within and without

September 5, 2012

how can these two be opposites?

they seem to be on totally different planes

Pricing

January 22, 2012

Benny Daon, is one of my favorite entrepreneurs. why?

  • he is  hard working -when i met him first in 1998, he was bootstrapping his company. this included packaging CDs in cardboard boxes prior to shiping to customers.  i believe this is a sight i will not see again.
  • he is insightful – he named his product “the cloud” in 1998. early to market?  i believe the company still has a TradeMark for the word cloud. i did not know how to say ‘cloud’ till 2009.
  • he is unusual – named his company Shunra. perhaps the only start-up in the world with an Aramaic name
  • he still loves coding

and he is also a social entrepreneur

his claim:  the most important page one your website is the pricing page.

how insightful.

that’s the one page you want all your customers to get to.

it also exposes many of your values. what your company really stands for. show me your pricing page and i can tell you who you are

here is what i think is a great pricing page. why?

  • pricing parameters are associated with value created
  • transparent – lends itself to fairness
  • variable -  i pay for what i get
  • simple

1 page, 1 slide

January 17, 2012

can you describe your company in 1 slide?

that is really hard.

usually takes quite a bit of time to understand your customers well enough to articulate your value in 1 slide and for the customers to agree.

but these days people have less patience and want to make decisions quickly.

would it be a pie chart of what you save them on costs?

would it be how you increase their revenues? or profits ?

perhaps how we improve their conversion ratios?

I always liked the signs posted on poles next to stoplights saying

“loose 10 kg in 10 weeks”

these guys can explain their business very quickly.  they have to – no angels, no VCs.

today i spent 2 hours with some guys, and i still do not understand their business. but they seem very close to something very interesting. hence the 2 hours.

back to the guys who want me to loose weight (and i should).

what is their cost per lead?

i bet the conversion ratio is not that high; and their best conversion ratios and channels are word of mouth. for all of us working on digital marketing machines, let not forget that. our customers can create the best leads for us. does your product/service make it easy for them to recommend you?

more often than not, the answer is “not”….

or

“paint your house for 1399NIS (3 rooms)”

the beauty with that one is that up-sell is coming. i bet’ya his ASP is > 1399NIS.

the photo here is one for a plumber. ( called ‘installer’ in hebrew – no downloads, no SEO)

“the fast plumber”

a bit too much text?

this plumber does not drive an old truck.

he drives a motorcycle. and this sign is on the box on the back of the motorcycle where he keeps most of his tools.

we all know it is no fun to seat at home and wait for the plumber. the fact that he is on a motorcycle, makes me believe his customers wait less. made me want to call him.

finally, lets see, on your website, most users or leads end up reading/using one page and then make a decision.

what is your most important page?

 

 

 

 

The man in the arena

January 16, 2012

it is the beginning of the year.

happy new year. 2012. the end of history?

maybe just something different.

expect the unexpected?

some of my companies are struggling.

the 2nd half of 2011 has been miserable. everyone is waiting. people seem to prefer to delay decisions. channels are clearing their inventory levels, with no new orders. people are zipping their pockets. money is not coming out. with a few exceptions.

two classes. the haves and have-not’s. the ones who have clear growth.  predictability. visibility. and the ones who are working just as hard. trying to figure it out. that is why we choose this.

i realize i am not in the trenches. my job, my line,  is to support the entrepreneurs who are in the front. not a lineman, a line-backer.

Here is how Teddy Roosevelt described it in an April 23rd, 1910, speech in the Sorbonne, now named citizenship in a republic.

here is looking at you

Amir, Israel, Yuval, Omer, Nili, Yonathan, Zvi, Tal, Guy, Avner, Pierre, Guri and Doron:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;

who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

LinkedIn?

December 7, 2011

I pressed a button I did not intend
500 emails went out inviting older contacts I am not really in touch with to LinkIn.
Within 1 minute, 10 people accepted. the movement in the network. the signals coming back. I could visualize it.

Now I am learning about my new connections. Including my mom whom I have been avoiding as a facebook and LinkedIn contact for about 7 years. Hey, I love my mom. But I wanted to keep my facebook contacts to friends, not family, not a way to ‘watch my kids’ (Carmel is 20 today); my LinkedIn contacts to people I remember and am willing to help with a request and feel comfortable asking for help. While i am now connected to more people, I am concerned about the “noise” it can create

Linkedin is

poland, israel, palestine

September 29, 2011

Happy new year, again

the first day of the new year is wonderful. שנה=שינוי

yet, it is also the first day (of the rest of our lives) of the horrible days. the 10 days in which we as Jews need to think about the last year. what was good, what was not. what do we wish we would have done differently? whom do we need to ask for forgiveness or pardon? will we be able to ask? will they forgive?

Tal lost her first tooth this week, Carmel is back from officer’s course after 21 days, and Yuval is back from Poland. a trip which could have been  very meaningful, and in her case,  seemed to be a bit less so. decided to share the letter i wrote her:

יובל היקרה,
את עוד מעט בת 18. בת אדם, שלמה, נפלאה לומדת וצומחת.

אילו מדינת ישראל לא היתה קיימת, יתכן והיינו יהודים באירופה
מחיים יפים ונורמלים. היינו נאספים אל הגטו. לאחר מספר שבועות או חודשים קשיים היינו נשלחים למחנה  עבודה/השמדה . כרמל ועדן במשלוח אחר. לא נראה אותם עוד

גיל, טל, אמא ואני. ואת. דחוסים בקרון. אני חולה. צפוף וחם ומסריח בקרון. וצפוף. אולי גיל מספיק נבון לקפוץ מהקרון דרך חלון צר.

    , לאחר נסיעה ארוכה ומשפילה, כבר למדנו הרבה על השפלות ואובדן בטחון עצמי

  “arbeit macht frei” יוצאים מהקאות והקרון ל

תמיד האמנתי שהעבודה משחררת ועכשו אני בקושי יורד מהקרון. את, אמא וטל בצד אחד, ואני בצד אחר. הנתראה שוב? האם יש בי את הכוח

אמא עם טל על הידיים. את סוחבת שתי מזוודות. אמא רוצה להחליף. את מבינה באינסטינקטים שאם תיקחי את טל על הידיים לא תעברי סלקציה. טל בוכה, אמא חלשה משלשה ימים בטרנספורט. את מחליטה לסרב ולכן קצין האס.אס. שולח אותך ימינה . את טל ואמא שמאלה

יובל, את גודלת להיות אזרח במדינה מרתקת וקשה. נס עלי אדמות.  ארץ אוכלת יושביה, זבת חלב ודבש. ארץ שברירית שקיבלנו במתנה. עלינו לשמור עליה ואם אפשר, להחזירה במצב יותר טוב משקיבלנו.

היש מקום יותר כייפי לחיות בו? אנשים מוכשרים, ערב תרבויות, אוכל, ים. עם הרבה חריף.

עם יפה, עם אחד,וגם עם מפוצל שעסוק בהישרדות. עם כובש שמתנהג בגסות אל השונה והאחר. שוחר שלום או כוח? לא ברור. מה שברור הוא שבכל דור ודור, עומדים עלינו לכלותינו. רק הרעים מתחלפים. לפעמים גם התור שלנו.

אסור לשכוח

אבא

half naked and full of criticism

September 27, 2011

happy new year all my dear friends

wanted to recommend my friend, Zvi Arom’s, web site which houses his poems
some of the lines are so touching, i wish i would have been writing them. i think i am going to use some of these lines in my SMS

i am especially proud of the fact that Guy Horowitz, added music to one of the poems and created this wonderful clip

enjoy

which would you rather be?

September 5, 2011

in life, and in your startup, what would you rather be?

this earth digger?

moving earth one bucket at a time

or

    this guy, who skates almost frictionless on ice?

its kind of a loaded question.

yet, it is surprising how often in life and in business we choose the digger.

in Start-up life, as en entrepreneur or CEO, there are several ways you can make your life easier.

yet some people choose to dig a hole rather than skate.

the most common way to make life hard for you self is in your business model.

the most common mistake that is still common amongst early-stage SaaS startups is to go for direct sales:

  • it is costly.
  • it takes a long time to figure out
  • it changes the DNA of your company early. how easy is it to change later to Self-Serve after your VP sales has dedicated a year to sell direct.
  • it effects the leads you seek, and their costs
  • it gives a false sense of control
  • oh yeah, and the switch later, is really painful

most of the above applies to our bad-traits as individuals, too.

end of summer

August 28, 2011

it is the end of summer. school year is just around the corner.

football. some air to breathe. a new bag, 3 sharp pencils.

in our family it is time for a great barBQ with Limor’s brother’s family as all 3 boys’ birthdays are in the last week of august

so it is time for the long drive to a moshav in the Sharon plains.

Limor is driving. we pass by כלא הדרים, a prison nestled in the middle of many acres of citrus orchards.

From the back seat, Gil says “it is really not fair to call a jail כלא הדרים. it is like calling a kindergarten סוף הדרך or an old-age home גן עדן”.

end of summer. has that bitter taste.

now it is time to start something great, fresh, new

 

Spring Of ’69

February 17, 2011

here is a picture from my kindergarten. spring of 1969 if i am not mistaken

good education system

israel is high on its spirits.

1969 גן יחיאלה, רמת השרון

met gil eshet last night.

first time in about 35 years. he is on the second row from the top, second from right.

it was delightful

what you see are the same eyes, and the same smile on the edge of the lips. gil was always looking for a twist, doing something on the wild side, and with a smile.

it was so beautiful for me.

to be with a person who is so highly rooted in my early memories; a friend from age 3-12, and one class above.

and have a discussion with a deep chronological perspective but only early, fragile  intimacy.

interesting.


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