Fresh from the SPRING: Salseech Audree | June 3rd, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this Express logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for Salseech. Check out more great work on Salseech’s profile page.

Nicely done, Salseech, nicely done!

 

FFS-Salseech

Innovation and Small Business: 3 Historical Winners Mike | June 1st, 2015

I wrote a few years ago about some innovations that changed the world. The steam engine transformed transportation and manufacturing forever; the invention of the distillation process and the introduction of Vodka forever changed the way we make fools of ourselves (not to mention Governmental revenues); and the invention of moving picture projectors created an new-to-the-world form of entertainment and a great date night activity.

There are dozens of examples of new ideas, inventions, and machines that launched a small business that grew and grew into business powerhouses. Examples include everything from the electric lightbulb to penicillin to the airplane. The world moves so fast today, that it is impossible to keep up with the thousands upon thousands of new ideas and inventions and equally impossible to predict which will have an impact on business or the world at large. Sometimes the most impactful innovations do not reveal themselves as world-changers for years or decades after they are introduced; one great example is the invention of movable type – invented in China in the 11th century, it was 300 years before Gutenburg invented his press which led to the mass-distribution of printed materials and the Protestant Reformation.

1. The Mobile Phone (1973)

In 1973, Motorola launched the first handheld mobile phone. The thing was a beast, but it was also a harbinger of the good times to come. Mobile phones changed industry after industry in ways both profound and negligible. All of a sudden salespeople could be reached by any client at any time wherever  they happened to be. And all of a sudden, a phone in your pocket meant that you could be on call any day of the week and anywhere you found yourself.

What’s changed most dramatically in 40 years is not just the size of the phone (Motorola’s first prototype weighed 2.5 pounds) but the functionality. Because now we can use these devices to do things the inventors never imagined: send and receive messages and emails in real time; search the Internet for infinite amounts of data (BTW, the modern Internet was still 20 years away when Motorola introduced the cell phone); and, most importantly, use cell phones as a way to market to potential customers, and serve existing customers.

The most amazing thing of all? “Mobile” is not just the label for the invention itself, the device, but has now evolved to become a nascent and rapidly growing industry of its own. And to think it all began with a device that, in its first iteration, offered just 30 minutes of talk time and a battery that took ten hours to recharge! (Photo: Wikimedia)

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Twitter Link Roundup #271 – Textbook Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | May 29th, 2015

Too weird, right? Metallica? Mellow? But perhaps a great way to start the weekend, am I right?

A hard act to follow, perhaps, but get yourself ready, because it’s time now for our weekly Roundup! This week’s set of lovely links and attractive articles that we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account) is keyboard perfection! We just love sharing articles about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

Freshii’s CEO Says McDonald’s Franchisees Want to Open Healthy Shops Inside Fast-Food Restaurantscrowdspring.co/1Gcc7jQ

State of Small Business Report crowdspring.co/1A6oKMa

California drought threatens even oldest water rights crowdspring.co/1HhWMwF

startupsblog

This U.S. City Just Made an Unusual Move to Compete With Uber crowdspring.co/1KRDizL

Slack is Rewriting the Rules on SaaS Pricing @OpenViewLabs crowdspring.co/1KRCoDk

Reid Hoffman on the biggest lie employers tell employees – buff.ly/1LNtOpF

Nine Behaviors That Drive Innovation crowdspring.co/1PKEGWi

Too Many Infrastructure Projects Go It Alone crowdspring.co/1JkLNF4

Robo-Hiring: How An Automated Headhunter Is Finding Hidden Tech Talent For Wall Street crowdspring.co/1HhWNkq

Rules You Need to Follow When Job Hunting crowdspring.co/1d2KYVq

Do This to Become a More Effective Problem Solver crowdspring.co/1PKEjev

Websites Your Startup Needs to Succeed in 2015 crowdspring.co/1E9qkb9

Consulting Giant McKinsey Buys Itself a Top Design Firm | WIRED crowdspring.co/1E9qlvX

Elon Musk’s Slightly Dishonest, Super-Effective Management Trick crowdspring.co/1IFk7tT

Halle Berry’s Newest Role: Business Owner crowdspring.co/1ICqJe8

The 6 Skills Every Successful Entrepreneur Needs crowdspring.co/1EKX2QK

Employees flock to private clubs crowdspring.co/1RPevBx

Simple yet epic productivity hacks for creative entrepreneurs crowdspring.co/1A7CPJf

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Fresh from the SPRING: Dragas Audree | May 27th, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for Dragas. Check out more great work on Dragas’ profile page.

Nicely done, Dragas, nicely done!

 

FFS-Dragas

Twitter Link Roundup #270 – Exemplary Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | May 22nd, 2015

Dan Deacon is an electronic musician with a huge following. Crowds go crazy at his live shows where audience participation and collaboration is a core element of the performance. So it is now surprise that Deacon put his head together with 9 animators to collaborate on a new video for his song, “When I Was Done Dying.” Sponsored by Adult Swim, the result is a mind-boggling mashup of styles and a musical and visual tour de force. Congratulations to Deacon and the animators, Jake Fried, Chad Vangaalen, Dimitri Stankowicz, Colin White, Taras Hrabowsky, Anthony Schepperd, Masanobu Hiraoka, Caleb Wood, KOKOFreakbean!

I hope you are suitably inspired, because it’s time now for our weekly Roundup! This week’s set of lovely links and attractive articles that we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account) is keyboard perfection! We just love sharing articles about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

Inside The Challenges Of Transforming An eBay Side Hustle Into A Million-Dollar Business crowdspring.co/1Poz213

State of Small Business Report

Keys to Ensuring Your Business Continues to Succeed Without You

The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs

How to Get More Done: Slack Off More

Ask a Business Professor: How Will Title III of the JOBS Act Affect Small Business Financing? – NerdWallet

startupsblog

5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Kindergarten Teachers | crowdSPRING Blog – crowdspring.co/1EQCGpi

‘We Had a Crush on the MakerBot': How 3-D Printing Won These Fashion Designers Over

10 Truths We Forget Too Easily

Lori Dickerson Fouché of Prudential on the Limits of Self-Reliance

The Highest-Paid Female C.E.O.s

Lean Doesn’t Always Create the Best Products

The Anticipatory Organization

Weekend Habits of Highly Successful People

Surprisingly Effective Ways to Get Organized

Most Creative People 2015

This Is What It Means to Embrace Failure

Body Labs Wants To Usher In The Era Of Free 3-D Body Scanning

Inspiring Entrepreneurs Who Built Careers Around Their Passions and Social Media

How Bitcoin Technology Could Make Home Buying Hassle-Free

NerdWallet raised $64 million in Series A led by Institutional Venture Partners – Silicon Valley Business Journal

Facebook Promises Freelancers Better Pay, More Perks

What Killed Secret?

5 Mistakes You’re Making When Hiring Millennials

Crowdfunding Tips & Tricks – Small Biz Daily

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Fresh from the SPRING: ronaldmahaputra Audree | May 20th, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for ronaldmahaputra. Check out more great work on ronaldmahaputra’s profile page.

Nicely done, ronaldmahaputra, nicely done!

 

FFS-ronaldmahaputra

5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Kindergarten Teachers Mike | May 18th, 2015

If you remember the name of your kindergarten teacher, raise your hand. In a poll of adults, almost 70%  could recall the person with great clarity.  This is remarkable, because not only was this decades ago but the respondents were just 5 or 6 years old at the time!

Our very first teachers were memorable because they were sources of inspiration, providers of fun, and among the very first people (outside of our parents and families) to instill in us expectations of how we were to behave in school and at work for the rest of our lives. So much of what we know about focusing, behaving appropriately, learning and socializing was learned in that short 9-month period when we sat in Ms. King’s, or Mrs. Toan’s, or Mr. Albright’s rug and listened to the stories they read and followed the activities they led us in.

Kindergarten teachers are tasked with one of the most important jobs in the world: caring for our children and preparing them for the next 12 years or more of learning and education. It takes an incredibly special person to do this well and what, at a glance, may seem like an easy job is actually quite complex, incredibly demanding physically and intellectually, and one that more and more requires a facility for collecting and analyzing large amounts of data. A great kindergarten teacher comes with skills that rival any manager’s abilities leadership, mentoring, organization, and collaboration.They take, what is at the beginning of the year, a group of unruly scamps and scalawags and, in 40 weeks, transform them into a team of focused learners, ready to move on to the rigors of 1st grade reading and arithmetic.

Here are 5 things that kindergarten teachers must do in order to successfully put our kids on a path to lie-long learning and success.

1. Lead. The kindergarten teacher is the captain of a ship; they carry the weighty responsibility of  training kids to sit still, listen, absorb, and learn. A great kindergarten teacher establishes early that she is the boss, that her charges must focus on her and listen closely to her instructions. But, teacher also knows the importance of listening to her students closely and allowing them to express their own ideas and opinions. While a great deal of what kids learn in school is direct and fact-based, of equal importance, especially in kindergarten and the primary grades, is teaching kids how to learn. Like teachers, entrepreneurs need to understand that much of learning has to be self-directed and that they are there to assist and mentor along the way, but they are also there to keep their team on a fairly narrow path, make sure they develop the skills they need along the way, and show them how to discover for themselves as they go.

2. Differentiate. Teams are made up of their members, and every teammate comes with differing skills and abilities. For instance, some particularly precocious kindergarteners arrive at the first day of class already reading while others may only start to crack the code by the end of the year. Some of the kids will be very adept physically, others may have advanced social abilities, and many will come with a variety of special needs. Kindergarten teachers must differentiate between 15, 20 or more kids, each with their own distinct talents and deficits and find ways to teach to each of them that allows all to achieve.And just as a good marketer will segment their audience and deliver different messages to different segments, great kindergarten teachers also think of their classroom as made up of multiple audiences.

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Twitter Link Roundup #269 – Impeccable Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | May 15th, 2015

As a small business owner I worry a great deal about productivity: how to achieve it, how to maximize it and how to maintain it. This video shows how easily your productivity, whether work or leisure related can quickly be undermined by those we love most. Who you ask? Our pets, of course! These furry, warm, sweet funny creatures will do their best to undermine our focus, our output and our very efficiency in life. Have a look and you’ll see just what I mean.

So are your pets well secured? Leashed? Crated? Alright, in that case you’re ready for our weekly Roundup! This week’s set of endearing links and mouthwatering articles that we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account) is keyboard perfection! We just love sharing articles about fonts, logo design, web design, startups, entrepreneurship, small business, leadership, social media, marketing, economics and other interesting stuff! Enjoy!

smallbusinessblog

Small Business and Startups: 8 Steps To a Successful Redesign | @crowdSPRING Blog – crowdspring.co/1KuCfWj

Employee Culture: The Seven Deadly Sins – Small Biz Daily crowdspring.co/1GwPzGj

West Hartford Business Owner Files Lawsuit Against Police Officers, Town crowdspring.co/1GG82mf

Strategies For Building A Culture of Innovation crowdspring.co/1PYYDuz

Why Your Best Employees May Be Thinking About Leaving crowdspring.co/1PYYHuc

Time Management Training Doesn’t Work crowdspring.co/1GG83qt

startupsblog

How Bitcoin Technology Could Make Home Buying Hassle-Free crowdspring.co/1ITbe0a

Hide Your Loneliness With This Selfie Arm crowdspring.co/1zH8nW3

Why Companies Need Novelists crowdspring.co/1F8Dnkg

Let This Dog That Earns $15K A Month Teach You How To Dress Like A Boss crowdspring.co/1PsS3tX

Google’s New Interface: Just Tell It What To Do crowdspring.co/1IT8RdO

Reduce Turnover in Customer Service With These 3 Tips crowdspring.co/1ze3zrd

6 Things That Can Help Female Founders Bridge The Gap Between Idea And Success crowdspring.co/1IoaLD1

Why Lawsuits Are On the Rise at Startups and What To Do About It – buff.ly/1EHtx2q

Ten things I learned studying ten of the world’s fastest growing startups – buff.ly/1G4vGdR

Airbnb Grows to a Million Rooms, and Hotel Rivals Are Quiet, for Now nytimes.com/2015/05/12/bus…

Are You Tolerating Mediocrity? 10 Ways to Tell crowdspring.co/1bV2FWd

Why there won’t be an Uber in every vertical – buff.ly/1KNtdUj

The economy is increasingly rigged against workers with less education crowdspring.co/1zq2ZXA

How to Ask for a Raise, According to a Hostage Negotiator – buff.ly/1E7hGtZ

Yahoo Introduces 18 Digital Series at NewFronts crowdspring.co/1JBkmYK

Why VCs Draw Big Salaries but Look for Founders Who Take Little crowdspring.co/1bf5Zuh

The Terms Behind the Unicorn Valuations – buff.ly/1AJxTVU

Features are not goals – buff.ly/1IkHsRo

How To Avoid Agility. blog.toolshed.com/2013/02/how-to…

The founders of Back to the Roots on how they overcame early product woes crowdspring.co/1JTnz2D

Why in the world do airlines overbook tickets? crowdspring.co/1IoaMqE

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from the SPRING: airborne Audree | May 13th, 2015

When perusing our galleries here on crowdSPRING, we see some amazing work submitted in the projects. Today, we noticed this gem submitted in this logo project.

Let us start the slow clap for airborne. Check out more great work on airborne’s profile page.

Nicely done, airborne, nicely done!

FFS-airborne-pizza

Small Business and Startups: 8 Steps To a Successful Redesign Mike | May 11th, 2015

There comes a time when a business looks hard at its website and lets out a groan of dismay. Your website is out-dated, out-moded, and out-competed and it doesn’t take a genius to see. Your own customers may have been telling you to get it together and, whether you are listening or not, it doesn’t diminish the truth that something must be done.

Technologies change, businesses change, customer tastes change, and (maybe most important of all) the Google algorithm changes. The dynamic nature of the internet and the marketplace make for a hot stew of constant alteration and modification and you do not want to find your business left behind as the world charges forward. What served you well when you first built your website may actually be hindering your growth today and strong managers know that they need to constantly adapt as the winds blow.

Don’t expect that the process with be completed overnight. Redesigning a website is a complex process, even for the simpler sites and you should expect that your redesign could become a months-long process. It is also a resource-draining undertaking; small companies with limited capacity should proceed with caution, but should not be daunted by the investment of time and manpower that is needed. Just be smart about it, plan carefully and methodically, and follow these steps to wring the most productivity from the process.

1. Review your current site.

What do you like and what don’t you like? Start the process with a long, hard, critical look at your site – the layout, features, functionality, content, and visual elements. Do you like the interface on some pages but not others? Is the written content strong and appropriate? Do you have the features your users ask for? Are there others that are under-utilized that you can dump? These are the questions to ask as you preform your review, page-by-page-by-page.

The idea is that you should hang on tight to the parts you like and those that work well, and be ready to jettison those that don’t. By hanging onto the good bits, you allow yourself and your designers to focus on the parts that don’t make the cut.

2. Look hard at the competition.

First and foremost review your competition’s sites for design ad content; have they built attractive, functional sites? Is your experience with navigating or using their sites positive? Learn what you can through a detailed tour of your competitors, and consider how you can leverage those learnings.

But wait, there’s more: in addition to the dive you take into rival websites, have a look at some of the data underlying their business. Use Alexa to analyze their website ranking and traffic; use Topsy to better understand their social media presence and strategy; Quantcast can help with analysis of traffic and demographics; and Hubspot’s Marketing Grader can be used to analyze their marketing funnel.

3. Know your audience.

You think you know them pretty well, right? No you don’t. Take the time to define your audience and your users; stay completely focused on the fact that you are creating a new version of your site for them. If you’re not sure about what they are looking for from your site and what their pain points are, ask them. Create a simple survey using an online tool (we use SurveyMonkey – thanks Dave Goldberg) and use the learnings to help guide your process. I you can understand your users, you can create a new version of your site that will delight and benefit them on every visit.

4. New functionality? Hmmm.

Accessibility is the name of the game and your site can definitely improve from its current state. Ask yourself if your site well organized and are users able to find what they seek? Do the features you offer correspond to those your users are looking for? At this point in your planning, you should be thinking as hard about what to remove from the site as you are about what you can add. Keep in mind that one of your goals should be to make the site visually engaging, but (more importantly) easier to navigate, simpler to update, and capable of generating leads and conversions. Make it user-friendly and they will use it!

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