Twitter Link Roundup #276 – Patriotic Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | July 3rd, 2015

Happy 4th of July! We love the patriotism, the food, the sun, and the gathering with friends and family. We also like the fireworks. What better to celebrate this roundup then fireworks fails? Well, actually nothing is better. Have a look at the knuckleheads and the insanity they wrought with Darwin-was-right idiocy.

So, Happy Birthday, America, because once again, it’s time for our weekly Roundup! Pyrotechnics are fun, but not as much fun as this week’s set of links and articles that we shared with you over the past week on our  crowdSPRING Twitter account (as well as my own Twitter account) ! 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

Best Small Business Blogs of 2015 (nice to see @crowdSPRING blog on the list) – buff.ly/1INq5p8

Small Business and Startups: Things to do Before I Die | crowdSPRING Blog –crowdspring.co/1SvURKf

The One Thing Dave Grohl’s Broken Leg Teaches You About Customer Service crowdspring.co/1LaMbrL

Social Media Marketing Trends for Small Business crowdspring.co/1Rgwo9e

11 Strategies for Eating Healthy on a Business Trip crowdspring.co/1G84Ywh

startupsblog

Is Your Coworker Actually an A-hole? [Flowchart] crowdspring.co/1FWYwJj

Cutting my work hours in half made me more productive crowdspring.co/1Go8e9V

This Is How to Stop Being a Control Freak crowdspring.co/1JTA9kE

The education of Airbnb’s Brian Chesky | Fortune – buff.ly/1g7101N

Create a More Inclusive Workplace for Your Diverse Employees – Forbes crowdspring.co/1LaM1k4

Make Yourself Impervious To Stress With These Tips From History’s Most Successful People crowdspring.co/1R0SdJU

Growth Minded Entrepreneur on Instagram: “Less talking -> More doing.” crowdspring.co/1cWbcrx

The Inside Story of How the iPhone Crippled BlackBerry – buff.ly/1LJbYHF

Here’s Why the Venture Capital Crash Will Hurt – buff.ly/1LWPOi3

What’s the Strangest Thing You’ve Found an Employee Doing on the Job? crowdspring.co/1LaM931

As More Tech Start-Ups Stay Private, So Does the Money – buff.ly/1UdHbpd

No Need to Call the Front Desk, Just Send a Text nytimes.com/2015/06/30/bus…

Why It’s Better to Be a Big Fish in a Small Pond crowdspring.co/1IYm2Mh

Live From New York: Breaking Down The Enduring Impact Of SNL fastcocreate.com/3046884/live-f…

When Texas was the Wild West of tech crowdspring.co/1MWygU7

The Surprising Downsides of Being Clever entrepreneur.com/article/247201

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Fresh from the SPRING: Alexander_Dsign Audree | July 1st, 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 Alexander_Dsign. Check out more great work on Alexander_Dsign’s profile page.

Nicely done, Alexander_Dsign, nicely done!

FFS-Alexander_Dsign

 

A Victory for Artists Everywhere – Thank You Taylor Swift! Mike | June 29th, 2015

Thank You Taylor Swift! Wow. Words I never once imagined being typed by my own fingers. But, credit where credit is due, Miss Swift went up against Goliath, carefully aimed and swung her sling and, Pow! The monster was vanquished!

If you don’t know what I am talking about here, a little background: about a year ago, Apple acquired Beats Music, the music streaming service and manufacturer of a popular line of fashion-forward headphones. Apple’s move was widely regarded as a play to compete with Spotify, Pandora and the other web-based music streaming services, collectively viewed as a threat to the iTunes software platform and music downloading service.

A year later, and Apple has now re-launched Beats as “Apple – Music” and announced a free, three-month trial membership for all comers. This is a wonderful opportunity to check out what Apple has built on the foundation they bought and paid for (to the tune of $3billion!). Needless to say, the announcement has generated a ton of excitement online and off as Apple attempts to regain the momentum that iTunes has lost over the past few years. As a leader in the digital music space, Apple is a powerful player indeed, with the ability to influence markets, draw huge audiences, and bend suppliers and vendors to their will.

As a part of their will-bending strategy, Apple also announced a few weeks ago, that during the 90-day free trial period, not only would consumers be able to sample the service for free, but that all of the artists on the platform would also be giving their work for free. What? That’s right; Apple determined that it would not pay any royalties to artists for the plays that their music generated for the first 90-days. It takes a huge dose of chutzpah when a business simply tells its suppliers that, by the way, we’re not going to pay you for your services for some period of time and who better than Apple to muscle their way into market share?

Well, the story didn’t end there and it took a 25-year old musician (albeit one with a social media following numbering almost 60 million) to get the last word. Last week Miss Swift announced that, in protest of Apple’s move, her latest album would not be made available through the Apple Music platform. In a blog post titled To Apple, Love Taylor she excoriated the corporate giant, shaming them for assuming that artists would accept not being paid for their work, “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.” The response to Swift’s missive was enormous,

Apple took a few days to respond, but when they did it was to back down as humbly as they possibly could. In other words, Apple caved. In the face of a revolt by their customer base and the artists whose work they stream, Apple announced last week that they would rescind their decision; Eddy Cue, an Apple executive, tweeted, “#AppleMusic will pay artist for streaming, even during customer’s free trial period.” Cue added, “We hear you @taylorswift13 and indie artists. Love, Apple.” Within hours, Taylor had responded: “I am elated and relieved. Thank you for your words of support today. They listened to us.” She quickly followed up by announcing that her new album 1989 would, after all, be streamed on Apple Music.

While this is not exactly a victory of the little guys, it is certainly one for the little guys; the independent artists, musicians, and writers whose work drives the success of so many online businesses deserve to be compensated for their creativity and Taylor Swift is their new bestie. Thanks, Taylor!

Photo, wikimedia

Twitter Link Roundup #275 – Fascinating Stuff for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | June 26th, 2015

We love dreams. We love childhood memories. We love stop motion animation. Vera Van Wolferen‘s  How to Catch a Bird pulls it all together in a wonderfully creative and evocative way.

Now wake up! Once again, it’s time for our weekly Roundup! Take a little trip through this week’s set of links and 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: Teams and Transparency | crowdSPRING Blog – crowdspring.co/1d6ad8g

A solopreneur’s guide to working (or not) while on vacation crowdspring.co/1BdI2jG

After 40 years, Wind Lake bar owner gets his degree crowdspring.co/1B4ExM0

Small business still standing after 60 years crowdspring.co/1JI4BOB

How a No-Tipping Policy Helped This Restaurant Triple Profits in 2 Months crowdspring.co/1cKfRwK

April Bloomfield: Where Customer Service Starts and Ends crowdspring.co/1dGjiFs

startupsblog

The Surprising Downsides of Being Clever crowdspring.co/1FiX2aR

Ways to Get the Best Out of Your Employees crowdspring.co/1HojrJI

12 Tips for Dealing With Patent Trolls crowdspring.co/1KTVs4c

The 7 scars of an entrepreneur | Chicago Tribune – buff.ly/1RwMT17

Is Social Entrepreneurship a Scam? – buff.ly/1CiaY4K

Taking the Measure of Corporate Learning crowdspring.co/1Hojq8H

The Confounding Logic of Discounting – buff.ly/1NbG5VE

Lessons from the front lines: building Fetchnotes – buff.ly/1LthmO5

Only 3% of Americans are legally allowed to invest in start-ups – buff.ly/1e3Zj3H

The invention that could revolutionize batteries—and maybe American manufacturing too -buff.ly/1QSi6B0

The C-Suite Needs a Chief Entrepreneur bit.ly/1GNvluK

Forget Time Management; Focus on Stress Management crowdspring.co/1GxqwZu

Strategies to Build a Fun Work Culture That’s Also Productive crowdspring.co/1F6S299

Golden Lessons Entrepreneurs Can Learn From ‘Entourage’ crowdspring.co/1MmiPUj

The 5 Worst Email Subject Lines in the World crowdspring.co/1cKfPF6Michael Dell’s Prescription for Boosting Jobs Around the World crowdspring.co/1JI4By2

Marks: 3 Cool Services Your Staff Will Love crowdspring.co/1JDjBPg

Learning Technology: Transformational, Yes, But Not a Cure-All crowdspring.co/1JI4BOA

How to Avoid the ‘Tech 20′ crowdspring.co/1cKifU5

Adversity Only Makes These Immigrant Entrepreneurs More Determined crowdspring.co/1IDyalF

5 Ways to Dominate Any Meeting crowdspring.co/1ehdeEl

Is The Open-Office Trend Reversing Itself? crowdspring.co/1L0en0p

Read the rest of this post »

Fresh from the SPRING: oldpencil Audree | June 24th, 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 oldpencil. Check out more great work on oldpencil’s profile page.

Nicely done, oldpencil, nicely done!

FFS-oldpencil

 

Small Business and Startups: Teams and Transparency Mike | June 22nd, 2015

How transparent is too transparent? At crowdSPRING we have worked hard since we first launched to share information openly and honestly with our users, our investors, and our team. We communicate regularly with customers about site issues, new features, and our policies and procedures. We ask for feedback and suggestions and, when users choose to share their ideas with us, we consider these carefully and seriously. When users complain about a policy they don’t like or a feature that isn’t working the way they want, we will always be honest in our response, even if it sometimes means we disappoint that person.

With our investors we communicate at regular intervals about financial performance, business intelligence data, strategy, site metrics, and operations. When things are good we celebrate with them, and when business is bad we let them know that, too. With the team we also try hard to share important information, such as financial, performance statistics, and other relevant data. We involve every person who works here in product development, strategy, and goals and then we share with them the results of those efforts. Our team is also copied on our regular quarterly Investor Updates, so they are privy to the same financial reporting that our investors have access to. Read the rest of this post »

Twitter Link Roundup #274 – Non-conventional Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | June 19th, 2015

The 1980s. Anybody else remember that awesome decade? In spite of Reagan and his ‘nomics, we did manage to have some fun, listen to some great music, and sit on some really weird Milan-inspired designer furniture. But perhaps best of all was the technology that was booming. Who here had a walkman? I had several and loved each one; if you long for those days, have a look at the video above and relive the experience!

OK – enough with the time travel! Transport yourself back to 2015, because it’s time for our weekly Roundup! Have a go at this week’s set of links and 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

In Mt. Clemens, business owners start small, eventually reinvest in downtown crowdspring.co/1JI1Exk

Small Business and Startups: Things to do Before I Die (Entrepreneur’s version) | crowdSPRING Blog –crowdspring.co/1L8OtHL

Business Growth: 9 Educational Small Business Blogs to Study crowdspring.co/1F6QNqz

Meet the Tiny Tennessee Company Supplying Pearls to Tiffany crowdspring.co/1e1nIHQ

startupsblog

Drone Giant DJI And Top VC Firm Accel Partners Launch A $10 Million Drone Fund crowdspring.co/1R0ELpo

The Three People Who Matter Most in Your Network crowdspring.co/1HocQ1Q

The $5 Billion Battle For The American Dinner Plate crowdspring.co/1Go289C

‘It’s like Uber, but for break-up texts’ crowdspring.co/1cKeuOt

Here’s What the Future of Work Looks Like to Millennials and Generation Z (Infographic)crowdspring.co/1GxpRr1

Time Is Money, So You Don’t Have the Time to Lose Things crowdspring.co/1L0aQPw

Tesla challenge to dealers goes beyond electric cars crowdspring.co/1duO7gm

Do Cynics Make Less Money? crowdspring.co/1ItvNz3

Ways to Dominate Any Meeting crowdspring.co/1f1dvLL

5 Fail Safe Questions for Creating Intentional Leadership crowdspring.co/1FHBvKp

What Type of Creative Leader Are You? crowdspring.co/1ItvNyQ

Airbnb Design Head On Why Designers And MBAs Make Perfect Power Combos crowdspring.co/1FWNbZH

Kudlow: Here’s what may be saving the economy crowdspring.co/1L0bX1B

Important Financial Indicators for Startups at Every Stage of Growth | Mattermark – buff.ly/1MN374Y

What Shape is Your Competitive Advantage? | Coding VC – buff.ly/1FnIg2x

The Secret Math of Airbnb’s $24 Billion Valuation -buff.ly/1MMxkB5

Which is a More Efficient Way to Build a SaaS Startup – Bottoms Up or Top Down? buff.ly/1IH80vq

Improve Your Ability to Learn crowdspring.co/1cKfOB0

Why Humblebragging Doesn’t Work – buff.ly/1fhZqJS

Failure porn: There’s too much celebration of failure and too little fear – buff.ly/1FMNSEV

Smart Money Habits to Practice in Your Startup | by @larrykimbuff.ly/1JYTxNa

How One Leader Turned A Failing Business Around -buff.ly/1MMuzQ7

Uber Driver Is Employee, Not Contractor, Says California Labor Commission -buff.ly/1Bjyeoa

Why Startups Need to Focus on Sales, Not Marketing  buff.ly/1MMwpR3

To Find 10x Returns, Stop ‘Trying’ to Launch a Startup crowdspring.co/1JHZUnW

21 ways to be awesome online crowdspring.co/1B4DziJ

Why CEOs Need a Talent Acquisition Strategy crowdspring.co/1MGkmFF

Read the rest of this post »

Fresh from the SPRING: xianpr Audree | June 17th, 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 xianpr. Check out more great work on xianpr’s profile page.

Nicely done, xianpr, nicely done!

FFS-xianpr

Small Business and Startups: Things to do Before I Die (Entrepreneur’s version) Mike | June 15th, 2015

I write often about setting goals and defining strategy, but I rarely think about those things in a personal context. What should my own goals be for the next 10 years and beyond? What strategies can I use to accomplish those goals?

As startup founders go, I am a pretty old guy. When we started working on the earliest iterations of crowdSPRING I was already well into my 40’s and, well, time marches on. Today I find myself thinking more and more about retirement and less and less about the next career move. Not that I don’t work hard everyday, both in and on the business. It’s just that there comes a point that all of us start to think about the end game, and the associated questions: What have I accomplished thus far? and, What can I accomplish before I give it up?

Lots of people write about this in the context of succession. Sure, a clear plan and understanding for what happens to your business after you are gone is really important, but what about while you are still here?  Every one of us, whether 40 years from retirement or 4, can be thinking about making an impact or leaving a mark, however modest. A good idea about who will take over and how that transition should work is something every business owner should have in mind, but there are lots of other things to think about as you develop that plan. I have pondered this quite a bit recently, and here are 5 of the things I have been thinking about:

1. Assure the future. Retirement is about security, right? Well security for business owners (read: me) can’t be just about a post-working income of 70% percent of your pre-retirement income. It has top be about making sure your company is well positioned to continue operating, that your employees have security and stability, and that your customers will be able to continue relying on the goods or services your provide them. Check with your team, check with your accountant, check with your investors and plan for their future as well as your own.

2. Build something tangible. After almost 10 years in the digital realm, I have a strong hankering to do something real and solid. A product. A building. Maybe a bridge? Many of you reading this already own businesses that create actual products, or build actual structures, but those of you who work in 1s and 0s might be able to relate. In the next 10 years I am very much hoping that I can leave behind something useful and real, that people will be able to hold in their hands, or walk through its doors, or ride a bike across its span.

Read the rest of this post »

Twitter Link Roundup #273 – Quintessential Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | June 12th, 2015

Language evolves, and just like Darwin theorized, the strongest word thrive and survive and the weakest… Well the weakest just get relegated to the Oxford English Dictionary, buried somewhere around page 2,315. Our pals over at boredpanda took the time to list out a whole bunch of new words that are quickly rising to the top of the food chain. These words are portmanteaus, which are what you get when you mash both the sounds and meanings of two words together to get a new one (in many cases a brilliant one).

So enjoy your word mash, and as soon as you finish it, focus back here becauseit’s time again for our weekly Roundup! Marvel at the strength and evolutionary superiority of this week’s set of links and 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

The Internet of Things Is Changing How We Manage Customer Relationships crowdspring.co/1F6QNa1

How to Choose a Location For Your Business crowdspring.co/1A6cCLv

“My CEO Told Me To Stop Selling So Much” | by @jasonlkbuff.ly/1B69TCh

The business world is utilizing crowd-based marketplaces to solve their needs | Kellogg Magazine crowdspring.co/1FHLQes

5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Their Own Customers (We Did!) | crowdSPRING Blog –crowdspring.co/1RVbOxx

startupsblog

The Bobby McFerrin Plan for Creating a Remarkable Business – Copyblogger crowdspring.co/1Q4zody

How Nostalgia Fuels Creativity crowdspring.co/1JnWCpJ

What is it Like to Negotiate a VC Round? | by @msusterbuff.ly/1GzcRBs

How To Meet Ladies: Decoding “Silicon Valley” Player Erlich Bachman’s Zen-Bro Look crowdspring.co/1F6QN9Z

A Rapper’s Ode to Uber, Chengdu Gangster Style crowdspring.co/1IDsw2M

How to Become the Best Boss in 3 Irresistible Ways crowdspring.co/1A9FjH1

Use Design to Promote an Epic Office Culture crowdspring.co/1GeYy31

Surprising Habits of Boomer Bosses Who Get Millennials crowdspring.co/1PMWEaP

Michelle Phan’s Entrepreneurial Drive crowdspring.co/1Ebvi7x

How to Deal With a Difficult Co-Worker crowdspring.co/1JHZU7a

Why This 19-Year-Old Thiel Fellow Is Threatening the Photo Establishment crowdspring.co/1B4CYxv

Read the rest of this post »

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