Ideas for startups, entrepreneurs, and those determined to succeed.
1) Email prospect
4) Followup again
5) Hope they aren’t out of the office
6) Followup again
7) Hope they aren’t at a conf
8) Followup again.
9) Hope, hope and hope s’more.
1) Email prospect
5) Prospect opens email. You get notified.
6) Followup immediately.
7) Immediate response from prospect.
8) Prospect opens email again 1 week later.
9) Followup immediately again.
10) Prospect calls you.
This just happened to me as I was talking to a very large enterprise client. And it’s been happening since I started using Yesware. Way better than hoping I was emailing when I was top of mind. Be timely. Sell more.
000ltf000 asked: Hi Aaron, I saw on twitter that you helped introduce Social Bicycles to Hoboken. I am interested in doing the same for my city. I live in Green Bay, WI and it seems like it could be a viable business up here. How did you go about getting in touch with Social Bicycles? Do you have any tips for starting a bike share franchise?
Hi - If you email me your contact info I’d be happy to put you in touch with Social Bicycles. It’s a great service. They would be best to help you answer these q’s.
We’ve recently brought on some more help over at weCraft and, in the process, were reintroduced to NJ employment law. As our friend Herb Moore at SorinRand reminded us, make sure your interns meet certain requirements of the dept of labor might not be so happy with you.
Companies in NJ can’t have unpaid interns unless certain wage and hour law requirements are met. Here’s a summary of how NJ labor law deals with unpaid interns:
If a trainee does not meet all of the above-listed criteria, the trainee is considered an employee and must be paid in accordance with New Jersey’s wage and hour laws (i.e., minimum wage requirements).
Furthermore, New Jersey does have a “School-to-Work” test, that allows unpaid internship programs under limited circumstances. The regulations provide that an acceptable School-to-work program must meet the following conditions to allow for non-paid activities of student learners at for profit and not-for-profit organizations:
Strict rules so be careful. Hey NJ universities - let’s get more official startup intern programs going, eh?
Lots of people have questions when it comes to the legalities of marketing promotions. Some of them ignore the rules and end up with problems with the law. I was chatting with my new friend Kristen from Marks & Klein when I popped in to checkout the NJ Tech Gals 1st meetup and she brought some wisdom to the issue. Several people admitted to having no idea of these rules. She emailed a few of us some clarifications that are important if you’re considering a contest, sweepstakes, or lottery. Kristen’s legal smackdown:
"Generally, there are three types of online promotions:
- Contests: Promotions where prizes are awarded primarily based on merit or skill. (Ex. Best poem writer/Winner of a trivia game)
- Sweepstakes: Prize giveaways where winners are chosen predominantly by chance. (Ex. Free music download/free trip to Paris)
- Lotteries: Random drawings for prizes where participants have to pay to play. A lottery has three elements: prize, chance and consideration. Like we discussed last night, consideration could be “liking” a Facebook page, “following” you on Twitter, “joining” your Linked In Group, or “signing up” for your newsletter.
How do you avoid confusion? Eliminate the “consideration” element. Make sure no one has to “pay” for anything to enter your sweepstakes.
Also be careful about the value of the prize you are offering. Every state has different requirements – for example, New York requires you to post a bond and register with the state if your prize is over $5,000. NJ does not. But if you are letting people in different states enter your contest, you are subject to that state’s rules.”
Tweet this post for an entry into our contest to win $1,000,000. Oh, wait.
I was asked by NJ Tech Weekly to address what I thought is the biggest challenge facing the NJ technology community in 2013. Below is my response and something that I hope to help fix.
NJ has been recognized as a leading technology hub on the east coast this past year. Though that has been a reality for some time, 2012 seems to have been the year we started to get credit for it. However, there are still many challenges that we face. If we want to be able to attract and retain great entrepreneurs for the long haul, I believe the #1 priority for 2013 should be build a robust investment community. The reality is that the number or VCs, angel groups, and active angels in areas outside of NJ, particularly in NYC, far outweigh the resources in our state. Additionally, as it pertains to my area of expertise in software businesses, there are almost no NJ investors who are vocal thought leaders and up to speed on where the mobile and internet categories are moving. While good companies will naturally attract good investors, to accelerate that process, the state should come up with aggressive financial incentives to attract investors to NJ. Here’s to 2013, may it be the year of the NJ checkwriters.
The commentary in these articles reminds me of something I’ve noticed in my travels: People frequently proclaim New York City as the best city in the world, implying that the rest of world’s cities don’t stack up against it. I love NYC too. It’s beautiful, exciting, vibrant, energetic, chaotic, inspiring and so much more.
But Paris is pretty cool. And Sydney is sweet. And so are Quito, Shanghai, San Fran, Ho Chi Minh City, and Marrakech. That doesn’t make NYC any less good. But I know that tourism brings with it a lot of money, so tourism boards see these other places as the competition. You and I - we just like to travel.
I’m reminded of this when I see some of the exchanges on Fast Company and BetaBeat. They have great things to say about Hoboken and the NJ Tech Meetup - and for that I’m grateful - but they clearly feel the need to put Hoboken down in the process. They need to sell ads around content - I get that. I understand that a little controversy helps. But wouldn’t it have been great for them to take a different approach and go with, “Hey, nyc tech people - there’s a hidden gem right across the river.” It might have been less exciting, but that’s actually the hidden truth of both stories. And that truth is something I’m proud of: We have an amazing community in the NJ Tech Meetup and get a very big draw from all around the region at our sellout events. We’ve even had some international representation at several recent meetups including attendees from Germany, Ecuador, and Croatia, some of whom planned their trips around the event.
I started the NJ Tech Meetup because I care about inspiring people to start companies and supporting those who do. What I don’t care about is east coast/west coast, NYC/NJ, or any other divisive narrative. Great companies and great people live in many places. This isn’t sports - there isn’t just one winner in entrepreneurship. Your company can get bought and so can mine.
That’s why I’m pleased to have sat down recently with many local players, including the NY Tech Meetup and several politicians in the area. I can tell you that we share common goals: we all want to make it easier to start a company and build an amazing team. You’ll start to see more from us about that soon.
I hope that Shane at Fast Company and Adrianne and her peers from BetaBeat will continue to cover the NJ Tech Meetup. Maybe next time they will take our mission of Inspiring Ideas, Sparking Connections, a little more seriously. Because we certainly do.
But you know, as long as we’re talking Hoboken vs NYC: I live on the water. I have a big backyard. I have a bbq. Come on over sometime and we can toast to entrepreneurship over a beer and a burger and talk about your startup.
my double rainbow view from hoboken