Monthly Archives: June 2007

Good Day Yesterday.

First, the demo environment we have set up at a local data center got quirky at 9 am.  That would’ve been just fine if not for the fact that we were scheduled for a big demo at 10 am!  We frantically got in touch with the telco, asked for help (pleaded, really), and headed to the client not knowing if the fixes would turn out fine….

Second, on my way home, listening to some classical music on the radio, when… all of sudden… PHSEEEEET HISSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! A cloud of steamy smoke.  Dang!  The car’s radiator popped!  I was about 2 kms from home so I decided to test my luck and see if I can make it home with the temperature gauge planted at H….

It was a good day yesterday.

The fixes to the demo environment worked just fine, in time.  Seamlessly showed how the service worked.  Impressed the audience.

Safely got the car home, albeit the car just made it midway through the garage port when it conked out.  Still, I got home.

Yes, it was a good day yesterday.

What an Equation!!!

The equation: 1 Employee + 1 Part-time Employee = Million $ Revenues.

Yep. Believe it.

I couldn’t get the permalink to work so I decided to lift the whole article from http://www.smallbizlabs.com:

WSJ on PlentyOfFish – 1 Employee, Millions in Revenue

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required, but this article is in the free section) has an article on the free web dating site PlentyOfFish.  Online dating sites are very popular, with  the leading sites doing heavy web and TV advertising and charging subscription fees.  PlentyOfFish is a free site, supported by ads.  The article says that PlentyOfFish has one full time employee/owner, one part-time employee, and generates between $5-10 million in revenue per year. 

According to the article, PlentyOfFish is able to do this because web software has become simple enough for a single person to manage, and there is a robust 3rd party ecosystem of larger companies providing a broad array of services to support small web and ecommerce sites.  The article points specifically to Google, which evidently is PlentyOfFish’s primary source of revenue.

Two major trends, both of which are discussed in the article, are providing the opportunity for small and personal web sites to create multi-million dollar businesses.  The first is the growing ease and simplicity of the tools required to build and support relatively complex web and ecommerce sites.  The second is the growth of 3rd party platform companies that help and assist small businesses.  PlentyOfFish is a great example of these two trends coming together and creating interesting – and profitable – small business opportunities.

 

Take a Break…

It’s a Thursday.  You’re probably at your wick’s end as the week is about to end.  The stress is getting to you.  You need that break.  A few minutes of diversion would do.

Click this.

After that, you’ll never go back to work.

🙂

New Online Payment Gateway?

Just heard from someone that there is a new local online payment gateway called PayPinoy.

When I went to the site, I had to do a double take. Looks quite exactly as an existing online payment gateway I know…. I immediately thought of two things: (1) PayPinoy is an affiliate or subsidiary of PayPal and (2) PayPinoy just wanted to leverage on the familiar interface of an existing giant in the world of online payment.

The first thought is quite unlikely. PayPal already has presence here in the Philippines (albeit registered Philippine PayPal users can just send money out). They’ve announced in last year’s eBay Explained event at Makati Shangri-la that they have plans of offering the “receive money” feature sometime this year (don’t know if they’d keep to this announcement as PayPal’s especially mum about future plans for the Philippines). Allowing another site with a similar “branding” is tantamount to creating confusion.

The second thought begs the question…. Continue reading

BizTXT: SMS-enable Your Business

BizTXT Application Gateway

Mobile phones have become a natural extension of individuals. Send a message to someone, he gets it directly. That someone can, if he chooses to, directly respond to the message. So if you want to get a message across, it’s now probably best to send him a “text”.

In a country such as ours where SMS is predominantly becoming the preferred medium for casual, facelesss communication over actual voice calls, it makes sense to consider tapping into the advantage presented by the ubiquity of mobile phones.

Companies now recognize the benefits of extending their reach to remote users such as their customers, their suppliers, their partners, and employees. The SMS medium provides a cost-effective and targeted means of communicating commerce messages. Continue reading

Overheard #1: An Account Manager with a Customer

Scene:  An Account Manager of a software development firm and a Customer talking about the latter’s submitted proposal in a Coffee Shop in Makati.

Customer: Before we install the modification, maybe we should see it in action first. A dry run perhaps before we sign this proposal to see if what we are getting is the same as the one we require.

Account Manager: Understood, Sir.  I believe we have talked about your requirements in our last meeting.  IN fact, you sent us the sample of the email formats you would need to be filtered.  All these requirements are expressly mentioned in the proposal we gave you last week.

Customer:  I am fully aware that we’ve set up the alerts since we can actually receive the same on our mobile phone.  However, we have concerns regarding the text messages being sent, hence, the reason for our request. I hope you understand.

Account Manager:  We fully understand your concern, Sir… that you would like to make sure that you are getting what you are going to pay for.  We hope you understand as well that we need to secure from your company some form of acceptance of the proposed scope of modification since we will be allocating customization time and resources to this project.  In this case, the signed proposal will serve the purpose.  We can start development as soon as we receive the signed off proposal.

Customer:  Okay? Then?

Account Manager: When we submit the modified application for your testing, we will also submit a separate User Acceptance Form.  We will ask you to sign this form only when you agree that the scope of work has been fulfilled. We require a signed User Acceptance Form before we can deploy the modified application for production use.  The signed User Acceptance Form will also be our basis for sending the invoice to you for the amount specified in the proposal.

Customer:  Thank you for your detailed explanation, then.  I understand the purpose of signing your acceptance form, but let me just clarify this…When we sign this form, this is to just signify that we are okay with the tasks that will be done by your team, right? And we are not yet confirming our acceptance on the proposal?

Account Manager: *scratches his nose and heaves a noticeable sigh of exasperation*

Trying Out Facebook…

I am a newbie to social networking sites. Heck, I’ve spurned countless invites to set up a Friendster and MySpace accounts!

But now I am intrigued by a similar service which has been getting a lot of buzz and attention lately, especially with its newly launched platform. Top Bloggers (tech experts, VC’s alike, and practically all those in Silicon Valley) have been talking about it. It’s called Facebook. It’s the hottest thing right now as evidenced by its relentless pace of signing up a million new users every week! Continue reading