I love soccer. Been playing since my parents dragged me to tryouts in 2nd grade.
In case you were wondering how this was done:
Here's how they did it:
Also, this is sick!
Nice one, Auren. The reason the patenting process was invented was to ensure that new inventions were adopted. There wasn't a reliable process to publish, disseminate and retrieve inventions. That's why patent offices existed in the beginning. The reason inventors filed patents is so that they could protect their intellectual property from being stolen.
I don't believe that business processes should be patented. By their very use, they are known and "published". So, disseminating the idea through a patent is of no importance. So, like Auren, I think it is ridiculous that someone could patent a "Buy me now button". Let the market decide who benefits from these kinds of creations. (I wouldn't even call it an invention.) Not the assshole that wrote the idea down.
Seth Goldstein is starting another series of blog posts. Seth's posts are few and far between. And the verbiage requires me to read each post a few times before I understand his points. But, I eagerly anticipate each post because it builds on a thought process. Each post has unique points. But, they build on each other. The bigger picture comes into view as more posts are published.
This week, I started a series about movements and companies in the online event software/service space. In the last few months, I've also started telling my clients that they should develop a series of events, that build off of each other. Each event in the series leaves their attendees anticipating what the next in the series will be about. And how it'll build off of the last event in the series. With seminars in particular, it also sets the expectation that they will learn something over time. And be part of something that is growing and building.
Last night, we did what I would guess is the 10th event of its kind: Art wine and Networking. Over 170 people RSVPd and about 150 showed. The reason it is so well attended is because of the momentum of the series. The last event, we had about 100 people show. Before that, We had 70 or so. The first few events, we hovered around 30 people. At a low point, we had 15. Each event, we've innovated. We've added a new component or approached it differently. We overhauled the approach several times in the beginning before we hit on the right formula more recently. We just tweak it now. We learned a lesson each time we've done it. And with persistence, it is now a great event. My goal is to make it the biggest networking event ever held. Last night, we had people from Boston, RI, NH and CT. At some point, we'll have people from CA and Alaska.
But my point is that doing events or blog posts in series sets events or blog posts apart. Susan Kaup noticed that I was doing a series and asks, "Can we schedule a nothing to be scheduled day?"
At South by Southwest Interactive last month, Jared Dunn and I had our second annual “everyone in Boston is way too into scheduling every second of their life” rant. And now with all these event websites popping up, it’s only going to get worse, isn’t it? LOL
I was rolling on the floor when I read this. I try not to schedule my weekends at all. They are meant for whatever my wife and I feel like doing. But, the biz and being involved with events has certainly forced "time scheduling" into my life. It's pretty tiring, but necessary in order to meet goals and objectives.
But doing a series is less about scheduling things to fit into a time slot. It's more about getting the attention of people. It stands out among a bazillion blog posts. As a result of the series of blog posts, a lot of people have contacted me with great information. So, I don't have to chase down original commentary and comments OR just highlight the same companies that Michael Arrington already covered.
An event series that is successful stands out among 100s of networking events. And it builds momentum. And momentum, in turn builds more momentum. Networking events feed themselves. People go to networking events to meet people. So, the more people that are there, the more likely someone else will come.
So, Why are Series of things important? Because they help build momentum.
Omidyar has also decided to invest in the Attention Trust, which has primarily been supported by volunteers and ROOT up until now. ROOT upholds the principles of Attention Trust. But, it has always been the hope that the baton would be taken-up by other organizations as well. This is quite a validation and a good sign for all of us who care about what happens with the information that we create/reveal as we use the interweb. Next up: an Amendment to the Constitution.
Do you remember this post about how all of the web based services for events will someday come together to inter-operate? Well, we're starting to see some of that happen.
I've started "event software and services" week at the social networking weblog. I am covering the trends and the companies that are innovating online event services.
If there is a company or service that I've missed, please shoot me an email to pcaputa at whizspark dot com. I also plan to chose 5 of these companies to present/demo in front of a panel of well known bloggers and event experts using an online web demo/conferencing solution. So, let me know if you are interested in that. There are well over 20 companies that I plan to cover. But, I only plan to choose 5 for this event.
Here's what I've covered so far:
I think that mainstream marketers are starting to catch on to blogging.
That most have no clue.
They pretend they do.
I was interviewed by the local business journal about advertising on blogs as a tool to market a company. I stressed that blogging should be seen as an opportunity to engage prospective customers. Not as a simple advertising medium. I think that came through. Excerpt:
Other business people are succeeding on their own with blog marketing. Pete Caputa IV, principal of Westboro-based WhizSpark, says blog advertising is a key tool for his company, which helps venues and event planners increase attendance and organize events. He says he has some 15 bloggers who run banner ads for his clients’ events on their blogs to help increase exposure. Some he pays and some he just has a relationship with.
An avid blogger himself, Caputa writes blogs for other companies when he’s not scanning some 500 blogs a day. He advises business people who want to promote their companies this way to develop a relationship with bloggers and learn from the feedback they get from the collaborative process.
If you are a marketer that wants a primer, the article is a good read.
We will most likely be doing a local seminar about 'blogging for business' with 3000k and another local social media luminary. Using blogs to market a seminar about blogging. How's that for circular?
If your goal is to sell out before you really make any money.
If you believe in herd mentality and stupid trends (ie web 2 point 0h).
If you are a one trick pony.
If you are afraid of competition.
If you aren't prepared to be transparent.
If you got no balls. (I don't mean that in a physiological sense.)
(Found via Fred.)
We've been approached by no less than 15 consultants that want to advise our company. I've met many consultant, PR, marketing firms that say their focus is working with startups.
I have no idea why a consulting firm or consultant would focus on startups. I can see focussing on well funded startups. But, after they see our 329 sq ft office, any consultant worth hiring should figure out that we are not well funded. Any one that does a little homework, reads my blog and sees our office should quickly determine we are bootstrapping the business.
So, why does a consultant call on a startup like ours? Or more importantly, if you are a pre break even startup, what should you hire a consultant for? The short answer is DON'T. The longer answer is...
As a bootstrapping startup, you should never pay anyone to come in and analyze your business. Most likely, they will simply come back and tell you what you already know. If you can't find someone you trust to do this for free or for barter, than you should make better friends. (Read this.)
I recommend that you also should not hire a consultant to tell you where to focus your energies. Why? Because I can tell you that in one sentence: You should focus your energies where you can make the most money with the fewest customers. (Read this.)
Next. You should not hire a consultant to keep you on track and focussed. You should find a partner that can do that - that has experience running a successful business. Keeping a company focussed is a full time job, especially pre revenue. Or you should focus your energy on making money. (Read this.) If that involves selling, sell. (Read this) If that involves driving traffic to your site, you should figure out how to buy traffic and make more money than what you are paying.
Last, you should be very careful hiring a consultant that will help you open doors to your ideal customer. If they can really do that, they should come on as an advisor, and not a consultant. You should give them a small stake in your company WHEN they deliver the first x number of signed contracts. Ideally, this person would also be willing to step into a CEO role, sit on your board once they delivered or help you find capital.
So, if you are a startup and you have someone selling you their consulting services for anything less than delivering you success, where success is measured by cash flow, tell them to go start their own
company startup. And you'll gladly let them pay you to tell them how to do it.
I love del.icio.us. I use it quite a bit to organize what I plan to write about. This morning, I went to look at the most popular tags for "funny" and the most popular link for that tag was this. Although, I find it funny too, I can't imagine that there are more than a few thousand people that would find it funny.
I am all for simplicity in application design. But, I also think that a business model is important. And I think that the "our business model is to get a lot of users and serve advertising" or sell to a company that relies on advertising for their revenue generation (ie GYM) is an extremely weak business model.
So, I recommend you ask yourself who are you serving. What are their pains or problems that you can solve? Solving a problem = having a service someone will pay for = having a sustainable business model.
And if the answer to the question of who you are serving is 'early adopter geeks', keep looking.