Monday, March 23, 2009

Productivity Bits: Learning from Developing Markets & New Webutilities for Startups

Just trying to figure out a name for these somewhat random but business related blurbs that I think are useful enough to pass on. In any event, here they are:

  • Learn to survive the downturn by looking to how other firms thrive in highly volatile, developing markets (WSJ). The basic ideas: be aggressive - repackage, reprice, requestion the value you offer & reconsider how performance is measured. Above all - stay optimistic! Definitely worth the read. One observation that seemed to work tremendously courtesy of P&G in Africa, was how they sold product in much smaller quantities per package making it far more affordable.

  • In my ongoing quest to GTD, I came across another (web based) summary. But what I found particularly good was the one page .pdf work flow download that they have (about midway through the page). Getting my email inbox to empty will be the next gargantuan task though I came across 43 Folders' Inbox Zero which has some ideas that I hope prove useful.

  • I've been quietly updating my directory of webutilities for startups - which I suspect I get more use out of than anyone I've referenced to it (which I think is a good thing). Going forward, to keep it current, I'll point out some of those changes and additions. So one significant update is adding a section called "Tell the World." With some of the services out there, there's really no excuse for not having well designed printed materials for your business these days. Inkd, a marketplace for print layouts, launched today (via TechCrunch). Competitors include Branddoozie and Stocklayouts.

    In the same section, I've also added microstockphotography sites - iStockphoto (owned by Getty) is one that I've used extensively. You can get amazing imagery for your marketing at great prices. Others include the more expensive SnapVillage (owned by Corbis), or the cheaper BigStockPhoto (I've also used this service), ShutterStock, Fotolia, Dreamstime, and StockXpert (owned by Jupiter Images).

    Finally, one site I first came across several years ago that amazed me and my first introduction to marketplaces of content generated by a community of creatives - Template Monster. For a cost of under $100, you get a generic template (though you can buy exclusive ones). Though they may be templates, there are a number that are extraordinary. Unless you have some knowledge of web programming you'll need some help to customize it, it would still save a ton of time and money (you can use one of the outsourcing services listed there).

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