Archive for March, 2009

The Industry

Internet or Web apps are becoming a huge industry making so much stuff so easy, like for example blogging. Now everybody has a blog, of course if it’s well designed and marketed it will be better. I realized my blog posts don’t get many reads and I know why this happens. It’s all basically my fault. I created a Tumblr account and made it my bio link in my twitter page and then failed to update it, It should have been my blog, and secondly I’m always lazy to post or write long articles.

Well after that random blurb i was thinking on launching 2 podcasts, a nice blog and finally a web app. This are projects I have had for at least 6 months now.  Some may be launching soon and probably the web app will take sometime, specially because I’m not in a country with much confidence in web startups, but that will not stop me. 

I will have to work hard on that using platform as a service offers out there and contacting some coder around the world, which i hope to find and finally launch the startup and get some funding, even if we have to move it to the US or another country.

So software as a service, platforms as a service and the latest community as a service are all making it possible for people around the world to build lot’s of web products easily and I love how this services democratize the world in a real way. Thomas Friedman said it in his book “The earth is flat” and it is becoming more real for everyone now.

 

Right now I’m looking for a coder, a web designer and some co-hosts for a podcast and nice blog. I’m sure all this will start and hopefully be sustainable in the future.

So what are your projects now? Continue Reading »

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So right now there is a economic downturn in some parts of the world. Many will say it’s global, but the turth is that it isn’t because there are countries growing out there (China, India and Peru). This downturn or crisis causes people to lose confidence and to stop investing and stay safe at home.

 

But that’s wrong.

 

This is the time to start winning in your business. For sure your market has slowed it’s growth or even started decreasing. So what? Well, right now i see that as a great opportunity to become more efficient in what you do. Maybe you don’t need those extra servers consuming energy or that extra I.T guy. Ok you’ll contribute to job losses, but you can also ask that guy to find a way to make himself add value to the business and become more efficient in what his collaboration is. The point is that when cash is short you find incredible ways of saving money without losing the quality of service. 

 

You can also move to a bigger office for the same price (that’s if you’re still with high sales and profits). For example, TechCrunch found a nice office and the chance to move thanks to the downturn. This new place will be cheaper and you can make your office a good place to attract talent when the growth period begins again. 

Also, many more stuff will be cheap. Let’s say for instance a company goes out of business (i.e Circuit City) you can buy all of their servers, machines, etc. for a cheap price and end up with good equipment to start making your business more efficient. You could add part time workes or even open a co working space with those extra pc’s , servers or furniture. 

Finally in times of crisis is when the team can grow together stronger. You’ll have to make some tough calls as the leader and you can make them point to a goal of integration. For example, instead of downsizing your company you can tell your employees you’ll cut their salaries in a porcentage and increase them when the sales and profits increase so that all of you can go through the crisis without losing your jobs. You can also try and make integration events so people can get to know each other in order to increase trust, reduce bureaucracy and increase efficiency.

Sometimes this things are easier said than done. But, in a business things are always tough to do than what they look on paper.

In this times, not only in the countries experiencing the economic crisis but also in the ones experiencing just a slow down in growth (which means are growing slower but still doing good) there are a few ways to make a new company (a startup, a family company or even a lemonade stand) look professionaly, operate as professional in a very cheap way.

The first thing i find useful is google docs. Commonly when you start a new business you currently have a job or have other projects. Let’s say you have a job and your partners also have multiple occupations (one is a caring mother, the other one has it’s own start up and finally the other one lives on the other side of the world). So you can use google docs to share the information that is not “classified”. Then you could build presentations, documents and spreadsheets so that everybody can see the information as it’s done without meeting each other on a daily basis. The alternative will be to pass office documents around by e-mail that will end up in partial documents multiplying around inboxes. 

The second thing google offers (yes, because google is that great and mainly because they make a huge effort in developing products others don’t) you can have a free e-mail service with your own domain making your business look serious. Let’s face it your company’s e-mail looks better as lemonade@lemonadestands.com than as lemonadestands@gmail.com. In my opinion with that more people will take you seriously and the cost is less than $10 a year.  Plus Gmail can be used in any pc or mac with free clients (like thunderbird) and in your iphone and maybe more phones will support it in the future (or maybe they already do).

Intuit offers a great platform to manage billing and accounting and many more things for cheap prices. So if your business develops a bit to the next level you can still manage growth with relative ease and for low prices. All this cut costs to say it someway can be translated in higher profits without downgrading quality of service or increasing costs for costumers. 

For sure there are more tools i don’t  know about. What do you use?