The Economy: An Opportunity

Serial Entrepreneur Jason Calacanis who recently retired from blogging and started, instead, an email newsletter has always been straight-talker. His candor and quick tongue are traits I find in myself that often, like Jason, get me into trouble. If you subscribe to Jason’s newsletter you certainly received his latest. If not, you can find it here on Alley Insider.

Jason’s email has a “focus on the entrepreneurial and startup depression and economic downturns/depressions–and how you can deal with them.” He suggests that the economic downturns we’re seeing right now will kill 50-80% of startups within the next 18 months, and that entrepreneurs need to be prepared to take certain steps to fortify, but also to monitor and address their own “entrepreneurial depression and anxiety.”

I love this topic. I’ve stated many times on this blog, and otherwise, that one of the biggest defining characteristics of an entrepreneur is his/her perseverence and resiliency. Those characteristics are to an entrepreneur like water to a fish. These are traits that an entrepreneur just requires 100% of the time. Jason states,

“Depending on your DNA, getting your ass kicked is either complete torture or deviantly rewarding. Truth be told, I like getting my ass kicked because it makes me angry, motivated and focused.” Continue reading The Economy: An Opportunity

This Week’s Ma.gnolia Bookmarks

My Ma.gnolia bookmarks for this past week.

ServiceMagic’s Reviews Quality Control « Screenwerk

A brief blog entry from Greg Sterling about ServiceMagic’s approach to consumer reviews.

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Memengo Wallet™ – be free from memorizing passwords and other kinds of information.

Use it for remembering health insurance cards, frequent flier cards, etc etc

* It’s secure. You create and keep the “master key” (a passphrase of your choice) that encrypts your data. No one can read your data without that key, not even us.
* It’s reliable. We backup the data hourly and keep copies offsite – so that you don’t have to.
* It’s available. Your data is available to you anywhere there is a modern web browser. It’s also available to you on your mobile phone. Changes made in one propagate to the other.
* It’s convenient. A lot better than a disarray of yellow sticky notes.
* It’s cheap. In some cases, free.

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Data from the Second TMP Local Study « Screenwerk

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WICN Business Beat Interview

A few months back at the Somerville Local First launch party I met a fella named Steve D’Agostino. We talked briefly about what CitySquares was doing, and he spoke passionately about what he’s doing in Worcester for Worcester Local First. We hit it off pretty quickly, and realized how well aligned our missions are. I later found out that Steve also hosts his own talk radio program. Well, today I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Steve on WICN 90.5 FM‘s Business Beat program. It was a 30 minute interview almost entirely about local businesses, their impact on local economics, and of course CitySquares too.

I’ve uploaded the audio file here but you can also find it up on WICN’s website.

Local 1.0

I believe that this local search thing is quite early, and to keep up with the Jones’ I’ve started to refer to it as Local 1.0. Hear me out here, because I’m diving deep.

Web 1.0 was a passive web, about adoption and about moving to an interconnected digital medium, and Web 2.0 is very much about participation, creation, and transforming that interconnected digital medium into a platform. Just as Web 1.0 was static, passive, and largely about adoption, so is local, today, and as we’ve come to know it.

Resourceful Idiot does a pretty decent job of explaining the iterations of the Internet. He starts by saying:

“You can group each of the ‘Web x.x’ as a different movement when it comes to internet usage. Web 1.0 is the movement that took place during the beginning of the internet.”

Web 1.0 was about adoption, and about the movement of media, business, and commerce, to the digital medium that is the World Wide Web. Everyone was moving online to reach a larger audience and achieve better efficiencies. The first to move was big media like newspapers, news stations, music, magazines, etc. Everyday services and resources went online, like the post office, libraries, phone books, the dictionary, the encyclopedia, public transportation services, travel agencies, shipping services, mortgage companies, banks, day trading. Consumer services, business services, B2C, B2B, all of them were moving their data and content to the web. All of this content was mostly static, and that was fine. Continue reading Local 1.0

This Week’s Ma.gnolia Bookmarks

My Ma.gnolia bookmarks for this past week.

Jack Cards – Connect Thoughtfully

A fantastic idea. A website that allows you to enter in your friends and family birthdays. It will remind you when their birthday is near, prompt you to buy a card, and then they’ll mail you the card, stamped, addressed, ready to go – all you do is sign it and mail it!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

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Chocolee Chocolates – South End Boston, MA 02117 – Reviews | CitySquares

Owner of Chocolee Chocolates located in the South End of Boston Lee Napoli has more than two decades of baking experience. Her career in the food service industry began at the front of the house but she soon found her niche in the pastry shop. Lee is self taught and has worked with many talented pastry chefs to perfect her craft. This has left her with a willingness to work hard and an appreciation that success doesn’t happen over night.

All the chocolates at Chocolee are handcrafted by Lee and her associate Annie.

House Specials that are on hand at all times include 5 truffles:

* Hazelnut
* Espresso
* White Chocolate Pistachios
* Moroccan Mint
* Spicey Poblano Pepper.

House favorite chocolates at Chocolee include dark chocolate with salted caramel, dark chocolate with sesame caramel, dark chocolate with bourbon cherry and honey filling, and dark chocolate with chocolate ganache and candied ginger.

Chocolee also sells a bark called kapinziner. It is made from semi-sweet chocolate and toasted almonds.

Chocolee will also custom design chocolates and chocolate showpieces for buffet tables. The chocolates are made every day and new flavors are always being experimented with.

In addition to the large selection of dark chocolates they carry, Chocolee also has some items of the milk chocolate variety available.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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All Things Chocolate – Back Bay Boston, MA 02116 – Reviews | CitySquares

Located in the heart of down-town Boston in the classic art-deco Park Square Building at 31 St. James Ave, All Things Chocolate an upscale store offers truffles, chocolates, candy and gift baskets at traditional Yankee thrift values for the discerning shopper.

All Things Chocolate is known for creative gift basketry designed to your specific individual or corporate needs.

Whether you prefer a more conservative gift confection created around a Nantucket Basket theme or a zany creation for that once in a lifetime special occasion, All Things Chocolate gifted artists will create thoughtful and unique gifts that reflect “you” and the message you want to deliver.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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Small Business Labs: Less Than Half of Small Businesses Have Websites

According to a Warrillow survey 41% of small businesses have websites. This is consistent with other surveys and research on small business web usage. Not surprisingly, Warrillow found that website ownership and number of employees are correlated and firms with…

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If You Can See It, You Can Get There

I believe that if you can see it, you can get there. I was reminded of that notion this morning. I was on my porch early this Sunday morning enjoying the crisp silence of this last day of summer. I looked up and saw a beautiful half moon staring down at me against a sharp blue sky. I stared at it for a moment and remembered how close the moon really is to us, no matter how far away it might seem. But it’s all relative isn’t it? I imagine that during the Apollo missions NASA said the same thing to itself – “We see it. It’s right there. We have the ability, we have the technology. We understand the laws of physics. All we have to do is get there.” And sure enough, one step at a time, they not only got to the moon, they not only orbited the moon, they not only landed on it, they walked on it. Then they drove vehicles on it. Not once, but several times! All it took was some technology, some ability, imagination, innovation, teamwork, and belief in success.

(Wow I just made the Apollo missions sound really simple didn’t I?)

I was raised to believe that anything was possible. Both of my parents are good like that. No matter what crazy idea I had, they supported me, as long as it wasn’t harmful, but they didn’t indulge me too much either. When I wanted to be a fighter pilot, they supported me. I’d study the G force and read about Chuck Yeager. When I wanted to be a major league pitcher, my father taught me proper form and challenged me during little league practice. I could go on. The point is, I tried, and I worked at it very hard. No matter how far off the destination seemed, I believed in myself and I had the support of my parents. I may not have been capable of being a fighter pilot, because of my poor eyesight, but that didn’t matter – anything was possible. My fastball was pretty nasty, but that was all I had. Yet I had the potential.

Entrepreneurship is very much the same way. Continue reading If You Can See It, You Can Get There

Got Five Minutes? Check out Baracky III

My buddy Sean Coon posted this on his blog and after watching it I just had to post it up on mine too. I try to stay away from politics on my blog and on my Twitter feed, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. Anywhere, here it is, for your viewing pleasure.