Archive for the ‘Entrepreneurship’ Category

High Profile Startups to Watch Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

These startups generated plenty of buzz last year, but get ready to hear more in the coming months, according a list posted on Inc.com.

Pawngo: This business is basically an online pawn shop.  You get an offer from Pawngo, and if you accept, you FedEx your item to them in exchange for a (usually pretty modest) loan.  Based in Denver, this startup has already loaned more than $2 million in less than 6 months.  Given the state of the economy now and (let’s face it) in the foreseeable near future, Pawngo is one to watch.  People increasingly use the internet to do practically everything, and since most banks aren’t lending, Pawngo may be the way to go.

Pinterest: While you can browse Pinterest without an account, this invite-only online social platform creates an environment where you can “pin” and share things that you love, usually through images.  Pinterest has something for everyone, including (but certainly not limited to) cute pictures of sleeping puppies, recipes for apple pie, do-it-yourself fashion tips, nature photography, work-out tips, and more.  According to Inc.com, Pinterest has quadrupled its number of visitors since August.

TaskRabbit: Their tagline says it all: “Get just about anything done by safe, reliable, awesome people.”  Originally called “RunMyErrand”, this San Francisco-based startup has received increased financing and attention.  Need help with house cleaning?  Moving help?  Dry-cleaning?  Groceries?  For a fee, there’s probably someone nearby who’s willing to help you out.  All “TaskRabbits” are background-checked, with reviews from community members.

Slice: This online service is free, and helps you organize and track everything you buy online.  You can track orders, save money receiving alerts about things you buy, and manage purchases by backing up receipts.  You can review your purchases and keep track of your spending.  With the shift to e-commerce, services like Slice are businesses to watch.

BlackLocus: BlackLocus is an online service that helps you track your competitors’ pricing.  You can assess your competitors’ pricing strategies, while increasing your own sales and margins by discovering how to price your products in a competitive market.  This summer, BlackLocus received a $2.5 million equity investment.

Expensify: Yet another online service (seeing a trend?), Expensify streamlines expense reports so you don’t have to.  Just like using a spreadsheet, you can rename categories and track spending.  You can also access Expensify on your smartphone.

Birchbox: For $10 a month, customers (primarily women) receive a hand-selected package of beauty product samples, including skincare, hair, makeup, and other products.  Birchbox is less than a year old, but has 45,000 users and is gaining investors fast.

These online services showcase the vast potential and lucrative market of the internet.  People are more than willing to shell out cash to have services or products delivered to them, and because we spend so much time (and money) online, we are increasingly likely to rely on services that help us organize and manage our online activity.  Expect to see more online startups gain momentum this year and beyond.

John Bradley Jackson

Top Dog

The BirdDog Group

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Steve Jobs Saturday, October 29th, 2011

Like many, I was touched by the recent passing of Steve Jobs. Steve was about my age and I also spent many years in Silicon Valley. He was adopted and I adopted a child. He was a marketing guy and so am I. He was billionaire and I am not. OK, I guess that is about all we had in common.

I met Steve about 12 years ago. After my Silicon Valley days, I took a tour on Wall Street with a company called Bowne; the firm helped other firms raise money in the capital markets. As it turns out, Steve’s company, Pixar, was our client. True to form, Steve was a perfectionist who demanded (i.e. screamed for) “new” dry erase markers and bullied our staff relentlessly. The IPO was successful and propelled Steve to billionaire status. For many years, our firm would brag about our role.

Yet, I choose to remember what a jerk he was and how poorly he treated others. Per his official biographer, Steve treated many people or, maybe, most people this way. He rationalized this arrogant and mean behavior because of his intense desire to make things better.

For those of you who missed the 60 Minutes episode devoted to Steve Jobs, here is the link.

Steve Jobs: rest in peace.

 

John Bradley Jackson

Top Dog

The BirdDog Group

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Top Dog Interviewed on Radio Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

Listen to the radio (recorded) interview with the Top Dog from The BirdDog Group,  John Bradley Jackson, with Aaron Barkenhagen of Bootleggers Brewery.  Aaron is a former student of Jackson who has launched a microbrewery in Fullerton, California.

This interview was hosted by Theresa Harvey of the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce.

Issues addressed include:

• What it takes to be an Entrepreneur
• The role of social media in a start up
• How great beer gets made in Fullerton
• How the University partners with local business.

Listen to link dated June 3, 2011 in the Fullerton Chamber archives.

http://beachcitiesradio.com/on-air/friday/the-fullerton-chamber-hour

John Bradley Jackson
Top Dog
The BirdDog Group

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John Bradley Jackson Interview Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Recently I was interviewed by Ashley Wirthlin from the Public Relations Blogger. We talked about marketing and PR in the new normal of 2010 and how things have changed.

Here is a snippet and a link to the blog.

“Niche marketing is about choosing a market that is overlooked or under-served… A marketplace that is served by the big companies, by mass marketers, typically will look over opportunities simply because they’re too small.”

John Bradley Jackson Interview – May 2010

John Bradley Jackson
Top Dog

The BirdDog Group
© Copyright 2010
All rights reserved.

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The Ides of March Monday, March 15th, 2010

The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was killed in 709 AUC or 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman Senate led by Marcus Junius Brutus, Gaius Cassius Longinus and 60 other co-conspirators.  (Wikipedia).

For us in the 21st century, the Ides of March is a rally cry to get on with it, despite the dreary economy that continues to linger. From my point of view, our economic recovery is hinged on making things happen now, rather than waiting for an email with a notice about how things rebounded last quarter.

Entrepreneurship is all about making things better, whether you work in a start up or a large organization. If you reduce entrepreneurship to one attribute or trait it, is creativity. Consider creativity as applied imaginatinon —- a bright idea that was acted upon.

So, let’s get on with it.

John Bradley Jackson
Top Dog

The BirdDog Group
© Copyright 2010
All rights reserved.

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How Entrepreneurial is Orange County? Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Entrepreneurship in certainly well represented in Orange County. Irvine is especially famous for being a hotspot of entrepreneurial activities, especially in the biotech and software industries.

However, where does Orange County stand on the entrepreneurship dimension compared to other regions of the country known for their entrepreneurial activities?  This question is important since it can point to ways of strengthening entrepreneurship in OC. Curiously, no one can readily answer this question, or so it seems.

The CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship aspires to answer that question. Please click on the link and fill out our survey.

http://ocentrepreneurship.com/2010/03/ocentrepreneurship-survey/

John Bradley Jackson
Top Dog

The BirdDog Group
© Copyright 2010
All rights reserved.

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