I’ve just spent the last 60 minutes talking with Eli Goldratt about his fantastic new book, "Isn’t it Obvious". Now that I understand what the book was really about … I’m off to read it again.
Tagged with “business” (10)
Do you believe you can create an online show that pulls in a bigger audience than mainstream media?
Leo Laporte is proving you can. In fact, he’s doing it right now. With 150,000-190,000 people downloading each episode of his show, this WEEK in TECH, he already has a bigger audience online then he did when he worked for Tech TV. Plus, unlike the work he does on mainstream media, Leo owns everything he puts out on his online network, TWiT.
To help you learn how a young upstart can take on the big guys, I invited Leo on Mixergy to show you how he did it.
How did Jimmy Wales get the world to help him write an encyclopedia? And what could YOU learn from his experiences to help you build a business that leaves a legacy?
I invited Jimmy to Mixergy and I asked him to talk about the business side of his non-profit, Wikipedia. He told us how the idea for Wikipedia evolved, how he got people to contribute to it, why people promoted the site, and more. My goal was to help you learn how to build a startup that leaves a legacy, from the man whose work changed the world.
We talked about more than Pownce and Twitter in this interview. Leah Culver is a developer who launched many projects. Pownce was just the highest profile of them. I asked her about it because I’m insanely curious about why it didn’t crush Twitter.
Here’s what I saw from the outside. In March 2007, when Pownce launched, Twitter didn’t have much of a head start. It only had about 250,000 members, and Twitter’s site was still unstable and often inaccessible. So Pownce launched at a good time. Plus it offered more features. Plus it had a real revenue plan with its premium accounts. Plus it was backed by Kevin Rose a Web celebrity with geek cred. Why didn’t it win?
Ben Huh came to Mixergy to talk about how he raised money to buy a blog about LOL cats, called "I Can Has Cheezburger," and how he turned it into a growing publishing company that own over 20 sites, including Fail Blog and This is Photo Bomb. His network has over 11 million users and 218 million monthly page views.
I asked him how he did it and, more importantly, what YOU can learn about building a publishing company, based on his experience.
Millions of blogs — including Mixergy.com — run on WordPress. So I invited the entrepreneur behind this insanely successful software, Matt Mullenweg, to do an interview about how WordPress went from idea to a growing business.
I organized this interview like a biography, so you’ll hear how it all started at an economics summer camp, how Matt figured out the revenue model for the business, how he evangelized his product to bloggers, how he figured out what new features his customers wanted, and more.
If you show them something and you deny the market, you’re going to get caught. Journalists are smart. So when we launched Mahalo Answers, the first thing I did is say: "Here are the top 5 Answer sites out there. Here’s Yahoo! Answers. Here’s wiki.answers.com. And here’s Naver.com that you might not know about. They’re in Korea. Here’s the competitive landscape. Here’s everything I learned about knowledge exchanges.
"Here’s what we’re doing that’s different. We realize that knowledge exchanges exist. We realize they’ve been a tremendous success in terms of traffic. We realize that they haven’t been a tremendous success in terms of quality. So we want to make something that’s a lot higher quality.
"Here’s how we’re doing that. We have a virtual currency. Nobody’s ever done that. We have multi-media-style answers. Where you could put in images and videos and audio files. And we have a curation team that deletes bad answers or obnoxious answers, 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. We pay them $10 per hour. They work from home. And so the best way to make the quality of a site go up is to get rid of the misspellings and the bad stuff."
And what I just told you in 30 seconds is exactly what I told people over a 20-minute session—with examples. Showing not telling. I don’t have the ability to show you right now. I would if we were sitting in front of a computer. That same process hold true with a journalist.
And have something of significance. If you don’t have something of significance, you don’t want to waste their time.
When she came up with the idea for Oneforty, the Twitter app store, Laura Fitton thought she was "thoroughly unqualified for the idea." She didn’t know how to code up a site. She never raised money for a startup before. And she didn’t even live in Silicon Valley. But she launched it anyway because she felt that a good idea is a gift and she owed it to herself to pursue it.
As she got going, she found ways to make up for the traditional qualifications that she lacked. I jotted down some of those ways during the interview (see below), but if you listen to it yourself, I bet you’ll pick up even more useful ideas from her experience. As I kept saying during the conversation, she did a lot of work before she even launched her company. My goal with in interview was to learn from that hard work.
Powerpoint presentations, key performance indicators and mission statements. Do they make our businesses and institutions run more efficiently, or are they irritating and faddish, not just devoid of meaning, but actually obstructive of clear communication? In his new book, "Bendable Learnings", there is no doubt what Don Watson thinks. In this laugh-out-loud talk at the ANU, he outlines his argument for why we need to avoid the ridiculous confusion of corporate language.
The early days of the internet were truly astonishing. As people came to comprehend the power of networked information, they seized the many opportunities for innovation created by the open architecture of the web. Of course, the browser wars also showed that threats to openness and interoperability were a real danger. Today, Tim O’Reilly worries that escalating competition between large companies and closed platforms may drive the web towards a battle ground of locked down services and proprietary data.