The importance of your Domain Names is a throwback to Web 1.0….I’ve been thinking about this lots lately….before it used to be all about your domain. People would pay millions for the “right” .com domain name. Now people just search for your company name using a search engine like google and rarely bother to type in your domain name. 2ndSite uses .biz domain. I can live with that. Here are Seth’s thoughts on the matter.
I have to laugh…I went to a blog last night and read about how a guy had been “inspired” to start a “web services” company. Close to three years into mine – (and still inspired!) – I find all this enthusiasm a little misguided. Build a business, not a Web 2.0 company. Remember the bubble? This piece sums it up nicely…
One more thing Yung Wu mentioned when he spoke was to challenge the conventional wisdom. One area where I find myself doing this a lot lately is in the marketing of emerging/distruptive technologies – in particular Web applications. While ruminating on the subject I came across this article:
|“Ross Mayfield, chief executive of Socialtext, calls this ”bottom up” adoption, where rank-and-file workers discover software that makes their jobs easier, and that software eventually spreads throughout the company. ”All great productivity applications — e-mail, instant messaging, spreadsheets — have not been brought into the enterprise from the top down,” Mayfield says. ”They’ve done it from the bottom up.”
* pilfered from here.
Tools, toys and apps are being passed from the bottom-up. Fostering community and turning over controls to your users are the drivers in this process.
From $60,000 in credit card debt, to raising about $70 million; from 2 founders to 362 employees, then back to 14 staff; from debt to $40 million in Revenues per year to zero revenue – these are snapshots of Castek founder Yung Wu’s last 15 years.
Yesterday he spoke at Marsdd. A great speaker and candid visionary, Yung shared some pearls of wisdom with the CEOs of 40 Toronto start-ups. Here is my take on what he said.
1. Core values are everything. Whether chosen to discover theses are the essence of your company in good times, but especially in bad. [This really echoes Jim Collins’ Built to Last. Your core values are your touch stones when the dark clouds in roll in. A great read if you haven’t read it already].
2. Great companies overcome capital issues (i.e. debt, no credit, no money, you name it!).
3. Customers are your best backers (in Yung’s case, they helped to finance development).
4. Capital (i.e. investors) follow low risk [especially in Canada].
5. Other people’s money means you make different decisions. Basically it’s not yours to gamble with and you should:
A – preserve the capital
B – grow the capital
6. Raise capital when you can, NOT where you need to.
7. Investors are a relationship so DON’T GET STUCK ON THE DEAL, get stuck on the people.
8. Be fair in your relationships, because someday you WILL need a break.
9. Align your goals from the top (i.e. investors and your board) ALL the way down (employees, customers).
10. Think about the world in cycles. Yung’s industry went from hundreds of millions to zero revenue year over year [insurance]. Markets are cyclical.
11. In tough times, over communicate.
12. Know your 90 day priority – don’t look too much further ahead.
13. Investments are RELATIONSHIPS, NOT TRANSACTIONS so work for the a good fit in your investment partner – someone with like minded exit strategies.
14. When hiring management, find someone to help, not someone who wants to replace you.
15. Don’t hire someone like yourself. They’ll want to replace you and the fact is you need other skill sets to flesh out your mix.
Above all, foster:
TRUST | LOYALTY | HONESTY all the way up and down, inside and outside your organization.
I was invited to participate in a focus group for founders and CEO’s (there were 6 of us) at Marsdd today. It involved three former AT&T executives (Steve Carson, Jim Meenan and Roger Davis), known around Mars as the “three amigos” and was moderated by Peter Evans and Veronika Litinski. The purpose of the focus group was to find points of pain for Start-up CEOs.
Yung Wu founder and CEO of Casetek gave a speech to about 40 other CEOs of Toronto startups after the focus group was held. Yung has quite a story with some real ups and downs. It turns out he learned one of his core values was “Never Quit (N.F.Q.)”. At the bar after the presentaion Roger Davis pointed out that the single biggest key to success is “persistence in life”. Yung is a fine example. I’ll share some more tomorrow.
He has been a mentor since the idea virus. He just released on eBook on blogging:
It is not very detailed, but it will shift your vision a little. Strong opinions about where we (i.e. Internet users, the Telecom Industry, blog writers, others….) are headed. It is worth the 20 minutes it takes to read.
Tonight’s the night. Legendary Leaf fan Greg Albisser has the call below.
If you are not a Leaf fan, you probably will not get this…scratch that. If you are not a HARDCORE Leaf fan you probably won’t get this:
hope you’re wellwood,
so what time should we be-lak your place.
not sure if i’ll take a kaberle or walk but i’ll get there.
i’m so excited i’m keithacton all goofy today.
i’ll be sure to ring your bel-fore when i get there.