Entries Tagged 'Cool News, Links & Reviews' ↓

Free Website Feedback, Custom Card Designs, Finding Good Domain Names, and more…

Concept Feedback – Free feedback for marketers, designers and Micropreneurs. Share your website and get quick feedback. Excellent resource for fast, free site reviews.

lehan. paper. design. – Need an elegant “Thank You” card for a client? Or a custom card with your logo and message? Professional and elegant designs from a paper craftsman.

HotNameList – If you’re looking for a needle in a haystack, HotNameList is like having a metal detector. It finds good domains that are available to register right now. I’ve picked up 6 keyword-heavy domain names from this site in the past two months.

ABtests.com – Quick, informative A/B tests and how they’ve turned out. An awesome resource.

Working Longer Hours Is Not A Competitively Defensible Advantage – Patrick McKenzie, a brilliant Micropreneur, is on target with this post about monetizing your time, outsourcing, automation and elimination.

Web App Business Models: User Needs and What People Pay For – “If you’re planning a web application that can’t build a business model around one or more of these needs, you may face difficulties generating sustainable revenue.”

Smart People Should Do Stupid Stuff – It’s usually the simple ideas that work.

The Two iPhone App Stores, Lessons from a “Pay What You Want” Sale, Lessons of Failure, and more…

The Two iPhone App Stores – An insightful post about the two app stores – the “simple shallow” store and the “deeper, more expensive” store. The press loves to cover the “simple, shallow” store but the “deeper” store encompasses most of the apps.

Lessons from a “Pay What You Want” Software Sale – A key takeaway: “Few people chose their price based on the perceived value of the game.  How much the person feels they can afford seems to play a much larger role in the decision than how much the game is worth.”

Lessons of Failure Blog -A well-written blog about software development and project management. Relatively new but insightful and fun to read.

Finding Great Ideas for Your Startup – Good comic series.

Download the Audiobook of Chris Anderson’s Free – For…um…free.

Free Online Audio Editor – Myna allows you to edit audio in your browser for free. We are indeed moving to the cloud. I’m amazed at the power of this tool.

Book Recommendations: The Best Marketing Books of All Time

I’m really into saving time, and one way I’ve found to do that is to skim books, or listen to them as abridged audiobooks when I’m on the road.

In line with this, about a year ago I found an awesome collection of summaries of the best marketing books ever (in the opinion of the book’s editor).

These are books I would never take the time to read, but I have gleaned wisdom and entertainment from the summaries. While there is no substitute for the real thing, digesting 5-10 pages is much more palatable for me than thinking of 50 or 100 books at 200+ pages each.

I’ve since had two similar books recommended to me bringing my time saving to a grand total of…a lot of time:

Highlights from the 2009 Business of Software Conference

Business of Software is a conference organized by Neil Davidson and Joel Spolsky, and was held this year in San Francisco. The speaking line-up is a who’s who of software bloggers and authors, including Geoffrey Moore, Paul Graham, Dharmesh Shah and Joel Spolsky.

Overall the conference was well executed, the speakers were engaging and the opportunities to meet people abounded. The conference was the second reminder in just over a month that I need to get out of the house more often and meet other developers and entrepreneurs.

After getting used to hanging out with a few hundred people with a shared passion for starting “real” software companies, riding home on the train was a let-down as I realized the excitement of the previous 3 days was over.

There were several great presentations during the conference. These highlights focus on the key points I took away from my favorite talks.

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My Pecha Kucha Presentation at the 2009 Business of Software Conference


Yep, that’s me (photo by jmpk).

Somehow I allowed myself to get talked into doing the Pecha Kucha at the 2009 Business of Software conference in San Francisco (seriously though, I want to thank Jeff Atwood for convincing me to go through with it).

Pecha Kucha is 20 slides, 20 seconds each…in 6 minutes 40 seconds you are done. And it’s twice as hard as it sounds.

I hope to share a video of the talk with you in the coming weeks, but for now here are a few resources I mentioned during the talk that I want to provide to anyone interested.

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Hear me on the Startup Success Podcast

Hot off the press, hear the hosts of the Startup Success Podcast interview Mike Taber and I about the Micropreneur Academy. You can download the MP3 here.

P.S. I did a written interview a few weeks ago for LocationIndependent.com. You can find it here.

Work Less, Get More Done, Convenient Open Source, What a Startup is Really Like, and more…

Work Less, Get More Done: Analytics for Maximizing Productivity – Patrick McKenzie is the embodiment of Micropreneurship; his focus on marketing, metrics and outsourcing is nothing short of impressive. This is a great post on how working hard is not a defensible advantage.

Making Open Source Convenient: JumpBox – A startup focused on making it dead-simple to get started with open source applications, they create virtual machines completely pre-configured to just start and go (including versions that runs on Amazon EC2). If you’re having trouble installing an open source app, JumpBox is your answer.

What a Startup is Really Like – Another great Paul Graham essay. My favorite points:

  • 12. It’s Hard to Get Users. If you make something where the challenges are mostly technical, you can rely on word of mouth, like Google did…but with other types of startups you may win less by features and more by deals and marketing.
  • 17. The Value of Community. A surprising number of founders said what surprised them most about starting a startup was the value of community [hanging around other people also starting a company]

A Story of a Launch Disaster…Fast-Food Style – While the truth of this tale is dubious, it’s still a good story of doing the unexpected to thwart your competition.

CrossLoop – Mom calling you for tech support? Send her to CrossLoop, affordable online computer help.

Coolest Business Card Ever – How am I not stealing this design right now?

Know Thy Audience – And look at creative funding sources.

How to Avoid Being Outsourced or Open Sourced – Pointed out to me after my post about competing with open source competition.

My Report on StackOverflow DevDays

On Monday I attended Stack Overflow DevDays in San Francisco. Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood are hosting this series of one-day conferences as a way to get alpha-geeks out of the office to hear experts talk about new technologies ranging from Python to ASP.NET MVC. It was the best $99 (including lunch and coffee) I’ve spent in quite some time.

The highlight of the day was that I finally had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Atwood of Coding Horror and Stack Overflow. We’ve emailed several times over the years but never had the chance to meet face to face. And yes, he’s as smart as he sounds on his blog and podcast. And a super nice guy to boot.

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Startup Marketing Advice, “Failure,” Things I Learned the Hard Way, and more…

Startup Marketing Advice from Balsamiq Studio – With the startup success he’s achieved in the past 18 months, Peldi seems to know what he’s doing.

Hierarchy of the Successful Independent Software Developer – Freelancer -> Consultant -> MicroISV -> Micropreneur.

“Failure” Nike Commercial – “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Things I Learned the Hard Way – Several related posts from Derek Powazek. Titles include Unsolicited Advice is a Valuable Clue, Save the Touchy-Feely for the Redwoods, Someone’s Always Listening and Never Piss Off the Sound Guy.

The Funniest Amazon Reviews Ever – 1,255 of them.

“The Office” ERP Parody – An exceptional parody of the British version of The Office. For a while I was trying to figure out if some of the actors were from the original series.

The Future of the Web is Small, Academic Earth, Beatles Rock Band, Top Developer Blogs, et al.

The Future of the Web is Small – A case for Micropreneurship.

Top 200 Blogs for Developers – I’ve moved from 40 to 88. I need to increase my posting schedule.

Paymo Time Tracking – A well-designed, free time tracking app with one of the coolest screenshot galleries I’ve seen.

Academic Earth – Video lectures, mostly math, science and entrepreneurship from Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, NIH, Princeton, Stanford and Yale.

Cool Lip Dub – Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger – The startup life. “We did this video one night after work. We are a company called Connected Ventures, a group of friends who work for: Vimeo, CollegeHumor, Busted Tees, and Defunker.”

The Beatles: Rock Band – 09.09.09. ‘Nuff said.