Entries from April 2010 ↓

Join My Online Split Testing Class on May 11th

Ever since I heard about Startup School a few months back I’ve been meaning to try it out. Next Tuesday I get my chance, as I take the reins of an online class on split testing (aka A/B testing).

The class is at 10am PST on Tuesday April 27th and 32 people have signed up so far.

Due to technical difficulties I will be re-teaching this class at 10am PST on Tuesday May 11th. It will be one hour in duration with the majority of the time devoted to Q&A.

Click here for more information or to sign up for the class.

The entertainment value of me flubbing my way through an online presentation will be priceless…

It’s Easy to Criticize from the Stands

Something’s been bothering me for the past few months and today I finally put my finger on it.

It bothers me how much people like to criticize other people.

“People suck,” you’re thinking to yourself “so what’s your point?”

Ok, so it’s not just that people like to criticize other people, it’s that they like to criticize other people when they have relative anonymity, and when they haven’t achieved much themselves.

Yep, I’m gonna get flamed for this one.

Continue reading →

Podcast Ranked #13 in iTunes: Management and Marketing

I logged into iTunes Wednesday night and was pleasantly surprised to see our brand new podcast ranked #13 in its category:

Startups for the Rest of Us Podcast in iTunes

This was before I realized it must be a “velocity” ranking; since we launched Wednesday we had a lot of new subscribers, which propelled us onto this “Top Podcasts” list. Either that or these podcasts have a lot fewer listeners than I thought.

Nah, it’s the velocity thing.

But Management and Marketing? iTunes needs to re-think these stodgy old categories because it’s the closest thing to “startups” they offer. In the drop down menu, Management and Marketing is just above Blacksmithing and Siege-weapon Manufacturing.

Oh well, we’re in good company alongside the Harvard Business IdeaCast, HubSpot’s Inboung Marketing University and StartupNation.

Our next episode, Stupid Reasons to Start a Software Company, will be out next Tuesday.

Thanks to everyone who has subscribed to the podcast, through iTunes or otherwise. If you have a minute, a rating and/or comment in iTunes will greatly help our visibility and ranking. You can also subscribe via RSS or email.

I Need Your Help! Which Book Would You Be Most Likely to Buy?

I’m in the first stage of writing a book.

I’ve been in talks with two publishers who approached me through this blog. But before I get too far into this process I need your help to find out what the book should focus on.

Shape the future by answering the two questions below…

Thanks to everyone who responded.


The Terror of Firsts

The first time you try something it’s scary.

Some “firsts” I’ve experienced in the past 10 years that have put some serious fear in me:

  • my first face to face with a potential client
  • my first published article
  • my first blog post
  • my first product launch
  • my first product acquisition
  • my first time speaking at a user group
  • my first time speaking at a conference

As humans we fear the unknown. We fear failure…rejection…mistakes. These are either feelings that come naturally or have been pressed into us by society.

This fear is what makes starting a company hard. It entails large amounts of risk and there’s so much potential for failure, rejection and mistakes. In fact, most of these are almost inevitable if you choose to start something that makes a difference.

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My Podcast Launches Today: “Startups for the Rest of Us”

My new podcast launches today. It’s called Startups for the Rest of Us.

My co-host is Mike Taber, the guy behind SingleFounder.com.

Our goal is to help non-venture-backed, bootstrapped startups, microISVs and Micropreneurs.

I subscribe to about 20 startup podcasts in iTunes, and about 10% of them provide real, practical advice from experienced entrepreneurs. So many of the interview shows turn into people promoting their app or service instead of digging into actionable steps you can take to launch or grow your startup.

That’s why we’ve made it out mission to provide practical information based on our real-life experience as software/web entrepreneurs (20+ years between the two of us), as well as the entrepreneurs we work with in the Micropreneur Academy.

The Details
A new episode every Tuesday. The first episode is live at the podcast website and you can listen to it in your browser or download the MP3. We’re also providing full written transcripts of each episode in the show notes.

Episodes will be concise and run 20-30 minutes so you can listen to them during a jog, a short commute or part of a lunch hour.

I think this is something you’ll want to check out…

Subscribe Now:

“Startup Website Reviews” Screencast Series Has Moved to StartupLens.com

My screencast series Startup Website Reviews took on a life of its own rather quickly.

I offered to perform free website reviews a few weeks ago and I’m now booked well beyond the six-month mark. I also received feedback that given the volume of reviews (2 per week), that I should consider splitting it off into a separate website.

So as of episode 5 (published a few minutes ago), Software by Rob’s Startup Website Reviews are now located at StartupLens.com, a video blog I put together Tuesday morning in under 4 hours (yes, I timed it).

This is Where You Come In
The more momentum StartupLens builds from the start, the better chance it has to succeed in the long-term. This is one of the rare times when I’m going to ask for two favors:

  1. Head over to StartupLens.com and subscribe to the RSS feed so you can stay up to date with reviews as they are published.
  2. Blog or tweet about this new resource. Add it to Hacker News, Reddit, Digg, or another place where startups and web entrepreneurs hang out.

I’ll still be handling the reviews myself, publishing twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If you want to add your site to the queue, email me at rob -at- softwarebyrob dot com.

From 160 Hours to 10: A Tale of Agile Business Practices

More than two years ago my business partner and I discussed launching a hosted version of my ASP.NET invoicing software, DotNetInvoice.

We developed the plan and a task list, and estimated the effort at around 160 hours including development time needed to make DotNetInvoice a multi-tenant application. But given the heavy competition in the hosted invoicing software market and the level of effort of the task, it was continually placed on the back burner.

Until we figured out how to get to the same endpoint with 10 hours of work.

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Startup Website Reviews Episode 4: NHProf.com

Reviewing NHProf.com

Startup Website Reviews – Episode 3: SimplyBill.com

Reviewing SimplyBill.com