- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
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We are just a month away from the big SXSW weekend of parties. If you will be arriving into Austin early, or live in Austin, you might want to check out the Web Camp that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) will host just days before SXSW begins. I have not attended a Microsoft Web Camp in the past so I can’t provide any reviews but the sessions look interesting and you will be fed.
You can register for the two-day event here – you must use a Windows Live ID (why I don’t know) and you must register for each day individually. From the course overview, “Microsoft’s 2 day Web Camps are events designed to teach you all about building websites using ASP.NET MVC, WebMatrix, OData and more. This event is a unique opportunity, partnering classroom learning on day one with hands-on-labs on day two, and leveraging experts to help you build new and exciting websites.”
The sessions include MVC basics, jQuery Globalization, data access and modeling, validation and testing processes. I don’t see any specific sessions around the Windows Phone but I have to image the topic will come up throughout both days. The event is free to attend and will be held at the AT&T conference center at the University of Texas in midtown.
I don’t know about you but I’ve always wondered to myself, “self wtf does centernetworks really sound like?” Well as of today I no longer need to ask myself that question. I can just head over to CodeOrgan, pop in a url and hear what the site sounds like.
Here’s how they come up with the sounds:
- to find the key – CodeOrgan pulls in all text, removes non-musical characters and then figures out which note is most commonly used
- synthesizer – whichever letter matching one of the 10 synthesizer effects is most popular
- drum loop – uses 10 loops and finds the most popular matching loop to content that is analyzed on the page that was entered into the CodeOrgan musical entry box and then the analysis to which is performed
InsideTransit is in the key of CM with a rock guitar and the number 6 drum loop. HTMLCenter pulls in key of A with “rifty” and the number 1 drum loop. And drumroll please, CenterNetworks has a vibe of key of A, strings and a drum loop number 8. I think I like the way CN sounds the best out of the three.
Continue reading “Wondering What Your Website Sounds Like? CodeOrgan Plays Your Tune” »
It seems nearly every startup I talk to is using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Either S3 for storage, EC2 for processing or one of the other options. Here at CN we use S3 for storage of nearly all static files.
Today Amazon has announced their third annual “Startup Challenge” which offers startups that are using AWS a chance to win a variety of prizes and service credits. Startups in United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Israel are eligible to enter and the entry period ends on August 25th. Also, startups must have earned no more than $5 million in annual revenue and/or raised more than $5 million in venture capital funding.
The top prize is $50,000 in cash, $50,000 in Amazon Web Services (AWS) credits, mentoring sessions from an AWS technical expert, and premium gold support for one year. There are a variety of other winners as well.
What’s great about the Startup Challenge is that unlike many startup contests, it doesn’t appear that Amazon is taking any equity for the prize amounts (of course you should check the rules to verify). My take is simple – if you use AWS in any form, submit your entry because, at a minimum, you get a $25 credit (which for CN is like 6 mos free service).
German-based Jimdo has put out a call to all Geocities users…a lifeboat if you will. Jimdo launched in 2007 and currently has a staff of 30. The service offers an easy way to create a website and the company says that no technical skills are required.
Their “lifeboat” is a new offering they are near completion on which will allow Geocities users to transfer their sites into Jimdo. The basic Jimdo service is free and you can upgrade to JimdoPro for $5/month. JimdoPro offers more detailed statistics, larger storage space, personalized domain name, and no ads.
They are offering Geocities’ (and Google Pages) users 10% off the JimdoPro fee. This is a smart move for Jimdo as it makes them look like heros for helping users of a system that is closing.
Not only are most of the hottest Web 2.0 startups unprofitable, quite a few lack viable revenue models altogether. This has led cynics like me to criticize these startups quite harshly over the past several years.
Twitter, for instance, is the perfect example of the prototypical Web 2.0 startup that has captured the hearts and minds of the Web 2.0 "community" but hasn’t captured any real money (outside of venture capital).
When confronted with questions about the financial viability of their hottest startups, Web 2.0 proponents usually have a similar response: Rome wasn’t built in a day. When Google launched, we’re reminded, it didn’t know how exactly how it was going to make money. For young Web 2.0 startups that are growing rapidly, we’re often told that growth and "critical mass" are more important than revenue models and profitability.
As we recently learned that Digg was still losing money on revenue numbers that look quite paltry, it occurred to me that Digg and some of Web 2.0′s other hot young startups really aren’t hot young startups anymore.
I just sat in one of the "quicky" panels here in the afternoon. This one was presented by James Archer of Forty and I give him a 8.75/10 in score. Really quick and to the point, quick blips, no silly ppt animations and clear speaker. Very good job all around!
Here are my notes — he went through this as a "40 step" plan….
step 1 – figure out your business
– small team
– big agency
he suggests that you figure out what you want to be and then work towards it
step 2 – limit your services
he notes every possible service but says you should really focus
step 3 – find a business role model
– their role model is starbucks
step 4 – don't be a flake
– make sure you appear correct to your business clients
step 5 – write a manual for the magic
step 6 – don't trust your brain
step 7 – don't let your clients followup with you
– you should contact them before they need to contact you
step 8 – don't let your colleagues follow up
– see step 7
step 9 – get addicted to strangers
– talk to people you don't know to help you grow
step 10 – always be teaching
– "tutorial marketing" helps to prove you know what you are talking about
step 11 – beware of perfection
step 12 – never trust a big butt and a smile
step 13 – cheap is sexy
– cashflow is critical to your business
step 14 – you didn't get ripped off
– we didn't get ripped off, we let ourselves get ripped off
step 15 – be firm with your clients
– they actually like this
step 16 – if we settle for nothing now…
– we will settle for nothing later – i.e. don't do spec work
step 17 – make it their idea
step 18 – don't bill hourly
step 19 – track your time
step 20 – honor your commitments
step 21 – be serious about scope
– shows the project cartoon
step 22 – study project physics
step 23 – never deliver crap
step 24 – never work anonymously
step 25 – use the right tools
step 26 – be different
step 27 – write your company constitution
step 28 – prioritize passion
step 29 – do a good job
step 30 – always do what's right
Step 31 – plan for the future
step 32 – plan your work and work your plan
step 33 – put employees first
step 34 – invest every dollar
step 35 – treat your clients like you love them
step 36 – use solid contracts
step 37 – embrace uncertainty
step 38 – play
step 39 – take vacations
step 40 – go that way, really fast
Netcraft released its Web Server Survey for November 2006 today and we have passed the 100 million web sites mark. Some interesting notes from their release:
The 100 million site milestone caps an extraordinary year in which the Internet has already added 27.4 million sites, easily topping the previous full-year growth record of 17 million from 2005. The Internet has doubled in size since May 2004, when the survey hit 50 million.
Blogs and small business web sites have driven the explosive growth this year, with huge increases at free blogging services at Google and Microsoft.
So what's really interesting is when I began commercial web design/development, Netcraft says there were already 10,000 web sites online. Seems pretty accurate. Some really cool stats include:
- April 1997 (1 million sites)
- February 2000 (10 million)
- September 2000 (20 million)
Apache still dominates the web server market holding over 60% market share.
The survey is well worth the read if only to imagine what the web was like when you began, even if that was just yesterday.