The biggest news in our community this week is that Jake
has become a proud father. Mary McCandless Davenport was born
on January 19th. She was about three weeks early, but weighed
in at 6 pounds 2 ounces nevertheless. Word has it that both she
and Lisa are doing wonderfully; Jake closed his announcement
email by saying "Sometimes we have trouble believing that
we created such a wonderful child."
So congrats, Jake and Lisa, and welcome to the world, Mary!
Here's hoping you have a terrific life.
Meanwhile, we are into our second week without real jobs,
and we feel like we're adrift in uncharted seas. In putting my
job search on hold, we are taking the plunge into full-on entrepreneurialism,
and it is at once exciting, fulfilling, and frightening. We have,
after all, been playing at running a company for more than 10
years - and now, at last, we're ready to try it for real.
Our goal is to be operating in the black by this time next
year. Kristin's been
running the numbers (as usual) and calculates that with what
we have in savings, combined with the money the gift
shop currently brings in, we should be able to keep operating
for between 6 months and a year. Naturally, the money will last
longer as we find ways of increasing our income, either by building
up the sales volume at the gift shop or by finding work in other
ways (like by making web
pages for hire or other creative
Of course, this is how all new businesses operate, carefully
juggling assets and debt payments in a numbers game called Cashflow
Management. As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make
A case in point is Icehouse
pieces. For 10 years we have dreamed of making high-quality,
injection-molded, translucent plastic Icehouse pieces, but never
have we had the money available to invest in the project. Now
as we face our uncertain future, we have the option of using
up a couple of months of our funding buffer to make this dream
a reality, with the hope that we can make that money back (and
then some) on sales of the sets before we actually need it.
As another saying goes, fortune favors the bold. So, we've
decided to start pricing plastic piece manufacturing, for the
first time in about 5 years. Kristin's got some old leads to
start with, but if you or someone you know is involved in plastic
piece manufacturing, please either point them to our online piece
specification or pass the info on to Kristin.
As described in the bid
request, the new generation of Icehouse pieces will have
some unique new features. Notice that the pieces will be hollow,
but with a thick wall that makes them suitable for heavy duty
use. Moreover, the thickness of the walls will be tailored to
permit the pieces to fully nest, which will add a new dimension
to the design possibilities of these already marvelous game pieces.
Naturally they'll be in beautifully tinted translucent plastic,
hopefully either acrylic or crystal styrene.
Our plan is to release this new generation of Icehouse game
sets in time for this year's Origins game convention. But as
I always like to say, no decisions are final, so stay tuned.
Last week I made some rather drastic changes to the format
of this page, and naturally I got a lot of feedback. Many people
(including Kristin) complained that there was too much whitespace,
so this week I re-worked the page again, using a much simpler
(and more compact) approach. I think it's much better. I also
got some tips regarding stuff like compressing my images and
upgrading to a more powerful scripting tool - both of these are
things I've been planning to do for a long time, but just haven't
gotten around to. Now that I'm looking to start doing web development
professionally, I've realized that I need to get serious about
these things... but unfortunately, I've been too busy this week
to do more than merely move these issues up a bit on my urgent
list of things to do. But I do really appreciate the feedback...
please keep it coming!