Wednesday, March 11, 2015

BuyMyStats Bling Features 3D Logo and Vibrant Colors

Do you process data for a living? Or how about for school projects? If so, then you can relate to the work performed at the late startup BuyMyStats. Now part of history, the firm paved the way for bespoke statistical processing firms worldwide.

Such innovation was before its time; the public could not believe the value proposition. You may nonetheless acquire these rare BuyMyStats-branded items. Believe that!

BuyMyStats 3D-Logo Thermoplastic Thermos (BPA Free)

Stay hydrated while working on statistics by drinking from this BuyMyStats thermos.

BuyMyStats 3D-Logo Polypropylene Mouse Pad

Keep your hand steady during intense statistical work by resting your computer mouse on this sturdy, stylish BuyMyStats pad.

Where's BuyMyStats Now?

Gone, but not forgotten. Dead. Dormant.

The BuyMyStats business model was, in fact, profitable. I made $400 from word-of-mouth alone and spent only $100: $90 in my own billable time to code business logic into the website, as well as to test it for unexpected behaviors; and $10 for the domain registration.

The problem was that its market was not scalable, which meant I hit maximum profit right away. There weren't any additional willing customers! And I'm too busy with manual labor and other projects to live comfortably enough to just donate my time; won't happen!

The Woes of Market Limits

Although demand for statistical processing contractors sky-rocketed unsustainably in early 2013, slowed growth reveals that opportunity has peaked.

Why are statisticians resorting to non-institutional, work-at-home gigs if their skills are allegedly in such demand? Shouldn't they have a salaried job somewhere? Something's wrong.

By that measure, I'm no longer surprised BuyMyStats never took off. A post-mortem reveals the doomed startup's inability to penetrate the statistical processing control (SPC) market was mostly because that market was very slim at the outset.

Without a substantive corporate market, the remaining opportunities were as illusory and fleeting as the purported college wage premium. The unfruitful SPC penetration plan yielded to a strategy of guerrilla marketing towards (predominantly poor) graduate students.

When your primary consumers live on student loans, your business is in for a rough ride! A marked lack of social capital troubled the proprietor because there were far too few interpersonal network nodes willing to vouch for the veracity of BuyMyStats' quality.

How many doctoral candidates and undergraduates would trust a total stranger to work on their most critical homework assignments, even for a relative steal at several hundred dollars per set of related analyses?

Even if more than a handful, there was no way for BuyMyStats to profitably outreach to such consumers, beyond playing a solid SEO strategy and hoping they happened to Google "help for statistical analysis" or similar search phrase. That was the chronic hindrance to success.

A Merciful End for a Stillborn Startup

The decision to exit as BuyMyStats manager was made much more easily when its domain host discontinued service! "Excessive mail" was the official reason the domain host gave when claiming BuyMyStats violated the shared server farm's terms of service.

I chose to not re-launch the statistical service because it’s no longer a directly monetizable service. (Neither are my anti-university propaganda websites, but their continued existence helps people save time and money by persuading them to forgo the university experience.)

The namesake website is maintained by someone else as a no-frills blog that simply lists definitions of statistical terms and brief explanations of which tests to use when and how. In other words, the current BuyMyStats website -- of which I'm not affiliated -- mimics content you can find on practically hundreds of other websites.

By contrast, the BuyMyStats service was one-of-a-kind. That was for a reason! Two, actually: Not enough of a market; and difficulty in developing new markets.

Why the Service Remains Offline

To perpetuate BuyMyStats would send a mixed message because most potential clients -- people who need statistical processing services -- are "highly" educated in the sense of sacrificing years of practical work experience to instead devote themselves to spending months at a time on studying something of no interest to most of the population.

Those who stand to benefit from statistical processing are therefore in the minority and difficult to source as referred customers or "leads" unless you've an ongoing institutional affiliation.

With that said, there are many more under-employed college graduates who are unable to enter the field of data analytics than are actual data analysts or so-called "data scientists." They have also been turned away from related jobs, such as associate professor opportunities.

That's why most aspiring data analysts are frustrated in their (predominantly futile) attempts to enter the industry and be on the organizational payroll. Citizen journalism often exploits open data sources, but chances are slim to none they'll have any insight that could reasonably be monetized.

This goes full circle to the mission of the University Accountability Movement: To hold state-funded and other public universities accountable not merely for graduation and retention rates (which tend to cause grade inflation) but also for occupational outcomes of alumni job seekers within 1 year of degree conferral.

For insightful details about how BuyMyStats in particular went under, you can read about the BuyMyStats legacy

…Which Is Indirectly Monetizable

The good news is that although the website might be long gone, you can grab these BuyMyStats nostalgia items! Make your hipster friends jealous by wearing apparel emblazoned with obscure ecommerce site BuyMyStats.

They will ask, with a sense of awe, how you snagged some merch not found among even the most voracious collector of Silicon Valley paraphernalia! Your cool reply is that they may get their fix at the BuyMyStats online catalog.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Zazzle Fabric Tutorial for Custom Polyester, Linen, and Cotton

Designing for fabric can be daunting if you're not accustomed to the constraints of optimizing for at least seven different fabric textures and for literally dozens of customer-scalable sizes, as opposed to the several textures and few sizes of most print-on-demand products.

Images must be proportioned to be equally versatile on 9"X9" swatches to dimensions of up to 5' X 30'! Tiling is essential to filling large spaces while not truncating when smaller areas are desired.

Today, I take you on a pictorial tour of how to perfectly place your design and how to otherwise navigate the manifold options of the Zazzle fabric design interface.

1) Find the fabric section.

2) Select a fabric type.

3) Appearances may be deceptive! The yardage threads run top to bottom, NOT left to right!

4) Click "add image" to open your Zazzle design library or to upload a new image.

5) You may either: A) Mark the checkbox of an already-uploaded image and click "OK;" or B) Upload a new image.

6) You won't know how your image looks in context until you click "make it now." This will only place the image onto the product, not post the product for sale.

7) "Detail view" and "swatch view" might not display the image until you move it off-center from "yard view!" Click the various views beneath the product image to see the default image placement on various sizes of fabric.

8) You may click and drag the grey squares around an image to re-size it. Beware that when you re-dimension a design, it might be centered in one view but not in others.

9) "Seam view" does not allow design modification; it is only for show.

10) Scroll down a screen to see options for tiling your design! Click one to select it.

11) Selecting a tile design puts your design into "tile view," so check the other views are satisfactory. If you need to re-center or re-size, then un-tile to make changes.

12) To maximize side-by-side smoothness between adjacent yards of fabric, "seam view" should show each edge of your design component images either terminating completely at the border or wrapping evenly between opposite ends of the fabric.

13) Well-proportioned designs should produce self-contained images along all borders of the "insitu view," which means the design will appear complete at the scale of 4 fat quarters joined at a central point.

14) Your design may look even better when mirrored. You might publish both the original design and a mirrored version of that design.

15) The "mirrored" tiling make the "fat quarter" dimensions of this design tidier along the edges. However, results will vary based on constituent image proportions!

16) To sell your design to others, click "post for sale," which is a relatively small link beneath the blue "add to cart" button. Just adding to your shopping cart would make the design available only for you to exclusively purchase.

17) Enter your title and a description. I find it helpful to include a default fabric in the title to attract page views, because the customer can change this.

18) Choose a default product view that displays the potential of your design.

19) Make sure the default options are the fabric type and size that represent your most marketable pitch. Balance inspirational scale with price point!

20) Remember that your fabric will be a fixed width when you order multiple yards.

21) You may compare and contrast how much additional area you get for each yard among the fabric widths offered, but the prices of by fabric type tend to balance this.

22) Zazzle's official swatch size is 9 inches wide by 9 inches long, which approximates the swatch size I derived from counting the swatches in a fat quarter and the fat quarters in a rectangle consisting of one "square" yard.

23) If your theme is best summarized by a holiday, then skip the "category" menu and browse the "events & occasions" menu.

24) Unlike in "quick create," the single-product creation workflow spontaneously calculates your marginal earnings from whichever royalty rate you choose.

25) On the product publication confirmation screen, remember to select, copy, and paste into a text file your product URL for later placement into your communications channels.

26) Check your store to ensure the product is visible. Because you created the product individually, rather than via "quick create," your design will immediately become available for sale.

27) With design(s) in tow, the promotion begins. Manually append "?rf=[your_Zazzle_user_number]" onto your product URLs to earn commissions from your visitors' purchases at other Zazzle stores. Zazzle_Fabric_Product_URL_with_Referral_ID_Added.png

My finished products are as follows:
Mirrored tile design:
Half-dropped tile design:

Explore the Zazzle fabric collection for yourself. While you're there, use the limited-time offer code INTRO2FABRIC to save 15 percent off your fabric subtotal!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Inaugural Post of a Millennial Misfit Zazzle Designer

After much anticipation, the long-awaited Zazzle blog from SenatorJPO has launched!

The official name of this blog is: SenatorJPO's Zazzle Designs and Observations. That is to attract search hits for SenatorJPO generally and for Zazzle specifically, all within one blog title.

The short names are SenatorJPO at BlogSpot (named after the URL), Zazzle Designs and Observations (after the expanded title of this blog), SenatorJPO's ZDO, or just plain ZDO. This facilitates publicity of this site within all types of communication, whether in trade publications or in vernacular forum speech.

The emphasis of ZDO is satirical kitsch informed by life as a meta-cognitively analytical Millennial misfit who makes the best of what seems to be no future. There will be also be designs inspired by stuff that just plain comes up, without prior inspiration.

Designs will be showcased with exclusive information, such as the stories that inspired the theme and some screen captures of how I worked around obstacles to practical publication within constraints of the Zazzle interface.

Other substantial material is an elaboration of my experience as a Zazzle designer or "Zazzler," including marketing experiments; sales ideation underlying my price points; and factors influencing my product release schedule.

ZDO is published approximately monthly. Schedule adjustments may arise -- because life happens.

Such time allowance balances my schedule and makes me relate-able to all those who work hourly jobs, the ones that don't afford the luxury of taking off. As an under-employed Millennial, I understand the working person's perspective and aspire to much more. This blog is but the next step!

For now, peruse the Zazzle Trade Union thread via the link in the bottom-right corner of this browser tab. It is an archive of the discussion that got me banned from the Zazzle forum -- but somehow not banned from contributing designs, selling products, or guest blogging!

My journey to ProSeller status has begun. Buckle your seat belts; for the acceleration from zero to $100 in monthly sales shall be intense!