Startup Mistakes: The Partnership Gone Sour

October 8, 2008

What makes a startup fail? I’ve been collecting startup horror stories, hoping to share some lessons learned.

This week brought a story with three classic elements of a startup “tale from the crypt:” technology, money, and people. This time it was technology (with attendant uncertainty and doubt), money (lack of it), and people (the dark side: their personalities). I hesitate to tell this chilling tale because it’s not over (and may yet have a positive outcome). But hearing it may save readers from a similar fate.

(read more) The Partnership Gone Sour

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How to Do Keyword Research

September 22, 2008

This article, on How to Do Keyword Research, introduces a keyword research methodology every web entrepreneur can use.

The methodology I describe is unique; you won’t find this approach described in all the ebooks and articles on keyword research you’ll find on the web. My approach doesn’t require expensive membership subscriptions; it combines free data from a social bookmarking site, a web traffic measurement service, and Google user data to create a comprehensive inventory of your keyword universe.

How Effective Is It?

I developed this approach when I worked as a consultant and Internet marketing mentor for my friends Joe “Mr. Fire” Vitale and Jerry and Esther Hicks. Joe Vitale is now well-known as an “Internet marketing guru” and Jerry and Esther Hicks have become NY Times best-selling authors. Keyword research has been a foundation for the success of all my consulting clients. Over time I’ve refined the approach and I describe it in detail for the first time.

Read the full article here:
How to Do Keyword Research

The full article (with detailed instructions and links) has been moved from this blog to my web site.


Startup Advice: Should You Attend TechCrunch50?

September 13, 2008

What’s the value of the TechCrunch50 conference for an entrepreneur? I attended the 2008 show and here’s my thoughts.

If you don’t know, TechCrunch is the most active publication focused on investment in the web startup community. In an earlier century, it would have been the leading trade magazine for Internet entrepreneurs and investors (that is, it would have been Red Herring). It’s 2008 now, so it’s a blog. The publisher of TechCrunch, Michael Arrington, has organized a series of events to showcase outstanding web startups, with the collaboration of the Internet entrepreneur Jason Calacanis. The two day event in September 2007 was named TechCrunch40; the three day event in September 2008 was named TechCrunch50. In 2009, TechCrunch50 will be held September 7th to 10th.

(read more) Should You Attend TechCrunch50?


Web Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Job Description

August 30, 2008

A web startup client recently asked me for a CTO job description to paste into a business plan. Eager to oblige, I googled “Web CTO job description” and “web chief technology officer” anticipating it would take me five minutes to find what my client wanted. You’d think there would be a adequate boilerplate job description somewhere on the Net. But no, there’s no sharable, standard description of the work we do to run a web startup.

Here, then, is my first draft of a job description for the work I’ve done as a chief technology officer for web startups. You can find the entire article here: Job Description for a Web Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

After you’ve read the article, if you have anything to add or refine, you can leave a post, and I’ll update the article.


Startup Advice: When to Use a Consulting CTO

July 2, 2008

There are not many to be found. He or she might call himself a “consulting CTO,” “freelance CTO,” “on-demand CTO,” “CTO on call,” “CTO for hire,” or just a “technology strategy advisor.” Most likely, this is a person who is a serial entrepreneur and was the chief technology officer for two or more web startups. If you find him, he’s gold, and not only because of his knowledge and experience. He’s valuable because he will work on your project on a short-term basis.

In this article, you’ll find out how a consulting CTO can help you, when to use one, and how to find the right person.

(read more) When to Use a Consulting CTO