First a quick refresher of this project:
Build a franchise-based free “school store” for teacher’s to “shop” at to get required classroom supplies that the school district can’t/won’t pay for.
Click on the category TheLearningLocker on the right for more details.
I had a busy day today, since a non-related post was linked to by an “A-list” blogger (thanks again, Robert), and my blog runs on an old server fed through my cable modem. It took a couple converations with my ISP to convince them not to pull my plug earlier this evening. Since I an under-employed right now, boosting up to business level service just wasn’t an option!
Anyway, back to where we are – it seems the companies that we will rely on for this project actually prefer the idea of small (1200-2000 square foot) “stores” as well. But they don’t want them stuck back in an industrial park – they want them in a Mall! or in a strip center. Why? Branding. They want their name associated with The Learning Locker in a very public way (One example – “The Learning Locker, presented by XYZ” was a suggestion for the exterior signage). Sure, they expect a lot of advertising in return for what might well end up being a very significant contribution – but what do I care what it says on the building?
So as of now I am going forward under the assumption that this is a retail-based “store” – not Internet based. We can branch out to the Internet later. I am assuming I will start with one location, and get all of the legal documentation done for the non-profit, and the non-profit franchising.
Goal #1 – open the first store in January 2007, here in San Antonio (yes here – mostly because it’s easiest on me to start it here).
Goal #2 – find a way to quickly franchise this so it can spread as fast as rumours that Google is buying Microsoft would spread. It has to be easy. And cheap. And reproducible.
I know Microsoft has a Point of Sale system – a local electronics chain uses it (Altex). I’ve seen the software, and it offers all of the inventory, “sales” etc control we need. I’ll try to find out who to talk to at MS about it. I can’t find it on the MS web site. Hopefully we can get it cheap, or free. Maybe as part of the settlements MS has made with various states. Who knows.
I am still working on Point of Sale hardware – but I guess I need to see what the software will be first.
I’m sorry if this seems slow-going. I know a lot of you read this blog just to see what the status of The Learning Locker is – but it isn’t easy muddling though all of these questions, I have to wait a long time for responses to my questions (both to teachers and potential benefactors). And when I can find some consulting to do, I need to do that. But it isn’t stagnant – I feel pretty good that it is in motion, it’s just “slow-motion”.
Next week – meeting with an attorney – pro-bono even (at least the initial discussion is). I have all of the paperwork I need to file for a non-profit in the state of Texas, and hope to get it filed after the attorney reviews it.
Probably no more updates until early next week – I have some other things to manage for the rest of this week.