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Startup LifeThe startup life is one of equal parts hard work and serendipity. As we began to build, think about and share the tool we saw in December it morphed and moved on by. Below the poll is an explanation about why we got to the point where a name change is needed:http://www.crowdfunde.com/marketing/crowdfunde-name-change-poll/ Hope you will VOTE, SHARE and COMMENT as we search for a name relevant to the opportunity we see
Thanks, Marty, Phil & CrowdFunde (or whatever we become :) Team
"In the age of startups and micro-enterprises, the first thing you hear about, when it comes to creating a new company, service or digital product is a whole new glossary of words starting ranging from venture capital to angel investors."
I changed the title here because the longer you can bootstrap your startup the less you give up and the more you get for your hard work.
Does a startup really need to raise venture capital?
I guess it depends on what its goals and values really are.
If you are after the magic opportunity to do what happens to one in a thousand startups when it is bought up by a giant company like Google, then you shouldn't hesitate to party down with the VCs.
But if you are after creating something that has personal value for you beyond the money that it will make, if you want to keep steering the direction of your service and if you don't like to come down to many compromises, then be very careful about jumping on the VC funding train.
Here my own thoughts and ideas on why it is so important, for those in this second group, to avoid the funding dream and to go after a bootstrapping (and possibly crowdfunded) approach.
Full article: http://www.masternewmedia.org/bootstrapping-startups-guide/
We are ALL in the community building business now whether we know it or not thanks to Google and the web's slouching toward SOCIAL and MOBILE. This post shares a contentious CrowdFunde meeting where, as my friend Mark Traphagen pointed out, our company was born.
Startups & Paper.liThis 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 Paper.li 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 Paper.li 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 Paper.li since this great tool is like putting your Twitter on steroids. .
Pinterest & StartupsThis image of Batgirl staring out of a doorway is one of Scenttrail's most popular pins (http://www.pinterest.com/scenttrail/ ). Pinterest is important for startups because:* Marketing is becoming VISUAL & Pinterest excels at visual marketing.
* Pinterest is asynchronous to other social nets. * Pinterest is EASY and doesn't require much time. * Pinterest creates community faster than other social nets. That last bullet should have a caveat. Pintererst builds community FAST once you figure out the secret handshake. I was frustrated with how long it was taking to develop a following. I would share content on Pinterest and I could never understand what seemed to matter, so I shared LOTS more content (one key to success). I also Repinned from others and commented on pins. All of those tactics helped, but the real dam breaker was creating the King and Queen of Pinterest boards:http://www.pinterest.com/scenttrail/queen-of-pinterest/ http://www.pinterest.com/scenttrail/king-of-pinterest/ The real winner is the Queen of Pinterest with over 400 pinners now and a great daily rhythm. Community boards do get spammed so I developed some simple guidelines, pinned those guidelines (and do so again and again when the board starts to get spammy). The victory with King and Queen of Pinterest shares an important secret. Pinterest is a tad solipsistic. People who love to pin really LOVE to pin. There are cult-like moments (lol). So one way to connect is to have a board that shares obsession with Pinterest. Your startup may not be obsessed with Pinterest, but bet you need to develop a following. When I started the King and Queen of Pinterest boards I had 114 followers. Now, about six months later, Scenttrail has more than 5,000 followers. Cool thing about community boards is people begin to tell their friends. I invited about half the people pinning on Queen of Pinterest. Interesting I invited 90% of the men (lol). Women understand the core of social media better. They are more naturally social about topics that people love to pin about such as culture, art, celebrity, travel, weight loss, etc... If you are a startup you should be using Pinterest if only because it builds community, once you figure out a secret or two, faster than any other social net. The other reason Pinterest is important for startups is its focus on asynchronous visual marketing. Learn "asynchronous marketing" even a little and your startup will rock.
If you love using Scoop.it we have a job for you. CrowdFunde, a Durham NC startup, is searching for the top 10 content curators in the world. CrowdFunde is a new company dedicated to helping websites, brands and companies tap wisdom of crowds. And we need 10 great content curators to help! If you are a great content curator we want to recognize your contribution, pay you to do something you love and include you in a cool new company about to change the way ecommerce merchants create content marketing and the way content marketers know what content to create. If you are a great curator we hope you will apply at CrowdFunde.comhttp://www.crowdfunde.com/top-curator-contest-crowdfunde-hiring/
Getting feedback from friends and family is better than nothing, but you’ll likely see a difference in insights from someone in the target market that you’re trying to reach.
Great tips here on how to get feedback for your app.
GPlus Is For StartupsGPlus is a much misunderstood social network. That misunderstanding may stem from the fact it is not a social net. GPlus is really a tool suite with a social net sitting on top of it. There are several reasons G+ is great for startups including:* Not As Crowded as other Social Nets.
* Better for long form content.
* Great for conversations. * Hangouts on Air = create YouTube Videos automatically.
* There's a learning curve. That last bullet is why we love G+. Since there is a bit of a learning curve, many aspects of the tool are not intuitive, the uncommitted are turned away. What is left is a group of power users ready, willing and able to contribute meaningful content, inspiration and awareness for your startup. Try creating a committed tribe of power users on Facebook (hint: you can't). Share pictures of your new baby on Facebook, use GPlus to build your business.
This post is about branding's journey from Tide in 1958 to Red Bull now with one inescapable conclusion - We Are All Media Companies Now.
Working everyday at Triangle Startup Factory is reinforcing how reluctant most startps are to START PUBLISHING. No our startup CrowdFunde (http://www.crowdfunde.com). We've been publishing warts and all from inception. The biggest content marketing mistake is NOT creating content. You can roll with anything else. Lesson for Startups - START PUBLISHING NOW because the sooner you form a tribe the easier life gets.
Lesson for Startups - START PUBLISHING NOW because the sooner you form a tribe the easier life gets.
We frequently write about startup heroes and are asked for our favorite companies all the time. Where do we go when its time to write? First we check out Startup Heroes List: https://twitter.com/ScentTrail/lists/startup-heroes If you run or are part of a cool startup SUBSCRIBE and we will follow you on Twitter, include your startup and we may write about you the next time we are looking for cool new companies to blog about and share across social media. Yes, we realize this is a little like asking fish to jump in the boat, but there is a big ocean and a lot of fish :). Subscribe: https://twitter.com/ScentTrail/lists/startup-heroes
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.
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.
The standard answer usually is: Facebook is for B2C while LinkedIn is for B2B. It is actually more complex than that.
Facebook or Linkedin? Mejor las dos pero si hay que elegir...
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.
A look at the financing landscape for business owners, plus some tips for finding alternative funding opportunities.
Great infographic showing some capital easing. Capital is the oil that keeps our economic engine running. Have always loved the irony of locking out SMBs and entrepreneurs (and you and me) from capital assets after they were put at risk by others, but that is just the way the game is played in the "too big to fail" era.
Buffet's Startup Tips Are so important I created a @HaikuDeck for his tips and for implied startup tips such as:* Multiple Money - don't depend on one income source.
* Spending - buying things you don't need means selling stuff you do...eventually.
* Savings - Save then spend not the other way around.
* Investment - Never put all eggs in one basket no matter how beautiful the egg. * Honesty - Honesty and character and lack of it are expensive and amplifed by money so don't expect from "cheap people". http://www.haikudeck.com/p/94SRtkQRzX/warren-buffet-startup-tips
Thought this was a good Scoop to reprise given Buffet's offer to pay $1B for a perfect NCAA Tourney Bracket. Talk about how to get millions in free PR (lol). As if Warren needs "free" anything :). Smart money always makes MORE money.
Time tested results from the masters.
Warren Buffet and Bill Gates offer up a few startup tips. Over the years Buffet has shared many great tips, such as:
Simple ways to think about what your business should do when first getting off the ground. The ideas make sense when you read them out loud, but are often missed.
Emperors of Chocolate & New SEOHow would my former employer M&M/Mars or our arch rival Hershey react to the new SEO? Not so great. This is how the door gets opened for "clean slate" brands savvy at social media and who don't have a hundred years of built up animosity. Could a new candy company focused on social media and the web survive? Might be a long time before the giants even knew an upstart was around. First company to become the Emperor of online CONTENT wins :). so YES a new candy company could disrupt the space.
heWe rounded up 21 startup quotes from the amazing founders behind them to give a little inspiration during the down times of startup life.
Great Startup Quotes.
Marty NoteI 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.
This post has blown up on Curatti with a potential audience well over 300,000 thanks to ReTweets and shares. Why? Because Red Bull has cracked the code. The code of how a brand must BE in the world. Publisher, TV channel and Internet User Generated Content champion Red Bull's branding is an archetype for all. http://curatti.com/red-bulls-branding-lesson-media-companies-now/
From Tide (1958, old school leader) to Red Bull LEADS as well as following #brand-centric #consumer-centric
Prepare For Presumption & The No Asshole RuleI'm guilty. I've given advice this way before, "Why don't you try to combine x and y". I don't mean to be an ASSHOLE but sometimes it happens. You will never be more assaulted than creating a startup. Something about "startup" brings out the BATTLING BICKERSONS in people. I'm waiting for the first discussion that begins like this, "WOW, what a cool idea, wish I'd thought of that". Suspect I will be waiting a long time. My LEARNING (from Adzerk CEO James Avery) is to easily share my EXPERIENCE and THINKING but say away from going the extra mile to presumption. Everything we do online is immediately TESTABLE so one person's philosophy is just as good as another anyway. Customers decide. SO, if you are a startup or thinking about creating a startup time to thicken your skin is NOW. The rub is knowing when to stick to your guns and when to change based on good advice. Good rule of thumb we've discovered is someone who presumes to tell you how your idea should function better is an unlikely source for good advice. Adzerk's CEO James Avery got it right. He realized he was being an ASSHOLE and he stopped. He decided he would share his experience and thinking but NOT JUDGE so much. James Avery is a MENSCH and the kind of MENSCH you want to have lunch with, listen to and learn from. James isn't going to presume he is smarter than you. He is there to help. Today I had an experience where someone LOOKING at an ecommerce website TOLD ME what the person managing that site would do. When I mentioned I managed and ecommerce site with a great team that made more than $35M over 7 years it didn't slow the presumption down even a little. The KEY learning for startup entrepreneurs is FIND a handful of people like James Avery and hold on to them TIGHTLY. I'm guilty of being too presumptive and am working on that. To those I've dis-respected by my presumptions I apologize and appreciate that you were more graceful and kind with me than I would probably be if roles were reversed. My CrowdFunde co-founder Phil put today's experience into proper perspective. We need to explain what we are doing better, Phil Said. He is right and we are working on that too. So we are adjusting to the feedback that is valuable such as the name is confusing and trying to do as I say and not as I AM with absurd feedback from goofystupid presumptive people. When I mess up and am presumptive give me a smack (lol). Marty Wrote about our great James Avery meeting on CrowdFunde over the weekend: http://www.crowdfunde.com/featured/dont-be-an-asshole-gestalt-coaching-entrepreneurs-startups/ Read James Avery's How I Learned To Stop Giving Advicehttp://jamesavery.io/how-i-learned-to-stop-giving-advice/
Still hadn't written my way out of how angry a meeting made me today, so this post continues on GPlus:https://plus.google.com/102639884404823294558/posts/4tF6GV1Fypc
James Avery's sudden & bad realization - he was an asshole. He was giving advice the wrong way. Learn how he stopped giving bad advice to startups.Lunch With Adzerk's James AveryWe had a great lunch with Adzerk CEO James Avery at Triangle Startup Factory on Friday. James realized he was giving advice the wrong way. This post is about how he shifted the way he shares experience instead of being so presumptuous as to "give advice".
How Do You Become Great?We had a great talk at the Startup Factory today from Rodney Evans (www.linkedin.com/in/rodneyeevans). Rodney works in a cool DC Think Tank / "Movement" called The McChrystal Group ( http://www.mcchrystalgroup.com/).
Founded by General (ret.) Stanley A McChrystal and David Silverman. Their mission is nothing less than changing the way the world does business in the 21st century. Sounds cool and fun to the team at CrowdFunde (http://www.crowdfunde.com). Rodney shared some great reading with me (books I just ordered) including:Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them by Joshua Greene http://www.amazon.com/dp/1594202605/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_KrGptb1K48SD6 Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core by ... http://www.amazon.com/dp/0470186364/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_GAGptb04XA6NGQKT And I added one of General McChrystal's books:Counterinsurgency Challenge, The: A Parable of Leadership and Decision Making ... http://www.amazon.com/dp/0811711773/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_1JGptb05P39ZAEX6 Follow Rodney on Twitterhttps://twitter.com/rodneyevans919 We are going to ask Rodney to weigh in on how we talk about conversations, realized networks and creating LOVE needed for social advocacy on CrowdFunde. We may use Moral Tribes and Energy Leadership too. Stay tuned.
Imgur is home to the web's most popular image content, curated in real time by a dedicated community through commenting, voting and sharing.
File this infographic under "stats to help sell social to the c level" and good luck.
Social Business Trends 2014...
Numeri, tendenze, stats | il #Mobile su tutto
Motley Fool on Apple TV & ComcastThree Fools take to the air to examine the prospects for a team-up between Apple and Comcast. - Tim Beyers - Tech and Telecom. Marty NoteWhy aren't TVs more like smart phones? Why can't we build apps for them? Why is the delivery device we spend as much time with as our computers so sealed off from innovation?
Is a custom Apple TV-delivered service coming your way soon?Some talks have already been in the works as Apple and Comcastthink about creating a service that will include live TV andtop of the line Comcast programming. Read what they are talkingabout.
Lunch With Smart Dogs at Triangle Startup FactoryKip Frey (www.linkedin.com/pub/kip-frey/36/b09/384 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 (https://www.dognition.com/ ).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 ScaleThe 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" (http://www.purinaone.com/dogs/28-Day-Challenge/main-page ).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? http://www.purinaone.com/dogs/28-Day-Challenge/main-pageERROR - 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! MartyPS. 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 https://www.dognition.com/ .
SOAR is an important project. Glad we have a chapter in the Triangle ares of North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill). We want to support SOAR anyway we can including putting our startup @CrowdFunde into the mix and writing some checks. This initiative is long overdue and we are all in.
I want to interview everyone about their efforts at SOAR. It's great to know that there's support for this project.
Ensighten solidifies global leadership of the data and tag management market
Expect more consolidation and combination in the metrics, cloud BI space. Lots of little fish about to be swallowed whole by medium fish.