My world falls apart
August 20, 2008
In 2008 my life fell apart along with the American economy. I lost my six figure sales job, found out my wife was cheating on me, was forced to move into my mom’s basement, and eventually became a blogger.
I know… Totally cliche…
Within 6 months my world had been flipped on its head.
I had the skills I needed to succeed at the jobs I wanted, but on paper I was a job-jumping college dropout who was seemingly unhireable.
So instead of settling for another job I knew I’d hate, I set out to create the perfect job for myself.
Raymmar.com is launched
March 9, 2012
It took almost five years to get back on my feet. I wasn’t sure where the road I was on would lead me but I had big dreams, nothing to lose, and a seemingly unlimited supply of stubborn determination. I started this blog along the way to share parts of my journey publicly.
The first client
May 17, 2012
In May of 2012 I landed my first consulting client. The gig was mostly low level design work, website and social media management, along with a few other misc odds and ends.
The first redesign
August 17, 2012
As an artist, I was shocked when a few friends told me they would no longer visit my blog. Apparently the design was so bad it hurt their eyes.
This is when I dedicated myself to building something beautiful online.
I began experimenting with the look and feel of the website, learned WordPress, studied how search engines work, wrote about web marketing, and explored different digital content distribution strategies online. It was the first in a series of redesigns and overhauls that continue to this day.
The first video
April 19, 2013
With money tight and uncertainty high, I was faced with the failure of a number of long term relationships. While this video is less polished than the videos we’re producing now, the message still resonates and serves as a reminder to the huge leap of faith it takes to expose your inner thoughts publicly for all to critique.
The first viral surge
January 15, 2014
A number of my posts go viral and make a splash nationally. Then this post is featured on the homepage of the Huffington Post, Elite Daily, Medium.com and other nationally relevant websites which drove millions of pageviews to my website and social properties. Today we interact with 30-50K unique visitors each month, and our distributed network is growing steadily.
An introduction to the blockchain
May 8, 2014
This video was my first deep dive into cryptocurrencies and the blockchain as a disruptive technology in the financial sector. It opened my eyes to the future of money, the evolution of digital commerce, and reinforced my vision of a new model for online advertising. One driven by empowering the content creators themselves rather than the publishing platforms and tech giants who siphon their creativity.
Realizing the system is broken
May 31, 2014
After 6 months and more than 4 million page views, I now had some online credibility. However, I quickly realized that clout doesn’t pay the bills. I soon started to grow frustrated with the lack of options available to monetize my online content.
What I realized is that the way we distribute content online, and more importantly, how we compensate people for the digital content they create, is broken at the core. It became apparent that in order for anything to change, we (creators) would need to demand that the incentive structures around online publishing be changed fundamentally.
The idea takes shape
June 19, 2014
After learning more about how the online content distribution and advertising machines work, I started to experiment with ways we could use the open nature of the internet to empower independent content creators and disrupt the world of online publishing.
The overarching goal would be to shift the incentive structures in digital publishing away from traditional advertising mechanisms, and instead use those dollars to pay creators based on the quality of the content they create, as well as the overall value they bring to the community through their digital contributions. In the process, we’re hoping to validate a new model for how commerce and advertising can work online.
In June of 2014 I began meeting with software developers to talk about how to turn my ambitious ideas into a functional digital product.
Funding for phase 1 acquired
November 5, 2015
After months of negotiations and interviews with different investors I joined forces with Clear Idea Labs to begin designing the architecture for a new social publishing platform and launched ray.do (pronounced ray-d-o) as a Delaware registered LLC.
Launch the Sarasota Underground
March 14, 2016
After realizing my website traffic was competing with many of the media companies here in Sarasota, I decided to separate the Sarasota based content I was creating from my personal blog and start a new Sarasota focused web property.
Since then we’ve used technology and new media to make a significant impact on our local community and continue to work towards validating new models for how to pay creatives for the work they do online.
We collaborate with superstars
December 17, 2016
In December and January we were invited to participate in two major collaborations.
The first was in collaboration with iHeartMedia and Sony Red, where we spent 6 hours backstage with pop singer DAYA to produce a number of social, internal, and public facing videos.
The second collaboration was with Semkhor productions and Ringling College of Art & Design. We followed Ethan Hawke on a private tour of the university and had Ethan read a script I wrote about the state of filmmaking in Florida.
Explore our coverage of Ethan Hawke in Sarasota here.
We activate the local community
February 15, 2017
We think it’s important to connect as a local community. Actually, our entire strategy revolves around using technology to help real world networks of people amplify their digital reach.
With 435 attendees and 7 candidates for city commission, the town hall was a major step in our efforts to creatively connect Sarasota through local advocacy and public awareness for community issues that are relevant to our target demographic. It also served as a notice to the community that there is a new player in town.
ray.do alpha launch
May 18, 2017
We launch the first phase (alpha) of ray.do.
It’s an ambitious platform that attempts to merge the best of online blogging workflows with the simplicity of social media while compensating creators for the value of their contributions to the platform.
We see some initial success but quickly discover how expensive it is to update, maintain and manage large software platforms from a technical standpoint.
Run out of $$$ and learn how to become self sufficient
December 1, 2017
After months of technical difficulties and struggling to keep the platform operational at scale, we ran out of funding and decided to cut ties with our development team. This forced us to find creative ways to generate cash in order to pay the bills and kick-started our agency operations.
Open a new studio downtown Sarasota
January 1, 2018
As part of a new collaboration with Bold Cowork Sarasota, we moved our entire operation into the Bold Building downtown Sarasota. The new space puts us in the center of an emerging tech community and allows us to expand video and web services as we reassess our grand strategy of using technology to connect a larger community.
Our first studio inside our founders apartment
We dive headfirst into the #nocode movement
November 12, 2019
After discovering the complexities of software development, I start looking for new channels through which to keep the dream alive.
I spend the better part of 2018 and 2019 learning #nocode tools, producing corporate videos, and refining my skills in Web design. Over that same time I got involved in the Webflow community, and started building relationships with other creators across Twitter.
In November of 2019 I went out to #NoCodeConf in San Francisco to network in person with all of the folks I had been building relationships with online. I also got a chance to go behind the scenes at Webflow HQ and learn more about their long term vision.
Nocode.Video, CloneComp & More
May 1, 2020
Over the last few years I’ve focused almost exclusively on building local community here in Sarasota.
After diving into the #nocode community, I decided to shift my focus to building online community and exploring ways to leverage our video and creative talent inside of the no code space.
To that end I created and launched nocode.video, a YouTube Clone which anyone can replicate and use for themselves, along with dozens of other cloneable projects. In fact, I see so much value in cloneable designs that I organize CloneComp, a three day Webflow hackathon.
#CloneComp generated interest from top players in the no code space and was the largest Webflow hackathon globally in 2020.
We received 106 mind blowing submissions from all over the world and awarded almost $8,000 in total prizes. Participant averaged 25-40 hours per submission and raved about the format.
Explore some of the submissions below. or watch the recap here
I join Finsweet as Chief Marketing Officer
October 5, 2020
Due to the overwhelming success and growth of our activities in the no code space I decided to shift gears and joined forces with Finsweet on October 5th, 2020 to take the next step in this wild journey.
Our visions are aligned in numerous ways, and this partnership gives me access to world class design/development resources. The vision has evolved considerably from where I started but the core mission still lives inside of our efforts to this day. And while things may not look exactly like I imagined when I started on this path there is no denying that things are about to get very interesting from here on out.
Read more about this announcement on the Finsweet blog.