Month: June 2012

We loved Make Something People Love

If you haven’t already you should check out Alexis Ohanian‘s (he’s the guy behind Reddit, Hipmunk & Breadpig) new book released by Hyperink. It’s a quick and easy read about how to create a product and company that customers love and includes a bunch of real-life examples culled from his personal experience as well as the broader startup community. Beyond building something people want, it’s important you use available tools with care including user experience design, social media, and swag to further delight potential customers. He takes the time to stress that treating your first 100 fans well can go a long way (but don’t think that means you can stop at 100). The point is to build a passionate group of users (as about 80% of the use of your product will come from only 20% of users). For obvious reasons, we particularly enjoyed his take on the benefits of using swag to make folks swoon: (more…)

5 tips for increasing customer conversions

You’re always trying to increase the number of customers your company works with. And as a marketer you know there are a ton of ways to begin working prospects through your funnel. To save you some time, we wanted to throw a few new ideas at you: (more…)

Featured Work Space: Safe Shepherd

The Company: Safe Shepherd is a venture-backed technology startup based in San Francisco, founded by Robert Leshner and Geoff Hayes in 2011.  The company offers a service to help consumers remove their personal information from companies selling it.  Safe Shepherd also devotes significant time and resources to lobby for anti-stalking and pro-privacy policy. (more…)

What kind of impact does working virtually have on company culture?

Since we’re highlighting other companies’ work spaces on Wednesdays, it only seems right that we spend some time reflecting on our own. As perhaps you already know, the Printfection team works remotely as we like to buck the status quo. So what type of company culture does that help build? (more…)

Creating creativity

Creativity (and the resulting innovation) is a key ingredient in many businesses. And while you probably understand what creativity is, you might not know how to make it happen (other than with a magic wand). Based on Jonah Lehrer’s IMAGINE, here are a couple ideas for fostering creativity within your company: (more…)

Ten must read startup blogs for entrepreneurs

These tech and startup blogs offer awesome advice and consistent insight, and should make the cut for your RSS reader:

1.) Both Sides of the Table: Mark Suster is a 2x entrepreneur who has gone to the Dark Side of Venture Capital and focused on both sides of the table for Los Angeles and Silicon Valley. He joined GRP Partners in 2007 as a General Partner after selling his company to Salesforce.com. He focuses on early-stage technology companies and as such blogs about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, how to negotiate successfully, investing, and marketing.

2.) Techcrunch: A group-edited blog about technology start-ups, particularly the Web 2.0 sector. It offers technology news and analysis, as well as profiles of startup companies, products, and websites. It was founded by Michael Arrington in 2005, and was first published on June 11, 2005.

3.) Signal vs Noise: Weblog by the guys behind 37Signals about usability and good design, with a technology focus. 37signals is a privately held web application company based in Chicago co-founded in 1999 by Jason Fried, Carlos Segura, and Ernest Kim. Its first commercial application was Basecamp; this was followed by Backpack, Campfire, and Highrise. The blog is known for its outspoken voice and strong stances.

4.) Read Write Web: A popular weblog launched in 2003 by Richard MacManus, that provides Web Technology news, reviews and analysis, covering web apps, web technology trends, and social networking.

5.) Wired: A news site covering current and future trends in technology, and how they are shaping business, entertainment, communications, science, and politics. It is known for coining new terms, such as “the Long Tail”and “crowdsourcing.” It is also well known for its annual tradition of handing out Vaporware Awards which recognize “products, videogames and other nerdy tidbits pitched, promised and hyped, but never delivered.”

6.) Fast Company Design: Inspiring stories about innovation and business, seen through the lens of design.

7.) Betashop: Betashop is the blog of Jason Goldberg, founder & Chief Executive Officer at Fab.com. Jason reveals and behind the scenes peak at Fab including customer acquisition, design, metrics, etc and touches on other technology related topics.

8.) Startup Lessons Learned: This blog includes lots of ideas and learnings every startup can benefit from. It’s authored by Eric Ries, creator of the Lean Startup methodology. He previously co-founded and served as Chief Technology Officer of IMVU.

9.) OnStartups: Written by Dharmesh Shah this blog covers software startups in depth, sharing pain and passion points from his own experience.

10.) VentureHacks: Written by Nivi and Naval, founders (AngelList, Epinions), investors (Twitter), students (life), and advisors (billions), this site shares the best startup advice they can find from others and their own experiences.

Bonus: AVC: The musings of a VC in NYC: Fred Wilson is a VC and principal of Union Square Ventures blogs about helping people start and build technology companies.

Have other favorites? Please share them in the comments below!

Ten hilarious GIFs to sum up your week

When you work for a tech company, by the end of the (60+ hour) week you can use a good laugh. So kick back, relax, and enjoy this collection of the best marketing and start-up reaction gifs: (more…)

Bring your company to life through Instagram

Recently acquired by Facebook, Instagram is a photo sharing app that now boasts more than 50 million users and is continuing to rapidly grow. A shocking 58 photos are uploaded per second!  Because of this, it’s important that you assess whether your company should have a presence on the app. (more…)

Featured Work Spaces: 37Signals

The right kind of building and work space can do great things for a company’s culture. As Steve Jobs said, “Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions. You run into someone, you ask what they’re doing, you say “Wow,” and soon you’re cooking up all sorts of ideas.” Because your digs can have such a profound impact, we’ll be trying to regularly expose you to new company’s space for inspiration (we’ve coined this effort “Workplace Wednesdays”). If you’d like to submit your company to be featured, feel free to drop us a line at realperson@printfection.com. And now onto the good stuff…..

This week’s featured workspace is 37signals. (more…)

If you’re serious about your business don’t put culture in the corner

If you’re interested in the cause of the recent financial crisis, both in the US and abroad, you should check out Michael Lewis’ Boomerang. In many ways the book also relates to topics beyond finance. While reading, a particular sentence caught my eye as I think it has a lot to offer about the importance of fostering a company culture carefully and with integrity. (more…)