Laura at Contentious worked back from my daughter’s name, Ursula asking if this came from writer Ursula Le Guin, to asking if I read a lot of science fiction. She was correct on each of these points – Ursula Le Guin is one of my favourite authors and my reading ratio is:
Once I’d settled on the name and the idea that changing your services business to a product-based business was an adventure rather than something to be scared of, I wanted to play with this. I also had a brand new website to find images for, and I was only just then starting to make the badly drawn diagrams and images.
The space images (for me anyway) encapsulate both beauty and a sense of wonder, adventure and possibility. And, running a business is also full of adventure, possibility and wonder. If we choose to let these in. I hope the space images remind us of the exciting possibilities within our business, even while we are constantly travelling on our business journeys.
Where I source these space images
I got excited by the beauty of the imagery available and spent far too much time on NASA’s site. They have a massive library of Creative Commons imagery from space and the adventures within NASA’s history.
Quick tip – searching for Creative Commons licence images is a great way to find images for free to use on your website. Here’s a 2-minute guide on how to do this.
And then, of course, there are the other space agencies and companies, AI and human-designed made-up space imagery. I found some beautiful pictures on Flickr of other space enthusiasts who have played with NASA’s images and made them even more beautiful. I fell in love with Kevin Gill’s images in particular.
I started adding in more touches of space and science fiction themes as I added more content to the site.
We have the Mission Guides I’ve developed as lead magnets, extensive how-to guides and workbooks for different elements of productising. All free for you and based on the idea of space missions, with a nod to Star Trek and their missions “to boldly go”.
For me, science fiction is a way of thinking about the possibilities of our own world. And the challenges we face. In some science fiction, some of the issues we face today have been pretty much solved… People regularly change gender, and no one thinks anything of it. It’s normal. Space-faring people mostly have brown skin and dark hair; the global majority are in the majority across the galaxy.
And yet, the challenges of abundance versus scarcity, which causes so much unhappiness and suffering here on Earth, are sometimes replayed in space through science fiction. It’s a way to completely reimagine what our worlds and lives could be like and simultaneously go on adventures through books and films. Without leaving our comfy chairs.
How are these adventures linked to the idea of having adventures in creating products?
Well, bear with me. One of the reasons I started Adventures in Products was to get people to realise that they have options. Because most business owners stay in their lane. And can get stuck in the same old business model, trading time for money. Effectively, they’re guns for hire, fancy pants freelancers.
And what I want to get across is that we all have options. We can choose to stay on the same path in life, or we can choose to go on a new adventure. Maybe the adventure of pivoting to products and serving your clients differently isn’t quite as exciting as a trip to the Andromeda galaxy with a little space piracy or aliens with feathers thrown in…but it is easily obtainable. Without leaving your comfy (office) chair.
Your challenge on Adventures in Products
Some of the space and science fiction references are pretty subtle and embedded. It’s almost like Easter Eggs or a Where’s Wally picture. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to find the more hidden ones in the content and note them in an email to me.
Space station from Adobe stock images
Andromeda galaxy from Stephen Rain on Flickr (creative commons)
All other images by Julia Chanteray