Monthly Archives: October 2009

A Startup A Day 2.0


I wanted to post a nice Web 2.0 Halloween pic today, maybe a Fail Whale carved into a pumpkin or two people dressed up as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as conjoined twins.  But I just couldn’t find the right one, so I went with the old timey witch instead. If you know of a good one, shoot me a link in the comments.

Speaking of, have you seen the “GuyPhone” costumes?  Nice.

Yesterday I officially announced my return to blogging (thanks for the nice reception, btw – it’s on track to be my most viewed post ever!) and today I wanted to follow up with a quick meta-post about what I have planned for the new and (hopefully) improved ASAD.

First, I’m still going to pack in as many run-on sentences as humanly possible.

Second, I’m really going to try hard to stick to a more regular posting schedule.  I purposefully picked the name “A Startup A Day” for a reason – to put myself on the hook to post on a daily basis.  While life may interfere on occasion, I’m shooting to post every Monday – Thursday, set to auto-publish at noon.

Third, I’m going to alter the content a bit.  Historically, I’ve been pretty strict about only posting startup ideas, no commentary, navel-gazing, or other fluffy stuff like that.  The majority of posts will still be ideas, but I’ll probably put up a few essays or other thoughts from time to time.  Hopefully it will liven up the blog a bit, both for you and (more importantly) for me. 

And finally, the ideas themselves.  This economic shake-down has led a lot of people to rethink the old model of building a web-based startup, where “old model” =

1) Build a website

2) …

3) Profit!

Previously, a lot of my ideas were something that sounded vaguely cool or useful, with a business model duct-taped on as an afterthought.  Instead, I’ll be trying out a new ideation process of starting with the business model, and building the idea around it.

Oh yeah, and one last thing.  In the nearly three years since I’ve had this site, I’ve always resisted plastering my site with ads or anything like that.  No offense to anyone who runs ads, but I just fell it makes non-commercial sites like this feel kinda tacky, and my readership is so small that it’s just not worth it.  But, more for the sake of experimentation than anything else, I might start playing around with some tasteful ways of monetization.  I’ve got a few ideas, but if you’ve seen something work well for a small hobby blog like this, please let me know.

I’m pretty excited to start this thing back up again, and I sincerely hope you like the new approach.  Feedback is always, always, always welcome – post ‘em if you’ve got ‘em.

Sorry, Twitter. It’s Not You, It’s Me.



Back in June, I made the decision to break up with WordPress and post all my new startup ideas to Twitter.  Six months later, I’m walking out on Twitter and returning home to my blog. 


Like any fling, at first it seemed like a match made in heaven.  To heck with all these “words” and “thinking” – with Twitter I could just dash off a few keystrokes and I was done.  Twitter fed my innate predisposition towards habitual laziness and instant gratification. And for a while, it was pure bliss.

But like taking a leggy blonde wearing three inch heels on a hiking trip, the practicalities of the situation soon begin to set in.

Shoehorning my ideas into that 140 character box required me to cut out features, water down the functionality, and strip out all of my color commentary (which may not be such a bad thing for many of you).

For example, take this one (from mid-July of this year):

Idea: OneClick – Mobile app, allows users to perform commonly-used, very specific actions in a single click.(i.e. get directions to address)

Now, in my head I was thinking of something like AppBox Pro, which released in September and has been comfortably perched in the top 50 paid apps list ever since.  If I had more room, maybe I would have gotten the chance to really sell this vision and possibly even given one of you the inspiration to build something like this yourself.  But, instead, I just dashed out the idea in a minute or so and went back to checking myself in the mirror to see if there was any lipstick on my teeth.

As I alluded to in the title, I don’t mean for this to be an indictment of Twitter.  I’m still going to be using it regularly for quick status updates or to notify followers when I have a new blog post ready.  Like most shiny new things on the Interwebs, it’s all about finding the right tools for the job at hand.

So, what’s next for the blog? 

First, I’ve got a handful of Twitter ideas that I’d like to flesh out a bit.  Also, my old buddy Paul Graham has posted a few more idea stubs that I want to tackle.  I’ll keep doing more of the same ol’ post-an-idea shtick, but I may try to experiment with more practical ideas along with the crazy ones.  

And finally…I know it’s against everything that is good and holy in my world, but I’ve actually taken a few trips outside of my ivory idea tower and started coding again. 

Thanks for reading, and, Twitter?  Keep your chin up, kid.  I know it hurts now, but I have a feeling you’re going to be just fine.