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!
Inside The Challenges Of Transforming An eBay Side Hustle Into A Million-Dollar Business crowdspring.co/1Poz213
State of Small Business Report http://crowdspring.co/1A6oKMa
Keys to Ensuring Your Business Continues to Succeed Without You http://crowdspring.co/1RP3lwI
The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find Jobs http://crowdspring.co/1RP3ksJ
How to Get More Done: Slack Off More http://crowdspring.co/1RPcxkS
Ask a Business Professor: How Will Title III of the JOBS Act Affect Small Business Financing? – NerdWallet http://crowdspring.co/1A6oHzZ
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 http://crowdspring.co/1E9jIJQ
10 Truths We Forget Too Easily http://crowdspring.co/1JkEVrr
Lori Dickerson Fouché of Prudential on the Limits of Self-Reliance http://crowdspring.co/1bUlube
The Highest-Paid Female C.E.O.s http://nyti.ms/1bWa0Uz
Lean Doesn’t Always Create the Best Products http://crowdspring.co/1FcPnhs
The Anticipatory Organization http://crowdspring.co/1A6ihAZ
Weekend Habits of Highly Successful People http://crowdspring.co/1A4IuA6
Surprisingly Effective Ways to Get Organized http://crowdspring.co/1Gc4bPJ
Most Creative People 2015 http://crowdspring.co/1HhW1DS
This Is What It Means to Embrace Failure http://crowdspring.co/1E9jJ0u
Body Labs Wants To Usher In The Era Of Free 3-D Body Scanning http://crowdspring.co/1KQ3yv0
Inspiring Entrepreneurs Who Built Careers Around Their Passions and Social Media http://crowdspring.co/1A6oKvy
How Bitcoin Technology Could Make Home Buying Hassle-Free http://crowdspring.co/1ITbe0i
NerdWallet raised $64 million in Series A led by Institutional Venture Partners – Silicon Valley Business Journal http://crowdspring.co/1IClQlq
Facebook Promises Freelancers Better Pay, More Perks http://crowdspring.co/1KRBgzC
What Killed Secret? http://crowdspring.co/1KQ30VW
5 Mistakes You’re Making When Hiring Millennials http://crowdspring.co/1A6ihAR
Crowdfunding Tips & Tricks – Small Biz Daily http://crowdspring.co/1E9jIJT
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!
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.
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!
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
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
from the SPRING: airborne Audree | May 13th, 2015
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!
Twitter Link Roundup #268 – Pristine Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | May 8th, 2015
Remember the first time you got a taste of something so delicious, so amazing that you simply had to have more? Had to experience the joy again? And again? This wonderful, simple animation is a meditation on human’s need to get more of what they crave. Is this what addicts come up against? The little kiwi in the story is experiencing what it means to become dependent on that which gives us pleasure.
OK. Get your own habits in check and get ready to try something new: it’s time for our weekly Roundup! This week’s set of charming links and delectable 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!
8 things I learned from 8 different freelance gigs bit.ly/1Gwz4tZ
Cash is King: The simple truth about your freelance business | Guerrilla Freelancing bit.ly/1JB7LF5
Use your tax refund to fortify your freelance business bit.ly/1zpxJb6
How An 80-Year-Old Park Avenue Institution Went Digital In Just 80 Days crowdspring.co/1bDSh4u
How Do You Sustain Your Brand’s Value? Follow These 6 Steps. entm.ag/1GFPDWH
How One Entrepreneur Raised A Half Billion Dollars crowdspring.co/1HRNSqX
Steve Blank On Why Most Startups Fail, And It’s Got Nothing To Do With Technology – buff.ly/1IhCLrF
6 Thoughts on Creating and Leading Engineering Teams – buff.ly/1zNp7eB
What is the ideal size and make-up of a team for a pre-revenue SaaS startup? – buff.ly/1EY9ktL
Why VCs Need Unicorns Just to Survive –buff.ly/1Re6VjN
The Angel VC: Key Revenue Metrics for SaaS companies – buff.ly/1INSu29
Subtle Mid-Stage Startup Pitfalls – buff.ly/1zBmHj1
Peter Thiel on what works at work – buff.ly/1dNq7pc
VC Math explained – buff.ly/1PlHU2f
Mixed Signals: Why People Misunderstand Each Other – buff.ly/1R9NZm4
Why a Billion Dollar Startup Just Sold for $15 Million (and What Founders Can Learn From It) buff.ly/1GMqXJO
Twitter’s multibillion-dollar mistake happened five years ago – buff.ly/1PlkslT
How to Make a Dent in “The Women Problem” in Chicago – buff.ly/1FKFUQy
Inside Google’s Insanely Popular Emotional-Intelligence Course bit.ly/1cRpmuK
The Illusion of Product/Market Fit for SaaS Companies – buff.ly/1dPLqGE
Valuation As A Scorecard – buff.ly/1F0CUyC
Tech Startup Viddler is a Hometown Success Story crowdspring.co/1PYXpiM
The Case for Pursuing Massive Growth crowdspring.co/1P7gNaZ
Online Courses Accelerate Any Business Model bit.ly/1InOB3Z
Gett’s Alternative To Uber-Style Surge Pricing bit.ly/1beNtlI
Our Obsession With Greatness Kills The Ability to Do Good Work bit.ly/1GFMA0S
Fresh from the SPRING: cre8it Audree | May 6th, 2015
Small business Congress-watch: Some Pending Bills (and Why They Matter) Mike | May 4th, 2015
On occasion I write about legislation pending in our houses of Congress that has the potential to positively impact your business and mine. It is fascinating to read in the news about some of the ideas and priorities that our elected representatives are pursuing as we speak. Some of these efforts gain a great deal of attention via the media, but most of them are somewhat obscure (unless you’re willing to dig a little) and will never even make it onto our radars.
These often important bills can take years to become law, and many (read “most”) will never survive the legislative process. However, as small business owners, managers, and entrepreneurs, we can hope, we can dream, and most of all we can call our representatives in Washington to express our opinion and ask that they support our priorities. And… we can VOTE!
Here is a small batch of bills in the current session that will impact small businesses, startups, technology companies and entrepreneurs, and that I believe are worthy of support.
S. 824: Promoting U.S. Jobs Through Exports Act of 2015 (Introduced 3/19/2015) The Export-Import Bank of the US is designed to support businesses small and large by helping foreign buyers of US-made goods finance their purchases and this bill seeks to reauthorize EX-IM through 2022, and to strengthen its core mission. EX-IM helps small businesses that manufacture goods for sale overseas to get their products into markets that might be otherwise closed to them, and allows these businesses to compete with their foreign competition on a level playing field. There is controversy surrounding this bill, as the EX-IM bank is under an ideological attack that could kill this 80-year old institution.
S. 177: Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015 (Introduced 1/13/2015) Although this bill is intended primarily to protect consumers, small businesses and startups will benefit as well. We are all vulnerable to data breaches whenever we use a credit card or bank account. Let’s face it – our personal data as well as our business data is out there in databases scattered across the globe, and like it or not, bad guys are working hard to break in and steal whatever they can get. Small businesses are susceptible because their resources are limited and their options few when it comes to protecting the integrity of their data and business information. This bill directs Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to implement regulations to require corporations and other entities that gather data which contains personal information to enact policies to safeguard that information. In addition, the bill will also require that these businesses establishes procedures to to provide notice if (when!) there is a breach.
H.R. 254: Support Our Startups Act of 2015 (Introduced 1/9/2015) Here is a great piece of legislation, sponsored by (friend of crowdSPRING!) Representative Mike Honda. The bill is designed to modify the tax code to increase the deduction for start-up expenses for businesses just like yours and mine. In the context of this legislation, startup expenses are defined as “expenses for investigating the creation or acquisition of an active trade or business.” In other words, the money we all spend as we are just starting the process of determining whether our great business idea has the potential to be an actual business. Millions of dollars are spent every year by entrepreneurs in the early stages of creating their businesses and this money will never be reimbursed to them, nor can they deduct these expenses on their tax returns. Rep. Honda’s bill would allow us to expense those dollars and get them back once our new business is profitable. Sweet.
And, as a special bonus piece of legislation, what could be more important to your startup and your team than this? H.R. 232: Small BREW Act (Introduced 1/8/2015) This bill (AKA the “Small Brewer Reinvestment and Expanding Workforce Act“) updates the IRS tax code to reduce taxes on beer made by small producers who are under a limit of 6,000,000 barrels per year. This legislation will serve to support the growing main street craft and local beer industries that have become regionally important businesses and that support thousands of jobs in cities across the country. Not to mention, delicious!
Photo, Wikipedia:United States Senate chamber, from a glass negative, circa 1873
Twitter Link Roundup #267 – Flawless Resources for Small Business, Startups, and Design! Mike | May 1st, 2015
Where does creativity come from? Apparently it flows straight from the fingers, and this amazing guy shows us how it is an unstoppable force! This man has developed a technique that lets his creativity flow in way that is thoroughly unique and incredibly special. As I type this, I can’t help but think of what this artist would be doing if he were typing this particular blog post!
OK. Close your mouth and take a breath, because it’s time for our weekly Roundup! This week’s set of beauteous links and delicious 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!
How An 80-Year-Old Park Avenue Institution Went Digital In Just 80 Days bit.ly/1bDSip4
Pixel And Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In The Gig Economy bit.ly/1D7Ftuv
What to Do If a Feud Threatens Your Family Business bit.ly/1QaKvzs
World’s Coolest Jobs: How Fenway Park’s Organist Strikes A Chord With Fans bit.ly/1G0QTAT
The “Greenest Schools On Earth” Do More Than Put Solar Panels On The Roof bit.ly/1blB5Bl
Why Revenue Isn’t the Most Important Financial Metric for Startups – buff.ly/1DhyQo4
When the Cyberbully Is You nytimes.com/2015/04/30/sty…
How Philosophy Makes You a Better Leader –buff.ly/1HVDrmI
A Technical Founder’s Notes on Sales Team Management – buff.ly/1aV8cL4
30 Startup Lessons – buff.ly/1DIXcZy
The Most Important Change You Can Make to Prepare for 2020 bit.ly/1QaLoYP
Google accused of abusing its search engine dominance bit.ly/1yLzKhK
Fooled by Experience bit.ly/1QaKs6B
Why You Should Kill Your Competitor in SaaS | SaaStr – buff.ly/1Fq5lqe
The Beatles Ignored Their (Surprisingly Harsh) Early Critics, and You Should Too bit.ly/1cRotSS
Is Slack Really Worth $2.8 Billion? A Conversation With Stewart Butterfield nyti.ms/1JZMxhm
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