Entrepreneur of the Year Criteria #5

According to Gregory K. Ericksen in his book Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Insights From the Winner’s Circle, the fifth criteria the judges use to help them determine a winner is “originality.”

A lot of factors can contribute to originality. Have you pioneered a new approach or created a new technology?  Are your business practices or products/services original? Are you constantly working on improvement and innovation?

As far as Outskirts Press is concerned, examples of all of the above are encapsulated by our Version 4.0 website, which will be launching sometime this month (with any luck).  I’ve discussed Version 4 in previous posts (and will again in future posts, too), so I won’t here.

Version 4 of OutskirtsPress.com self publishing

When I write this blog, I make every effort to avoid falling back on a topic involving my “day to day grind” because, frankly, the day-to-day grind isn’t all that interesting. Instead, I prefer for these blog postings to stay a little more strategic.  But when I’m involved in large, time-consuming and complex projects every minute of every day, it becomes difficult to shift gears and talk about something else.

And currently, all my time and effort has been devoted to one of a number of large, complex projects. One being: Version 4.

Hey, look at this! Here’s another “insider” tidbit I can share… revealing some details about Version 4 of our website. 

Last summer we launched Version 3, which was largely devoted to streamlining the pre-production and production process for authors self publishing their books through the services of Outskirts Press. Among the improvements were the online proofing process and the dynamic recommendations that help authors create custom packages that benefit from the experience of our previous authors. 

Version 4 is tentatively scheduled to launch this summer and will piggy-back on many of the aesthetic and graphical improvements introduced in Version 3. With Version 4 will also come the “Wider” website.  Up until now, our website has been designed for one of the lower native monitor resolutions of 800×600.  Nearly no one uses that resolution anymore and as a result, our website sacrifices “real estate” that we could otherwise use to improve our author’s online experience. 

Everyone has a theory about what the most common resolution is nowadays (it often depends upon the demographics of the website compiling the statistic or asking the survey question) since, in general, Mac users tend to use higher resolutions than PC users while “younger” users tend to have higher resolutions than “older” users.

But a common belief, also supported by our own personal user statistics, indicate that the vast majority of Internet users can receive website widths of 1000 pixels or wider.  I’m not positive of the precise increase, but I think the width of our website will increase by roughly 200 pixels with the release of Version 4, and this gives us an opportunity to improve the pages “outside” of the Author’s Center also, something we didn’t do much of with Version 3.

There are some other exciting elements to Version 4 but it’s too early to reveal those…