content top

Salesforce.com Has Remained in the ‘Startup Phase’

salesforce

Salesforce.com has revolutionized the Customer Relationship Management (CRM). They provide comprehensive support for marketing, sales, IR, and HR, all in one central location. These cloud-based services have changed the way businesses operate. In 1999, Salesforce was founded in a small apartment in San Francisco. Their credo from day one: to be the End of Software. This ambitious goal has in many ways been achieved. Cloud computing is the future for many business operations. From fortune 500 organizations, to your local mom & pop store, Salesforce has been transformative. General advancements in technology have been, of course, the catalyst for Salesforce’s dominance. But now that the company employs over 16,000 people and has a market capitalization of $48B, remaining the lean startup in the small apartment is a challenging task. Salesforce, in many respects, has been able to do just that. How?

It begins with the somewhat eccentric billionaire, founder and CEO, Marc Benioff. Benioff spent time interning with Apple during his summer of junior in college. It was there he first met Steve Jobs and became “inspired.” Upon graduation, he worked for Oracle as a product innovator in the sales, CRM, and marketing functions. He grew to prominence early on with Oracle and became known as a disruptor. The status quo was never good enough for him.

He took this dissatisfaction to his newly founded startup, Salesforce. The company quickly exploded, But Benioff was steadfast in demanding innovation at every turn. There were many market opportunities when Salesforce began and they have been consistently taking advantage of them. Some of the products they offer are: Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, Community Cloud, Wave Analytics, App Cloud. These are all, as Benioff initially put it, platform as a service (PaaS).

paas

Salesforce continues to innovate and adapt, meeting the ever-changing market needs. Benioff sums up the company’s outlook and his vision for the future: “Over the last several years, we’ve spent about $4 billion buying over two dozen companies. The greatest acquisition we’ve made is the talent — the innovators that are coming into our company, the ideas, the ENTREPRENEURS — have really impacted us.”

Read More

Run the place your way 😊 🎶

 

Is that not a heart warming promo video?

tl;dwatch Eviivo streamlines bookings from multiple sites onto one platform for small hotels and bed & breakfasts so that owners can spend more time on themselves and their guests. They increase bookings overall, create a website for the business, and even offer discounts on products those businesses might need.

A testament to the quality of their work is their own website. I think their promo video, displayed directly on their homepage, does a good job of explaining what their business does. They incorporate client reviews and ratings and their website is laid out nicely.

Eviivo won the 2015 Internet Business Award (IBA) in the Events, Travel & Hospitality category. It makes sense why. They’ve provided a service which really helps small businesses and value is created all around. That is really central to what makes a good business – using new ideas and/or technology to actually creates value that didn’t exist before.

Read More

EllenTube

 

Well, this post was supposed to be written hours ago, but I got distracted by watching videos from the Ellen Show on EllenTube. With competitors like the online video-sharing king, Youtube, only Ellen Degeneres could have her own video website and somehow keep it afloat.

The website is a hub for all of the addicting clips from the Ellen show. Although EllenTube is a very similar concept as YouTube, it has set itself apart by the website layout, and video categories. The homepage layout consists of image sliders, featured videos, trending hashtags, most recent videos, best user uploads, etc. The color scheme is very colorful and bright, as is the logo, a tv with feet and a color striped screen. The video categories consist of: Kids, Scares, Dance, Cats, LOL, Studios, Celebrity Interviews, Oops, Talented Kids, Ellen’s Favorites and many more. Within each category, the video corresponds with a segment from the show. This makes the video search process for a user much easier because each category is distinct to the Ellen Show. When choosing a video, the website also pushes for the user to share the video on Facebook and Twitter, by placing two large share buttons below the video. By encouraging video sharing, EllenTube is spreading the Ellen Show brand internet-wide.

It is interesting to think about the reason behind this project. Why does Ellen need her own video sharing website? Is there a major difference between EllenTube and YouTube? At first, I was slightly turned off by the project. It seemed a little unnecessary to create an entire website for a television show’s video clips. As I started researching the website and trying it out for myself, I became much more open to the idea. The Ellen Show is known for its laughable segments, charming host, and generosity. EllenTube enhances the Ellen Show’s brand by portraying itself as fun-loving, entertaining and plugged in. And it is easier to get lost in a video binge when the they are all located in one place.

I think EllenTube has done an effective job of promoting the Ellen Show and it’s brand, along with encouraging it’s viewers to say, “just one more video…”

Now back to EllenTube!

Read More

Bouqs

At one point or another, you have experienced  the “oh no, I forgot about my mom’s birthday” frenzy and ordered an overpriced bouquet of flowers from 1-800-Flowers.

Po online flowers companies such as 1-800-Flowers or Pro Flowers, offer flower bouquets and arrangements for any occasion. Delivery is usually quick, but prices are pretty steep.

But then there is Bouq, another online flower delivery company. Bouq has taken a different branding approach. Instead of the cluttered websites with frumpy, feminine colors, Bouq has a clean aesthetic with a young spirit. Aside from their branding, you may be wondering, “how could Bouq be any different than the rest of it’s competitors?” I was asking the same question before watching this video:

Right off the bat, Bouq predict’s their customer’s biggest question. They  tackle this concern by titling their about page, “Our Difference.” By doing this, they are establishing their credibility to their customers and hopefully gaining customer loyalty.

So what are the differences between Bouq and the rest of the overpriced online flower companies? Well, there are four.

  1. Farm (& volcano) fresh flowers.  Not only are your ordered flowers shipped 2-4 days after being cut, they are also cut directly from the side of a volcano or from an eco-friendly American farm. Pretty fancy, right?
  2. Simple ordering. Bouq offers a hand crafted selection of flower bouquets from their floral experts. By charging a flat fee of $40 including shipping, they erase the chance of hidden fees and sell ups. In addition, they offer a 3 step check out method, so you aren’t mentally exhausted by the end of your purchase.
  3. Earth-loving farms. Bouq sources all of their flowers from farms who respect and love the Earth. They only cut what they sell which eliminates the possibility of wasting flowers.
  4. Subscription options. Keyword: options. Purchasing a subscription is completely optional, but will save you money! They offer 3 different packages that offer different services such as regular deliveries, pre-scheduled deliveries for special occasions, or sporadic deliveries for Just Because bouquets. With each package, you save 25% off your order.

So there you have it. When you are in the dog house for forgetting your anniversary with your girlfriend or need a Mother’s Day gift for your mom, try out Bouq!

Read More

Book Your Ticket… Then Find Out Where You’re Going

You may have heard of the European Airline Germanwings on the news when one of its airplanes tragically crashed into a mountain in the French Alps last year. Thankfully there’s another, much more positive, reason to be talking about Germanwings.

In the last several years, the Lufthansa subsidiary has come up with a groundbreaking new method to fill empty seats on flights within Europe. Their blind booking gives passengers rock bottom prices on tickets (starting at €33 euro, about $38)  for flights throughout Europe. The catch is this: passengers buy the tickets before finding out their destination. What a fun idea! After selecting their departure location (currently only in Germany and Austria), travelers then select the type of experience they are looking for: Sun & Beach, Party, Gay Friendly, Culture, Metropolis, Shopping, or Nature, Trekking & Hiking. For a small fee, passengers are then allowed to black out specific destinations (maybe they spent a weekend in Paris last month and want to go somewhere new).

I’d say this is a pretty genius way for airlines to increase revenue: those flights will be taking off whether or not every last seat is filled. For travelers this is an exciting and fun way to travel to a new destination… for under $100.

I’m looking into moving to Germany after graduation. If I end up there, I will definitely be trying this out.

Here’s the link the check it out:

https://www.eurowings.com/skysales/BlindBooking.aspx?culture=en-GB

 

Read More

Due.com

 

“Freelancers need different ways for their clients to pay them, whether it is PayPal, credit card, Venmo, or other similar options. Due.com provides an easy to use invoicing system and a timekeeping ability allowing freelancers to separate projects, and invoice clients individually through many different means.”

 

Due.com online invoicing and billing software offers easy-to-use tools for creating invoices and basic project tracking. Due.com is trying to make both invoicing and receiving money seamless.  Due.com integrates with PayPal and Basecamp and invoices in multiple currencies.   It is currently only available online with an iPhone app in the works.  However, for those of you who are Android users, there has been no mention of an Android app.  I think that once they get the mobile versions running they will attract more users because for me, having things at the touch of my hands is very helpful.

 

Due.com has a freemium model and a premium model (which involves prices that I will talk about later).  The basic freemium model, as well as the paid version, includes widgets called The Dashboard Tab, The Invoice Tab, The Client Tab as well as The Projects Tab.  Each of these tabs have helpful tools in them that could help run your busy entrepreneurship life easy.

 

The Dashboard Tab includes a calendar and list of reports. It is something like a homepage where from here you are able to click to other pages and gives you a quick look at everything you’re working with at once.

The Invoice Tab gives a person a quick look at how many invoices are pending, paid, and the ID numbers all listed out neatly in a chart at the bottom of the page. They are also able to easily click to Recurring Invoices to make sure everything is set correctly. From here a person is also able to create a new invoices.

The Client Tab is a pretty straightforward feature that makes it easy to create an address book of your clients so that you can navigate to his/her contact information and find him/her easily when creating and invoice or a project. You may also notice that there is one Project associated with this client.  From here you can also go straight to The Projects Tab if wanted.

The Projects Tab has two different parts to it: Projects and Tasks.  Here a person is able to create a project and then add tasks to that project. They have the ability to add a budget, client name, due date, and can make edits and changes at any time.

 

To unlock the other tabs you have to pay a monthly fee anywhere from $10/ month, $25/ month, or $100/ month.  Looking into the paid version is something that a larger businesses would benefit because it opens up features like PayPal integration, Invoice Export Options, a Timeline of your Activity, and allows them to add other Staff members to your projects and activity. For smaller businesses or freelance work, the free version is more than enough.  Each paid version offers unlimited project, clients, tasks and invoices. The free version is enough to try some of the main features, but it only supports five clients and two invoices. Also, you cannot send quotes, run reports, create recurring invoices or use PayPal.

 

I have not tried this site myself, but after looking into it and reading lots of reviews, I would recommend looking into getting involved with due.com.  I read many positive comments from people who use it already, and I myself find this site to be very useful.  Definitely something a person who is an entrepreneur and just starting or even a big company that has been around for a while.  Whether you’re cutting grass or running a big business, Due.com could be very helpful for you.

 

“It’s so easy to use and straightforward that it actually does make things easier, which so many tool that try to do-it-all simply just can’t master. It’s intuitive, the navigation makes sense, and it automatically tracks everything for you so you know when something is completed and what’s coming up on your calendar.”

Read More

Rules of The Game

“I love games. I like money. I figured there had to be a way to combine the two.”

~Andrew Tullsen, Founder and CEO, Print and Play Productions

I sat down with Andrew Tullsen, the Founder and CEO of the board game prototype boutique, Print and Play Productions, to talk about his journey as an entrepreneur. He shared the story of his company, and he shared some lessons that he’s learned along the way.

Q: How did you get the idea for Print and Play?

A: I have been playing games all my life. Typical stuff at first: Tic-Tac-Toe, Jenga, Uno, Monopoly, Battleship, Chess, etc. Then I started playing “war games” – Stratego and Risk as well. I discovered the [boardgamegeek.com] community. I had been on the site before, as I was in this variant frenzy for Axis and Allies. I probably had collected a hundred of variants and new rules for Axis and Allies. I coming up with my own, actually. I joined BGG, just to download some higher resolution pictures of some of the Axis and Allies games. About that time as well, I purchased my own computer and received a free printer with it. I spent a lot of time on BGG, finding hundreds of more free games I could print out. My tiny inkjet printer quickly became my new friend. Soon after I began to upload pictures of my own creations. People were asking me for copies for themselves. I realized I could save money by buying paper and parts in bulk. I found I had a lot of excess parts and started selling them to make some side money to support my “free gaming” hobby.

Q: How has Print and Play grown?

Quickly. That’s the short answer. Five years ago I was running this company out of my bedroom. Just this past month we were acquired by AdMagic, we tripled our inventory, doubled our order-load, and hired seventeen full-time employees. I’m glad to have seen the company move in this new direction. For one thing, I get to enjoy a steady salary. I’m the paid manager now, not the twenty-three year old owner who gets paid less than his lowest employees.

Q: What are the three biggest lessons you’ve learned about doing business?

Well, the first one sort of breaks the mold. People say that you should keep family and business separate. I say that’s stupid. Make your family a part of your business if you have that kind of relationship. My two little brothers [Zachary and Jonathan] were my first two employees, and Zachary is still a full-time employee. He’s probably my best worker, and I know that I can trust him. Business is all about trust, and you can always trust family. The second is that you can’t let your ego get in the way. I was really hesitant to sell my company for a long time because I wanted to know that it was “mine”. What I needed to realize is that if I wanted to see what was “mine” prosper, I was going to have to let it become someone else’s and assume a driver’s seat position instead of a mechanic’s position. The third and last thing is obvious, but a lot of business owners seem to forget it. Your customers are your life-blood. Without them, you fail. Make them happy and they’ll make you happy. Sometimes that’s as easy as including a hand-written note and a candy bar with every order. I’ve done that from day one and I still do. Older customers get frequent discounts and free products… and I learn their favorite candy bars. It’s all about managing those relationships.

So there you have it, folks! Straight from the Tullsen’s mouth. From bedroom start-up to booming business – keep your family in the loop, get over your ego, and treat your customers right.

Read More
content top