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Startups, Crowdfunding, Content & Curing Cancer Podcast Interview with @Curagami Founder Marty Smith

Startups, Crowdfunding, Content & Curing Cancer Podcast Interview with @Curagami Founder Marty Smith | Startup Revolution |

Martin (Marty) Smith talks to Get Social Health about the radical change in his life when he heard the words cancer and his name in the same sentence. Here is what Marty's done since his cancer diagnosis:

* Rode a bicycle across America (Martin's Ride To Cure Cancer).

* Founded one of first crowdfunding cancer research platforms.

* Founded Curagami, marketing tools to help content marketers and online merchants create community.

* Founded Tech Cures Cancer Fund at UNC Lineberger Cancer Center.

Wide ranging interview with  an entrepreneur and cancer survivor whose life is dedicate to helping and giving back.

Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

I'm blessed with amazing friends who help, help and hep some more. Marty

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Startups Avoid the Talking To Yourself About Yourself Blackhole

Startups Avoid the Talking To Yourself About Yourself Blackhole | Startup Revolution |

Popping Startup Bubble
As we create our Triangle Startup Factory funded startup called Curagami ( we operate largely in self imposed bubble. Books such as The Lean Startup explain the need to get OUT THERE working with customers to create validated learning as soon as possible.

We can see why. Problem solving can be solipsistic. Problems can create more problems on into infinity. Since our tool is about know what content matters and why the irony of falling into the problem black hole would be crippling. Here are a few ideas for how to break out of the startup bubble:

* Work with "beta customers" who are almost part of your team but running businesses your tool can help (such as Moon-Audio and Vestique for Curagami).

* Start forming community ASAP. We stumbled a little on this when our Curator Contest got swamped with my need to have chemo again. We ill get back on the horse because forming community is a CSF (Critical Success Factor).

* Create Key Performance Indicators for EXTERNAL validation metrics such as whitepaper downloads, unique visitors, time on site and email list growth.

* Curate content from a wide range of experts and sources because curation is easier and cheaper than content creation, more relevant to what is happening now and it helps your brand because you gain in authority by curating content from authorities.

* Define your "competitive space" BROADLY. Don't just look directly across the table discover who and what is competing for your customers mindshare and then steal the good stuff and lead with asynchronous marketing.

* Find a universal topic such as seasonality (locally "universal" and others can easily empathize with HOT and COLD) and the weather.

* Create asynchronous marketing and if that sounds disruptive and as if you should blow shit up you are getting the idea. Sometimes you should do some strange things JUST TO SEE how they blow up. Try not to blow up the good stuff :).

When startups do any two of those ideas they are less likely to fall into the talking to themselves about themselves black hole that can easily swallow a startup whole.

The link to Google Plus shares more information about how to use universal signals to create empathy and community:

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Websites Will Follow @Spotify From Utility To Experience via @eldsjal

Websites Will Follow @Spotify From Utility To Experience via @eldsjal | Startup Revolution |
Great Daniel Ek +Spotify Founder Interview On Utilities As Experiences
Great conversation with Spotify's Swedish founder on +The Charlie Rose Show… - Martin W. Smith - Google+
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Lean Startups: 10 Ways To Use Social Media To Crowd Source Marketing - Jeffbullas's Blog

Lean Startups: 10 Ways To Use Social Media To Crowd Source Marketing - Jeffbullas's Blog | Startup Revolution |
Marketers are always trying to finding ways to create viral conversations with social media. Here are 10 tips to tap the power of crowd sourced marketing.

Via Thomas Faltin
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

It is possible to crowdsource virtually everything you do, think, or are thinking about. It takes TIME and the right tools, but benefits are huge and line up well with Lean Startup ideas.

Jeremy Barton's curator insight, May 1, 5:29 AM

An interesting statistic that 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when they hear about it from friends or family.

Marc Kneepkens's curator insight, May 1, 5:25 PM

Referrers are your best sales people. Another great article from Jeff Bullas.

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How Blogging Accelerates Startup Growth

How Blogging Accelerates Startup Growth | Startup Revolution |

Marty Note
I wish I could sit every startup entrepreneur down and have them read this post about how blogging accelerates growth. Need funding? Spending tons of time pitching? Why?

If I could share a way for a startup not to have to have absurd conversations with people who will NEVER invest in their startup they would ask me what they need to pay for that kind of magic.

Guess what, the magic is FREE, all you have to do is write what is happening, create some videos and share your progress. I've been writing about The Social Startup and blogging is a KEY aspect of creating the kind of content people find and want to CALL YOU.

If that last sentence translated like this, "You get to keep more of your company," then you get the idea. Even if you never make a dime from the content you share blogging is worth doing. You will LEARN so much from sharing, getting feedback and reacting.

That kind of feedback is MAGIC and worth its weight in gold. When I worked in marketing at M&M/Mars we paid BIG BUCKS for the kind of information any entrepreneur can get FREE now. So SHARE and then ASK, SHARE and ASK again. Bet you make more money that way than bieng 100% widget focused.

Via Marie Ennis-O'Connor
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Startup Tips From CEO Dognition - The Personality Test For Dogs

Startup Tips From CEO Dognition - The Personality Test For Dogs | Startup Revolution |

Lunch With Smart Dogs at Triangle Startup Factory
Kip Frey ( pictured in middle above) is a smart entrepreneur who one might say has "gone to the dogs". Kip spoke at Free Lunch Friday at +Triangle StartUp Factory today about Dognition ( ).

Dognition is a Myers/Briggs personality test for dogs. During an hour long fascinating conversation Kip made several points we've heard consistently from Chris and Dave at TSF such as:

* Ideas that "seem true" create their own momentum.
* Look for ideas that "create a new category".
* Ideas with great partnership hooks work best since partners help create scale with OPL (Other Poeple's Lists) and OPC (Other People's Content).

Dognition is a cool idea since we humans are always anthropomorphizing our animals. Now you can do a test AT HOME with your dog to figure out which one of 9 classifications your dog's personality falls within. You can compare your dog to dogs in your area, across the country or possibly the world (soon Kip mentioned they are already speaking to interested parties in China).

I found Kip and Dognition's #brandingstrategy fascinating. Kip and the team at Dognition spent a year working on the #DIY version of their test. They needed enough data shared by "citizen scientists" after taking their test that the hard work created in the lab held up even in the DIY home version.

"I think people are more interested in their dogs than in their DNA," Kip said at one point and I agree. There are 70M dog owning families in America (so one in three roughly) and each year brings 7M new dogs to market.

Branding            vs                   Scale

The tension between creating a brand with meaning and the scale necessary to support that meaning was interesting. Kip decided to do a deal with Purina One to gain scale. Sounds like he had to defend the sizable deal with his board because they were worried about "brand purity".

#branding is tricky. Too much scale too fast could marginalize the brand. The science at the core of the test is something that could be seen as goofy in the wrong context. By doing an exclusive with Purina One for 2014 Dognition gets millions in partner ad dollars - the test is a freebie if dog owners complete a 28 day "Purina One 28 Day Challenge" ( ).

Cool promo and great legitimacy for Dognition and possibly just the right amount of scale. Partnerships bring interesting challenges. Dognition can get swallowed whole by Purina, and can anyone spot the BIG #socialmarketing error on the Purina One challenge page?

ERROR - Love that Purina is using Tweets, but seeing 46 day old Tweets HURTS the social legitimacy of their campaign. A 46 day old tweet from a customer is fine IN ROTATION, but what if the only representation I see has old content?

When curating old and new social content from Purina and users always have something in the roll that is current, only several hours hold max. Using customer Tweets is brave, but stale in its current implementation. Even if the Purina staff creates Tweets today that related to something that happened 46 days ago have something current on social.

Building  a #story off of #UGC is what +CrowdFunde is all about. Conversations require different #contentcuration and #contentcreation than promotional push. Purina One's misuse of #SMM is a perfect validation for a tool like CrowdFunde that helps create, curate and converse with the most valuable content on earth - User Generated Content (UGC).

By isolating old tweets without a clear understanding about why they are there, other than being self congratulatory, Purina destroys what they hope to build - active, alive conversations.

We think Dognition will have great conversations since learning your dog's personality feels like something MADE for social shares, but HOW you share social conversations is tricky as a big brand like Purina proves. Turning conversations into #engagemn and #loyalty is trickier still.

Cool talk today with many lessons for #startups and #Internetmarketers . Dognition is going to be on 60 Minutes in April and they will have a reality TV show on Nat Geo Wild so conversations will happen. Team at CrowdFunde wishes our fellow Durham #startup   luck and a free CrowdFunde installation if they want to discover how to build community on a scale hard to knock down or duplicate...because building ongoing engagement after initial novelty is based on the quality, frequency and value of Dognition's (and any brand's) CONVERSATIONS!

Thanks to Kip for speaking with TSF startups today! Marty

PS. Kip asked for feedback on the Dognition site and since I know there are a lot of ecommerce conversion experts that follow me send me your thoughts and I will pull together 5 to 10 "would be better if" kinds of feedback for .

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Make Money From Dreams: How To Niche Market

Make Money From Dreams: How To Niche Market | Startup Revolution |

As creatives, we all want to produce work that's unique and worthwhile, but this often seems at odds with the commercial pressure to cater to the lowest common denominator. Yet the mass market isn't the only market with money. Find the right niche market and you could be in business, producing work you love in a way that'll keep you going right up to retirement.

Marty Note
When my ex and I created (now gone except in the WayBckMachine) helping Magneitic Poetry Kit become a $50M specialty gift we discovered two important ideas:

* Everyone has a gift idea they want to share.
* Alternative distribution can create everything from a lifestyle business to a big win.

At Found Objects we used the web as a great B2C testing ground and to keep our B2B partners honest. If our B2B partners passed on something we thought was cool we could make a market for it ourselves via direct sales.

This Creative Bloq post updates our Found Objects experience with the many contemporary tools that can help a dreamer realize their dream even without a Great Brian Yanish Scoop and post.

Via Brian Yanish -
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Creating Digital Marketing Ecosystems For Traffic & Money -

Creating Digital Marketing Ecosystems For Traffic & Money - | Startup Revolution |
Without revenue a small business is just a hobby.  So, how does a typical small business go about getting clients and revenue?
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Without revenue a small business is just a hobby.

Typical small business marketing follows a path of diminishing returns. 


Great post by @CogentCoach Michael Nelson. Agree, " Without revenue a small business is just a hobby." Also agree, " Typical small business marketing follows a path of diminishing returns", but have a thought to add there. 

Michael discusses the diminishing returns of a reference network that slowly decays out (from previous employer). Diminish returns also applies to many things Small to Medium Sized Business do to "advertise" their business. 

All the networking, advertising and hand wringing a SMB does WITHOUT a viable website / blog is diminished by more than half. The ONLY way to assure what you did today GROWS is to create a "getting bigger everyday" online presence (period, full stop). 

Important to find marketing that produces the opposite of "diminishing returns', marketing where you get MORE back from less effort over time. Michael describes this well too:

This saturation and frequency of use make digital marketing a great option for marketing and building relationships with your prospects and clients.

"While digital marketing is a great option, it is a confusing milieu of platforms, services, tools, etc.  Rather than chasing about trying to do a bit of everything, it’s best to create a system and measure your results.  When you get comfortable, you can add a bit more or expand your reach with your system."

"Create a system" or as P&G taught me all those years ago, "Work your plan" is important. Here are some tips for that system:

* Do a core set of activities DAILY.

* Always reserve 20% (or so) of your time to test new ideas, tools, websites, and partners. 
* Reserve another 20% of your time to respond to and curate content from your previously shared content. 
* Follow people who help you (since it is an online Thank You Note) and follow people you can learn from. 
* Keep life and business in balance and don't get discouraged since it can take months or a year before content marketing begins to scale. 
* Don't worry about "breaking" anything. Internet marketing is like building sand castles on the beach and the tide is always about to come in. 
* Learn to SURF trends, don't try and wrestle them. 

Great post and YES you must build a viable, sustainable and growing Digital Marketing Ecosystem if you want to do anything these days. 


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Pssst...hey man you got the Crowdfunde Enterprise Crowdfunding Biz Plan or What?

Pssst...hey man you got the Crowdfunde Enterprise Crowdfunding Biz Plan or What? | Startup Revolution |

Waterboarding or Business Plan Reading
I "retired" from my Marketing Director post at Atlantic BT last week to start my fifth company. Yes that's right the Shuffle Board World Championships will have to wait a few more years as we try to build a new tool to help B2C and B2B content marketers tap a rich new vein of User Generated Content gold - "enterprise crowdfunding".

Yes we realize "enterprise crowdfunding" sound like an oxymoron, but we think crowdfunding will become a new marketing channel for e-retailers and B2B content marketers. Our plan is due Monday. If you would like to be a "reader" and pass up the waterboarding let us know and we will make sure you get a copy of the Crowdfunde business plan.

All ides, comments and suggestions are much appreciated no matter how much we disagree (lol). Marty

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Lean Content Movement Brings HUGE Startup Opportunities

Lean Content Movement Brings HUGE Startup Opportunities | Startup Revolution |
Making the most efficient and effective use of strategies, tools, and technology for content marketing.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Understanding The Lean Content Movement
I just wrote my second piece on the Lean Content Movement being created by the team at @Scoopit ( ). 

Here are just a few opportunities that are out there for courageous startups to tackle:

* Tools capable of publishing to multiple locations simultaneously.
* Tools to create PERSONAS (customer archetypes). 
* Tools to create Segments (financial groupings such as VIPs). 
* Mobile content management tools.  

* Better Metrics tools (tie top of funnel TRAFFIC to bottom CONVERSION). 

Here are a few of the cool startups creating tools to support the Lean Content Movement: 

How about you? What are your favorite "lean content" tools? Comment them in and I will curate into the post. As as content publisher I offer my feedback services to any startup creating a tool to help curate and create for the Lean Content Movement. 

John van den Brink's comment, April 27, 2013 3:52 AM
Martin, great tools!. I also use
Beach Buzz Media's curator insight, April 30, 2013 4:17 PM

Indeed it does!

Beach Buzz Media's curator insight, April 30, 2013 4:29 PM

Beach Buzz Media-- Perfect example!

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Hey Startups Stop Making Sense via @Curagami

Hey Startups Stop Making Sense via @Curagami | Startup Revolution |

We are emotional people on a spiritual journey. Why is logic the most common approach to online selling? 5 Tips so your digital marketing makes less sense.

Startups BELIEVE in the widget. Talk to any Venture Capitalists and they will tell you they invest in teams not ideas. Ideas change. Teams capable of making the many pivots any new idea needs are worth their weight in gold.

Go to 100 startup websites and teams, if they are there, are pushed to the background as the WIDGET takes center stage. This is because we believe the way to "make a sale:" is to use logic.

Logic is tyranny when what we seek is emotional connection . This post shares 5 tips to avoid logic's tyranny:

* Listen More.

* Control Less, Collaborate More.

* As community forms listen and curate.

* Empower your advocates and Sherpas.

* MOVEMENTS not campaigns.

Startups need to forget the widget and remember we are spiritual beings having a human experience not the other way around.

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What's Next: Thoughts On Big TVs & The New Ecommerce

What's Next: Thoughts On Big TVs & The New Ecommerce | Startup Revolution |

What's Next?
What's next may be the most important and urgent mystery.. Late last night I wandered around in the future a little thinking about how David Amerland's call for a "New Value System" might collide with a few other favorite ideas such as:

* David Edelman on Aligning With the Customer Journey:

* Mark Traphagen on Google Plus

* Phil Buckley on overcoming FEAR:

* @David AmerlandWhat If We Had A New Value System For Goods and Services

* Me on @ janlgordonCuratti sharing lessons in the new #branding from Red Bull:

Somewhere in there somewhere late at night and when its HOT is where the future starts and every thing changes...again.

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Curagami cofounder Phil Buckley Video Interview re: Digital Marketing For Business Conference [#DMFB14]

Curagami cofounder Phil Buckley Video Interview re: Digital Marketing For Business Conference [#DMFB14] | Startup Revolution |

Phil's Digital Marketing For Business [#DMFB14] in Raleigh, NC was a big this year. Phil, one of the cofounders of the event, shares information about Curagami's name change and reception to the idea by SMBs at the conference.

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How To Buy Web Design via @HaikuDeck

How To Buy Web Design via @HaikuDeck | Startup Revolution |
After almost 14 years an Internet marketer and the last two as Marketing Director for Raleigh's largest web and software design agency I know people need HELP buying web design.
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Why Startups Should Use Mindful Curation with Judy Gombita

Why Startups Should Use Mindful Curation with Judy Gombita | Startup Revolution |

Startups &
This is a great interview with a knowledgeable curator - Judy Gombita. Startups are in a constant state of frenzy. They must create content, but they are creating other things too like a product or a company.

Most startups abandon content marketing until after they launch. That is a mistake. Start sharing content NOW and is a great way to share because it uses your Twitter feed to create one of the most powerful, "Get more done with less effort," content curation tools around.

Your helps build community, inform your content marketing and create feedback loops and it can be as "plug and play" as you want. Highly recommend all startups have a since this great tool is like putting your Twitter on steroids. .

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Facebook vs LinkedIn [infographic]

Facebook vs LinkedIn [infographic] | Startup Revolution |
Choosing between Facebook and LinkedIn might not be an easy choice. You probably know both platforms as a user. Let's try to analyze those two systems in order for you to decide which one to use.

Via Georgina Lester, Mark Gittos
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Each social net has it own rhythm. Matching your marketing and brand position to the right social net is important. This helpful infographic discusses how and when to use LinkedIn vs. Facebook.

Nicoletta Gay's curator insight, March 29, 3:47 PM

The standard answer usually is: Facebook is for B2C while LinkedIn is for B2B. It is actually more complex than that.    

Victor Juarez's curator insight, March 31, 5:55 PM

Facebook or  Linkedin? Mejor las dos pero si hay que elegir...

Dawn Jensen's curator insight, April 8, 5:59 PM

For those who are looking to see how they would reach a potential client or prospect, here's a great way to see top-tiered social networks side by side.

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Triangle Startup Factory ACCEPTS CrowdFunde For Spring 2014 Class

Triangle Startup Factory ACCEPTS CrowdFunde For Spring 2014 Class | Startup Revolution |

CrowdFunde Accepted Triangle Startup (TSF) Factory
Thanks to friends who wrote cards and letters and thanks to the team at Triangle Startup Factory, our Durham, NC based startup incubator, who are willing to take a risk on CrowdFUnde as we smash content marketing and crowdfunding together to see what happens.

Our TSF session starts March 10th and we hope you will join us as we share this great startup adventure.


Haiku Deck Pitch to TSF

Triangle Startup Factory

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SEO For Content Marketers: 5 Quick Tips - via @Curatti_

SEO For Content Marketers: 5 Quick Tips - via @Curatti_ | Startup Revolution |
SEO for content marketers shares 5 "Quick Tips" to avoid SEO bear traps like: dupe content, keywords as friends, little things, & it's a SoLoMo world.
Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Turns out the only QUICK thing about writing 5 SEO Tips for Content Marketers is reading it (lol). I quickly realized I'd bitten off more than I can comfortably chew (a familiar state). Each of these 5 tips could command several thousand words to fully 'splan it

Every startup entrepreneur is a content marketer whether they realize it or not. Startups need to do content first, but they rarely do. Trying to explain every aspect of SEO for thoe new to content marketing like startps would take 10,000 words.

So I didn't try to explain content marketing SEO soup to nuts. Instead of getting deep in the weeds I shared experience with each tip and links to learn more.

No one should attempt to do all 5 at the same time anyway since any 2 of them will be a full time job for a 3 to 5 person Internet marketing team for several weeks to a month.

BUT, do any 2 of these tips and your website's traffic, conversions and profits go up. Want to know why conversions go up? Read my GPlus intro:

janlgordon's comment, December 17, 2013 12:49 AM
Marty, this is excellent, going to definitely apply a few of these to Curatti immediately! Great to have you on the team!!
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Why Internet Marketing Isn't What You THINK & Nikol Murphy Video

Why Internet Marketing Isn't What You THINK & Nikol Murphy Video | Startup Revolution |

5 Days Until Launch - Why +Nikol Murphy Joined Buzz Team
Join The Cure Cancer Buzz Team (Quick Form Link):


Martin (Marty) Smith's insight:

Internet marketing isn't what many think it is. This post shares my friend Nikol Murphy's amazing video about why she joined the Cure Cancer Buzz Team and explains why Internet marketing isn't what you may think it is including:

* The surface is only marginally important.
* Creating a commons is beyond important.
* Host the party don't be the center of it.

This G+ post shares paragraphs on each of those ideas & Nikol's awesome, kind and generous video.

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Why Groupon Doesn't Work - New Media Leaders

Why Groupon Doesn't Work - New Media Leaders | Startup Revolution |

I wrote this piece for New Media Leaders because GROUPON is a brand wrecking ball. Groupons absurd deals destroy years of hard work on small business value propositions.

Least you think I am piling on, Groupon fired Founder Andrew Mason today, I've been meaning to write this article for a long time. Just wasn't mad enough until today (lol).  

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