Note: This was drafted on 1/26/2021. My process is to draft a post, then revise it and schedule it a week or so later. Often this means posts are a month behind or more. This particular post I discovered in draft form on May 5th. It’s ancient so I’m going to wrap it up and back-date the post to January.
It’s the end of January. My calendar season has been winding down and my mind is now more fully on the Eureka Room again. The two big questions are:
- What is the timing?
- What does the 2021 iteration look like?
This post is a big brain dump of what might be next.
What is the Timing?
The main questions on the timing are:
- When will we hit the point where enough people are doing stuff again?
- When can I open it in a way that feels responsible and and safe for everyone?
- How long will it take to get it running?
- My main income is through the calendars. The calendar work season begins in July and runs through January and takes up most of my time. How do I manage the calendar season and also move forward with the Eureka Room?
- I had planned to go on a months-long vacation. How does that fit into the plan?
#1 and #2: It seems that probably late spring or summer.
#3: It’s hard to say. That depends on the “first iteration” question. To build an identical one, maybe under a month. To make something new and get permits, sublease, etc.. I really don’t know. A few months to much longer I think.
#4: If people are coming to the ER and I’m really busy there, I can use the revenue to hire people to do the calendar stuff. If the ER is not busy, then I can do the calendar stuff myself. The latter, of course, would mean that I don’t have time or money to work and promote the ER that much. There’s also the sub-question of: do I make the Portland calendar? Probably. It does make money for me. Worst case scenario: ER and calendars both lose money.
#5: This is nearly non-negotiable. In January 2020 I was feeling as low and as burned out as I have been in ages. For my health I desparately needed to escape and had been wanting to do a months-long escape for a few years. I was determined to have it happen in February 2020. Fate had other plans. I want two months with no work. Would I be happy with just 2 weeks? A month? Likely no. You just can’t get into the other life in less than two months I don’t think. (Now, where does the money come from for this… that’s another question).
So when can I go on this vacation? Before August. Limited to US and countries where the vaccine has been given sufficiently or places where I won’t add to their problems. I need to think about that. Ouiness world tour? Where are places I can go *this* year after I get vaccinated?
February 2022. Many more places will be open then. I also should have the ER up and going (or failed) by then. Either way, I think the 6 months of being open will be a good test.
LEDs or Projectors for the 2021 Iteration?
Here’s a big question. If I’m going to build a second one in the new location, would it be better to make improvements or just keep it the same? The main improvement I am thinking is to swap out the LEDs for projectors. Here’s a short list of things I would have to address to do that. There are likely more:
- Find the right projectors (I would need 3-5 of them and likely cost $1200 each for short-throw.) They have to be quiet, 3-chip and able to stand on their side.
- How to attach the screen to the plexi and then the plexi to the frame so as to be stable and have limited standoffs.
- How to position the projectors so that the standoffs don’t cast long shadows.
- How to mount the projectors.
- How to change the frame to accommodate all this.
I would love to do projectors because it opens up so many more possibilities of what I can do. I could have HD instead of the diffused LEDs. My brain explodes at the possibilities. I would love to have HD or 4K walls.
But to get that all to work might be costly. And people don’t come for the resolution. I’m providing an experience, not technology. And I can do that and have done that with the tools I have. I know how to build something that works. I have something that works. Over 1200 people have visited it and many really liked it.
I can put the full HD walls on the roadmap, but to get the thing out there and attract attention it’s probably fastest and best to go with what has been shown to work. It took forever just to find the projector I currently use. Lord only knows how long it would take me to find just the projectors I needed. And at the budget I have now? I’m not going to get what I’d like.
Let’s take what works, get it out there. I can expand the experience of people by extending the timeline before and after the visit. And even during. Those are low-cost things that add more value than going HD. People want to experience joyful absurdity. I can deliver that with only a few rocks if I needed to. HD for later.