Entries from December 2010 ↓

Startup Founder’s Holiday Wishlist

Christmas is coming and you have no idea what to get the startup founder in your life? Even if that founder is you? Well, look no further.

The following is a list of startup-related stuff that I own, or have a desire to own, this holiday season. And yep, it’s mostly books. Is that surprising, or just sad?

Instructions for Use

  1. “Accidentally” leave this URL open on your significant other’s computer with a sticky note that says: I heart everything on this page.
  2. Tweet it or Facebook it to let your social graph know what you’re looking for. Amazon didn’t recently add the ability to gift Kindle books for nothing.
  3. Buy something for yourself.

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of these products are things that I have experience with or a genuine desire to own. I am recommending them because they will either improve your ability to grow your company, or they’re just plain fun to have around, not because of the commissions.
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How to Detect a Toxic Customer

Photo by Francisco

A month ago I received a sales inquiry via email for my invoicing software package. The prospect asked if we could complete the questions he had attached in a spreadsheet:

I will need the attached questions answered in order to proceed as I can’t get them all answered off your website.

There were nearly 80 questions, at least half of which could be answered from our website.

In addition, he mentioned doing a flat-file exchange of data between our software and a custom piece his colleague had written. I mentioned that we have a .NET API or a web service layer, and that passing flat files back and forth would not be an optimal approach for a few reasons.

And that’s when it started to get good.

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