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How to Get Your Resume Noticed

Posted by | 3 October, 2012 | Jobs, Key lessons

Original post by MARIE LARSEN via Recruiter.com

I’ve got to be honest here: Sometimes going through resumes is a drag.  Don’t get me wrong, HR is a great field to work in and it is incredibly rewarding, but there are things that we see in HR that cannot be unseen.

Sure the job market is tough right now, but, from my experience, people still aren’t putting the necessary effort into their resumes to ensure they are getting the attention the resumes deserve.

So how do you make sure your resume grabs the attention of your reader? Follow along for a fewresume tips and insights to reevaluate the document you have now and get better results:

Appearance

Forget about a fancy letterhead and swirly font types. When employers comes across a fancy resume, they see that the candidate doesn’t have enough confidence in his or her experience and abilities to just leave well enough alone. You don’t need to dress up success; success bleeds through the pages of your resume.

With that being said, if for some reason you feel you must dress up your resume, I implore you, please don’t include your picture. Your resume should describe who you are, your skills and accomplishments on paper. The interview is where potential employers can put a face with a name. And for you movie buffs, do not spray your resumes with a sweet scent (thank you, Legally Blonde). It is not a love letter and its smell, if any, will not help.

The only exception to this rule is if you are applying for a position working in the creative department of a company or you want to be a model or actress and pictures of yourself are necessary. Otherwise, just say no.

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Original post by KERN AND BURN

I was attracted to the opportunity to work in an environment where people take risks by following their passions.

— CHRIS MUCCIOLI

Like so many designers Chris Muccioli came to design through a passion for music. He said, “I came to design by way of a necessary hobby rather than a direct career path.” Chris played in a number of bands, created the visuals, managed the business side, and instilled a DIY philosophy into all of his ventures. He entered college as a business administration and marketing major, but soon realized his passion for design and transferred to a Fine Arts program with a commitment to making.

After graduation Chris worked for an agency in Philadelphia but soon was recruited as a designer atKickstarter. We were able to talk with Chris about design’s role in a startup’s culture and in its success.

He told us, “I was attracted to the opportunity to work in an environment where people take risks by following their passions. People create startups because they believe strongly in their ideas and want to see them work. Kickstarter as a product, and as a community, is made up of people who have incredibly creative ideas that they are passionate about and willing to take chances on. Being around that energy day in and day out really helps create an environment that pushes your own ideas inside and outside of the workplace.”

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Original post by Gopi Mamidipudi via socialmediatoday

Why do you need a Social Media Team?

Your business should manage its online reputation actively, aggressively and continuously with no letup ever. This can get arduous and nerve-wracking, unless you follow a certain discipline to manage it. Good understanding of various social media channels is necessary and you need to be progressive and innovative in using these channels.  Being active online in these channels, you will always be provided with ample opportunities to build your business, increase customer base, improve revenues, have more satisfied clientele, be one-up on your competition amongst other things. You should be able to exercise greater influence and control over your business and online reputation by following tips in this post.

Create an EXCLUSIVE Social Media Team (SMT)

A team of dedicated professionals with a supervisor at a senior level is required to manage this whole Social Media equation for your organization. Size of the team will vary but you need people with the time, resources and skills that understand different channels well. The team members should understand your domain, services, strengths, weaknesses & competition. Most members should have good communication skills and understand customer psyche. This team usually straddles between Marketing, Sales, Business Development and even IT.

What would the team do?

1. Listening and Responding

There is substantial amount of work involved in managing what is being said about you on the internet and elsewhere. Listening is an important and labor intensive skill. Also, it is not just about listening but also providing the right responses when appropriate.

Listening should also be expanded to track happenings in your industry including tracking your competition, tracking star performers in your industry, overall economic health of the segment, any new government initiatives, new technologies revolutionizing your vertical etc.

Your marketing team could use these details could be used to your advantage.

2. Creating Content

The team should bolster your online presence by creating fresh content online on a fairly regular basis that potentially drowns out any negative comments and sentiment to the back pages of search engine results. Tweet and retweet useful information and content regularly, provide reasons for your customers to follow you on Twitter and visit your Facebook pages regularly. All this is only possible with the help of dedicated team members whose only job is to keep your social media channels active

READ 3 to 5 HERE 

Original post by Dharmesh Shah via OnStartups.com

I’m an idiot. Not all of the time, mind you, not even most of the time, but every now and then, I’m an idiot. Like the time my friend and co-founder Brian Halligan asked me to read the book “Moneyball”. This was back when we had first launched our startup, HubSpot. “But, I’m not a baseball guy,” I said. “It’s not about baseball. It’s about data.” And, I put it on my reading list, and then still failed to read it. I even bought the book, but still failed to read it That was a mistake.

I just got done watching the movie “Moneyball” for the second time. The first time I watched it was last night. It’s the only time I’ve watched the same movie twice in two days. It’s not just because it was a great movie (it was), but because I felt I missed so much the first time, that I had to watch it a second. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you should stop reading this article and go watch it. If you get distracted and never make it back to this article, I forgive you.

So, without further ado, here are some great quotes from Moneyball

Brilliant Startup Lessons From Moneyball

1. He passes the eye candy test. He’s got the looks, he’s great at playing the part.

Spectacular startup success often becomes a game about scouting and recruiting. A common mistake entrepreneurs make is recruiting team members early on simply because they look the part. In the long run, it doesn’t matter if on paper, someone’s perfect. You want people that can actually do the job. That VP of Sales candidate that has 15 years of experience at Oracle? Likely not worth it for you. They’ll look the part, but they’re not guaranteed to be able to actually do the job. And, like Johnny Damon, they’re going to be expensive. Get good at seeing talent where others don’t.

For example, at HubSpot, most of the early team did not look good on paper at all.  Most of us had little or no prior background doing what we were setting out to do.

2. You’re not solving the problem. You’re not even looking at the problem.

Identify a fundamental problem and then focus, focus, focus on solving that problem. Don’t get distracted by all the the things that are swirling around the actual problem. Don’t listen too closely to those that have deep industry expertise and are emotionally attached to the status quo — it’s possible that they’re part of the problem. Figure out what the actual issue is, and solve it.

For example, look at Dropbox.  Drew set out to solve a really hard problem — getting data to synch across different devices.  He had many people (including me) that were telling him that this particular idea had been pursued so many times before.  He didn’t get distracted by all that noise.  He dug in and fixed the problem.  Today, Dropbox is valued at billions of dollars and has millions of happy users.

READ 3TO 17 HERE

Original post by  via Mashable

You applied for a new job, and you’ve been called in for an interview. During the interview process, there are three main questions that need to be answered to help the HR person determine if you’re the right fit for the job:

  • Can this person do the job?
  • Will he do the job?
  • Will he fit in with the company culture?

By asking what I call “the question behind the question,” hiring managers have a better chance to making the right hiring decision. As job seekers, your task is to answer them honestly and fully. Here are 10 top questions that the interviewer might ask, along with the hidden agenda behind each one. Tread carefully — the way you approach the answer might tell more than what you actually say.

1. As you reflect back at your last position, what was missing that you are looking for in your next role?

This question gets at the heart of why you’re leaving the current job or, in the case of a reduction in workforce, it helps the interviewer understand what was missing. If you answer with, “I didn’t have access to my boss, which made it difficult to get questions answered,” then the interviewer might follow up with, “Can you give me a specific example where you had to make a decision on your own because your boss was not available?” This follow-up question will help the interviewer determine your level of decision making and how much access to the manager you’ll need.

2. What qualities of your last boss did you admire, and what qualities did you dislike?

This is precarious territory because your answer needs to have a balance of positive and negative feedback. It will show if you are tactful in answering a tricky question and if your leadership style is congruent with the admired or disliked ones. If you name a trait the interviewer dislikes or that’s not in line with company culture, then you might not be a fit for the position.

3. How would you handle telling an employee his position is being eliminated after working for the company for 25 years, knowing they would be emotional?

This question is not unrealistic in today’s job market, since companies continue to downsize as a way of conducting business. Knowing that you might have to deal with this situation, the interviewer wants to know how you would tell the long-term employee the bad news. Would you tell the business reason why the company is downsizing, and would you thank the person in a genuine, heartfelt way for years of service?

4. How do you like to be rewarded for good performance?

As simple as this question is, it helps the interviewer get a sense of what motivates you — is it money, time off or more formal recognition? If you’re interviewing for a management role, the follow-up question could be: How do you reward the good performance of employees who work for you? Are you a “do as I say, not as I do” type of manager? The interviewer is looking for congruency in behaviors, because if you don’t practice what you preach, then it might not be a cultural fit.

 5. Can you give me an example of when your relationship with your manager went off track and how you handled it?

The interviewer is listening for the reasons why the relationship went off track. Are you taking responsibility for your own actions first or placing blame on the manager? The interviewer wants to learn more about your communication style and how you approach conflict.

READ 6-10 HERE

Original post by Martin via visionwiz

Every startup with any traction quickly reaches a point where they need to hire employees to grow the business. Unfortunately, this always happens when pressures are the highest, and business processes are ill-defined. At this point you need superstars and versatile future executives, yet your in-house hiring processes and focus are at their weakest.

The result is a host of hiring mistakes that sink many young companies, or take years to fix. The solution is to never forget that hiring is a top priority task for the CEO, which should never be delegated, and which often has to supersede the urgent crises of the day.

A key success element is to start by avoiding the known list of interviewing and hiring mistakes that have been documented many times over by human resources professionals.

Here’s a tongue-in-cheek summary of ten big ones to jog your recollection:

“I’m not quite sure what we need, but this guy sounds like a miracle worker.” The message here is that if you don’t know exactly what help you need, you probably won’t get it. Do your homework on a proper job description, and make sure the applicant credentials on the resume are a fit before you proceed to interview.

“He’s not quite what I’m looking for, but I think he is trainable.” This is the inverse of the first problem – you know what you want, but you are trying to force fit the candidate into the position. Maybe you are desperate to fill the position, or he’s related to the boss.

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Original post by LYDIA DISHMAN via FC

Accelerators offer hands-on help from experienced mentors, sources for seed capital, and sometimes even co-working locations, and give entrepreneurs what they need to take a startup from concept to market more quickly and effectively than if they go it alone. Here’s how you can get connected.

It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times–to be a startup, that is. On the plus side, recentresearch from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation indicates that startup companies–particularly high-growth startups–are the most fruitful source of new U.S. jobs and offer the economy’s best hope for recovery. On the other hand, newly minted ideas are fighting a sea of competitors for market share and funding, not to mention navigating Sarbanes-Oxley regulations and the still-cautious consumer spending landscape.

The best bet for aspiring entrepreneurs may just be a hookup. One that has staying power. Accelerators, those forums for getting hands-on help from experienced mentors, sourcing seed capital, and sometimes even providing a co-working location, can provide the resources to take a startup from concept to market a lot quicker than trying to blaze a trail independently.

Joshua Hernandez, a founder of Tap.Me, an in-game advertising platform, writes, “Although I had built three other startups and failed another two, I knew we would need to connect locally if we wanted to survive our business concept. The Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center (CEC) became an immediate forum for us to present our startup, which at the time was quite complex.”

Hernandez just happened to live and work in Chicago. However, there’s still hope for aspiring moguls who aren’t anywhere near startup hotbeds like Silicon Valley. Fast Company talked with Rebeca Hwang, cofounder and CEO of YouNoodle, Inc. and a technology partner to the Startup Malaysia conference, Kevin Willer, the CEO of CEC, and Murat Aktihanoglu, managing director of the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in New York City. Here’s what they told us about standing out, hooking up, and getting a brand-new business off the ground.

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Original post by Brittany Haas via Women2.0

I am miserable since I’m missing out on the #wefestival going on right now. I was accepted…and elated! What a wonderful opportunity to learn from my idols and meet with other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, I’m heading off to Paris on Friday with my full-time company for market. We’ve been swamped here (…we’re talking 9am-1am days swamped) and it would be totally irresponsible of me to take off a day, just two days before we jump on a plane and have 2 full on crazy, busy weeks.

Enter the boo/hisses here… I know… nobody feels bad for me. I’ll be in Paris for 2 weeks! I assure you, I’ll be working non-stop and I won’t be skipping down streets with a crepe in hand and a beret on my head. (well…maybe I’ll do that on my one day off)

This whole ordeal made me think about “the juggle.” I was fortunate enough to attend Arianna Huffington’s keynote address last night for the event and was able to mingle with some entrepreneurs for the night. The number one question I was asked was:

“How do you do it? Juggle both a FT job and your business?”

The short answer is INTENSE organization and little sleep. I’ll elaborate.

When I first started working on “SBNY” I was bored at my current job. I found that weeks one and two of the month were busy and for the remainder of the month, I was left twiddling my thumbs. The idea for Something Borrowed NY was conceptualized in 2009 when my 2nd oldest sister was married.

However, it was now 2011 and I needed a project. OK – let’s get SUPER real. I had just gone through an AWFUL break-up (we lived together…so that creates a mess), and I knew I needed something to get my mind off of my depressing romantic state. So I researched, I read, I took classes at General Assembly, I enlisted my best friend and we started. I coded the site myself, I took frequent long lunches or personal days to have meetings with designers, entrepreneurs and investors, and we launched.

I took a deep breath. Once the site was up and running – maintaining and juggling both became much easier…but not for long.

Social media is KEY to building a business. I was spending my days tweeting non-stop. That’s when I started to hire interns. They were creating blog posts, tweeting & Facebook(ing) for us.

And then…I was offered my current job.

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Original post by A Smart Bear

Almost no startup founder values her time properly.

Consultants know exactly what their time is worth: their hourly rate. As they say, it’s how much “the market will bear.” When a consultant intentionally doesn’t work for an hour — whether to be with family or to work on a new startup — they’re clearly giving up an hour of potential earnings.

If being a consultant is your goal, this is indeed how you should value your time. But when you’re in a startup, the math is completely different.

Your time is $1000/hour, and you need to act accordingly. Here’s why:

Let’s say as a consultant who normally charges $150/hour you stumble upon a weird client who asks for the following terms:

“We agree your time is worth $150/hour. However, we can’t pay you for four years, at which time we will pay you in one lump sum.”

How much should you increase your hourly rate to make these terms worthwhile?

It has to be more, not just because of the interest you could be making on it in the bank (which nowadays approaches zero as a limit), but because you can’t live off money you don’t have, which means you’ll need other work too, so you’ll need a nice premium to make this inconvenience worthwhile.

But “lost interest” and a premium doesn’t solve the biggest problem with these terms. The problem is: What if this company goes out of business in four years and doesn’t pay you at all?

Supposing this client is an early-stage startup — even if funded — the most likely event is that they stiff you! Because they’re dead. Let’s suppose for the sake of rhetoric there’s a 15% chance the company will exist in four years andpay their bill.

Like gambling in Vegas, the steeper the odds, the bigger the winnings if you beat the odds. In this case you need to charge $150 ÷ 0.15 = $1000 per hour to account for the risk.

In fact, you need to charge more, because that formula merely brings you back to “even!” To see this, suppose you divided your time between seven companies, all operating on these terms. Chances are all but one would fold, that one would pay you 7x your hourly rate, but you’d be in the same place you’d be if you just charged $150/hour on your standard terms.

But you’re waiting four years for that cash! So it’s worse. So you have to charge even more.

Of course this isn’t hypothetical, this is exactly the terms you’re acceptingfor yourself when you create a startup. The risk is high, so the potential financial rewards must be commensurate with that risk, which means you have to value your time between $1000 and $2000 per hournot at your $150/hour consultant rate because of platitudes like “my time is worth what the market will bear.”

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Original post by  via  the guardian

With more employers using LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to hire staff, Graham Snowdon explains the tactics and how jobseekers can use them to their advantage

Laws of the social recruiting jungle: it can be tricky to be spotted with so many candidates vying for the attention of recruiters. Photograph: Richard Allen

Chances are you are already familiar with social networks as tools for keeping in touch with friends, or to broadcast your thoughts. But if their value as a way of connecting with potential employers has passed you by, it’s time to wise up fast. A recent US survey showed that nearly 90% of employers either use, or plan to use, social media for recruiting.

In the rapidly changing world of social recruitment, barely a week goes by without the appearance of some new website or gizmo purporting to change the face of job-hunting forever. Last month, for example, saw the launch of the “Apply with LinkedIn” button, enabling jobseekers to send their public profile data from the business professional network directly to an employer. Reports of the death of the traditional paper CV may be premature, but clearly it is becoming an increasingly less influential part of the jobseeker’s armoury.

LinkedIn, with 100 million members, is still the site of choice for companies hiring directly, but Facebook (750 million) and Twitter (200 million) are catching up, with many believing a tipping point has been reached in the ways employers seek to hire staff.

But what does it all mean for jobseekers? Understanding the rules of social recruitment is key. At first glance, employers may seem to hold all the cards, but understanding their tactics can considerably improve your odds of getting noticed.

“It’s about the whole degree of proactivity now,” says Matthew Jeffery, head of talent acquisition at software house Autodesk. “It’s not enough to simply push your CV up on the web and hope a company is going to come to you; the onus is on you to get out there and persuade.”

1 You don’t have to be ‘looking’ to be looking

If you are one of the 10% of LinkedIn members actively seeking work, the bad news is that the site’s Corporate Recruiter tool, which it sells to employers, allows them access to the “passive” 90% of members in jobs.

“From the corporate perspective, the talent pool is shrinking,” says Jeffery, co-author of an essay entitled Recruitment 3.0: A Vision for the Future of Recruitment. “Competitors are getting better at recruiting people from rivals, and graduate talent is becoming of a more mixed quality. We have to be much more aggressive at getting out into the passive pool.”

However, Jared Goralnick, founder of email management serviceAwayFind, believes social media can empower jobseekers.

“If employers are filtering for people who have jobs when they’re recruiting, maybe you can’t get into that pool. But it’s still only one of the pools,” he says. How people present themselves online, he says, is “a huge opportunity to put yourself in a position of authority”.

Goralnick says LinkedIn “has predictive algorithms that can tell when someone is looking to move on, when someone starts updating their profile in a certain way” – one reason why it pays to keep your profile up to date.

2 Build your own work brand, but be judicious with it

To make yourself more visible, think about how you present and express skills and experience on a LinkedIn profile just as carefully as you would with a paper CV. Keep your summary and experience concise and to the point, incorporating key search terms.

And widen your appeal by linking out to blogposts or articles of professional relevance – even to your other social media profiles if you are confident they portray you in a good light (see point five). LinkedIn has more tips here.

But making too much noise without substance can be risky. Employers can be suspicious of people who seem to be trying too hard to get noticed, so think carefully about paid-for services that claim to flag up your visibility, such as LinkedIn’s Job Seeker Premium.

“Who are you a ‘featured’ candidate for? All this tells me is that you opted to pay so you can get moved to the top of the search list. It does NOTHING to prove you are a top-notch candidate,” writes entrepreneur and employer Adrienne Graham on her Forbes blog, Work in Progress. “If you didn’t get attention before, what makes you think paying a few extra dollars will make you all of a sudden desirable?”

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Original post by Oliver Milman via startupsmart

he world of social media may have provided businesses with great new marketing channels, but it has also increased the opportunities for costly stuff-ups.

Last year saw a number of marketing blunders, often by brands that haven’t quite grasped how to use the new tools available to them.

“The mistake many brands make is that they desperately want to be liked,” says Michael Halligan, founder of Engage Marketing.

“They see that a rival has got 100,000 Twitter followers and they want the same. They jump into social media on a flimsy excuse of growing their numbers. You need a better way of doing it than that.”

According to Halligan, a solid marketing strategy needs to underpin everything your start-up does, to ensure it doesn’t veer wildly off course and make a critical mistake.

“Stick to the key fundamentals – get your brand right and make it enticing to consumers,” he says. “Think less about the tools on offer and more about the strategy.”

To help you avoid any marketing disasters in 2012, here are the five lessons that every start-up should learn from last year’s stuff-ups. Make sure you avoid all of these mistakes.

1. Acting desperate to be noticed

As a start-up, you will be rubbing shoulders with well-established brands with fearsome marketing budgets.

It’s tempting to use low-cost marketing stunts in order to stand out from the pack. Sometimes, this can work.

But beware. What you see as a cheeky, quirky attempt to generate sales can be viewed by customers as desperate and, worse, devaluing to your fledgling brand’s worth.

Using horribly twee language, such as the Essential Beauty ad that provoked 44 complaints last year by using terms such as “fairy horrest” and “nimpy skickers”, is a good way to tarnish your business before it has even got off the ground properly.

Cross the line into outright “look/listen to me” behaviour can also backfire, as the outrage provoked by Kyle Sandilands in 2011 demonstrates. Stick to your brand values and provide a good product or service – the marketing should take care of itself.

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Original post by Jeffrey Hayzlett via Harvard Business Review

For decades, salespeople have practiced something called an “elevator pitch.” The idea was that they had to sell themselves and their product or service in the time it took to ride an elevator from the ground to the top floor. Every good salesperson had an “elevator pitch” and could perform it flawlessly at a moment’s notice.

Today, elevators are much faster and attention spans are much shorter, so you’ve got to amp up your pitch. You’ve got to have a 118.

The 118 Pitch is my modern term for the old elevator pitch. It’s based on the fact that 118 seconds is the length of the average elevator ride in New York City. The first 8 seconds are “the hook”—the time you have to get the “lean in” factor, to snag your prospect, to catch their interest.

Those first 8 seconds are the key. In researching the idea I discovered that the length of time the average human can concentrate on something and not lose some focus is as little as 8 seconds. Eight! (It’s true–I found it on the Internet!) Thirty seconds, then, was way too long for getting that lean-in factor for your pitch. You know how you hear something in a conversation and you lean in because you want to hear the rest of it? That’s what you want from your prospect in those first 8 seconds of the 118.

If you accomplish that in those 8 seconds, they’ll give you the next 110 seconds to drive your message home with no bull. It’s not about name dropping. It’s about what’s in it for the recipient of your pitch.

Your 118 must:

•Grab the attention of your prospect
•Convey who you are
•Describe what your business offers
•Explain the promises you will deliver on

You need speed and immediate relevance. A compelling, attention-grabbing 118 tells who you are, the value of what you do and sells that to anyone, internally and externally. Used correctly, it helps your business grow bigger. Your 118 should also describe the thing that separates you from everyone else that sells the same thing. I don’t care what businesses you are in or what other services you offer; tell me how you are different, your story and how that story connects to your prospect.

Leaders need to get away from bland pronouncements that say, “We do this” and focus on “what we do for you.” You’re supposed to understand not just what you’re selling, but what it offers to your prospect.

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Original post by Dorie Clark  via Harvard Business Review

For good executives, it’s second nature to show appreciation toward clients and staff. But often, we overlook less obvious people who have made a difference in our professional lives. The other day, I was talking with a client about his growth plans for 2012 — which, he knew, would depend heavily on word-of-mouth. He wanted to strategize about cultivating new referral sources — but in the process, I realized a major chunk of his existing business was the result of one woman. A look of panic crossed his face: “I guess I’d better thank her.” Sending someone business is the highest compliment possible. Don’t throw away their goodwill by forgetting to acknowledge that trust. I have colleagues who — years later — seethe about people they helped who never acknowledged it.

Mentors are another category you might risk forgetting to thank. After all, you may only meet with them a few times a year — but it can be the most valuable time you spend. If you’re lucky enough to have a senior colleague who’s willing to offer you advice, watch your back, or trumpet your achievements, treat them like gold.

Also, think about people who helped you in the past. It may seem random to get back in touch with someone you haven’t talked to in years — but almost always, they’ll be delighted to hear from you. One friend wrote a thank you letter to a college professor, long after she’d graduated. He was touched she remembered — and in subsequent years, she won several prizes from organizations connected to him.

Finally, don’t forget the people around the people in power. It’s easy to heap praise on the kahuna and forget the people who make his efforts possible. I know someone who was feted by a New York magnate. She was sure to thank him immediately — but, months later, regrets not reaching out to his employees who coordinated the event. Often, they’re the power behind the power — so if someone has done you a good turn, it pays to express your gratitude.

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Easy to criticize, hard to create

Posted by | 20 December, 2011 | Key lessons, Startups, Strategy

Original post by Jason Cohen via A Smart Bear 

I can rip any business idea to shreds.

Take NetFlix: The costs of inventory logistics, millions of non-technical customers, the Postal Service, and loss from wear and delivery will make profit impossible with a reasonable retail price. Movie-watchers are accustomed to the immediate gratification of browsing and selecting. People will copy movies, pissing off suppliers. Blockbuster will duplicate the model and undercut the price, combining the convenience of home delivery with the equally convenient option of store browsing and returns.

Terrible idea that could never work. Except that now Blockbuster (who did copy it) is bankrupt and NetFlix turned a profit of $60m last quarter, which is more than Blockbuster was doing in its heyday.

I suppose if your goal in life is to be right, you should bet against every startup, certainly against any novel ideas. You’ll be right much more often than wrong.Congratulations. You’re right, and utterly useless.

The goal of the entrepreneur is not to be “right.”

It’s to construct with humility. To listen and talk simultaneously. To infect customers and employees with your peculiar disease. To live to fight another day. To acknowledge being wrong before the fault turns fatal.

To realize that even if a particular venture is a “failure,” it never is.I’ve never met a “failed” entrepreneur who doesn’t proudly declare they’re better off now: developed skills they never thought possible, learned what makes them excited to get up in the morning, came face-to-face with their fundamental limitations, and now more confident than ever in what they’re capable of, regardless of the future shape of their career.

The Lean Startup movement also values learning and experience over “being right,” specifically casting this concept as “running experiments.” And the great Francis Crick (Nobel-winner for discovery of DNA) posthumously agrees with that analogy:

“The dangerous man is the one who has only one idea, because then he’ll fight and die for it. The way real science goes is that you come up with lots of ideas, and most of them will be wrong.”

Real science is mostly being wrong, but staying vigilant and honest enough to continue being wrong until you’re not wrong. So it is with dating. Or startups.

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Original post by Marty Zwilling via Startup Professionals Musings

We all know that every startup is risky. No risk means no reward. Yet every investor has his own “rules of thumb” on what makes a specific startup too high a risk for his investment taste. You need to know these guidelines to set your expectations on funding.

Of course, if you intend to fund the business yourself, or have a rich uncle, external investment funding concerns are not a problem. Yet, it’s still worthwhile to understand the issues so you can minimize your own risk of failure. Here is a summary of the “big picture” high risk considerations:

  1. Inexperienced team. I’ve said many times that investors fund people, not ideas. They look for people with real experience in the business domain of the startup, and people with real experience running a startup. An expert in software is considered high risk in manufacturing, and a Fortune 100 executive running a startup is high risk.
  2. Historically high failure rate category. Certain business sectors have historical high failure rates and are routinely avoided by investors. These include food service, retail, consulting, work at home, and telemarketing. On the Internet, I would add new social networking sites, and new matchmaking sites.
  3. Dependent on government regulations. If your business model is dependent on government approvals, that can take a long time, or require political connections. All new medicines, for example, require expensive and extensive testing for side effects before FDA approval. Of course, successful approvals may also mean high returns.
  4. Large initial investment required. If your startup involves new electronic chips, that may require a huge investment (more than $1B) to ramp-up manufacturing. By definition, all but the largest investors will pass, and it becomes high-risk to all investors. New drugs often fall in this category, due to long clinical trials and FDA approvals required.
  5. Businesses with small return potential. Businesses with a low growth rate or a small opportunity (less than $1B) are considered high risk by investors, who get measured on portfolio return over time. That eliminates from consideration family businesses, small niches, and business areas with declining growth.
  6. Poor public image businesses. Most investors like to maintain a squeaky clean image, so would consider it high risk to invest in businesses on the margin of legality or social acceptability. Don’t expect investor enthusiasm for your gambling site, porn site, gaming, or debt collection business.
  7. Operations in another country. Investors in one country are generally reluctant to invest in a company outside their realm of operational knowledge. We all know that the success “rules” in Russia are different from the USA, so cross-boundary investments are considered high risk, even if you have operating experience there.

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Original post by Marty Zwilling via Startup Professionals Musings

We all know that every startup is risky. No risk means no reward. Yet every investor has his own “rules of thumb” on what makes a specific startup too high a risk for his investment taste. You need to know these guidelines to set your expectations on funding.

Of course, if you intend to fund the business yourself, or have a rich uncle, external investment funding concerns are not a problem. Yet, it’s still worthwhile to understand the issues so you can minimize your own risk of failure. Here is a summary of the “big picture” high risk considerations:

  1. Inexperienced team. I’ve said many times that investors fund people, not ideas. They look for people with real experience in the business domain of the startup, and people with real experience running a startup. An expert in software is considered high risk in manufacturing, and a Fortune 100 executive running a startup is high risk.
  2. Historically high failure rate category. Certain business sectors have historical high failure rates and are routinely avoided by investors. These include food service, retail, consulting, work at home, and telemarketing. On the Internet, I would add new social networking sites, and new matchmaking sites.
  3. Dependent on government regulations. If your business model is dependent on government approvals, that can take a long time, or require political connections. All new medicines, for example, require expensive and extensive testing for side effects before FDA approval. Of course, successful approvals may also mean high returns.
  4. Large initial investment required. If your startup involves new electronic chips, that may require a huge investment (more than $1B) to ramp-up manufacturing. By definition, all but the largest investors will pass, and it becomes high-risk to all investors. New drugs often fall in this category, due to long clinical trials and FDA approvals required.
  5. Businesses with small return potential. Businesses with a low growth rate or a small opportunity (less than $1B) are considered high risk by investors, who get measured on portfolio return over time. That eliminates from consideration family businesses, small niches, and business areas with declining growth.
  6. Poor public image businesses. Most investors like to maintain a squeaky clean image, so would consider it high risk to invest in businesses on the margin of legality or social acceptability. Don’t expect investor enthusiasm for your gambling site, porn site, gaming, or debt collection business.
  7. Operations in another country. Investors in one country are generally reluctant to invest in a company outside their realm of operational knowledge. We all know that the success “rules” in Russia are different from the USA, so cross-boundary investments are considered high risk, even if you have operating experience there.

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Original post by  via SEJ

This is the expanded version of my talk at Startup Marketing School in NYC. You can learn more about the series here.

In a world that seems to have gone social media crazy, it’s important to not lose sight of the end goal. Businesses are built to acquire new customers and generate profits. It may seem cold-hearted, but it’s the honest truth. With this in mind, let’s look at 3 tactics that can help generate more leads for your business and increase your bottom line.

The Power of Email Marketing

Email marketing works. Simple as that. It’s not glamorous and might even seem like a dinosaur to many, but people still check their emails and use them for important conversations. Being invited into one’s email inbox is a huge honor. It puts your business emails aside emails from their CEO, their clients, and their friends.

 Email marketing works very well for convincing someone to actually perform an action. Although social media may be great for interacting with consumers, if you want them to actually do something email is extremely effective. It’s important to build an active list when working with email marketing. I emphasize the word active because it means making sure people are used to getting your emails and trust them.

Building influence with your emails subscribers follows the same line of thinking as building influence on social media. Your subscribers should only be used to getting emails from your business, they should want to open them and actually trust you enough to do the action outline. If you’re just getting started with email marketing, I highly recommend MailChimp for handling your email list and sending campaign. They’ve made email marketing simple, help you follow emails rules for spam, and most importantly they integrate with SocialPro. SocialPro is a system that allows you to identify who on your list has a Twitter account or Facebook account and target them with emails. It’s great for promoting giveaways or programs that have a social component. For example, imagine if you decide you need to acquire more installations of your new Facebook application. With an email marketing list, you’re able to capture new leads and convert curious readers into paying customers. Use your list wisely and add value while you lead users through your sales funnel.

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Original post by  via TNW 

The magic of startup life is the constant flow of new information; new ways of solving problems with solutions that surface from sleepless nights and wandering minds. Major tech companies like Microsoft and Apple were once startups themselves, small companies with innovative ideas that geared up to expand rapidly.

Microsoft and Apple grew into the powerhouses we know today and knocked IBM off its top shelf, all while constantly being challenged by small, groundbreaking companies that could maneuver much faster than a major corporation.

What happened to IBM can still happen to the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Google, which is why acquisition is their life force and part of every corporation’s recipe for success — bringing in fresh ideas before the whole company goes stale.

Google

After developing an impressive competing network, DoubleClick was bought by Google for 3.1 billion in 2007. This acquisition of DoubleClick brought Google into the display advertising market overnight.

Can only startups innovate? A brief history of acquisitionsGoogle Docs was created with the acquisition of Upstartle’s Writely, a web-based wordprocessor, and 2Web Technologies for XL2Web, which led to Google Spreadsheets. Google merged both products together to create a productivity suite that now competes with desktop and cloud offerings from Microsoft Office and Apple’s iWork.

After Google Video failed to gain traction online, it acquired YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. At the time, there was speculation that Google had overpaid; YouTube had zero monetization strategies, and was over-run with copyright infringment. Time has shown that this may be one of the best acquisitions in recent history, with YouTube’s 40% marketshare and successful monetization as outstanding proof.

Android is another high profile innovation, acquired by Google in 2005. Google developed and brought Android to market, from what was a small Palo Alto startup that had run independently for two years.

Since 1998, Google has bought over 100 companies.

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Original post by  via TNW 

The magic of startup life is the constant flow of new information; new ways of solving problems with solutions that surface from sleepless nights and wandering minds. Major tech companies like Microsoft and Apple were once startups themselves, small companies with innovative ideas that geared up to expand rapidly.

Microsoft and Apple grew into the powerhouses we know today and knocked IBM off its top shelf, all while constantly being challenged by small, groundbreaking companies that could maneuver much faster than a major corporation.

What happened to IBM can still happen to the likes of Microsoft, Apple and Google, which is why acquisition is their life force and part of every corporation’s recipe for success — bringing in fresh ideas before the whole company goes stale.

Google

After developing an impressive competing network, DoubleClick was bought by Google for 3.1 billion in 2007. This acquisition of DoubleClick brought Google into the display advertising market overnight.

Can only startups innovate? A brief history of acquisitionsGoogle Docs was created with the acquisition of Upstartle’s Writely, a web-based wordprocessor, and 2Web Technologies for XL2Web, which led to Google Spreadsheets. Google merged both products together to create a productivity suite that now competes with desktop and cloud offerings from Microsoft Office and Apple’s iWork.

After Google Video failed to gain traction online, it acquired YouTube in 2006 for $1.65 billion. At the time, there was speculation that Google had overpaid; YouTube had zero monetization strategies, and was over-run with copyright infringment. Time has shown that this may be one of the best acquisitions in recent history, with YouTube’s 40% marketshare and successful monetization as outstanding proof.

Android is another high profile innovation, acquired by Google in 2005. Google developed and brought Android to market, from what was a small Palo Alto startup that had run independently for two years.

Since 1998, Google has bought over 100 companies.

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Original post by MICHAEL LUCA via HBR

Yelp’s IPO filing comes hot on the heels of successful IPOs and high valuations for Angie’s List and Groupon. Yelp’s timing reflects both a tech-friendly market and the company’s current position as the dominant consumer-review web site. Yelp has 22 million reviews, and the supposedly imminent onslaught of competing review sites has yet to materialize. But is Yelp really poised for long-run success? My research shows that there are points in its favor — but there are others that should raise investors’ concern.

First, the positives:

Yelp works. Yelp is relevant only to the extent that it affects readers’ choices of where to go. The evidence shows that it does. In a recent paper, I combined Yelp ratings with restaurant revenues for every restaurant that operated in Seattle during Yelp’s entire run there. The data suggest that a one-star increase in a restaurant’s Yelp rating leads to a 5% to 9% increase in revenue. How do we know that it is in fact Yelp that matters, and not some other information source? To support the causal inference, I exploited the fact that Yelp rounds ratings to the nearest half-star. I found that restaurants receive a jump in sales after a rating is rounded up. So Yelp is driving sales, at least for independent restaurants. Positive ratings don’t help chain restaurants, which already have strongly established brands.

It gets its content for free. Even more impressive than Yelp’s impact has been its ability to generate 22 million reviews without paying for them. Yelp has been extremely effective at leveraging social incentives to make people work for free. It created a network of “elite” reviewers, whose reviews tend to be less erratic and closer to restaurants’ long-run averages. Yelp hosts special events to reward these prolific reviewers. It’s not clear whether upstart review companies would be able to replicate this excitement about reviewing.

Search is moving away from Google. Google recently acquired Zagat, creating a major competitive threat to Yelp. One concern is that Yelp will be hurt as it falls down the Google search rankings (and Yelp acknowledges that most of its search traffic comes from Google). When Yelp began in 2004, this would have been a devastating prospect. And to some extent, it still is. But new ways of searching for products may start to change this dynamic. For example, many people find restaurants on Yelp using smartphone apps, circumventing the standard Google search process. This trend will only increase with time.

Now the factors working against Yelp:

It’s easy to write fake reviews. Yelp and Angie’s List follow very different business models. Angie’s List charges readers to view its content, while Yelp’s reviews can be accessed for free (and the company makes money by allowing businesses to advertise). Angie’s List has a strict quality assurance process; Yelp lets virtually anyone review. The ease of leaving reviews on Yelp has led to a larger number of reviews, but it has opened the door for businesses to leave fake reviews — for themselves, their friends, and their competitors. In a world where we know who is writing the reviews (your Facebook friend, for example), this is not a problem. In a world where reviewers are fairly anonymous, it is.

Legitimate reviews may be filtered out. More worrisome than the fake-review problem is Yelp’s solution: It uses a program to filter out seemingly bogus reviews. This is fine, in principle. But it becomes more troubling when you look at the data. In a recent sample, nearly one out of every five reviews was filtered. Looking only at the five restaurants featured on the front page of Yelp’s Boston site, roughly 13% of reviews were filtered out. Worse, the reviews were filtered fairly evenly across the restaurants. This means one of two things: Either all five have been trying to game the system, only to be outfoxed by Yelp, or Yelp’s algorithm is so coarse that it wipes out a lot of legitimate reviews. While fake reviews clearly exist, it is unlikely that all of these restaurants have been trying to game the system. Combine that with allegations of Yelp sales staff’s being overly aggressive in pushing their paid offering, and Yelp’s filter can be all the more frustrating for restaurants. There is no evidence that Yelp favors advertisers, and related lawsuits have been dismissed. However, the filtering process does give credence to concerned business owners who note that legitimate reviews have been filtered from their restaurants.

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