“Maverick Business Adventures” – A startup Journal

Fun / Marketing-O-Rama / Start-up

Want to see a brand new start-up built from the ground up? Keep reading and I’ll be exposing it all…

After posting and mentioning my idea for “Maverick Business Adventures” I got really excited by it again. I went back and looked at my idea journal and I’ve been kicking this around since 2005! (Ugh!)

So now I’m going to REALLY do something about it…

I’m going to publicly (right here) state that I’m going to start-up this business by January 2008 or sooner. You’ll get  a front-row seat for the successes, failures and everything else that happens along the way. But in order for me to spill the beans about my business plan, confidential mindmaps and other stuff I’d normally keep close to the vest – I have a proposition for you.

If you’ll help by chiming in with your opinions and take an active role in “jointly” creating this project – I’ll share it all with you.

Deal?

Okay cool…

The first thing I typically do when I get a project idea is whip out a piece of paper and start creating a Mind Map. I just start brainstorming what’s in the project, how it’ll happen, who will do it, the pieces of it, etc.

Here’s what I have on my first one:

MaverickBusinessAdventures_Mindmap

If you open it up, you can see I have a couple questions up in the air about how to charge for possible memberships, staffing issues, dealing with the adventure outfitters, hiring/bringing in “marquee” speakers, bringing in recurring revenue (which is important) and so on. But this is just the first incarnation. (Comments are definitely welcome – what do you think I should add, take-away, etc?)

Next, I decided to create a survey to find out from my list if this is something they might be interested in. I’m going to be mailing some of the list this week to get results. But do me a favor and take this quick 7-question survey while you’re checking it out.

For some reason a project seems to get more exciting to me when I have a cool logo or design attached to it. Now this is an optional step and if you were on a shoestring budget I might not even recommend it. Check out the contest I have running here for a logo.

You can see some of my comments and the 3 I’m most partial to so far are these – let me know what you think.

Logo1 Logo Option #1

Logo2 Logo Option #2

 

Logo3 Logo Option #3

(Side note: Sitepoint contests are an awesome resource if you want pretty much anything from a website to a logo designed. You put out a contest and artists will compete for the prize. The coolest part is you see completed work not hope for something that will fit.)

Another aspect I’ve been playing with is a tagline (now this is totally optional for a direct response company) but I thought it might be cool here.

Here are a couple I’ve thought of…

“The New MBA” (Actually my friend and fellow adventure-lover Cindy Cashman came up with this one)

“The Fun MBA!”

“More fun! More profits!”

“Crazy Fun! Crazy Profits!”

I’m sure you can do better. Let me know if you got one.

My goal is have the first trip going in the first part of 2008 and you’ll see how it develops since I’ve made this commitment pretty public.

And I’ll be giving away Internet Lifestyle caps for the most useful post and for the best tagline help. And if you are want to help out in some way and join the “Maverick Business Adventures” TEAM I’d love to hear from you.

32 Comments

  1. Bob Marconi
    August 13, 2007, 11:56 am

    I think logo option 1 is the best!

  2. August 13, 2007, 12:06 pm

    Yanik

    On Logo # 3, add a guy sky diving on one side, another guy hanging by one hand from the mountain and maybe another figure snowboarding down the mountain!

    I’m ready to go, I can see myself surfing and snowboarding with a bunch of crazy dudes AND learning the secrets to living the internet lifestyle!!

  3. August 13, 2007, 12:16 pm

    Yanik:

    At first I thought I had really aged … then I realized that the graphic had to be opened up! 😉 Now all is well. :)

    Although I am not interested in doing what to many would be the amazing activities on this list, I think that it has great merti, and would do well as a business venture.

    I liked both the affiliate programs and the joint ventures. I would charge membership by the year, rather than by the month. You want to have committed people here, not “wannabe’s”. I am also all for recording sessions for future CD’s/DVD’s … i.e. for future profit. IMHO, it would be a waste not to do this.

    Working with proven adventure operaters takes the risk out, because they will watch out for people that should not be doing this at all, and they will know the paperwork etc. that needs to be signed to lessen the … I want to say responsibility, but that is not the word that I want … to lessont he risk factor for the host group in case of an accident etc.

    I definitely like the networking aspectes, and the “closed network” concept.

    Blessings,
    Bonnie

  4. August 13, 2007, 2:20 pm

    Yanik,
    one thing I didn’t see on the mind map was an offline TV component – think Discovery / the Learning channel. This would be a kick butt (or bottom as my wife keeps reminding me around the kids :-) option and really stop price shoppers in their tracks – how can they comparison shop getting their mugs on TV on a killer reality show? You would need a producer but since you’ve already got the videographer item on the map this could be just an extension of that.
    just a thought….
    (and if diving with the penguins is a spot keep me in mind 😉

  5. August 13, 2007, 3:34 pm

    Hi Yanik:

    Thought the mind map idea was a great way to file
    and delete your thoughts, impressed me.

    I think logo three looks more professional and
    clean like the kind of team you might want to go
    some where with; leans a little towards 2.0
    website ideas.

    A yearly fee and costs per trip would seem
    favourable to me.

    The wise man asks questions, (the clever one,
    always over informs seeking recognition in the
    listeners reflection and facial reaction of
    themselves) so as to learn more.

    Regards Byron

    Enjoy the rest of your day where ever that may
    be.

  6. Sharon
    August 13, 2007, 3:57 pm

    What great ideas! Loved looking at the mindmap. Great idea-generation technique.

    I’m a little confused on the logo part. The way the logo stands, I read them all as ‘business adventures’ for ‘mavericks’. The way I interpret your business model is that it is ‘adventures’ for ‘business mavericks’. IMHO there’s a big difference.

  7. Bunk
    August 13, 2007, 4:30 pm

    I actually caught your contest on sitepoint.com( i am running one there at the moment myself), and became really interested in what you seem to have going. It seems like a very powerful business idea and I totally wish you the best. I will keep an eye out on this blog and look forward to reading more entries. Just to chime in my 2 cents….I second the notion of charging yearly memberships. It assures you of a somewhat steady annual income for the business as opposed to other options. Hope all goes well for you!

  8. August 13, 2007, 4:56 pm

    Yanik,
    Thanks for the “internetlifestyle.com” lid…I’ll send you a pic soon. I’m going to pack up the laptop, ride up the coast, have lunch and a beer somewhere with wi-fi, and send some emails to my list.

    Could even be fun to do a “wildcard suitcase” trip… where the members have no idea where they are going.

    I’d go for monthly dues; level pay. One of the biggest strengths of this type of club is that it would get people out of their comfort zone. For example, if there was a golf trip (I have a mild interest) Skydiving or bungee jumping (no interest, but I’d do it anyway) Motorsports (high interest)

    By the way, if the trips entail remote areas, might want to invite a remote technologist, who can hook up satellite connections etc…

    On the one hand, create your business right, and you won’t have to check in, but on the other, it would be pretty cool to be able to put out a quick on the spot promotion or JV to show the power of the group and the concept of making money while away.

  9. August 13, 2007, 5:52 pm

    Anyone have a tip on how to print out the mind-map so that it’s bigger and more readable. I”d still like to keep it on one sheet, but if I could print is “sideways”, that would likely be all I need. Thanks!

    Norman

  10. August 13, 2007, 5:53 pm

    No contest (pun intended) – Logo #3 is by far the best of that lot.

  11. Jayson
    August 13, 2007, 6:07 pm

    I like the first logo, for me it says this site is about business and making profits like its a hands on training of some sort, but I also like the idea of having a mountain on the background like logo #3. The mountain shows the fun and adventure side of the trip. I wouldn’t mind seeing logo #1 with a mountain background, where it says have fun, learn, and profit.

    I have several tag lines “Fun while learning!” “Have fun and make money” “Have fun and profit” altough your “More Fun! More Profit!” catches my attention.

    Happy Thoughts
    Jayson

  12. Malcolm
    August 13, 2007, 6:18 pm

    The logos all look too mainstream to me. The Maverick idea is supposed to create an image of “outsider,” “renegade,” even “loner,” with an unconventional approach to whatever is at hand. Think of the character Maverick in “Top Gun” or the western series “Maverick.”
    I have no artistic skill, and would hesitate to even try, but so far, I don’t think the logos are suggesting the image you want to create.

  13. August 13, 2007, 6:20 pm

    Yanik, count me in. I know that Ican count you you are genious . I am just a poor black guy tring to laesrn the internet ,really do not know what I am doing one thing I know that while I FOLLOW YOUR CONCEPTS I will be among the top I do ask for your input to help me grow my busines as I follow you as you promote this highly tech on the web.what do you think of this. don’t quit internet.biz.thanks and GOD B less you

  14. August 13, 2007, 6:29 pm

    Hey Yanik,

    Let me throw a few ideas your way.

    First off, I like the first set of logos (the green ones)… but there is just something missing to attract the high end elite clientelle in that logo. Once I think of it… I’ll let you know.

    As for tag lines… here’s a few I’ve just thought of in the last
    10 minutes.

    – “Where Adrenaline Spawns Success”

    – “The World is Your Boardroom!”

    – “In Business… In Life… Reach Your Peak”

    – “It’s Not Your Father’s MBA”

    – “Where Networking Hits the Road!”

    – “Who Says Business Has to Be Boring?”

    – “Redefining What ‘MBA’ Means to the Business World!”

    – “Making Waves… Making Money!”

    – “Bridging the Gap Between the Boardroom and Adventure!”

    – “Make Friends… Make Money… Do It In Style!”

    – “Get Yourself Out There!”

    – “Elevate Your Business Like Never Before!”

    – “Tired of the Boardroom? Make Business an Adventure!”

    Well… my hands are getting tired for now… let me know what you think. I didn’t spend much time on them so be easy on me :-)

    Oh, Yanik, by the way… I look forward to watching this company build! I’m in the process of building 2 companies as we speak and it’s one of the most exciting times of my life!

    Look forward to seeing it come to fruition. Let me know if I can do anything to help!

    My best,

    Trevor Mauch

  15. Paulo R.
    August 13, 2007, 6:30 pm

    What happened to the e-book vending machines project?

  16. August 13, 2007, 8:17 pm

    I like the first one the most but my only reservation is that it sort of reminds me of the Godaddy logo for some reason. The last one looks cool too though.

    You could get a logo with a silhouette of a cowboy’s profile. Have him kind of leaning back a bit and staring upwards.

    Or maybe someone in a polo shirt running wildly from a bull.

    Though the hangdiver suggestion rocks as well in that it fits the bill for the flavor of your endeavor.

    — Matt

  17. August 13, 2007, 9:25 pm

    Yanik,
    I’d go for #3 if they remove the “dome” design cos it’s a little constricting. If the “flash” idea in logo #1 combines with the remainder of #3, that might look good.

    By the way here’s a thought for the tagline: “Massive Breakthrough Achievements To A Mega Bank Account” 😉

  18. August 13, 2007, 10:59 pm

    If you haven’t already considered this, there is no reason to JV the travel agency part. I help people start up their own online agencies and my company has people who are trained to help you set up any sort of travel-adventure. Click on the “Travel like a rock star” article and look at the presentation.

  19. August 14, 2007, 1:03 am

    I think this is a great idea, but I think you’re leaving money on the table by not having some “old fat guy options.” There are a lot of guys in the marketing and entrepreneur world that are in no shape to run with the bulls. :)

    Perhaps there are some other, less deadly adventures? Not saying to tone anything down, but maybe have different options people could pick from, depending on their likes and physical condition.

    I have a friend who runs a 10-year-old extreme adventure club that you might want to get in touch with. She has been very successful with it and is always biking down a volcano, hang gliding, climbing a mountain, or jumping out of an airplane. If you’re interested in talking to her, contact me and I’ll put you guys in touch.

  20. August 14, 2007, 6:36 am

    I would agree with Sharon’s comment that the logos do not quite convey the intent of the company. A Tag-line is a good idea. While the “normal” direct response model might not require one, your mind map already hint at points where a logo/tag-line might come in handy.

    Maverick Business Adventure sounds cool. I might be a little thick though, as I can’t seem to understand the intent behind the choice of the word “maverick”. In fact, your first question on the survey actually conveys the whole idea very well (much better than your logo brief, in my opinion!). Looking at the designs submitted, your brief and your idea, I have the feeling that the word “maverick” threw everyone off track a little.

    But overall, this is a really cool way to share and I am sure that I will benefit heaps following this blog!

  21. August 14, 2007, 7:49 am

    NOW this I would love!

    I’ve always wanted to participate on large scale expeditions but mixing it with crazy ass adventures is brilliant!

    J.

  22. August 14, 2007, 11:02 am

    I tend to envision a maverick as a swashbuckling cowboy-type. One who goes against the grain and not follow the mainstream.

  23. August 14, 2007, 12:30 pm

    Yanik,

    First, don’t punish yourself for kicking around your MBA idea since 2005, sometimes these things have to mature and it seems like this is just the right time for you.

    Onward… Kudos on your mind map! It’s one of the best I’ve seen since coming across one that diagrammed a good salesletter.

    Actually, your mind map identifies in black & white many considerations I’ve had (in my head) for a series of workshops I’m planning in different continents. A picture truly is worth a thousands words… a map like yours makes it so much easier to get stakeholders on board. Mind mapping is a must have business process, for sure.

    Re: the company name, I’ll add my $.02 too. Maverick Business Adventures could also mean business adventures of a maverick nature. Understandably, you you like the MBA acronym, but why not spell it out more clearly as BAM–“Business Adventures (for) Mavericks”?

    Another question, where you indicate working with tour/adventure operators, when you say “receive commission” do you mean:

    1) MBA gets 10% for your marketing and coordinating, or
    2) you give operators 10%?

    Again, great work, and thanks for getting InternetLifestyle online.

    Cheers

    -Taylor

  24. Robert Woodring
    August 14, 2007, 12:36 pm

    Speaking of the logo an image came to mind. That is of the old TV program,”Have Gun Will Travel.” He lived an opulent lifestyle in San Franscisco, venturing out once each week to slay dragons. He left a calling card with the horse logo from chess on it and the words, “Have Gun Will Travel” imprinted below. I always thought that was a cool card. I’m dating myself here, guess it depends on the age of your target market.
    -Robert

  25. August 14, 2007, 5:55 pm

    Thanks everyone for the insights and feedback…

    Jack Tackett – cool idea on the TV shows!
    And diving with the penguins would be awesome – Missy thinks
    I’m odd but I love penguins. We might even dress Zak up as one
    this year for Halloween.

    Sharon – thanks for the insight on that confusion.
    Since the name is “Maverick Business Adventures” I’m not
    sure how I’d change the logo.

    Jayson & Trevor – thanks for the tagline suggestions.
    Keep them coming. I like the “More Fun! More Profits!”
    Simple – yet it hits the point. I wonder if MBA would turn
    off entrepreneurs. It was a cute little acroynm but might
    be off the mark.

    More tagline ideas needed – keep ’em coming!

    Wolf – great point about becoming our own travel agents.
    For the Mindmap revision #2 (I’ll be posting soon) that’s
    on there as another revenue source. Anyone who books a trip
    with us we could present them an option of booking their travel.

    Taylor – you’re absolutely right about a project coming into its
    own at the right time. It’s almost an incubation process and some
    hatch at much longer times. In fact, I was struggling with 2 big
    issues that I think I have figured out (but need some refinement).

    One issue was scalability. Missy definitely didn’t want me going
    on every trip so that would limit me to maybe 4 or so trips/year.
    Not a great business model unless we charged like $15k/pp per trip.

    So with the way each person teaches something and the use of a
    facilitator it doesn’t require me. Plus, there was the issue of
    recurring revenue. As seen in the Mindmap – the discounts I’ve gotten
    so far have been only 10% off trips for booking a whole group. That’s
    a pretty slim margin and wouldn’t get me excited to work hard on this
    project. But adding an annual fee (and providing a great value) makes
    the economics more appealing.

    I’ll be posting the next steps I’ve taken coming up…

  26. Jeff Volk
    August 14, 2007, 11:33 pm

    Hi Yanik, here are some tag line suggestions:

    – “Education with Excitement!”
    – “Friendly People. Awesome Adventures.”
    – “Play for Profit”
    – “Wild Experiences for the Business Thrillseeker”
    – “Be Bold or Stay Home”

    Hopefully they’ll give some other people some ideas for further contribution.

    Good luck with the start-up.

  27. August 15, 2007, 2:12 am

    Something for the out of shape guys…

    My industry, music, has these “camps” where people can play rockstar for a weekend. They hook you up with the Rolling Stones or something and you write, rehearse, perform with them, etc. They have similar events where they take wannabe songwriters into the studio to record/write with famous people and come out with a finished product on tape.

    Same for actor/TV stuff. “Be an extra on Star Trek” or something.

    There are probably some other industries doing this. I’ve seen some cop, race driver, and solider type stuff over the years.

  28. Malcolm
    August 15, 2007, 12:00 pm

    Some thoughts on tag lines

    “World-wide, and on your side…”
    “Turn your inside out”
    “Fresh air, fresh ideas”

  29. August 16, 2007, 9:02 pm

    Hi Yanik,

    Cool idea. I know you and I have chatted about this. I have to run back to the family reunion, but quickly:

    -I think the first logo is best and least confusing (simple and with fewest elements)
    -I like “The new MBA” Exclamation points will turn a lot of people off, in my experience.

    Look forward to seeing what you come up with!

    Tim

  30. August 21, 2007, 6:12 am

    Internet Lifestyle Blog…

    Here’s a blog I recommend you visit.  It’s Yanik Silver’s Internet Lifestyle Blog.
    Assuming you don’t live under a rock, you’ve heard of Yanik.  He’s a very successful entrepreneur and that alone is enough reason t…

  31. March 1, 2009, 2:03 pm

    It is so cool to look back at your early brainstorming and planning on Maverick Business Adventures in ’07, then move forward to day in March ‘0 an see how far the idea has evolved and grown.

    The buzz among successful entrepreneurs at the Underground 5 on how fun, exciting and profitable Maverick Business Adventures has been is great.

    Thanks Yanik for being such a visionary, leader and allowing me to make contributions all along the way.

    With gratitude, Tim

  32. July 5, 2010, 11:54 pm

    […] Example of PDA (“Public Display of Action”) Yanik used to get himself to launch a new company: “Maverick Business Adventures – A Startup Journal“ […]

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