Crowdsourcing: solve a problem (or begin to) by gathering small bits of info from large groups of individuals.
Here is how some creative developers put together a "mashup" (blending more than one technology to accomplish a specific purpose) of cell phone and mapping technologies to chart areas of violence in Kenya. See what their next plans are for developing this idea for use in other areas of the world.
Good advice here for entrepreneurs and business owners. Read all the way to the end of this short post though (click the link to get to the full blog post). There is a point there I hadn't considered previously.
My Lawyer, My Banker, My Accountant- by far the three most important people in my business life. They are the first three people on speed dial, on my office phone, but what makes them a vital part of what any entrepreneur does? Money comes in, it goes to the bank. The accountant analyzes every single number that is connected to an entrepreneur and their business. The lawyer minimizes trouble. Or handles issues that need to be screened.
First let me discuss about why it is good to invest in a strong law firm to back you up.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an area I have been looking into lately as I'm very interested in the dynamics of Internet marketing. Mainly my interest, like that of many I'm sure, stems from the fact that the Internet is the largest marketplace the world has ever seen and it is constantly evolving.
Talking to some of my friends who are also thinking about doing some PPC advertising, I can see this is a greatly misunderstood area for most of them. Some seem to think they will just have to pay the cost of admission (their monthly pay-per-click budget) and the business will simply come flooding in.
Unfortunately, website hits do not equal bankable sales.
What happens when you pay for 100 or 1000 hits in a month and no one buys? Maybe you just need more traffic so you up the ante and pay for more PPC. After a while and a lot of cash, you realize that there must be something wrong with your site otherwise that traffic should be converting.
So you decide it's your site that needs tweaking (or worse, a complete overhaul) to get visitors to take the action you need them to take to make back that PPC money that was spent.
Or maybe the problem is further upstream in the process: perhaps the keywords being used are not attracting the right visitors in the first place.
Possibly it is a combination of all of the above factors.
One thing is for sure, while PPC is a huge advance over traditional advertising, it is no silver bullet. I run into people weekly who have spent or are spending (burning?) money with PPC and are not yet seeing the results for which they had hoped. They are getting their hits, but that's it.
I urge anyone who is thinking about getting started with PPC to read up on it while they TEST their campaigns with very small sums until they feel like they are getting conversions to sales.
This way you may still be paying for the education, but you're not shelling out a college tuition!
You probably know or have heard of Malcolm Gladwell. He wrote two other best-sellers: The Tipping Point and Blink. I hadn't read them but am now reading the former (quite good!).
Outliers, The Story of Success, was a fascinating read. Have you ever wondered how big a factor talent was in the success of people like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs?
Or what about Mozart? Wasn't he just plain talented? What I mean is: wasn't it talent that made him who he was?
The Beatles--same question.
If you answered "yes", you'll find Outliers to be a remarkable and astonishing book. The above "talented" people/groups all had something in common before they had talent. The best news of all is that we can all benefit from it.
Outliers completely shifted the way I look at success and helped me hone in on what it takes to rise above in anything I undertake to do. It even revived old goals I have had, such as becoming competent with a musical instrument; and I now know just how and when I'm going to conquer that goal.
If you're in the business of being successful in any field of endeavor, I urge you to read this book. It's a real eye-opening mythbuster.
Generally I'm a pretty conservative guy, at least when it comes to business. I'm more of a fan of incremental improvements than I am of going off in 10 different directions at once because I think it has more staying power in the long run.
Having said that, there's something very unconservative about the idea of disruptive technologies that very much appeals to me. In his book, Seeing What's Next (2004, Harvard Business School Publishing Corp.), Clayton Christensen delivers a very smart history of a variety of industries which have, at their peak performance in the market, unknowingly began the process of being cut off at the knees by a competitive business technology or opportunity that the peaking company left in its wake as it moved up-market to higher paying customers.
The book sits on a shelf within eyesight when I'm at my desk, not because I crack it open on any regular basis, but because it is a reminder to me to: a) never be complacent, especially when you are winning, and b) that there is always opportunity to be created out there. Often that opportunity is being created by our own lack of rear-viewing to see what we are leaving behind us as we chart our present market course. So the last reminder, c), is to keep an eye to the rear from time to time. Maybe commission a market study in that area once every year or two (depending on the speed at which one's present company is moving through the current market) to act as the first-mover against one's own company, if necessary. Better you than them, so to speak.
In any case, I highly recommend Seeing What's Next for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit, or if you happen to be a business history buff. You can order it at Amazon by clicking this link or by going to the Absorb This! section of this blog.
Okay well now you can hear me talk about my favorite new thing live and in almost in person. As a recording, it's a little rough around the edges, but I don't care! Why? Because I want you to hear this sooner not later and I want you to ACT on it.
One of my friends recently called this service “the Holy Grail” of
web hosting services because of their stats for GETTING YOU TRAFFIC. It’s unique in that it levels the playing field
without diluting the power of what you can do to make money on the web.
Listen to this short podcast where I tell you just how I feel about this. Then go here for a short 10 slide introduction into what makes this service so excellent.