Database Design Case Study: Creating a Distributed Cube Shop Empire

weknowdatabasestuff For the past 5 years, no group received more business intelligence and coverage on micro-malls and cube shops than African-Americans. Checkered shop or cube shops have been rapidly adopted as a business model throughout Asia while African-Americans failed to make any inroads on establishing this business model here in our communities. You got to love the excuses like “I didn’t know Dream and Hustle existed – Black Enterprise magazine never wrote about you, Radio One never talked about you” and all other crap excuses that African-Americans like to make up for not going out and doing for self. Anybody who just typed in a search engine black empowerment, business models or side hustles or black entrepreneurship would have found Dream and Hustle so you know these same African-Americans are full of ish. currentsetup But anyway, the cube shop model has matured in Asia and my crew observed some of the challenges with the checkered shop business model being implemented over there. The biggest problem with the cube shop model is the rent wars and it is very interesting science you see with larger commercial real estate but more fast and fluid. A micro-entrepreneur renting a cube shop and doing well can command their own rent rate as a tenant and if that micro-entrepreneur move out to another cheaper cube shop, the other cube micro-entrepreneurs see abandoned spaces and move out too. So that cube shop hopping end up creating a big crash and burn for a whole cube shop operation in one big switch swoosh and that cube shop will close the doors for lack of micro-mall cube shop tenants. In the 21st century, African-Americans have to research and adopt global patterns and practices to apply to our hustles and also our hoods. During that research, we also must learn to identify existing problems others are experiencing and create our own solution to the approach. So in this article, we are going to talk about the African-American solution to the cube shop business model current challenge and how we brothas and sistas can do things different and that is through a distributed cube shop model. distributedcubeshop In the distributed model, instead of the concept of a cube shop owner having a single cube shop location and looking to open up another cube shop, we African-Americans focus on distributing the cube store fixture displays to various service-orientated places of business like a beauty salon, a night club, a church, an auto repair waiting area. This gives us as African-American cube shop entrepreneurs a wider touchpoint spread throughout the community and gives us black people ability to apply area domination strategies similar to what we discussed in an earlier article ( Yeah, when was the last time that garbage Black Enterprise magazine wrote an article showing yall African-Americans how to apply area domination to the black community for organic economic development? Let me give you a hint – never. Nothing New Here – Identifying Patterns and Practices shopwallstar You think this distributed cube shop model is new but it is not and the concept already been developed and coded out here at Dream and Hustle years ago. The distributed cube shop model is the same thing as the Shop Wall Star service (image above) QR code shopping poster concept and the Geo-Airport concept ( discussed on this blog and is the same concept as SistaSphere and our augmented reality shopping discussion. You have vendors that register for the service but instead of uploading content, they are assigned a cube box to “upload” or place their items to sell in that specific cube box. Then you facilitate the checkout and payment process for the vendor and sell to customers via a mobile application using HTML5 WrapBootStrap UI on a $5/month GoDaddy web site. lessonlearned As you see, Dream and Hustle been trying to teach African-Americans how to identify patterns and practices when it comes to technology so we can learn to keep spitting out business models after business models to create technology empires. I’m not trying to teach you African-Americans to pander to some damn Venture Capital firm in Silicon Valley like the rest of these cornball Black technology cats who stay away from Ed Dunn and talk around Ed Dunn while trying to pretend they tech experts to black folks and believe they having a conversation at my level and they got a crew like the 3rd Strategic Institute. I’m teaching you brothas and sistas the West Side of Chicago way of doing this ish by making something from nothing, play the cards you been dealt and work with what you got and in your means to hustle your way up to an empire. When you learn to look at patterns and practices the same way Neo learned to look at the artificial world as code/sequence programming in the Matrix and learned to hack and manipulate code just as good as the agents, then there is nothing stopping you. Because guess what, this is the same concept as the Laundromat membership model ain’t it? Setting up Laundromat owners and facilitating their customers and processing the monthly subscription fee from checking accounts and validating members? Then you can take this same pattern and practice to another level – you can create pop-up shops made out of shipping containers and rent them out in Botswana and South Africa and Tanzania to create a marketplace for African entrepreneurs to market their products and services in these emerging economies, doing real ish for your people worldwide, can’t you? And yes, you should also realize this is the same model for IPTV and video-on-demand with jumbotrons in the hood where you sign up advertisers and display their video content on your “screens” you have in barber shops, salons and as jumbotron and you have a mobile app for consumers to play videos or learn more about the video scanning a fixed QR code on the bottom left corner of the video playing. Dream and Hustle been promoting the same concept over and over towards African-Americans and showing it can be done on a $5/month GoDaddy account while black unemployment is still at an all-time high and we got too many fake brothas and sistas peddling MLM pretending they making money and an empire fronting in luxury cars you buy for .20 on a dollar at the car auctions in Texas and Florida. Extracting Nouns From the Business Model planningforsuccess The first thing you should create when it comes to your technology solution after you did the yellow sticky pads on the wall, organized in Freemind mind mapping software is create an object relational model or ORM – I hope you guys know I’m teaching you some $150K/year information architecture ish while these other cornballs are talking about teaching you black folks how to code like some code monkeys. What you want to do at this time is write out the business model in your own words and use a word processor like Microsoft Word or text editors and write out the business model and how it works. You could record yourself talking about the business model but transcribing what you said by writing out what you said takes more time and effort so stick to the word processor homey. What you want to do is extract the “objects” of nouns from the paragraph you wrote. So in this example, I’m going to talk about the distributed cube shop model and what you going to try to do as an exercise is see if you can extract all of the objects from what I wrote. Let’s see if you can do this while I talk about the business model. In the distributed cube shop model, you build several types of cube displays that can be made entirely of glass or a glass/wood combination and these cubes can be different sizes based on the products or diorama that the micro-merchant want to display. You can have a 3x3 cube array or you can have a 6x3 array and you make the display modular so it can be 6x3 for a few weeks and if it grows, you make it 6x6 and if there is a slowdown of activity, you make it 6x3 again to make the display appear full. Also keep in mind that you can go beyond cubes and rent out space in a glass cabinet or a table top glass display. Each cube should have a unique identifier or a GUID that can be associated with that specific cube at a given display fixture at a given location. Keep in mind that a location can possibly have more than one display fixture such as a hotel lobby can have two cube displays with one near their front desk waiting area and another around the dining/buffet entrance. You will need to identify the specific location of the actual cube using a left to right, top to bottom x-y coordinate such as (1,1) is the upper left and (2,3) is second row, 3rd from the left. When a micro-merchant want to shop for a cube to rent in, you now have the ability to let them choose which specific cube they want to select from their computer and you can learn over time to charge rental for a specific cube location based on demand the same way airlines let you select your seats (window/aisle) or concert/sporting events allow you to choose where you want to seat with different prices. You first want to create the web site service first to attract micro-merchants to register and be placed on a wait/notification list. Then you contact locations like a barbershop or salon and show them pictures of the fixtures and negotiate sublease rates. You can do a flat fee where you pay for the location of month-to-month or you can do something with commissions where they get a part of the sales which is more attractive to sale and actually an incentive to get the deal concluded without much objections. As you get enough locations, then you launch the web service to the merchants to begin making reservations for cubes at various locations and pay upfront. So it would be nice for you to have 100 signed up merchants and just 15 locations and see them all filled up and more on the waiting list, you tell them you can expand the cube from 3x3 to 4x4 to accommodate them or you look for more locations to setup cube displays in the local area, such as the newly opened membership-only Laundromat down the street. The goal is to apply area domination of a local area and pepper that high density area with your cube display. In case you have not realize, you are really running something similar to a vending machine business like that one guy we profiled earlier selling Homies but you ain’t counting quarters as your money is being direct deposited in your bank account digitally while you still at your day job looking at your black co-workers listen to online black streaming radio stations. You setup locations in one high density centralized area were the same people can see these cube shops popping up everywhere and they start talking to each other and spreading word of mouth about the operation and more micro-merchants believe they can hustle everything from mix tapes to hair extensions and custom made kicks and blinged-out iPhone cases so on in these cubes all over town. Then maybe one day, Target may give you a call and say they have an African-American entrepreneurs who want to launch their beauty line of product in Target and Target want to rent a cube in all of the locations you have throughout that one local community to raise awareness. Toys R Us calls up and want to do the same thing and now you got corporate clients. Then AllState or Geico want to place dioramas in your cube shop throughout the hood also and buy a year of space in every location. You got to find new locations and you keep growing adding cube displays. Then before you make that stupid move trying to show up on Shark Tank, Amazon or Wal-Mart or HSN or an UK company want to buy you out and your software before you take this to the Asian market for an undisclosed sum of $275 million and you started all this ish on a $5/month GoDaddy account and took time to read Dream and Hustle while other black people ignored this blog for whatever cornball reason they talking about. For the shopper, they can use their mobile device and you can just do an ASP.NET MVC4 C# application to host on a $5/month GoDaddy Account with SSL and a payment processor. On each unique cube display, you have a sticker with a QR code the shopper can scan and a display code that the shopper can enter manually. So the shopper can scan the QR code and be redirected to your web site and you will host the merchant information at that point. Your MVC link should look like /cube/merchant/12312 and this link list one or all of the products in that cube and the shopper can add these to their cart. The shopper can scan other cubes and add more products to their existing cart. The shopper can check out and pay for all of the items through your web site having only one place to make a payment. You send the merchants their payment from the sale minus your transaction processing fees. If the cube is a diorama and meant to give the shopper more information, you charge per redirect to the specific web site similar to Google pay-per-click model where you go pay-per-scan such as 15 cents a scan. Creating the Database From the ORM objects Now did you get all of the nouns from the business model above to transform into objects? Do not worry if you did not get all of them, the most important thing is you start somewhere. What you will learn as an information architecture is many of the missing pieces will begin to fill in as you build out the web application and talk to the micro-merchants and shoppers and locations and see extra things you did not think or I did not include above. Remember that we African-Americans must always operate under continuous improvement, not a success/failure paradigm and let me explain. Our people have been manipulated to believe that if we don’t succeed, we failed and you see it all the time especially in black media talking about someone failed or a celebrity fallen down on hard times and you see black people in the comment section trying to kick someone they think is down. They like to joke about how someone album flopped or someone marriage didn’t last or whatever. When you operate under continuous improvement that means that your focus is always on getting better and setbacks are natural and comes along with the journey to your success. This is why many of the haters of Dream and Hustle is frustrated with this blog and me because I operate on continuous improvement and they get mad because they can’t snip that I failed and they become frustrated and maaad. So just because you didn’t get it all, don’t mean you can make a second wave to find more information or don’t mean you keep reading to see if what I noticed that you may not have – remember that I’m doing this with you, so you got people working together to share information we both can use to help each other. So here are my list of object I gathered: Fixture – this is the cube display or glass cabinet and it will have attributes such as display type and number of cubes and array format. Cube – this is the unique cube and will have attributes such as individual size and location in a fixture so a cube is a child object of a fixture. A fixture can have one or many cubes. Merchant – this is the business or operation that will rent one or more spaces in the cube display. Merchant Contact – this is the person who represent the entity I will be dealing with. Keep in mind that micro-entrepreneurs may be one person but a business may have a marketing contact who setup the cube displays and a real estate contact that sign the lease and an accounting contact that deals with account payables and account receivables to deal with the money part. Establishment – this the place you are going to install one more fixtures Establishment Contact – this is the person who represent the establish you are going to sign the deal to install and maintain the fixtures at their establishment. Location – this is the street address as well as the geo-coordinates of latitude and longitude. Keep in mind that an Establishment can have more than one location such as a chain of membership-based Laundromats owned by one establishment all over town. Shopper – this is the actual customer who use their mobile phone to scan and shop. What you want to do is have an optional account for them to sign up so they can receive special deals and notifications of new cube shop displays and new cube shop locations and have their address on file so they can place future orders without having to re-enter all that information. Product – this is the goods or service being sold in the cube shop. If the product is a good, then it can go through the e-commerce process of being checked out and shipped to an address or picked up in the store. If the product is a service like a fried fish basket with coleslaw, then a digital serial code can be generated as proof of payment for the shopper to present to the merchant. Order – this is the order information that the customer created and sent to the merchant for fulfillment. Transaction – this is a record of the transactions from a customer paying for an order, the fees collected from the order, any refund information and the money sent to the merchant. Now, of course this is the high level and want you have to do next for the database is break things down. For example, the Merchant and the Establishment are businesses and we call them Entities in the database. You have to think about the possibilities because an establishment like a barbershop can also be a merchant and host a cube display in an auto shop waiting area offering $5 off new customers which create cross-marketing in the hood. And Merchant Contacts and Establishment Contacts and Shoppers are People as a person who can rent a cube and also shop at another cube display and run an establishment hosting a cube. Keep in mind if you know anything about local businesses and local black businesses, black merchants do try to shop and do business with each other and you see this done often. Black Enterprise magazine don’t talk about local black economics to yall so I guess a hood cat like me have to educate all yall on how we do it up in the black community. Creating the Database Tables newdbtable If you downloaded SQL Server Management Studio to your Windows desktop or laptop and using it to manage SQL database, you can create your database and let’s create the database called CubeEmpire. Right-click the Database tab on the Solution Explorer to the left and select New Database. Just enter "CubeEmpire" (one word, no space) and just press ok. savetable Then what you want to do is just add a new table is expand the CubeEmpire database you created, right click the Tables node and select New Table and a screen will come up. Enter “id” in the column section and set the data type to uniqueidentifier – this is the GUID for that database row and is a unique value. Then what you have to do and right-click the “id” row and you will see an option called “Set Primary Key” and select this option to make the id column the primary key. Every table you create in the database should have an id column and it is the primary key. Now can click the floppy disk icon at the top to save the table or you can use Crtl+S key combination to get the save table dialog. Name this table Fixtures – make sure you put an ‘s’ for plural meaning more than one for your table names. Instead of singular name like Person, use People for example and instead of Entity, use Entities. So you created your first table in the database. Now do me a favor – delete the Fixture table you created by right-clicking the Fixture table underneath the Tables node and select Delete to get rid of it. The reason why that is was a generic lesson and you don’t have to write out all of the stuff because I already written up the table and have a SQL Server script for you to just copy and paste. tablescript The SQL Script will be located in the Files tab of the Global Urban Collective Facebook group at for you to download. Just right-click the database “CubeEmpire” and select the New Query option or click on the big New Query option in the menu section and make sure the database in the drop-down is pointed to “CubeEmpire” and copy/paste the script in the empty window to look like the image above. Then press “Execute” button with the green arrow to run the script. After you execute the SQL script, what you just done was created the data store for your distributed cube shop empire and this is your base foundation. The data store is the most important part of your hustle and the rest of your code such as the stored procedures and the C# classes and functions will be based off this database table objects. So now you have a database to insert information and retrieve information and update information regarding your cube shop empire. Trust me, everything else is very easy and straightforward once you got over this section. Summary beentheredonethat I have written this article to help African-Americans look at designing a database using information architecture techniques to follow up on their brainstorming and organization sessions using yellow sticky pads and Freemind mind mapping software. So at this point, African-Americans have been taught by Dream and Hustle to write down their hustle in their head on yellow sticky pads, use Freemind to organize their thoughts and now identify objects after discussing the business model to create an ORM for the database design. Meanwhile, the cornballs at Black Enterprise magazine are working to create another fluff piece article regarding some cornball smiling with all their teeth showing trying to get you to admire that black person featured in their magazine or whatever. By looking at patterns and practices worldwide we can apply to our hoods as solutions and by using advance information architecture techniques, African-Americans can now quickly establish digital empires using low-cost technology services and tools to apply economic development in the black community. In this article, we looked at the Asian checkered cube shop model and applied a distributed model that allow African-American entrepreneurs to apply area domination in their hood and also help cross-market black businesses and micro-entrepreneurs in the local community through the use of shared cube displays. The biggest takeaway from this article is this – as a true technology expert, I did not teach African-Americans how to code – I taught them how to think through their business model and design a data store from an ORM. I also did not talk about how I’m some special database guru, I just created some SQL code and put it online for cats to re-use and collaborate and work for their hustle. Now African-Americans know who the real cats about this technology stuff to empower our people while other so-called black technology cornballs like to talk about being validated by Venture Capital firms and some black person made a mobile app or whatever. To be honest – we are at a breakthrough crossroad here. The SQL code I just provided can be established as a pattern and practice to create other business models as to create economic activity throughout the African-Diaspora. Instead of small cubes, how about empty store fronts? Instead of empty storefronts, how about shipping containers in Africa? Or set this up in Latin American large cities or the Caribbean? Or set this up in Canada or UK or France? Or move it to Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan and Tokyo? Or move it to Hong Kong and mainland China? It also can be used for different information broker models such as reserving parking space in the hood for example or used as circular economics to sell or rent used furniture or clothing. So now it’s time for brothas and sistas to go out and build out the foundation learning the database design skills to build business models to help them do for self, their people, their community and their future.

7 thoughts on “Database Design Case Study: Creating a Distributed Cube Shop Empire

  1. People better not sleep on this. So from here I connect the database(using the connection string) to an to frame out the website.

  2. Great article + the SQL code is priceless. When I read about this the earlier times I looked at it from a vendor/renter perspective since I was focusing on which products would sell better where. Now from a distributor perspective there is way more possible options.

  3. You know what, I don’t know how I came across this site, but I am glad I did. I already have the technological foundations to execute some of these business strategies, I just don’t have the business acumen to even think of stuff like this. Keep up the good work.

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