Archive for November, 2009

Sex and Profit

Posted on: November 16th, 2009 by Mike No Comments

VCs Say The Biggest Opportunities In Mobile Are Not Sexy Apps []

You wouldn’t guess it by looking at where VC’s plunk their money, but consumer cash doesn’t necessarily flow towards sex appeal… when it comes to web apps. Peruse any conversation with web2.0 fan boys and you notice it focuses around design, elegance, and “the user base.” I’m more interested in usefulness and “the customer base.”

You know, the stuff that gets you revenue today and tomorrow.

In a conversation with Ramit, we discussed the differing philosophies between New York and San Francisco-based startups. In my experience, New York is much more bottom-line focused (and its sphere of influence is growing), whereas San Fran is all about wild ideas — profit be damned.

I’m all about the Big Idea, but I temper that with a loyal appreciation for sound business models. San Francisco gets most of the limelight because of the big exits, but I think the coming years will start seeing a lot more New York success stories.

Stage Selling

Posted on: November 10th, 2009 by Mike No Comments

No, not the stage with an audience. The stage that is a stepping stone in the greater sales process.

When thinking about a sales process, often times there is (much) more than one point where you need to “sell.” Every time your customer must make a decision, you need to make a sale.

Your brochure cover needs to sell the first page. Your 2nd paragraph needs to sell the 3rd. The front cover of your book needs to sell the back cover, which needs to sell the inside flap. Your tweet and email needs to sell the click.

When you think about it this way, getting your product into someone’s hands is actually a complex, multi-stage process. But it’s logical, it’s (sorta) controllable, and you can prepare for every step of the way.

Sure, it’s more work, but if you do this I think you’ll find yourself swimming in far greater success than if you don’t. Your roll.

What are you *Really* Selling?

Posted on: November 10th, 2009 by Mike No Comments

For now, Goscha, Avallon, and Newman are on a mission to turn every wall into an opportunity for creativity. “We’re not selling a dry-erase board, we’re hardly selling a dry-erase surface — we’re selling a dynamic environment,” Avallon says. “Whether it is in your work, school, or home, it is something that just energizes you. There aren’t really any other products like it on the market.” [Inc]

5 Biggest Mistakes Entrepreneurs Make

Posted on: November 9th, 2009 by Mike No Comments

Through the lens of Silicon Valley:

(HT: VentureBeat)

RE: Back against the wall

Posted on: November 6th, 2009 by Mike No Comments

Scott recently described his experience with his back against the wall.

Looks like he’s been doing pretty well, too.

Is your back against the wall

Posted on: November 5th, 2009 by Mike 3 Comments

I’ve been feeling serious heat lately to make things happen.

(The kind where I can’t sleep until I’ve exhausted myself with effort, which, I think is how it should be when you’re trying to start several gigs at the same time (we’ll leave the wisdom of that “several” part for later).)

The urgency I feel is uncomfortable, yet, it pleases me. This is the exact state I’ve heard other entrepreneurs describe as the kick-start that began their ascent to a defined success.

Your back is against the wall.

It’s a feeling of your back against the wall. Somewhere, somehow, something draws your final straw.

It might be your $8.57 debit charge bouncing. Or the useless task you must do at work, because someone told you so again. Or a social injustice you witness and can’t bear to see once more. A problem that still isn’t solved.

Whatever it is, it puts a line in the sand over which you vow never to cross.

I think this is key to building the stamina a startup requires. If you haven’t drawn that line, then you’ll continue to back up, to avoid the necessary risk, to put off the needed sacrifice.

Once you hit that wall, it becomes the foundation of your defense from failure, lost potential. It’s the launch pad you use to finally catapult toward the vision floating around your head. And that’s when you begin leaping forward.

Is your back against the wall?

How much risk is too little risk?

Posted on: November 5th, 2009 by Mike No Comments

…we do have to work closer to the limits of our abilities [Joel]

Most of the time we talk about taking too much risk. But, what if you’re taking too little?

Passion Profit

Posted on: November 2nd, 2009 by Mike No Comments

This is a superb example of profiting from your passion. Take the time to stand out. Be more outlandish than the competition. And stick with it.

Remember, you just might succeed, if you do.