Category Archives: Ideas / Inspiration

6 Must Read Books For A Lean Startup –

6 Must Read Books For A Lean Startup

As the Lean Startup conversation brings some new experiences and processes to startups derived from Lean Programming and Lean Manufacturing, there are times when folks ask about what books would help then engage in the process more deeply. There are six books that often come up in conversation for one idea or another. Here is a quick list of a core set of books that are helpful for people engaged in taking the next step.

The Lean Startup is the current hot book on the topic. It is a good strategic overview of the conversation and it puts a lot of the pieces in perspective.

The 4 steps is the seminal book for this area. This is Lean Startup Before it was Lean startup and it covers some very important tactical issues around how to approach the market place directly.
It is a bit of work to go thru, but it is worth the effort.

This is the Cliff-notes version of the 4 Steps. It helps simplify and focus some of the conversation.

The Business Model Generation is a fun crowdsourced book aiming at focusing on the process of getting the right questions answered for your business and getting clarity on your business model.

Running Lean is a story of the journey for a startup software company using the 4 steps and the Business model generation to get to the end. Ash tells an interesting pattern and it leads to the Lean Canvas. I have used often to help focus the conversation about a startup.

One of the hardest things for entrepreneurs is to focus on the right thing. Personal Kanban presents an interesting method of keeping focus and getting teams to play together and to as a group focus on what they need in order to make rapid progress.

via 6 Must Read Books For A Lean Startup –


Rewards for users recommending apps to friends | Springwise

buzzdoes is an app add-on feature that pays smartphone and tablet users to suggest apps to friends.

We’ve already seen marketers rewarding the crowds for spreading the word about their product with California-based fashion brand Volga Verdi, which offers its Twitter-using customers discounts based on their number of followers. Taking a different approach to that concept, buzzdoes is a feature that pays smartphone and tablet users to suggest apps to friends.

Companies registering with the startup can add a button to their app which makes it easy for existing users to pass on a recommendation to a friend. The button, which can be customised to fit with the style of the app, takes the user to a list of their phone or social network contacts. Once the suggestion has been sent, the user is returned to the app. buzzdoes aims to make the recommendation process as simple as possible to ensure that user experience is not affected. Sharers who succeed in getting their friends to download the app are rewarded with cash, vouchers, free apps and other prizes courtesy of the startup. Developers pay for each new download they gain, meaning that the cost of each campaign reflects its success. Developers can also earn money from downloads of other apps that come about as a result of the buzzdoes button in their app. buzzdoes is currently offering a free package, which allows for up to 100 successful recommendations, alongside three paid options – Basic, at a setup cost of USD 69.90 for 300 recommendations, Pro, at a setup cost of USD 209.90 for 1,000 recommendations, and Enterprise, at a setup cost of USD 1,190 for 7,000 recommendations.

As any good marketer knows, there’s nothing quite like a trusted recommendation from a friend to help spread a brand’s name, and buzzdoes’ model helps incentives these recommendations. Could your business harness reliable recommendations between trusted sources in a similar way?



via Rewards for users recommending apps to friends | Springwise.

Site helps users choose restaurants based on atmosphere | Springwise

Hoppit is the first site to provide an eating-out search engine which filters its results based on the ambience of each outlet.

Tourists already have a variety of options when trying to work out what to do based on their mood. In the US, UK and Canada the I Feel London site, which groups activities by participant mood — energetic, sophisticated, hungover — is one such example. Taking a similar concept and applying it to restaurants, Hoppit is the first site to provide a dining-out search engine which filters its results based on the ambience of venues.

Based in Manhattan and currently available in 25 cities in the US, each restaurant in the Hoppit database is tagged with one of ten “vibes” or types of atmosphere. These include ‘classy & upscale’, ‘hipster’, ‘romantic’ and ‘cozy & quaint’, among others. Users can manage their search results based on these categories, as well as the type of people they will be dining with – whether friends, family, business associate or date — the food they would like to eat, and the noise volume they would like to experience. Hoppit then displays a list of the nearby restaurants suited to the user’s plans and mood. The service uses “natural language processing technology and algorithms” to sort its data, which draws on existing online reviews. Search results are complemented by food and drink deals through sites such as Groupon and Gilt City, which are shown beside the restaurant options.

Hoppit hopes to takes the hassle out of trawling through online testimonials and also helps outlets connect with clientele suited to the ambience of their restaurant. An idea to adapt for locations outside of the cuisine world?



via Site helps users choose restaurants based on atmosphere | Springwise.

The Creative Finder Adds Embed Function, Suddenly Becomes Great Image Source for Bloggers | Tech in Asia

Last month we told you about Singapore-based DesignTAXI and its new portfolio site The Creative Finder which gives designers, photographers, and illustrators a place online to show off their works. Today we received word from Alex Goh, the founder at DesignTAXI, that The Creative Finder has added an interesting new feature to its repertoire.

Images on the web service can now be embedded on external websites, much as you could with a Flickr image or a YouTube video. The interesting part here is that once embedded, the image links back to the creators profile and features a credit on the bottom that attributes the image to them. Content creators can enable or disable embedding permissions according to their preference.

There’s also a fairly intrusive “The Creative Finder” logo, and that may or may not bother publishers who wish to embed the image. I’d be ok with it, but I’m not sure if everyone else would be.

For bloggers who find themselves in need of stock images, but don’t want to screw around search for creative commons licensed photos, this could an interesting solution. The selection is somewhat limited so far (a search for ‘dog’ only gives 10 results) but this should improve as more people put their images on the site. You can see an example of one of the embeds below:

As The Creative Finder has been online for more than a month now, I was curious to know if the users embed permissions would be switched on or off by default. Alex tells me that the option will be on by default, but they did send an opt-out email seven days before launch. While I’m never a fan of automatically opting-in users to something different than what they originally signed up for, users can disable permissions later, and any embed on the web will subsequently result in an error message.

For creatives who want to show off their work, the site has a freemium model with paid plans of $9.99 per month and $14.99 per month bringing a range of added features over the base plan. And the free plan is indeed pretty limited, as you can only publish up to 10 photos. But with the new embedded feature, it does mean that more people could potentially see your work. Personally, I still prefer to rock my own photo gallery.

In any case The Creative Finder does look like a very promising service. And this new embed feature is a solid step towards making it a little bit better, not just for creatives, but also for those who want to use their work with proper attribution.

via The Creative Finder Adds Embed Function, Suddenly Becomes Great Image Source for Bloggers | Tech in Asia.

Ideosource Invests in Singaporean Edutainment Startup | Tech in Asia

Jakarta-based incubator IdeoSource has made an investment in Kark Mobile Education, a Singaporean startup whose “edutainment” tablet platform has yet to even launch.

The startup’s product, which will also be called Kark, will use interactive elements to help children aged four to twelve learn with its apps. The backing comes as Kark comes close to completing the JFDI–Innov8 2012 Bootcamp, a 100-day long program that propells fifty entrepreneurs from ideas to inception and investment. It hasn’t been made known how much Ideosource is ploughing into the startup, but it comes on top of the “S$15,000 investment for a negotiable equity stake” that comes from the intense JFDI and SingTel Innov8 course. Kark – and the other bootcampers – still have the chance to pitch to a room of investors on May 4th.

Kark’s founder and CTO Bullitt Sezaria, speaking after the IdeoSource backing, said in a press release:

We are delighted to have this support, which gives us the ability to continue building our product after the bootcamp and reinforces what we have believed all along – that games have a great future in the educational industry. We will be unveiling our exciting new product aimed at the family education market shortly.

Ideasource director Andi Surja Boediman described Kark as “a good innovation in digital industry,” and said that the team will support the entrepreneurs “in many ways.”

Kark still has the opportunity to impress more folks and maybe gain even more backing when they pitch at the ‘demo day’ in Jakarta next month. The city has proved to be a great place for the Singapore startup so far. JFDI Asia’s co-founder Wong Meng Weng said today:

We’ve been impressed with Kark since we first met the team in Jakarta. This investment, coming before the official Demo Day, is proof of the progress the startup has made since joining us in Singapore a couple of months ago.

via Ideosource Invests in Singaporean Edutainment Startup | Tech in Asia.

Daily deals offered only during businesses’ slow times | Springwise

Daily deals sites are all well and good for sending a company extra business; the only problem is that much of that business tends to arrive when the company would have been busy anyway. Aiming to help perk up the recurring lulls in an enterprise’s normal activity, ThinkNear targets potential customers who are nearby and entices them with deals right at the times when the company needs them most.

Companies begin by telling ThinkNear about their slow periods, including the range of discounts they can offer during such times. ThinkNear then monitors the local environment for other factors that can also cause slow-downs, such as rain and snow. Either way, when such periods occur, ThinkNear determines the level of discount necessary to get people into the store and it automatically offers the corresponding coupons within popular apps on nearby consumers’ mobile devices. The result: More business, it says, than the store would otherwise enjoy. ThinkNear is free for the first three months; after that, it costs USD 99 per month. The video below explains the premise in more detail:

There’s been no stopping the run of deal-a-day innovations we’ve seen in recent months, but the arrival of ThinkNear and other more narrowly focused services suggests maturity is on the horizon. How could your brand put a finer spin on the daily deals concept?



via Daily deals offered only during businesses’ slow times | Springwise.