How I Lost a Bet on QR Codes
- Download via URL: 41.3%
- Download by scanning QR code: 58.7%
You might be as stunned as I was to discover, courtesy of Fort Minor, parallels between hip hop and tech startups:
Starting up a tech venture in 2011 is cheaper and easier than ever. My co-founder and I were able to self-finance Mowingo for a long while. Here is how:
Capital Expenditures: the cloud is your friend. My previous company, which I co-founded back in 2003, buried over two million dollars in data centers: we had to buy, install and maintain servers, routers, storage systems, load balancers, backup devices, etc. Mowingo uses the cloud: costless at the start (Amazon Web Services offers a no-fee starter plan,) infinitely scalable, and very inexpensive as your traffic grows. Our only capital expenditure so far: a laptop. Repeat after me: No CapEx!
Software: this is not really a 2011 thing; open source software has been around for a while. Thanks to a variety of open source projects, we can deploy database systems, utilize bug tracking software, enjoy rich development environments, etc. – all at virtually no cost. But in 2011, the wealth of free possibilities is indeed staggering: we use Google Docs for collaboration, shared directories on Dropbox as our Intranet, Skype for all our communications, and as a WebEx substitute we use Adobe’s ConnectNow (free for two participants, extremely cheap if we ever need more.)
Development: get a super-talented technical co-founder and encourage him to burn the midnight oil. Need to hire some extra help? There are offshore companies, with local liaisons right here in Silicon Valley, which offer reliable low cost developments services. Be careful here: selecting the right offshore partner is critical, but once you found it, you’re golden.
QA: finally a justification for procreation: nothing like a teenage daughter to spot bugs in your alpha/beta smartphone application.
Sales and marketing: if neither of the co-founders can sell… you should reconsider this whole entrepreneurship thing. Get a job.
Office space: given the recession and the excess supply in commercial real estate, you can find real bargains. Mowingo went one step further: a friend of mine is hosting us free of charge.
Smartphones for development and demos: they are cheap to buy, but when you have friends in the right places (I do) and you aren’t above begging (I am not) they can even be free.
Recruiting: need a temp sales rep? Post your gig on Craig’s List – they don’t charge you anything for that.
Banking: that’s an easy one: Silicon Valley Bank will offer you a lot of services for free, invite you to countless (free) networking events, and even feed you time and again.
Meals: you don’t need to rely solely on SVB’s food. Turns out angels and VCs can buy you breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Why pay for your meals, if you can pitch while eating at a potential investor’s expense? OK, maybe I’m stretching it a bit too far here…
I am the Email Insider Summit, held at a posh hotel in Utah.
I hate it when a company or an organization sends me an email from a do-not-reply address. It's stupid and counterproductive. Don't they want to hear back from their customers or audience?
For the last couple of years, my colleagues at Goodmail and I have been on a mission - determined to advance email into the 21st century. Our catchy motto was that at the same time the web moved from "Web 1.0" to "Web 2.0," email moved a couple of steps backwards.
I have just finished reading, on my Kindle, Norman Podhoretz's excellent book "Why Are Jews Liberals?"
Of course in speaking of the difference between left and right, or between liberals and conservatives, I have in mind a divide wider than the conflict between Democrats and Republicans and deeper than electoral politics. The great issue between the two political communities is how they feel about the nature of American society. With all exceptions duly noted, I think it fair to say that what liberals mainly see when they look at this country is injustice and oppression of every kind—economic, social and political. By sharp contrast, conservatives see a nation shaped by a complex of traditions, principles and institutions that has afforded more freedom and, even factoring in periodic economic downturns, more prosperity to more of its citizens than in any society in human history. It follows that what liberals believe needs to be changed or discarded—and apologized for to other nations—is precisely what conservatives are dedicated to preserving, reinvigorating and proudly defending against attack.
In this realm, too, American Jewry surely belongs with the conservatives rather than the liberals. For the social, political and moral system that liberals wish to transform is the very system in and through which Jews found a home such as they had never discovered in all their forced wanderings throughout the centuries over the face of the earth.
Which is to say that for them, liberalism has become more than a political outlook. It has for all practical purposes superseded Judaism and become a religion in its own right. And to the dogmas and commandments of this religion they give the kind of steadfast devotion their forefathers gave to the religion of the Hebrew Bible. For many, moving to the right is invested with much the same horror their forefathers felt about conversion to Christianity.
Ken Magill nails it in an article titled "Stupid Statement Watch: Umm, That’s Not True":
Goodmail is not a way for marketers to buy their way past ISPs’ spam filters. In order to get Goodmail certified, marketers must adhere to certain best practices, among which are avoiding spamming.... to say Goodmail creates a two-tiered system, one for paying spammers and one for everybody else, is ridiculous.Read the entire article here:
From my latest contribution to the CertifiedEmail blog:
Read the entire blog post here.
One of the most important business rules, whether you sell widgets or services, is that you want to make it easy for customers and prospects to buy from you. This rule certainly applies to e-Commerce on the internet, and it does not pertain just to the sale transaction per-se, but to virtually all interactions between an organization and the individual customers it serves.