Start Up Blog

Great learning environment

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on November 4, 2009

Our environment shapes our behavior. Inspiring places create inspirational events, and with that in mind I’ve booked an Incredible location for Startup School Melbourne. The uber groovy Lindrum Hotel. Where the coffee and ambiance are both inspirational. Click on the image to check out the photos I took while checking it out.

Startup School

At the event we’ll have Barrista style coffee (Lattes, Cappucino, espresso) all day – none of this McDonalds style pot of black muck. As well as great food from the restaurant. Even I’m looking forward to it. It’s also a nice space for a drink after and maybe a game of billiards together.

Still a seat for you. Click here to book: http://www.startupschool.com.au/ and join us in the mass corporate cubicle exodus ;)

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Don’t be this person.

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 19, 2009

I had this discussion yesterday. I walked past a hole in the wall cafe. (Tiny cafe which serves take away and stand up coffee in inner city area)

Friend: Wasn’t Joey going to open a business like that?

Me: Yeh, I remember him talking about it before I had even seen one of these in the city.

Friend: What happened to it?

Me: I don’t know, I guess he just didn’t get around to it in the end. Got distracted.

Friend: That’s a shame, looks like a good little business model. What’s he doing now?

Me: He’s in the same job.

Friend: Oh. Ok.

We keep walking …

hole in the wall cafe

Don’t be Joey. It at least try and fail. The old job will be waiting for you if you have to return.

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Great advice for web startups

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 25, 2009

Pieter Peach sent me this email yesterday. He’s just a great bloke who thinks about others. In doing so he shared some valuable insights he took from a web 2.0 conference. It was such a succinct and insightful email that I thought I’d share it here verbatim. Enjoy & digest. Steve Sammartino

Just came across an email I sent to myself from a session in W2.0NY last year.  Straightforward stuff, but a good reminder for me, thought I’d pass it along.

“Sitting here listening to a great speaker on developing next gen web 2.0 apps, will email stuff as I I hear it.

Just quickly

Requisites for successful 2.0 service
1.    Network effect
2.    Collective intelligence
3.    Lightweight business models
4.    Longtail (maybe)
5.    Encourage unintended uses
6.    Platform vs application
7.    End of the software release cycle
8.    Rich user experiences
9.    Innovation in assembly

Race to dominate remaining data classes.
Its hard to compete with those who have a head start in developing the network effect in a particular data class. “

Pieter

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The Feedback Trap

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 23, 2009

I recently heard an interview with the Drummer from band Midnight Oil, Rob Hurst. He was asked how he felt about a particular record which made it to number 1 on the US charts. His response was this:

‘We were too busy touring, putting on shows to follow the bands progress.”


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It sounded as though serving the fans they already had was more important than gaining new ones. And guess what happens when we do that? Our reputation grows and more fans arrive, they find us because we are delivering something special to those who already appreciate what we are doing.

The formula for success is to continue to focus on delivering good stuff to those who already believe in you. To improve our delivery to them. Just like Midnight Oil was continuing to perfect the live performance of it’s songs. They weren’t worrying if their songs were good enough, they weren’t focused on external feedback from sources like sales revenue or chart positions. They ignored all feedback, except that from existing fans (customers). They didn’t get caught in the feedback trap.

So what are the feedback traps of the modern entrepreneur?

–    Website traffic
–    Google analytics
–    Facebook friends
–    Twitter follows
–    AC Nielsen data
–    Market share statistics
–    (Insert feedback mechanism here)

These tools can be useful, but they also tempt us to change tack.  They tempt us into believing we are strategically wrong, because the feedback is so instant. Where as the benefits of our strategy is never so instant. Strategy takes time to work, it takes belief and patience, more over it takes ‘the real feedback’ cycle to spread before we can truly know if we have something. And the real feedback cycle is what our current customers have to say, and if they spread the word.

Startups out there – don’t fall into the feedback trap.

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Humans aren’t resources

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 20, 2009

Something I put on twitter referring to any business I ever run, including rentoid.com – which is certainly worth sharing with my startup blog readers:

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iphone apps & mini-preneurs

Got an idea for an iphone app you can’t find?

Great – there’s like a zillion iphone app developers waiting for your business right here, and here and here.

iphone-apps

So write the brief for the app you want and can’t find, contact the developers and get it made. Get your itunes account up, choose a cheap ‘low barrier’ price, like a ‘dollar’ or so and sell that puppy. Remember it’s better to sell a $1 iphone app a lot of times than a a $5 or $10 one no times at all.

This micro-entrepreneurs opportunity is as simple as they come. Global distribution with an engaged audience – rare indeed. A classic ‘trend hijack’.

Go now – make it, sell it.

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