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!
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
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
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
Fresh from the SPRING: oldpencil Audree | June 24th, 2015
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!
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
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
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
Fresh from the SPRING: xianpr Audree | June 17th, 2015
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.
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!
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
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
The Bobby McFerrin Plan for Creating a Remarkable Business – Copyblogger crowdspring.co/1Q4zody
How Nostalgia Fuels Creativity crowdspring.co/1JnWCpJ
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
Fresh from the SPRING: Bekk Audree | June 10th, 2015
5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Their Own Customers (We Did!) Mike | June 8th, 2015
It is certainly not the first time I’ve said this, but the point bears repeating: your customer’s voices are the thing you should be paying the closest attention to. Today. There are many ways to get your ear to the rail and listen to what they have to say: surveys, exit questionnaires, customer service emails, live chat, and phone are all channels that you can leverage to request and respond to customer feedback.
There is no rule that says this communication needs to be serious or formal. For instance, your customer service, sales, and support teams speak to your customers every single day. Train them to be conversational and engaging and they will find that the people on the other end of the line open up. Ask them about themselves and their businesses and they will share invaluable insight that can be acted upon or, at the very least, discussed internally.
At crowdSPRING we actively solicit feedback through several channels: when they complete a project on the site, our Customers are all asked to rate our company and their experience and to leave us any comments, suggestions, or ideas they have. Over time. we have built an enormous database of customer suggestions (and rants) which we can use to focus and prioritize our own work on the product and our processes. Does the customer feedback ever get annoying? You betcha. But that does not lessen its importance to us nor do we ever stop listening to it.
Here are 5 things you can do that will help you to start listening and learning today:
1. Listen closely. This is where it starts, continues, and ends. Defining and building your listening channels is the foundation and you should pay close attention to developing the most appropriate forums. Many businesses offer support to their customers via phone and chat, but lots of customers prefer the relative emotional “distance” of email or webforms. Sometimes your listening channels will be passive, and you will simply provide the tools and then sit back to wait for your customers to contact you. A more aggressive, and often appropriate, approach is to actively seek out customer feedback via surveys, outbound phone calls, or even online options such as popup chat windows and the like.
2. People are key. It’s not just how you listen to the customers, but also who is doing the listening. Your front-line people must be selected for their ability to engage, an innate sense of empathy, and the indispensable skill of actually listening to what the customer is saying. Some of the necessary abilities can be taught or strengthened (and proper training is critical) but much of the skill-set needed is inborn and your hiring practices should reflect the necessity of finding the right people for the work.
Twitter Link Roundup #272 – Picture-perfect Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | June 5th, 2015
We get some cool projects on crowdSPRING. But what could be cooler than a HoverBoard? And who cooler to deomonstrate than Tony Hawk!
Please don’t try that at home! Instead it might be a good time to roll into 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!
The business world is utilizing crowd-based marketplaces to solve their needs | Kellogg Magazine crowdspring.co/1FHLNQ3
Cushion – Peace of mind for freelancers crowdspring.co/1e5X6Fr
How to Start a Landscaping Business – NerdWallet crowdspring.co/1A6c4oN
Innovation and Small Business: 3 Historical Winners | crowdSPRING Blog – buff.ly/1I1ZmKz
The “Pester Your Potential Lead Until They Hate You” Approach to SaaS Sales Sucks – buff.ly/1IeUIGv
Tips on How to Prepare for This Year’s Surge of Indian Tourism crowdspring.co/1QRPioB
The 9 Box Matrix Talent Model – buff.ly/1GiUXCA
Why You Should Set Radical Goals entrepreneur.com/article/234161
Elon Musk’s evolution, from sci-fi dreams to Space X crowdspring.co/1GeYxMG
Don Draper’s financial advice – Fortune crowdspring.co/1e74Tmi
How Involved Should CEOs Be in Social Causes? crowdspring.co/1IE4CEi
If You Want People to Listen, Stop Talking – buff.ly/1EAYxRh
Improve The Productivity Of Your Remote Teams With Complementary Work Cycles – buff.ly/1FZX1NZ
5 Exploding Niches Within Tech crowdspring.co/1FcTFFO
How Ever-Higher Valuations Lead Unicorns Into A Cycle Of Private Capital Dependency – buff.ly/1AIGTjE
The Pre-money vs. Post-money Confusion With Convertible Notes – buff.ly/1GiLA5V
Buckle Up: Google’s Self-Driving Cars to Hit the Open Road crowdspring.co/1JPf4pp
Lessons From Elon Musk That Changed My Life [Exercises Included] – buff.ly/1JoGSUW
13 Questions to Screen Potential Hires for Culture Fit – buff.ly/1QtJEae
How Tesla Will Change The World | Wait But Why – buff.ly/1JmYArS
Carl Icahn Invests $100 Million in Lyft crowdspring.co/1IE4Eff
How to Lead So You Get Immediate Results crowdspring.co/1A6c1cO
TED Talk by Bill Gates Will Teach You Everything You Need to Know About Presenting crowdspring.co/1A9EBJL
What the Weekends Are Like for Silicon Valley CEOs crowdspring.co/1PMVYSB
Reasons To Join A Mastermind Group crowdspring.co/1IE4DrE
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