Category Archive: Featured

We Are The 99% (Of Startups)

we are the 99% of startups

For the last year I’ve been running a company while building a software as a service product within the same ecosystem.

I listen to interviews on Mixergy and ThisWeekIn Startups that inspire me, educate me, and piss me off.

Why?

Because it seems that only the 1% in Silicon Valley are really going to make it big. What about the rest of us who don’t have the connections to get funded? Or live in big cities to recruit talent? Or a big exit under our belt?

Famous startups that have built strong companies in a grass root movement, without major funding, like 37Signals are the exception. Scratch that itch with your product while preparing to live and die by it.

These are the stories we all love – but are even harder to attain than the big valuation or investment startups.

It’s a double edge sword that can easily cut you.

How can we, “the working guy/gal” succeed against the 1% of startups?

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The Free Fall Of A Startup Entrepreneur

free fall as an entrepreneur

You know the dream where you’re free falling from the the sky?

Your whole body weightless as gravity pushes you to the earth. A massive knot in your stomach wrenching in fear.

Panic sets in as you scramble for the parachute. Grasping and tugging at your vest to find the right one.

There is no pull cord.

Earth is closing in on you faster and faster.

The sound of the wind and clouds whipping past you as your entire body is tumbling and turning.

As impact approaches, thoughts like what have I accomplished? Where did I end up? What could I have done differently? Run through your head.

Five seconds from the ground.

Four. Three. Two. One…

“Holy shit.”

You wake up in a cold sweat. What a dream.

What if it wasn’t a dream? What if everyday was like this?

If fear and uncertainty is not your thing, don’t become a startup entrepreneur.

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Build Your Hub For Success

hubsuccess

In part one of connecting the dot’s of web marketing series, we discussed building a foundation. Today we talk about building your hub.

Recently, we mapped out the foundation of our online business. Sketched out major features and functions we plan to implement then cut out anything that could hold us back from agile marketing. We prepared ourselves to dive into connecting the dots of web marketing.

Now we’re going to look at building your online marketing mecca.

Your website.

Your hub.

Moving forward, understand that everything should begin and end here. It’s your brand, your content and most importantly you own it.

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Piss People Off By Making Money

Piss People Off By Making Money

Chris Brogan is back at it again.

Pissing people off by releasing a new book, Google+ for Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything (aff. link)

If you don’t know Chris, he’s a pioneer of a business model that has really taken off in the last few years.

Selling knowledge. 

“People have been doing it for years!” you scream?

Not like this they haven’t – and it’s pissing people off.

Let’s take a look at this “new business model” and see if we can figure out why it’s hard for consumers to accept and people like Chris to deal with.

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50 Reasons Why Your Marketing Efforts Suck

50

Struggling with your digital media efforts?

Don’t even know what the phrase means?

That’s OK – this list might help you see some of the things you are missing. If you already acknowledge the majority of this list, then you’re on the right path.

The following list are possible issues you might be faced with. Many small businesses I talk to are so busy working – they have forgotten to sell. Developing a solid digital media web marketing plan that connects all the dots will generate more business than traditional media.

Most of you know what you should be doing, now it’s time to execute on it. Take some elements from this article and get to work!

Now, onto the list!

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Improve Your Business With Your Most Valuable Resource

value_connections

We have connections all around us.

Do you value each and every one?

Recently I had a terrible customer service (hell, loyalty) experience at a local coffee shop I frequent. Insulted and offended by the owner after asking to reboot their wifi router. This is a common occurrence that a regular like myself, who spends $1k+ annually, would be happy to help fix. Instead, arrogance and ignorance prevailed with him that day and he’s lost my business.

Of course this incident motivated me to write a piece on customer service. Valuing your new customers and especially the repeats and regulars that you can count on.

But with so much competition these days, should we be valuing more than just the folks that have bought something from us?

I say we should value everyone that connects with us in some form or fashion.

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A 37signal moment of remorse (and slap in the face?)

sortfolio_blog

Preface: I think 37signals is one of the most well run, interesting, and innovative companies of our time. Not only am I a customer of their products, I’m also a fan. I follow founders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier on twitter, their company blog and their popular interviews.

I also acclaimed Jason as one of the top Web Professionals of the year in 2010. These guys can wield innovation, buzz and a cult like following that is unmatched.

But what happens when this power is abused? Half a million bucks and an apology that’s what.

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No More Bullshit Design In 2011

Here is a wake up call to so called designers.

More so, for the people who are running their own “web design firms” that resell cheap templates thinking it is good business.

Stop.

It is not.

I’m going to take a dip into a local design firm’s portfolio to reveal what I think is a complete mockery of good web design. Yes, I realize that I’m the co-founder of Slocum Design Studio. This isn’t a post to bash the competition or make my products and services look superior. It’s about changing your perspective – whether client or designer – that we need better wholesome design in 2011.

Complete solutions that build a better business for your design firm and for your client.

What we are learning

  • Identify poor web design
  • What to look for in a great design firm
  • A look into 3 examples of a local portfolio
  • Design better in 2011
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