Start ups

Groupon, Cinderella and Opportunity

Ross | December 2nd, 2010

Most people know the classic folk tale Cinderella. It’s a story about a young woman living in obscurity and neglect who unexpectedly finds love and happiness. Cinderella’s story illustrates something that we often forget. There’s only one Cinderella. In our efforts to achieve success, we often try to emulate successful people and companies. Basketball players […]

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Small business and startup issues: choosing the wrong software

Ross | November 30th, 2010

More than ever, small businesses and startups must execute and bring their software-based products or services to market quickly. As Groupon has demonstrated, there is often (but not always) a huge first-to-market advantage. One risk of moving fast involves selecting software technologies that allow you to bring your products/services to market quickly, but that ultimately […]

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Small business and startup issues: paperwork galore

Mike | November 29th, 2010

Last year’s healthcare bill, love it or hate it, contained a provision that slipped in under the radar, but that will have a substantial impact on small businesses and startups. The bill contains two important changes to how 1099s have been used historically. First, 1099s will now have to be issued for goods as well […]

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Building Great Software: Less is More

Ross | November 23rd, 2010

My experience with crowdSPRING over the past several years has proven to me that with few exceptions, startups and established companies should strive to keep their software features simple. Simple features allow you to release software more often and to iterate and leverage feedback from users. Time and time again, we’ve made the mistake of […]

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Business plans for entrepreneurs – Part II: research

Mike | November 22nd, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I started a series of video posts for entrepreneurs on creating a business plan. I very much believe that this part of the process is critical to building a strong company. The short video below contains my thoughts on the research process. I hope you enjoy and will look forward […]

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Business plans for entrepreneurs: the three ‘Rs’ – Part I

Mike | November 8th, 2010

Some have argued that a business plan is not necessary when starting up your venture and that entrepreneurs can better spend their time on other things. I strongly disagree and argue that the very process of writing a business plan leads to a stronger, more sustainable business. In the following short video (the first in […]

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Small Business Marketing: Google Boost

Ross | October 26th, 2010

Google has released a new tool – Google Boost – that allows small businesses to connect with potential customers via Google Adwords. The program is still in beta and available to select local businesses in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago. Boost allows local businesses to create online search ads right from their Google Places account […]

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On vs. In: the entrepreneur’s dilemma

Mike | October 25th, 2010

One of the challenges entrepreneurs face every day is about managing their own capacity. Finding time to think, to plan, and to strategize gets more difficult the larger your business grows. Every day we have to find a balance between the day-to-day chores involved in operating a business and the high-level planning that goes into […]

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Startup and Small Business Marketing: Website Optimization Mistakes

Ross | October 19th, 2010

Conversion rate math is simple: by doubling your conversion rate, you double the effectiveness of every future marketing dollar. But while the math is simple, conversion optimization is not. There are many optimization pitfalls that can easily cripple startup/small business growth (if you’re interested in how crowdSPRING optimizes, I recommend you read Increasing Conversions Using […]

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Not Everything That Can Be Counted Counts

Ross | October 11th, 2010

It’s tempting to count everything that can be counted. The current obsession with social media ROI is just one example – of many – showing how numbers influence our behavior. I had the opportunity to again think about this issue last week when I was on a panel at a Startup Bootcamp event in Boston. […]

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