Author Archives: Ted Forbes

About Ted Forbes

Ted ForbesThanks for checking out the website! is a blog where I explore things related to working efficiently and building a business.

Logitech K810 Bluetooth Illuminated Keyboard

Logitech K810

I’m a little surprised that I’m actually writing a post about a keyboard. I love toys and gadgets just as much as anyone, but really? A keyboard? Well the Logitech K810 is surprisingly good. In fact it kind of makes working fun.

I bought mine from

My Setup

I use 2 computers at work – both Mac and Windows. In recent years I’ve gravitated to using the Mac more often mainly because everything is so ergonomically beautiful. For my own personal taste – the Apple keyboards are simple and a joy to use. My old clacky Dell keyboard was slowly becoming more and more frustrating to use simply because it was extremely uncomfortable. Writing long documents, posts or even putting together presentation outlines was a beating.

I use both Mac and Windows for several reasons and I’m comfortable switching back and forth. I’d really stopped using my Windows machine for anything but work email. I realized this was not a good productive use of time or equipment so I decided to switch out a few things. Really what I wanted was my Apple bluetooth keyboard to work on my PC. There are some ways to hack this to make it work, but I 1) didn’t want to spend time hacking something together and 2) I need everything to work. There are some fundamental OS differences between Windows and Mac OSX so you really have to have a dedicated keyboard to make things work right.

I ended up deciding on Logitech simply because I was familiar with some of the things they made for Apple products and I figured this would be my best bet in getting the ergonomic Apple experience over on the Windows side of things. I couldn’t be happier with this choice.

The Logitech K810

First I should say this is not the cheapest keyboard you can get. Lets get this out of the way first – cheap keyboards feel cheap. You get what you pay for. The Logitech K810 is not crazy expensive, but its probably a little more than you’d expect to pay. Its worth it. Get price out of your head – this is a well priced keyboard. Here’s why:

1) Build Quality

This is a very solid keyboard. Not all of Logitech’s products are like this, I know. Some of them – even expensive stuff – can sometimes feel cheap and plastic-like. This one is not. Its beautifully designed with a brushed metal texture against a black glass looking base. Very well done. Lightweight if you need to travel with it – its really a beautiful design with a solid feel to it.

2) Ergonomics

If Apple keyboards are your thing, you’ll be right at home on this. I know this feel isn’t for everyone. I don’t need to man-handle a keyboard and I was looking for something that would feel like the Apple Bluetooth keyboard. Quite simply, this is it.

3) Bluetooth

This was a big deal for me too. I’m tired of wires everywhere so I needed Bluetooth capability. The keyboard does require at least a Bluetooth-USB plug if your PC doesn’t naively support Bluetooth. I got one and the set up was easy and seamless. Surprising since its Window’s we’re talking about here ;-)

4) Battery Life

I’ve only been on this keyboard a short time, but time will tell. The manual boasts a 3 hour charge time (using the included micro USB cable). Once charged you reportedly get 3 weeks of illuminated typing and a year of non-illumined off of the built in battery. This is really nice as I hate changing the AA batteries that my Apple keyboard takes. In fact, this might even be better than my Apple keyboard in a few regards. I’m not used to this in the Windows world.

5) Illuminated Keyboard

Works just like the Apple laptop keyboards. It senses how bright the room is and if its dim, it kicks in the back-lit, illuminated keys. Beautiful.

6) Switching Capability

Here’s what I didn’t expect. There are 3 Bluetooth keys on the top, left of the keyboard. You can set these up for device switching. The keyboard supports Windows PC’s, iOS devices and Android based devices. This is amazing. I’m typing along and get a text message on my iPhone… I hit the “2” switch on the top of the keyboard and I’m now typing to my iPhone. I hit send and switch back to the PC without missing a beat. It would be nice to have a keyboard that supported both Mac and PC so I could just use one keyboard for both setups. I know that’s tough to do, but it would make this the ultimate keyboard period for both platforms. Also I really would like to be able to cut and paste across devices. I know this is an OS thing and would require the keyboard itself to have memory inside, but it would be awesome. That’s the problem when you have a device like this, you start dreaming of the possibilities. Its amazing.

7) Overall Impression

I give this a full 5 stars. It fulfilled everything I needed for my Windows PC and has made it a pleasure to use again. Its ergonomic, the desk footprint is tiny and its a joy to use. I didn’t realize this offered USB switching when I ordered it – so that was a huge bonus and surprise.

So get the Logitech K810 – you won’t be disappointed.

How To Network At A Conference

How To Network At A Conference

As I’m starting to get ready for SXSW this year, I thought I’d take a minute to share a few thoughts on conferences as I begin panning. Conferences and networking go hand in hand. I’ve made some mistakes in the past in this area and I want to share these ideas as I’m getting ready to do something important this time around.

What Are Conferences For?

Conferences in general tend to advertise something a little backwards from their original intent. Conferences are designed to get like minded individuals in any industry in a common setting to share ideas and hopefully push themselves as an industry to another level. Now this mission statement by itself is not enough to actually bring the number of people needed to make the whole thing work financially, so conference planners come up with (hopefully) an amazing schedule filled with workshops, presentations, vendors, parties and lectures featuring a long list of industry rock stars to get people to actually pay the money required and attend.

Its taken me years to understand why these two agendas aren’t exactly the same thing. Any good conference is certainly worth attending – I’m not arguing what they offer. But if you’re really serious about making your mark in your industry, its important to understand the real reason you payed all that money to attend…


Plain and simple. If you have a list of people that you want to hear speak at a conference, why not be prepared to actually try and shake hands to introduce yourself? In fact, recently I’ve decided its not really worth my time to actually go to any of the planned sessions if it means I might have a quite moment to grab someone in the hallway and make a connection. The truth is that just about everyone who presents is doing material they are known for. You can find this information on the internet usually in spades – and for free. Very rarely have I seen someone present to just a conference audience. People are busy – especially people who are known names.

City Hall reception in Paris

Nicolita and Me at Le Web, Paris City Hall, 2010

I’ll share a story about a conference I wished I had approached much differently. In 2010 I was invited to speak at Le Web in Paris on a panel about photography. I was on a panel that included former Apple mastermind Jean-Marie Hullot (who wrote iCal), Fotolia founder Oleg Tscheltzoff and Malden Nicolaus who at the time was the social media manager for Kodak. I was terrified out of my mind and completely blown away that I was asked to present with these amazing people. I spent hours preparing what I was going to talk about and put together my slides. First mistake – I should have had more confidence because I knew that material cold. I didn’t need to spend all those hours on my presentation.

When my girlfriend at the time and I got to Paris, we were invited to a speakers dinner which was a large event held at a museum. The evening also featured private tours of an amazing Monet exhibition that was very exclusive and hard to get into. I was blown away by this as I work in an art museum (one of our works was on loan for this show) and I could talk comfortably about Monet and Impressionism. After the tour I was having a drink with Rodrigo Sepulveda who had invited me. He turned and introduced me to this guy named Matt. He said we should get along well since we both liked photography. Well Matt was really nice and we small talked about a few things – cameras, etc. Then the formal “thank you’s” were starting from the podium and our conversation was getting cut. I asked Matt what he did for a living and he says “I wrote this thing called WordPress”. My jaw DROPPED. I had no idea. Matt Mullenweg was as humble and as friendly as they come. And worse, I had blown my opportunity to ask him something interesting and trade business cards. Even worse – I forgot to even bring business cards. The rest of the conference was pretty crazy and I didn’t get a second chance to talk. On the plane home I realized I learned an important lesson here.

I should have spent a huge chunk of the time I spent on my presentation reading about the conference and researching the other speakers. I didn’t know. I know now though.

If this is making sense so far lets talk about how not to blow it with people.

How To Network At A Conference

Now that we’ve clarified the importance of networking – lets say you’ve done your homework. You read the speaker bios, you know what people look like – you’re ready to network. Here’s some tips on what and what not to do.

Don’t start by talking about yourself.

Its easy to think you need to work up the nerve and confidence to come on strong. I actually don’t like this and its a huge turnoff. People who are known get fans fawning all over them regularly – you’ll just be another one of those people if you do this.

I’ve found the best approach is to go up, shake hands, tell them what you do in a few words and give them a complement. For example, if I could meet Matt Mullenweg again I would open with this:

(Shakes hands) – Hey Matt! My name is Ted, I’m a photographer and I do my own web development. I’m a huge fan of WordPress – I couldn’t do half of what I do without the work you’ve done. Thanks!

Then you want to follow up with a question that opens the conversation for them to talk. It could be anything, but keep it light.

How many people work for you at the WordPress foundation these days?

or even something casual and non-work related

Have you had the chance to do anything cool in Paris (or whatever city) yet?

What you want to do is to show you’re actually interested in them. You are obviously, but you need to communicate that. Keep the conversation going for a few minutes, but not too long. Then follow with one statement about what you do – only one, then hand them a business card.

We’ll listen – I’m really honored to have met you. I have a photography podcast that I do (or insert your current project here) – if you’d like to check it out here’s my card with the URL.

And leave it there. If you go on too long you’ll get tedious. Feel it out and make it so they remember a good, brief conversation and introduction. You don’t need to ask for their card. This gives you a chance to contact them via email later (and do the homework to find their contact info). If the individual wants to keep talking then go for it.

This makes the best impression you can possibly make without coming off too intense. If you’re work is actually interesting and good – there is a chance they will be interested enough in what you do to check it out. If they’re not interested don’t sweat it. Move on to the next person on your list to talk to. Not everyone will be receptive, but this is your best chance at networking. Just make a simple solid impression and let your work be interesting and good on its own. If its not interesting or good then you’re not ready, but re-evaluate and try again at the next conference. You really should try and meet at least 20 people who are established at any given conference – and don’t make them all celebrities. You want to target people who are successful, but it doesn’t mean they have to be rockstars.

See how going to sessions is too time consuming to make this happen? do your homework and put your best work together. You’ll make something happen. And worse case, you meet them the next year with better stuff and people see you’re serious and dedicated!

So remember the big 3 things you need to have. Know who you want to approach, know enough about them to create some conversation and ask questions and finally – have a business card that’s clean with a link to whatever you do. That’s it!

Enough from me – I’m off to get my business cards printed and start studying presenters ;-)

Gmail Filters Revisited

Just merely one day after I wrote the article on email bankruptcy and applied the filters that gmail offers – I want to give you an update and some more tips on controlling your email and keeping things from getting out of hand. Gmail filters are insanely useful.

Gmail Filters

Gmail Filters

When I wrote the last post on email bankruptcy I was actually cleaning up my own email box. I had about 8,000 unread emails which as I mentioned in the post weren’t spam, they weren’t important but they were definitely noise. You know – these are the email lists you once thought you needed to be on. Noise are the newsletters from retailers you shop from – or bought one thing from 4 years ago… Its noise. Its not spam. Some of it was opted in on, but its not the important stuff that you need to respond to or work from.

In the first article I gave a few techniques on getting a handle on email. Read it if you need a refresher on how Gmail works and why its the best thing in the world. And for the record – when I say Gmail – I use the website browser for all of my email. I don’t need it all downloaded to a computer. I don’t want it in the email app on my phone. This is one of the best UI’s of any web app out there. Just open a browser and go – the service is amazing. Learn the hotkeys as well as you’ll get fast and realize this is simply the best email management service around and its free and available on any computer or mobile web browser.


We talked about how to create a folder on one message, but I discovered you can go to your inbox, select multiple messages at once that I consider noise and then select the gear icon and create the filter. Same process I covered before, but it deals with multiple noise sources at once. Gmail filters create with the “OR” operator so you can theoretically do one filter to control them all. That’s actually not easy to do, so just pair them down by selecting what you see on the page.

So not only did my noise decrease, but I actually got to “inbox zero” in about 1 hour. Read that again – I am stunned at how fast I got this all down. Gmail filters for the win. I will need to continue to prune the gmail filters, but today has been amazing. I automated about 100 noise emails into a folder and marked as read and the 10 emails I got in my box (it is a Sunday, but still…) I responded to and archived. It was amazing. I saw how often I check my email and how useless a waste of time that all is. I got rid of the noise and made life much more peaceful – at least for today. Email – 0 Ted – 1.

If you’re wondering why I sent all this email to a folder and marked as read INSTEAD of just deleting it – let me explain.

Gmail gives me 10GB of space. I am using about 20% of this. The noise email was stressing me out one little chunk of time at a time, but I decided to leave it so I can search for it. I might change this in the future, but some of the noise, stuff from camera, music and 8mm niche lists I’m on – I might actually have some time to read it and I can search for it because I still have it. But its not yelling at me to open while I’m trying to do something else. Gmail filters allow me to change this in the future, but archiving the way Gmail is designed make Gmail filters worth using the whole service.

I’m hoping this solves my email issues. I’m stunned. Honestly, I wrote that post while I was actually doing it myself, I have to follow up with how much I’m really amazed at how INCREDIBLE an email management app Gmail really is.

Use it. It will reward you! The shortcuts alone are worth the whole deal.

Email Bankruptcy Control With Gmail

email bankruptcy

Email Bankruptcy is a recently coined term. Unfortunately we’re hearing it quite a bit these days. Basically it just means deleting all of your email and putting an auto-responder on your account saying you couldn’t deal with it all, sorry – send your message again if it was important.

This not only looks really unprofessional, but I think its pretty stupid. But its a growing fantasy for me because email has become a burden in the last 10 years. I remember my first email account back at UNT my last year there. The internet was public and the university was giving students free accounts. I had to check it using ZTerm – it was pretty crude. But I also remember checking it every 3 or 4 days in the library. I had about 3 people I emailed with and it was awesome. Then I had a teacher that used it. I had to check it daily, but it was fine because it was useful and had purpose.

Fast forward almost 20 years and email sucks. I can’t stand it. It has stuff I need in there so I have to use it, but with texting and social media – I really never use it to keep up with friends anymore. Its a work-related need.

So people do email bankruptcy when the problem is out of control. So what is the problem and why is it out of control?

The problem is the noise. The emails I want to see are one’s that are relevant – then there’s noise. Sure noise includes spam, but its really the self inflicted spam. You know – all the old mailing lists you thought you needed to be on. Its the retailers that got your email when you made one purchase 5 years ago for a gift you didn’t even want to buy. Its the stuff you get from Amazon or Netflix making recommendations based on the personal data they are mining from you. That my friend, is noise. So that’s the defined problem. There’s stuff in there we need, there’s spam and then theres stuff that we don’t really need but consumes our attention.

A Controlled Email Bankruptcy

Personally I believe everyone should be using Gmail. Its the best email out there – period. In fact you can port just about all of your email accounts into Gmail and use it as one master hub for all of your mail. Its also got the best spam filter out there so it eliminates spam from our troubles here.

What you want to do is learn how to use filters to control the noise. If we can get that under control then the only thing coming into the inbox is email we want to deal with.

And yes – you could go through these email by email to go “unsubscribe” to each. I gave up on that personally because 1) it takes forever – they don’t want you to unsubscribe and 2) sometimes things like Flickr don’t listen to what privacy settings you’ve set. I’ve changed them 3 times and I’ve now given up.

The filtering process requires patience. Its faster still, but like pruning a tree – you need to continue to work on it now and then. But the time you save not seeing all the noise far out weighs the time you’ll spend dealing with noise mail.

Applying Filters

In Gmail, open the email you want to filter. On the right side of the email you’ll see a drop down arrow next to the reply button. Click the drop down and select “Filter messages like this”.

managing email with gmail filters

This will take you to the Filter criteria. Gmail automatically populates this to be from either the sender or mailing list if its an email group. Beautiful! You can add to this if you need more specificity, but this does the trick for me. Click “Create”.


Then you’ll get the screen asking what to do with the email. I’m setting mine to stay out of the inbox. That way if I actually need something (and I may not) its there, but its out of my way and I don’t need to see it. You could certainly delete emails with the actions screen to. Do what you need. I mark mine as read, archive them and label them “Grand Parade”. You get bonus points if you know the music reference. Genesis had a song called the Grand Parade of Lifeless Packaging on the seminal Land Lies Down on Broadway album. But I digress. Also you can check the “apply to current messages” tick box. This will go ahead and clean out your inbox for you. Click “create filter” and you’ve got it!


Now you’ll need to wash, rinse and repeat on any noise message you no longer want to see. This actually goes faster than you think, but its totally worth carving out the time to deal with. And remember – like I said earlier, you’ll need to make time to maintain this, but it saves sanity down the line and keeps you from looking like the jerk who couldn’t deal with his email anymore so he just deleted it all. Avoid email bankruptcy.

If anyone has any suggestions on email management – feel free to leave a comment below!

Twitter Text Messaging

Getting The Most Out Of Twitter Text Messaging

twitter text messaging

I’d like to share some techniques I’ve started using with Twitter which have allowed me to make social media more useful. Twitter is an interesting social media model because its not dependent on being a website. You can certainly use the website, but Tweets can be received over a variety of other mediums including apps and even text messages straight to your cell phone. Understanding how to set up your Twitter text messaging settings is essential to making Twitter a better experience. I think this is what makes Twitter not only different but extremely useful as a social medium – it can live anywhere and everywhere. This is its blessing but its also its curse because it can make itself confusing and sometimes overwhelming to users.

If you use social media for both work and personal related issues, you’ll obviously end up with a lot of followers and people you follow that cover a range of friends and strangers. Right there for me the level of noise just becomes too loud and its hard to get the enjoyment out of social media when its no longer just your personal circle of people. Even people you actually know can get annoying on social media as we all know.

If you’re not familiar with the ways you can customize your Twitter account – this is for you.

Twitter Text Messaging Rules

twitter text messaging

One of the best features of Twitter is that I can use it via texting on my phone. When I first opened my account I had it all set up this way. But it didn’t take long before this became intensely annoying getting texts from the Twitter stream every few seconds. Fortunately Twitter allows you to establish rules of what tweets to actually send you via text. I must say this feature alone is what makes twitter insanely useful for me. Here’s how I’ve got twitter text messaging set up.

If you log into twitter and click the “gear” icon at the top of the page, you can select “settings”. Under settings, select “mobile”. This will show you all of your custom options.

twitter text messaging

So personally I select “Tweets from people you’ve enabled for mobile notifications” first – this allows me to “select” people who’s tweets I want sent to my phone. I reserve this for really close friends and family. When they tweet, I get it texted to me. To turn people on for mobile texting, go to their profile and click the “person” icon below their picture. Then you can select “Turn on Mobile Notifications”.

Back in the mobile settings, I also select “Direct Messages”. Any one of my contacts who sends me a direct tweet will text me as well. I also turn on replies and mentions from people I follow. This allows me to track when people are mentioning me in a tweet. I leave all the other options off and this sets me up to get what I feel is important texted to me.

Also important is the sleep settings. I have this set to turn off texting between 11PM and 7AM so I don’t have my phone going off in the night.

So managing your twitter text messaging settings is a great way to make Twitter not only more useful, but more personal. At the time of writing I follow over 5,000 people. This is simply too much chatter and noise to make any sense of. Following people is important – you need to participate in order to have people following you back, but having custom text settings keeps the noise at bay.

If you’ve got any tips of your own, please share by leaving a comment below!

Starting From Nothing – How Ideas Work

Light My Path

I’ve always been fascinated finding out where ideas come from. Ideas come in all sizes and in varying degrees of success, but ideas seem to be like the used bookstore. If you’re looking for something they never have it. When you’re just browsing you soon have more in the basket than you can afford or read. Ideas seem to be the same way. Ideas usually are born of some kind of ambition. We want to start a business, write a book, take pictures, make a painting, save a failing business or relationship – anything that might change the world.

As the years have gone by, I’ve found that ideas that work much like the used bookstore, but this doesn’t work when you really need them. Its important to get in the habit of writing things down when they come to you – no matter how random. But in states of complete practicality when you’re not being hit with creative inspiration, its important to think through the situation at hand to see if there can be other clues that might tip off your next big thing.

I’ve had several employers over the years that I really look up to say that the ideas are the easy part – its the work that’s hard. I believe this whole-heartedly based on my own experience. However this doesn’t solve the issue of idea generation other than to say that its easier than the work. But I did mention this for a reason because its going to have an important impact on the idea generation itself.

Good ideas come from problem solving. Ideas generate in order to make something more efficient, more fun, easier, smarter, cheaper, etc etc etc. The value is in what you are doing that save people something whether that’s time, money, pain – something that’s not working as smooth as it should be – you deliver a way of making that “better”. The “better” you can make that the more value there is in the idea. So the best ideas are really answers to determined “problems”.

MacBook Air

Apple didn’t invent the mobile phone. They didn’t invent the MP3 player. But Steve Jobs had a vision of making them easy and fun to use. So fun you want to own one every time a new model comes out. Oddly enough – Apple aren’t the cheapest or even the most feature laden. They have a small and simple product line. But they understand that customers want simple, easy to use but powerful computers. They are solving problems the tech industry has in the consumer market. And they’re doing it very successfully.

Now most of us won’t create the next Apple. The magnitude of what it costs to take an idea like this to a world wide corporation is more than challenging to say the least. This is where an idea of this size will fail. In fact, Apple worked through a number of smaller successes that Steve Jobs made work – as well as the talents of many others. Like I said – these ideas are the easy part compared to the work and money it takes to execute them.

But the takeaway from looking at Apple is that Steve Jobs had a clear understanding of milestones, work ethic, drive and motivation. We can look up to that in our own careers if we can grasp the concept of smaller goals.

Another problem people have is “swinging for the fence” and trying to hit a home run every time. You’re going to have home run ideas sometime down the road, but you’re going to have to learn how to hit the ball first. Strikeouts and base hits will be most of what you experience. Even in real baseball – sluggers are considered amazing if they can hit 25-30% of the time.

The best thing to do is look at the work you’re currently doing and ask what could make it better for the client, customer, boss – whoever you’re currently or potentially working for.

So lets look at some examples. Most people have an idea for a website. Lets be brutally honest here – most of these types of ideas solve a personal need of the one with the idea. This is fine if that’s understood, but I have lots of people send me links to their work and this is quite obvious. I see really really good photographers all the time that have websites where driving traffic and potential customers is really difficult. That’s because their business idea or website is only valuable to themselves.

If we take this and turn it around things start to work differently. So Mark wants to shoot weddings. Great. He’s got outstanding work, he’s responsible and he’s a good businessman. What if instead of just making a simple portfolio that (lets be honest) is a dime a dozen on the internet, what if he started writing some great articles on the best way to select a wedding photographer might work. What if he wrote articles about wedding ideas. What if he made some really nice behind the scenes photography the quality of a Martha Stewart magazine.

What Mark is doing now is making a site that might actually communicate to a future bride – you know, the person who will actually hire him. He’s writing copy that Google will index. This is how brides might search. Then he’s designing the site to appeal to his target audience and boost his own image. Maybe he comes up with a great social media plan using Facebook, Twitter, Google Places and a few other things. Former customers can “like” his work and help recommend him to friends.

This is the type of idea that, while not that innovative, works because it was thought through. It works because Mark went 5 extra miles with the time he puts into his business. And what’s going to happen to Mark is that ideas are going to continue to generate and he might come up with something to offer that really changes the game of wedding photography if he can find ways to make everything easier for a bride. He might come up with something that sets the bar higher for everyone in his field and he’ll be in the lead because he’s the one doing it.

Here We Go!

Hey everyone welcome to the site!

Focusing Work is a project I’ve been thinking about most of the year. Since today is the last day of the year I figured I’d go ahead and go live.

So what on earth is Focusing Work? It is a blog where we talk about all things related to work. What does that mean? Let me start by telling you about me and why I started this project.

I work by day as a photographer and media producer. The media part of that means I do a lot of video related projects so the whole “focusing” work thing relates for my idea of doing a project that deals with the actual work side of business. I spent almost 10 years teaching college and loved every minute of it. The idea of teaching is attractive to me because it forces me to really know my subjects inside and out if I’m going to help students problem solve and master the material. I love teaching because its a great way for me to learn as well.

In short, I quit teaching this last year because the school was canceling my physical classes and scheduling me to teach everything online. Sounds right up my alley, but it was a joke. You have to use a CMS that looks like it was done in the 90’s, its behind a firewall for obvious reasons and the students, I felt, were getting a complete disservice by limiting the ways of learning online. I realized I wanted to drop my association with formalized education and become more active with my side projects such as my online photography tutorials that I do over at

I quickly found this was the right move. Its complicated running a business, but I’m okay financially (I obviously gave up the paycheck that comes with teaching) even though my expenses increased.

But what’s really been on my mind is how to market what I do on the internet. Marketing has changed so much in the last 20 years and its a topic I’m really pretty bad at. But I realized that its futile to create great content and then nobody knows its there. So last year I decided to jump in and research.

Well the online marketing world is full of more snake oil than I’ve ever seen in my life, but there are some gems and legitimate people out there. But still there is a pretty big void for honest information that actually helps people rather than try to sell to them. This is when I realized I should start this project. To learn and to share.

So here we are. I know its only one post, but its a start!