My friends at Lingvist have just written about their TechStars London experience. It’s in Estonian but Google Translate does a semi-decent job of translating it into English if you’re interested.
I’m glad that the team decided to publish it in their blog. Lingvist is only the 3rd Estonian startup to make it into TechStars (the others are GrabCAD (Boston) and Testlio (Austin)) and previous teams shared their experience to a smaller circle of friends. I’m guilty myself of not writing about GrabCAD’s experience in Boston as I was part of the team back then…
Update: Kristel, CEO of Testlio, touched upon her TechStars experience briefly in her blog post, as did Meelik, their dev lead.
Mis Lingvistil sellest kasu oli? Kõige olulisem saavutus oli ehk Maidu mõttemaailma muutmine ‒ et ta tuleb teadusmaailmast, siis ettevõtte juhi rolli mõistmiseks oli see ülioluline. Teine, enamikule kõige olulisem tegur, on kontaktid investoritega. Neid on seal nii mentorite, juhukülaliste kui ka Demo Dayl osalejate näol väga palju. Kellelegi su idee ikka meeldib ja aasta pärast on raha kaasamisel lihtsam inimestega jutule saada. Kolmandaks andis TS meie arendusele uue fookuse – üritasime vastata nii investorite kui ka kasutajate põhiküsimustele.
Read the full post here: Lingvist @ TechStars »
By the way, the next application deadline for TechStars London is on 7th of September, 2014.
Put together by @dharmesh, one of the head wizards at Hubspot. If anyone knows their inbound it’s him/them.
Friday. A call from Kristo: “Do you want to go cycle the 2nd stage of the Tour de France on Sunday?”
Sunday morning. Wake up in Wakefield, eat a big English breakfast, jump on a bike.
Finish over 6 hours later in Sheffield having cycled a big part of the stage route including and 2nd category climb Holme Moss, being cheered on by the gathering crowds. Plus we got to see winner at the finishing line and I jumped into the slipstream of Cannondale’s Fabio Sabatini and managed to stay there for 300 meters. Until he stopped at his team bus :)
What a brilliant proper Tour de France atmosphere! Now I definitely have to join Kristo next year at the L’Etape du Tour.
Next time I’ll actually get some training miles in before doing this.
Market research industry is going through a phase of soul searching. There’s been a lot of “Will we still be relevant in 2/5/10 years time?” type of introspection at conferences, in LinkedIn groups, in blog posts.
Edward Appleton at the Warc Next Generation Research touching on the topic
Being relatively new to the field I found this lack of confidence surprising. Consumer startup world where I come from has much more of a “let’s move fast, build stuff, break things along the way, learn and improve” attitude. The belief is that if you put client first, focus on a few things, and execute fast then eventually you will win.
Emergence of new approaches to market research – mobile, Big Data, neuromarketing, behavioural economics, wearable technology, predictive analytics etc – have shaken up an industry that is used to innovation at a slightly slower pace, I guess. In fact, some of these methodologies aren’t that new per se, they’ve simply now become feasible as technology has matured and become cheaper.
Nothing new under the sun
Reading Benedict Evan’s completely unrelated “Ignorance: the limits of knowledge” post during the weekend made me look for parallels with tech, media and telecoms businesses.
Keep readin’ →
I started my first blog back in 1999 (thank you Jason Kottke for the inspiration) but for the last 5 years have posted less and less for various reasons.
This is what happened in 2013 when I published just 12 posts. The screengrab from Google Analytics compares 2013 vs 2012 and if I went further back in history the trend would be very much the same over the years.
It’s also telling that only 2 of the 10 most popular articles in 2013 where actually posted in 2013. Good thing Google thinks highly of a few of my older posts.
What’s the lesson?
If you want to keep your site popular then…
- Add fresh, high quality (or at least entertaining) content on a regular basis
- Pick a niche – lack of focus means there’s no core audience, less circulation of traffic within the site
- Promote your content, shamelessly
- Pages not optimised for social sharing
Not exactly rocket science and comes down to committing to something. Always the hardest thing.
Do blogs still matter?
For me they do. When I look at where I get the most valuable content (both on topics relevant to my work or just on stuff that interest me outside of work) it’s 75% blogs. Sometimes personal, sometimes company owned.
Social media is just the discovery engine, real valuable content is almost always on someone’s blog.
A buddy of mine asked me the following question:
I’m looking for the top automotive websites in Australia by unique visitors and any other metrics I can fathom. Can you help point me in the right direction?
Why sir, of course I can. In all honesty I’m no expert here but can share a handful of free and quick steps to collect a few data points.
Keep readin’ →
Glenn Greenwalds keynote from 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Hamburg.
The goal of the NSA, and its Five Eyes partners in the English-speaking world: Canada, New Zealand, Australia and especially the UK, is to eliminate privacy globally. To ensure that there can be no human communications that occur electronically, that evades their surveillance network.
They want to make sure that all forms of human communication, by telephone or by Internet, and all online activities, are collected, monitored, stored, and analyzed by that agency, and by their allies. That means that to describe that is to describe a ubiquitous surveillance state.
The surveillance state, by its necessity, by its very existence, breeds conformity, because when human beings know that they’re always susceptible to being watched, even if they’re not always being watched, the choices that they make are far more constrained, are far more limited, cling far more closely to orthodoxy, than when they can act in the private realm.
Bye-bye 2013, hello 1984
It’s hard not to be inspired by Moz> and how Rand Fiskin runs his company. The openness, high quality marketing, transparency in almost every aspect of the company, the fanatic following this has built – I wish anything I ever did was that good.
Whenever I feel I’m in a rut a trip to their blog serves as inspiration. And I’ve occasionally been their paying customer as well so the whole thing works.
Rand’s recent presentation titled “8 Rules of Moz Marketing” is no exception. My initial reaction was to replace “marketers” with market researchers everywhere and adopt it whole sale for our company :) I didn’t but it serves as a starting point for something similar for our own internal use.
Oh the irony – an article about “annoying mini-banner ads” features said banner, not optimised for the retina screen and featuring something totally irrelevant to me. Let me count the things wrong here:
- Banner quality – Low resolution, non-retina optimised. The ad network knows I’m using a modern iPhone, why it still allows bad quality images to be served is beyond me.
- Ad itself – I have no idea what or where Norfolk Southern is but it sure as hell isn’t in the UK (where I live and was browsing).
- The site – Confusion continues. What exactly am I being sold? “Pick a topic to start exploring”, seriously? WTF is the purpose of this site?
- The site continued… – It’s not optimised for the mobile screen. Enough said.
It’s the ultimate #firstworldproblem but it really rubs me the wrong way (as I work in the industry) that we can’t get it right. I guess the 90s aren’t over yet in the world of mobile advertising.
tl;dr – Remove friction from sales.
This video of Jay Simons explaining Atlassian sales model has been sitting in one of my browser tabs for a month now and I finally got the necessary kick to share it. The kick came courtesy of couple of Salesforce partners who shoved lead forms in my face when I tried to watch their demo videos on their home pages. Needless to say, I left the sites. No video, no lead.
Jay and Atlassian (we use their Jira and Confluence at On Device Research).
Well worth your time if you’re in B2B sales. Oh, and follow @jaysimons on Twitter.