Outsource Your Mothers Day Phone Call…


Wikipedia defines outsourcing as “subcontracting a process, such as product design or manufacturing, to a third-party company.” A practice that is common in many industries and is a growing trend in todays boot-strapping economy. But today I discovered a whole new low for outsourcing: Mom Sourcing“Want to wish your mom a happy Mother’s Day this Sunday, but can’t be bothered to fit the task in to your, uhh, four hour work week?”

My room mate, e-mail marketing expert at Acxiom Digital, sent this to me. I thought it was a joke, but boinboing.com aparently has a friend of a friend who’s running the site and claims “They swear they won’t keep the data or use it for any other purpose, they just think this is a funny thing to do.” I decided to fill it out for myself. After a few hours I got a call from my mom…she was laughing histarically and told me “this is a mother’s day I’ll never forget” – SCORE! I guess outsourcing really does pay off.

All humor aside, this is a notably successful viral marketing compaign done by marketing agency MotherNewYork. They are a creative agency that uses traditional, non-traditional, and invented media to do inspiring things for great brands all over the world. Congratulations on a succesfull campaign and hopefully this will inspire them to improve their website 😉

Posted under Online Marketing, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on May 10, 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

Ultra Light Startups: Outsourcing Your Startup

I recently attended my 2nd Ultra Light Startups group and it was easily a success! I covered last months event in my article Ultra Light Startups(TM) a SUCCESS!!

The event was located at  Gigapixel Creative downtown and started around 7pm. For those of you unaware of this event, the mission is simple: “Tech entrepreneurs, sharing techniques to launch faster and cheaper!” A room full of 45+ entrepreneuers with bootstrapped budgets discussing professional techniques on improving their businesses. A great source for networking and information. And more importantly, the panel at this event felt a lot more engaging than the big conferences, but the content and material was just as good, if not better!


Company Pitch!

At around 7pm, everybody attending presents their startup elevator-pitch in front of a projector displaying their website. You get 60 seconds on-the-dot, and they’re strict! It’s exciting to see what ideas people come up with and are equally as passionate about. I am always surprised by the pitches. May individuals really SUCK at pitching while others are great, but the idea is a flop. Here are a few interesting notes: There were 5 fashion related companies, 1 Domain Squater (SiliconAlley.com <-surprisingly Kevin Ryan isn’t interested), and one very impressive company which managed to have over $800k+ in funding – SaneBull – an online financial platform which provides live stock quotes, real-time news, investment tools and more in an easy to use interface. Roman Grinblat and his partner pitched the company very well, and to be honest, I was sold after 30 seconds.


Yao, Bala, Shishir, Taylor, Randy, Ronald

After the presentations…it was pizza+networking time! 15 minutes to make your rounds. This is 50% of the reason people come to this event. You have a chance to engage the panelists event before they speak. This is a good hint for all of you reading this – bring lots of business cards (though there is a list of all attendees and everybody gets a copy after the event!)

This months topic was “Outsourcing Your Startup”, and had a great panel panel. Ronald Bradford, Principal 42SQL, was a great Moderator (yet again) for the following panel:

The panel started off slow, but picked up momentum as the audience got involved. Outsourcing options were discussed and day-to-day issues were brought up. Ronald made a great point: When relating to someone you plan on outsourcing to, “remember – different societies and cultures impact!”

Another great point brought up by Shishir, “The #1 reason for choosing outsourcing was cost!” He continued to stress that unless you control your objectives and project time-line, it will end up costing you more. Because of this, when looking to build “scalable, larger sites you should use established outsourcing companies.” Other requirements to save time and money, according to Yao, are “Graphical sketches and specs!” Spec writing was an ongoing topic – good code vs. bad code. You may end up spending 10’s of 1,000’s of dollars on a project only to discover the code was weak and hard for anybody else to understand and build on.

At this point in the panel, everybody agreed that “Outsourcing is not only about saving money. It is about finding resources!” The resources necessary are driven by your NEEDS. So, before going ahead and drop all of your money in one hat, it may pay off to spend time with an outsourcing consultant to see whether or not it is the right option for you. Bala and Randy offered a service of “in-sourcing” as I like to put it. Local college students looking to work hard on your project for college credits, and with skill levels+quality equal to that which you will find from outsourcing to India or Russia.

This is a lot to packed into one quick blog-post, but hopefully by reading this you will see the true value of attending one the Ultra Light Startups. Check them out next month, November 6th with the topic of Ultra Light S.E.O.. I have no doubt it will have a great panel and a room full of valuable networking opportunities. To stay on top of their events and updates, check out the Ultra Light Facebook Group.

Posted under Events, Ultra Light Startups

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 8, 2008

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