Start Up Blog

People Watching

If you’re an entrepreneur and you’ve never been ‘people watching’, then start up blog strongly recommends a session. For a lot of reasons it’s a cool thing all entrepreneurs should do. For one, all our revered entrepreneurs are champion trend spotters. And they spot these trends a long time before they are reported in the Sunday newspaper lift outs.

What’s next?

Go some where busy, go somewhere where there are zillions of transactions, go somewhere sans commerce, go where families hang out, go somewhere singles hangout, look for the subgroups, watch people looking at shelves in stores – guess their decision process, see if this process is the same for all or different for all, see what they wear, see how they move, how did they get there, where are they from, bring a notepad with you and write down ideas, go places you’ve never been before…. Watch people, guess their motivations, view their life in action and then we’ll be the ones gaining life experience…. Just go and watch.

shibuya-crowd

The funny thing about our world is that we are all in it every day, but very few of us are actually paying any attention to it. Step off the stage and become the director. Make it a habit to pay attention to what is going on in our world.

As entrepreneurs and marketers we are lucky. We can do our homework everywhere we go, and our start ups are the key beneficiaries.

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Belief – from ‘Tribes’

I took this quote from Seth Godins latest micro book Tribes:

“Do you beleive in what you do? Every day? It turns out that belief happens to be a brilliant strategy”

This resonates with me because it will motivate us to find solutions that ‘non believers’ will be too inept, apathetic or bored to uncover.

Entrepreneurs ought launch something they beleive in conceptually, not just financially.

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Quote for Entrepreneurs

“It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here? What better time than now?”

Zach de la Rocha

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Hard Stuff or Easy Stuff?

Check out the following chart:

We can either,

1. do the easy stuff now.

or

2. do the hard stuff now.

Either choice ultimately leads to the opposite end of the spectrum over time. It’s the same for sport, business, scholarly pursuits, wealth creattion and entrepreneurs. Sure it’s easy to know, but ‘it’s equally easy to forget. When things aren’t going so well, or we are not getting the wins we want – maybe we should consider the chart above, and decide what we were doing a little while ago, and more importantly which tangent we want to be on in the future.

It’s our choice.

Silicon Beach with yours truley

Silicon Beach Australia [siliconbeachaustralia.org] was formed with no plan, just a question:

“How can we bring the Australian technology community together?”

“Silicon Valley has a supporting ecosystem that makes Internet innovation thrive, so what can Australia do? How can our big island with the best beaches in the world, harness the passionate, intelligent individuals who care to do more?”

It’s a very cool initiative and hopefully something which will harness the intellectual capital our country is renounced for. Instead of losing it to countries who appreciate and embrace innovation.

One thing is for sure – it all starts with conversations. I was fortunate enough to be invited into the conversation yesterday for their 3rd Podcast to discuss a bit about rentoid, and all things entrepreneurship…

I was fairly candid with things like my corporate exit, business philosophy, the financial crisis and just the way I like to go about things. You can check it out by clicking here.

The Best Social Networking tools

We often wonder which are the best social networking tools to promote our business. In many ways it’s all and none.

There’s no shortage from which we can shoose from a business perspective: My space, Facebook, Bebo, Youtube, Blogging, Twitter, Live streaming TV, Ranking sites like Technorati, delicious and Stumbleupon, Virtual world spaces like second life.

The list is endless. In fact wikipedia lists the most notable (well over 100) here.

The best ones to engage and use aren’t those necessarily with the most people, the most features or the most anything. The best ones to use are those which you use properly. The way in which they were intended. There’s no point having your brand or startup on any of them – unless you engage the crowd in the conversation ‘they want to have”.

What does this mean?

It means be there often – turn up, and talk.

It means listen to them – it’s their place not ours.

It means share the information people want to have shared in ‘that’ forum.

It means, give first to them, and expect nothing back.

It means learn from their wisdom.

It means show your personaility and have an opinion.

It means create value to them, whatever value means in that forum.

It means be part of a dialogue, not a monologue.

In real terms all these tools are, is a personification of yourself, startup or brand. Don’t engage in behavior you wouldn’t engage in while in the real world. We mustn’t act like an Amway Sales Agents on line. If it’s bad form in the real world, it’s bad form in the on-line world.

If we just put our brand on all of these spaces and don’t get involved – it’s a waste of time for all parties involved. We are much better off embracing one or two forums and using them often and consistently. Going there, isn’t the same as being there. They are not shortcuts to brand fame. In fact, they take longer, but can be of greater value.

Given that the web is a conversation – we must embrace it and have manners. If we’re patient it’s worth the effort.

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12 seconds

I really like the idea of ‘small’ – Making the macro, micro. 12 secondsTV does it: www.12seconds.tv

As far as marketing insights are concerned it proves that categories don’t converge – but split.

We recently used it for rentoid to kill a few birds with one stone:

  • Rewards passionate fans with a bit of fame,
  • Create an important dialogue
  • Generate some ‘realworld’ market research to boot.

The cool thing is that we’ll publish what people think about rentoid good and bad – so then we have to act on any mooted improvements. Check it by clicking here:

So in the spirit of involvement - I’d love to get a 12 seconds.tv spot from the startupblog crew – ‘yes that means you’ with any piece of business / entrepreneurship or life advice you feel approporiate.

Put your 12 seconds link in the comments and I’ll put it up as it’s own post with a link to your blog / startup / business or whatever.

Get on it.

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Freshness

Posted in Advertising, blogging, entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship, internet, marketing, Marketing Insight, web 2.0, websites by Steve Sammartino on September 3, 2008

On first thoughts we’d assume that green grocers and web developers are in an entirely different business. But upon closer expection there are quite a few similarities. Similarities which can’t be ignored.

First of all – it needs to easy to find what your after. If it’s not obvious, if we can’t see it  we’ll assume it isn’t there.

Secondly – we need things clearly categorised.we need to be able to sort the apples from the oranges. So it makes sense to have them in different sections. Not all bundled up in the one place in a rainbow of colors.

But most important of all things need to be fresh. They need to know it and we need to show it. There is nothing worse than a static website – not only do we want, but we ‘expect’ frequent change.

Clue number 1 – the refresh button.
Clue number 2 – it’s software – it’s made to be malleable.

People want to see what ‘we’ and ‘they’ the members / users are up to. What members are doing, what’s changed, that it’s live, that the site represents what’s happening in the physcial world. This matters for every website, that is any business which happens to have a website. Not just businesses with the web as it’s primary forum.  Youtube does it with it’s most viewed by the day, feature videos and promoted videos. Flickr shows a different photo everytime we click in it. Most cool sites let us register for updates or run a regularly updated blog. It isn’t hard – just important.

Start blog says – change things up a little a lot

Media diet – startup style

As promoted in the 4 hour work week a media diet is a nice way save time. For entrepreneurs a different type of media diet is required.

A business trends diet

Here’s how – avoid all business related articles as they pertain to new strategies & trends.

Here’s why – We already know enough to be successful. Our problem is doing the stuff.

Unless we are just starting in the business world – we’ve heard every strategy and the fact is that most ‘new’ business ideas are simple derivatives of business theories which have been around since the birth of commerce. Cables channels and tech stuff is the worst. Who’s got the time to read 86 posts from techcrunch every day? – not me.

We ought just trust our judgment and make the call that we know enough to get moving…and the rest we’ll learn on the job…. So in the spirit of this blog entry, ignore the articles you were about to read and get back to your stuff.

Engage your customers

Really the title should say “people” – we don’t do business with customers, it’s the greatest lie of all time. People trade with people. But I just gave it that title so I could teach people this who stumbled upon this blog entry…

So here’s how we do it at rentoid.com

We have a live chat session with our people. Answer all their questions, assess their concerns and just get to know them. Tonight we are doing it at 7.30pm Aust Syd / Melbourne time.

Go here to log on: http://rentoid.com/live

You can see the startup blog author in action live and see if he (me) can deliver it all live. So tune in, tell your friends and get a shout out!

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