Archive for the ‘Resources’ Category

15May – The career sharing network.

Have you ever wondered what the people working around you are making but are too scared to ask? Springraise might just be for you. It’s dubbed as a “Carreer sharing network” and let’s you track your “career curve” and compare it against others in your industry with similar experience levels as you.

Springraise isn’t quite let yet (launching May 21st) but you can see a preview of the app below.

Click for larger version.

So how does it work?

1. Enter your full background and employment information (past and present)
2. View your career over time to see how you compare to others like you
3. See the careers of others like you (in one click) and compare your career to theirs
4. Perform scenarios to see your career prospects
5. Discuss with others to learn how they made their career decisions

This video should give you a bit more of an insight to the concept and idea. I’m looking forward to seeing this one in action.


12May – Social desktop backgrounds.

Some of you may have already heard of Desktop Nexus. They’ve been around for a while but this morning they released a new version of the site with some sweet new features. Building on top of the basic format the site now has a much higher emphasis on the community.

If you hadn’t already guessed the site boasts a massive selection of free to download desktop backgrounds. I spoke with 21 year old Harry Maugans this morning and found out a bit more information about the origins of Desktop Nexus.

A long time ago I ran a BMW forum, and we had a small wallpaper section. Well, that section grew shockingly fast, and I realized the demand out there for good wallpaper sites (not many exist). After that realization, I set out on a two year campaign to create the top source for computer wallpapers online. We want to become the household brand name, where everyone goes first (and last) whenever they get tired of their computer background.

This new version has taken almost a year to complete (the first, basic version took roughly two months). I’ve been messing around with the system for the past little while and there are some really quality wallpapers over there. It’s also a very useful site for finding twitter backgrounds.

If you feel your desktop background is a little un-inspired, head over to Desktop Nexus and change it.

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09May – Quick and easy domain search.

Domize is a very useful tool for brainstorming domain names. I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point or another. Trying to find an available domain name for a new project and wished there was a quicker way to do it.

There have been lots of domain search tools out for as long as I can remember but domize concentrates heavily on speed. Dubbed by mashable as “The Fastest Domain Name Search ever” and I would have to agree.

You just start typing in a domain name and the domains are checked on the fly. If domains are indeed taken you can hover your mouse over the extension and a nice little preview of the site is popped up.

This is useful because sometimes taken domains have “for sale” landing pages which you can check very quickly.

The site was developed by Genbook product director Anson Parker. I exchanged a few emails with Anson and he told me a bit more about the story behind Domize.

I built Domize as a side project over a few nights because I wanted a faster, simpler way to look up domain names. I am often brainstorming ideas for web applications and always enjoy finding a free .com domain name to go along with that idea. I have only ever built out a few of these projects, but have somehow collected around 50 domain names in the process.

While there were already some ‘instant’ domain name tools out there, I found them clunky, full of ads and basically just no fun to use. There are also concerns that some of these tools are simply a way for people to steal ideas for good domain names, which is why I wanted to make Domize an encrypted SSL application by default.

Domize also has support for iphone users so you can check for available domains anywhere. It’s a very useful tool so check it out.

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07May – Doing it for the little guy.

I recently got an email from Jim Benton informing me about his new “social guide to Chicago” (for lack of a better phrase). The site is based on the wiki model meaning anyone can come and add or edit any of the information on the website.

Jim had the idea about two years ago after being dissatisfied with the current listing options in Chicago.

I was trying to find a list of thrift stores in Chicago a few years ago, and I was unable to find a decent list anywhere on the internet- I found this surprising. Also, I have always been annoyed by most of the existing local search options, as when I search for ‘coffee’ I get about 20 Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts. I found this frustrating, because in Chicago we are lucky to have lots of excellent places that roast their own beans, but they are always buried in search listings. I wanted it to be easy to find the places that make Chicago a unique, interesting place to live.

It’s really great to see startups harnessing the knowledge of groups of people to help other people, and small businesses out. The indylist does this wonderfully.

To date the only money spent has been on hosting although I was told that if someone wanted a similar site developed it would have cost roughly $15k.

Starting off on his own, Jim is now working with 3 others on the website. Justin Siddons, Jon Sestak, and Phil Kalas. Justin handles the graphic design work, Jim does the programming, and Phil and Jon are taking care of the business and marketing aspects of the site.

It’s a great little startup and they’re doing some good things that are benefiting a lot of people. If you live in or are planning on visiting Chicago check them out and give them some love.

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Making a million isn’t actually that hard.

By Jon in Resources, Video with 5 Comments

David Heinemeier Hansson, partner at 37signals recently gave a wonderful talk at the recently held startup school. In the video posted below he gives a refreshing talk on how so many people are blinded by raising funding and selling their startup people have forgotten how to make a solid, profitable business.

There were also some other great videos that are worth checking out. (Be warned, I spent almost an entire evening watching these so only check them out if you have some time to kill). You can check out the other videos here.

I’m sure you’ll agree, he makes some very good points. Make something people want, charge money for it, profit. Although it does make it sound frighteningly easy.

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