November 21, 2008
Seth Godin wrote a great post today How to make money on the Internet. The essence of the post is that value is created by helping companies and users “connect”. Although he didn’t mention it, I assume that connect “efficiently” is key to providing the most value. The search engine that connects you with the information you are seeking on the first page of results will win your business from the one that connects with the same information on the 5th page of the search.
One of the examples in the post is about connecting companies with job seekers, so it is only fitting that we point out that Genotrope does exactly that. Instead of searching for buzzwords on a job board and then finding out that the 500 results are 85% 3rd party recruiter generated, Genotrope finds you compatible companies using your work history.
The nifty new feature we released today, lets registered users view their connections within a company via Linkedin. Now you can apply directly to the company and then see who you know or your friends know that work there.
Connecting you to compatible potential companies and your network of contacts is more valuable and efficient than searching a job board for buzzwords in a recruiters posting.
November 19, 2008
If you are in the business of attracting and turning web visitors into customers, there are two resources that offer incredible value.
Hubspot the Cambridge based inbound marketing company has many free tools, resources and webinars that are very valuable for companies looking to improve their web marketing presence. Web Site Grader and Twitter Grader are fun as well as informative. They also provide a lot of useful content on blogs, white papers, free Webinars and videos. Maybe the best lesson is, the company itself is excellent proof of the power of it’s own concepts. Their growing presence in the webshpere is an example to follow.
Startonomics is a one day workshop on web marketing co-organized by Dave MCclure and hosted by Deal MakerMedia. Even though it was held in San Francisco, we on the East Coast can still attend (virtually) as all the sessions and slide decks have be posted via video as well as Slideshare. This is a must view for anyone hoping to gain insight on how the most experienced consumer web marketers have honed and practiced their craft.
So much information is available to help entrepreneurs learn and navigate the startup waters, but these two stand out among the rest.
November 18, 2008
Genotrope Record: Unidesk
Funding Status: Series A
Investors: Matrix, Northbridge
Founders or Execs past companies: LiveVault, AppIQ, Oatsystems
Industry: Software virtualization, PC lifecycle management
Offering Description: Unidesk is developing the next generation of enterprise desktop management software that lets IT and end users both have it “their way,” and eliminates the need to choose between desktop control and personalization.
November 11, 2008
This upcoming Monday, November 17th from 7-9 pm, Mobile Monday Boston will turn the stage over to 9 Early Stage Mobile Companies. Each company will get 5 minutes to present. Following the presentations will be product demonstrations and a social cocktail hour. It looks like it will be a great event and another indication that innovation continues despite market downturns. Come check them out.
The following companies will be presenting.
Assured Labor: A social marketplace for services utilizing web and mobile technology
I remember reading about this company back in the summer time when they initially introduced an application to improve the lives of workers in developing countries by using mobile phones and a custom web platform to rapidly connect dependable workers with honest employers who have labor needs. As with most good startups, the product has morphed into the current offering which is more consumer focused.
Cadio: Location-based behavior-targeted mobile advertising
Drync: Find the wine you’re drinking, along with reviews, ratings, and prices
Mobegic: Help retailers and consumer product companies deepen customer engagements
Pongr: Mobile price checking that uses innovative image search technology
Winner of fbFund funding.
RunKeeper: Mobile GPS fitness tracking applications for runners and cyclists
SCVNGR: A mobile gaming platform that lets anyone quickly and easily build out mobile games
Shovebox: Manage snippets of information across your desktop and iPhone
Urban Interactive: Mobile applications that connect the digital world with physical spaces
November 7, 2008
Well, he states in his post Why to Start a Startup in a Bad Economy “”For years I’ve been telling founders that the surest route to success is to be the cockroaches of the corporate world.”
I am always up for a good biological metaphor when describing business and am particularly fond of bugs, so while I agree with the point that startups should be hard to kill, I don’t think a cockroach fits the bill.
In fact a cockroach is easy to kill, just one light tap of a toe and the pop lets you know that bug is no more. Cockroaches are hard to kill however, because you can’t kill all of them. So the choice of the bug in his metaphor might bely an investor perspective that funds 40 companies a year. The portfolio will survive but not each individual.
Coming from the bootstrap perspective, I prefer using a tick, not “the tick” but a tick as my bug of choice. Have you ever tried to kill one of those babies? Not easy.
So the point is still the same, keep the burn rate low and survive until the next moose comes along. From where we sit, there aren’t a million brothers ready to take my place, so we have to keep cranking, even when we have a shoe trying to crush us.
November 6, 2008
BizSpark is the new program recently announced by Microsoft to provide development tools, platform technologies, and production licenses of server products to start ups. I had always thought that they were missing the boat by ignoring the requirements of early stage companies and letting Sun, Amazon and others have free reign to cater to the potential next GoogForceSoft.
often times at various networking events around town, I would come across a Web startup with serious cred and technical acumen that would mention that they were built upon and with Microsoft platforms and tools. The quality of the tools and the reliability of the platform was always the reason when I asked “why Microsoft?”
It seemed a missed opportunity to not bring those companies and products to light. To capitalize on that very issue, BizSpark has begun a feature they call Startup of the Day.
They couldn’t pick a better example to start off the program than Plentyoffish. The epitome of the bootstrapped web company starting from humble beginnings in the founder and still sole developer Markus Frind’s spare bedroom. In five years the Plentyoffish dating site has grown into a $ 5-10 million dollar company supporting 1.8 billion pageviews and 70 million monthly visitors. The most amazing fact is that the site was developed and administered by one person and still is today. The Wall Street Journal did a profile on Markus and his company in 2007.
Good move by Microsoft to cater to new startups.
November 3, 2008
Genotrope Record: RetireHub
Funding Status: Seed
Founders or Execs past companies: Fidelity Investments
Industry: Online Financial, B2C
Offering Description: Retirement Planning & Investment Management
A completely new approach. We combine high-quality analytics and investment management services with web-based delivery in an innovative, refreshingly efficient way.