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Channeling Seth Godin again – being remarkable in a sinister way

I will be your accident if you will be my ambulanceLast night while thinking about the Stronico marketing plan I thought about ways in which I’m already remarkable.  I am not saying remarkable to brag; I just came up with a list of things other people say about my abilities.  They are:

  • Programming: I create useful code generation systems
  • Business: I am easy to work with
  • Personal: I explain technical matters well, with good use of metaphors
  • Photography: Good use of black and white, along with “I can’t believe you went into that neighborhood at night with expensive photo equipment”
  • Music: I write wonderful Appalachian Bad man ballads, mostly in the style of Jim Thompson, all from the bad guy’s point of view.  The songs are the first things someone mentions when they describe me to someone else (or so I have heard from many people).

Of all these, the last is the most useful.  I am considering making the Stronico marketing have a sinister delivery.  The product remains the same, a brain helper to remember the weak ties in life, but I will make the marketing have a film noir quality.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Sebastian Fritzon

 

This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog


26
May 10


Written By Steve French

 

A partial list of my entrepreneurial weaknesses, and one time steps to correct them

Wheelchair OnlyMy weaknesses have made themselves apparant over the past few days, here is a preliminary list.  The first entry is the topic, the one below that is the specifics, and the one below that is the practical step to get me to an adequate level in under ten hours.

  1. QuickBooks
    Problem: I am terrible at accounting in general, and QuickBooks in particular
    Solution: Spend 10 hours taking free online classes, break this up into one half hour per day
  2. Elevator Speeches
    Problem: Whenever I talk to someone about Stronico I start from scratch every time
    Solution: Create 10 second, 30 second, 5 minute, and 15 minute pitches.  Run these by interested parties and refine and rehearse
  3. Uneven progress in the Stronico Venture
    Problem: The venture breaks down into long unfocused slogs of marketing and development
    Solution: Create master plan, with deadlines and goals
  4. Fame and Goodwill
    Problem: Not enough people know about Stronico
    Solution: Continue prospecting, apply it to the intelligence gathering aspects of Stronico, and make contact with relevant bloggers, then refine the approach.
  5. Metrics
    Problem: There are no good metrics for Stronico, either in profitability, marketing, sales, web hits, etc
    Solution: Create spreadsheet listing weekly goals for all of the above, have second row be the actual numbers.

Creative Commons License photo credit: JoshuaDavisPhotography.COM

 

This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog


20
May 10


Written By Steve French

 

I answer Seth Godin’s seven questions

GauntletSeth Godin posted seven questions all entrepreneurs should answer.  The more I try to answer these questions the more useful they become.

Here I go with my attempt.  I first list the “off the top of my head response” and then the edited response so I can show the evolution:

  1. What problem are you solving?
    Original: The problem is a faulty memory for names, faces and connections.
    Edited: People can only remember a limited number of names, faces and connections.  As social networking expands and corporate life gets more erratic we encounter more and more people we will never see again, and could be useful to remember.  The downfall of a large social network is that the quality drops as the size increases.
  2. What is your solution?
    Original: Showing the user how someone is connected to him or her. Continue reading →

17
May 10


Written By Steve French

 

The Turner Rule in Marketing and Branding

good timesOver the years I have met many alumni of the Turner Empire (CNN/Turner Broadcasting/Turner Enterprises/WCW/TBS/Braves/Hawks, etc) and most of them have told me some version of the following story.

[Setup – In the early days of CNN and Turner Broadcasting Ted Turner would prowl his office building and drop in unannounced into random meetings.   One day he walked into a meeting where people were planning a cross-channel week-long special on dinosaurs] Continue reading →


12
Apr 10


Written By Steve French

 

Another Stronico marketing idea – for phase II anyway

While reading this Seth Godin post about the iPad release I was struck by how great an idea this was

Give the tribe a badge. The cool thing about marketing the iPad is that it’s a visible symbol, a uniform. If you have one in the office on Monday, you were announcing your membership. And if it says, “sent from my iPad” on the bottom of your emails…

Since Stronico is intended to a be a tool for elite salespeople, why not give them a physical token to reinforce that eliteness, say a challenge coin of some kind.  That would dovetail nicely with upcoming secret society marketing ideas as well.

Since I’m going to the Startup Atlanta Meetup tonight, I think that will be it for the blogging today.

 

This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog


07
Apr 10


Written By Steve French

 

Blog Intelligence Report – what to track

They call me 008, because I'm so great...  288/365I have begun researching the blogs I will be marketing to  for the eventual Stronico public launch.  So far, here is what I am tracking

  • Blog Name
  • Internet Power Score, defined as a function of inbound links, number of comments, and the number of twitter followers.
  • Inbound Links
  • # of Comments Last Five Posts
  • # of Twitter Followers
  • Blog URL
  • Blog Description
  • Contact Person
  • Contact Email
  • Twitter Name
  • Created

Anything I’m missing?  These are the people I’m going to be contact early for advertising and advice.

And before anyone says anything, yet, it did occur to me to have a special website only version of Stronico where one could track different power players on the internet (the power score could be displayed as size!) but that is a few version away.

Creative Commons License photo credit: AndYaDontStop

Blog Name Relative Ranking Internet Score Inbound Links # of Comments Last Five Posts # of Twitter Followers Blog URL Blog Description Contact Person Contact Email Twitter Name Created

 

This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog


23
Mar 10


Written By Steve French

 

A Successful Evening at StartUp Atlanta

war of the rosesLast night I attended the StartUp Atlanta January event (on the web at StartUpAtlanta.org, @StartupAtlanta on Twitter) where about 60 or so members of the Startup community mixed, mingled, and listened to 5 presentations by new Startups in Atlanta.

The community was quite nice, and the venue, Ignition Alley was cool too.  Ignition Alley is a co-working facility about four miles away from Stronico HQ which is on my short list of places to go when I need an office.   I had a great time meeting everyone and the event was quite well run.

And now, the contestants!  We listened to the presentations, and voted via twitter for our favorites, here were mine, recorded here for posterity.  I judge startups by the following criteria, on a scale of 1-10 (higher is better).  I thought I would share it here for the first time.

  1. Problem Solving – It can be a cool product, but does it make anyone’s life easier?
  2. Actual Customers – I am defining the customer as someone with both problems and money.
  3. Simplicity of Pricing – can the fees be described to anyone, do you need more information about the prospect before you can offer a quote?
  4. Chicken and Egg Problem – does the product require a lot of Customer A before Customer B becomes interested,  and vice versa?  This applies a good bit to middleman/broker type companies like E-Bay.
  5. Remarkability – that is to say, can someone who heard a quick presentation about it describe it to someone the next day, and have it be understood?

Note, I do not judge the passion of the founders, quality of marketing, execution etc.  That’s too hard to judge based off of a short presentation. Continue reading →


04
Feb 10


Written By Steve French

 

A note about the Stronico blog traffic

As you might expect, most of the traffic comes from Google, and curiously most of the search terms are about problems with QuickBooks.  The How To Fix series is the second most popular.  Happily the search term “Visual Contact Management” is a prominent search term as well.  I’m still debating as to whether or not the photos in the blog posts are of any use or not.

And yesterday was the highest traffic day in the history of the blog.  I’m not sure why, but the middle of the week tends to do far better than other days.

And in case anyone was wondering,  I’ve been building out the public side of the site lately.

 

This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog


03
Feb 10


Written By Steve French

 

What is Stronico Contact Management?

Numerous readers have pointed out to me that I have not written a description of Stronico on this blog.  So, with no further ado…

Stronico is a web application that helps you remember who you know, and how you know them.  It connects the contact with the context.  I came up with the idea to solve one of my persistent problems; forgetting the names and faces of everyone I met.  The only good way I can remember people is to think of how I am connected to them.  Did I work with that person, were we neighbors?  Did that person work with my neighbor’s cousin’s roofing contractor?

Stronico helps with all of that.  What was the email address of that potential sales prospect you met at the conference two years ago that was a bad fit for your old product, but a great fit for your new one.  Just follow the contact chain to the conference and Stronico will tell you.  How many people do you know who play Golf, or have children?  Stronico will know.  And Stronico can show you visually, so you can follow the chain of contact, or “Six degrees of separation” from you to anyone else in your social network.   It increases your working memory by helping you group, cluster, and connect people with the context of knowing that person.  It’s a great tool for salespeople, or anyone else.

Check out our rough Demo here (don’t forget to check out both videos), and don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list on the right.

 

This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog


19
Jan 10


Written By Steve French

 

On the whole, I’m quite happy with WordPress

It’s been an unexpectedly large amount of work, but I am quite happy with the blog on WordPress.  All of the tweaks should be done in the next week.  WordPress did go out of it’s way to please with their lovely “Blogger to WordPress” plugin.

I originally tried to hosting on Windows 2003 and IIS6.  That was a horrible mistake.  Essentially the mod_rewrite feature found on Unix simply isn’t there with that version of Windows/IIS and there is no good way to make the feature work on Windows.  I’m still a bit flummoxed by widgets and what not, but I take back all of the negative things I’ve said about WP in the past.

 

This post originally appeared on the Stronico blog – with the absorption of Stronico into Digital Tool Factory this post has been moved to the Digital Tool Factory blog


05
Jan 10


Written By Steve French

 




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