Sunday, May 1, 2016

Starting a new venture and I would love to hear your thoughts.

I have teamed up with Kit Perez from TOWR to develop a website that will put all of the awesome training that is available across the US in one location. We would like to solve the problem that trainers have in reaching more clients and give them the ability to easily keep track of class reservations. For the student, traditionally they would have to seek out the trainer, contact them, and then try to figure out how to pay for their reservation. Additionally, no reviews of the classes have been available. The community has been flying blind without a consolidated way to search for classes, either by location or topical relevance. There has got to be a better way then word of mouth to either find students or find trainers. We know that we can find a better way to mediate this so you can get the training you need.

My question to you is, what have been your difficulties with classes in the past? What kind of features would you like to see? What trainers or training would you like to see on the site? Would you be interested in a community forum? What about a store with affiliate links to recommended gear? What questions should we be asking the user and the trainers?

Thank you so much for your consideration and input. We want to build an incredible product that will give you the tools you need for success at every point in your journey of self-improvement. The only way that we can create an awesome website is to get feedback from the community.


Arminius said...

This is a great idea. Of course there are going to be many diverse opinions about this instructor or that instructor, not to mention about recommended gear. However, a central location to find this information is probably long overdue. Best of luck!

kagalaska said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!
A complete one stop training course availability resource. all subjects related to SHTF survival - tactical training (movement to contact, hasty ambush, patrolling ect) / med / solar / survival / comms / shooting (both square range and "free range" / intel / community building / and any other subject I may have missed that pertain to SHTF survival. By date By state cost

kagalaska said...

Yes! Yes! Yes!
A complete one stop training course availability resource. all subjects related to SHTF survival - tactical training (movement to contact, hasty ambush, patrolling ect) / med / solar / survival / comms / shooting (both square range and "free range" / intel / community building / and any other subject I may have missed that pertain to SHTF survival. By date By state cost

Fred said...

Please don't limit it. Everything from the bible principles of freedom to the natural law that inspired the constitution to intel to encrypting comms to prepping to wilderness to beginning shooter to small team tactics to everything. Let the market place decide what is needed. May the best instruction win.

jessejames87 said...

It would be nice to have some type of calendar type thing where multiple people could go and select what dates work for them and it will show where the majority of dates line up. Doodle I believe is one of them, or at least make the dates able to be cross referenced. I.E. I have the first weekend of June off, what classes are being offered and I can see who else can/is attending without having to shoot 20 separate emails out. It would be immensely helpful if people are trying to line stuff up as a group. Granted this is not the best description, but having a searchable database by dates and locations would greatly help. The way StubHub does it may be a good example of what I'm talking about.

Oregon Hobo said...

Sounds like a good idea in principle. My primary concern is that it would act as a centralized clearing house for our publicly employed ne'er-do-wells to add names to the WWDB. I do however take some comfort in someone of Kit's background being at the core of the effort.

That said, I've personally got no shortage of courses I would like to attend. The #1 obstacle to getting myself, my woman, friends, extended family members, etc out to these events is local childcare that been vetted. By this I mean not just someone I can trust not to TSA my kids, but also someone who's not going to sic CPS on me when I roll in for pickup at the end of the day stained with mud & blood and smelling of gunpowder & gun oil.

Curious to hear others' thoughts and especially experiences in this regard.

Happy trails,


Kit Perez said...

Oregon Hobo,

Thanks for the kind words. :)

Your privacy and anonymity as a student is absolutely a concern, and it's something that Matthew and I have talked about at length during the planning stages. We've put some controls in place on the website to protect that kind of information, and we also plan to limit how much information you need to give us as much as we can.

There are several ways you can deal with the privacy aspect, and as we know, any nod to convenience comes at a price. People will not need to sign up at the site in order to search the listings; in fact, you don't need to create a membership at all unless you want to leave a review on a class/instructor you've trained at. Even then, I would advise people who wish to keep their training private to access the site with the Tor Browser, on the TAILS operating system running live on a flash the very least, maybe use a Protonmail address.

The good news is that if you don't know how to do that...there are classes to show you how. ;) In fact, there's one in Western WA in June, and I am always willing to come down to OR and hold classes as well.

Thanks for the feedback. We are excited to take the site live. ;)


Sean said...

Just one problem. You'll be making OPFORs job so much easier, including when the media gets their hands on it, and works public opinion against the whole shmear. Non centralization makes us a harder target, and harder to pin down. No.

MamaLiberty said...

Not for me, thanks anyway. My major problem is having the time and energy to conduct all the classes people here want. I advertised just once and was overwhelmed, but many were no-shows. Word of mouth is best, in my particular situation anyway. I am the only (known) certified handgun and self defense instructor in nearly a 100 mile radius - which I seriously don't understand, given the demand... and it is no less now that the "permit" is no longer required for Wyoming residents.

So thanks, but no thanks.

free for now said...

I could sure use something like this. I love taking classes, but finding, scheduling is a bear.

It'll be interesting to see how the ratings/reviews go. I have a fear that even for great instructors, many reviews will be baseless complaints that get sent in by (I) the folks that get "poopy pants" when an instructor dares give them constructive criticism or correction (like, stop lasering the whole class)- since you do see so many dumb things happen in so many classes, and the dumber they are, the more they comment it seems, and (II) instructors sniping at each other "all the other guys are wrong about everything, I alone am the dispenser of truth"... Keratin type "feedback".

But I sure hope you can find a way to get this going as it would be a great help to many of us.

Travis said...

I would absolutely love to take a look at this when you guys get it up and running, thanks for the hard work.

PapaGrande310 said...

Awesome. I like it. There are a lot of great classes out there that just are not promoted well.

Example: type in zip code, classes within 100 miles... Then listed by date.

As for Sean's concerns... You really think any agency can't just surf the web and see what classes are out there now? I think the benefit far outweighs any risk at this point. No one is shutting down any training that I have heard of... Yet. Let's make the most of the permissive environment.

T. Paine said...

I have been reloading all my center fire since the 70's and produce ammo that is actually fully 100% equivalent or better than factory. And I can prove it in performance. That said, I recently contacted Valor Ridge and Reid demands only factory ammo be used, which takes ammo cost from $200 for a class to over $500. I even offered to send VR couple hundred rounds for T&E and there was no response. So, I guess we either bite the bullet and enrich the corporate moguls that make 'factory' loads (as if they're worth the $$) or don't train. For now, I'll save the money.

James said...

I will say a good idea though will also say have been articles comparing the way some courses are run.As for feds seeing,well,they already have and being on most sites like this you may(probably)are already on a list.Any thing that helps folks learn new skills a great resource,be it martial/straight survival/tech/med/ ect.

Anonymous said...

Great idea. The ability to find high-quality locally available training would greatly increase my ability to attend. Many of the courses I'm interested in would require as much time and expense in travel as for the class.

Also a clearinghouse for last-minute/short notice training opportunities would be helpful. I recently signed up for a two-day communications class and was unable to attend. I told the host to offer my spot to anyone who would like it but I think my paid-for spot in this class might have gone to waste. We need a better way to keep this from happening.