Aggregate or die!

I woke up this morning feeling an irresistible need for an information aggregator.

On a daily basis what I use the most are: Google Reader, Twitter, Google alerts. In an attempt to organize, understand and sort, I use Google Analytics and Delicious.

And I feel like I'm loosing and missing a lot of information, time and at the end of the day, I don't have the "big picture".

So, I woke up moaning about how hard it is to cope with so many info and how frustrating it is to miss so much.

Quite patiently - it wasn't 7:00am yet - my personal geeknius (geek+genius) advocate for a thorough market survey: "you may like to try this and that, probably that you'll find something to meet this need".

I did as told. Didn't find my solution yet, but felt it was worth sharing my first findings:

- uberVU (I love the name) - social info on key words displayed in a (very) nice dashboard - realtime
Here's a quick demo:

There's a nice "Trial for free for 30 days". Cost is pretty fair as well:

- Wikio - blog & news syndication
seems pretty thorough in the aggregated sources and allows you to popularize them through votes. And it's free. Basically, it provides you with "what's hot".

- Newscred: Then a tweet from @nicolasgamard led my to NewsCred
Basically I found it a Reverse Google Reader: instead of following a given media, you type in a topic and newscred displays related news in a "your own newspaper"-way.
See mine: http://adeforsan.newscred.com/#

OK now, let's test them on a given topic. I looked for a synthetic view on Kwaga.
  • Only uberVu provides multi-languages results
  • None drag info from Feedback-type of forum
  • I got aggregated info by media type, but I'm still missing the cross-media syndication I'm looking for. Not mentioning the associated dashboard.
What trick do you use to get all the info you rely on for your job/life at a glance ?

Thanks for sharing.


Mantras for entrepreneurs

My post from yesterday raised some great comments and discussions, among which the lonelyness of the entrepreneur generates many exchanges.

Here is my proposed "zen cure": Mantras for entrepreneurs.

A mantra is a sound, syllable, word, or group of words that are considered capable of "creating transformation" (from wikipedia).

Here are some of mine:
  • Reed: be reed-like went you create a brand new service or product, based on your own personal conviction and belief. Anchored on your rock-solid-yet-flexible self foundations.
  • Exchange: be evangelist-like and faithfully present, explain and convince anyone you come across. And yet listen.
  • Sieve: listen sieve-like and sort all given advises and keep the best nuggets
  • Echo: strengthen your foundations in integrating new valuable ideas to your own personal convictions
Which are yours? Contribute!


Is pairing impairing?

You need shareholders, for sure.
Do you really need co-founders?

Saturday was Third shooting session of The Big Project aka TBP. Out of the four originally planned, only three startups showed up. Not that I'm complaining, three stratups were far enough for my SaturdayStartup delight.

The reason one of the startups didn't show up is because the three co-founders couldn't agree on the message they wanted to present.

It made me think of entrepreneur and leadership. And what stroke me was that quite often, once entrepreneurs have their "Great Idea", they start with selecting a co-founder (sometimes several) and then eventually they build a team around them.

Probably because at the early stages of the company, entrepreneurs a rarely able to propose any salary. So they propose bits of their Great Idea, and end up with co-founders instead of shareholders.

We all agree that startups require the combination of complementing skills. And quite often it goes like "the tech genius & the sales wizard" are proud to present you...

But then, the startup has to pitch in front of VCs, customers, potential partners etc. and the need (and the demand) for THE startup representative rises and could strike hard.

Who's going to be the Startup Spokesperson?
The Tech Genius (most of the time the core idea's genitor) or the Sales Wizard (whose best friends are often the first customers/partners)?
And then eventually - hopefully - who's going to grab the laurels of success?
(I have to admit, I never saw an argument about who's endorsing failures...)

Shareholders are proud of your success and encourage it. It grants them with great ROI.
Co-founders work hard and want their share of spotlight.

I believe and have seen it several time: the success of a company, its growth and expansion, is a single-person story. The story of the founder, the leader able to build a strong team around his/her ideas, with people excelling in areas where he/she doesn't.

On the other hand, I have witnessed extremely frequently the failure of great ideas and companies, due to resentment and fights for power between founders. It's sad. And could be avoided.

Sorry guys, but there aren't that many successful "tandem-like" companies.

That's why I think pairing can actually impair your company.

What do you think?