Archive for July, 2009

3 trial customers for

Last week we got out there and made things happen. We spoke to many of the businesses in North Sydney that offer lunch. We’ve still got many more to go, but we’re SO happy with the result of our early talks.

Many of the owners have been receptive and we’ve signed up 3 businesses in North Sydney to trial accounts. We’re looking forward to working closely with each of them to ensure that really does help bring people to their door at lunch time.

I can’t describe how happy it makes me.


The Perfect Gift for a Man

To me, becoming a Man (as opposed to a man) is an endless journey where there is always something new to learn. A Man aligns his actions with his dreams, takes responsibility for himself and others, and moves forward. A Man grows beyond just an awareness and understanding of himself and comes to an awareness and understanding of others; not as things in his world to possess or use, but free individuals in their own world with their own dreams and pursuits. A Man gives the world everything he has got and gives those around him the freedom he hopes to receive.

I am lucky to have supportive parents who challenge me and encourage me to make my own decisions. When I was younger they were worried that I would burn myself on the stove, so Dad turned to my grandfather who said “let him burn his hand, he’ll learn his lesson and be more careful next time”. I did end up burning myself and I certainly learnt an important lesson. That’s the thing about Dad, he makes sure I consider each option (even though he tends to bend his advice towards his preferred outcome) but will always let me burn my hand even if it means picking up the pieces afterwards. I believe this approach has helped me make the first steps to becoming a Man.

That isn’t to say I make the right decisions. Boy have I made some bad decisions! When I was 18 my family moved to Adelaide and I decided to stay in Sydney and move out with my girlfriend with whom I had a chaotic relationship. It was both the best and the worst decision I’ve made. It enabled me to pursue the opportunities Sydney offered however it accentuated the problems in our relationship. Moving out with my girlfriend was a mistake I had to make to learn about people, what I wanted from life (or didn’t want), how to handle myself (or not handle myself), and that its important not to let things linger when a decision has to be made.

The morning after my parents left I was driving up to my new house to go to work and my journey took me under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was HUGE. It struck me for the first time that my decision to move out was HUGE. I started crying. To this day the bridge, to me, is symbolic of tough decisions. It is such an inspirational yet intimidating structure. I love it.

I guess I’ve been lucky because of my parent’s guidance and because I’ve always had a sense of direction. As a kid I learnt how to write software for computers and soon began to believe that my purpose in life was to be a great software developer. I relentlessly pursued my dream and developed a globally available mobile game when I was fifteen. It wasn’t until I took a job as a software developer straight out of school that I realised it wasn’t for me; I enjoyed creating things I believed in. I still believe this and am relentlessly pursuing my dream by running my own business. Whether my dream will change again, I don’t know. What I am sure of is that the pursuit of each dream will lead me to discover if it’s right for me. It’s win-win. It’s all part of the journey.

I’ve had a couple of failures along the way and these have forced me to push my boundaries. I don’t see failure as a negative thing; it forces me to closely evaluate myself and the way I do things. A mentor of mine who was teaching me about sales once said to me “you need to work out what’s in it for them”. This has had a profound effect on me and I’ve learned that when you have an idea but no money, your ability to inspire others is your only currency. It has also opened my eyes to an alternative way of dealing with people in general; I think more about what’s in it for them.

The other night another mentor and friend advised me to “accept that people will always act in their own self interest.” Whilst it might seem like he undervalues the good in people, simply accepting this as fact has led me to form better relationships with people. For years I’ve failed to realise that everyone around me is just trying to get the best out of life, just like me. Once I realised this, I came to see that behaviour that I might consider to be negative (friends not returning calls, people pushing in cues) might just be my misinterpretation of people who are just like me and caught up in their own world. Life overwhelms everyone. Coming to accept this has given me a greater sense of freedom.

Just recently I’ve met a fantastic girl who has given me an even greater understanding of others and myself. She has helped me transcend me and my ego. She challenges my world view and some of the beliefs I didn’t even know I had. Recently, she poked so hard that I came to realise that whenever something goes wrong in my life, I use a coping mechanism where I turn negatives into positives to inflate my ego. For example, I recently failed an assignment and my immediate reaction was “what idiots they clearly aren’t as intelligent as I am” and literally felt larger: my ego + 10. It was only thanks to my girl that I came to notice my habit. By acknowledging it I can now chose to apply it or not.

I’m actually having difficulty writing this next bit. All of these little events along my journey to being a Man have led to one moment. The moment my Dad said “I really think you’ve become a Man.”

I don’t think this is the end though.

This has been written for the Perfect Gift for a Man initiative.

UrbanSpoon Generates $5k per 100k Visitors

Through brand advertising, affiliate networks, ad networks and citysearch ads UrbanSpoon is generating $5,000 per 100,000 visitors.

This traffic and revenue is predominantly coming through the iPhone.

You can read more about it over on TechCrunch.

Mobile Internet To Spur Carriers To Acquire

Mobile carriers are predicted to start acquiring more and more mobile internet services. With the rise in mobile internet and phones like the iPhone breaking down those wall gardens this seems a smart move, on the carriers part, so the carriers can maintain their end to end service for the customer.

An article from mocoNews got me thinking about this:

A bigger role for telecoms: The rise of the mobile internet will also spur carriers to buy up services. Case in point: AT&T’s 2008 purchase of Wi-Fi operator Wayport is seen as a way for manage the flow of content and expand their relationships with other companies. For example the Wayport deal expanded the carrier’s Wi-Fi network to nearly 20,000 hotspots in the U.S. by adding locations at some Marriott Vacation Club and Four Seasons hotels as well as McDonald’s restaurants.“In the wired Internet, the carrier was a dumb pipe,” Jefferies & Co.‘s Robert Jackman told Reuters. “In mobile Internet, carriers will play a bigger role. If you can’t control end-to-end through to the billing relationship, you can’t control the end-customer.”

Are Mobile Operators Anti-Competitive?

The U.S. is looking into whether it’s major players are abusing their power.

The Department of Justice has started reviewing the practices of mobile carriers in the U.S., including AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ), to determine if they have abused their power in recent years, reports the WSJ, which quotes unnamed people familiar with the situation.

(read more)

This could have serious implications for the local Australian market so I will be following this story closely.

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Mobile Internet Advertising Is The Future

A recent whitepaper from Juniper Research shows that the future of mobile advertising is in mobile internet advertising.

Mobile internet advertising is expected to dominate all other forms of mobile advertising by the year 2014. Other channels of note in the future are personal messaging (person-to-person SMS for advertising) and idle-screen advertising.


You can read more about the report over at MobiAD or you can purchase the report from Juniper.

Local advertising on the Big Screen

With 83% of cinema audiences living within a 10-15km radius of the cinema, the big screen is a great opportunity to advertise your small business.

The other week I saw The Hangover at the Orpheum in Cremorne. Being the strange individual that I am, I enjoyed pondering the fantastic local advertising opportunity as much as I enjoyed the movie itself. When you sit down before the movie you’re treated to advertisements and what struck me about the advertisements at the Orpheum was just how local they were. Almost every advertisement was for a business that you could visit after a 2-5 minute walk as soon as your movie finished. They local businesses getting their name in front of a local audience.

An inquiry into advertising costs revealed that advertising with the cinema is reasonably priced on a “per view” basis.

The issue is ROI and measuring ROI. The advertising company behind the Orpheum tells me that they have many repeat customers so that in itself could be seen as a sign that advertising at the local cinema works.

Scott Middleton
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