Thursday, December 25, 2008

BSI Xmas Party 08

BSI celebrated another succesful year at the 2008 BSI Xmas Party at the Rocks.

An opportunity for the BSI Team to meet the Arrk team.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

South Afircans should invest in Australian Property

Reasons why South Africans should invest in Australian Property

If you would like to invest in Australia speak to www.pulseproperty.com.au

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How to take a Shower

I receive many jokes on email.... this is a classic that had me in stitches!!

How To Shower Like a Woman

Take off clothes and place them sectioned in laundry basket according to lights and darks.

Walk to bathroom wearing long dressing gown.

If you see husband along the way, cover up any exposed areas.
Look at your womanly physique in the mirror - make mental note to
do more sit-ups / leg-lifts, etc.

Get in the shower.

Use face cloth, arm cloth, leg cloth, long loofah, wide loofah and pumice stone.

Wash your hair once with cucumber and sage shampoo with 43 added vitamins.

Wash your hair again to make sure it's clean.

Condition your hair with grapefruit mint conditioner enhanced.
Wash your face with crushed apricot facial scrub for 10 minutes until red.

Wash entire rest of body with ginger nut and jaffa cake body wash. Rinse conditioner off hair.

Shave armpits and legs.

Turn off shower.

Squeegee off all wet surfaces in shower.

Spray mold spots with Tile cleaner.

Get out of shower.

Dry with towel the size of a small country.

Wrap hair in super absorbent towel.

Return to bedroom wearing long dressing gown and towel on head. If you see partner along the way, cover up any exposed areas.


How To Shower Like a Man



Take off clothes while sitting on the edge of the bed and leave them in a pile.

Walk naked to the bathroom.

If you see partner along the way, shake willy at her making the 'woo-woo' sound.

Look at your manly physique in the mirror.

Admire the size of your willy and scratch your bum.

Get in the shower.

Wash your face.

Wash your armpits.

Blow your nose in your hands and let the water rinse them off. Fart and laugh at how loud it sounds in the shower.

Spend majority of time washing privates and surrounding area. Wash your bum, leaving those coarse bum hairs stuck on the soap.

Wash your hair.

Make a Shampoo Mohican

Wee.

Rinse off and get out of shower.

Partially dry off.

Fail to notice water on floor because curtain was hanging out of bath the whole time.

Admire willy size in mirror again.

Leave shower curtain open, wet mat on floor, light and fan on. Return to bedroom with towel around waist.

If you pass partner, pull off towel, shake willy at her and make the 'woo-woo' sound again.

Throw wet towel on bed.

I KNOW YOU'RE LAUGHING BECAUSE IT'S TRUE!!!!!!

Venture firms brace for cash crunch

Big investors turn away from VCs as the financial crisis takes its toll.
By Michael V. Copeland
LAST UPDATED: OCTOBER 3, 2008: 2:00 PM ET

extract from article

SAN FRANCISCO (Fortune) -- If you are a venture capitalist looking for a new limited partner" you are going to find it tough in this market says Harold Bradley manages $2.1 billion for the Kansas City, Mo.-based Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
Venture capital, as every VC is happy to tell you, operates on seven-to-ten-year cycles. Firms don't, for the most part, use debt to fund their companies. So in theory they should be shielded from the financial mess that has laid waste to some of the largest financial institutions in the world. But no one is getting out of this unscathed, and certainly not the gang that occupies Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley.
Venture capital operates via commitments. A limited partner pledges a certain amount to a fund, and as the VC firm needs it, it makes capital calls to get that money to fund its portfolio companies. If you don't pony up when asked, you typically lose all your prior investment and are frozen out going forward. After the dotcom crash, capital calls came from VC firms and some limited partners simply said no - whether it was because they were wiped out in the Internet implosion, or they didn't want to throw good money after bad.
It could be worse this time around. "My expectation is that it will start first in some private equity funds, that there will be a substantial miss on a capital call, and we'll see it next in venture capital," says Paul Kedrosky, an investor and academic focused on the future of risk capital and writer of the business blog Infectious Greed. "No one is going to stiff Kleiner Perkins, but the second or third-tier guys will get stiffed all day long."
The conversation among limited partners in VC funds these days is all about who's got casht, and who doesn't. What you want is cash now - not a one, three or five year wait to cash in.
Says Warren Weiss, a partner with Palo Alto-Calif.-based VC firm Foundation Capital: "If you are a private company with a big cash burn, you are in for some pretty tough times. We're going to see more fire sales than mergers. You'll see a lot of companies in the $200-$400 million range that can't go public now, get acquired. The weak will get weeded out."
With hedge funds, buyout shops, even venture debt funds mostly on the sidelines, money is about to get really tight. The pressure will fall on VCs to decide which of their portfolio companies live and which die. Weiss believes liquidity is the key to navigating the next 12 to 18 months. "If you are a startup or a limited partner, it's no cash, no company," Weiss says.
Bryan LeBlanc, CFO of Portland, Ore.-based startup Jive Software, agrees. "If you are not cash-flow positive you are in a tough spot right now," says LeBlanc, whose company develops collaboration software for the workplace.
FIRST PUBLISHED: OCTOBER 3, 2008: 1:05 AM ET
http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/03/technology/creditcrunch_VC.fortune/index.htm

Monday, October 13, 2008

Asking Private Equity where to put $1m!

If I had $1m to invest today..... where would I be investing... in Equity Markets (now at an all time low), in Cash, In private equity or in Innovation? Would be interested to hear your views
Posted 3 days ago | Delete discussion

Comments (14)

Jack Ma
Stanford University Graduate School of Business
I'd sell 2011 or further out puts on Nasdaq 100, buy pure gold coins, then buy a distressed property in a great location.
Posted 3 days ago

Kenneth Kepp
Merchant Banking
At this stage I believe that if you are in cash you should stay at 30% in cash and look for selected investments in distressed assets, both direct investments and investments in funds and companies that will specialize in that market.
Posted 3 days ago

Andrey Kocheshkov
chief economist at Micex
I agree with Kenneth!
I.e. in Russia price for comercial real estate fall down but demand and rental rates grow up.
Posted 2 days ago


eric lefebvre
Management consultant - Strategy - Organisation
Well Russia is obviously not the right spot for investment ... seriously wait a bit for equities since it will go down to the same level of the last burst after the internet bubble so still -20% to -30% to go ... then buy stocks ...
Posted 2 days ago


Kirk Sanders
C-Level Executive of Startup and Emerging Companies 720-320-4961 sanders.kirk@gmail.com
If $1M is all the money than be smart and patient. Don't try and pick the bottom in stocks and bond market but be ready to invest in discounted AAA grade investments when at least a bottom has been indicated. Let the market do this. But what I would be doing now is looking for excellent innovation investments for about 20-25% of total amount. Innovation is the place!
Posted 2 days ago

Ingrid Moughal, GRI
Intl. Real Estate Brokerage - www hudsonpearl com
BUY LAND! How about agricultural land?
Brad Kelley (7th largest landowner in the US),
Ted Turner (CNN founder and the Nations largest private landowner)
and Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder) did.
Posted 2 days ago

John Frankel
Founder of ff Asset Management
I would not buy equities yet. It is too early to call a bottom and until we have capitulation (and this week was not it!!!) then don't buy. Cash is good for preservation of capital, but I also like early stage venture - I am biased as I am raising funds for such a fund - but really the next couple of years should be a great part of the cycle to make money in early stage venture.
Posted 2 days ago

Saman Dias
NorthPoint Real Estate Investment Services, Executive Vice President President
I agree with John.

Early stage Software as Servicers Web 2.0 real estate related site could be a very good investment


Dave Moskowitz MD [dwmoskowitz@hotmail.com]
CEO at GenoMed, Inc.
In my company. We expect a 1,000-fold ROI. We're about to pop.
Posted 2 days ago

Andrew Kyle
Business Development, Pommerville Research Ltd
I'd follow Warren Buffet and look for:
1. Devalued dividend stocks
2. New health care products for baby boomers/cardiac care
Posted 2 days ago

Barry Bryant
massmediamobile: The Masses Control the Media
Proximity mobile media. Assured technology with an ecosystem backed by wireless and credit issuing banks. We're the only company with a depth of lateral industry knowledge and proprietary patent pending technology to deliver.

Perhaps you will enjoy my rants on mobile media and wireless.
http://massmediamobile.blogspot.com/

I will take this opportunity to invite you to the group massmediamobile, here on Linked[In] and connect with me.

Vyas Cm
Head- Home Sales (Def & Govt)
I would buy into plantations. Coffee plantations to be specific. In India they give a steady 6-8% returns annually apart from appreciation in the Capital value of the land.

I am recommending this despite a sizeable percentage of my investments being in equities ( which I believe will recover over time) and mutual funds (which will piggy back on a recovering equity market).

Indian Equity markets are in a better shape than most others. They are at a long term bottom. There is limited downside from here on. But to reverse considerably, the sentiment has to improve considerably. That will take time but it is a sure to do so.
Posted 1 day ago

Adil Iftikhar
Strategic development head - Banking, Energy Sector
I have good place for better return - Green project in Europe with fantastic returns, if you realy want to invest bit of it then communicate with me on adiliftikhar@ yahoo.com



Sharaf Dabbagh
Founder - CEO Taaheel FZ. LLC.,Duabi, UAE. / CO- Founder Arab Beverages Association / Publisher, Arab Bev Magazine
interesting question, bright comments, I would go 25% innovation, it is medium to long term, stocks and bonds 25% in a few weeks when it hits the bottom, the rest Cash.
Posted 1 day ago

Sharanjit Singh Thind
Founder & Chairman NWAM
If I were you, will keep 40% in cash , put in 15-20% in Blue Chip Stocks on DJ Or Nasdaq (Trading at all time lows) and will think market is closed for next years. I will move in 15-20 in buying distressed property/s at 40 cents on $.


Last thing I will do is to move my money to Emerging Countries , Brick countries or Gold (Might crash 20-30% anytime).
Posted 1 day ago

Gill Eapen
Founder and Managing Principal, Decision Options, LLC.
Capital allocation is a function of required return and risk tolerance. There are no magical % numbers. It depends very much on what the risk and return required by the capital
Posted 23 hours ago

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Martin Hosking of Red Bubble.... kicking goals with Red Bubble

We have been fortunate to be a part of the Red Bubble family....

In little over a year RedBubble has grown to be the third largest art site in the world. One measure of our success is that the site was recognized with three awards during the quarter. RedBubble is clearly one of the hottest Internet companies to have ever come out of Australia.







http://www.redbubble.com/people/redbubble/journal/1460952-always-on-and-beyond

And that will link through to a presentation Martin gave at the Always On Conference in Stanford. Martin Hosking, CEO of Red Bubble, was invited to present as a winner of the AlwaysOn Global 250 company.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ross Kilpatrick - Huntingdales

Ross steered the Gold Medallists to a big win!... thanks Ross for being an amazing part of the journey!

Steve Rosenbaum... an entrepreneur I met last year at ALways oN and again this year. Steve tells us about Magnify... helping your site access relevant videos ... building your content.... and helping you grow revenue. He gives us advice on where advertising is going over next 10 years... its about the web and mobile baby!!go digital

Simon Butler and Contivio at AlwaysOn 08

Simon Butler interviewed at AlwaysOn 08. Contivio is the world leading Tier One Call Centre management system, that is activated through a widget on your browzer, and links in with every CRM and telco and voip provider. World beating technology!!

Ivan Kaye and BSI at ALwaysOn

Ivan Kaye being interviewed at ALways ON 08. There is still money around for great innovation. Innovation will lead the world!!

Dean McCevoy and Booking Angel at Always on

Dean McCevoy of Booking Angel was a BSI Delegate at the BSI USA ALways ON COnference. Booking Angel is a Pay as You Book system, which assists service based companies get appointments.
Its current vertical is Restaurants... you book a restaurant on the netor mobile... the restaurant owner gets a call... "Ivan Kaye wants a booking at 8pm on Saturday Noght for 4 people... press 1 to accept - 2 to reject." As simple as that...

A perfect way for a service based business to achieve a point of difference!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

AlwaysOn, Aussie Style

http://newzmaven.com/?p=15#more


Since the Australians live their whole lives a day ahead of us in the U.S., I suppose it stands to reason that a group of Australian entrepreneurial interactive companies would provide an informal tee-off to the AlwaysOn Stanford Innovation Summit. This is my third year at the show, and my fourth AlwaysOn conference, and I readily admit I can’t live without it. There’s something about the honesty born of greed (er, I mean being in fundraising mode), that fosters true collaborative innovation and the kind of truth-telling that doesn’t typically happen across the table from prospective publishing partners. But now that I’ve said the word Foster’s I guess I have to return to the Aussies.

The most interesting entrepreneurial observation made by one of the half dozen pitchmen brought in by the BSI USA Investor Forum, probably isn’t unique but it struck me as quite interesting in context. SmackBiz.biz Director Damian Hickey said, “The YouTube generation has grown accustomed to using video in their daily lives; it stands to reason they would make it an integral part of their businesses” going forward. SmackBiz purports to have developed a standard document format for business video that is 10 times more efficient than YouTube.

Besides compressing/encoding this video at the client end (on the shooter’s desktop) to make it more efficient, the system also imparts meta-tagging and archiving in a way that makes business video more accessible and useful “behind the firewall.” Hickey says the system can be implemented in an hour, and can manage up to 1 million videos without the use of database software, making it substantially more economical to use than many video management platforms on the marketplace today. He’d like to target the legal biz where, for example, there are tens of thousands of video depositions taken every day, but not managed particularly well.

Whatever its target market, SmackBiz’s first major Australian client is a media company (the name of which Hickey said he must keep secret under NDA), that is using the software to enable user-generated local sports videos for 200 Web sites across the country. He’s not pursuing that strategy stateside because “there are probably 100 solutions” for managing video in a content management system. “Our business is about business generated content, not user generated video,” he insisted. Things like secure storage, library quality cataloguing, seamless integration into a Web site, extensible metadata (autoformatted archiving) and out-of-the-box “open source” streaming capabilities all make me hope he’s open to reconsider.

Does the world need another “Open Table”? Booking Angel thinks so, and claims to have already signed up five times the number of restaurants in California alone as Open Table has nationwide. The principle is the same – a consumer goes online to book a restaurant and gets a confirmation of that reservation. But with BookingAngel.com, the service is white labeled entirely to local search Web sites, as in the case of BooRah.com in sunny CA with 30,000 eateries and counting, and it doesn’t require the restaurant to invest in an expensive on-site terminal. Reservations are confirmed via phone with touch-tone options for the restaurant to confirm a requested time or suggest an alternate booking. When a slot is agreed, the diner receives an SMS, as well as a follow-up reminder. Restaurants only pay when the diner shows, which does AdWords one better, says CEO and Founder Dean McEvoy.

In McEvoy’s opinion, the business of charging companies for local listings (known in our parlance as Internet Yellow Pages or IYP), “is dying.” He predicts the wholesale migration of local sites to a pay-per-lead model instead, and is looking for local partners willing to make the switch. McEvoy says the typical spend per booking is $3.50-$8.00, which businesses find vastly preferable to per-month spends for consumers who may never even see their local listing. One additional viral aspect of BookingAngel is that consumers who use the service are reminded to return to the partner site and write a review of their experience, which could help local sites validate their reviews. The reviews make for more bookings, and so the cycle, er, feeds on itself, if you’ll pardon the pun.

McEvoy says the model will scale to any appropriate local business (“What would a lawyer pay for an appointment?” he asks rhetorically), but only because businesses only pay when they see results. The company is working with the Australian University Research Center on ways to make available the inventory of many kinds of businesses. McEvoy promises partners, “Revenue, more bookings, and insights about your customers” unavailable from the competition.

Still to come, remember LookSmart? Ever wonder what they did with all that money???

Date: Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008 at 6:28 pm | Category: Innovation | RSS Feed: RSS 2.0 feed.
Leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

NEW COMPANY TAMES THE ONLINE VIDEO FOR CORPORATE USE – LAW FIRMS FIRST TO BENEFIT

Palo Alto, CA – July 22, 2008 – In a world first, an Australian company has tamed the video so it can be managed like a document which can be searched, filed, and archived online within a corporation – without the need for any special expertise.

The software application SMACKB!Z by ZacWare which enables any webmaster to seamlessly embed video footage into their existing internet or intranet site, incorporating valuable business meta data, will be launched in the USA at AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford, CA [July 22 – 24, 2008].

According to ZacWare’s chief executive officer, Damian Hickey, SMACKB!Z is a management solution or business information tool for corporate video.

He sites potential examples such as a legal firm with hundreds of video depositions that are typically filed in hard copy.

“Legal firms would have to be an idea customers for our software,” he said.

“For the first time they can file, search, play and archive their videos on their own secure YouTube style site saving time and money, while vastly improving the entire process.”

Other clients include insurance companies, real estate agents and any firm that sees the potential of video for their business, but has been deterred by the usability or integration factor.

“Video has to be the most powerful and compelling medium available to companies and now they can harness this information source and incorporate in their normal filing, search and archiving systems.”

SMACKB!Z is presenting at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford as part of the BSI USA program [www.bsi.com.au] at 9.45am Fisher Hall on July 24, 2008.


About SMACKBIZ www.smackbiz.biz

SMACKB!Z is based in Brisbane, Autstralia.

SMACKB!Z is a leading technology firm at the forefront of corporate video. SMACKB!Z revolutionized how business uses video with an end to end solution. From upload to archive, our solution, help business use video as a standard document format. To contact SMACKB!Z, write to mailto:damian.hickey@smackbiz.biz or visit http://www.smackbiz.biz

CONTIVIO RELEASES WORLD’S MOST ADVANCED VIRTUAL CONTACT CENTRE

Palo Alto, CA – July 22, 2008 – Contivio.com’s virtual contact centre solution delivered as a toolbar inside Microsoft Internet Explorer and offering the advanced functionality found in million dollar CRM systems at SME pricing, will now be available in the USA it was announced today at AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford, CA [July 22 – 24, 2008].

Contivio is the creation of eOne Solutions Group, a leading software author with over 10,000 Microsoft Dynamics customers in the USA, which has been a primary contributor to the US$12 million in R&D funding developing the product.

Contivio clients include Xceed Telecoms and Icol in the Middle East, and Genero Property Group and Mint Financial globally.

eOne Founder and CEO Simon Butler said “Contivio is the only contact centre product delivered as a toolbar inside your browser with the ability to integrate into any on-demand or on-premise CRM system within minutes via our patented integration “Angels””.

“Customers can pay per user per month at a fraction of traditional costs and our technology talks to any VoIP backbone,” he said.

“Contivio is the only product designed and truly positioned to extend the core functionality of existing CRM solutions such as SalesForce.com, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, SugarCRM, SalesLogix, SAP, Oracle, or any other, into a fully featured contact center.”

“Our Angels are an intelligent group of software “robots” that learn how humans use software applications such as CRM, ERP, or any other windows or web based product, and then extend the applications’ integration and automation capabilities. With the ability to compile web service wrappers for any application together with a “human driven” automation assistant to drive workflow and integration rules, Contivio has unparalleled integration capability,” Butler said.

“With Contivio, if you have a browser and a broadband connection you have a fully integrated virtual contact centre, it’s that simple.”

Contivio is presenting at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford as part of the BSI USA program [www.bsi.com.au] at 11:30am Fisher Hall on July 24, 2008.


About Contivo www.contivio.com



Contivio is a global provider of advanced contact center solutions and integration and automation applications. Our flagship Contivio.com contact center and patented Contivio Angels products have positioned us as a respected leader in our fields of expertise.

Contivio is focused on cementing our position as the global market leader in the virtual contact center and integration automation solution verticals via our patented technologies. Contivio’s product suites integrate seamlessly with a multitude of applications including Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Office, Google, Oracle, SAP, SalesForce.com, Siebel, Onyx, Sage SalesLogix, Goldmine and Maximiser and continues to forge closer working relationships with these vendors, their partners, call center providers, hosting & VoIP providers and systems integrators generally.

Direct all enquiries to simon.butler@contivio.com

REDBUBBLE - THE WORLD IS YOUR ART GALLERY, START-UP YOUR CREATIVE GENIUS

Palo Alto, CA – July 22, 2008 – RedBubble, which is at the forefront of the open art movement - art made accessible to creators and purchasers by the web , will be presenting its global rollout at AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford, CA [July 22 – 24, 2008].

Aspiring artists, designers, writers, and photographers can take their inspiration to the world - and be rewarded for their work - through an Australian web start-up that is attracting worldwide attention and strong growth.

RedBubble is an online art gallery and creative community where artists can upload and sell their art to a global audience of buyers. Almost as importantly, RedBubble also enables artists to receive comments and feedback on their work.

Lisa Webber of Orlando is a classic example of how artists can open their world and manage their day/work life while being a recognized artist through RedBubble www.redbubble.com/people/artisticbynature .

RedBubble started out in Australia, but now attracts users from around the world. More than 120,000 items have been sold through the site to buyers in 71 countries over the past year.

RedBubble provides a platform for artists to monetize their work. An artist from a t-shirt designer to an illustrator, can sell his or her design to a customer who can have it printed on a t-shirt, framed etc using RedBubble’s global production and distribution network. The artist determines the price for their work beyond the base price charged by RedBubble to print, frame or reproduce the artwork.

“We help people realise their creative potential by taking care of the business that also helps reward their efforts,” said RedBubble CEO and founder Martin Hosking.

“RedBubble brings together the best of the web 2.0 world - content and community - while also delivering a strong business model.”

Hosking said RedBubble is to the creative arts what YouTube is to online video - with an important difference.

“RedBubble puts the monetary value of the content in the hands of its creators. They set their price, and for a base fee we turn into a product they can be delivered to the buyer who is inspired by the work, whether it is a framed piece of art, a design on a t-shirt, or a piece of writing.”

“Artists create and display their work on RedBubble to a global audience. We provide a way for them to sell their work, produce it and distribute the finished product to the buyer,” Hosking said.

“There are no barriers to entry for the artists. In fact, they can develop their skills and abilities by being part of a supportive and passionate community.

“Consumers can browse our extensive galleries of art, design and writing to find what inspires them. We then make it easy for them to buy the works they love

Hosking is using his magic touch that brought his last company success story LookSmart to market, to make RedBubble the next big thing for creative’s around the globe.

RedBubble is presenting at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford as part of the BSI USA program [www.bsi.com.au] at 9am Fisher Hall on July 24, 2008.


About RedBubble:
RedBubble.com launched in February 2007. Since then it has grown to be the third most trafficked art site on the Web with 70,000 members and sales in its first year of over $1.2 million. The Company was founded by Martin Hosking, Peter Stules and Paul Vanzella and serves a global market with operations in Europe, the USA and Australia. It is headquartered in Melbourne Australia.

TRAVEL MESSENGER™ CREATES POWERFUL NEW BOND WITH TRAVELERS AND THEIR AGENTS - COVERING 200 COUNTRIES AROUND THE GLOBE

Palo Alto, CA – July 22, 2008 – Travel Messenger™, the latest breakthrough in travel information technology designed to build powerful bonds between travellers and their on and off-line travel agents domestically and around the world, is being launched at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford, CA [July 22 – 24, 2008].

The company, Loop9, is headed by leading travel evangelists including Steve Hibbard, Former CEO Lonely Planet and, Michael Baldwin, former VP Sabre Holdings.

The patent pending technology, which covers 200 countries and 3000 cities around the globe, enables travel agents to automatically provide up-to-the-minute personalised services delivered to customers’ mobile phones via proven SMS technology.

Mark McCormack, CEO of Loop9 said agents and airlines now have an opportunity to enhance their current offerings and develop an unprecedented level of client loyalty in the competitive and price sensitive travel space.

He said current clients included Flight Centre, Travel Scene-AMEX and Liberty Travel.

Loop9’s ‘Travel Messenger™ keeps travellers informed every step of the way by providing regularly updated personal travel information by SMS/Text.

“Flight times, departure gates, hotel reservations, exchange rates, weather and even travel warnings are all constantly updated by SMS. The traveller just needs to check their text messages to see where they are going next and the information they need to get there,” said McCormack.

“For the sake of getting to a meeting on time to close a deal, or simply to keep your valued staff feeling valued on the road Travel Messenger™, will pay for its self on the first SMS.”

Gap year students and young travellers, through to mature and seasoned travellers can also all benefit from services like 24/7 country security alerts, delay advisories, and even translation and entertainment advice at the tap of a phone.

McCormack said SMS services were cheap, reliable, widely available globally, and easy to use.

“Travellers can just check their cellphone for the information they need. No software is required. They don’t need to call back to the office or go online. Their travel itinerary is in their pocket - and being constantly updated as they work through their trip.”

McCormack says Travel Messenger was an ideal solution for corporate business travel units, providing a simple and easily deployed travel information service that could be used throughout a company to keep road warriors in touch and most importantly safe.

“Travel Messenger- Don’t take off without it” ™

Loop9 is presenting at the AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford as part of the BSI USA program [www.bsi.com.au] at 11:45am Fisher Hall on July 23, 2008.

For more information contact your local travel agent.

About loop9 www.loop9.com

Travel Messenger™ is the flagship SMS 'concierge' service for travellers available from travel agents. It provides up-to-the-minute travel information, tips and advice that travellers could require regarding flights, travel warnings, accommodation, currency exchange, weather, news, events and a translation option in 15 languages. Travel Messenger™ is the latest in travel information technology covering 200 countries and 3000 cities around the globe by Loop9 Pty Ltd.

BSI USA secures record numbers at Investor Forum

BSI USA SECURES RECORD NUMBERS AT INVESTOR FORUM - PRESENTS LEADING AUSTRALIAN TECH TO SILICON VALLEY INVESTORS AT STANFORD UNIVERSITY

Palo Alto, CA – July 22, 2008 – BSI USA, Australia’s leading private business export development company in the USA, has secured record numbers at the Investor Forum for the six of Australian tech companies it has brought over to Silicon Valley this week.

According to BSI USA CEO David Brown investor RSVPs were now above 80 for today’s Australian BSI USA Investor Forum session, which is held prior to the prestigious AlwaysOn & STVP Summit at Stanford, CA [July 22 – 24, 2008]. BSI USA is an AlwaysOn partner.

BSI USA supports innovative Australian companies that want to enter the USA market in the right way – often with VC finding, partners, clients, and new board members.

Coaching, high-level introductions, and messaging and presentation delivery is all part of the BSI USA package which is unique to the USA.

Brown says BSI USA offers similar programs for USA companies wanting access to the Australian market with tax, partnering, and strategic advice and connections usually only available to large companies.

AlwaysOn VP and Director Noah Gellman said BSI USA had demonstrated its powerful reach into the core of innovative technologies from Australia. “This calibre of innovation is highly sought after by the AlwaysOn community of investors, and leading technology business partners,” he said.

He said BSI USA should be “congratulated for offering a powerful US business program for companies and expanding the global Silicon Valley to Australia”.

BSI USA CEO David Brown said this years’ team from Australia was particularly impressive and he was keen to see the investor response to the hand picked executives.

“BSI USA works closely with the executives in the weeks prior to make sure they are absolutely prepared for the presentations and networking sessions that could literally catapult them into the USA with funding and powerful partners,” said Brown.

The three day pre-conference preparation program developed by BSI USA includes a one on one presentation by AlwaysOn Founder [and former founder of RedHerring] Tony Perkins], and a private session with lead venture capital firm Southern Cross Ventures.

The six companies have also heard first hand from Valley-based Australian success stories such as Gower Smith from Zoom Systems about how they secured capital and established their companies in this highly competitive market.

The companies include:

RedBubble www.RedBubble.com
RedBubble is at the forefront of the open art movement - art made accessible to creators and purchasers by the web.

Loop 9 www.loop9.com
Travel Messenger™ is the latest breakthrough in travel information technology designed to build powerful bonds between travellers and their on and off-line travel agents domestically and around the world.

Contivio www.eonesolutions.net
Contivio.com is a virtual contact centre solution, delivered as a toolbar inside Microsoft Internet Explorer, offering the advanced functionality found in million dollar CRM systems at SME pricing.

Greatest Asset www.alphaone.com.au
Greatest Asset offers state-of-the-science workplace health and productivity programs tailored to suit industry, including quality resources and links for personal health and fitness management.

SMACKB!Z www.zac-ware.com
SMACKB!Z has tamed the video so it can be managed like a document which can be searched, filed, and archived online within a corporation – without the need for any special expertise.

Booking Angel www.bookingangel.com
Booking Angel allows clients to book reservations and appointments online without requiring the small business to implement any web system

“BSI’s award-winning success in Australia is well documented, and now we are replicating this in the US - only on a much larger scale,” Brown said.

“Our mission is to drive hundreds of millions of dollars in US investment and deals for our Australian BSI USA Investor Forum companies and bring some of the best in Australian tech to American shores.

About BSI
BSI assists innovative companies access capital, grants and international gateways. The BSI Investor Forum, which has become synonymous with early stage capital-raising in Australia has launched in the USA. BSI manages 2 Incubation Funds, ADI and Information City, which currently has 30 Investments. www.bsi.com.au

Monday, July 21, 2008

BSI Always On 08 Tour



Companies Include:- Booking Angel, Contivio, Redbubble, Alpha One, Huntingdales, , Loop 9 and SmackBiz. for more details of the event and the companies go to the BSI USA Website.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne - read on plane from Sydney to San Francisco

This book really hit a chord with me.... and if not already a best seller.. will be - every person should read this...
Rhonda has used excerpts and learnings from a number of "masters"

My take from it.... I look forward to meeting Rhonda one day..

• Law of Attraction” is a fundamental law as powerful as the Law of Gravity. Your Universe is centred around You

• Power of positive thought and they will be answered by the Universe....

• Think +ve and +ve will come - -ve messages do not serve you

• Your thoughts control your feelings – change your thoughts and your feelings will change accordingly – if you are feeling happy and in control – this eminates to other people.

• What you resist, you attract – because you are powerfully focussed on it with emotion.

• Ability to change your thoughts from –ve into +ve -. Ie you can master your thoughts.

• Perception IS Reality

• Aladdin – and Genie – “your wish is my command” – Genie is the Universe answering that wish

• “Build and it will come”

• 3 easy steps – Ask, Believe , Feel
• Ask – right down your goals – they innevitably get completed; place your order with the universe!
• Believe – act and think as if you already have it- “Universe will move to achieve your goal.” (If you order a car – you will be certain it will arrive.... and you can picture yourself in it... you have ordered it – it is as good as yours.)

• Religion – Pray (Ask) , Faith (Believe) , Feel as if it has been delivered; Gratitude (Thank)

Random takings from the book
• An object is a mass of energy vibrating – harness that energy in where you want it to go... all in the mind.
• The Universe is just 1 energy field.
• There are no competitors only potential partners . focus on your dreams and your visions and take competition out of the equation.
• You design your destiny – it is your pen, you are the author. Your outcome is YOUR CHOICE. You can write into your life , whatever you want.
• Enjoy life , because life is phenomenal.. is a magnificent trip.•

Friday, July 04, 2008

Can VCs Help Catch Lightning?

Article by David Aronoff at Jul 02, 08 01:32 PM
The premise is pretty simple:

1. Identify an unmet need in some identifiable consumer segment

2. Create a compelling web application that is simple and straightforward

3. Utilize a viral go-to-market strategy possessing low cost of customer acquisition

4. Build a big consumer base

5. And monetize them

The best examples are the stuff of legends: MySpace, Facebook, Google, Bebo.

What do they all have in common? (Other than being tremendous successes?)

I’d argue that they really built their appeal without (much) help from venture capitalists. Sure Google, Facebook and MySpace all raised VC money, but it was after steps 1-4 were well underway.

If you look at the VC-lemming effect, these three companies have led to hundreds of millions of dollars chasing scores of web-mobile-social-networking-video-location based-mashup startups.

Of these phalanx of companies, there are several potential candidates in the on-deck-winners-circle like Digg, Linked-In, Twitter - that all followed similar patterns to the aforementioned.

And in the anti-winners’ circle, companies like Akimbo, and a host of others I’d rather not name for fear of VC reprisal, but look at these TechCrunch links (2007 Deadpool, 2008 Deadpool) for a long list. While not all these companies received VC funding as their first capital or any VC funding at all, many did. I struggle to find (m)any examples of companies that have used initial VC funding to create successfully viral models.

Why is this the case?

Obviously I don’t know for sure, but I think it has something to do with the type of discipline and inertia that comes with venture financing. I am not at all suggesting that VC funding is antithetical to exploration and entrepreneurship, but I am suggesting that in the case of consumer focused offerings, maybe startups need more “unsupervised” or “less-supervised” time to bake and test their value, without the implied or actual pressure that a formal financing by venture capitalists bring. Or maybe the model of a true seed by VCs that permits the same type of exploration would foot the bill.

I doubt my pondering will stop any VCs from continuing the blistering pace of investment in consumer Internet projects, but if I am right, the results of those investments will!

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Making it in Hollywood

BSI, in conjunction with Eric Feig from the USA, facilitated an information evening for Australian writers and actors who are keen to succeed in the USA.

9 Companies Launched their technologies to 20+ journalists on Tuesday 27 May 2007

Natalie Apostolou – Digital Media – 29 May 2008

A COLLECTION of Australia’s emerging technology innovators were showcased this week in a US-styled private pitch forum to

invi ted media. Branded "Launchpad", the event was organised by self described “venture catalysts” BSI.

BSI director Alan Milwidsky said the forum – based on BSI’s established Investor Forum model, but replacing investors with journalists – is an opportunity for emerging and evolving innovators to get direct access and exposure to the media.



The diverse array of companies are all at differing stages of capital raising and most are too focused on establishing

and growing their businesses to invest in an elaborate and costly PR strategy, Milwidsky said. “This is a low cost way to get exposure to the mainstream media. It’s quick, effective and direct,” he added. Based on the success of the inaugural event, which was supported by the New South Wales Department of Sate and Regional Development, BSI

plans to hold three such forums a year. Industry participants said that privately backed forums such as this would be

essential to sustaining innovation in the digital and technology sectors, particularly in light of the Federal Government’s decision to scrap the Commercial Ready program.

Key presentations included Bluetooth marketing specialist Aura, which has already received first round investment

funding and is an established leader in mobile marketing and wireless proximity solutions. The company which has

already launched in Hong Kong is planning to expand to the US, opening New York and Los Angeles offices within six months. Aura has already rolled out award winning Bluetooth campaigns with Hoyts and recently secured a deal with the Australian Jockey Club to broadcast race tips and branded content to race goers mobile phones.

David Yonan, founder and director of Easybiz, an SEO-based business directory, launched its SME focused platform that allows a DIY approach to online search and marketing. “Australia is a nation of two million small businesses, of which the majority have few or no staff. These businesses can’t afford to spend tens of thousands on a website. But they can afford to get an SEO’d website that puts them toe-to-toe with the big online brands,” he said. Easybiz launched in test mode in March with a core of “several hundred business listings” and 30 new businesses
joining every week, he said.



Online advertising and behavioural targeting specialists Emaginet launched its “Self-Signup Wizard” service which enables advertising to be tailored to the interests of a targeted customer segment. Offering data mining, behaviour tracking and customer segmentation, the company claims tailoring online advertising to behaviour-tracking rules increases the ad’s effectiveness by around 300%. Initial customers include Perisher Blue and Postclick, and the company claims it is on track to deliver 600 million page impressions per year within the next 12 months.



Online publishing developers EVO Connect launched its EVO Brochure product, a platform for magazines,newsletters and brochures which offers enhanced ezine capabilities such as embedded websites, Flash-based capability of incorporating animations, video and voice alongside words and graphics to deliver a rich, interactive experience. Developed locally, the EVO Brochure is being brought to market in the US and Britain as well as Australia, where initial customers have included CS Bank and All Phones, with Singleton Ogilvy & Mather company, Solutions Marketing & Research recently appointed as exclusive Australian distributor.



Job listing provider Myspider.com. au claims to be rivalling the dominance of Seek with over 300,000 job listings. Launched in 2007 it is a specialised job search engine which aggregates job content from approximately 100 job sites around Australia. The most popular industries for job search in the last quarter have been mining (7.2%), information and technology (5.7%) and hospitality and tourism (5.7%).

Other companies which presented included Bio Recognition Systems, a R&D focused a biometric developer and manufacturer of biometric readers and associated software solutions and Loop9 a mobile SMS-based travel service which delivers 24/7 real time travel information globally.

for pictures and links click here

Sleek & Svelte Conference Phone From Crinia

By Branko Miletic | Friday | 30/05/2008

The Crinia AC100 conference phone can be connected to the Ethernet for use as a VOIP telephone and is the only telephone system where the user can record the calls onto a portable USB Flash Drive. These recordings can be played back on the AC100 or stored on a computer for future reference or distributed as required.




The Crinia AC100 consists of a Base Station, a Tower, a Handset and a Junction Box. The system is also provided with a portable USB Flash Drive.

The Base Station is the system's CPU - it processes all the external connections and is the battery charger for the Tower and the Handset.

The Tower is the element of the system used for conference calls, includes a high performance speaker and four microphones.
The Handset is the system's user interface. It's also a cordless telephone. All the information is displayed and entered by a touch-screen LCD.

The Junction Box contains the power supply, mains and Ethernet connections and the USB Flash Drive is used to store recorded calls and plugs into the Base Station.

The Crinia AC100 can be connected directly to a telephone line or to any analogue port on a PBX.For connections to a digital PBX an interface may be required.

Crinia's proprietary Wireless Network handles all communications between the various elements of the system, Base Station, Handset and Tower(s).

This technology was developed to cope with Crinia's 16kHz sampling rate (twice of what is used by other conference phones), 2Mps data transmission rate instead of the normal 1Mps, low power consumption and extended operating range.

Easybiz Search Engine Platform For SMBs



By Branko Miletic | Friday | 30/05/2008

BSI Client, Easybiz, a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)-based business directory has released its commercial platform that provides small businesses with a value-for-money means of building the type of SEO-enabled website.

Easybiz draws on high-end Web development expertise (including SEO and search-engine friendly design knowledge drawn from building some of Australia's largest websites).

Easybiz advertisers who have an unique URL (as well as an Easybiz URL for their business) typically find that their Easybiz address ranks above their own URL in a Google search on their business name.

Easybiz's powerful search algorithm provides a source of competitive advantage for businesses, as it allows their customers to find the business by searching on their name, or on products that the

Additionally, Easybiz also provides businesses with an easy-to-build or update website that includes, uniquely in the market, five pages of catalogue ? making it an suitable for retailers who want to promote in-store ranges or store specials.
Easybiz typically costs less than $1,000 pa to deliver its benefits to growing businesses.

SMS Concierge Service For Travellers From Loop9

By Branko Miletic | Monday | 02/06/2008

A BSI Client, Melbourne-based IT company Loop9, has now put vital day to day and minute to minute - information literally into the palm of the business traveller?s hand, via SMS to their mobile phone, courtesy of its new development Travel Messenger.

It covers 200 countries and 3000 cities around the globe. So if users want flight information, travel warnings, hotel details, essential foreign phrases, currency exchange rates, weather updates, news updates, entertainment information - it can be sent straight to their mobile phone via SMS 24/7.

And, flight wise, users receive flights reminders, information on flight delays, gate changes and other vital information affecting their departures.

Travel Messenger is simple to use; users just register through their corporate travel agent. There is no complicated software to download, as it is all based on SMS.

See www.loop9.com.au

Booking Angel - Pay per View - exciting Investment!!

Letter from the founder and CEO Dean McEvoy to me this week
Just wanted to bring your attention to an article in the New York Times on Booking Angel. (No it’s not an April Fools joke ;-) It is great they picked up on it only a week after going live in the US with www.boorah.com and before we have gone live with www.la.com and their sales force. For those of you in Palo Alto – you can book a local restaurant here http://www.boorah.com/restaurants/c/133/CA/Palo-Alto.html (Let me know if you have some feedback). We will be live with over 4000 restaurants in the next month across Los Angeles so stay tuned for this and even more exciting developments as we jump into the US market.

The American sites join NineMSN’s www.yourrestaurants.com.au, www.eatability.com.au and recently www.my247.com.au as users of our easy online reservation system.

Its been long hours above and beyond the call with the whole team. - our programming team Gerry Tan, Dave Watson and Jarrad Kabral. Brilliant persistence from our VP of Business Development Alex Daniel as well as lots of help along the way from people like Peter Love, Chris Martin and David Varnes plus our other suppliers, mentors, investors (ADI, Information City, various individuals, family & friends, Visa & American Express ;-p) and partners. It’s just the beginning but just wanted to give you all an idea of the people behind Booking Angel and publicly thank them.

Hope you are all well. Look forward to catching up in Sydney or the US in the next few months. I used this really cool predictive search engine from Google to see what might be written about Booking Angel in the future. You should check out what it can predict for you http://www.google.com.au/intl/en/gday/index.html

Regards

Dean McEvoy
C.E.O & Founder
Aus Office: Suite 301, 55 Holt St | Surry Hills, NSW, 2010
p 1300 367 148 | d +612 8005 0215 |
m +61 414 421 978 |f. +612 9475 0632 |


U.S.A office: 6464 Sunset Blvd, Suite 610
Hollywood CA 90028 |+ 1 408 540 6437

dean@bookingangel.com | Skype:Bookingangel.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ivans Advice to the Entrepeneurs at Cebit 08:-

Focus on the P’s of the Entrepeneur

Passion
Pitch – Invest in getting your elevator 30 second pitch right – have a pitch for every occasion – for an investor , for a customer and for a potential employee – as an entrepreneur , you are constantly selling!!
People – Hire slow and fire fast – focus on the best people. Make sure you look after them , take them for lunch, communicate with them , show them that you care – it’s the little things that count. Founders are generally technically oriented – know when to change the guard – example eway Tony Mcgrath – has built his business to 20 people… both founders were techos – 6 months ago hired a sales and marketing team – and sales have gone crazy!!
Customer focused and Sales and Marketing is key – Jason said that Customer Service is important for all in organization to get involved in as this is free focus groups… be on same wavelength as your customers. Develop relationships with them .
Planning – is key – with knowledge of where you are in the business cycle –
Penossa – make sure you have enough cash to fund your growth – growth = cash burn – if you cannot afford organic growth – make sure you have a group who has deep pockets who are supporting you or you will get crunched… cash flow cash flow cash flow!!
Point of Difference – is key – why are you different from the competition – why are you going to hit the home run!
Persistance and staying focused – keep going (however , ensure that when climbing the ladder – you are climbing up the right wall! (also know when to quit!!)
Network Network Network – develop relationship with advocates of your product, networked groups, consultants, advisors – they will help you inject your business into the ecosystem – get them to buy into your dream
Don’t be scared of giving your investors a great return on their investment . If you do this , they will invest in you again and again.
Always try to climb on the back of giants – align with organizations that will make you look bigger than you are

focus or fail - Mick Liubinskas Pollenizer cebit 08

Mick Liubinskas - Pollenizer Helps companies with there technical strategies and then gets involved and implements them!

1 in 100,000 companies will hit that home run - to do that - one of the key things is to be laser focussed

kazaa millions of downloads... but failed because of no focus. too many distractions, 300m downloads, millions of users - but underachieved
facebook facebook - 3 features, 20,000 people - very focussed

there is ++ competition - to be succesful - you need to have laser focus - or get crunched by the competition

customers like the fact that you are laser focussed
there are 3 things that get you focussed -
sacrifice, sequence and focus on the core vs the crap

sacrifices - there are many choices - rather be narrow and deep vs wide and shallow

example - Atlassian - being laser focussed - created a big business in a target area.

2. Get Sequences right -

1. University
2. Lots of Universities
3. Highschools
4. Workplace

Booking angel - pay per booking 0 initially focussing on one market - restaurants
Martian Logic - initially focussing on recruitment companies

social business
1. individual value (wifm)
2. group value
3. community value

If too many balls in the air - too busy juggling than focussing on your core strength and making that happen

Get your core utility right - the absolute must have - get this cranking and you will win
then the support
outer circle mostly crap - but where ++ money is spent

How to Focus:-

1. Know your purpose
guy kawasaki - know your meaning - what you are about

2. test test test test

3. patience and persistance - keep turning the crank and don't give up.

Jason Calacanis on Entrepeneurship cebit 08

JASON CALACANIS – Founder and CEO of Mahalo.com (Sequoia Capital Adviser
Mahalo.com is a human powered search engine focused on search terms including travel, products, news , entertainment, sports, food and health. Cofounderd Weblogs Inc that he sold to AOL in Nov 2005, then GM of AOL’s netscape… strong insight into the internet calls a spade a shovel…

Jason spoke about the need to only hire excellent if you are to succeed… hire the good is not enough. The beta between average and good is too small.

Hire slow and fire fast!! Get rif of “the bad people culture”
Hiring exceptional people lowers the management burden so they can then focus on the strategic.

Customer support is key as this is a free focus group. Jason makes himself available 24/7- that is how he learns what his customers are thinking.

Jason gave an excellent Ying and Yang description of the Internet:-

– An entrepreneur is not paranoid – he is strategic. People ARE after your market share and your demise. Develop strategies to prevent this

– An entrepreneur is not narcissistic – he is confident (people are just jealous!!)

– An entrepreneur is not detached – he is stoic – an entrepreneur needs to be focussed

– An entrepreneur is not stubborn - – he is resilient. If an entrepreneur does not persist – he will get his ass kicked!!

– An entrepreneur is not obsessive – he is thorough needs to be detailed

– An entrepreneur is not unbalanced – he is committed

– An entrepreneur is not crazy – he is brilliant

There will always be people who will say why something will not work….

Computing in the Cloud - Paul Slakey – Director Google cebit08


Paul gave an enlightening talk on "Computing in the Cloud"

Gems from discussion:-

1. Soon we will be able to communicate on the web in any language in any time – 67% of internet users not English speaking – translation real time – (ik comment:- tower of babel?)

2. The new imformation supply chain – Energy is KEY…

Scale is like we have never seen before - Storage capacity – becoming unlimited – you tube is currently receiving 10hrs of content per minute – scale matters… google built a datacenter and are continuing to build datacenters around the world….(IK Comment:- is peer to peer goingto make this redundant?)

As you Scale – cost per user less cost per revenue more

Energy is a bottleneck – solar panels are now on all buildings and parking lots – 30% of peak energy needs can be supplied to headquarters… will be the same for datacenters around the world.

Millions are being invested in renewable energy – Google believes renewable energy will be cheaper than coal in 10 years…. Who would have thought that renewable energy and corporate computing linked

3. Democratization of Capabilities
the world is flat – 3 guys in Mackay can compete strongly by plugging into the grid…..

through adwords – ads used to be for big advertisers – auction system has leveled the playing field – where a company can bid for a key word…. David can compete with goliath…easy to work out roi….

Little company using google – can be conceived as a player on a global scale


4. Consumers driving business vs corporate – iphone best examples of consumer innovation…. There is now better innovation at home vs at work.

Vendors need to compete for mindshare. Those vendors who make interfaces easy will win.

Mobile web browser – safari browser 71% - because its easy to use… creating a new market – getting people to access web through mobile device – it is easy –
In India – many wont have a laptop – they will access the web through mobile


5. SAAS – whan is the tipping point

– Connectivity – now going away – broadband cheaper – more people getting access
– User Experience – needs to be easy – quick – one click of a button – easy is going to win.
– Reliability– multihoming for gmail - gmail in more than 1 server and place – more reliable than typical corp gmail service
– Offline access – offline gmail – google gears – any web app and make it available on line. Offline for docs and spreadsheets – steep innovation path
– Security – 10% of laptops will be stolen 60% corp data in nprotected pcs and laptops 68% of corporates laptops most risk
Missing laptops 20,000 names
Agilent – 51000 employees were stolen…..
Clouds at Work in Government (commercial off the shelf)
10/15 us cabinet agency use google search
Thousands using google earth
Who do you trust?

Bankers, accountants, outsources, payroll outsourcing

Can people get compfortable outsourcing their corporate data

SAAS companies like google will need to earn the trust.

6. Google bought POSTINI – start up –

Service you can buy – simple – once up and running works…. Now under google apps brand – customers doing filtering – now have email hosted in cloud.


7. Last thoughts on CLOUDY future

On premise software is not going away –
Innovation will be “in the cloud”
Market will have ++ competitors
Your new employees – are the cloud generation. Digital natives – 11yr old – digital natives – never read instructions – know digital intuitively –

Expectation in workforce – cloud computing will be in the business world….

Where will they be employed?

Google need to earn your trust. Data to be held in a region – to be in area where there is economies of scale…..



SAAS70 –
The iso9000 for saas and the cloud….

Cloud computing corporate arena.
People will buy from someone they can TRUST!!

(ik comment:- For BSI – there is an opportunity for google to sponsor our innovation forums/technology launchpad etc….

(ik comment:-If Google has all this information – have they got more power than governments? Is this a bad thing or a good thing? What happens if google is forced by governments to share data? )

jason calacanis on how a startup raises money



Jason has a bunch of tips on how to do this for business. Among them:

Buy Macintosh computers, save money on an IT department

Buy second monitors for everyone, they will save at least 30 minutes a day, which is 100 hours a year... which is at least $2,000 a year.... which is $6,000 over three years. A second monitor cost $300-500 depending on which one you get. That means you're getting 10-20x return on your investment... and you've got a happy team member.

Buy everyone lunch four days a week and establish a no-meetings policy. Going out for food or ording in takes at least 20-60 minutes more than walking up to the buffet and eating. If you do meetings over lunch you also save that time. So, 30 minutes a day across say four days a week is two hours a week... which is 100 hours a year. You get the idea.

Buy cheap tables and expensive chairs. Tables are a complete rip off. We buy stainless steel restaurant tables that are $100 and $600 Areon chairs. Total cost per workstation? $700. Compare that to buying a $500-$1,500 cube/designer workstation. The chair is the only thing that matters... invest in it.

Don't buy a phone system. No one will use it. No one at Mahalo has a desk phone except the admin folks. Everyone else is on IRC, chat, and their cell phone. Everyone has a cell phone, folks would rather get calls on it, and 99% of communication is NOT on the phone. Savings? At least $500 a year per person... 50 people over three years? $75-100k

Rent out your extra space. Many folks have extra space in their office. If you rent 5-10 desks for $500 each you can cut your burn $2,500 to $5,000 a month, or $30-60,000 a year. That's big money.

Outsource accounting and HR---such a no brainer.

Don't buy everyone Microsoft Office--it's too much money. Put Office on three or four common computers and use Google Docs.

Use Google hosted email. $50 or free per user.... how can you beat that?!?! Why screw with an exchange server!?!?

Buy your hardest working folks computers for home. If you have folks who are willing to work an extra hour a day a week you should get them a computer for home. Once you get to three hours of work a week from home you're at 150 hours a year and that's a no brainer. Invest in equipment *if* the person is a workaholic.

Fire people who are not workaholics. don't love their work... come on folks, this is startup life, it's not a game. don't work at a startup if you're not into it--go work at the post office or stabucks if you're not into it you want balance in your life. For realz.

Get an expensive, automatic espresso machine at the office. Going to starbucks twice a day cost $4 each time, but more importantly it costs 20 minutes. Buy a $3-5,000 Jura industrial, get the good beans, and supply the coffee room with soy, low fat, etc. 50 people making one trip a day is 20 hours of wasted time for the company, and $150 in coffee costs for the employees. Makes no sense.
Stock the fridge with sodas---same drill as above.

Allow folks to work off hours. Commuting sucks and is a waste of time for everyone. Let folks start at 6am or 11am and you'll cut their commute in half (at least in LA).

Go to each of your vendors every 6-9 months and ask for 10-30% off. If half of them say yes you'll save 5-15% on fixed costs. People will give you a discount if they think they are going to lose the business.

Don't waste money on recruiters. Get inside of linkedin and Facebook and start looking for people--it works better anyway.

Really think about if you need that $15,000 a month PR firm. Perhaps you can get a PR consultant to work on 2-3 projects a year for $10-15k each and save 75%. More PR firms are wasted half the year while you build up your product anyway.

{I'm going to add a couple more of mine as I remember them }

Outsource to middle America: There are tons of brilliant people living between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York who don't live in a $4,000 one bedroom apartment and pay $8 to dry clean a shirt--hire them!
for more information see http://www.calacanis.com/2008/03/07/how-to-save-money-running-a-startup-17-really-good-tips/2#comments

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Can Digislide be a Home Run?

Digislide is close to achieving its goal through the commercialisation of Digismart.... a microprojecor for your mobilephone or laptop for more information... press http://www.digislide.com.au/consumer/digismart.htm
video

Saturday, May 17, 2008

BSI April 08 Investor Forum - Westin Hotel

BSI held its 23rd Investor Forum, and showcased 8 Great Innovative Companies to 150 + HNIs, Angels, Investors and Funds in Sydney and Melbourne. Fr More infomation see http://www.bsi.com.au/corporate/preview.asp?id=167

video

Heidi's 16th Birthday

videoHeidis 16th Birthday - Brunch at the Kayes for 65 hungry teenagers...much fun!!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The VCs Lament

Below is an article that was on a friend of mine's Blog - Gordon Whyte.... Gordon... thanks for the article!!



Your Equity Isn’t a Payment, it’s an IOU


by Wil Schroter who is the Founder and CEO of the Go BIG Network

Hello there young entrepreneur, I’m your investor. Remember me?

I’m the guy that sat in front of your heartfelt and emotional presentation to raise capital for your business. I listened closely to your entire plan, and made a few comments about what I didn’t think would work. You of course ignored my comments and assured me that with the right amount of my money, you’d be able to solve all of your problems.

I wrote you a check, you spent the money, and those problems haven’t gone away.
So aside from all of your promises of future riches, you haven’t paid me back. And, you know, the reason I wrote you that check was to create more money than I started with, which hasn’t happened.
You see – giving me equity in your company wasn’t a payment, it was an I.O.U.

Your Currency is Worthless

Giving up that equity may have felt like a payment. You may have felt like what you were giving up was an actual asset that had real value. We signed agreements and created a currency that was backed by your promises and intentions. I swapped my currency for yours. Now yours is losing its value - fast.
You may have thought those promises you made were going to be forgotten about or displaced by other promises. In fact they weren’t. Unlike the currency I gave you, I couldn’t spend your promises to hire my friends, find a fancy office or buy everyone new laptops. But you did.
Now I’m stuck holding the bag with the useless currency you gave me while you’re out trying to print new currency with even more promises. I’m sorry, I’m not buying it.

Remember these Guys?

Perhaps you may have forgotten about our arrangement, but maybe you’ll remember these guys – your employees. What? You don’t? Allow me to jog your memory.
You may recall an evening over more than a few beers when you convinced them to quit their existing jobs to go work for you. You told them that even though they would be giving up a steady income with an existing company, the money they would make from the stock options you gave them would far outweigh the risks.
They went back to their families and took your sales story with them. They convinced themselves and their loved ones that the opportunity you had for them was real. Soon thereafter they were missing family dinners, soccer games, and any time they ever had with their friends. They were pretty confident that you’d make good on that little I.O.U. you created after that last beer.
Just like me, they seem to be wondering what happened to all of those promises. They’re wondering how you expected to pay them back for all of the investments they have made in you. By now they’ve figured out that no return is going to pay them back for the time they’ve lost with their friends and family, but they sure would like to think a payout might help them create some more time in the future.

We’re Not Done Here

Maybe somewhere along the line you forgot the basic mechanics of an exchange, so let me re-educate you. When I hand you something of value, in order for the exchange to be equitable, you need to hand me something back something of equal or greater value. Unless we finish the exchange, which involves you giving me something of value, we’re not done here.
In fact, unless you give me something back at all, it’s not even an exchange. It’s probably not theft but it’s certainly not charity, and I’m not feeling like Santa Claus right now, so it ain’t a gift, that’s for sure.
In order for us to complete this transaction, and in order for you to make all of your debts right, I need you to fulfill your promises. I need you to dig down and find all of the energy, enthusiasm and focus you had when you accepted my check and think about getting that money back.

You’re not Alone


Although times are tough and you’re feeling the pressure, you may feel like you’re the one with everything to lose. Truthfully though, you’re not alone. You may be the most visible person in this transaction, but if you quit on us, we all lose.
It took all of us to start the exchange and write that IOU, and it’s going to take every one of us – your investors, your employees and even your customers – to make good on your big promise to us.
We realize that you need us as much as we need you, so we’re here to support you in any way you need us to. We just ask that you don’t forget about us, because we can absolutely assure you – we won’t forget about you

Monday, April 07, 2008

Golfing In NZ

What a way to start April 08.... Golfing around NZ with the boys... Do you know how to make a U Turn?

Friday, March 14, 2008

How to make your website work

How to make your website work



Audience found out how to get the best performance from their website! Our experts, Scot Ennis and Andy Jamieson, discussed how to generate the largest return on online marketing and give insight into Search Engine Marketing, including Search Engine Optimisation and Pay Per Click Advertising.
They presented case studies from companies like Fairfax Digital and eBay.
An extensive Q&A session and free on the spot evaluation of websites followed, that gave the participants an insite of what they needed to make their website work.

Salt Jan O8



Australian Jewish Doctors Association in Salt - Northern NSW - a great time was had by all