Monthly Archives: March 2013

What the Rolling Stones Can Teach You About Business | Inc.com

In December, my wife, Elaine, and I attended a 50th-anniversary concert of the Rolling Stones at Brooklyn, New York’s new Barclays Center. They’re often referred to as the Strolling Bones these days, and with good reason. They’re old. You can’t help noticing how weathered their faces look. So it’s all the more amazing to watch Mick Jagger, at 69, strutting around the stage just like he did half a century ago. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He and I are about the same age. “Why is he doing this?” I asked myself. “He doesn’t need the money. What is it?”

Then it hit me. I dropped down into my seat and started to laugh. “Why are you laughing?” Elaine shouted over the din. “I just figured out what’s been driving me all these years,” I shouted back.

As I told her later, I’d had an epiphany. I’d suddenly understood the meaning of the word passion. Mick Jagger, I realized, keeps doing what he does for the same reason that I keep doing what I do: because he has to. Performing defines him. He has to do it in order to feel alive–which is also why I start and build businesses.

Read More.

Yahoo Buys Coolness From Teenager for $30M | Wired.com

There’s no logical explanation for Yahoo’s reported $30 million acquisition of Summly, an app created by a 17-year-old Brit that launched five months ago. The team and technology are unexceptional and the app itself will be shut down. What Yahoo really gets for its big check is momentum and buzz.

In other words, Yahoo bought Summly to appear cool again.

Read More.

eBay: We Tested Google Advertising & It Didn’t Pay | MarketingVOX

eBay has been one of the largest advertisers on Google, but that might not be the case for much longer. It decided to do an A-B split test to determine how many of those clicks they would have eventually seen even without those paid placements; even going so far as to go dark in 30 market areas to provide a control. In a study conducted with eBay Labs along including fancy degree holders from Berkeley and U. Chicago, it showed that it only made back about 25 cents on the dollar spent.

The study shows that brand ads – and by that they mean ads that focus on the brand names of the products to be theoretically purchased, rather than “branding” ads – can be efficiently effective for potential new users to the retailer, but tend to be unnecessary for those who are already familiar with the retailer. eBay, more than most, would suffer from a high familiarity ratio, thus making its relative efficiency low.

One thing the full version of the study appears to miss, however, is that very high clickthrough rate experienced by an ad due to a specific brand reference that is common to the search term may have another financial benefit to the advertiser: increasing the “quality score” of the ad campaign, and thus reducing the expense of other clicks in the campaign.

eBay bids on a universe of more than 170 million keywords. It spends more than $50 million a year on online advertising.

Read More.

The Real Cost of Self-Publishing: Beyond Vanity | Bloomberg

Beyond Vanity

Stephen King rocked the publishing world when he began distributing books online in 2000. J.K. Rowling roiled the industry again in 2011 when she decided to self-publish her Harry Potter series through her own platform, Pottermore. Such big names join thousands of others who are self-publishing books — though many do so because it’s their only option.

More than 235,000 books and e-books were self-published in 2011 in the U.S., four times the number in 2006, according to Bowker, an agency that assigns books unique identification codes.

Read More.

Kitchen Appliance Garage | IKEA Hackers.net

Materials: Varde glass door wall cabinet, standard Ikea base cabinets & Ekby Bjarnum wall shelves

Description: We were looking for a built in storage unit/appliance garage to store all of our small counter-top appliances. The problems we were facing were:

1) Cost…highly expensive to have custom built

2) Availability…we could find roller door cabinetry but most was too shallow to house our large kitchen aid mixer and Magimix…so

IKEA to the rescue. We wanted all of the clutter HIDDEN and we wanted something that looked custom built to fit the space.

See Instructions.

Broccoli and Banana Smoothie | rawfoodrecipes.com

You may be thinking, “broccoli and banana?!” Yes we know its an unlikely pair, however, this smoothie works out very nicely. The sweet creaminess of frozen bananas helps to smooth over any overly green flavor of broccoli. The spinach and spirulina are hardly even detectable, however they do contribute to the creaminess of texture. Maca and lucuma add a subtle maltiness that is quite delicious. The result is a thick, creamy smoothie packed to the brim with green nutrition! Top with bee pollen for an immune system boost as well as extra protein and B vitamins.

See Recipe.

The Next Step After a Mistake | The Simple Dollar

I’ve messed up many, many times along my financial journey. I’m willing to bet you’ve messed up a time or two as well.

I’ll spend too much. I’ll forget a bill and have to face the consequences of the lateness. I’ll try to adopt a new positive habit and then find myself slipping in my diligence with that habit.

Whenever I find myself making a big financial mistake, I feel a ton of regret. I’ll usually find myself wondering whether or not I’m a failure and whether or not I’m actually going to be able to continue on a better path.

Can I do this? Can I really do this?

This is a thought process that I’m far from alone in going through. Almost everyone I’ve ever talked to who has challenged themselves to make a life change has made mistakes along the way, mistakes that left them second-guessing the whole process. They’re left with guilt and doubt and a sense that this whole thing might just be a failure.

It’s not a failure.

Mistakes are a normal part of anything new that we take on. We are not perfect. We make mistakes because we’re trying something different than what we’re used to.

The real challenge is to learn how to handle those mistakes and turn them from being setbacks into being tools for success.

For me, there are three powerful tactics for moving on from a mistake.

Read More.