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Startup Metrics for Pirates (SeedCamp 2008)

If you’re in a Startup you need to agree quite quickly on some of those performance metrics and here, Dave McClure shares his view.

Sure you can go for the glamour figures — like millions of page views, likes or tweets. But wouldn’t you just prefer some hard cash? or qualified leads?

At the end of the day, the stats you pick, you have to stick with and track over time. See if you can find a high level measure like sales per day and some detailed measures like time to complete 1 sale transaction.

Stats for Pirates

(Via .)

Startup Metrics for Pirates (SeedCamp 2008): “”

HOW TO use Twitter for your startup

Twitter is a very powerful tool for any startup and I believe it is the first social network any would be entrepreneur needs to setup when launching their new business. The worst mistake any startup marketer will make is just tweeting “Hello World” without a plan.

Make your Twitter Marketing Plan

Any startup sales & marketing plan or marcomms plan needs to make the most of the 4 P’s – product place price promotion. The marcomms plan also should consider 3 types of customers

  • Existing customers you sell to
  • Potential customers you are nurturing
  • New leads you’re trying to generate

Twitter can be a tool for all customers as well as a way to communicate with suppliers, investors, the media and the entire blogosphere. That’s because Twitter is a one-way broadcast medium like the radio.

Do’s and Don’ts of using Twitter for marketing your business

So when you start using Twitter for your business,

  • Don’t use it for personal messages like ‘the coffee is so bad today’
  • Do decide if you’re using twitter to generate leads
  • Do be single minded in driving traffic to your website not to Facebook, LinkedIn, Slideshare, etc
  • Do use it for service and support if your customers use Twitter

Do have a personal commitment to only use Twitter for 10 minutes a day or you’ll lose the entire day. Yes you can start conversations and engage many people on Twitter but do so only if they are contributing towards your revenue. Stick to 10 minutes a day then try 2 minutes a day, real customers or potential or leads will engage you via your website or sales channel.

If you’re a startup working d2c or b2b2c then ignore the last sentence – but remember your 4 P’s, and decide what is the best Place to find the most customers for your Product and Promote it there … And then allocate your Twitter time accordingly.

Twitter and calculating your return on investment

RoI in social media is not a myth … So write on your desk pad or calendar each week how many followers you have. Do set up an auto DM for anyone that follows you and direct them to your website or to the signup form for your email newsletter. Suddenly you have ROI that is measurable, new leads and signups to marketing communications


Hello – I recently updated this post. I hope you like it. Damien 14-Nov 2011

Management lessons we can learn from films – TRON

TRON is still a superb film, I was too young when it was first issued, but watching it recently started me thinking about business strategy and business models for startups.

In basic sociology, we learn that society is reflected in films and films are (then) reflected back in society. What this means is that you can analyse a film to learn about (business) culture from that time and look to see if any stereotypes are carried forward into reality.

Management Lessons learned from TRON

1. Small time startups need a break – but they get their lucky chance only from their greedy business manager.

2. Startup success is down to good business acumen – not innovation or by doing the right thing.

3.  The  Big American Corporation is run by a power hungry but paranoid CEO. His real power comes from having good business cunning. But he really got to the top by stealing.

4. You must go on a Quest to Right Wrongs – Like all good films, the True Hero is a small time developer / hacker who must become the Knight-Adventurer to prove it is his work.

Social Stereotypes that carry forward

1. The altruistic Company Founder is forced ‘out of power’ by the Master Controller Program / Dillinger character because he has cunning and his business acumen made everyone rich.

– Many a good startup or founder has had to hire a CEO to lead their company — many larger companies today have stories about management infighting between the original founders.

2. Every developer wants to be the one who wrote the programmes TRON (and even CLU)

– A whole generation of ‘developers’ probably, secretly, still want to believe they will write these programmes. This probably can be shown to shape peoples’ views of good code and coding practices.

So have you seen TRON?  what do you think of it now?


You can buy Tron & Tron Legacy on Blu-Ray (via Amazon)

Apple Mac App Store an imperfect tool for small apps developers?

Apple Mac App Store an imperfect tool for small apps developers?

Apple’s new Mac App Store arrives on January 6 and it could be the perfect tool for small app developers and a welcome boost in hybrid web-app startups. That said — Does your business or client want their marketing and product development strategy to be led by Apple’s App Store?

Mac App Store key features for Users

Customers of the Mac App Store (eg anyone owning a Mac) will think this is a really useful new system tool.  So lets look at a few key features of the App Store

1. Purchase and pay for any app

I guess you’ll pay with your credit card linked to your iTunes account

2. One-Click Install

The Apple OSx already made it easy to install software. This should make it easier as users don’t have to figure out what to do with a .mkpg or download a .dmg and then drag the app to Application folder.

3. Redownload any purchased software

Great if you change your Mac as often as your underwear. Only slightly useful for the average person who buys a Mac and never upgrades their hardware.

4. Get software Updates Notification

Extending Apple software updates to include non Apple apps will be great, but this means that 3rd party apps which do the same thing (like AppFresh) could become redundant.

5. Easy to browse and search for Apps

Lets just assume this App Store is targeted to first time Mac users or people buying a new Mac, then an App Store makes sense to help people install the extra apps they might want. However if you prefer to search Google and go straight to an Apps homepage on the web to buy any 3rd party applications then why would you change that behaviour?

For existing owners of a Mac, the wow factor of the Mac App store will fade quickly — why exactly would you need an App store if all the apps you use are already on your machine? I would also think Mac owners do not go looking for new apps all that often.

6. An App to find Apps

Many current Mac owners at some time have used the Apple Download site and this will be closed down from this week. So the Mac App store makes a good replacement and it brings the user experience inline with iTunes App Store

All this starts to sound as if Apple will upset a few of its existing software developers who already develop, market, sell and support their own apps to help Apple users and their computers run better.

Developers Agreement for Mac App Store

A quick look at the developers site for the Mac App Store tells us

  • App Store Benefits for Developers
  • You pick the price
  • You get 70% of sales revenue
  • Receive payments monthly
  • No charge for free apps
  • No credit card fees
  • No hosting fees
  • No marketing fees

Here then is the same business model which is used by iTunes / iPad / iPhone apps and similar to other mobile appstores developed by Vodafone, Blackberry, Android.

At first glance, it’s hard to see why any existing application from a 3rd party developer would be added to the App Store if 30% of the RRP goes to Apple. Would this lead to a two-tiered pricing model – and developers increasing their prices for Mac App Store?

You can only assume that existing developers will not close down their existing ecommerce sites and jump into bed with Apple!

What do you think? Are you ready for Apple Mac App Store?

What's your business model?

I was having a catchup with a go0d friend this evening and he reminded me that every startup or or new venture needs to solve a problem.

Mobile Communications is a major innovator

Of course the mobile phone is a big problem solver and I think its referred to as a game changing innovation – but the game change didn’t happen until mass market usage started to drive demand … and it’s only now, as the price the customer pays for some mobile calls is near to zero (not free, you’re using bundles of minutes now) that you can say ‘talk is cheap’.

What’s your business model canvas telling you?

The business model canvas (more on that later) allows you to assess your strategy, your customer needs and visualise all this in one slide. But really there are some extra bits to the canvas, one of those is a clear understanding of the customer and their needs.

How to compose a photo

When taking a photo you should always have a clear focus and then frame your subject. We can learn and apply this to our business models.

First … who or what is the subject being evaluated and

Second .. what is the frame or context of the evaluation.

As an example, you might focus on the suppliers for your new startup and then frame that by testing ‘whats in it for me’

So focus then frame before you fill in your next business model canvas.

Not sure what a business model canvas is? Or been reading about them and what some help — then get in touch.