Thursday, August 22, 2013

Grow Your Own Mushrooms And Pivot Your Startup Strategy

This is a great story about two UC Berkley grads who launching a mushroom business - and then pivoted their strategy very early on by listening to customers.

Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora were two months from graduating when one of their professors told them a very random fact that you can grow mushrooms from used coffee grounds.  That little fact caught their interest and they started a business selling mushrooms.

While at farmers markets, they did an experiment to see if selling DIY kits for growing mushrooms change the customer engagement. Short answer - it did. And by a huge margin.  Adults and kids were fascinated by the kit and spent much more time engaged with their products.

Here's the video where they tell the story.

Source: Startup Lessons Learned

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Experience The Zen Of Gardening From Your iPad

Unity Studios has released a new app that lets a person grow flowers and leaves and provide a daily dose of creative zen.

With this app you can:

  • Design your own flower and leaves
  • Unlock challenges
  • Take screenshots of your flowers and share them on Facebook and Twitter
  • Do all this in many languages

Let's Grow is available in the iTunes store.  Here is the link:!/id588671980

Source: PRnewswire

Friday, August 16, 2013

Wood Egg Cracks The Code For International Business

Derek Sivers, the ex-founder of CDBaby, has launched a new venture called Wood Egg.  Since the sale of CDBaby a few years ago, Derek has been living abroad and learning a lot about international business.

Wood Egg is a series of entrepreneurial guides to starting businesses in many countries.  The first series of books teaches how to start a business in 16 countries in Asia. Derek's plan is to release a new series of books every year.

What's extraordinary about this company (if the content wasn't awesome enough) is that has created a process for building the content of the books.  He has created a 200-question process that someone could take and hit the streets of any country and collect the raw materials for a book.  Then, he has editors who assemble the information into a book format.  There are volunteer and paid positions in his company and the waiting list is long.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Medium Is XL On Stories

Medium is a... hmm. What do you call it? It's not a blog. It's not website in the traditional sense. It's a publication that carries many talented folks who write about stuff for which they are passionate. I don't like the term "e-zine."

Evan Williams (Co-Founder of Medium and Blogger) says: "Medium is a new place on the Internet where people share ideas and stories that are longer than 140 characters and not just for friends."

I've setup a little shop there and look forward to contributing.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Vehicle Graphics Expose The Goods

A 3M study shows that vehicle graphics has the lowest CPM (cost per thousand impressions) ratio than any other major medium. Vehicle graphics or "wraps" have increased in popularity among businesses of all sizes over that past 5 years.

Small fleets, such as HVAC companies and large fleets such as nationwide pizza chains have allocated a significant portion of their marketing budgets to vehicle graphics. And the results are paying off. These companies are seeing an increase in brand exposure and sales as a direct result of applying vinyl graphics to their company vehicles.

There are two main providers of vinyl media that is used for vehicle wraps; 3M and Avery Dennison. The state-of-the-art vinyl and adhesive is extremely durable and safe on vehicles.  The vinyl material can be applied to any part of the vehicle and will last up to 5-6 years.

Vehicle graphics and wraps must be installed by a certified graphics installer. The installation process usually takes several hours and each vehicle is different and requires special tools.

The photos below show graphics projects completed by Digital Graphic Solutions in Valparaiso, IN.  For each project, DGS provided the graphics design, manufacturing and installation.

Digital Graphic Solutions | Vehicle Graphics Wrap

Digital Graphic Solutions | Vehicle Graphics Wrap

Digital Graphic Solutions | Vehicle Graphics Wrap

Digital Graphic Solutions | Van Graphics