Ideas are dime a dozen..it comes down to execution. Paul Graham recently came out with a list of ideas that he would like to be disrupted that can be read here. His ideas ranged from replacing email to creating a new search engine. If you don’t know Paul, you can see here, his incubator Y-Combinator has helped companies like Dropbox and AirBnB become billion dollar companies in just a few years.
NACS Conference is a great event to go to if you are looking to partner with Brands/CPG products that are found in convenient and specialty stores. NACS (National Association of Convenient Stores) was held at the beginning of October with over 300 companies in attendance from Pepsi to Subway. Interesting comment made by numerous executives at the event was the concept of “shaking hands,” as you can assume you will shake over 50 hands at a large event. They referenced Michael Arrington, who blogs at Uncrunched and founded Techcrunch. He has blogged about shaking hands on Techcrunch here, http://techcrunch.com/2009/05/09/hand-shaking-is-so-medieval-lets-end-it/ and http://techcrunch.com/2009/07/18/handshake-horror-the-awareness-spreads/. I’m sure people think about it when they meet people..I am indifferent..fist bump or hand shake..but how many people would keep a bottle of Purell in their pocket?
Can it be true that having an individual’s email address be worth millions of dollars? Yes, case in point in Daily Candy, which delivers the very best in style, food, fashion, and fun for free via e-mail, video, and the Web, and others. Daily Candy was recently featured in Startup Digest, which was sold to Comcast for $125 million dollars. The startupdigest co-founded by Chris Mccann, has put together a weekly email digest consisting of startup related events in over 48 cities. He has amassed over 60,000 emails in just over 6 months. I applaud him for going after a niche that doesn’t have a true leader. It’s all about eyeballs and converting the visitors into transactions. Once you have following, advertisers and event planners will be knocking on your door. The Startup Digest has been a Monday morning read for me and has become a useful tool just like another recently acquired daily email newsletter HARO, which is a gateway to getting free and easy press.
Category : Sports, Tickets
The Heisman talk, #1 draft pick candidates, best team in the country, and agents paying players are just some of the topics discussed in August before each season kicks off.
This year is no different with many teams on the hot seat. A taste of what has transpired this offseason: USC was hit with harsh penalties for improper payments made to Reggie Bush by agents during its title runs. College programs were penalized because of payments made by agents to players, which has become common in the league. College football is a business for each program. Schools ask if you (boosters) would like to donate money to help pay for education and sports, in return they (boosters) expect their football team to perform well. The incentive for the college athletes is a free ride and a stipend during their college career. When you consider schools getting multimillion dollars deals for tv rights, sponsors, ticket sales, it allows schools to pay coaches in line with the like NFL . Game tickets are also given on priority based on donation level, which has made tickets go on the secondary market for up to 800% above face, which I will go into another day. The bottom line is teams winning translate into more dollars, but are players being underpaid for their services? I think so, which has made it a field day for agents to pay players for a long term investment when they go to the NFL.
What are the players really worth? Shouldn’t they be paid like an employee? It’s all about what they are worth, greed, and perception.
When you hear about products offering “storage in the cloud,” this is a relatively new concept. There are a couple different products on the market, box.net, sugarsync, and dropbox. They allow you to store data files on a virtual server and access it from anywhere. This would solve the dilemma of taking around a jump drive from one to place to the next. I have been using dropbox and would have to say that I haven’t had any complaints. The product allows you to save a file on a dropbox folder and view it on any computer, ipad, and many mobile devices. Their product is very user friendly and has made storing files seamless. In one instance I had saved a pdf on my computer’s dropbox folder and was able to view it on my ipad through dropbox and docs to go app. I would highly recommend this product for any startup or business that has files that need to be stored and be easily accessible on many different devices. If you are interested in trying it out, here is a link, dropbbox.com.
Lebron James and internet startup, Foursquare , have been a hot topic the last couple weeks. The hottest free agent, Lebron James this summer, has had many suitors waiting to line up for his services. It has been estimated that Lebron’s brand is worth over $500 million! Teams are doing everything they can to convince by meeting him on his own turf in Ohio, from Jay Z and Russian billionare representing the Nets, who had the worst record in the league last year. He could be getting a salary similar to Tiger Woods if it wasn’t for the salary cap that restricts teams from opening up the bank. Lebron is scheduled to earn around $20 million next year and oodles more depending on which team can increase his brand awareness and bring on huge sponsors. Everyone remembers soccer player, David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy a couple years ago for 5 yrs 250 million! It never panned but Lebron is another level. Any team that gets him to commit to a contract will need to have deep pockets to create a winning team to satisfy Lebron’s deep desire to win a championship.
Internet startup, Foursquare has been blowing up and growing at a faster clip than Twitter. Everyone big name was courting them to be acquired from Facebook to Yahoo. Venture Capitalists were trying to invest in a company that had a reported 1.35 million funding and looking for a $100 million acquisition/valuation. Can you believe it?! They eventually got funding by well known and highly regarded Anderrson Horowitz, that has produced many winners. Lebron James is just as hot and will have to wait and see if he goes to the Mecca of sports, New York Knicks or the Chicago Bulls and rocking his legendary 23 jeresey and emulate the #23 of old, Jordan.
Category : Deals, Startups
The good old days you would hear of a deal and cut a coupon from the local newspaper for 15-20% off an item in a store. As advertising for deals in print went south of the border it opened up another world of online deal shopping today. This phenomena went into full gear I think in 2008 when the economy was hurting and people didn’t have money to throw around on “wants” persay. The shopping experience as we know it has changed. The malls seem emptier as people have been shopping more online, this is a sigh of relief, esp for a male, since you now take your female counterpart “shopping on a computer” instead of the boring 4 hours in the mall. It has become convenient for the shoppers that are lazy and have deals everyday to choose from daily. Americans are lazy and this idea of online deals has made it convenient for buyers. Deal sites like Groupon.com and Gilt Groupe are heavily funded and valued at over a billion dollars! There over 100 deal sites are online and growing. I personally have purchased shoes, watches, and even Tumi luggage from Gilt.com. Deal sites are here to stay and hopefully make males lives one step easier shopping for themselves and avoid being stuck shopping in a mall (with a female).
Sunday night, Game 5 the Celtics had an epic win over the Los Angeles Lakers in Boston. Did anyone expect the series to be 3-2..Boston up? Celtics have been playing out of their mind. The Big Three (Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce) should be the old three, but the up and coming Rajon Rondo has been the catalyst to the resurgence back to one game from holding up the Championship trophy. Rondo has been throwing dimes, pick pocketing players hundos into his back pocket, and cleaning up rebounds that has made Tom Brady salvating courtside just like Big Baby Drooling ala Game 4. Lakers have been 2-9 in the finals against the Celtics. An amazing statistic, but the Lakers are the team to beat. They have been to the finals three straight years and resemble (Zenmaster) Coach Phil Jackson’s Chicago Bulls of the late 90s, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman. They have an all time great in Kobe that even a California forest fire couldn’t put out with 20 plus points in the third quarter. He has been wanting this title I think more than seeing the oil spilled clean up in the Gulf. As history goes, a one man team in sports or business, can’t reach the top without having his henchman ala Gasol, Odom, Artest to fall back on to complete the mission. Kobe has been at his best this year especially with more game winners than you can count on one hand. He plays great under pressure and once again the Laker Nation is hoping they can be riding high with their Laker flags on top of their cars. This series has brought great competition that will see a champion who won’t settle for anything less than playing basketball in Obama’s backyard and sipping on a nice cold beer.