Archive for August, 2005
I first heard about CDBaby at a Billy Pilgrim concert back in 2000 or 2001 (oh, how I wish they’d make more CDs available) and when I checked out the site then I immediately thought it was the perfect example of how to use the internet as a platform for small business. Looking at it today, I still feel the same way.
Derek Sivers, the founder of CDBaby, has built a business that started as a hobby simply so he could market his own CD without having a distribution deal. Seven years later, CDBaby has become home to over 100,000 independent musicians resulting in the sale of over 1.7 million CDs…all with one programmer.
People in the microISV world tend to protect their ideas as if they were their first born. Derek Sivers points out why its better to spend that time on execution of your idea.
I wonder where Derek would classify CD Baby which is the company he founded and where he is the sole programmer.
via Business Pundit
Steve, from The Furrygoat Experience, posted that he really liked TopDesk from Otaku Software but was uninstalling it because of the nag balloons that prompt for purchase. James from Otaku found the post and, within hours, offered an explanation for their choice of using help balloons instead of crippled features or time restraints and also offered Steve a free copy. By providing top notch service and communication, Steve made the purchase and became a TopDesk evangelist.
Fred Wilson discusses the death of a web service when it appears that the Bloglet service is shut down. He has more than 1000 subscribers who are not getting updates and he now faces manuy hours of re-entering the data manually. Sounds like a good microISV opportunity to me.
WorkHappy.net has posted a number of “Happy Links” for all of the current and aspiring business owners out there.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have Larry Page (Google founder), Guy Kawasaki (The Art of the Start), and Eric Schmidt (Google CEO) advise you during the startup of your microISV? Well, here ya’ go. The Stanford Technology Ventures Program Educators Center has video clips, case studies, and course materials of high tech entrepreneurship resources available for free.
Alex King, founder of King Design, who has produced Tasks (a web based task management app) and Feedlounge (a web based RSS reader) gives us his thoughts on offering support as a microISV business owner. He has made the choice to not offer free phone support but instead focuses his time on adding features and keeping the price of his software down.
Many people go into business as a microISV with the idea of creating a software product that will allow them to leave their day job and spend their days doing whatever it is they want to do. Often times, the reality quickly becomes days filled with tech support and no time left over to do what you had planned. Alex and Nick Bradbury are two people who have become excellent examples of allowing customers to help themselves and also allowing customers to help each other. This may cause some headaches because offering forums and other open support options can allow customers to air some of your dirty laundry, but in the end your openness will be seen as a benefit and will probably produce more sales.
Sean Mountcastle has posted his notes from the recent Business for Geeks tutorial at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention. The talk was given by Marc Hedlund, O’Reilly’s entrepreneur in residence. Marc appeared to really push the microISV concept of starting small, keeping your day job, and bootstrapping but that only scratches the surface of the things he touched on.
If anyone else attended, I’d be interested in hearing your experiences in the comments.
I came across this article about the winner of Entreprenuer magazine’s Ugliest Logo Contest and the article itself is interesting but its also a great piece of marketing for the company redesigning the ugliest logo.
By providing the redesign in this contest, LogoWorks gets advertising in a national magazine that doesn’t even seem like advertising. The author also points out the benefits of using LogoWorks’ service which will provide several concepts within 72 hours for a very affordable price ranging from $265 to $549.
Now we just need to see some microISV products getting similar attention. Who has some ideas?