My recent time on the mic was either churning out Beatles or Disney classics, or giving my tuppence-worth on the past, present and future of location-based activity. Luckily the two remained separate. I had a great time at the dreamstake.net/Ordnance Survey event at Google Campus last week – ‘Location, Location, Location – Mapping your Route to Success’.
They kindly asked me to present on location-based technology and provide a bit of an intro to the life of StreetPin. Lots of great guys and good for me to practise my public speaking! Something I’d definitely recommend to start-ups is to get out there and people like Dreamstake are a good, friendly group to help you network and give you a go at waffling on stage (air guitars are optional).
Good old-fashioned roller coaster
As CEO/founder/dogsbody – I’ve spent far too much time chasing investment lately – it’s a full-time job trying to get early stage funding. This journey presents a huge amount of ups and downs and with the increased danger of putting all eggs in one slow-moving basket, we must keep plenty of plates spinning at any one time. This takes time, creativity (there are a lot of people doing the same) and a hell of a rhino hide. It’s sometimes personal, but invariably there are a myriad of factors that will mean the wait for a call back is, well, pretty long.
To be honest, if this was another business, the customer service would invariably be seen as far less than par. As an entrepreneur you’ll inevitably spend hours sourcing, getting introductions and applying for all kinds of things, many of these do no more than acknowledge your mail. So right now, there are some very exciting options under way, but no more cold-calling and form filling for me for a while. I need to knuckle down, get the detail right and focus on the original task of user experience.
The fairground gazette
We’ve just started looking at partners for our forthcoming launch-proper. Very exciting, not least of which the selection of options, ranging from self-funding to a few bells and whistles if the cash comes through. First PR meeting will follow this week – will let you know…
This would be pretty darn handy right now. There are an increasing amount of tricky options, and as such I’m looking at options for mentoring. I’ll let you know how this goes, but my initial interview for the pairing of minds felt a little like a match-making process of another nature – hope I was in the correct room, or the meeting might be pretty amusing. I’ve got my first ‘hook-up’ towards the end of the week, again, will let you know…
Tin can alley
This seemingly simple game, actually becomes pretty tricky to fully complete. Coincidently, so are many intermediary fundraising sites, see where I’m going here? There are a great many ways that these guys will (with the best possible intentions), separate you from your battle fund with various promises of greatness and success. I’m actually really tired of form filling at the moment, so those sites with limited visibility of who you are being put in contact with, have dropped to the bottom of my to-do list – I don’t want to be sending my words of wisdom off in to the ether unaided, or un-quantified.
Hook the (magnificent) duck
In industry news, Facebook has gone native! Those of you who use the iPhone Facebook app have probably been a bit miffed of late with some pretty considerable latency issues – I gave up using it for catching up with friends due to speed. This was largely due to them ‘wrapping an HTML version in an iPhone app’. To give them credit, they have listened to feedback and gone native, so your app should now be pretty speedy, or at least faster than before. It only took their hundreds of developers this long to release it….
To sum up my pier experience, the pinball analogy often seems quite apt. You go flying up the start, bounce from side to side, sometimes hit a blocker, go down hole or two and end up at the bottom. Sometimes you hit multiple blockers, but from all the frantic flying around you are essentially accumulating more and more points. You might get the top score, but every now and again, I’d like to just sit on the teacups and enjoy a smooth ride.
Social media tip
Many of you will have on/offline businesses or some kind of marketing collateral. Have you got a QR code? There’s a lot of debate about the use of these, but if you’re advertising in print, or have some kind of media in front of a static audience (a bus stop, or on a menu for example), curiosity will probably get you a fair few leads. How about directing these mobile-savvy customers to your Twitter or Facebook page? Of course this will soon be your StreetPin page :)
Getting a QR code will take you less than a minute and it’s free on lots of sites such as http://www.qrstuff.com/ – why not give it a go?
Find out what QR codes can do for your business
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