The Twitter stories about when they’ll turn profit is starting to ring hollow. At this rate it may never turn profit (perhaps it should have sold out to Facebook when it had the chance). At the start Biz and Evan didn’t have to really worry about the cost of living at the time.So to all out there with startups, especially my good friends in Belfast. It’s about profit, money in the bank. It’s not about Invest NI giving you between £5,000 and £75,000 to just get you started and then see where it goes (chances are you’ll be back within the year asking for more). When the money is someone else’s then your outlook changes.Last year was pretty much hell and a startup came out of that desperation to actually make some money. Unemployment though does some very nasty things to your head and you have to be very careful not to sell your soul just to get the minimum. By taking some risks that were uncharacteristic of me (public speaking, organising events, getting my big fat arse and DOING something) the doors opened, not with money but with network and opportunity.If you open the door then there’s someone waiting at the other side, sometimes.Startups are businesses but some start without know really what business is, to be honest it’s simple.“Business is a very specific, limited activity, whose defining purpose is maximising owner value over the long term by selling goods or services. Accordingly business is not an association to promote social welfare, spiritual fulfillment or full employment; such organisations are legitimate, but they are not businesses” Elaine Sternberg – Just Business – Business Ethics In ActionWe seem to have got caught up in the way of worrying about the money later in the hope that someone else will come and invest. It’s okay to take investor money with the evidence that what you have is going to work and hopefully return the money. If you are good at programming then you don’t need the money, just the dedication to get up early do #JFDI (just f*cking do it).Please don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with taking investor money as long as you have a VERY defined plan on how you are going to spend it. I do remember the story of the 1998 startup who got $8M and spent $4M on a sliding roof cos it looked cool. Guess what, they didn’t last long.
Very cheap in fact. Obviously there’s the Google/Bing/(Name your other favourite search engine here).When it comes to knowledge for Datasentiment I had a bit of a head start from 2002 when I worked for a data mining company. I learned an awful lot about things not to do to your employees, how bad some Phd coder’s Java can be and watching reams and reams of data from a well know supermarket that couldn’t compete with the clubcard.For those who met me last year when I was talking about free tables the like on the phone, well the next three months were an unfocused blur and the months between October and March have been the most rewarding, productive and exciting times.Any gaps in knowledge were basically filled with the books below:
One of those books was listed on Amazon at £0.00, yup it was in their warehouse and they wanted rid of it, all I had to do was pay the postage. The majority of these books were below five pence and all of them have domain knowledge that I couldn’t easily find on Google. Tesco certainly don’t give their clubcard secrets away.
There’s no excuse for “I don’t know” because i) The knowledge is out there and ii) there’s probably a dozen people who’ve asked the same question.
Post-It notes came in handy for my copy of Rework when it landed.
Unless you’ve had your head in books other than social media, the number of users within a network you can have a meaningful relationship with is 150. Out of that number that number then drops to between 2 and 8 close relationships. The key figure is 150, this is know as the Dunbar Number.I’ve got a new one, The Bell Number, which is the average number of social network sites a human can meaningfully manage. I think it’s four.Okay here’s the list:
- Google Buzz
- Ning (I’m with about six networks alone here).
- Friends Reunited
Those are the ones I know off the top of my head. Some have fallen by the wayside, some I use still. But to have meaningful communication with the people on then I rely on the likes of Tweetdeck to manage the important ones. After that everything else gets shut off from my browser and looked at once in a blue moon.So in reality it’s:
The Bell Number (it’ll be in Wikipedia soon, just you watch 🙂 ).
… so let me condense and save you the bother.
- Six degrees of seperation is an average. If Kevin Bacon isn’t mentioned the book is sure to become valuable.
- The Dunbar number is 150 and then you only have meaningful proper relationships with a number between 2 and 8 of those people.
- Throwing Sheep…. it’s not about Farmville.
- The 80/20 rule applies to pretty much everything from a customer/sales ratio to the number of users that create the bulk of microblogging messages.
- Social patterns in the first life also appear in virtual worlds such as Second Life and World of Warcraft.
- There are far too many social media books covering the same ground.
I’ve read too many of these things. I’m reading no more.