Tools for Entrepreneurs: Create. Collaborate. Communicate.


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I created this presentation for entrepreneurs who need online tools to make their ideas happen (I gave it earlier this year at the Professional Women's Association in Milan).

The presentation "Tools for Entrepreneurs: Create. Collaborate. Communicate." started out as a way to explain very technical things to non-technical people, but I quickly realized that most people when approaching technology get intimidated by the "What's DNS? Do I need a dedicated server?" kind of questions and therefore feel they can't understand technology.

I feel that this technology intimidation is really due to the fact that they don't really own their idea, and better understanding it will guide any decisions they have to make with their idea moving forward.

So I focus on how to further refine your idea so you can move it forward, even with help, by having a better mastery over what you need and what your users need. I also cover some techniques and tools for collaborating with developers, external consultants, and other remote workers. Then, I briefly touch on communication strategies online and how your site won't be the only place communication happens but it should be the digital hub with the most useful and authoritative information about your company, and how you can develop a communication strategy that spans several types of networks.

The appendix includes some open source software alternatives for growing a business on a bootstrap budget.

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Tools for Entrepreneurs: Create. Collaborate. Communicate.

  1. Tools for Entrepreneurs (or anyone with an idea) Create. Collaborate. Communicate. Sara RossoCredit
  2. 1.Credit
  3. is notCredit the problem
  4. It’s your idea. (Or it’s you, not fully owning the idea.)Credit
  5. Before creating,Credit own your idea
  6. or design looks like this...
  7. Navigation Content Conversions Look & Feel Purpose Mood Brainstorm Support Products FAQs Monitor MeasureCredit
  8. Get inside your customer’s headCredit
  9. Types of usersCredit
  10. Customer / user pathsCredit
  11. Commonalities Differences Products Features Organization Look & Feel Mood Benchmarking Who’s doing What works it better? for your idea?Credit
  12. Must have vs. Nice to haveCredit
  13. Engage external helpCredit
  14. Custom vs. Out of the boxCredit
  15. Controlling your site vs. remote controlCredit
  16. Design & launch in phasesCredit
  17. 2. CollaborateCredit
  18. A Distributed Company80 employees 25 countries 65 cities
  19. How we Collaborate Skype 4% IRC Email 25% Internal Blogs 70% Telephone?
  20. Intranet & Knowledge Base 70+ internal blogs: 18 for teams 49 for projects 7 for fun
  21. WordPress P2 Theme:instant private network
  22. Meeting Oregon IsraelCalifornia Bulgaria Italia
  23. Town Hall 360° Communication Every employee has theopportunity and the right to ask questions
  24. Collaborative, online documents
  25. Set rules for your toolsCredit
  26. Use them for discussionsCredit
  27. Use them for documentationCredit
  28. Use them for decisionsCredit
  29. Use them for decisions And reinforce your rules.Credit
  30. Proprietary vs. Open Source & Licensed vs. FreeCredit
  31. Core to your Data freedom? Can improve or business? self-host?Credit
  32. Open source alternatives CRMWord processorPresentationsInstant messaging SpreadsheetsOperating system Database Graphic design Audio editors FTP
  33. 3.Credit
  34. Credibility: Value-add + Accountability + ReliabilityCredit
  35. Own the content vs. control the messageCredit
  36. Your website is DisneylandCredit
  37. Everywhere else is the real worldCredit
  38. Death of the PageviewCredit
  39. Death of the Pageview FollowerCredit
  40. Death of the Pageview Follower LikeCredit
  41. Response to Suggestions for call-to-action improvement Testers Better ways to measure engagement Sales Influence Customer design cycle satisfaction levelsCredit
  42. Why Newsletters How often Content Statistics Rewards Call-to-actionCredit
  43. EbooksNarrow content focus Establish expertise Reach new users Give it away for free Hold something back
  44. “Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors,scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creativework with the freedoms they want it to carry.You can use CC to change your copyright terms from ‘All Rights Reserved’ to ‘Some Rights Reserved.’” In parallel with copyright, not instead of copyright.
  45. Create. Collaborate.Communicate.
  46. These slides & links will be on Sara on Twitter
  47. Appendix A:Some Open Source Alternatives for Proprietary Software
  48. Operating System• Proprietary: Windows, Mac OS• Open Source:• Linux (generale) • Ubuntu • Debian
  49. Web Browser• Proprietary: Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, Google Chrome• Open Source: • Firefox • • Flock •• K-Meleon •
  50. Presentations,Documents, Spreadsheets• Proprietary: Microsoft Office, Lotus Suite• Open Source: •  • • GNOME Office •
  51. Wiki• Proprietary: Confluence, Google Sites, Wikispaces, PBWiki• Open Source • MediaWiki • • Twiki • • PMWiki •
  52. Web Sites and CMS• Proprietary: Dreamweaver, Blogspot, custom CMS, Tumblr• Open Source:  • WordPress • • Drupal • • Joomla •
  53. Instant Messaging• Proprietary: GTalk, MSN Messenger, Skype, Yahoo• Open Source: • Pidgin • • Adium • • aMSN •
  54. Create PDFs• Proprietary: Adobe PDF Creator• Open Source: • PDF Creator • pdfcreator • PDF Forge •
  55. FTP• Proprietary: Bulletproof, WinFTP• Open Source: • FileZilla • • WinSCP •
  56. Various Tools• Web Statistics: AWStats •• Create Podcasts & edit audio: Audacity  •• Manage Projects: GANTTProject •• OpenProj •• Mind Map: Free Mind •
  57. Various Tools• Modify Images: GIMP •• XAMPP – package of web server apps installable on your PC •• Delete files, forever: Inferno •
  58. PC Backup• Proprietary:, Norton Ghost, Mozy• Open Source: • Amanda • • BackupPC •
  59. Database• Proprietary: MS Access, MS SQL, IBM DB2, Oracle database• Open Source: • MySQL • • GNOME-DB •• SQLite •• InnoDB •
  60. Server Web & Mail• Proprietary: Microsoft IIS & Exchange• Open Source: • Sendmail •• Apache web server •
  61. (Management) ERP/ CRM• Proprietary: SAP, JD Edwards (Oracle)• Open Source: • Compiere : ERP e CRM • • Sugar CRM •
  62. Appendix B:Other Resources
  63. Collaborative Documents• Google Docs •• Google Sites •• Zoho •
  64. Creative Commons links• Flickr Creative Commons Search • • Click “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”• Creative Commons Search •
  65. Ebook links• Sigil open source software • Smashwords style guide • • 52• Barnes & Noble’s pubit! • Creating ePub files with (Apple) Pages • pubit_app/bn?t=pi_reg_home •• Kindle self-publishing • Calibre for managing and converting ebook formats • signin •• General Kindle self-pub Help & FAQ for them • An Ebook formatting tutorial • • help ebooks/index.html• Amazon professional conversion services: • Baker Ebook framework for iPad & iPhone • • help?topicId=A3RRQXI478DDG7 basic
  66. Miscellaneous• MailChimp newsletter service •• Skype for Business •• Twitter for Business •• IRC (Inter-relay chat) •• Google Data Liberation •• Google Code repository
  67. page forward :) Credit