Salvage Bazaar

I’m really impressed with new Melbourne Startup www.salvagebazaar.com

What is it? Salvage Bazaar is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell recycled and scrap building materials.

I’m impressed for a few reasons:

  • It’s a nice iteration for on line real estate market
  • It has strong eco / environmental credentials

It’s a very nice addendum  to the existing established real estate websites in most markets such as www.realestate.com.au in Australia.

It also has a strong play with the move towards gentrification of housing in inner city areas, as well as green / eco requirements emerging in the architecture scene.

But here’s the kicker: the founder Kim Pannan, has never done anything in the tech space before in her life, not even blogging let alone founding, designing and building her own commercial web business. The bit I love is that Kim was a graduate from Startup School. So a feel a bit like a proud uncle.

If you want to learn to what Kim did – who incidentally bootstrapped Salvage Bazaar on very little money, then you might want to grab 1 of the 2 seats left at the Melbourne Startup School.

Simple startup advice – Ben & Jerry’s

Today I was fortunate enough to meet Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Jerry is not only a smart guy, but a nice one too. I asked him one simple question for entrepreneurs and here’s what he had to say:

(More detailed insight will be the topic of subsequent blog entries)

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International team & Time zone issue

I’ve always been an evangelist for international outsourcing. Especially as it pertains to digital work. I was asked recently if it has added complexity because of time zone differences. I had never consider the issue before, so I stopped to think about it for a while.

And this is my answer:

Having staff work on the other side of the world is usually an advantage. It feels like we have double the amount of business hours in a day. For example, when it is 5pm and something important comes up, I don’t have to wait for the next day for it to get started on. I can brief it out, and have it on my desktop by the next morning. For small startups getting things done quickly is what matters, and this process is a bit like inventing time.

Startup blog says: having a team in different time zones is rad.

Building a web community

I was asked during one of my live twitcam sessions the title of this blog entry, with the number 3 in front of it. What are 3 things needed to build a web community. This is the answer I came up with right on the spot.

  1. Participate
  2. Share
  3. Keep costs low

Participate: Use the service, website and community you are building. Be an avid user and of it yourself, even though you own it or built it. I use rentoid more than anyone and love it. You are not part of a community if you are a spectator. You need to be involved in it. Listen, create, help, assist, but not rule over. It’s not a kingdom or a principality, it’s a community, which means that all participants are equal regardless of their status. It doesn’t matter, if you are the customer or the creator of the community, everyone matters. It should be evident in the organic dynamics that all of the community are valued. everyone has something to offer and add that we can all benefit from.

Share: Share not because you expect something back. Share because we are all humans, and this is how humans roll. We are great at being there for each other a providing support. Doing stuff for the benefit of others for reasons that go beyond the financial. it was once said that the perfect day is the day you help someone who will never have the chance to repay you.

Keep costs low: Not for any economic reason, other than building things of incredible value like communities take time. If you build an expensive infrastructure for your community there will be too much financial pressure on making it work quickly, and communities don’t work like that. They are organic and take time to find a balance and set of values and systems. If you have too much cost associated with what you are doing, your behaviour will become non-community like. It just wont work.

Startup Blog says, Start building.

Startup School just got better

For those of my blog readers already locked and loaded for startup schoolGood News.

For those thinking about coming long – Another great reason to join us.

The uber terrific Yvonne Adele from at Ideas Culture has just joined us for the 2 events. She will be facilitating and helping us out through the two days. But don’t think she’ll just be giving the intro’s and outro’s – she’ll be giving us her spin on creativity and ideas, as well as getting us pumped up, motivated and thinking. Which will also blow our minds!

Picture 106

For those who don’t know, Yvonne’s business was recently featured in Springwise and has a list of credentials and testimonials as long as both my arms.

So, if you’ve been on the edge of booking startup school. Time to get moving. The Melbourne event is about to close the door with only a couple of seats left. And Sydney is filling quickly.

Feel free to contact me if you have any queries and want to chat in more detail about it on 0438 779566. Steve.

Production values matter

Sure we live in a mash up society. It’s acceptable to bootstrap. It’s OK to learn on the job in the digital arena. What’s not acceptable is to get worse. To not reach previously set quality benchmarks. In any business, no less your start up. All of the self made youtube stars invest time in the final production of their content. People expect a higher level of quality these days especially if we want to gather long term fans and loyal viewers. Production values matter. What was acceptable in 2004 in not acceptable in 2009.

The first thing you notice in the video output of these highly subscribed Youtubers is production quality: HotforwordsCommunity Channel, Kev Jumba, Happy Slip, Fred and others.

So when Miley Cyrus throws together a home made video of her leaving twitter seen below, we realize how much value her producers add to her usual output – seen underneath.

Home made Miley

Produced Miley

I myself, need to improve the videos I make for rentoid.com. So I’ve recently been investing a lot of time learning how to use iMovie editing software.

The lesson for startups is to invest in our digital output. A little more effort in production can be the difference between gathering customers and looking like an amateur.