Category Archives: business

Camera’s, Concerts and Free Marketing

I go to a lot of concerts. Music is a big passion of mine and whenever I have the chance to see an artist live I will very quickly and usually without thinking jump on the bandwagon. Last night I went to We Will Rock You. Although not a concert, it is a musical inspired by Queen. It was absolute crap, but that’s not the point of this post. What really struck me as surprising and what has struck me many times in the past is the fact that they wont let you take pictures or video clips in these shows (concerts included). I can understand flash photography, but why not video clips? It’s not like people are going to be able to video tape the entire concert on their camera and post it to YouTube (thus eliminating some people’s need to actually pay and go see the concert). Video camera’s that can take hours of footage, I can understand, but if someone is just taking a clip on their little digital camera that they will most likely post to YouTube or Facebook, let them do it, its free marketing! It really surprises me that this archaic rule is still around in a time when all the little marketers are scrambling to find ways of moving their activities online. You are not paying for these people to do this work, they are doing it because they want to and the exposure is fantastic. All their online and offline friends will see these videos and explore the artist or show which means there is a much better chance of you selling more seats the next time you’re in town. I want to open this up to the audience because maybe I am missing something here. Why does this rule still exist?

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Filed under business, community, marketing, mobile, technology, web 2.0

Apple announces final MacWorld, Steve Jobs won’t deliver keynote

Chalk this one up in your history books ladies and gents. You may not be a geek or lover of technology, but the fact that Apple just announced that this MacWorld will be the last one in history is big news. MacWorld is a major Apple trade show. It’s the location where Steve Jobs launched such ground breaking products as the iPhone, iPod, etc and now it’s all over. 

So what is the significance of all this? Well, trade shows used to be a great way of reaching out and engaging customers. However, it is much easier to reach the customer today than ever before. More importantly its much cheaper also. With the use of web based technologies such as twitter and other social networks, trade shows are becoming far less important. 

With the end of MacWorld, could we be witnessing the end of the trade show era in general? Only time will tell, what do you think?

Apple announces final MacWorld, Steve Jobs won’t deliver keynote: Engadget 

Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before, so like many companies, trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers. The increasing popularity of Apple’s Retail Stores, which more than 3.5 million people visit every week, and the Apple.com website enable Apple to directly reach more than a hundred million customers around the world in innovative new ways.

Apple has been steadily scaling back on trade shows in recent years, including NAB, Macworld New York, Macworld Tokyo and Apple Expo in Paris.

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Yahoo’s Secret Layoff Double Speak Revealed

So I found this link yesterday thanks to twitter and couldn’t help sharing it with all of you out there. The only reason we all have a copy of this right now is because Yahoo has been firing people like mad. Given the inter-connectedness now of tech communities around the world, it has been very easy to pick up on some rather confidential documentation that has been swirling around as people get layed off. A great example of this documentation is Yahoo’s firing policy. This is one for the books. Take a look at the link below:

Yahoo’s Secret Layoff Double Speak Revealed: Valleywag

Yahoo isn’t firing people en masse — it’s “getting fit.” That noisome euphemism for today’s layoffs of 1,500 people must have hissed forth from the brain of some overpaid management consultant. Likewise for pages upon pages of instructions on how to sack employees — which Valleywag has obtained.

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Filed under business, credit crisis, economy, technology

Y Combinator is Dead

Here is a really interesting post I found today about what this author calls the so called ‘death’ of the Y-Combinator model. For those of you that do not know what Y-combinator is, it’s a start up incubator that basically takes good ideas with strong passionate teams, gives them a bit of money to build a prototype so they can then go out and raise a real round. However, this author thinks that this model is no longer valid and gives some rather … interesting suggestions. Read more at the link below

Y-Combinator is Dead: James Siminoff

Sadly, and I truly mean that, I believe that the Y Combinator model is dead.  The idea that you can put something out there on the cheap, get traction and then raise a quick “real” round no longer seems to be valid.  While there will always be exceptions to this rule, from what I can see the market for these companies to the VC’s is mostly dead.

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An Interesting Funder’s Point of View

I read an interesting post on the Ycombinator forums today about Yossi Vardi, who is the biggest Angel Investor of internet start-up`s in Israel today. Considering Israel is thriving with young and reputable strart-up companies, the money man behind them is definitely an interesting person to take cues from. He states:

“When I hear a pitch by an entrepreneur I look for a few things in them. First, they have to be very talented. I’m not interested in good or great entrepreneurs. I want them excellent. They have to be nice people, since some investments don’t ripe in early stages. I always tell my wife that in case the investment fails in early stages, at least we gave a “scholarship” to a good guy and not to some idiot. Moreover, they have to be focused on the arena I like which is the internet. If they meet those criterias, there is a good chance I will invest in them. What exactly they are doing is less important. Business plans are a wonderful part of science-fiction. They are developed for people who love sausages and don’t know what are they made of. How can one conduct a ‘due diligence’ on something that is only in his mind.”

What I find interesting here is that:

a.) He looks at his money and his investments as scholarships. He is giving someone he truly believes in an opportunity and even if it does not work out he is happy because he gave that person a chance to learn a valuabe lesson. I love that!

b.) He doesn`t care about the business plan because the business plan is always going to change. Anyone who has been part of a startup before knows that what you originally plan out never sticks. All too often I speak to young entrepreneurs who havea great idea and get hung up on the idea of getting the business plan done. This is not to say that the business plan is useless. Outlining and organizing your thoughts is essential to keeping yourself sane and making sure there are no holes in your idea. However, investors and entrepreneurs alike must know that situations change and ideas evolve. The great entrepreneur can think on his toes and adapt given positive opportunity or even tricky situation.

The first step is to truly prove your greatness, get an unreal demo together or a killer team that you know will inspire anyone, don`t just sit there trying to cram all your thoughts into a set number of pages.

This is a guy who knows what it takes to run a company and build a great success. Business plans always change and sometimes the idea is a winner and sometimes its not. However, if  you put your eggs in the basket that is being held by the guys and girls who are truly passionate, smart and hungry for success you wlll always come out on top; even if the eggs break.

Thoughts?

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