Archive for the ‘Entrepreneur’ Category

Business of Software Conference 2008

April 16, 2008

Announced earlier this week, the Business of Software 2008 – A Joel On Software Conference is now open for registration. The conference will be held in the Seaport Hotel on Boston’s waterfront on September 3rd and 4th.

The confirmed speakers include:
 

  • Joel Spolsky, founder of Fog Creek software, author of several books and the man behind the joelonsoftware blog.
  • Seth Godin, Business Week’s “Ultimate Entrepreneur for the Information Age”, is the best-selling author of 7 books (including Permission Marketing and Purple Cow) as well as the most popular eBook of all time.
  • Eric Sink, founder of SourceGear, author of “Eric Sink on the Business of Software” and the person who coined the term “Micro ISV”
  • Steve Johnson of Pragmatic Marketing and winner of last year’s Software Idol competition
  • Richard Stallman launched the development of the GNU operating system, now used on tens of millions of computers today. Stallman has received the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a MacArthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer award, and the the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment
  • Paul Kenny is one of the UK’s top sales trainers, consultants and speakers. He has worked with many customers in three continents, including IBM, Perot Systems, The Guardian and tens of others.
  • Dharmesh Shah is a geek, serial entrepreneur, founder of HubSpot and blogger at OnStartups.com
  • Jessica Livingston is author of Founders at Work: Stories of Startups’ Early Days and a founder of Y Combinator
  • Jason Fried is founder of 37signals (developers of Basecamp and Ruby on Rails) and Signal vs Noise blogger

This looks to be an incredible conference full of insightful personalities and great ideas. I highly recommend anyone who is in the world of software startups plan on attending.

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The Importance of Coaching

April 9, 2008

We recently went live with a new promotion, and so far, the results have been wonderful. I attribute a great deal of that success to coaching that we received from people outside of Hinutech. We know our technical and business offerings very well (too well, probably), and as a result, we thought that the message on our website was very clear. Turns out, it was clear to us because we wrote the copy.

A coach can be anyone. Your spouse, a paid coach, a group of usability testers. Anyone who is willing and able to give you thoughtful advice on how you can improve yourself or your business is a coach. Seek one out, and you’ll be able to see things through a different set of eyes — your customers.

Hinutech Book Club

March 27, 2008

As a service to my customers and readers, I am starting an online book club where we will read an eBook about technology, SEO, creativity, entrepreneurial pursuits, leadership or marketing and discuss it here and via the message boards at Hinutech.com. I have currently collected Seth Godin’s redistributable eBooks (and a few more) and would like to establish a virtual library for everyone to use to download, read and improve themselves.If you have written an eBook that falls into this category, drop me an email at bookclub@hinutech.com. If you know of someone who would like to distribute their works to an eager audience, please send them my way.

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Solo Entrepreneurs

March 18, 2008

Here is a great article from InformationWeek about solo entrepreneurs — how people have started very compelling, legitimate and profitable businesses utilizing high-speed internet connectivity, mobile applications and delivering value to their customers.

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Who’s Listening, Anyway?

March 17, 2008

From MediaPost, 75% of consumers channel surf or chat during TV commercials. As I said in an earlier post, the old ways of marketing aren’t working any more. We are bombarded with over 4000+ advertisements a day, and like any good spam filter, we continually improve our ability to filter out the rubbish from the stuff we need/want. The new model of marketing is permission-based. If my product/website/content/blog/whatever is good enough and important enough, you will seek it out and share it with others who are looking for something that is relevant to their world.

No matter how hard I yell “Look at me!”, it won’t register above the noise of 4000+ daily advertisements. As small businesses, blog owners, website owners, widgeters, you’ve got to deliver something that is unique and helps people out. The best part of all of this is that you don’t need a big advertising budget — just the ability to be creative, passionate and know a little something about something to rise above the noise.

Here’s the full post:

According to the BIGresearch latest Simultaneous Media Survey, the only way for people to keep up with the deluge of media options is to multitask with other media. Specifically, says Gary Drenik, President of BIGresearch, “TV’s influence on consumers to purchase products declined, whereas new media options such as web radio, satellite radio, instant messaging and blogging all increased. Consumers seem to be seeking information from digital platforms while TV has traditionally been viewed as a brand building medium, which isn’t providing the requisite information.”

Media that can target, be timely, and deliver value to consumers, such as coupons/direct mail, radio, yellow pages, newspapers and newspaper inserts all increased in influence to purchase as consumers are looking to stretch budgets in a slowing economy.?More key findings from the study include:?

1. Regular simultaneous media consumption for online, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and direct mail is up from 1% to 35%, depending on the medium.

2. Channel surfing remains the number one regular activity engaged in during TV commercials with 41.2% doing so followed by:

  • 33.5% talk with others in the room or by phone
  • 30.2% mentally tune out
  • 5.5% regularly fully attend to commercials

3. Eating continues to be the number one activity people engage in while using media followed by doing housework, doing laundry, cooking and talking on phone.

4. Top simultaneous media used when reading a newspaper are:

  • Watch TV
  • Listen to the radio
  • Go online

5. For people listening to radio, the top three other media simultaneously used are:

  • Engage in other activities
  • Go online
  • Read the newspaper

6. Web radio usage is up in all dayparts.

7. Cable is where most TV viewing takes place.

8. The top three In-Store Promotions for influence of purchasing a product are:

  • Product Samples
  • Shelf Coupons
  • Special Displays

9. The top three Media for triggering an online search are:

  • Magazines
  • Reading an article on the product
  • TV

“Unfortunately for marketers faced with the challenges of an uncertain economy and the need to increase marketing ROI, new media options are impacting how consumers use traditional media, ” concludes Drenik .

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Alltop

March 12, 2008

Venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki announced a new service called Alltop — a news site that provides all of the top stories for 40 of the most popular topics on the web.  It’s effectively an RSS reader for people who don’t have the time or inclination to mess around with RSS readers.  I haven’t looked at this closely enough to form an opinion (though I reckon it’s really good), but this falls squarely in the camp of “it’s about time someone did this.”

Check out Alltop and let me know what you think.

Negativity Breeds Negativity

February 26, 2008

To prove the point of my earlier post, check out this blog by Gregg Wittstock (owner of Aquascape). The post is pretty good, but the comments below it prove my point. Gregg is successful. He has created a great business and is discussing his business challenges publicly via his blog. Many of the readers are supportive, but there is one person who has chosen to attack him.

To quote R.E.M., “Everybody else in town only wants to bring you down, and that’s not how it ought to be.”

Inspired Misfires

February 25, 2008

Joel Spolsky, one of my techie heroes, wrote an article for Inc.com entitled “How Hard Could It Be?: Inspired Misfires”.

The gist of the article is about doing something when everyone else thinks it’s impossible or impractical. It’s a story that we’ve heard many times, and for us entrepreneurs, it never really gets old. People will tell you that your great idea won’t work — that you are setting yourself up for failure. They are the ones destined for middle-of-the-road thoughts, actions and lives. Thank goodness that Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Scott McNealey, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and (insert your favorite impractical success story here) didn’t listen.

E In The Making

February 13, 2008

There is a great website and podcast available from a couple of guys who are building a new business available at http://www.einthemaking.com/ They are utilizing the web and podcasting to show their growth and to deliver insights. The content is great, but what makes this even better is how they are creating a viral interest in their company long before they launch. We can all learn something from them and how they are looking at New Marketing in a compelling way.