Samstag, 23. Februar 2008

imagine it! - stanford entrepreneurship challenge

add value to a post-it within six days to create the basis of a business. that´s the challenge of the "imagine it!" entrepreneurship week at stanford university.

the promo video gives a good idea about what it is all about. imagine to replace the post-it by any itc commodity. be it a fax, a regular email, a memory stick, name it. gread mind exercise.
there is a whole film to download about it too, for those who want to seed full coverage of the quest.

Mittwoch, 20. Februar 2008

why permission marketing is bootstrapping

his own experience learned seth godin, that old marketing rules are partly obsolete.

not the 30 second "super bowl" ad makes the difference any more. nor the top down political marketing campaign. bottom up is the "new" blue! but did not alway to do that - somehow?

back to the start. in seth godin´s book "permission marketing" he describes how he had the opportunity to spend $6 million in old style marketing ways. putting up big adds, tv commercials, big sponsorships. only to realize that the return on business was negligible. his conclusion he wrote down in his book in typical american business book style.

he finds out, that it is necessary for marketers to shift from attention to permission marketing. establish a customer relation in steps from light involvement to heavy. and always give back to the customer one every deepening of relationship.

this is nothing new for let aside the internet bubble this is how are forced, limited by financial constraints, to approach their customers. it is called "bootstrapping". keep costs low, focus on your most likely target. approach it in the most cost effective way, such that a long term relationship can be established.

this might not please the egos of the big marketing spenders in the big corporations. their pr/marketing agencies will promise them to establish also permission marketing campaigns for them. "big" surely in money terms.

what can take from the ideas of godin is, how they can structure and monitor their way to approach their customers. to find out what is behind godin´s five steps is worth reading therefore for

Dienstag, 19. Februar 2008

more incubators in uk and us

more incubators mean more opportunites to pitch ideas. and they provide ideas about current valuation of ideas. it is recommended to use those opportunities as long as they are that plentyful.
another chance to pitch your start.up: 7-8th march, london: startupcamp
in the us, launchbox digital is looking for innovative ideas. see also the respective techchrunch article. the start.up mindmap was updated accordingly.

Samstag, 16. Februar 2008

five words describe your business

it requires severe effort to describe a business in five words. if a company, an entrepreneur or any employee can not do this, then big chunk of work lies ahead.

the idea to describe what makes a company unique and differentiates it from their competitors in five words gets quite some focus by jay conrad levinson in his book "guerrilla marketing". although being a 1985 first published classic marketing book, nothing of its relevance is lost.
how this simple idea often is ignored showed a recent information and telecommunications trade fair, the "itnt" in vienna.
what information does a potential customer get at an it-fair about companies describing themselves as "software solutions", "it solutions" or "the it company"? other then that they do what all the others do and that they are not anything special at all. one could even think, those companies do not know by themselves what they stand for. the rather do whatever you dare to give them money for.
there are exceptions though. a company called "comnet" for example. while already their name gives an indication, that communication and networking is their business, they describe their business as follows "connect-protect-controll". seeing that, one gets what they focus on. the bit extended slogan goes "we create value through networks". while their business is not of much interest here, it has to be acknowledged, that they are clear about their message. and if one counts, there are not more then five words to do that. there is room for improvement though. for example, what are they doing better then the others can not be seen.
five words to describe what a company does, how it differentiates itself from all the others remains a tough job. one worth to tackle though.

Donnerstag, 7. Februar 2008

fatfoogoo´s financing success factors

@ the last barcamp vienna martin herdina, ceo of the austrian start.up fatfoogoo named three main success factors for their subsequent funding rounds:

1) use contact networks
they used their existing contacts for angel funding. and kept leveraging the angels contacts to acquire their first vc round. and guess how they are looking for their next investment? by using the network of their first round investors.
2) sell and convince
their contacts with the potential angel investors did not spare them the job to sell them the idea of fatfoogoo. they had to convince them about their visionary idea and the resulting business opportunities.
3) believe in yourself
strong believe in their ideas and abilities were and are necessary to push ahead successfully, not only in terms of financing.

there is nothing to add to that.