Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Seth's Blog: More on stamps

I haven't been able to think the whole concept of "stamps" for email. Seth Godin has a pretty good argument for them (Seth's Blog: More on stamps). I'm starting to agree that it is a good idea, but as a marketer at a small business I do start to worry about the overall costs. For our average customers, we probably communicate via email at least 7 times:

1. Pre-sales
2. Purchase Receipt
3. Free webinar training announcement
4-6. Additional offers for opt-in customers
7. a technical support incident

So, we're only talking $.07/user. That's probably worth it for a good customer experience.

But Seth brings up another concept: RSS feeds. Here's an opening for an entrepreneur. Right now, RSS is one-to-many communication. In order for RSS to work as one-to-one communication is has to be secured with encrypted URLs that can be only read by the intended recipient.

Once RSS has that, it will be a viable option. Until then, I think we'll have to pay for email stamps.

Monday, February 06, 2006

PXN8.COM - Photos Made Easy

How cool is this:

PXN8.COM - Photos Made Easy

A server license doesn't cost much more than a single photoshop license. If you're building a photo service online, you'll be buying this.

Free WiFi Everywhere?

Fon (the wifi exchange company) just got some major backing. It will be very interesting to see if it takes off.

I can certainly see it working, but it may be difficult for Fon to penetrate locations such as airports that may have exclusive contracts with some providers (such as tmobile) or will charge very high rates to lease their airspace.

As it stands today, wireless internet access is much too expensive for the average user. Whether it be Verizon EVDO or T-Mobile wifi, the costs are just too much unless your company is paying for it.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

three things you should have before you start your company

Joel Spolsky of joelonsoftware.com has a great post on three things you should have before you start your startup company. He's talking about software companies, but that doesn't really matter because his advice really applies to everyone:

Don’t start a business if you can’t explain what pain it solves, for whom, and why your product will eliminate this pain, and how the customer will pay to solve this pain.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

StartupJournal | Sound Advice

Recommended ReadingFor New Entrepreneurs over at The Wall Street Journal's StartupJournal is worth taking a look at. I highly recomend "The Art of the Start" by Guy Kawasaki.

(disclaimer: Kawasaki's book is included with Business Plan Pro, the software product that I work on.)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Small Biz 101: Tips for Increasing Sales - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

Small Biz 101: Tips for Increasing Sales - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

Great post over at 37signals for those just getting started and for those of us who need a reminder from time to time.

Why don't sales people listen?

I just got off the phone with a sales person from Webex. We are considering switching from our current provider of web conferencing technology to Webex because of a few advanced features that Webex has, but I had to sit through 30 minutes of demos and explanations before the salesperson would give me pricing.

I know it's an established sales strategy to first show how cool your product is before offering pricing information, but why can't some sales people just listen to their potential customers? In this case, I already knew that Webex is better than what we have now. I told this to the salesperson. The bottom line is that it came down to price because what we have now is good enough. It's not great, but it works. The deciding factor for switching at this point is price, but the salesperson wouldn't give it to me without wasting 30 minutes of my time (and his!)

Bottom line: listen to your customer and give them what they ask for.