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I love this post by Seth Godin. Too many entrepreneurs sprint out of the gate thinking they’ll be the next big thing. They see Robert Scoble doing video interviews and TechCrunch praising the next “product x” killer that have seemingly come out of nowhere. The problem is that these success stories tend to be the top 1% of the thousands of successful companies that are started each year and sprint tends to be exactly what leads to failure. What get lost in all this are the other successful companies that didn’t receive the same publicity, venture capital, and quick success but over time made solid business decisions, spent wisely, and stuck with their strategy and tactics to win in the long run. It’s these companies that most of us should model our own business practices after and then let everything else take care of itself.

Please Note: iPhone posts have moved to theiPhoneSherpa.com

After spending a week using 2.0.1, I’m anxiously awaiting 2.0.2 or 2.1, whichever comes first. At first this update appeared to fix some of the sluggishness but that is no longer the case. I’m not sure if this is due to my apps now working or something else but something needs to be done to make the touch screen as responsive as it was in the 1.x versions.

Here’s a quick list of a couple other nagging issues I’d love to see fixed.

– Contact App: still too slow to be usable
– Safari: I don’t remember having this problem in 1.x but Safari rarely remembers the last “window” you use. Instead, 95% of the time you run Safari you start with the first “window” you have open.
– Safari: when switching “windows”, each window reloads. This can be very frustrating when switching to a site like Google Reader where a refresh takes you away from an article you were saving and back to home screen.
– Volume Bar: the volume bar randomly pops up from time to time when tapping on the screen. I haven’t found a pattern to it so I’m not sure what is causing the problem.
– App Crashes: The “Apple” apps that comes with the iphone still crash too frequently. The iPhone is supposedly running the same OS X as Apple’s other computers but this doesn’t show in it’s level of stability. The worst offender is Safari which contiues to crash a couple of times a say on me we as my MacBook Pro can run for days without any issues.

Apple generally puts quality first, but they definite bit off to much with MobileMe and I tend to think they did the same with the 2.x version of the iphone software. 2.0 probably could have used another 4 to 6 weeks of development time. I really hope the next update concentrates on performance and bug fixed before any new features are added.

iPhone 2.0.1 Apps Problem

Yesterday, I downloaded the new iPhone update. Everything appeared to be working great; no lag, contacts application was finally usable, and the keyboard was much faster. I was very happy with the update until I tried any of the apps I’ve downloaded from the app store. None of them work. Every app returns to the home screen shortly after trying to start up. I’m looking around now to see if I can find out what the problem is but it doesn’t appear to be wide spread which is good but it doesn’t help me much. If you’ve solved this problem please let me know what I can do to correct it. In the mean time, I’m going to try a few things and will post an update if I can get the apps working.

Update: I was able to get my apps working again by deleting them all through iTunes (applications tab -> sync applications -> uncheck all the apps installed on your phone) then I re-downloaded them through app store on my iPhone. Trying to re-sync the apps through iTunes did not work.

I wanted to extend an offer I made on my Marketing for Mavens blog to a larger audience. The other day I was inspired by the idea that there are probably thousands of people out there with web development, web design, and web marketing questions but have no idea where to go to have them answered. Yes, there are forums out there for this sort of thing but sometimes you just want to have a conversation with someone. Over the years, I have learned a lot from the different communities out there and it time for me to give back.

I have decided that I’m going to donate an hour of each day to helping people with their web related questions. I setup a form that people can use to fill out a quick description of their question and how they would like to be contacted. I can’t make any promises that I’ll be able to answer every question but at the very least I can probably point you in the right direction. If you have a question, then please feel free to submit it to me. Thank you!

Ruby on Rails has taken a beating lately with all the down time occurring on Twitter. The Twitter developers have openly stated that Rails isn’t to blame but it hasn’t stopped all the FUD that has been posted.

I have never personally run into any of the scaling problems that have been blamed on Rails but I’ve also never built an application that receives the amount of use that Twitter does. So this has me wondering, where is all the support from the Rails community? 37signals has built several successful Rails apps and there are many others out there. It would be a shame if this pushes people away from a very good web development platform. Any Rails developers out there want to comment on this. Let’s get some positive comments and success stories out there!

This is shocking and sad. Words can’t even describe how pathetic we are as a society for something like this to happen on a busy street in the US. I’d like to think this an isolated incident but seeing how many people saw this event happen and watched this man lie in the road without doing anything makes me sick. Maybe this is one of those “group think” incidents where everyone looks at each other waiting for the other person to respond or maybe we no longer have any regard for anyone but ourselves. Very sad and disturbing.

One of the problems with web marketing is that thousands of dollars are spent to bring in new visitors but only a small percentage of this is used to retain and nurture these visitors once they come to your sites.

One reason is the difficulty in building and targeting pinpoint messages, promotions, and campaigns to web visitors. Companies tend to focus all of their effort on getting the company message out to the public. The problem is “the public” is a very broad group so the content is watered down for consumption by the masses. This is not what most of your visitors are interested in.

Another reason is how difficult it can be to manage, maintain, and update content for individual web visitors. The people in the company who would best manage this content don’t have the tools and resources to access the web site and track how well campaigns and promotions are doing. Instead, they must fill out a web request form to get added to the queue. On the other hand, the web team is busy creating new pages for a product launches, managing Google Adwords campaigns, or analyzing web site statistics. They have tools that assist them in managing all of these tasks but they don’t have a tool for efficiently managing campaigns that are targeted to individuals.

A third reason is how easy it is to setup a Google Adwords campaign, show how many click-throughs your site is receiving, and stop there. You can get your ads out to the masses in just a few minutes. Then, every few weeks, you justify this spending because you can see the results in real time using the web interface or through nicely printed reports. This is great but it’s only half the battle. Wouldn’t it make more sense to take all of this great traffic you are getting from Google Adwords or search and continue to assist your visitors in finding what they want once they’re on your site?

This is why I built Marketing for Mavens. It’s a unique web application which puts the power of marketing to web visitors into the hands of those who are most capable of maintaining these campaigns. The web team can choose to keep control over the content management of the campaigns or give access to people in marketing programs or other groups within the company to handle this themselves. In addition, Marketing for Mavens tracks and tags each individual based on the pages they visit so now your company can ensure that your campaigns are matched up with right person at the right time. With Marketing for Mavens you know who your top visitors are and you can customize your messaging to them leading to quicker sales and improved visitor satisfaction.

If you are curious as to how this works please feel free to check out the demo. Marketing for Mavens is scheduled to launch a beta release in June so please sign up if you are interested in taking part.