Competitive Edge
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Competitive Edge
Creating your Unique Value Proposition to gain your Competitive Edge.
Curated by Marc Kneepkens
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Lessons in Tenacity from the Co-Founder of Foursquare

Lessons in Tenacity from the Co-Founder of Foursquare | Competitive Edge |
Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley has been doggedly pursuing an idea for over a decade across a few startups. Here, he shares the different types of tenacity it takes to turn a new concept into a notable company.

For more than a decade — since his grad school days — he’d been pursuing one big idea: a product that understands how users move through the world so well, it can deliver timely, personalized tips. That idea had evolved through several iterations, from a startup called Dodgeball to the founding of Foursquare. When he bought the cake, the company best known for “checking in” was several years into something bigger, developing mobile software that would recognize users’ locations and automatically push tailored recommendations. Read more: click image or title.



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The Simple Rules That Could Transform How You Launch Your Product

The Simple Rules That Could Transform How You Launch Your Product | Competitive Edge |
LaunchKit co-founder and CEO Brenden Mulligan, one of Product Hunt's most prolific users, shares his tips for a successful product launch.

In this exclusive interview, Mulligan shares five rules for startups releasing new products. A well-designed launch includes everything from messaging to metrics and press relations to marketing hooks. Every launch is a leap, but Mulligan’s tips will give your products the best lift.

Introduce Your Product Clearly and Succinctly —In That Order

Whether it's to distill your brand or communicate ideas 140 characters at a time, clarity and brevity are often invoked in technology and business. These qualities are especially critical during product launches, as new audiences decide in mere seconds to absorb or ignore it. In that window, Mulligan advises startups to make their product names clear and succinct, and be as unambiguous with messaging as possible. Here’s how: Read more: clik on image or title.

Learn more about funding, find great funding sources, get a free business plan template, post your funding request for free, and more:

Via Growth Engine Labs
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

These tips are distilled from experience, very clear and practical. Worthwhile your read.

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Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from MobileWeb!

Wearables At Work Will Reshape The Office

Wearables At Work Will Reshape The Office | Competitive Edge |

Salesforce, the maker of online tools for tracking customers and helping employees collaborate, is the latest company to try and capture the buzz around wearable devices, following in the Nike-clad footsteps of Samsung and Apple. Earlier this week, it introducedSalesforce Wear, a set of code libraries to help build apps that connect Salesforce's data with smartwatches, activity trackers, computerized glasses, and other sensor-laden gadgets we wear on our bodies.

The obvious thing to do with this software is build simple notification apps. Meetings get more productive if employees aren’t constantly pulling out their smartphones, and can instead stay in touch with a simple glance at the wrist. But I'm more intrigued by the notion of connecting the world of work to the world of fitness.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.

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Via Brian Yanish -
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Easier to look at your phone than pull out your smartphone. Very interesting article.

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Mobile Marketing: 50 Ways to Promote Your iPhone App

Mobile Marketing: 50 Ways to Promote Your iPhone App | Competitive Edge |

A nearly perfect mobile marketing plan and follow-up execution will fall short if the underlying app is uninspiring, bug-ridden or unremarkable. In addition, a well-designed, compelling app thrown in the mix of 50,000+ apps and unsupported by marketing, would likely disappoint. An integrated approach is most effective, with all components complementing and leveraging one another. A commitment to an integrated marketing plan and continued improvements to the app itself, will increase your probability of a sustained advantage in the marketplace.

To see the site with full information, click on the title or image.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Lots of great marketing ideas that can be applied to marketing apps and much more.

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, April 28, 2014 8:47 PM

Excellent. Very true, the best app in the world will not get anywhere if no one knows about it. Marketing in many ways will leverage it all the way.  Many good ideas here.

Rescooped by Marc Kneepkens from Entrepreneurs!

How Changing an App Platform Allowed This Meal-Replacement Startup to Grow

How Changing an App Platform Allowed This Meal-Replacement Startup to Grow | Competitive Edge |

When you can't keep up with your booming product, it might be time to change your tech.

Rosa labs launched in 2013 with a one-person engineering department and off-the-shelf e-commerce apps: one for subscription orders and one for single orders. But then the company’s product -- Soylent, the soy-based meal-replacement drink that’s huge with techies -- became a hit, and Rosa Labs’ convoluted app setup began hindering growth. So cofounder and CTO John Coogan decided to start from scratch. He hired a three-person development team and gave them their first task: Decide which development platform to use to build the company’s new, completely customized ordering system. Read more: click image or title.



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Via ventureLAB
Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Adapting your #tech solutions to your #growth.

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The 100-Year-Old Startup

The 100-Year-Old Startup | Competitive Edge |

More than 100 million users count on Evernote’s Swiss-army-knife capabilities on almost every smartphone, tablet and laptop. CEO Phil Libin and his team have gotten the world hooked on productivity. That was the point, Libin says.

Evernote had the features the team wanted themselves—a note-taking, web-clipping, project-managing, almost-anything-you-can-think-of app that’s free for the taking in its basic format. And they know that once users start depending on Evernote, they may very well want to upgrade to the $45 per year Premium or the $120 per year Business versions.

But all of it almost didn’t happen. In 2008 the company was running out of money. Libin had decided to shut it down the next day. At 3 a.m., he was preparing to turn in for the night when he decided to check his email one more time.

Against all odds, there was an email from a Swedish investor and Evernote fan in his inbox. The investor eventually wired $500,000, enabling Libin to keep the company afloat.

Q: You have said that you want Evernote to still be a startup in 100 years. What do you mean by that?

A: A lot of entrepreneurs are taught to think: What’s the exit strategy? We were tired of that. We wanted something that would be our life’s work. You don’t need an exit strategy for your life’s work.

We asked ourselves, How might we design something that could be around for 100 years? Thinking about doing things that are durable is different from thinking about how to maximize profitability short-term. But we don’t just want to be a 100-year-old company—we want to be a 100-year-old startup. In 100 years, we want to still make quick decisions and not become bogged down by internal bureaucracy and politics.

Q: I read that you said that you have people working for you now who have worked for you in previous companies. How do you choose your team?

A: There are lots of people who’ve never had a job other than working with me. There’s this high chance that once we’ve worked together a few years, you’ll never need to work with anyone else, because either we will stay together in the company for a long time or you should have made enough money that you won’t ever have to take a job you don’t like.

For me, it’s always easy. I just always work with my friends. I have a lot of brilliant friends, and I work with more or less all of them. The first people you bring aboard are friends, and the others are the friends of friends. It just grows from there.

Q: What about co-founders? How do you know who will be a good partner?

A: There are no shortcuts. You just have to go with the best people you know, people with whom you share a common vision.

You don’t necessarily need to know them for a long time. Stepan Pachikov—the person who originally started the California team that became Evernote—and I had a team in Boston. He and I had met only a few months before we decided to combine the teams. But we hit it off right away.

Building and cultivating the team at every level—it starts with co-founders and then goes to early employees and later-stage employees—that is the central thing.

Q: You’ve said you shouldn’t hire anyone unless you’ll be able to fire them. And yet they’re also your friends.

A: If you want to be an entrepreneur, you’re not optimizing for the easy path. You’re not optimizing for fun. You’re optimizing for impact. There are a lot of things you have to know how to do or you shouldn’t be in this business. You have to be able to fire people.

It’s tough to give people a chance if you know that if it doesn’t work out, you can’t end a relationship correctly. And if you know that you can, it lets you give people a chance. It lets you hire people whom you’re pretty sure are going to be a perfect fit, but you don’t have to be 100 percent sure.

If you lose friends that way, it sucks, but there’s really nothing good to say about it other than the alternative is to never work with your friends, and that’s much, much worse.

Q: What would you say to people who would like to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?

A: Work on something that you honestly believe deserves to exist. Ask yourself, Is the universe better off because my company exists? If you can’t honestly say that, then you shouldn’t do it, even if you think it’s a good way to make money. Because you can never guarantee financially what your outcome is going to be. Being an entrepreneur takes up so much of your time, your life, your energy. If it were just about money, then I wouldn’t do it.

Q: How can small-business owners or entrepreneurs find success in a marketplace that always seems to change?

A: Focus on the product. Make products and provide services that you yourself want, love and use. It’s very hard to make something great if you’re making it only for somebody else, because you don’t have a gut feel for it.

A lot of young entrepreneurs ask, “What does the market need?” Then they come up with some idea that isn’t something they deeply care about. Unless you’re making the product for yourself first, it’s hard for you to know what is good. It’s hard for you to make it great. And products that aren’t great just aren’t going to succeed.

You have an infinite number of things that you could work on. Choose to work on things that you know about, understand, use, are in love with and want to work on for the rest of your life.

And that gives you the best chance of making something great enough to succeed.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Great Q & A. This guy has some different views, and they lead to success for startups. Take note.

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Game Changing App Will Build Your Business Network

Game Changing App Will Build Your Business Network | Competitive Edge |

Do you network? Want to find interesting people to connect with? Want to build your network and get (and give) more business? I have an app for you. It’s called CityHour and I am pretty darn crazy 

about it. In fact, go download it and connect with me. You can find it in the Apple app store.

Networking works!

I have built my business upon a foundation of networking. I believe there is nothing more powerful than getting out and meeting people.

I am a classic B2B business. However, I also networked when I owned a B2C business: a martial arts school. Many students and referrals came to that school as a result of networking.

To read the full article, click on the title or image.

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Marc Kneepkens's insight:

Good old networking, person to person, still has a lot to offer in this world of social media. Good article, and great app to make connections.

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