DomainInvesting.com: Yesterday morning, I wrote about the need for GoDaddy to add 2 factor authentication (2FA) at Afternic to enhance account security. While we are discussing account security, I also think it is important for Escrow.com to offer its customers a form of 2FA for account logins. The potential security issues at Escrow.com and Afternic are… Domaining.com
As an advisor to entrepreneurs, one of the most common requests I get is for an evaluation of a next startup idea. I try to explain that even the most innovative idea will fail if it is not a good fit for you at this time, so the question I ask them is “why you now” rather than “why this solution now?” The right person can make any idea a business success, and the wrong one will always struggle.
The reality is that I can’t judge any idea in your context, because I don’t know your passions, knowledge base, and experiences. If you show me a written business plan, I can assess it from a technical perspective, but that doesn’t tell me if you are the right person to create the business. Thus I can only recommend some context for you to make your own idea and business decisions:
Play to your passions and personal interests. Pick an arena that gets your creative juices flowing, rather than one that everyone says is the next big thing. If your goals in life revolve around social change or the environment, aim in that direction for your startup, rather than maximizing revenue and profit. If you are not motivated, you won’t succeed.
Entrepreneur Tony Hsieh, who founded Zappos, was passionate in his belief that he could “deliver happiness” to customers, before making a profit, through innovative moves like surprising 80% of customers with free overnight shipping. He succeeded well in both.
Trust your background and intellectual strengths. The most successful entrepreneurs focus on solving a problem that they personally have experienced, and are convinced they fully understand. Also the same applies to dealing with the business elements, such as marketing, business operations, and finances. You may need a partner on this one.
Bill Gates learned to appreciate the power of computers at a very young age, but was frustrated that available models were large and hard to program. He invented BASIC and Windows, snagged Steve Ballmer for marketing, and Microsoft helped change the world.
Consider your access to resources for startup efforts. Take a realistic view of your ability to assemble the necessary funding, and attract the right people. Your strengths in physics and electronics may be excellent, but most of us could never attract the funding required for a new microchip process. Maybe you need to start with a smaller idea.
Experts estimate the cost of the first next-generation chip factory to be at least $ 10 billion. Unless you have deep pockets, you probably need some strong connections and support from the people at Intel or AMD before committing your entrepreneurial life to this effort.
Assess the time and effort you are willing to commit. Most startup ideas will fail, if you approach them like a hobby that you can work on occasionally and on weekends. It’s hard to win when other entrepreneurs, such as Elon Musk, are known to work hundred-hour weeks, and don’t have a family to balance. Your time is a critical limited resource.
Count the depth of your relationships with key people. Most successful startups have deep relationships with experts who can mentor and support them, or provide access to critical resources and funding. There is no entitlement in this business. You need to enjoy building the new relationships you need, and nurturing the ones you have, to succeed.
Check your interest in learning how to fill the gaps. No matter how experienced and knowledgeable you are, every startup is a new learning process. If you don’t enjoy learning, stick to ideas and businesses that are “cookie-cutter” versions of what you already know. Your success depends on enjoying the journey as well as the destination.
Test your ability to communicate value to others. Some of the highest potential ideas and businesses require a massive educational and sales effort, which may not be your forte or interest. Very few ideas these days have such obvious value that “if we build it, they will come.” Most startups require leading a team of people, and engaging customers.
So before you make those cold calls to me, or any other constituency, for an assessment of the viability of your next great idea, my advice if for you to take a hard look at your own drivers and resources, per the items listed here. I’m convinced that there are more than enough startup ideas around, such that you can pick one to match your profile, and we all win with your success.
I just received a job offer from a growing startup that recently got another round of investment and got an evaluation of 1.5 Mil. I will be their 6th of 7th hire and they are planning to add about 50 more people in their new office although I noticed a high turnover rate for their previous employees (most of them were interns)
I have been out of a job for almost 3 weeks now and due to covid-19 I am afraid that I might not find another job. I do have some savings that could lasts me more months but I am just scared to use it and my partner is unemployed right now.
The job will only cover our Bills, rent,utilities and food for one person.The position has a lot of room for me to leave a good print and participate effectively in the development of the business, but my question is for that part will it be worth it?
Also I am developing my own startup on the side and building my own website and will be launching it for test in the next few weeks.
My experience is 4 years and I spent it with 4 companies including 1 year with a failed startup that I founded early days in my career. So what i do mostly is in business development/sales and also very small side projects for companies and people who approach me for work( they usually ask me to do it for free and I started to refuse it).
I don't like feeling undervalued because I am a hard worker and I am afraid if I accept that I will be starting all over again for my salary. I am just trying to seek hope that working in this position will benefit me on the long run.what you guys think?
DomainInvesting.com: Domain name theft is a big issue for domain investors. I strongly recommend that investors and other domain registrants enable 2 factor authentication (2FA) on their domain registrar accounts to help secure them. Most domain registrars offer at least one form of 2FA, and several offer multiple forms of 2FA, including text message, au… Domaining.com
Summer and holidays are synonymous. During this season, it is common for all to get distracted with a lot of celebrations and get-togethers. But it is quite common to keep your job search on the back burner during summer. One reason for the same is the misconception that hiring managers will not be available during this time of the year. However, this isn’t true and it can be a good time of the year to carry out your job search.
Reasons to keep up with your job search during the summer
When it comes to the tech job search, employers will be focused on meeting their business goals irrespective of the time of the year. So, there are some reasons that you shouldn’t put a halt to your tech job search during the summer. And, here we have listed some of these reasons as suggested by experts.
#1 Competition is low
A majority of job seekers could decide to give a break to their job search during the summer for various reasons such as busy schedules or the misconception that companies will not hire during the holidays. Eventually, there will be a plunge in the competition in the number of candidates looking for a job. And, there are increased chances for you to be among the few candidates reaching an employer during the summer, which will increase your possibility to be hired by the employer.
#2 Companies are still hiring
Many job seekers believe that companies give a break to their hiring process during this time of the year. But this is a major misconception. Businesses do not change their halt hiring schedules throughout the year but intensify the same at some point in time. Tech companies that are ambitious to achieve their business goals and reach new heights will not slow down their hiring process. And, these companies could be looking for fresh talent to help them boost their business.
#3 Employee perks during holidays
During summer, when the sun is shining bright, it could be challenging for employees to be productive. To motivate them, employers might provide some attractive employee perks as a token of appreciation of their hard work throughout the year. These include flexible working hours, extended long weekends, weekly refreshment cart, team outings, a relaxation in the dress code, and more.
#4 More networking opportunities
While there are holiday parties, community events, open houses, etc. hosted by employers, there will be a lot of networking opportunities. If you are looking forward to a new job, then you can use these events to network with others and get new contacts. You will be able to exchange business cards and ensure that your name is marked in a subsequent hiring process during the holidays. Given that not many people will be a part of the job during the pandemic season, it will be a great opportunity for aspiring job seekers.
#5 Opportunity to serve seasonal jobs
Seasonal jobs are temporary jobs that recur around the same time each year. Businesses with more customers hire seasonal employees during specific seasons for extra help during the busiest times. During the summer, you can look out for such seasonal jobs by networking, applying early, and considering a slew of options available for you. Having said that, the summertime is ideal to get such seasonal jobs. And, during the same, you will also get chances to make it your permanent job and save for your additional requirements.
Take note of the above, and you’ll be sure to nail the interview, and hopefully land the tech job of your dreams. Oh, and be sure to keep and eye on Silicon Canals’ Jobs, for loads of exciting opportunities.
Insurance companies have been around for as long as we can remember, but the lack of innovation has made this industry ripe for disruption. Enter Lemonade (NYSE:LMND), the “insurtech” startup that hopes to make insurance cool again. Fresh off its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in July, Lemonade stock rallied 138% and pushed the company’s market valuation to $ 3 billion.
[This is a sponsored post from our friends at LogicBoxes.]
There are businesses and then there are businesses that build a legacy. What sets them apart, is that they remain flexible to adapt to the ever-changing industry and upgrade their offerings accordingly.
When we think about the web hosting and domain name industry, the first thing that comes to mind is reselling. However, there is more to it.
A reseller, be it a domain or hosting reseller, a domainer or an ISP, can choose to upgrade their business and brand to become an ICANN Accredited Registrar.
ICANN Accreditation is the verified mark or identity of trust granted by the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) in the Domain Name industry. Registrars that are ICANN Accredited are seen as authentic, secure and credible in the industry. In spite of this, many domain resellers avoid getting accredited as they believe it is a lengthy process and a costly one at that. But there are significant benefits to be had in becoming a registrar that help a brand not only grow their business and their customer base but increase its revenue potential incrementally year on year. If you are one of them, here is a quick sum-up of the 6 worthwhile benefits of ICANN Accreditation.
1. Better Consumer & Industry Recognition
A logo can mean a lot of things and as an ICANN Accredited Registrar, the accreditation logo symbolizes trust, integrity and stability. This is extremely important as no Reseller irrespective of their size can match the assurance you provide.
2. Registry Promotions
As an ICANN Accredited Registrar, apart from having to buy domains directly from the registries which isn’t the case as a reseller, you now have a direct channel of communication with registries regarding promos and discounts.
What this means is, you have far greater control and flexibility on how to go to market with your business and also reap the profits you earn from them directly!
3. Registry Marketing Grants
Not everyone is an ICANN Accredited Registrar. If you are one, it helps you stand proud in a sea of Resellers. Moreover, you are qualified for reviewing specialized Marketing Development Funds from Registries. In fact, with the advent of new gTLDs in the market, this trend is on the rise!
4. Leverage the New gTLD Basket
New gTLD is the buzzword in the web hosting industry. One of the key benefits of being ICANN Accredited is that you now have complete autonomy and freedom to offer lucrative and profitable new gTLDs selectively. In fact, you can make this choice based on the needs and demographics of your customers.
5. Domain Handling Post-Expiry
Domain parking can be profitable if only you can park it smartly. As an ICANN Accredited Registrar, you can easily leverage domain smart parking and domain transfer fulfillment. Therein opening additional revenue channels for your business.
6. Complete Control & Autonomy
Having full control of your domain registration business helps you plan and strategize better. With an ICANN Accreditation, you gain complete liberty and flexibility when it comes to facets like support, marketing and all other mission-critical features of your business.
So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today and be on your way to becoming a leading certified Domain Registrar with LogicBoxes!
LogicBoxes, for over 13 years, has been the leader in providing ICANN Accreditation Consultancy services to web hosts, resellers, ISPs and more. As part of the service, we assist you with the entire ICANN Accreditation process as your consulting partner. From building and submitting the application, to setting up your registry connections as a registrar post accreditation as well as managing your ICANN compliance, we take care of everything, so that you can focus on growing your business.
Have you ever wanted to start a side business but hesitated because you knew you’d need a website? Or missed out on customers because your small business doesn’t have a site yet?
If you’re not a tech-minded person, setting up a site can seen confusing and time-consuming if you do it yourself–or expensive if you hire someone else to do it.
Those worries are understandable. However, it’s 2018.
A website is a must if you want to reach your target market, and setting up a website is a lot easier than you may realize, especially if you use WordPress to set it up.
What Exactly Is WordPress?
WordPress is a content management system (CMS), which means it’s designed to help you organize and display the content on your site.
What counts as content? Everything that appears on your site, from the header with your business name to your contact information to your blog posts and tutorial videos. If it’s on your site, it’s content.
(A note about WordPress.com versus WordPress.org, because you’ll see both online: WordPress.org offers the free CMS we’re talking about. WordPress.com offers a free, WordPress-CMS-powered platform for non-commercial blogs which can’t be customized with plugins or custom themes. If you’re running a business, WordPress.com is not a workable option.)
7 Reasons to Choose WordPress for Your Business Website
It may help to think of your website as an empty retail space. Your CMS is the shelving and racks you set up to make sure the contents of your store are organized logically, easy to reach, and displayed attractively.
When you’re choosing a CMS, just as when you pick out store fixtures, you have lots of options—and they’re not all equal in terms of cost, function, and aesthetics.
Here’s why WordPress is the busy, non-techie, small-business owner’s friend.
1. WordPress is free.
Free is good when you’re operating on a small-business budget. You’ll still have to pay for web hosting, and you may want to buy a theme instead of using a free one to change the way your site looks (more about that in a moment), but the WordPress CMS costs nothing to download.
I’m not a technical savant but I’ve set up several WordPress sites, and it really is that easy to get a basic site running and looking respectable. Doing something complex may require some reading and conversations in the support forums, but for most new site owners, going from zero to website in a few minutes is more than enough.
The topic of support forums brings us to the next thing WordPress has going for it.
It also means that if you ever want to outsource your site maintenance, content, or design, there are plenty of developers, writers, editors, and designers who know how your site’s CMS works.
4. It’s easy to make your WordPress site look unique.
Because WordPress’s code is open source, hobby and professional developers are always finding ways to improve it. There are thousands of free and paid themes you can choose from to make your site look the way you want it to.
Think of your theme as similar to the interior decor of a brick-and-mortar store. Your theme will take care of your virtual color scheme, signage, and the details of your site layout. You can search by keyword to find themes that fit your business best, and if you ever get tired of your theme, it’s usually pretty easy to switch to a new theme, although there are some steps you’ll want to take first to keep your site working the way you want after the switch.
5. Create your dream functionality with WordPress plugins.
And because WordPress supports multimedia content, you’re not limited to blog posts and photos. You can embed videos, podcasts, and slideshows on your site with the right plugins.
6. WordPress takes security seriously.
WordPress also makes it easy to keep your site’s software up to date, which is critical to keeping hackers and data thieves out of your site. Some WordPress software updates are automatic, to prevent security vulnerabilities, and you can choose whether you want your plugins to update automatically or whether you’ll handle those updates yourself.
To update plugins and themes, all you have to do is click the checkboxes next to the items you want to update and then hit the update button. The trick is remembering to check for updates, which is why the auto-update option is so useful.
7. WordPress plays well with others.
Even the coolest looking website needs to interact seamlessly with other platforms and with people, so you can get found and make sales.
As for making sales, if you intend to sell directly from your site, WordPress plugin Woo Commerce makes it easy to sell products, digital downloads, subscriptions, and membership access to your site.
And if you ever want to change web hosting services, you can migrate your entire WordPress site to a new host easily, with fewer steps and in less time than it would take you to migrate a free site builder-hosted site.
WordPress: The Right Choice for Your Website
The bottom line is that if you want a site that looks professional, gets results, and is easy to set up and maintain, WordPress is almost always going to be your best bet, especially if you’re not code-savvy and want to get on with running your business.
We’ve learned a lot at Aesthetic about how early stage companies can best leverage design to become more valuable, and we’re excited to share our learnings from working with more than 100 companies over the last 18 months. We hope this will be helpful to the entire startup community, especially founders that are just getting started on their journey who are new to design.
Design: One size does not fit all
Design is a highly diverse discipline, with dozens of different fields and specialties. Similar to software product development, the scope and scale of design teams is highly variant and meant to reflect the needs of the organization.
For early stage startups, design needs tend to follow a similar pattern, then vary based on the specific business model.
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The three most important types of design for early-stage companies
At the highest level, founders of early stage companies should focus on:
Here’s a breakdown of what each of these types of design means:
Product design is the user experience of your service or product. This doesn’t just include software that you build yourself, but also includes every other touchpoint you have with your customers or prospects. Product design isn’t just about creating user interfaces, but also developing wireframes, user research and user experience testing.
Web design is a company’s front door to the world. In 2020, your website is the most basic currency of reputation for every company and needs to make clear what you do and what people should care about. For most companies, a website is the first step to start getting customers.
Brand design is the “why” behind your company’s “what.” It’s how you explain who you are to people, by codifying the way you represent yourself across every surface.
As Paul Rand says, brand design is “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
This isn’t just your logo, fonts, colors, aesthetic and tone, but also the slide decks, emails, ads and one pagers that you put out into the world.
What kind of design should my early-stage company focus on?
How much effort should companies apply to each of these three types of design? It of course depends, but there are some easy rules-of-thumb you can follow:
Pre-product-market fit companies should focus almost entirely on product design, with less effort on web design and brand design. This means spending as much time as you possibly can working on your product, and then bookmarking a few hours each week to make copy edits to your website. Don’t focus too much on the visuals at this stage, but rather your messaging and information architecture.
Early-market-traction companies should maintain focus on product design while beginning to ramp up web and brand design. These companies should develop more website content and begin developing their first marketing channel(s) and content roadmap(s) to activate their audience.
Strong-product-market-fit companies should focus across the board. Spend time clarifying your brand identity and take the time to review your entire user experience. Then, up the ante on production across all channels by turning brand design into a service center that can be consumed by your cross-functional teams (i.e., marketing and sales).
I don’t have a designer on my team. What should I do?
The answer depends on the current phase your company is in:
Early-market-traction companies should consider hiring contractors to help with web and brand design. At this stage, it’d be hard to justify staffing for product design unless the founding team still maintained all user research, and just needed support with UI/UX. It might also make sense to staff web design if you have proof it’s a really useful channel.
Strong-product-market-fit companies should start hiring staff designers. Think of the trade-offs for hiring full-time versus working with outside support. Think of how you’d invest into these three areas of design, and what the top goals would be from anyone you worked with to get help. Then, start staffing by hiring full-time design, freelancers, and/or working with an agency.
If you’re new to design, here are a few concrete actions and tools we recommend:
User research: The Aesthetic team recommends scheduling two to three user research interviews each week, ideally at the end of the week so you can also do usability testing on new features from the week.
Take notes and record sessions: Make sure to take notes and record any user research interview sessions. Do an affinity mapping exercise to formalize your learnings. We recommend Fullstory for recording app and website user sessions.
Design your website: We love Webflow for this phase.
Iterate on your brand design: Aesthetic uses Figma for all of our marketing template designs, and the Adobe suite for developing our (vector based) brand identities. Depending on the specific tech stack, there’s a wide variety of solutions for helping deploy design systems to enable reusability and consistency across your product teams. Figma’s collaboration and animation support is second to none.
At this point, you should have a better understanding of the three major types of design your early-stage startup should focus on.