The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies (via McKinsey Global Institute, July 2012)

“These technologies, which create value by improving productivity across the value chain, could potentially contribute $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value across the four sectors. Two-thirds of this potential value lies in improving collaboration and communication within and across enterprises.”

Executive summary: HERE
Full research report: HERE
Picture of my cat: HERE


Tiny Startup Camp | Day Two

While the first day of Tiny Startup Camp was all about fundamentals, the second day was about execution, actually making something. And as we were launching the test beds for our very own tiny startups, the room was filled with the sounds of keyboards, excitement, confusion, answers, and awesome. We were executing on Jason Glaspey’s 15-step plan and getting our hands dirty. Proverbial dirty. There was lots of Purell.

Three bad brothers you know so well said it best, “Now here’s a little story I got to tell.”

6:59 am | Alarm goes off.
7:00 am | Think about idea for my first tiny startup.
7:30 am | Take a sip of cofee.
7:31 am | Think about idea for my first tiny startup.
8:57 am | Get on Max.
8:58 am | Think about idea for my first tiny startup.
9:40 am | Check in.
10:13 am | Jason Glaspey welcomes us again, tells us not to trash Urban Airship, and talks through what the day holds.
10:25 am | Let the tiny startup making begin. Everyone buries their heads into their laptops.
10:26 am | Jason holds an impromptu session for tiny startupers to talk ideas.
10:30 am | Picked my domain name.
10:35 am | Registered my domain with Hover.
10:49 am | Signed up for ZippyKid hosting.
10:55 am | Pointed my nameservers.
11:02 am | Stared blankly at my laptop trying to figure out how and if I had to install WordPress.
11:11 am | Tried to install WordPress. Andrew Spittle helped me. WordPress was already installed.
11:36 am | Struggled setting up MailChimp.
11:40 am | Figured it out.
11:44 am | Configured a mailing list in MailChimp.
11:45 am | Felt like a god.
11:49 am | Email form configured.
11:59 am | Added the form to my site.
12:02 pm | Jason talks about what to put on your landing page:

“You have to let people know that they have come to the right place. Quickly.”

“Keep people from hitting the back button, because they want to.”

“Have four things for them to do depending upon their intentions and what you want them to do.”

12:06 pm | Lunch provided by ZippyKid.
12:20 pm | Jason introduces some sponsors and they give a quick word: Jon Summers of WhiteSummers, Vid Luther of ZippyKid, Saul Colt of FreshBooks, Doug Gould from Cloudability, and Andrew from Automattic.
12:31 pm | Jason thanks Cami Kaos for being awesome (and all her work in making Tiny Startup Camp happen).
12:32 pm | Chase Reeves on finding your audience:

“#PSCS10: Pick an audience – specific as possible, one you care about, and serve them for the next 10 years.”

“When we get specific, super narrow, it’s hard to miss.”

“I want to make weird stew for Steve.”

1:11 pm | Saul Colt on being memorable:

“How do you get people’s attention? You do interesting things, be different, and do what people don’t expect.”

“Don’t ask why? Ask why not?”

“People don’t share your features and functions. They talk about you.”

1:27 pm | Free “World’s Best Boss” coffee cup from Tiny Startup Camp.
1:30 pm | John Gagnon of Bing does a breakout session on Bing Ads and walks us through the mechanics and approaches.

“The conversion sequence from forever changed my approach to search marketing.”

2:38 pm | Back to working on my tiny startup.
2:59 pm | Google AdWords setup complete.
3:03 pm | Cuss at Google Analytics.
3:04 pm | Cami talks about the importance of good customer service and reminds us:

“Anytime you have a social account, it’s going to be used for customer support, so monitor it or don’t have it.”

3:32 pm | Twitter account activated.
3:35 pm | Back to Google Analytics. Andrew helped me (again).
3:45 pm | I yell, “You got served!” at Google Analytics.
3:59 pm | There are 14 windows open on my laptop.
4:05 pm | Vid Spandana on Art of the Hustle:

“To create something out of nothing, you have to convince other people to join you when you have nothing.”

All startups start tiny.”

“Build confidence with metrics. Measure growth from day one.”

“Relationships are salient and super relevant for tiny startups.”

4:50 pm | It’s pitch time. Six tiny startupers pitch their tiny startup. Awesome shoots from their mouths as they ptich their tiny startups in 3 minutes or less. Rick Turoczy of Silicon Florist is there to write them up (his write-up will be included once it’s published).
5:19 pm | Jason closes the first Tiny Startup Camp. We sing Kum Ba Yah.

Final words: I got through 12 of Jason’s 15 steps and am only a few hours-ish away from launching my first tiny startup. A lot of tiny startupers got much further. For me, this was a great experience. In addition to a solid ROI, I learned a lot about things – both concepts and tactical execution – I wasn’t familiar or comfortable with before. And I met some amazingly amazing and talented people. Based on the excitement, inspiration, and execution I saw, I’m sure you will see some highly successful tiny startups hitting the Portland scene really, really soon. Well, that is if you have the very, very specific problem they are solving.

Thanks again, Jason, Cami, and everyone else that made Tiny Startup Camp happen.

On Twitter: #tscpdx

Disclaimer: Most of these quotes probably aren’t exact quotes. I’m not Rainman.

The Business Case for Tiny Startup Camp

This weekend I attended Tiny Startup Camp. Beyond the awesome factor, here is how the math worked out for me.

My Investment

$50.00       Tiny Startup Camp registration
$10.00       TriMet Fares
$8.75         Lunch at Little Big Burger
$.99           Notepad I filled with tons of notes
$15.00       Hover domain registration
$84.74       Total

My Return

$825.00      8.25 hours of professional knowledge
$50.00        30 minutes of one-on-one coaching
$150.00      6 months of free web hosting from ZippyKid
$100.00      Bing Ads Coupon
$15.00        T-shirt from Cloudability
$6.99          Tiny Startup Camp coffee mug
$8.75          Lunch
$1,155.75   Total

My pay back period was less than one hour and my ROI was I don’t know, I’m on my phone, you do the math.

And, personally, my return goes way beyond that, like the fact that I’m on my way to launching my first tiny startup, met amazingly bright and talented people, and was part of the first Tiny Startup Camp. And if what I learned and my passion for solving the right problem for the right people leads to a successful, revenue producing tiny startup, then BOOM! More return.

Disclaimer: Sure, I didn’t include my time and made some assumptions, but this is my business case, so there.

Tiny Startup Camp | Day One

Overall, the first day of Tiny Startup Camp was a solid introduction to the fundamentals. In addition to the key concepts, there were a lot of tips, tricks, and resources presented. I realize I don’t dig into the details of those, but hey, you’ll get all of that when you attend Tiny Startup Camp 2.0. Personally, today alone was worth the price of admission ($50). Sure, some of this stuff I already know, but it was great to hear validated approaches as well as save countless hours on the Google machine trying to figure out the stuff I don’t.

If I were to testify in court, it would go something like this:

6:59 am | Alarm goes off.
7:45 am | (6 Year Old) “Where are you going?” “Tiny Startup Camp, kinda like a class.” “DADDY’S GOING TO COLLEGE! DADDY’S GOING TO COLLEGE!” ” Not exactly, but…” “The Ducks stink! *pinches nose and gives a thumbs down*” “Yes.”
8:30 am | Heading to Tiny Startup Camp at Urban Airship.
9:01 am | Detour to Powell’s.
9:29 am | Back on track.
9:37 am | Check in.
9:58 am | Spill coffee all over my lap and worse, all over my phone.
10:00 am | Jason Glaspey welcomes us & opens with The Art of Tiny:

“Tiny is an attitude, not just a startup.”

“Don’t be so invested that failing hurts.”

“Solve a single problem, for a group of easily identifiable people, who want a solution and can afford to pay for it.”

“Don’t confuse a startup idea with a genie wish.”

“Become a problem solver. Don’t be an idea guy. Think about making everything in your life better. And a tiny startup solution will come to you.”

11:05 am | Jason Van Orden talks information-based businesses:

“You do not have a business until you have a sale.”

“Information products are the fastest, easiest way to make money. You can do it in a week.”

“There are three formulas for information-based businesses: coaching, ebooks, and memberships sites.”

“Define your very specific audience and talk to them. What is this their biggest problem? What is the solution? Have you looked for a solution? Record and write down, so you can hear their exact words. And they can be used to market your tiny startup.”

“What are the top five to ten needs and wants of your audience?”

11:40 am | Break. Didn’t spill coffee on anyone.
11:47 am | Andrew Spittle owns Understanding WordPress:

“WordPress powers 17% of the web.”

“You don’t need to get fancy because that’s time not spent on other important stuff.”

“Five things on WordPress: relax, simplicity, backup, update, and give back.”

12:13 pm | Mike Pacchione on How to Tell Stories that Connect:

“Essential, figure out a way to tell your story.”

12:17 pm | I’m explaining the plot of We Are Marshall to someone I just met.
12:22 pm | Mike continues:

“People make decisions based on emotion, justified by facts.”

“Don’t talk about your self or your product. Talk about the problem and solution.”

“Follow a simple construct of talking about the problem’s pain and the solution’s pleasure. Then, repeat until the story is told.”

“Tell someone else’s story.”

12:40 pm | Breakout sessions with Jason (Van Orden), Andrew, and Mike.
12:45 pm | Andrew is dropping more WordPress knowledge in his breakout session.
1:05 pm | Told Little Big Burger to get in my belly. It listened. Met a couple of other tiny startupers. Talked tiny.
2:11 pm | Introduced myself to Rick Turoczy because I’m a stalker.
2:33 pm | Jason gives a shoutout to Tiny Startup Camp’s sponsors: Automattic, MailChimp, ZippyKid, FreshBooks, PIE, Silicon Florist, Woo Themes, Urban Airship, AppSumo, Bing, WhiteSummers, & Cloudability.
2:36 pm | Kim Toomey educates us on Pay-Per-Click marketing:

“Only worry about Google & Bing. That pretty much covers every major search engine.”

“Optimize for the different phases of the buying cycle: research, evaluation, & buying.”

“When building a keyword list, use your brain – what would you search by, use Google’s keyword finder, just start typing into Google, and check out Amazon – the next largest search engine after the big ones.”

3:04 pm | Rory Kaluza simplifies SEO:

“The more competitive the AdWords, the more competitive the SEO.”

“The most important thing in SEO is website format, specifically the title tag.”

“Provide killer content better than your competitors.”

3:31 pm | Rick Turoczy gets all up in social media’s grill:

“Don’t expect to get more out than you put in.”

“Land grab and speculate real estate, but live where your customer lives.”

“Be clear about what your social presence does and doesn’t do.”

“Be polite. Be thankful. Share.”

3:58 pm Jason tells us we are all going to fail, but it’s a good thing. And gives us an overview of the next day, where we execute on what we learned today.
4:01 pm | Breakout sessions with Kim, Rory, & Rick.
4:02 pm | Rory answers questions and points us to some great resources.
4:36 pm | I sneak out before the social hour because I’m socially awkward.
Tomorrow | We execute on what we learned today. And I’ll be testing my first tiny startup.

On Twitter: #tscpdx

Disclaimer: Most of these quotes probably aren’t exact quotes. I’m not Rainman.

More Awesome from Vizify

Already awesome Vizify has gotten more awesome. They’ve added personal analytics, so you can see the number of visitors and page views as well as clicks on your Vizify email signature. They’ve also added the ability to add a background image (like this). You can pull from their gallery, Facebook, Instagram, or your personal collection of squirrel images.

If you don’t know about Vizify, you poor soul… but you can read a little about it here and here.