HP Gives Consumer the Middle Finger

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Update: While the below entry will remain for archival purposes, HP has answered the call and the computer will be recieved on Friday – early enough for Thomas’ trip.

I’ve always recommended HP as a manufacturer of great laptops. They generally work well and are durable and compared with the competition, they have always been reliable computers that stand up against time. However, their customer service is abysmal and the story that has been related to me by Thomas confirms, and even enhances that statement.

Thomas is a business consumer. He works for a small organization, a non profit, and travels a fair bit. He has a lot of influence in his sphere and has been a long time consumer of laptop computers. He asked me a few years ago about recommendations for computers, and I turned him on to HP.

Recently, that laptop, had a freak accident and the power socket that is connected to the motherboard stopped receiving a charge to the battery. The only option without spending $500 for a motherboard repair was to purchase a new computer as the old one was out of warranty. On February 17th, Thomas ordered a new HP Pavilion dv2000t. Continue reading

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FOWA Presentation on Venture Capital

I saw this presentation that Ben Holmes of Index Ventures gave at the FOWA Conference in London “Everything you need to know about Venture Capital“…
He put his slides on slideshare so take a look. (BTW, Slideshare rocks)

Here is an entrepreneur’s take on the slideshow:

Think of this as liner notes if an entrepreneur was giving this….

Slide 5 – “How the VC makes money” – This is great. It gives an entrepreneur an understanding on two levels. First, the VC has people they answer to, the Limited Partners, and must make money for them. Second, should an entrepreneur think that their investment should be part of the portfolio, know that they are more likely to be a part of the failure list and that they need to have a big play to help the VC make their numbers based on the failure rate.

Slide 6 – “Stages of Investment” – Many entrepreneur’s ask about what type of investment is right. This is usually when they are going out for the first time and looking at angel vs. series A.

Slide 7 – “What a good VC will add” – This is what so many claim yet so few deliver. This should be a list of requirements and a test against any VC firm. He actually included case studies so they put their money where their mouth is – literally.

Slide 10 – “Typical Deal Terms” – Every entrepreneur that is looking for VC should make no mistake that they are in this to make money. They may like you but they like how much money the company could make even better. This means putting certain terms in place to ensure their investment.

Slide 13 – “When NOT to raise VC” – If you take one slide away this is the one. Everyone looks at VC as the way to get to the finish line but most of the time a company is not a candidate. If you are any of these three or close to it, rethink your plan or find other ways to finance.

Slide 18 – “Sharing relevant information” – You can see from this slide that it is important to have documents but not the 100 page business plan in the beginning. In the end it will be about them checking on you, those interested in buying from you and the who and how of execution.

In the end this presentation has a bottom line – This is a partnership and there must be alignment on all sides in order to make it work. It is about relationships, communication and execution. If any one of those three are missing you will fail.

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If you want value, don't listen to dnScoop

There’s an interesting new service out there that everybody’s talking about. Trouble is, Seth Godin is the only one call an apple an apple.

The service is dnscoop and it’s respectable enough to be on a shared host that never seems to be up. When you can get to the website, the idea is yet another website valuation tool and, if it’s in the least bit accurate, my sale of Technosailor should have easily hit the 5 figure number I was asking for because it should be worth $198k.

The problem is, this valuation tool is absolutely worthless – about as worthless as the share host he is on. The thing that bothered me the most about my attempt at selling Technosailor were the bidders who in essence looked at site value purely on revenue. It’s never that cut and dry and anyone who expects to get money from a site needs to understand that a lot more goes into monetization than simply sitting back and hoping to collect revenue. Continue reading

Grokking What Makes People Tick via Skype

Total fun for a Friday. I’ve just realized that I have to laugh at people (including myself) when it comes to Mood Messages in IM. So in the spirit of good natured fun, let’s see what people are about via my Skype contact list (people online right now):
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Is Your Marketing Premise Faulty?

Yesterdays Feedburner report surrounding reader engagement has left me with a lot of questions about assumptions and premises that we take for granted. I blogged about the report, but let me take a few minutes to ask some deeper questions.

To date, the assumption has been made that a site producing content is the nexus of all activity surrounding that content. With that premise, we have developed all our technologies, marketing strategies and SEO techniques around sending traffic to and around the site. In fact, most of bloggers ad revenue is formulated around CPM (impression based ads), CPC (click based ads) and to some degree CPA (affiliate, sales-based ads) which cater to traffic to and around a site. One has to wonder how these ad models could be used any other way, and that question would be valid. You see, if the premise is faulty, everything we do based on that premise will also be faulty. Continue reading

The Happiest Moment in the RSS and Reader Marriage is in the Engagement

Over the weekend there was a huge buzz over new RSS subscriber numbers that Feedburner was reporting due to a change in how Google Reader was reporting their stats. The bounce was reported as high as 250% by bloggers like Jeremy Shoemaker to more average bounces of around 30% by bloggers like Stowe Boyd. My own bounce was 32%. The change has prompted many to begin to re-evaluate assumptions previously held for a long, long time. One of those was my own boss, Jeremy Wright, who mused, “Google is now, or is soon set to be, the world’s #1 feed reading software / destination / feature.”

Without losing the forest through the trees, FeedBurner has just let loose with some blistering analysis of the trend. And they are spot on. While the assumption is made that bigger is better, Feedburner examines the data and arrives at the conclusion that the motion of the ocean is actually significantly different.

Not all subscribers are alike. Yahoo reports active subscribers over a rolling 30-day period. Most other web-based readers report the total number of individuals who’ve subscribed, regardless of whether they have actually logged in recently.
Default feeds are popular. (Yes, this is an early frontrunner in 2007 “Painfully Obvious Bullet” balloting.) Said differently: many aggregators offer a set of default feeds for every new account, or provide “bundles” of feeds by category. These feeds will get disproportionately high subscriber numbers at specific aggregators.

Continue reading

Second Life Encounters

It’s freaky when you login to Second Life for the first time (Evar!) and within 5 minutes, a reader can ID you. Five minutes and I’m greeted with “Blogger, Baltimore, SXSW… you must be Technosailor?” Insanity. Thanks, Sean for IDing me and giving me a laugh.