A win-win business model

keys to successOnce upon a time, there were companies out here which gave people the tools to set up their own Internet business. These were professional tools worth many $1,000s, out of reach for people like myself and the 100s of others who then built these companies into mega-corps.

The one to catch me first offered a full web hosting business with design tools built-in I could operate through my web browser. Full training with tutor videos was free. In return for all of this, they kept 75% off the top of all hosting fees.

Under these terms, I was able to establish an income of a few $100 per month with a dozen clients at one time plus I got to charge whatever I wanted for my services and keep all of it. Some people were much more successful than me with up to 100 clients which would at a minimum be about $2,500 per month Income.

The real puzzling thing about it all came a few years down the road. Once their servers were full and they had locked in auto-payments for all of the clients guys like me found for them, they decided that paying commissions was no longer in their best interest.

They had a win-win system running where everybody was getting something and all they had to do was sit back and collect the money from the folks we sent.

In the early days of setting up business out here it could cost more than $5,000 to set up a website to handle credit card payments. Along came another company, offered all the tools needed to set a client up with online payment processing with zero start-up costs.

This one was win-win-win. My clients saved a bundle on start-up costs, this company gained what would likely be a client for life, collecting a percentage of all transactions and I received a 5% commission on everything.

Once they were successful, they trimmed the commission down to 6 months then eventually dropped it all together. Of course they continue to harvest the fruits of all our labor.

There’s been a dozen times on the road behind when I was standing with co-workers in a situation similar to those above suggesting, “What the hell guys, we built that one, let’s build one for us.” Only God knows for sure why this always caused intense laughter and or derision. I certainly don’t.



Where were you for Y2K?

“… good times ‘n riches and sonofabitches I’ve seen more than I can recall …”
– Jimmy Buffett

Y2K HeadlinesYa’ll remember back when the world was gonna end because someone forgot to teach computers how to record time beyond 1999? That was one of the reasons among many. I think aliens were coming to eat us also and another group was gonna save us, the New World Order was gonna declare martial law and one radio announcer who is still a big name today swore that the Russians were coming.

Ah, the memories 🙂

Ran into some Jimmy Buffett this morning and the memories flooded in of my fledgling business and my first gig using good tools. I was a seeing eye man for a blind dog and sidekick to a high level computer geek. I babysat 3 web servers with 2 T1 lines, a full IP block filled with websites and a very large blind dog.

The dog liked to play hide ‘n seek with a ball in the back yard. I guess it didn’t know I had eyes because it would hide the ball under some leaves right in front of me then step back and wait for me to find it.

The man I worked for was like a version of me in many ways only he had lots of money, very few scruples, they just got in the way really. He was a brilliant computer geek though running Windows servers and quickly teaching me how to keep them running while he travelled the country installing fiber optic cable and new operating systems for a major retailer.

This is partly why I didn’t worry so much of the world ending. This corporation was spending millions on their project to assure that people could come in and buy things well into the next century.

It’s almost funny now to remember how I lost a great website opportunity due to my unwillingness to push the doomsday scenario. I insisted they needed to balance it all and not just sell fear. They thought I was cute and hired someone else. These people went on to television and documentaries. I coulda been rich LOL

I helped a little with one family building a survival compound up on top of a mountain. They invited me to hide there with them when the SHTF. One part of their project was to have a medicine man come build a sweat lodge and help them learn to use it. I joined in that day and was gifted with a lot of one-on-one with this man, listening to his stories and reasons behind the rituals.

Y2KAnd the world didn’t end after all. As the snooze announcers were scaring folks with tales of the enemy at the gates, I was at the local Waffle House having steak and eggs.

Oh yeah, Jimmy Buffett, almost forgot what started this post. One night, as I had settled in with the servers, I dug around in his music files, found a Jimmy Buffett collection and something just clicked inside. I was building and tweaking websites, practically dancing tween 3 stations set up on a horseshoe shaped desk with a nice chair that had slick wheels! And Jimmy Buffett rocking the walls.

For a few moments, life was good.

~ it’s been 20 years

~ hard to believe it’s been 20 years

I’ve made a lot of smart people laugh with my opine that the internet is something that surprised the folks who run things on this planet. Their main point of argument is the assertion that the ‘men behind the curtain’ are using all of these tools to turn us into slaves.

20 years trying to helpJust at face value this makes me laugh a bit and scratch my head. I get handed the resources to learn anything I could possibly be interested in. I get networking ability to meet people anywhere in the world whom may be quite nice to meet  and perhaps even interested in working/playing with me on a project, I get tools out the wazoo to help empower myself and others if I’m willing to put in the effort to learn them, that I have used to free myself in a number of ways.

The easiest example of this I can display is a brief look at my path to here and now. A back injury in 1991 eliminated my ability to do manual labor. This was a mind blower. Up until then I never had a job I couldn’t handle from hard rock mining, to firefighting and running plastic factories 84 hours per week. I always had a job ’cause I never said no, then one morning, 16 hours into a work day rescuing my employer from a disaster one more time, “Pop,” my last 50# bucket of plastic was dumped.

Being the 6th major injury for the year, within the first quarter no less, I was the last straw for their insurance company and their rates sky rocketed over night. This created a very ugly movie that lasted a few years and I’d rather not remember at the moment, onward.

Part of my rehabilitation was a 2 year Associate Degree course in computer assisted drafting and design. This was the beginning of computers helping free my butt. As luck would have it, the instructor was quite old school in his methods. No one touched a computer until they could do it all by hand with a pencil and paper. This included long calculations involving strengths of metals which sometimes could take 2-3 days to complete. The dude got my brain working again and I’ll always be grateful for his approach.

Once on the computer, a massive 386 something, I was working with AutoCad 10. This was cutting edge stuff with 3D modelling ability and seemed to be self-teaching, almost intuitive, like someone had predicted the questions ahead of time. A point came when I could create a 3D model via txt entry of coordinates and I enjoyed it.

On graduation day, while Mr. Roth was inking the caligraphy on my diploma, I was at an interview for a company called Greco. They make products for children considered top of the line for safety. The interview went well but no offer came of it, onward.

A small factory within walking distance of my home was next up. After the usual face-to-face interview, they sat me down at a station with the assignment to open a file and make a minor adjustment. The 2 gentlemen sat back at their desks and I started typing away. Next thing I notice is they are both standing right at my shoulder watching. They had never had anyone there who could use the keyboard. All of their applicants thus far had been hunting and pecking through menus and struggling to complete the task. Inside a lil voice was yelling, “Nailed IT!” Curiously, they never called back either?

As this is all going on out there, trying to find a new place to sell my talents to, at home I was using the internet to learn web page building and it was a blast. Color and light, music and words, all weaving together any way a mind can imagine. I knew even then that technically, on how all this stuff actually works in the background, there were 7 year-olds smarter than me, still are I bet but when all the toys were working and I had a project, I felt like an artist. My heart was free you could say.

This is something I’ve tried to share a number of times in troll infested chat rooms and forums, to no avail yet it remains significant to me. I believe the reality of the actual fact is significant no matter your current belief system. There were quite literally millions of hearts set free in this manner, when the internet was a babe.

~ a ray of sunshineMost everything in the background showing you this page and all the software I am using to create it are OpenSource, free to use and created by people who do this for fun. No matter what anyone else had  in mind at the start or whatever kind of scary things some evil computer wiz wants to do to us, how exactly is their plan supposed to work if we have the tools in our hands to free our minds and hearts, create, connect, invent, learn  ….. ?

The most outspoken of teachers out here who speak of the evils of all these tools and the slavery of humanity to come of it are keeping everyone stuck, frozen, stuck in this reality base that can only go one way. Ironically, these great teachers are using all of these tools, quite well too. A vast number of them have used these tools to free themselves from the financial burdens the majority of their customers deal with while, again with a bit of irony, they teach that money is fake and evil. Curious?

I met a waitress up in New Holland, PA while holding a job at a supper club. I washed dishes 7 nights per week in return for a room upstairs and 10% off on meals. Just enough to keep a roof overhead. Nora was her name. She was a fiesty 60-something year-old woman busting her butt for tips who introduced herself with a smile and a handshake. She had the tiniest of diamond studs I ever saw before pierced in the side of her nose and I made a comment about how I liked it. Her reply was quick, “You’re not from around here are you?” We both got a good laugh from it.

In my room at night the computer and internet allowed me to complete a photo shoot of someones private museum. I had met this client while playing in chat rooms months previously 1,400 miles away. The alleged evils of Walmart allowed me to walk in and gain all the equipment I needed. The people who designed all this stuff did an awesome job of making it logical enough for me to simply follow instructions and use it.

I enjoyed 3 days of visiting with this old friend from a chat room while learning photography, photo editing, ebook creation and CD ROM presentations. The project was a birthday gift for her dad. I was invited to the dinner planned for the presentation. It was quite a high to see the puzzle on his face turn to broad grins as the CD fired up and the book opened, with music no less. My friend grinned as she handed me the balance of the $2,500 quoted along with a wonderful gold plated money clip, offering, “You could have charged a lot more.” I’ve often thought since then, geeze, I would have accepted a tip.

Nora and I became friends and drinking buddies after work where of course I was always talking about the internet. She said one time that I acted like a drug pusher. It stopped me a bit but her curiosity had been fired, she wanted a computer and a website. We built her a nice opening page on my laptop in the evenings. I let it be her creation entirely, just followed instructions. I remember what she wanted most was the photo of Marilyn Monroe with the fan blowing her skirt up. She was like a lil kid to watch as this page went live, part of her was free for a few moments. That’s my view of it at least, my bias.

Again I want to acknowledge the other reality which so many quite vocal people will never stop reminding us of, there are some very smart people using these tools to make a buck and or try to enslave humanity but there are millions upon millions more people aiming to do something else. They been aiming this way for years, heart and soul, creating, building, learning …

Today, as most anyone I will meet on the street is being forced to accept whatever Microsoft wants to shove at them, all of the creative energy and efforts of people who so this stuff for fun are allowing me to move forward in the direction I want, no matter what it may be, with operating systems that could even teach me how to code if I dedicated the effort.

Trump fan club project

I got to binge read several of Mr. Trumps books for this project when a big fan of his paid me $4K to build a website. Thanks to lessons learned on my own I was smart enough to strike a good deal and get $4K like that but if I had all that information a few years earlier, things would be different today. A fact, a phenomenon repeating itself every day, lack of knowledge resulting in a person missing out.

I really did not know I was going to write all of this tonight. This was to be a quick post for potential clients to see. The rest just happened. I guess it’s been bottled up so long, it had to be done. .

In simple terms:

A person can take a toaster, pop in a bagel and have a morning treat. Another person could use a toaster as a torture device. If you were never told it could warm up bagels, never saw it happen before and could only remember it as a torture device … ?

There isn’t anything wrong with this system, all these tools, that some new programmers in charge can’t fix. First step is for people to believe it’s possible to fix things. Unfortunately, all the money is on total destruction and rebuild, practically 3 billion people expecting the ‘end of the world’ any day now, as I type. And that doesn’t include the bankers who get to sell us all the stuff for the rebuild.

“… We, the human race, have created something wonderful with all of our struggling and ‘faith’ – fighting over what to call it seems to be the only problem left …”

It was headline news once upon a time when a housewife up in Canada I believe, awoke one morning to learn she was a celebrity. She was the 3 millionth person to accept the offer from a place called GeoCities for a free website. 3 million personal websites built by people, for the fun of it, from every walk of life, from all over the world. It’s all still there. If you believe this thing can turn into a monster then you must also accept the alternate reality as being equally possible. This isn’t a monster, this is a set of tools that helps broaden our potential.

Let the scary psychopaths plan whatever the hell they want, the other 6.99 billion of us can create a new reality for humanity. Jack in and blast em with yer fire, whatever your path or non-path, together we can do something. A wonderful musician I once served had a great line in one of her songs, “It ain’t written in stone till you’re dead.”


About the author

Jim Amidon of Duncan, OK – Small business owner, ecclectic handyman who hopes no friends or current clients are frightened with the bit of liberty taken here. I know without a doubt that some people have a very real fear of the potential for all of this stuff. My intent is soley to present the alternative reality which is occurring also, pretty much on autopilot. First major website project was for a Dr. Sinatra from back east, a pioneer in the use of CoQ10 and a rebel in his profession. He researched non-surgical methods of treating heart problems. Currently employed PT watching over 25 wonderful people in an independent living facility, porting fine cars from auctions and tinkering with websites.


~ dedicated to my friend Charles, he got to move forward this week while looking into the eyes of people who truly love and care for him. The power of 6.99 billion hearts like that is creating something for us all ~