”  We applaud an academically and intellectually gifted young lady who is hurried through her academic career so that she can finish medical school by the time she is 18 years of age but why?  This particular accomplishment often only means that she will be employed within the current workforce ten years longer than her peers and contemporaries.

We applaud the fast growing tech companies of the world and their gazillionaire founders who are worth more dollars than one can count.  This in and of itself is superly, cool beans and on the surface, is great subject matter for a passing conversation but how many standards of living are there between an individual having a net worth of $10 billion dollars and this same individual having nothing?  The science behind the Money Machine concept simply explores the other side of the coin.  What if the business operational purpose and posture of an individual or two or three who have created some superly cool tech is that they simply desire that the business operation be self serving, ie a vehicle for them to do “whatever in the heck” that it is in life that they desire to do?  Now this is a major reason and purpose of creating and operating a Money Machine.  I look forward to our exploring the intricacies of its science with you, the reader, through the content of this blog.

With all of this being said some may be asking, “Who in the world are you sir?”  I am glad that you asked.  I am simply what many may refer to as a money maching hacker (mmhacker).  Now when I use the term “hacker” I do so paying tribute to its original meaning which was formally documented by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) over 20 years ago through RFC 1392 and later RFC 1983, namely

hacker – a person who delights in having an intimate understanding of the
internal workings of a system, computers and computer networks in
particular.  The term is often misused in a pejorative context,
where “cracker” would be the correct term
.  See also: cracker.

while within that same document a cracker is defined as

cracker – a cracker is an individual who attempts to access computer systems
without authorization.  These individuals are often malicious, as
opposed to hackers, and have many means at their disposal for
breaking into a system.  See also: hacker, Computer Emergency
Response Team, Trojan Horse, virus, worm.

A great overview of the confusion in the usage of these two terms can be found here.  Now having provided this tad-bit of clarity on these particular terms, I find myself constantly attempting to gain a more intimate understanding of the internal workings of 1-3 person shop whose business operations revolve around the activities of techies, makers, crafters/creatives and the creations of the foodie community.  Through this particular blogging platform I hope to share additional insights and findings as together we work towards “hacking” the intricacies of that most wonderful entrepreneurial vehicle called the Money Machine.

Until next time…