Tag Archives: development

Buying the failure of millions for nothing?!? That's Open Source for you

July 7th, 2010

Weighing up the choice between a custom built system and open source? (assuming both are available).

It makes much more business sense to go with the open source version, that way you acquire a version that has grown off the back of failure, they’ve already made all the mistakes.

Building a custom system means it’s you that make all the mistakes and inherently pay for them.

WordPress (the engine behind this very blog) is a great example, by leveraging WordPress you tap into the collective knowledge & failiings of millions of installations.

Just a thought, open source is entirely applicable in business, especially when you realise that you’re buying the failure of millions.

If it works first time

March 9th, 2010

Great… but what can you learn from that?

Maybe next step is to try stretch or break it.

That’s where the real learning is.

Using Adwords for Market Research (a startup use case)

February 28th, 2010

I have dozens of Adwords hacks but here’s one that’s hugely valuable for startups that helps you identify very quickly which markets you should be targeting.

  • Set up a Google Adwords campaign using keywords that describe your customers pain points
  • Break it up into regions, measure which get the highest impressions & click throughs, also note the level of competition (important in a crowded market)
  • Run it for a month

You can then narrow it down by region after collecting some data to find the market with the most potential.

I’ve done this numerous times but most recently for a client in an ultra niche market.  Their product is very innovative and only some segments of the market are worth talking to in the early days (the rest require education).  Thus we ran the campaign for a month, found very quickly (for under $200) where the main interest was – a specific country.

We also found out, that there was no competition in the market but also the level of interest which was approximately four times the next highest in the world.

Great – now our client can target an area where there is the absolute most interest.  Thus making growth a bit easier.

The pain of change

October 1st, 2009

I attended a small rural high school so often there weren’t enough teaching resources for us, we had to self teach some topics with support once a week or fortnight.

In particular I struggled with calculus, it would make my brain spin, give me headaches. You see I was developing new knowledge (in probably the most inefficient way).

This is what change is about, by definition it is all new, and that’s where the pain lies.

So what can you do about it? Well to ease the pain you can get someone experienced to coach or lead you through it.

A tutor, a consultant, a mentor.

People learn up to four times faster with a teacher than without.

So that’s what I did, got a tutor, who helped me understand calculus, naturally my learning accelerated.

Acknowledge that change is painful, keep taking the steps to the end goal (perseverance is genius) and get help to make the process much easier.

There is never any shame in asking for help….

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