You Shouldn’t Have to Pay to Talk To Your Own Customers

37signals’ dustup with GetSatisfaction almost 2 years ago now for bullying marketing tactics is still cited as an example of how, especially when it comes to customer care, the question of who “owns” your interactions with your users (and they with you) is a sensitive subject.

Austin Meeting Hot Spots

If you’ve ever been to the Silicon Valley, or lived there, you know Il Fornaio restaurant in Palo Alto. It’s the spot where all the valley venture guys, startup CEOs, and power brokers went for lunch  back in the 90’s. Come to Il Fornaio in the morning with a backpack full of copies of your […]

The Power of Marketing

When times get tough, companies typically cut budget items with ROI that is hard to quantify. Line items like HR, training, PR, travel, and marketing are typical targets. If you’re thinking about cutting your marketing budget, think again about the power of marketing. Microsoft comes to mind as a good example. It’s hard to name […]

Blog Musings

We’ve been getting an increasing number of comments here on the blog, which is awesome. I choose not to have to approve every comment that gets posted, and instead implemented a really great CAPTCHA plugin. Despite that I get probably one, sometimes two spam comments per day usually related to gambling, pr0n, or little blue […]

Angel Investing in 2009

Now that the new year is here, everyone is certainly hopeful and optimistic about the funding environment as it relates to startup technology ventures. The most common theme that I’m reading is that there is a big expectation that once in office, Obama will initiate some sweeping stimulus legislation that will regain consumer confidence and […]

Facebook Made a Play for Twitter

With a slight pause in Austin tech news during this short holiday week, we’re taking a look at what’s going on nationally to find something interesting to write about. Namely, the revelation that Facebook and Twitter have been in talks since mid-October about Facebook acquiring Twitter for a reported $500M (in Facebook stock, of course). […]

Biff had it right; too bad he was a jerk

Freshtech Friday by Steve Guengerich Remember the “Back to the Future” series from 1980s? In the second movie of the three-part series chronicling the perils of time travel and big hair, the main “bad guy” Biff Henderson, has a flash of insight. A future Biff manages to send an almanac of sports scores to his […]

Bootstrapping a Business in the Freemium Model

On the Austin Bootstrap messaging boards, there was recently a discussion of free and “freemium” business models. Richard MacKinnon of LessNetworks had a very thoughtful response based on five years of running this type of business model. We asked Richard for permission to re-publish here. Thoughts on the Free Model In the early days of […]

What Makes Us Austin

The weekly paper in Lexington Kentucky ran an interesting story by Bill Bishop. Bill is co-author of a book named The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded American is Tearing us Apart. The article tells the story about the beginnings of IBM in Austin, and how the split up the typewriter division in Lexington […]

Legal Representation; Two Schools of Thought

So you’re starting up a technology company, bootstrapping it, and you think that someday you might take on additional capital. Which lawfirm in Austin should you use? This is the dilemma facing many young companies these days. I thought it would be interesting to throw some ideas out there in this post, and then see […]