Start Up Blog

The people we want to meet

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 18, 2014

The people we want to meet, would probably be happy to meet us too, before everyone wanted to meet them. The problem with the people we want to meet, is really in the timing of when we want to meet them. Because we usually only want to meet them after they have done something notable. It’s not uncommon to read about a lunch with Warren Buffett being auctioned for more than a million dollars. Or for people having a list of people they want to meet who inspire them. But what’s interesting is that no one wanted to meet those people before their fame and success was evident. Yet they are the same person. Add to this that sometimes a persons success is not due to specific, unusual or dramatic insight, but probably more effort and circumstance.

Right now, there is a lot of pre-famous people out there whose advice no one seeks, yet. Right now, we all have friends and colleagues who give great council and thoughts, despite the fact they’ve never fronted the cover of a magazine or featured in a human listacle. Often the people we should want to meet, are the people we already know.

#BBB Launch Shindig

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 7, 2013

For people based in Melbourne the people behind the #BBB podcast are having a little get together tomorrow night >>> Details are here. 

We figure that given most of our audience are local why not get together, share some ideas, have a Q&A and a cheeky beer or two. We’ve already managed to pump out 7 episodes – my personal fav is the Business Horror Stories, which I did not participate it, but happened to have a personal horror story shared within the cast.

Here’s a more thorough list of what we’ve covered so far:

Listen to BBB right now

Here are the episodes so far:

Come along!

Steve.

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The 100 year folly

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 20, 2012

The strangest thing about the evolution in business, communication and media is that we are acting as though the social element is some kind of anomaly. As though it is a new form of human behaviour. When in truth the past 100 years was the anomaly. This great quote from Douglas Adams is the best reminder of all:

“…this century we have for the first time been dominated by non-interactive forms of entertainment: cinema, radio, recorded music and television. Before they came along all entertainment was interactive: theatre, music, sport – the performers and audience were there together, and even a respectfully silent audience exerted a powerful shaping presence on the unfolding of whatever drama they were there for….”

This comes from a terrific article that was written more than 10 years ago by Adams on the then emerging internet. It is worth reading so we can remind ourselves that the revolution is essentially a reinstatement of how humans have always behaved.

Click here to read it.

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The worlds first disloyalty card

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on March 3, 2011

Prufrock coffee who created the worlds first disloyalty card.

The card to encourages their clients to sample the wares of quality coffee shops around their local region in London. Which is completely counter intuitive to sound business practice.

How does it work?

If a disloyalty member tries all 8 coffees on the above card , it will earn you a free coffee at your next visit to Prufrock Coffee. The interesting part is that it was conceived to keep ‘coffee customers’ out of the four walls of the ever encroaching Starbucks behemoth. The disloyalty card created a community of coffee lovers that could compete the ‘way of an artisan’. Something Starbucks could never do. It might just help keep them out.  In this instance the community matters more than the trader. This is the new collaborative world we are in transition towards. A community who vest their interests in each other.

What can your startup do to flip the rules and do what a bigger competitor never could?

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A Collaboration Conversation

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on November 16, 2010

Rachel Botsman is in town this week as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week but more importantly to spread the good word on her book on the new world order of Collaborative ConsumptionWhat’s mine is yours. Rachel contends that the 20th century was all about Hyper Consumption, while the 21st century will be all about collaborative consumption – and I couldn’t agree more!

In order to bring the uninitiated up to speed we are having a Collaborative Conversation with founders of collaborative businesses. This will include Daniel Noble of Drive my Car, Julliette Anich of the Clothing Exchange and myself – rentoid.com

I really think it will be a great evening with lots of fresh ideas, because to be quite honest the collaborative economy is only really starting. At the end of the forum there will be a Pop Up Swap where anyone can bring up to 6 items to swap with anyone else – so we’ll be crossing the virtual sharing chasm into the physical one.

Click here to get a ticket - and come up and say hello.

Steve.

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Helping your community

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on October 11, 2010

Blogger, thinker and all round nice guy Ben Rowe recently wrote a blog entry just for me. There was nothing in it for him, he just thought it would be nice to share his intellectual prowess for my benefit.

How it came about was pretty simple really. Ben wrote a great blog post on the importance of gaming and how it is starting to transcend currency. Within my comments on his post I spoke of how great it would be to think of a good gaming mechanic for rentoidA few days later Ben wrote this blog post with some ideas on how to do exactly that. It’s the kind of commercial world I want to live in. An ethic where people do cool stuff for others without asking, and not expecting anything in return. The corollary is that a a return does invariably happen.

Firstly, an emotional return from doing good. Secondly, a collective return from building community. And sometimes a financial one from those who return the favour.

The question for startup entrepreneurs is this:

What are you doing to build your industry community help and promote others?

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Be part of something

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on September 5, 2010

When I started rentoid.com a 5 years ago I had no idea it would grow into something much bigger. In fact, the entire industry has been written about by Rachel Botsman in her upcoming book “What’s mine is yours“. She coined the phrase Collaborative Consumption to describe what is happening in our hyper connected world. Rentoid is featured in the book and this little video below, which makes me a bit proud.

It’s cool to launch a startup to make money. It’s cooler to be part of something bigger than your startup.

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6 things I learned in 2 years

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on July 1, 2010

Guest Post – Young Melbourne Entrepreneur Josh Moore has shared the thoughts from his young untainted mind!

Here is a list of lessons I have learned from two years in the entrepreneurial community:

1. Networks are everything: The most important thing in entrepreneurship is the people you meet. You will learn more by being willing to listen to others, which compounds your experiences without having to make the mistakes yourself. They can also help you to get jobs more easily, and can recommend you to potential clients. Don’t underestimate the people you meet.

2. Save: Entrepreneurial ventures are high risk. Having a buffer of cash will help cover you when income is bad. I’m in the process of stepping out of an active role in one of my investments as it drained my savings account by $6,500 in twelve months, as it was not paying me enough income and I had to fund the gap with something. Better to have savings to draw upon than to go back into debt.

3: Ignore the bells and whistles: You don’t need a fancy website. Steve’s blog is simple but gets the core message out. Find the core of your business and ignore the rest. If you don’t you may spend too much time and money on things that don’t matter. Don’t spend money on costly legal structures and don’t risk your money on untested markets. Spend time instead and invest money when you know you’re likely to succeed.

4: Have a timeline to failure: If you start doing something, have a timeline for it not to work. If you want to start a little side business on the side to make $1,000 in the next six months, then use that as your KPI. If you can’t reach at least 80% of that milestone then walk away before you invest more time and money into something that is not working.

5: Read: Reading is the only real way to gain an information advantage in your area. An information advantage helps you to be seen as a leader in your industry, and also allows you to make better investment decisions. Never invest in anything you don’t know better than the back of your hand.

6: Personal development: Continue to work on yourself every day. Practice, be willing to try things and don’t be afraid of failing. I wanted to learn about NLP and couldn’t swim, so I took courses on both earlier this year. I write in my spare time to clarify my thoughts and to reflect on what I’ve learned.

What lessons have you learned from your entrepreneurial endeavours? Leave a comment and help the community gain from your experiences.

Mixing it up

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on June 22, 2010

I’ve decided to run a few guests posts on startup blog.

I’ve never done this before and on the surface it my seem to lack purity. But here’s what I think.

The blog isn’t about me, it never has been. It’s about providing valuable information to those interested in the topic (startups, entrepreneurship, marketing). Which the guests posts will do. Heck, it might even facilitate spreading the startup blog word a little further and connect a few people…. Yep, that would be cool.

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How to build a community

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on June 2, 2010

We all want to build a web and or brand community. But we forget the most important fact. We need individuals first.

Only we please one individual can we please two. Only when we please two, can we please three….

There will never be a community unless we love our orginal individuals unconditionally. It’s the love we give someone that makes what we do worth talking about. There is never a community unless love is shared at the most personal level. One to one. It’s something we should remember in startup land.

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