Starting Common Craft

According to legal documents, Common Craft launched 2 years ago today. The actual blogging didn't start for a few weeks, but I was in business 2 years ago today.

When I started planning to quit my job to take the plunge, I kept a private blog of my thoughts and ideas. Here is a somewhat random sampling of things I wrote at the time:

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

It won't happen for a few months, but the preparation has surely begun. This blog is my diary for documenting the transition from being employed to creating Common Craft- which will eventually be my company. More on that later...
Right now I'm networking- which is something that I take to pretty easily, but it is an arduous process. I am an extrovert through and through.

Sunday, January 26, 2003

It's a pretty big weekend in the process of quitting my job. I signed up with a hosting service today for my new web site, which will be As I've said before this is a preliminary vehicle for getting my name out- I want to be able to post in forums and then refer them to for more info. I'll blog there and have lots of ways they can get to know me. Again, the goal is to attract attention, so that I have a marketing channel waiting when I role out Common Craft.

Monday, February 10, 2003
The site is really starting to look promotable. I also starting to think about my blog as a business. I think many of the same rules apply:
Know your audience
Focus on their needs
Promote the site in forums
Create content that is related to their interests
Promote yourself as better than the next guy
Make it easy for them to join
Email subscribers are your market
Communicate with personality
Make it fun

Tuesday, March 25, 2003
On Sunday I made a list of things I need to do. The list isn’t all that daunting, but I do have some work to do, like get the old business plan going. I know it all in my head, but it’ll be a good exercise to document it all.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Ok, the date is set. I'm quitting my job on May 5th. What a crazy time this is right now. I’m doing what I can to bring more traffic to my site and it’s working a bit. I wrote another article and posted to forums, etc. I got my second random comment from a visitor. So far, all the comments have been from folks on other continents. I’ve got one person from Italy who signed up for email notifications and one person from Argentina who left a comment. So far, no one from the US that I don’t know has posted a comment.

Saturday, April 12, 2003
I keep reminding my self about of number of things that are important to me right now:
I know what it is that I want to do with my career and I am going to do it.
I will put in my two weeks notice on May 5th and work until May 16th as an employee.
I will focus on networking
I will continue to blog

Sunday, May 04, 2003

I made some big purchaces today for my home office.
1) A flat panel display for my desk ($400). I've been working for months on a little 12" display on my Sony laptop and it's a pain. I needed to get nice big display and a natural keyboard. These are things that I will use daily for years and they need to fit me well. I'm still tweaking the display, but it should be all set soon enough.
2) An all in one printer/scanner/fax. ($445) This will be a great asset for Common Craft as well.
Also, the business card will be finalized today and I should have them within 2 weeks. By the latter part of May, I should be in full business mode.

Sunday, June 15, 2003
The experiment worked. Using my blog in connection with a couple of discussion forums allowed people to get to know me and my experience before quitting my job. I hope this is the first of many examples of how it’s all coming together. Plus, I’m looking for the upcoming to provide the same flow of networking.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Yesterday I realized that I went all day without wearing pants. It didn't even occur to me until Sachiko came home and picked on me for wearing boxers. I guess i have truly entered the world of working from home and I like it.