December 2007 Archives

What I Accomplished This Year

Nah, this isn’t one of those corny posts where I rattle off a list of accomplishments. Earlier in the year I read The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris and it instantly became my favorite business book ever…not because I agree with everything in it, but because it forces you to ask some very thought provoking questions about work and life. One little section in particular had a profound impact on my productivity: Don’t ever arrive at the office or in front of your computer… Continue reading

12/30/07

It’s Not Hard to Make Money Online

Let me re-phrase that.  I think it is difficult to make money online, but most people make it far too difficult on themselves.  When starting an online venture, you should ask yourself “can I make money right away?”.  Not when you’ve got 10,000 or 1,000,000 members.  Not when you’ve got 5,000 people subscribed to your premium service.  Right now, by the time you have 1/5/10/20 customers. How do I know this:  because I’ve made the mistake as much as anyone.  SportsLizard makes solid money, but… Continue reading

12/27/07

Over 1,800 Free MIT Classes Available Online!

My college bill came to well over $120k for my four years of education. I personally think it was well worth every penny because: I learned how to work in an environment with a lot of very intelligent individuals from across the world. I was able to work with cutting edge technology. I got a degree from a top 50 school in the US that was top 20 for my major. I made invaluable personal and business connections that will last forever. I was challenged… Continue reading

12/23/07

Lease Negotiations Suck

In moving back and forth for several internships during college and then my job after college, I’ve lived in quite a few different places from anywhere from three months to a year. In doing so, I’ve looked at a lot of apartments and become accustomed to the relatively pain-free process of leasing an apartment. I always figured leasing business space would be the same. I was wrong. Following our debacle a few months ago, we were pretty certain we found a great place for us… Continue reading

12/23/07

Being in Control of Your Day

One of the biggest things I’ve been focusing on lately to eliminate the guilt factor is controlling my day.  As Christmas and New Years approach, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate through my day so that I see all of my family members, attend celebrations, buy gifts, etc while still trying to get some work done and have time for the gym.  Unfortunately it’s not usually an option for most young business owners to just step away for two weeks.  We’ve got to deal with… Continue reading

12/21/07

OLPC Laptop Has Arrived!

About ten minutes ago the FedEx guy showed up at my door with a package. I saw the OLPC (one laptop per child) logo on the box and I immediately dropped everything and busted out my camera. The Give One Get One Laptop finally arrived! Here are some initial pics…I’m shocked at how small it is. Just connected to wi-fi, I’ll write a review after I’ve toyed with it…

12/20/07

Evolution as an Entrepreneur

On an internship in college, I partnered with another student to develop a revolutionary new quality testing device for consumer products. Upon being told our company wished to patent the device, we came to the conclusion that we should try to gain ownership of the device, patent it ourselves, and start an engineering design company. We were not granted that permission, but we decided to proceed and purchased “the big blue book” to learn about starting a new business. After returning to college, we lost… Continue reading

12/18/07

The Guilt Factor

You’re a business owner. It’s one of those rare occurrences where you’re doing something non-business related. But instead of focusing on what you’re doing, you’re thinking about your business. What if I miss an important phone call? What if someone has an emergency when I’m gone and doesn’t know what to do? What if I’m not giving myself enough time to meet a deadline and I should really be working now? This is what I refer to as the guilt factor. My partner Mike and… Continue reading

12/13/07

Some Creative Book PR

I’ve mentioned before that one of the cool things about having a blog that does a decent job ranking high in search engines is that every time a PR company is looking to hype up a new book and Joe Q PR-guy Google’s “entrepreneur blog” I show up. So I get quite a few inquiries and I gladly accept most of them (I mean, who wouldn’t want free books?). Joel Freeman was very accommodating and accessible when I got a copy of his book, but… Continue reading

12/13/07

Using the Open Source Alternatives

A little over a month ago I posted about using Mozilla Thunderbird as an Outlook replacement, and how our company is planning on transitioning in to using more open source software.   As I said back then, we’re anticipating having a staff that grows by a handful of people each year for the next few years, and – as any small business should be – we’re concerned about software costs. So we came up with a plan.  We would have a set of desktop workstations (one… Continue reading

12/9/07