Text

Great tool for editing mockups. This guy explains it better… 

Text

Every Monday, we take a pithy snippet from New-York based VC Fred Wilson’s blog.

Check out his full MBA Monday post here.

EBITDA: Earnings Before Interest Taxes Depreciation and Amortization.

The way I like to think about EBITDA is the pre-tax cash earning power of the business. It is not much different than the notion of Operating Income which is revenue minus cost of goods sold and operating expenses. But it takes out the two big non-cash items in an income statement, depreciation and amortization.

EBITDA originated in the buyout world where you use a significant amount of debt to buy a company. Since interest costs are tax deductible, you can load a company up with debt and not pay taxes. If you want to figure out how much you can borrow, you look at EBITDA and that is the amount of interest you can pay to wipe out all of your taxes.

Text

Text

Every Friday, we profile an entrepreneur we admire - young, old, famous, emerging - the only criteria is awesomeness. This week, our Chosen One is Sean Aiken. 

In 2005, Sean graduated from Vancouver’s Capilano College with a degree in Business Administration, at the top of his class, and as captain of his volleyball team. Months later, he woke up in his parents’ basement in Vancouver, Canada, twenty-five and directionless. For the first time in his life, he had nowhere to go, and nowhere to be.

Up until then, his life and identity had been spelled out for him in a neat, organized fashion. “The most major decision making I did came every four months, when I’d spend an hour looking at a course calendar and chart my life for the next semester,” he says. 

One day, he was sitting with his family at the dinner table and they began discussing ‘What should Sean do with his life?’ His dad said, “It doesn’t matter what you do Sean, just make sure it’s something that you’re passionate about. I’ve been alive nearly 60 years and I’ve yet to find something that I’m passionate about besides your mother.”

That made Sean think: “How many people are in the exact same situation like my father, in the same job for 30 or 40 years and they don’t necessarily like what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis? I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted it to be something I was happy doing. I made a promise to myself that I would find something that I was passionate about.”

Flipping through the classifieds in the newspaper, Sean started looking at a bunch of different job titles. “They all sounded really cool, but I had no idea what the job would actually be like. That’s how I came up with the idea to start my One-Week Job Project.”

He came up with a plan to work at fifty-two jobs in one year. 

“During my 52 weeks, I trekked more than 46,000 miles, slept on 55 couches, raised over $20,000 for charity, and tried every job I could: Baker, Teacher, Real Estate Agent, Advertising Executive, Hollywood Producer, Firefighter, and more. Wherever I could find work, I’d go there, find a couch to crash on and immerse myself in whatever profession was at hand. And then I’d move on.” 

You can find out more through http://oneweekjob.com

Text

21 things we’re learning at Fab.com - October 2011  

Fab.com features daily design inspirations and sales at up to 70% off retail.

Text

Every Wednesday, we post about a startup event going on in London.

This week, send in your RSVP for Escape the City’s October Meetup, which is taking place at Adams St Club on Wednesday October 26th.

All Esc members who attend this Meetup on Wed 26th October will receive a complimentary year’s free evening membership at Adam Street Club. 

 More details here: http://www.meetup.com/EscapetheCity/London-GB/344492/

Text

Every Tuesday, we talk about a tool we love: this week, we’re looking at GoSquared.

As Techcrunch says: 

GoSquared provides real-time website analytics that lets you to see who’s on your website right now. It has two products: LiveStats and Trends. LiveStats gives a real-time dashboard of a site’s traffic information, while Trends stores all of this useful information and builds simple, easy to understand graphs and tables.

The new version 3 of LiveStats just went live and brings a new interface which focuses around the popularity of a site’s content. The central area shows the most popular pages; the left side shows where your traffic is coming from; and it has and has full Twitter integration so you can see who’s talking about the site in real time.

The right side of the interface shows who’s browsing your site, down to which city they are coming from, which site referred them, and every page they’ve browsed on your site. In addition it shows which pages they’re actively viewing, and how long they’ve spent on each page.”

Text

Every Monday, we take a pithy snippet from New-York based VC Fred Wilson’s blog.

Check out his full MBA Monday post here.

"A revenue-based finance (RBF) investment provides capital to a business by “selling” an ongoing percentage of a company’s future revenues to the investor.  For simplicity, you can think of it as a revenue share type of arrangement. Investor gives capital to company in exchange for a small percentage of gross revenues. RBF lives as a hybrid of bank debt and venture capital. This kind of financing has been around for a while in non-tech industries such as mining, film production and drug development, but it’s recently been gaining traction in the world of growth finance and early-stage technology funding."

Text

No one’s an expert in social media (yet) - but some people spend more time than others thinking about social media. Every Saturday, we share the advice from one of those people. This week, it’s Michael Moore-Jones, entrepreneur/blogger (and past client).

Up until now, firms have got into social media because just by being on Twitter or Facebook they’ve got a huge amount of advertising because they’re “cool” places to be. So even if your brand was something like a toothpaste, you could still get value out of social media. 

But now we’re seeing that “cool” factor start to wear off. You can’t expect to get much from social media just from having a Fb/Twitter account. You actually have to bring value to your users lives and then give them a direct reason through social media to purchase your product.

If you don’t have the resources to do something with a Facebook/Twitter account, don’t even create the accounts. There’s nothing worse than people following your account but seeing that you’ve never used it and you have almost no followers.

If, on the other hand, you can do a big campaign that brings enjoyment to your followers and encourages more people to follow you, then definitely get into social media. Funny videos or just providing information that people find valuable is enough of a reason for people to follow you and learn about your brand. But just posting random tweets/fb updates on any topic just so you’re “doing social media” is absolutely pointless.

I’ll come back to that post I wrote a while ago on social media because I think it’s truer now than ever - http://mmoorejones.com/2010/12/12/where-social-media-is-headed/

It basically says you need to ask yourself 2 things in deciding whether to get into social media in the first place or not:

1. What is my core business? (eg. when I first started my business, what was the problem I was trying to solve?)

Once you’ve answered that, ask:

2. How can the advantages of the Internet (real-time, mass collaboration etc.) help me carry out this core business more effectively?

Text

Every Friday, we profile an entrepreneur we admire - young, old, famous, emerging - the only criteria is awesomeness. This week, our Chosen One is Dan Radcliffe (no relation to the Harry Potter actor). 


Dan graduated from Otago University at age 22, with a Master’s of Business and a Bachelor of Commerce. He then began a graduate training scheme for Telstra Clear. After a week, he quit. 

He knew that working for someone else wasn’t for him, but had yet to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He felt like travelling, and decided that a volunteer holiday abroad would be best.

After extensive research of various companies, he found that the costs of even the most affordable company he could find were still extremely high.

So he moved back to his parents’ farm and worked there for six months to get enough funds together, then went and taught in Kenya for four months, also traveling through Uganda, Tanzania and Egypt.

While the experience opened his eyes, he still could not fathom how the trips could not be done cheaper.

So upon his return home to New Zealand, he started brainstorming. After extensive research, including another six-week overseas trip to establish initial partnerships and staff, Dan launched International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) in late July 2007.

It was born with the goal of becoming the world’s largest and most affordable volunteer travel company. 

Five years later, IVHQ sends over 5000 people abroad annually; to Kenya, Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, Peru, Ecuador, Tanzania, Ghana, South Africa, India, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Guatemala; with five staff in New Zealand, and through its local teams, 350 staff worldwide. 

I heard about Dan’s story through a friend - and interviewed him for a more lengthy article which you can read here.

Favourite takeaways from Dan’s story: he followed his gut instinct (quitting Telstra Clear), tried being in the customer’s seat before becoming the service provider, maintained self-belief and confidence throughout all the ups and downs, and did enough planning to enable fast growth, but paced the journey out over the years.