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Best Of 2007
Best of the Web 2007
Our Favorite Entrepreneurial Writing

Nice Blog Essay and Site for Freelancers: 10 Absolute "Nos!" for Freelancers

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Nice looking site and some nice tips on succeeding as a freelancer.

When I first started freelancing as a college student, I was eager to do any website and would say "Yes" to anything, regardless of my skill set or the time involved. It was just nice to know that someone needed me for a skilled task. Unfortunately, I quickly found myself working all the time, eating Ramen noodles, and not getting anywhere in terms of paying off my wonderful college debt. To make things worse, these people were also giving my contact info out to other such people (you know, the lady who has been thinking about selling dog sweaters online and has a $100 budget for an e-commerce site, 1000 brochures, and a guranteed #1 Google search result for the "dog", "sweater", and "love").

Anyways, now four years later, my world (AND financial success) now requires ample use of the answer "No." And here are ten questions I nearly always answer "No" to:


David Seah - The Printable CEO™ Series

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In general there are lots of good blog entries and printable (duh) pages over at David Seah's website. He talks alot about making the most of your time, tracking what you are doing, tracking your progress on tasks and projects. It is especially good for people who prefer paper over computer screen for these things.

David Seah - The Printable CEO™ Series

On the page you'll find a series of printable PDF forms for tracking your time and other things:

  • Concrete Goals Tracker 2007
  • Compact Calendar 2007
  • Emergent Task Planner 2007
  • Emergent Task Tracker 2007
  • Resource Task Quantizers 2007
  • Task Order Up 2007
  • Task Progress Tracker 2007

PODdy Mouth - Good blog on self-publishing and printing on demand

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Tom Colvin, who is a member at DC and runs his own great blog has made a post recommending this blog on self-publishing.

Quoting Tom:
I’ve been following her blog, dipping in several times a week. Yes, she’s definitely opinionated. She also really knows what she’s talking about. For example, look at her post Top 6 PODS Author Solutions Should Acquire Next . The blogger provides details about the publishers on her list that are not easy to come by — and they provide unusual insight into the business.While most blogs about writing drift from topic to topic, this one is sharply focussed on a topic that any writer who wants to have a book published should follow. It’s one of a small handful of writer’s blog that I consider a MUST-READ.

From the site itself:
I am very opinionated about print-on-demand and self-publishing, and since every opinionated person I know has a blog, I figured I had better start one, too. No use wasting my opinions just on myself, right? That’s like making a delicious, six-course meal just for me and my cat.

 I should also mention that I have had personal dealings with nearly every publisher I am going to discuss, including (in no particular order): Author House, iUniverse, Lulu, Cafe Press, Outskirts Press, Xlibris, Create Space, Tate, Publish America, etc.  So let my experience be your guide… or, you know, whatever.

Bored? Why Not Create a Startup Company!?

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Here's another interesting article to take your thoughts away from important things. This one is a multi-part discussion of startup companies.

In this series of posts I will walk through some of my accumulated knowledge and experience in building high-tech startups...
This series will focus on lessons learned from this entire cross-section of Silicon Valley startups -- so don't think that anything I am talking about is referring to one of my own companies: most likely when I talk about a scenario I have seen or something I have experienced, it is from some other startup that I am not naming but was involved with some other way than as a founder...


Why do so many micropayment systems fail?

Four years ago, I wrote a piece called Fame vs Fortune: Micropayments and Free Content. The piece was sparked by the founding of a company called BitPass and its adoption by the comic artist Scott McCloud (author of the seminal Understanding Comics, among other things.) McCloud created a graphic work called “The Right Number”, which you had to buy using BitPass.

It didn’t work. BitPass went out of business in January of this year. I didn’t write about it at the time because its failure was a foregone conclusion. This isn’t just retrospective certainty, either..


Make sure you read the DC article which talks about microdonations: https://www.donation...icles/One/index.html

Nine tips for dealing with home office isolation

Working from home is totally sweet, right? You can earn money without even changing out of your PJs, blast music as loud as you want and talk to your Star Wars toy collection in order to replicate actual human contact.

Okay well, maybe it's a little unhealthy to stay at home all the time. Check out this list of nine tips for dealing with home office isolation and put the Jar Jar Binks doll away, for crying out loud.


12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them and other freelancing essays

Here's a great blog and a great fun read that will surely strike a cord with anyone who's done freelancing work..

FreelanceSwitch, a Community & Resource for freelancers of all varieties - designers, writers programmers, illustrators, photographers ...

There are loads of different types of clients out there and chances are at some point you’ll get to meet all of them. So let’s take a look through some typical clients and see if you recognise a few of your own in there!


Working for the Man: Essay on Lessons for Young Software Developers

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After I'd finished checking for obvious facial wrinkles in the bathroom I decided to go on a quest to find other engineers in the building who were at least as old as I was, and felt much better when I found some. But it set me thinking about what kind of advice I would give if I could meet myself at his age, in order to guide the young Allison into a promising engineering career. So in the best spirit of "The Screwtape Letters", here is some of what I've learned so far about making yourself a career in writing software.
If it's not what you love, don't do it
I've worked with many programmers during my career. Without a doubt, the only ones who are any good at it are those who see writing code as art, a creative process.

Starting a Nonprofit Organization and More: The Free Management Library

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Nice page on Starting a non-profit organization..

What is the Free Management Library?What is the Purpose of the Library?
The Library provides easy-to-access, clutter-free, comprehensive resources regarding the leadership and management of yourself, other individuals, groups and organizations. Content is relevant to the vast majority of people, whether they are in large or small for-profit or nonprofit organizations. Over the past 10 years, the Library has grown to be one of the world's largest well-organized collections of these types of resources.

This topic in the Library provides comprehensive advice and materials for anyone who is considering starting a nonprofit organization. The reader can use the free information in this Library topic, along with other Library topics that are referenced later on below

  • Each of the links listed immediately below is a link to a section later on, farther down below, in this Web page.
  • Starting Your Nonprofit
  • First Things First -- What Do You Mean by "Starting a Nonprofit"?
  • Feasibility Study -- "Should I Really Start a New Nonprofit?"
  • Consider Fiscal Sponsorship (another nonprofit to support your tax-exempt status, finances, etc.)
  • Do You Need a Lawyer to Start Your Nonprofit?
  • Nonprofit Incubators (help new nonprofits by sharing facilities, equipment, etc.)
  • Checklists to Help You Register Your New Nonprofit
  • Table of Reminders for Registering Your New Nonprofit
  • Something to Avoid: Founder's Syndrome


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Service to Help you Incorporate Your Company Legally and Cheaply

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Here's an online service for filing legal papers to make your own company

Step 1: Learn About Incorporating
» Which entity: Corp, S-Corp or LLC?
» 10 Reasons Why We're Better
» Which State to choose?
» What's included with our service?
» Compare us to the competition
» Frequently Asked Questions
» Learn more about incorporating
Step 2: Instant Quote and Order Online!...

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Browning's 20 top tips for surviving life in the workplace

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If only I'd known while I was still part of the corporate world...

1 Never offer to make coffee
In an open plan office there is a ritual where everyone waits hours for the first person to say: "Who wants a coffee?" That person then finds themselves in the kitchen for the rest of the day working as a junior catering manager. Also remember that nobody ever gets to the top of an organisation by drinking stinky teas. No one wants to have a serious meeting in a room that smells of peppermint/rhubarb/aloe vera.
2 Ignore all emails
Working in the post room is not generally a career choice for most people. Yet with the epidemic of email most people spend half their working lives slaving away in their own personal computer post room...,,1924681,00.html

Resolving the Micropayment Problem

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The authors discuss how encryption can be used instead of charging fees.

Transaction fees for micropayments threaten the booming online and mobile economy. Changing how the e-commerce industry imposes online transaction fees can provide a quick fix to the micropayment problem—which occurs when processing fees on such widely purchased small items as iTunes and parking exceed the merchant's margins. However, that simple business approach will provide only a stopgap measure at best because it fails to address the fact that each transaction carries fixed costs.
Implementing applied-cryptography approaches is decidedly more difficult, but it provides a far superior long-term solution. The approaches range from aggregating payments and using tamper-resistant devices to delegating policy decisions and letting users generate payment tokens...

Nice long thoughtfull essay..

10 Business Lessons from Steve Pavlina

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Some good practcal business suggestions...

As a companion to 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job and 10 Stupid Mistakes Made by the Newly Self-Employed, here are 10 positive lessons I learned from more than 12 years as an entrepreneur.  A few of these are rehashed from the 10 Mistakes article, but most are new.

This list is the result of the liberal application of the advice from item #5, “Fail your way forward.”

Without further ado:

Network selectively.  Nothing says “business newbie” like shotgun networking.  “You never know when someone might say yes” is marketing for dummies.  Take the time to build a profile of your ideal customers, and target your networking activities to reach them.  Speak to those who are already predisposed to want what you offer.  Almost any profile is better than “anyone with a pulse.”

Buy the best chair you can find.  You’ll probably use your chair more than any other piece of business equipment, including your computer, so don’t settle for a crappy one.  Consider a chair with padded arms and a high back (to the top of your head) for maximum comfort.  The most expensive chairs aren’t necessarily ideal for you, so you must test your way to comfort nirvana...


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Why I Stopped Using Five Strategies for Getting Things Done

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Here's a cool acticle about why several productivity strategies weren't working.

One of the biggest reasons why especially IT-people, bloggers and geeks are drawn to GTD is it's possibility to tweak and play with the system. For some reason, the 5 phases of GTD invite to find, install and play with all sorts of online and offline applications. Because it is mainly build around lists, contexts and the notion that you have those lists with you, mobile applications talk with desktop applications, online web 2.0-esque startups built around lists and the likes.

But over the last two years I am into GTD, I must say I have yet to find the perfect system. And you know what? I don't think I will ever find. If I were a very literate person, I would insert some smart Buddha quote here about the journey and the destiny, but forget that. I want to talk about five systems I have tried myself and why I stopped or will stop using them...


Hacknot: Contract vs. Regular Employment

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Here's an interesting discussion about the advantages and disadvantages of contact work versus "permanent" (regular) employment.

There are two dominant modes of employment for software developers - permanent and contract. The woefully misnamed "permanent" staff member has a conventional employer/employee arrangement with a company, receives paid sick leave and annual leave, and is afforded a certain amount of legal protection regarding rights and conditions. A contractor is not an employee of the company in the usual sense, but a hired gun who is contractually engaged by the company to provide services for a fixed period of time. Contract periods are typically in multiples of three months.

A decision all developers must make when entering the job market is whether they are seeking a contract or permanent role...

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