The Engel Journal

David Engel, delivered via HTTP

Open Ended Problem Solving with the Brain Organizer

A powerful technique for open ended, creative problem solving involves representing your goal as an object. Surround it with questions. Attach actions to the questions. You can also put a “delta” symbol in front of the questions, to stimulate change actions.

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Nail the first draft, you creative director… you

Creative people don’t like being told what to do. They don’t like their work criticized. They’re typically iconoclasts, which is why they sought a career as a designer (copywriter, or whatever) in the first place.

That said, it’s still possible to nail the first draft without making them totally hate you.

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Beginning

Two weekends ago, I woke up from a nap, switched on my iPad and started browsing through the work that I did at the beginning of this blog in 2009.

Then, a couple nights ago, I’m searching through Kinetic Typography portfolios on Vimeo and I run into this story from Ira Glass on “what nobody tells beginners.”

Painfully true! I wish I was the exception :-)

CSV List of SIC Codes

For those of you needing a comma separated list of SIC codes in a csv file, here you go!

Download a comma-separated file of SIC Codes

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OpenAPIMasher Spec

There’s got to be a way to easily mash data from an API with an external list without too much programming. This video explains an idea for a product called OpenAPIMasher, which allows a user to mash a CSV file with data from an API. It uses a client-side HTML5 database for confidentiality. And to make the application more secure, it deletes that data store when the user confirms the mash is complete.

If you would like to contribute to the project or use the project, please leave a comment.

License the Mobile Intelligence Report

I want to find someone who will correct the business mistakes I made on the Mobile Intelligence Report, and turn this into a viable product. It can be a very powerful sales tool for advertising agencies.

Examples of Mobile Intelligence Reports (taken mid 2010)

Business History

I designed this report thinking that agencies would order a lot of them for prospecting. The reports reveal what a website looks like on 3 mobile devices, which is usually quite bad, especially if there’s Flash. While the report did show clients why they should invest in a mobile website, ad agencies did not order them in bulk. The reason is that ad agencies are setup to take on a few clients at a time. They do not “turn and burn” cold calls like software businesses because they’re not setup to handle thousands of clients.

I designed this report both economically and technologically to be generated in bulk and uploaded to a server. The better way to do it would be to create a self-service website, where reports are generated on the fly and customers are billed somewhere between $10-50 per report.

As of now, I am busy building Company Data Trees. I have no time to pursue this business opportunity, yet it pains me to have all this cool IP just sitting there. If you have some time on your hands, and you want to give this a try, please call me (do not email) at +1 (760) 542-8027.

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B2B Marketing Blunder #2

A stock & custom promotional display catalog arrives in David’s mailbox. But, David’s in interactive advertising and will never need to buy those products. They could have figured that out by crawling engeljournal.com, which they already had on file.

Now, David will have to discard that catalog. It’s sad to see a tree die in vain.

B2B Marketing Blunder #1

I’ve decided to start compiling all the stupid mistakes that B2B marketers/sales people make because of bad data. Here’s #1:

List of 5,000 Random Domains

Here is a list of 5,000 random domains. You can use this if you’re doing any sort of research where you need a random sample of domains. At this time, there are approximately 119,832,805 domains with extensions on in this list (“the population”). If I calculated the margin of error (“confidence interval”) correctly, this sample size represents a 1.819% margin of error for the given population.

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