designing in sketch

My first business

Resimplify was the name, the right start was the game.

The first domain was the first domain I ever bought and registered. The year was 2008 and it was hosted on Blogger where I could explore and expand my web design skills while also focusing on the content. 

FeedMe! Post took RSS feeds and added my two cents to them of what I thought as the take away. I thought of it as a glorified Daring Fireball. 

The goal was for it be a very open and vibrant community that added what they believe to be is important. All the stories would be automatically populated via the RSS technology and the right people (the editorial team) would be pinged to leave their two cents. 

FeedMe! Post wasn’t my first website (something I called Influlive was) but it was my first thought of: “Hey, I want to make money from this.” 

The first “Ah-ha!”

BUT, my heart wasn’t in it. Sure, I thought it would be cool to build and tell the rest of the internet that I made it. Looking back it could have been better than Reddit or Alltop for getting the information you care about. No regrets though.

Reading Gary Vaynerchuck’s book, “Crush It!” changed my life. I read through it once in one sitting and then listened to the expanded version of the accompanying podcast. Listening to his voice and feeling his energy and drive to do something you love and are good at kept me awake for many nights to come. 

My studies suffered. I was stressed out. But, I was happy as fuck!

Being that I was in college I felt I could do something that would change other students. 

Creating a business was not in the picture simply because I just wanted to create something that I would love doing and hope others would like. was formed in 2010 and it was a college lifestyle tips kind of blog. Every week something great was posted and I was getting a lot of attention by my friends and people I didn’t know about on the internet. 

Everything was going great. Plans for it were huge. When you thought of a site that extended and dove deeper into the college lifestyle you would think of LifeNotion. I then thought about making money and everything went away. 

The first meltdown was sold to a good friend of mine, many other domains were bought in the span of a year. 

Registering new domains, designing new logos and making new websites was my way of discovering what I wanted to do next. And what I wanted to do next centered around creating a team of great individuals with one mission that made money from day one.

Every good idea I had was just a mirage. A mirage that formed this disease of thinking you’ll love creating it, but you will be no good at and truthfully will just be doing it to make money. 

We’re not really good at knowing what we want, and we are very quick to say “this sucks”. That’s where the opportunity lies. — Gary Vaynerchuk

The first reality check

Figuring all of this out was not healthy on my wallet. I went into debt. Digital payment processing wasn’t good for my impulse decisions. 

All I ever wanted was to do what I love to do while also making a living doing so. I believe that’s all everyone wants to do in life. 

People that don’t are simply in a comfort area of seeing the benefits from the good amount of money they make or don’t realize there are other possibilities.

Even though I was in a great deal of debt with college loans and my credit card I knew the possibilty for me to do something I loved, was good at and paid by bills was there. 

I just didn’t know what. 

The first feedback

Every day we take fore granted our friends and family.

As a kid I was always imagining. I was always tinkering with my Legos. I was always sketching. The core of designing was in me. 

I would have not figured this out if it wasn’t for my parents to point out these very concrete facts. I thought that since I wasn’t a kid that I need to do something different because I was different. 

Wrong. It needed to just be refined as I couldn’t make a living building with Legos and having imagination. Sure, I could be an artist or some consultant for Lego. 

Point is that without the feedback from my family and friends to create something that I was good at I would be no where in building my first business. 

Embrace what you’re good at. Lebron didn’t try to become a professor. — Gary Vaynerchuck

The name

Design was something I found myself constantly doing whether it be through sketch, planning or thought. I couldn’t help but think about life as if I’m constantly designing it. 

Wait. Everything in life is designed whether there was intent or not. 

To get back to this belief I was always thinking about the words of: redo, rework, re-imagine, refocus and more.

And this way of thinking was so simple that it was missed and just perceived as a common understanding. I think about everything needing a reasoning to be there. Many times it was just a happy accident or something that just seemed good. 

What makes happy accidents and something good is that it is simple. 

The name Resimplify was born to represent my first business. 

The what

Winter 2011 was a weird time. I had this great name,but didn’t know where to go from there. 

Many would know what they wanted to do and think of a name that just worked or seemed good. I was different. 

Here is what I knew:

I like to design, I like to imagine and I like to solve problems and create connections. 

Here is what I was exploring:

The idea of conveying my thoughts better, the idea of enhancing and taking advertising to a different and better level and creating a team.

Combine the two and you get…

A digital magazine with a focus on the how and whys of design in many aspects of life created by a great team of individuals that strive to get to the same core understanding of what makes or could have made it good.

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. — Steve Jobs

The iterations

Even though I knew the what I didn’t know the right way to position everything. 

Various platforms were tested like WordPress, Squarespace, and just some custom HTML. The underlying goal and branding remained the same though. 

First iteration focused on content centering around marketing, branding, and UI/UX.
Second iteration was to join forces with 8BIT from Atlanta to be THE place for design news, inspiration and education.
Third iteration was to focus on essay-type articles with supporting product to create this unique lifestyle.
Fourth and current iteration is to return to the combination of the first and second iteration with paid membership. 

The fourth iteration of Resimplify is still in the design stage in the application called Sketch. 

My dream for Resimplify is to the place where people visit and someday want to be a contributor for the topics we cover with the perspective of making good design. In doing so we just happen to re-imagine and change the way advertising is done in a creative and logical sense. 

I’m inspired by the works of Vox Media with The Verge, SB Nation, and Polygon as well as New Republic. I hope to be at their level some day.

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. — Walt Disney

The future

I have no clue what the future holds but I do know there has to be some value in that I’m stubborn in positioning my first business. 

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life. 
— Steve Jobs

My first business is Resimplify. It’s still being built, but I have the right mix for the foundation this time. 

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