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Friday, July 2, 2010

The Starbucks Lean Startup - A How To

Starbucks has taken some of the financial pain out of buying a latte and surfing the web in their stores by offering up free Wi-Fi to customers in Canada and the US. "Enjoy great coffee and the Internet at your fingertips." says the companies website. 

Om Malik, is adding to the mix by letting us all in on his little secrets about lean startups and maximizing your business startup experience at Starbucks expense:

  • Almost always favor a single location. It makes it easier for your contacts to drop in for meetings.
  • Learn the names of most of the baristas and also take time to have a conversation with them. It helps build a human connection.
  • Make the baristas involved in your venture – share your news and make them feel part of your struggle.
  • Make sure you buy coffee or something at least three times a day.
  • Tip generously – up to $10 a day will ensure that folks at the store don’t view you as a freeloader and a pest.
  • Don’t spread out your stuff and take up too much space at the store.
  • Invest in great noise-cancelling headphones (to counter the loud background music).
  • Keep your mobile phones on vibrate and leave the store for conversations.
  • Make sure that the number of people attending a meeting is fewer than four so that you can all circle around a single table.
Think I need a latte.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Facebook Movie Trailer - The Social Network

In case you were unaware, there is a movie coming out this fall that chronicles the raise of Mark Zuckerberg and his little website Facebook. "The Social Network" has a number of A list Hollywood actors and apparently has Zuck a little pissed. Recently the trailer was released on the site

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Foursquare Raises $20,000,000 Round B Financing

The one and a half year old location-based social sensation Foursquare has just secured a $20 million Series B investment led by VCs Andreessen Horowitz, with Union Square Ventures and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures also participating. According to Business Insider:
  • Foursquare can finally start working on its product again after moving a lot of resources to building out its infrastructure, which was crumbling after its huge growth.
  • Foursquare can finally start hiring again because it's moving into bigger offices. Before, it couldn't physically put more people in the room.
  • For the forseeable future, Foursquare will continue to be one main app -- not a bunch of apps for different purposes.

The deal values the company at $95 million pre-financing.

We have several players in our office and the competition is really heating up... Congrats Foursquare! We look forward to seeing more great stuff now that you've got the money behind you.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


There's a new game in town and you'll probably all flock to it like Farmville on a work PC. Introducing, via boingboing, Monkey-Pirate-Robot-Ninja-Zombie! It's a new variation on an old game, except with sound effects, and it goes something like this:

* Monkey fools Ninja
* Monkey unplugs Robot
Suggested noise: ee-ee-eek!
* Robot chokes Ninja
* Robot crushes Zombie
Suggested noise: ex-ter-min-ate!
* Pirate drowns Robot
* Pirate skewers Monkey
Suggested noise: arrrrr!
* Ninja karate chops Pirate
* Ninja decapitates Zombie
Suggested noise: keeee-ah!
* Zombie eats Pirate
* Zombie savages Monkey
Suggested noise: braaaaaaaaaainsss!

Now call me a traditionalist but I still prefer rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock, although the sound effects are kinda cool!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Doodle Jump - 5 Million Downloads And Still Jumping

What started as an attempt to make a little extra money by two Croatian born brothers has turned into an iPhone sensation with a reported 5 million downloads to date. Doodle Jump is a $0.99 download from the iTunes App store and  Igor and Marko Pusenjak believe their little game is the first to reach the 5,000,000 download mark. The brothers have quit their day jobs and now dedicate all of their time to iPhone - iPad development through their company  Lima Sky.

“I remember a moment of frustration when we were selling only 20 or 30 copies a day,” he said, “then we made it into the top 25 apps and we’ve been there for almost a year now.” Growth of sales is also aided by their fans who post videos showing off their skills and via a number of Facebook groups dedicated to the game and it's fans.

Well done Igor and Marko! Great success story.

Credit: NY Times Bits Blog