Archive for September, 2007

h1

Scaling Versus Scoring

September 6, 2007

Jason Calacanis has a very interesting new post up that talks about the tension between building out infrastructure to scale a business and introducing features that make people want to use your product/service in the first place.  Calacanis discusses it as the CEO wanting to announce cool new stuff while the CTO is not sure the infrastructure can handle the crush of people wanting to use the new feature—he uses Twitter as a possible example.

But I think this could be a post about the tension in general when you run a business—how much you promise vs. what you can deliver right now.  On the tech side, the question is whether your software/hardware will hold up.  But think about very non-techie businesses and a similar theme emerges. For example, a small ad agency pitches a big client, gets the work and quickly realizes it doesn’t have enough people to do the job.  In addition to the problem of finding the people,  there will be the issue of paying them, as the new project might promise mounds of money in the future, but will completely drain cash flow today. From the outside you see an agency that just landed a big client and is going places. From the inside you see an agency that might go broke before it ever gets the work done that would catapult it to a higher level of success.

It’s sort of the classic entrepreneurial bootstrap story—overpromise and then stress out on how to deliver. If you deliver, you get the rewards. If you don’t deliver, you’ve disappointed users/clients, and you might destroy your reputation before you even have one.

One thing I’ve always enjoyed about being my own boss is that I no longer feel that dread on Sunday night that I have to work the next day.  I think the entrepreneurial tension is something that drives you to want to work, because it’s an exciting challenge, even if it’s more stress than might be healthy.

e-mail me: adam@bessed.com

Adam Jusko is founder and CEO of Bessed, a Web site promising “search without spam”, thanks to human-edited search results and ongoing visitor feedback. Do a search, offer your comments, submit your site–help create the “bessed” search site in the world.

Advertisements
h1

My Week as Michael Arrington

September 5, 2007

When you’re small and want attention, sometimes you do silly things.

After reading a post last week at TechCrunch called “Attack of the Fake Bloggers”, I got an idea. A wonderful, awful idea. How could it be that TechCrunch was chronicling Fake Steve Jobs and the like, yet no fake Michael Arrington (TechCrunch’s founder if you don’t know) existed?

So I started thinking about a day in the life of Michael Arrington and my first thought was Arrington sitting at breakfast analyzing a banana as if it was a Web 2.0 company. That thought turned into this post, and CrunchFood was born. Arrington himself was nice enough to mention the site, which spurred blog mentions from Fortune, Wired, WSJ’s All Things D, Valleywag and a number of other sites. Much traffic ensued, to my amazement and delight.

It was a lot of fun, but, alas, I have a day job, and I liked the eight or nine posts so much that anything more seemed as though it would ruin the fun. I could’ve come up with dozens of more titles like “Turkey, A Chicken Clone” and had a good time creating fake IMs in which Arrington gets annoyed at Jason Calacanis for saying Mahalo all the time, but, really, what was the point? As a reader, you got the joke; no need to belabor it.

If you happened upon CrunchFood last week, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. If all my work was that much fun, I’d never feel like sticking a pencil in my eye.

e-mail me: adam@bessed.com

Adam Jusko is founder and CEO of Bessed, a Web site promising “search without spam”, thanks to human-edited search results and ongoing visitor feedback. Do a search, offer your comments, submit your site–help create the “bessed” search site in the world.