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I know a lot of people have been posting about Startupping recently (Fred Wilson and Ross Mayfield to name a few), so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon. This is an excellent site chock full of nuggets for those entrepreneurial types looking to get a foot in an otherwise exclusive club. It was created by Mark Fletcher, who is a successful serial entrepreneur (thank goodness, it was started by someone with some cred).

There are four main areas of the site, all of which are extremely useful. Theres the blog, discussion forums, WIKI and a blog aggregator. The blog contains a lot of useful posts by those people who have been there before, in the trenches, who know what works and what doesn’t. There have already been two posts by John Batelle in one week, very impressive! According to Mark, the discussion forums are the heart of startupping. Great place to get advice on anything from should you accept VC funding to upcoming industry events that you should not miss. The WIKI contains helpful pointers to outside resources, from legal document templates to term sheets. The last section is the blog aggregator, which I find extremely interesting. Mark has created a one stop shop for all of the top blogs of VCs, angel investors and entrepreneurs. If you are looking for the money, you should start reading here!
I truly believe this site is going to be a main stay, anyone and everyone who is trying to start a company these days (who isn’t, right???) should be on here!

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Interesting article has just been posted on TechCrunch titled “Netvibes Promises Cross-Platform Widget Compatibility“. The widget marketplace is quickly becoming the hot topic for 2007, and the fact that there is a multitude of widgets that run on various platforms, it is easy to see that this is a fragmented space. There are already a few companies out there that are attempting to overcome this fragmentation, to mention a few: ClearSpring, and WidgetBox and now it seems that Netvibes is throwing it’s hat into the ring as well. This is an interesting play, considering that Netvibes is one of the platforms that widgets run on. They do have a pretty slick product right now, but to my knowledge, all of the widgets they have available on their site do not run on any other platforms.
The W3C is apparently working on a draft for a universal widget specification, but I wonder if the Netvibes spec will become the standard by default? Nonetheless, this should shape up to be an interesting space and I hope that a standard is settled on so we can take our widgets where ever we want!

I just read through the presentation that the guys at Dogster (Ted Rheingold, John Vars and Steven Reading) gave at the CommunityNext Conference last weekend at Stanford. Unfortunately I was not there in person (trust me, I wanted to go, but it was out of my hands, but I digress) to witness it firsthand, but the I imagine the web version is almost as good!
The presentation is titled “Community is Your Most Valuable Asset” and it discusses why those guys feel (and I would venture to guess they are pretty dead on considering their successes) that you live and die by your community. They highlight several key points on how to stay connected with your community because at the end of the day, without them, you are left with just a bunch of code.

  • Customer Service – An often overlooked function, it is a deal breaker if you really think about it. Word of mouth is a powerful advertising machine and unhappy customers = short shelf life!
  • Reflect User Passion – Listen to your customers likes and dislikes and reflect those in your product. From UI design, to color palettes to the “voice” of the product. Another point here that they stress is be sincere. Do not give your customers a bunch of lip service, follow through on everything. If you do not, see equation above.
  • Community Guidelines – If your product is community based, you need to establish the rules of the road for participation and stick with them. Of course, in anything you do, get user input and feedback and incorporate them into your guidelines.
  • Community Uptime – Mission critical here, must be up 100% of the time.
  • Community is a Garden – (gratuitous cliche here) so tend it well.
  • Make Great Things – Again, listen to your community and strive to have a product that is reflective of their needs. Give it your all and you will be rewarded by continuous community involvement.
  • Core Components – These are the core things that you really need to nail: Entertainment, Information, Sociality and Services.

There are a few more key points to the presentation, all very worthwhile. So in summary, I would have to say that if your are playing in the social networking world, without a doubt, your COMMUNITY IS YOUR MOST VALUABLE ASSET. Listen to them, understand their motives, their needs, their likes and dislikes and do whatever you can to cater to them all! Afterall, they are what drives your bottom line!


A few weeks back, I wrote a post about the blogs that I read. I still am sticking to those blogs, but I have found a few others since then, and the most notable one is KillerStartUps.com. One could argue that it is similar in nature to Mashable, VentureBeat or even TechCrunch in that it is a review up and coming Internet companies, but that would be an unfair comparison. Whereas Mashable, VentureBeat and TechCrunch have a staff of bloggers writing about companies that they either receive tips on, know someone there and are returning a favor, or have researched the companies themselves, KillerStartups is a community for the people by the people. What I mean by this is that it is a user driven internet startups community. It’s intended for entrepreneurs, investors, and bloggers to stay updated on new internet startups. Companies are submitted along with a quick write up and they can be voted on whether or not they will succeed. There is a good amount of information on the companies, along with some interesting opinions on the viability of said company. If you are in the industry and need to stay up to date on new companies, add this site to your stable of places you go to for industry information.