Startup/MicroISV Digest for 12/14/2010

Community News:

  • Erin Lang at the Belgrave Trust has a suggestion for strategizing in 2011: get a whiteboard. In fact, get a carbon neutral whiteboard. Belgrave is a two-year-old startup that sells carbon offsets as a subscription service to allow individuals to live carbon neutral.  They’ve recently added four products to their service that come bundled with a carbon offset component – trying to make it a little more tangible to the consumer.
  • Need to lawyer up your startup? Hays Ellisen of New York-based law firm, Shahmoon & Ellisen LLP wants you to know about the Tech Law Project – a pro bono legal service for startups. The Tech Law Project provides free legal advice to new technology companies that are in the early stages of development.
  • Tokyo-based Ryo Shimizu of Ubiquitous Entertainment wrote in to let people know that Toshiaki Yoshida has recently launched a new site, chirpstory.com. Chirpstory’s motto is “Sharing the world’s stories, one Tweet at a time.”

Interesting Answers.Onstartups.com questions with useful answers:

News/posts for microISVs and Startups:

  • Button, button, who’s got the button? Turns out Performable has a very nice button generator at Super Conversion Button. They also have a short “Tips to SuperCharge your Call-to-Action Buttons” pdf as a free download.
  • Alwin Hoogerdijk, founder of Collectorz.com, did an interesting post where he shares some recent market share news and his sales numbers for the Collectorz.com apps for iPhone, iPad and Android. “The average Android owner is an animal that is completely different from the typical iPhone owner, and not nearly as app-hungry,” Alwin says. Good post!
  • Guy Kawasaki has an answer to the question, Facebook fan page or website page? over at his Amex OPEN column: the answer might surprise you and the “reveal tab trick” he highlights is a good one to know.
  • Want a chunk of a million dollars for something you’re probably going to connect your app to anyway? MailChimp has announced a $1 million fund to help foster startup adoption of its double opt-in emailing services. I’ve talked to two startup founders in the last week who have applied, been interviewed and are now waiting to see if they’re API integration projects will get funded. I really like MailChimp in general; then giving back to the startup community only enhances their reputation.
  • Tristan Kromer has launched a Startup wiki at http://SVstartup.com. Tristan had planned to focus this wiki to be a tool focusing on the San Francisco Bay Area, but given the response to the idea, this might go national.

StartupToDo.com, The Startup Success Podcast and other plugs:

  • What’s new at StartupToDo.com. (StartupToDo.com is a subscription-based community of startup founders; if you’re not already a member, get your free 30 day free trial membership):
    • No new guides this period.
  • New at the Startup Success Podcast:
    • Show #88 [link] [iTunes]. This week Bob and Pat talk again with Jeff Haynie, founder of Appcelerator, an open-source web technology for building native code desktop, mobile and web applications. We interviewed Jeff back in Show #33 about a year ago: How has the past year been for Appcelerator? Well, there are about 6,000 apps in the Apple iPhone/iPad Store that were written using Appcelerator, and they just nailed down $9 million in Series B funding. If you have been flirting with the idea of doing a mobile app, you definitely want to check out Appcelerator.
    • Show #89 [link] [iTunes]. This week Bob and Pat talk with David Cancel, CEO of Performable, a web analytics firm. Web analytics has become a very sophisticated business, with Performable, for example, being able to show you data, revenue, and conversion rates between different social media referrers, track customer lifetime visits, conversions and revenue, let you “reverse engineer” which pages of your site converted a visitor to a customer and even make specific recommendations on how to improve the process. David explains how a large company, or a startup, can effectively use web analytics, avoid the creepiness factor, and produce actionable information form their web data.
    • Show #90 [link] [iTunes]. In this show, Pat solos while interviewing Mark Stephens of IDR Solutions – founder of a six-person U.K. micro software company specializing in Java-based PDF tools licensed to the likes of Adobe. Pat and Mark came back from speaking at and attending this year’s Business of Software Conference changed men – and in this insightful conversation they share not only what made this conference transformative, but key insights about the realities of how small software firms can and should succeed.
  • Tired of being stuck in neutral in your startup? Why not do a MicroConsult with Bob Walsh? Instead of hypotheticals and too much information, Bob will work with you for an hour via Skype developing 8 to 10 specific todos that will get your startup in gear. Here’s what one recent client had to say:

    “The Microconsult with Bob was excellent. Our particular problem was lack of sales. Bob analysed our website in detail and made specific suggestions for improvements, which would make it more likely for customers to buy our service. He is very patient and offers great value for money. The phone call in the Microconsult offer is for one hour, but our session lasted more than 2 hours! Bob is a true mentor. We are very excited and optimistic about making the relevant changes to our website.” — (Name withheld)

    Details at 47hats.com.

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(If you have an announcement of interest to your fellow microISV, indies or startups, please email me at bob.walsh@47hats.com with the word digest in the subject.)