August 27, 2015

Glip: A dazzling new project management tool

Cruiseable-on-Glip
A screenshot of a recent Cruiseable team video chat on Glip.

And the major disappointment that is Disqus

This is part three of a five-part series on “Rise of a startup: Cruiseable.” Today’s installment looks at how we’re using Glip and Disqus. Also see:

Part 1: Great tech startups begin with a great development team
Part 2: Followerwonk: A powerful tool to up your Twitter game – See more at: http://socialmedia.biz/2015/08/20/followerwonk-a-powerful-tool-to-up-your-twitter-game/#sthash.jxRBSQNE.dpuf

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, angel investors, venture capitalists, developers, businesses, innovators, educators, students, journalists, travel analysts.

JD LasicaFor months, we’ve been hacking our way through the launch of the Cruiseable website and mobile app by relying on a frankly random collection of collaboration tools, including Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Sites, Google Groups, Google Hangouts, Skype, Basecamp, Asana and Trello.

It’s a small miracle we managed to launch with a beautiful-looking site despite the mishmosh of tools that resembles a five-car pileup on I-80.

But now we’ve hit upon an integrated tool that brings order to the chaos: Glip. Continue reading

June 23, 2015

The recipe for success that earned Lynda.com a $1.5 billion payday

Lynda Weinman
Lynda Weinman at the Traction conference in Vancouver (Photo by JD Lasica).

This is the second of a two-part series on the Traction conference. Also see:
• Part 1: Traction: How to spur growth for your startup

Target audience: Startup teams, entrepreneurs, small businesses, marketing professionals, SEO specialists, PR pros, brand managers, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

JD LasicaYesterday I highlighted some takeaways from the cool new Traction conference that debuted last Wednesday and Thursday in Vancouver. The event drew roughly 800 entrepreneurs, startup team members, marketers and angel investors.

One of the inspiring keynotes of the event came from Lynda Weinman, founder of Lynda.com, which LinkedIn purchased for $1.5 billion in April. (She mentioned that she’ll be leaving LinkedIn soon to pursue another entrepreneurial opportunity.)

Lynda recounted her journey from running in-person computer training courses to the dotcom crash of 2000-2001, which forced the company to pivot to online tutorials. That early mover advantage gave Lynda.com the ability to set the pace for all the e-learning sites that followed. Continue reading

February 12, 2015

Startup Grind: ‘Find your golden purpose’

Jeff-Hoffman
Jeff Hoffman, who was part of the founding team at Priceline and now runs ColorJar.

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, businesses, anyone who cares about innovation.

JD LasicaI‘m back from Startup Grind 2015 in Silicon Valley’s Redwood City, an annual two-day affair that attracts thousands of entrepreneurs and innovators from around the world.

Here’s my Flickr photo set of 47 shots from the conference, which featured Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger, Bill Maris of Google Ventures, Stripe co-founder Patrick Collison and Houzz co-founder Adi Tatarko, among many others.

But the talk I was most taken with was by Jeff Hoffman, a veteran entrepreneur and public speaker who was on Priceline’s founding team and now runs ColorJar. Jeff encouraged the assembled startup founders to “find your golden purpose.” Continue reading

September 30, 2013

Ansa: Text friends safely, securely & without regret

Go ‘off the record’ when sharing sensitive messages

Target audience: Startups, network managers, college students, privacy experts, mobile users, educators, journalists, Web publishers.

JD LasicaMobile is taking over the world, as tens of millions of us migrate from desktops and laptops to smartphones and other mobile devices. Today I’m attending Launch Mobile in San Francisco to get a sense of the latest trends (see my tweets by following @jdlasica on Twitter). And earlier this month I attended TechCrunch Disrupt, where a number of young social and mobile startups were on display.

One of the startups that caught the eye of the judges was Ansa, a messaging app that gives you control over the messages you share. One judge called it “Snapchat for grownups.”

I interviewed co-founder and CEO Natalie Bryla in this 6-minute video:

Watch, download or share the video on Vimeo
Watch, embed or share the video on YouTube Continue reading

April 18, 2013

Demo Mobile: The revolution is at full throttle

Vinod-Khosla
Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures at Demo Mobile on Wednesday (Photo by JD Lasica).

Startups show disruptive potential of mobile tech

JD LasicaAs regular readers know, I straddle the social media marketing and tech startup worlds, and increasingly I’ve been drawn to events focused on the disruptive changes wrought by the mobile revolution.

I stopped going to DEMO events a while back, given the richness of the Launch and TechCrunch Disrupt startup conferences, but yesterday I attended DEMO Mobile and came away impressed by the fervor and tumult evident on stage and off.

Here are 27 photos I took yesterday in this Demo Mobile set on Flickr.

As always, let me begin with a disclaimer that I didn’t attend to provide a comprehensive blow-by-blow of all the speakers, all the sessions or all the entrepreneurs in the Demo room. Instead, here are a few takeaways and highlights that struck me as particularly interesting with a focus on startups and entrepreneurs — to be sure, a decidedly small slice of Demo Mobile. Continue reading

March 13, 2013

Startup turns a smartphone into a smart toy

Unveiled at Launch, Ubooly shows power of sensor technology (and hugs)

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, technologists, designers, marketing professionals, businesses, toy manufacturers, parents.

JD LasicaAt last week’s Launch Festival in San Francisco, I spent a few minutes talking with Carly Gloge, the founder and CEO of a new startup called Ubooly. They make cuddly plush toys that you can personalize and interact with through your iPhone or iPod Touch. (You stick the device inside the toy.) It’s for kids ages 4 to 9.

Carly gave one of the more dynamic presentations on stage at Launch, so I caught up with her after her demo. Ubooly is out “to make toys smart,” she said. Smart devices, starting with the iPhone and iPod Touch, have become “so powerful compared to anything else that has been put in toys. So we thought, let’s merge the two.”

Voilà! The Ubooly (pronounced OO-buh-lee, which I finally pronounced right by the end of the video). What’s cool about this is:

• Children form an emotional bond with these toys that they’ll carry with them for years;

• Parents get to program the toy via the online Ubooly Lab, starting with setting up their child’s favorite color, animal and sports. From there, the parents can activate educational packs that seem best suited to their little one.

Ubooly launched with six packs — written by elementary school teachers and comedy writers — and will expand to 20 by the end of the month, Carly says.

Watch, download or embed the 4-minute video on Vimeo Continue reading