Employment Related Business Models Online

I just had the pleasure of recently moderating the panel at Ultra Light Startups “Employment Related Business Models“. Hosted by For Your Imagination, the recent Ultra Light Startup, yet again, blew me away. I’ve attended their events since September ‘08, taking pictures and submitting post event write-ups. Here are a few of the recently covered topics:

  1. Web Analytics
  2. Revenue Model Workshop
  3. Monetization of Ads
  4. Outsourcing
  5. SEO/SEM
  6. Open Source CMS <-Popular Event!

This past month continued to bring in new faces as well as the “ULS Regulars”, and I was very surprised that a niche topic like “Employment Business Models” drew as large of a crowd as it did. Some of the topics covered included:

  • What are the most promising niches and technologies for employment-related startups?
  • Revenue-generating technology for bloggers and web publishers – job boards, services and related packages. An overview and comparison of platforms available to publishers.
  • Efficiency-enhancing technology for recruiters – social networks, requisition-sharing tools, etc. Which tools are essential for recruiters and why?
  • Innovative employment-related startups – TheLadders, Indeed, SimplyHired, JobScore, Doostang. Which niches and approaches are the most profitable and fastest growing?
  • Job search on social platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. How are these platforms changing the business of recruiting?

The reason I was picked to moderate this event was because of my background in the employment related online space. I recently co-founded  RezRedo, a vertical search engine for job experiences found in resumes. The first search engine of its kind, RezRedo is opening doors to new methods of resume writing and job related research. Prior to RezRedo, I was a recruiter at AC Lion and headed all online marketing and web related initiatives for the firm including: Blogging, Social Networking, Web Analytics, E-Mail Marketing, SEO, and exploring new advertising options. But most of this experience fails in comparison to that of the panelists:


Before the panel began, I had the opportunity to present a powerpoint presentation that helped break down the Employment Space. Take a look and see the presentation for yourself:

*Click here for a copy of the powerpoint seen in the video above.

This past month there were over 70 people listed. To get a feel for what types of entrepreneurs attend and present their ideas at this event,  take a look at some of the attendees:

Be sure to sign up for next months Ultra Light event: Monetizing Online Video. You can sign up on their website or via meetup.com.

(*If you are interested in reading more about this past event,  check out Ultralight Startups meet-up, March, 2009 by Corey Maass)

Posted under Events, Online Video, Ultra Light Startups

ULS Presents: “Ultra Light Web Analytics”

The recent Ultra Light Startup, yet again, blew me away. I’ve attended their events since September ‘08, taking pictures and submitting post event write-ups (Revenue Model Workshop, Monetization of AdsOutsourcing, SEO/SEM, and the popular Open Source CMS). I had a feeling this month would draw a larger croud due to the recent article in BusinessWeek.com featuring Ultra Light Startups.

This month presented yet another relevant topic drawing one of the largest crowds in Ultra Light history: Ultra Light Web Analytics. Topics included:

  • What is Web Analytics? – definitions, terms, objectives
  • Why is analytics so critical for a startup? What insights are going to justify the time spent on analytics?
  • Most analytics resources are written towards operators of very high-traffic sites. What techniques are important to know and apply at my startup?
  • What are the free analytics tools available and what is each best for? Will I ever need to buy analytics tools?
  • Practical advice for maximizing your web analytics investment
  • Startup success stories attributable to effective use of Web Analytics

With 4 sponsors (Sun Microsystems, J.C. Neu & Associates, TheHatchery and For Your Imagination) and a large venue, this month presented its attendees with a great opportunity to comfortably network and learn. As usual, entrepreuneurs were given 60 seconds each to pitch their businesses. Besides promoting my own startup, RezRedo.com, here are 5 other noteworthy ultra lights:

  1. BabyNameWizard – Baby naming expert network w/ proprietary technology
  2. Boomerater – Online advice for Baby Boomers.
  3. Groupable – Helps groups get sponsors.
  4. ProCompare – Review of business products.
  5. The Factionist – Clothing and products for the ethically conscious.

Some of the other businesses present included: Customizable shirts, plus sized clothing, cheap/simple web design, marketing agencies, raw chocolate importers…as you can see, a highly eclectic mix! In addition to the 60 second pitches, Allen Stern of CenterNetworks and CloudContacts shared his “Ultra Light Success Stories”. The crowd looked generally pleased with his presentation and Q&A responses.

Surprisingly, the pizza arrived on time this month, and the networking/card swapping/pizza topping session lasted a good 1/2 hour. I was busy setting up my video camera and as the lights began to dim, I was ready to go.  After everybone found their seats, moderator Maisha Walker (President of MessageMedium and Inc.com Columnist) gave a quick powerpoint presenation covering the backgound of web analytics and introduced the following panelists (2 of which were active board members of the WAA – Web Analytics Association):

I have prepared a shortened video version of the 45 minute panel and embedded it here. Check it out:

Be sure to sign up for next months Ultra Light event: Employment Related Business Models. I will have the pleasure of moderating the panel and, due to growing number of attendees, an expectadly large crowd of ultra light entrepreneurs.  I look forward to seeing you there!

(*If you are interested in reading more about this past event,  Sun Employee, Robin Goldfarb Wilensky (aka: Rockin’ Rob) also published a write-up. Check it out for more good words about Ulra Light Startups!)

Posted under Events, Online Marketing, Ultra Light Startups

BusinessWeek Features “Ultra Light Startups”

Founded 10 months ago by Graham Lawlor, Ultra Light Startups finally gains press coverage on BusinessWeek.com. I’ve attended their events since September ’08, taking pictures and submitting post event write-ups. (Revenue Model Workshop, Monetization of AdsOutsourcing, SEO/SEM, and the popular Open Source CMS.)

Heather Green of BusinessWeek.com titled the article,  Self-Help for Startups . “Ultra Light Startups is giving entrepreneurs—many of them newly laid-off employees—a chance to test their pitches on an audience of their peers.I really like to add how right she is! According to Heather, “The group has taken off partly because of the rough economy. Fifteen people showed up at the first session last April” and I think it’s very easy to agree with that statement. Many audience members were either laid-off or quit to pursue their startups. This economy helped propell those numbers exponentially.

If you’re interested in reading the original article, check out “Self Help For Startups” on BusinessWeek.com. My only concern is the fact that there was no link to the Ultra Light Startups website or Facebook page. There is some basic SEO value in keywords here, but I hope somebody lets BusinessWeek know that they should provide a link. That’s where the big hits come in. Besides that, congrats to ULS and for all of you interested, there’s an event taking place this Thursday night: Web Analytics. A solid panel, and a relevant topic for all internet based companies. Hope to see you there!

Posted under Events, Ultra Light Startups

This post was written by Joshua Russak on February 4, 2009

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Revenue Model Workshop at Ultra Light Startups

I recently attended my 6th Ultra Light Startup, where the mission is simple: “Tech entrepreneurs sharing techniques to launch faster and cheaper!”  I’ve covered their recent events including Monetization via AdsOutsourcing, SEO/SEM, and last months most popular Open Source CMS. (I made a video of that event and the article itself was picked up by the well know online publisher SmashingMagazine.)

This months meetup tested a completely new format – the Revenue Model Workshop. At this event, 5 startups were selected to give brief presentations of their business, focusing on their revenue models. It was held at For Your Imagination (special thanks to Kathryn Velvel Jones) in order to support , without a doubt, one of the largest Ultra Light crowds to date.

As usual, the night kicked off with 1 minute elevator pitches by the Ultra Light Audience. This ran pretty smoothly, particularly thanks to Ronald Bradford’s “Entreprenuer Pitch Instructions”. Some of the more impressive and eyecatching companies included:

Following the quick pitch session, guest speaker Derek Lee wowed the audience with his  “Immodest Proposal”…STOP CREATING AD INVENTORY (write up by Sanford Dickert)

  • The long tail is dead.
  • You will not feed your family or pay the mortgage with google Ad Words
  • Figure out your economic value per customer instead of ad impressions
  • Remember the difference between branded advertising and direct response – note that Lawn Doctor was on the prime time CNN show
  • Sell something – unlimited ad inventory is nothing
  • West Coast Model is what everyone is chasing – build a big community of 4M members and then monetize it. The darlings of the current economic world will disappear.
  • East Coast Model is making money – figure out your revenue model – $ for one customer, $$ for more than one, then $$$$ for lots. Pick a revenue model and build it.
  • Don’t get a job now – we are in a recession. In 20 years from now, look at the Fortune 100 then and see how many got started in 2009.

It was a lot to take in for the audience and left people hungry for more answers. Good timing, because the pizza arrived shortly after and the networking frenzy began. After 15 minutes of handshakes, business card exchanges and hardcore networking, the panel was seated and ready to go.

As planned, five entrepreneurs had 5 minutes each to pitch their product and revenue models ($$Cha-Ching$$). The panel would then provide helpful alternatives for the entrepreneur to consider as methods to generate more revenue from their business more efficiently. The presenters were as follows…

The panelists included:

Overall the feedback was helpful for the presenters. Each panelist seemed to have their own perspective and advice, but there were times where they were simply “confused” by the ideas presented.  But overall, the event was successful and the presenters walked away with what they needed to improve their business.

I highly suggest you attend next months meetup, Ultra Light Web Analytics, February 5th at For Your Imagination. The panel lined up is strong and based on the growing numbers, this will be a large/networking worthy venue.

**In order to give you an idea of what it was like to present, I have decided to sacrifice my video for the sake for your viewing pleasure:

Posted under Events, Ultra Light Startups