How can we help you?
Can you really help me start a network that can pay for itself?
Why should we trust your advice?
We are first and foremost a technical consultancy. We have made mistakes that have taught us valuable lessons, and we study many other companies and projects that do similar things - and we share all those lessons, the only thing we will keep in confidence is personal details, in order to protect those involved.
Running a project or a company is not always easy, and people seldom take the time to think about their mistakes and how to avoid them, and they also seldom take the time share those lessons with others - which often leads to difficult relationships with the people you work with.
It is very important for you to spend a lot of time - working together, but also socially - with those you work with. People become enemies when they lose touch with each other, because they only work together - and if the work is difficult, they only share problems and forget about who the other person is. The only way to stay in touch is to spend enough time together doing non-work things. It is also equally important to spend time with other people who you do not work with.
If you can balance all these things, and be patient, and doing something you believe in, then the problems won't worry you too much, and it will always feel like things are going well, no matter how difficult, it will feel easy.
Why would you help us? How do you benefit?
We have made many painful mistakes and it is a wonderful feeling when you can see that you have helped someone else to have things much easier - that is a reward in itself.
We all benefit by being part of a larger community, because there are more ideas, there is more volunteers, there is more resources, there is more opportunity, and there is more support, so when you get stuck you have more options and more solutions to try, or to learn from, or to choose from.
Why not use your knowledge to help yourself and make a lot of money?
We are doing this, but not with all our time, we only spend enough time to be able to make enough money to support your project, so that we can keep helping you.
The demand for connectivity is so great, that even if we did everything ourselves for many people, we would still not be able to satisfy even a small part of the total demand that there is everywhere.
If one network builds a backbone network that can support their network, then they have to carry all the costs and those costs can add up to a lot. More networks can share that same backbone, so there are always more who can share those costs, so it becomes cheaper for each member of the backbone network, and each member can plan further ahead and accomplish more in the time that they have to work on the project.
Making a mistake on the backbone can set you back many years, so another benefit to sharing infrastructure for a backbone, is that there is enough money between all the members to pay for the people who are really good at building a backbone without mistakes. Paying for those people is worth it because it helps you accomplish a lot more with your effort.
How can you help rural people when you are living in a city?
We strive to spend at least half of our time within the communities that need our expertise, so that we can help them become strong and stand on their own. Also when we are not there, it forces them to learn so that they do not depend on anybody outside too much, so that they can truly own their project, and make all the important decisions by themselves - although considering the advice of other people who have done similar things.
Also, for access to some events and knowledge, it is cheaper to travel and to communicate if you stay in a city, but on the whole it can cost a lot more. Although, it can be justified if that knowledge, or the people you meet at those events, can help you to achieve more.
We have some business customers whose revenues support our work and city expenses. The ultimate goal is to bring great connectivity everywhere, and once you have great connectivity, then the same knowledge and events that is available in the city, can be found almost anywhere, and then being in the city is not that important any more.
Can you help us find funding to start with?
For now we can not help you directly, but if you follow our advice and figure out and understand and use the materials we will help you to find, and if you can create a team who can build the best network that you can without trying to take short-cuts that will waste your time in the long run, and if you can do this where you stay, and if there are people with the problem of bad connections there, then we are sure that the people who have access to funding and advice that you need to grow, will find you - and that we can help with.
Why have you not answered my email?
We spend dedicated time on each and every email and that takes a lot of time - so sometimes it can take a week or more to respond to an email.
You must always assume that the person you are communicating with is from another world and that they don't know anything about your situation. If you want the best chance to get help or advice from them, then it is important to share all relevant information needed to help you, such as where you are, what you are planning, what you have tried and what you are struggling with, what you think the solution is and the details of what you think that you need help to do. Copy more people into the email then there are more people who can see and think about your problem, and who can help you if they can. If you have already done this, please follow up with a phone call, or send a calendar invitation so that you can decide on a time that you can both go to a place with signal so you can make a call at that time - and that you can have all the important notes and things you need to remember with you when you are talking.
Sometimes when we write things, it feels as if we have already said it - but if what we have written has not been read by the person who we wrote it for, or even read during the right time when that person remembers all the facts in their head, then the belief that we have that we have already said it, is not accurate - and the other person do not know what you think they know - so it is always important to ask if they remember, and if they have read what you wrote to them, if you have not spoken to them after writing it.
Also remember that not everybody treats email like an instant message - or someone might do it sometimes only, but not always, or they might respond to one question and not notice that there is another question - so it is also important that you mark your questions clearly. Do you practice this? You need to follow up by making phone calls until you can get to speak to them. If someone can not take your call, they will not mind if you call again and again until they can tell you what the situation is. Also, you can not assume that someone received your message unless you told it to them in person, sometimes saying a message in person, and not in chat, is very important.
Also, the other person might have a lot of other things that they must think about, and they can not remember everything if they do not read their notes to remind them. But the knowledge or information you need is there in their mind too, built up from years of experience, and it is easier to send a few emails and make a lot of phone calls, for you, if you do not know this already, than it is to work also for many years making mistakes that you don't need to make. If you find the right person who has done it, and you can spend enough time with them, you will always learn ways that you can accomplish in just one year that might have taken them 5 or 10 years, and that can be very valuable for your project.
Other factors to consider is that the person might be somewhere with a poor connection or dealing with something that they have already promised to do for someone else - or maybe even just catching up on sleep or time with their family or friends or colleagues, after a period where they have spent too much time working and not enough time sleeping and doing those things, but as soon as that is done, your request may just be their new priority and they might be working very hard with you to help your project grow - but only if it is on their table, or on their calendar, or on their missed call log, or on their chat history, or in their email, for them to see.
So, if you are not sure, just re-send that email, and try to call again, and again. While you wait, don't give up - keep reading other materials that you can - even if you don't yet understand it, just read it and after some days your brain will start to understand more of it by itself, and keep calling, and also reach out for help everywhere else where you can, copy in as many people as you can, and post as many updates as you like. If all the messages and calls is a problem for someone, then they might not be someone that you want to work with in the first place.
So, don't be afraid, and believe in yourself, and keep reaching out. Seek and you shall find!
We share all we know, and will also say what we are unsure of, so we can learn together.
We study both failure and success, and we share all we learn. Our values are set in stone.
We will do all we can to help you succeed even if you make mistakes, we will be here and do all we can to help.