Stumbled upon this comprehensive list of companies, projects and solutions for entrepreneurs (and other folks…). The list ranges from bug tracking, server, analytics, brand, logo, video, audio, email solutions, accounting, processing, CDNs, clouds and much, much more. You name it, it’s probably there.

Bookmark it now: http://startuptools.pbworks.com/

Great to see what people are doing, which new ideas are being created and for brainstorming new concepts.

In these difficult financial times, when so many people are out of a job or looking to make some extra cash on the side, I came across this really nice idea. I’m sure many people thought about similar concepts, taskrabbit just executed it amazingly.

There is no body of text for this post – the title says it all.

Eric Ries is a leader in the ‘lean Startup’ movement – this is a recent interview where Eric shares some of his thoughts from his recent book. Great inspiration as well as interesting insights and tips for people building a startup. The video is long but worth the watch.

What I took from it stats at min 50:50 – don’t count on Astrology when you run your business – know your metrics.

Enjoy!

 

P.S. Still working on the rnkrnk project, updates soon to follow…

I am starting a new project (extended details to follow in the next few weeks). I will be outsourcing it 100%, using people from the internet (online) to do the designing & coding (for a fee of course). I have decided I am going to give the  outsourcing process a shot and report back here on the progress.
 

My target: To have the entire project completed by New Year 2012 and keep cost well below $10K.
 

Goal 1: Logo Design
My first experience was with 99designs.com, but I couldn’t get any traction. It may have been due to the fact that I wanted too much for too little. I was offering around $1,000 (non-guaranteed) to design 5 pages + logo, and got 3 pretty pathetic designs, two of them just for the logo. I was starting to get skeptical about outsourcing.
 

I then re-thought my strategy and decided to open a new design contest for $220 with DesignCrowd.com. I set it up for the logo only, and the fee was guaranteed. At the end of the contest I would pay a designer for the work no matter what.
 

This time around, instead of sitting back and waiting for the designers to throw ideas at me, I put in a lot of time and effort getting designers to submit ideas. Eventually I got over 170 designs! As expected, some were better than others.
 

Eliminated Logos – Click the image to see in detail:

 

After receiving so many logos, I tried to fiddle with the design myself. I played around with the letters and 10 minutes afterwards (well over 2 weeks + 10 minutes that is) I came up with the following logo sketch that I liked, gave it another night’s sleep to be 100% sure, and then posted it on the DesignCrowd site.
 

My sketched logo:

 

A couple of days after sending it to the designers at DesignCrowd, This is what I got:

 

Some more tweaking, some color changes, and voila! The final logo (Designed by me, executed by Anthony):

 

Results:

  • Completion Time: 2-3 weeks
  • Cost: $220
  • Mood: Happy with the result
  • Bottom Line: Logo design in outsourcing works! (At least for me)

 

My two cents when designing a logo in outsourcing:

  • Ask yourself what kind of logos you like BEFORE writing the brief. Do the research.
  • Write a great brief. When in doubt, read other briefs with several designs submitted and try to borrow ideas.
  • Take a chance. Make the contest guaranteed
  • Plan on spending time inviting and managing designers, giving them feedback etc. You will get a lot more designs this way.
  • I used DesignCrowd but I’m certain other sites such as 99designs will get you decent results if your contest is guaranteed.
  • Don’t be afraid of sketching your ideas and then letting the pros turn it into a professional logo.

 

Inspiring logos and web design pages:

I’ve been working lately on a new project…
Here’s the logo I’m going with. I’ll try & share my thoughts as this project is being created.

Shooting for going beta by December – stay tuned… (and yes, I know it’s been a year almost since my last post, this time it’s going to be different… or not :))

Employees working in any level of a company and most certainly entrepreneurs get stuck sometimes (or should I say lost) in the day-to-day operations. They find themselves going around in circles, working hard but feeling in a standstill – Short afterward, they start saying things such as… “I’m spending so many hours at work but I just can’t get any job done” or “no matter how hard I work I’m not making any progress”.

Stop. No one ever said that you need to work hard. It might be that you are just too busy creating work, instead of working. When I feel I’m wasting time working hard but not getting any job done or if things are not moving forward fast enough, I pause and think back at the memorable quote from the movie “The Untouchables” where Melone (played by Sean Connery) turns to the frustrated Eliot Ness (played by Kevin Costner) that is trying to find Al Capone’s hidden liquor place (played by De-Niro):

“Mr. Ness, everybody knows where the booze is. The problem isn’t finding it, the problem is who wants to cross Capone.”

It’s easy to know where your problem is if you stop and put yourself in someone else’s shoes, but if you still don’t know where “the booze” is and you can’t find a way to break the “work hard, long hours, no progress” cycle, here are a couple of things you should consider doing:

  1. Generate a list: Make a short 3-4 point list with the most important things that can really make a difference in your work.
     
  2. Baby steps: Complete small but meaningful assignments that have a clear beginning and end in a sensible time frame (hint: 2-3 days max).
     
  3. Order a cold shower: Ask someone objective and blunt to give you his/her opinion on the one most important thing you should be doing in order to get a certain result. It might not be fun to listen-but if you are able to put aside your ego, you might get a real sense of where you are getting it wrong.
     

If all else fails and you are still not sure where the booze is, comment below or get in touch with me via twitter and I’ll try to give it to you straight.