Friday, May 27, 2011

Ashton Kutcher -- the Startup Investor

Charlie Rose interviewed Ashton Kutcher at the Katalyst Media TechCrunch Disrupt, which took place in NYC on May 24, 2011.

Its not exactly in the interview below, but according to the New York Times, Ashton Kutcher said:

I look for companies that solve problems in intelligent and friction-free ways and that break boundaries.

Now that's pretty specific, smart, savvy and mature. Kudos Mr. Kutcher!

If you're curious about which startups Ashton Kutcher invested in, they include:
  • Airbnb 
  • Foursquare
  • Path
  • Flipboard 
  • Fashism
  • Skype

...on a side note, at Office Divvy we're courting some international web startups; to bring them to the United States, with the early stage investment and launch done in Palm Coast, FL.  So if you have any ambition to become an Angel Investor for investing in Web & Tech Startups, you should contact us. :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Palm Coast Small Business Assistance Center Manager Joe Roy visits Office Divvy ™

City of Palm Coast recently established a Business Assistance Center, affiliated with the University of Central Florida Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network.

Established as a UCF SBDC sub-center, under the umbrella of City of Palm Coast, the sub-center will be managed by Joseph Roy.

Joe is a Palm Coast resident. He will be the first new area manager for the SBDC at UCF at Palm Coast.

Joe brings thirty years of executive management and operational experience, along with his own entrepreneurial venture experiences to his new position at the Business Center. He served as President, Senior Vice President of Operations, Director of Manufacturing and Plant Manager for several large companies across the United States, improving profitability and bringing forth fresh perspectives and ideas to improve business performance. Joe has a bachelor’s degree in Education from Norwich University, Vermont, and an MBA from the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

Joe was at Office Divvy ™ today, meeting with Ky Ekinci, co-founder of Office Divvy ™. Joe and Ky exchanged ideas on how to nurture and embrace an entrepreneurial, startup, and small business culture in Palm Coast and Flagler County. Joe also met several Office Divvy ™ members in technology and green energy fields.

We at Office Divvy ™ wholeheartedly support City of Palm Coast's efforts in Economic Development and Small Business Assistance. These good moves and all this work may not yield immediate results, but certainly they are excellent steps in the right direction. Have no doubt, good things will happen and results will come, particularly with the help, support, and the involvement of the business community.

Here's Joe's contacts if you have any questions, have a business need or dilemma, or would like to extend a warm welcome to him:
Joseph Roy, Area Manager
Palm Coast Business Assistance Center
UCF Small Business Development Center
At the City of Palm Coast

Related articles:

Monday, May 23, 2011

Twitter deals with the shortcoming of new retweet format

I objected to the new twitter retweet format early on; mainly because it was 'harder' for me to find out who was retweeting my tweets.   As time went by, I kind of got used to it.  Also the new retweet format made one's twitter stream more colorful.  What's that mean?.. It means that I believe a more colorful stream is somewhat an indication of a person who is listening, and who is likely to be a more genuine user.   It's just one more way (yes there are other signals) of instantly knowing who is a genuine twitterrer versus a broadcaster or spammer. 

See my twitter stream here.

However there has always been one serious shortcoming with the new retweet (aka RT) format, that is the burden is on you to find out who retweeted you.  To do that, you gotta log on to the twitter web interface, click on "retweets," and then click on "Your tweets, retweeted." 

In the original format when someone retweeted you, it would appear as a mention (i.e. RT @KyEkinci) immediately on your radar.  The new retweet format doesn't have that ability to signal the original twitterrer. 

Why is so important to know who retweeted you?  Because it is!

Well, obviously it is important, that now Twitter recognized the shortcoming of the new retweet format, and announced that they are enabling email notifications for those who retweet you as well as those who favorite your tweets.

As someone who doesn't want to get many emails (I get enough), I will not utilize this feature; but it's a positive step to recognize an issue, and try to fix it.  A better fix would have been a standalone "retweet" notification on twitter and hootsuite, and tweetdeck etc.  -- you get the idea.

Related posts:

Ky Ekinci : Co-Founder Office Divvyby Ky Ekinci | Co-Founder, Office Divvy
published on Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Connect:  Ky on Twitter  |  Office Divvy on Twitter  |  On Facebook

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday, May 20th: It's Work from Home Day!

Today (May 20, 2011) was Work From Home Day!  ....okay, it was really celebrated only in the UK this year: May 16th to 20th was officially "Work Wise Week 2011" leading to the finale: "National Work from Home Day" which was today, Friday, May 20th.

If you did go to the office today, you missed out on a great excuse to stay at home and enjoy a day working from home.

British newspaper, The Guardian, just published an article titled: Work from Home Day: Let's Do It Again and announced:

" Working from home is a growing trend, with plans to give every employee the right to request flexible working by 2013."

About 50% of the Office Divvy members work from home full time, occasionally dipping in to take advantage of their business location with private offices, conference and presentation rooms, and coworking space within Office Divvy.   

Good idea, and Smart campaign!  
We hope it gets adopted in the  US in year 2012 and onward. 
We'll do our share and help for that.

Logo sourced from Public Sector Nomads.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

6 Simple Rules for Talent in Business

UK Mogul Felix Dennis says there are six simple rules
concerning talent:
  1. Identify it.
  2. Hire it.
  3. Nurture it.
  4. Reward it.
  5. Protect it from being poached.
  6. ...and when the time comes: Fire it!
Common Rookie Mistakes that Start Ups Make is a great article by Herb Schaffner published on BNET. You'll enjoy reading it.

...and remember:

There are six simple rules concerning talent: identify it, hire it, nurture it, reward it, protect it from being poached. And when the time comes, fire it.

Email Productivity Tip (for Desktop Email Clients)

Email and I are not friends... Aside from the fact that I find email a weak way to communicate (particularly when you're dealing with multiple team-members), I just think that there is just too many of it.  Plus it's a constant interruption.

I use Microsoft Outlook, and like most people when a new email pops up in my computer, I see it pop up, and feel obligated to look at it; which creates constant interruption in my world, which is not what I need.

So I developed a new method to deal with this issue, which I think can pass as a productivity tip.  It's new for me, but it's been working so far...

Here is what it is:
I setup my email-download-interval at 25 minutes.  

My outlook used to download every 5 minutes.  Now I'm interruption free from email for nearly a half-hour, which is enough time for me to attack most of my daily to-do list items.

The downside?  You'll have to call me if you send me a really, really urgent email.

Check out the settings below, and try for yourself.  If you need help locating these settings contact me through my office or on twitter.

Do you have other practical productivity tips when it comes to using your email and dealing with it?  I'm most interested in hearing about them...

Ky Ekinci : Co-Founder Office Divvyby Ky Ekinci | Co-Founder, Office Divvy
published on Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Connect:  Ky on Twitter  |  Office Divvy on Twitter  |  On Facebook

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to Build A Local Startup Community in Flagler County

Ky Ekinci : Co-Founder Office Divvyby Ky Ekinci | Co-Founder, Office Divvy
published on Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Connect:  Ky on Twitter  |  Office Divvy on Twitter  |  On Facebook

The "Flagler County Economic Development Summit" concluded on May 13.   A document compiled by the 5 focus groups was presented on the final meeting.  The five focus groups were:
  • Robust Entrepreneurial Environment & Organic Growth
  • Linked Responsive Talent Delivery
  • Maximize Regionalism
  • Strong Target Industry Investments
  • Exceptional Customer Service

Here is the Flagler County Economic Development Summit Presentation as presented on May 13th; which is a compilation of individual focus group suggestions: 

You may notice that the ideas are not perfectly harmonious.  In that sense, it perhaps is a good beginning than a final product, i.e. a clear road map to success.  But it's important to celebrate the effort, and it did take serious effort.

I was involved in the first group to work on "Creating a Robust Entrepreneurial Environment and Organic Growth."

I'm sorry to say that we perhaps missed an opportunity in the focus group I was a member of, to truly champion ideas involving Promoting Entrepreneurship and Encouraging a Startup Culture as a part of this group's suggestions.  Instead a different route was chosen as a collective, which you may have seen in the above presentation.

Flagler County Economic Development Summit - May 13, 2011

Going back to the idea of How to Build A Startup Community... Just as the "Economic Development Summit" was concluding in Bunnell on Friday the 13th, Mashable (the powerful technology-and-web-news portal), published an interesting article titled: How to Build A Local Startup Community by Travis Oberlander.

Mashable article puts forth 5 tips for creating/building a local startup community:

1. Don’t Try to be Silicon Valley:
This tip makes a point to embrace the uniqueness of one's city or community. Don't try to be some other community you are not.  Instead, focus on what your region is known for and involve the leaders of those industries in the Startup ecosystem.

2. Work Openly
This tip is all about the Coworking phenomenon, which is a tremendous trend in Web and Technology Startup as well as Young Entrepreneur and Creative/Technical Professionals circles.  If done right, coworking spaces become incubators and startup accelarators for new businesses and help drive job growth in the area. At Office Divvy, we have been doing coworking and holding free coworking jellies since 2008, which was the breeding ground to many entrepreneurial connections.

3. Get Creative With Regular Events
In the Palm Coast and Flagler County landscape Mixers and After-Hours parties are plenty. They are familiar concepts, easy to host, and easy to attend.  However they become monotonous as easily, and are not always the best environment for building relationships. Meetups, tweetups, coworking jellies, startup weekends and any event that thinks outside of the box are more attractive for the startup community.

4. Find a Local Evangelist
Instead of (okay maybe it's more appropriate to say in addition to) tooting the horn of government organizations and public-private partnerships, recognizing the local entrepreneurs who are dedicated to spreading the word about our community. Embrace what they’re trying to do and support their efforts. These people will attract fresh talent and reach out to leaders elsewhere to promote your engaged and thriving community.  Influential bloggers, and strong local twitter users/influencers also fall into this category.  

5. Pay it Forward
Realize that as a community we are all in this together. Openly support new entrepreneurs or startups in need of help, and that includes my original idea which I proposed to the focus group: A Pledge to Entrepreneurs and Startups by the Flagler County and the Cities in this county.  Also support and celebrate the successes of others. Sometimes all it takes is one success to raise the tide for others.

Travis Oberlander says:
  There’s never been a better time to foster a local startup community. With the right ingredients of dedication, collaboration evangelism and support, you’ll set your startup ecosystem on a path for continuing success for decades to come."
I wholeheartedly believe in that...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Two Core Qualities of Entrepreneurs

According to Susan Desmond-Hellmann, MD, MPH, the chancellor of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), there are two core-qualities of Entrepreneurs.

They are:

Relentless Tenacity

Relentless, impatient personality; and perseverance mixed with optimism.

Being Unafraid to be Embarrassed

Risk-taking entrepreneurs make choices others may find embarrassing, but entrepreneurs must continue to follow their own path.

Are you relentless, impatient, and not afraid of embarrassment? Then you maybe better suited to be an entrepreneur than staying in the good old job-market...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Guy Kawasaki outlines key points to being likable

Guy Kawasaki recommends you be likable if you want to achieve success in the business world.

Regardless of how good your product or your service is you need to be likable.

Key points of starting down the path of likability:
1) Improve Your Smile
2) Dress equal to your audience
3) Have a great handshake

Here's the video from Stanford University's Entrepreneurship Corner: