6 Month Guide to Online Marketing

You have a start-up, and you don’t know the best way to market it digitally. This incredible infographic by unbounce shows you every step of the way, and it only takes 6 months.


Here’s a link to the original post


The Value of Pre-Launch Traction

And we’re back.

I had a conversation with an entrepreneur last week. The companies name was picked, domain registered, and they were actively working on development.

The product was a standard non-committal 2-3 months of development away, but they had already started building hype through conversation.

I visited the website but there was nothing there.. 

Think about how valuable just a simple email collection form could be.


 (Created in Paint. Time = 3 Min.)

When talking to an investor or potential business partner, what would you rather say:

A. "X is my business idea. We’re developing it now and are launching in 2-3 months."

B. “X is my business idea. We’re developing it now and are launching in 2-3 months. We have 1,000/10,000/50,000 people already signed up on our website waiting to hear about our launch.”

Think about it.


How Turkey Could Get Hotter

The move from Posterous to Tumblr has led to a reposting of all (3) of my old posts. This post is actually from 2011. I will revisit it to see where we are 2 years later. The short story is much better with a LONG way still to go.

I absolutely loved Sina Afra’s post about why Turkey is a hot investment market today. It was his 2009 presentation highlighting Turkey as an investment market that was a catalyst in my decision to move to Istanbul.  However, I think there is one key ingredient that Turkey is missing that could take its Internet sector into hyperdrive: a stable of high quality skilled entrepreneurs. This is our biggest bottleneck.

Turkey is by nature an incredibly entrepreneurial country; a trait easily recognizable by any tourist navigating the thousands of shops in the Grand Bazaar. The vast majority of my network outside of the Internet industry works at family owned businesses with an average of 10 employees.  This entrepreneurial enthusiasm exists within the internet sector as well, but it hasn’t converted itself into the high quality entrepreneurship that investors worldwide get excited about. Burak Büyükdemir’s work with eTohum has helped grow our ecosystem immeasurably. With access to the best entrepreneurs and start-ups in our country, he receives applications from our top start-ups in the country every year. Yet, scan the list of E-Tohum 40 startups chosen in January 2011. It has been 7 months since they were selected and 25% still haven’t gotten past the launch page stage. Almost 10% no longer exist. If this is the best we have to offer, then we haven’t yet effectively focused the potential of our budding entrepreneurs and guided them into a position of success.

In speaking with a number of parties, I feel that potential entrepreneurs don’t know how to make the jump from “I have an idea” to “I have traction”. This is our biggest gap.

I’m pretty sure that in five years time, this lack of entrepreneurs will be a non-issue. However, imagine what would happen if local investors and ecosystem participants worked together to create programs that would create a sustainable supply of high quality entrepreneurs in 2 year time frame.  It might require working more closely with universities, launching a Y-combinator like accelerator, or yanking the great Turkish minds back from overseas and out of corporate culture, but growing the pool of quality entrepreneurs would help grow our sector exponentially in the next two years. If as Sina Afra states “2010 and 2011 have been the golden times for investment in Turkey”, the focus on creating quality entrepreneurs will help 2012 and 2013 become the platinum ones.


Ongoing Study: The Value of Planless Doing

This is a blog without a plan (for now).

 I’ve been thinking about blogging for a long time. I signed up for Instapaper so that I would have a better way to keep track all the articles I’ve been holding onto that help guide me in the creation of a blog. I’ve been so caught up in the thinking about how to do it that I got really side-tracked from just doing it.

So in respect to the namesake of my blog time to Start Doing. Based on this post I have been keeping by Mark Suster, starting a blog requires the following. 

1) A topic(s) 
2) A voice 
3) An audience 
4) A blogging platform.

Two days ago I had none of these things. My decision to start doing, planlessly in this case, forced me to choose my platform, that’s a win right there. The rest… Well, Penelope Trunk thinks that blogging is a great way to self-discovery. I am hoping it’s also a form of blog-discovery. I figure that by writing semi-regularly my voice will find itself. Topics will have a heavy base in entrepreneurship and start-ups - with a focus on Turkey, with some sprinkling in of education, politics, Duke basketball, and food. As for an audience, I hope to have it grow as I do. 

With that I have my first blog post. It was about writing your first post. That’s so meta. The first step of the planless doing study has begun. In a few months/years time we will find out if this has any value. My idea is to have one post lead to the next and that flow will lead to a blog. Go doing.

Photo credits to Tread


The Pre-“Do” Phase

Ideas are easy, doing stuff is hard   - Seth Godin

The Pre-“Do” phase is the easiest phase. It’s the phase that comes before doing stuff. My new posts and blog plan are in the Pre-“Do” Phase.

In an effort to start doing, this is my simple transition plan :

"Do" Phase Simple Transition Plan

Step 1:  Pick a blogging platform. Wordpress or Posterous.

Step 2: Write a real post.

Step 3: Think more about why you have a blog.