The Day of Silence

In case you had not heard, there was a call for a day of silence in the blogosphere out of respect for the folks who lost their lives in the Virginia Tech massacre. Personally, I posed the question to readers over at Outside the Beltway last week and received some very interesting opinions. I was undecided about whether to participate and inadvertently, I nearly did. It had nothing to do with VT and more to do with the fact that we have a new hire today. Continue reading

NFL Draft Predictions

Today is the first day of the NFL draft 2007 and I’ll be following it closely and doing a bit of live blogging over at Suicide Fan. In addition, we’ll cap the draft day 1 off with a podcast with David Kindervater, credentialed NFL press and podcaster, from NYC at the end of Round 1. Due to timing, the show will be released tomorrow morning. Questions? Comments? Leave your message at 443-450-4646 or at mailbag@suicidefan.com. Continue reading

What's in the Toolbox?

Everyone in any industry or career has a set of tools they use to do their job. My job is a little odd in that I have my hands in development as well as systems. A developer can say I use these sets of tools while a sysadmin has different needs. I have them all.

So, inspired by posts awhile ago by Westi’s Windows WordPress toolbox and Mark’s Mac/Unix based WordPress toolbox (both of which describe workflow for using subversion and creating patches), I give you my WordPress-and-sometimes-not-Mac-and-Linux toolbox. Continue reading

Alexa's Irrelevance

Matt is complaining about Alexa turning off their API, for all intents and purposes, and turning itself into a walled garden. My question is does it really matter? Does Alexa really matter?

I love going to industry events and listening to PR people jibjab about Alexa rankings and using it as a metric of popularity and the fact of the matter is that it is a bogus metric meant for a tiny cross-section of people who have Alexa’s spyware. Unless someone has Alexa’s toolbar (which by the way is still only supported officially for Internet Explorer), then visitors are never documented. Continue reading

I Really Screwed Up

I really screwed up and before you all get mad at me, please accept my apologies. I just did the unthinkable, and something I have been angry at others for doing – I mass invited my entire Gmail address book to Facebook. Great, if you want to join and mark me as a friend, then my fragile ego will be happy. However, if I just spammed your inbox with an invite, please do accept my apologies.

At least I know I’m in good company. Jay Allen did this with Stumble Upon and caught a lot of heat himself.

Technosailor Version 7 Hits the Street

I’m really, really happy right now because we’re begininning the three year anniversary celebration a little early here. Back in March, I started to discuss the possibility of a professional theme with the fantabulous Lisa Sabin. I gave her some of my ideas and in essence let her go to town creating something suitably professional and refreshing for this blog. I had only a few specific ground rules:

  • Whitespace
  • Home Page NOT being the blog – more room for pulling together content in a better and more useful way than a linear blog
  • Done before May 20, in time for my three year blogging anniversary

So I’m very, very happy to launch version 7 hitting all of those points and delivering a month early! We have taken a departure from the historically consistent nautical theme, grouped content better more effectively, implemented a del.icio.us powered link blog. And Chad, our director of sales, loves the ad placements, so there’s an added bonus! Commenting and posts look nicer too!

Your thoughts? Lisa is scared, but I think she did a smash-up job! :-)

Business Plan Series: Part 4 – Products and Services

Last time we discussed what you should put in the company overview section and the different formats it may take depending on the stage of your company.

In this part, Part 4, we will get at the heart of your company – its products and services.

This section covers what you provide to customers and how you deliver it. It is the reason you are in business. There is something here you decided would revolutionize a market, fill a need that has been desperately looking for a solution or provide something that rides a hot trend.

In most cases you will want to answer in an summary format what your company is providing and why it is so different. This should catch the reader’s attention and make them want to read the detail supporting your intro paragraph.

After you have caught their attention and told them how and why your offerings are so great/revolutionary/needed, you need to include the following things:

Product Offerings – This describes your products in more details and should communicate why you are unique. If you are not providing a physical product (i.e. widget, web site) then go right to the next part.
Service Offerings – This covers the services you offer and really needs to communicate how you are going to stand out because services are not as tangible. If you are providing products this is where you discuss services that support the product and complimentary services that will increase your revenue potential.
Pricing and Revenue Strategy - After you have discussed what you are offering you should discuss how you are pricing everything and how you are going to go about making money with these product and service offerings.
Goals and Objectives
- This is the place for major milestones including your pricing and revenue strategy, customers and other important metrics.
Methods and Differentiation – Here is where you really need to show how you will stand out against competitors and differentiate your company as a whole with its products and services.
Relationships and Partnerships - This section is to build on your offerings and demonstrate your success and reach with important vendor relationships and partnerships/joint ventures you have established to increase your revenue potential. You might also want to include customers and important case example to demonstrate the success your offerings have already achieved.

NEXT TIME: COMPETITION- After you have explained how compelling your products and services are you will need to discuss the who else it out there doing something similar and how you will stand out and beat them.

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