Editor’s note: Steli Efti is the Co-Founder/Chief Hustler of ElasticSales and an advisor to several startups and entrepreneurs. You can follow Steli on Twitter here.
There’s been much discussion of what should be done when successful Kickstarter projects fail recently, but one site has been working to return to our attention to the many fascinating projects that did make it.
Outgrow.me is a marketplace for Kickstarter and IndieGoGo projects that were successfully funded and are now available for purchase. Here, you can go beyond thinking about how cool it would be if something did come to market and start benefiting from all that the best of crowdfunding entails.
Of course, for a site like Outgrow.me to work, there still need to be risk-takers funding the latest and greatest ideas, but it’s fine proof that the Kickstarter concept does work despite the (admittedly warranted) pessimistic coverage of crowdfunded failures.
There are plenty of tabletop games available, such as a card game called Creatures and a role-playing game called Agents of SMERSH. And that’s much as you’d expect — the simpler manufacturing considerations mean it is much easier to complete such a project than it is to bring, for example, the Nifty Minidrive to fruition.
There’s the simple but handy CableKeeps charging cable manager, and the already well-known Jot Stylus, a capacitive touch stylus that allows people to create art and design on devices such as the iPad with a more suited tool than the cumbersome finger.
The site does allow listings for projects that are successfully funded but can only be pre-ordered. We don’t know whether Outgrow.me restricts these based on the project’s level of readiness for the market, which again raises concerns about the failure of funded Kickstarter projects, but these can be filtered out quite easily right at the top of the homepage.
Making it easy to fund great ideas is just one part of the equation, a process that is done well by Kickstarter. But to support this, we need an ecosystem for promoting these indie ventures and getting them into the public eye again after the funding effort press has worn off and it is time to become self-sustaining with sales. That’s where Outgrow.me and sites like it come in.
Image Credit: Trey Ratcliff
Read more from the original source: Meet Outgrow.me, the marketplace that puts completed Kickstarter projects back in the spotlight
Editor’s note: Benjy Weinberger is foursquare’s West Coast Engineering Lead. He previously worked on infrastructure and revenue engineering at Twitter, and before that spent eight years at Google, working on search and ads engineering.
[Full disclosure: I have never worked at Facebook, and own no Facebook stock, but I do know and respect many people who work there.]
First, the facts: Facebook has been around for only 8 years, has a mere 4000 employees, and yet has over half a billion daily active users almost a billion monthly active users.
Think about that. 500,000,000 people interact with Facebook every day. And these aren’t involuntary corporate connections, like when it turns out that your entire country’s water supply is owned by Bechtel. Facebook users choose, daily, to have an intimate, personal and emotional relationship with the brand. A brand that, it bears repeating, didn’t exist eight years ago. And all this is as true at $40B as it was at $80B. True, Silicon Valley is known for successes of this scale, but that doesn’t make it any less remarkable.
Entire companies piggyback off Facebook’s success. The site has spawned a completely new way for businesses to connect with their customers. On the technology side, Facebook has created innovative systems to reliably handle their phenomenal amounts of very rich data, and has made many contributions to the open source community. Facebook is absolutely huge, a success story so rapid, radical and planet-changing that it inspired an award-winning Hollywood movie.
So about that stock price? That seems to me like a Wall Street issue, not a Silicon Valley issue. Sure, Facebook has monetization challenges to overcome. And the company would do well to sort out their developer relations and ensure a stable and cooperative environment, so that 3rd parties can add value to the Facebook platform. But they have incredibly smart and capable people who will surely figure all this out. But just because analysts’ pre-IPO valuation guesses may have been off by a factor of two doesn’t mean Facebook is anything less than a phenomenal success, one that I am confident can be monetized successfully.
And anyway, since when do we turn our noses up at $40B companies? That’s more than the market cap of the entire US airline industry combined, I believe. And was achieved with one hundredth the number of employees.
As long as Facebook makes enough money to keep operating successfully, and there’s no indication that they won’t, we in the tech industry should look at Facebook as a product, not a ticker symbol. Will the stock price hurt retention? Maybe. But it’s no less likely, then, to help with new hiring. So while it is, of course, relevant to report on it, let’s not overly focus on short-term stock performance. Leave that to the stock market blogs. We’re supposed to be in this business not because we love money but because we love technology and its transformative power, and Facebook has both in spades.
Editor’s note: This is a guest post written by Christian Springub, co-founder of Jimdo, a DIY website creator. Since Jimdo launched in 2007, it has grown into an international company fully supporting 11 languages and operating successfully from offices in Hamburg, San Francisco, Tokyo, and Shanghai. In his guest post Christian talks about internationalization and how to avoid failure. You can read more from Christian on his 3Founders blog or follow him on Twitter.
In today’s fast-paced and global tech world, internationalization is often on the minds of entrepreneurs and CEOs. If done correctly, it’s a great step that will make your business thrive on a global scale. However, there are a few essential insights an entrepreneur/CEO needs to break into a new country successfully. This is both easier and harder than you think it is. Easier, because you’ve already built up your business in one market. Harder, because what you don’t know how to do, you really don’t know. And there’s no faking it – examples of internationalization gone wrong are a dime a dozen (think “All Your Base Are Belong To Us” or i18nguy). If you’re seriously considering venturing beyond your core domestic audience, make sure you cover your bases and internalize these lessons.
This is the first and most crucial step every company must take before going international: admit you have no clue how other markets and countries function. Convincing yourself otherwise will set you up for failure. No translation agency can help you and no two-week vacation will give you the necessary insight to understand the people who live there. Once you accept this truth and what it means for your strategy, you’re ready to face the consequences—get a local to help you.
Quick quiz: where do people in Taiwan go to pay their utility bills? 1 If you don’t know the answer to this (and a lot more), you’ll need a Taiwanese native to help you break into the market! Someone from a country is an expert in its language, culture, and traditions. They can help you successfully enter a market by providing indispensable knowledge. If you choose to go it alone, you’re sabotaging your expansion from the very start.
So you found someone from Russia to help you get started there. Congratulations! Say hello to the new you. This person is your eyes and ears, so spend some time searching for the right person and fit. You need to give them your complete trust and support. Remember: you don’t know the language, you don’t understand the culture, and you have no idea how Russians think. So be supportive and get out of the way. If you’ve found the right person, you’ll feel more at ease about being “hands-off”.
Here is the first upside: If you hire the right person for the market and give them a bit of freedom, you can harness their entrepreneurial spirit and pass on that “founder passion.”
The next time you go to lunch, look at the people around you. Listen to them. If you live in a large, international city, there are people from other countries living there, too. They’re there because of love, location, or pure adventure. If you offer these transplants a job they love – one where they keep their native language skills sharp and stay in touch with their roots – you’ll have a loyal ambassador for your company. Hire those people and cultivate a long-term relationship with them: your internationalization will benefit.
More markets mean more complexity—everywhere. It means you’ll need more people to do “less”—30 people to do what your competitors are doing with 10. It means rolling out features after translations are done. It means creating a new video in each language when you launch a new feature, not just one.
Despite the difficulties, internationalizing has advantages: if one market fails or doesn’t take off as quickly, you have others to fall back on. You’re also in a great position to share experiences from one culture or market with the others. And last but not least, it’s a hell of a lot of fun to work with a diverse set of people from different cultures. So, go ahead, be crazy and prepare yourself for the clash of cultures and remember: You don’t know anything about it.
1 The answer: people in Taiwan pay utility bills at the grocery store. Who would have thought, right?
Read the original: You Don’t Know Anything About Other Countries