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Perfect Time for Bootstrappers

Posted on: October 9, 2008 I Written By

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Today I read a post from Techcrunch (been too long since I did that) that contained a letter from Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital (VC Company). In this letter, Bill instructs his portfolio companies on what’s happening in the market and what a privately held company should be doing amidst this “US financial Crisis.” It’s a great read that was very informative about what’s going on.

Of course, at the end of the article I thought to myself that this is the perfect time for bootstrapper start up companies to thrive.

Bill suggested that these VC funded startups conserve capital and look for opportunities. Every VC funded startup can and should be looking at their burn rate and “months of cash.” As a bootstrapped startup, you’ve already lowered your burn rate to a barely survivable level of expense. You already know how to do more with less. Many of the VC funded companies won’t know how to scale down and scaling down will usually mean they’ll be offering less services. If you were able to compete on some level with these major VC backed startups, then the advantage just turned your way.

Let me give you an example. I’m currently working on a group of websites related to TV. The major TV related websites are ones like BuddyTV and TVGuide. I can’t even imagine the burn rates these websites have with all of the staff they use to develop their content. I don’t know the specifics of their financials, but I’d be very surprised if they were profitable.

Instead, my small network of TV websites is already profitable, because I’ve gone out and built it with almost no cash outlay. Do I have to cut any of the staff that I’m paying? No. Do I have to get a smaller office space? No, I work from home. etc etc etc. Sure, I might see a dip in my various revenue streams, but I’m certain that I could withstand the dip in revenues much easier than these other TV websites.

This may not be true for all bootstrappers, but I’ve been absolutely insane in how I’ve bootstrapped. I’ve tried to take out almost every financial risk except for my time spent. Does that mean that I might not have a $2 billion pay day like Youtube? Maybe not, but I’m doing something I really enjoy and making some pretty good money at the same time.

How big can I grow it? Time will tell, but for now I’ve found a nice niche and a lot of growth available. Especially now that my major competitors will be cutting back on their ability to cover everything. Some will be able to focus and do well. However, as a bootstrapped startup, I’ve already got my focus and I’m hammering away on that niche.

That’s Advantage bootstrapper in my book.

Too Many Blogs to Update

Posted on: August 24, 2008 I Written By

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One of the nice things about WordPress is that they are always coming out with updates and changes that enhance the blogging platform. One of the bad things about WordPress is that they are always coming out with updates. That means you have to go and update all of your blogs. Which in my case is far too many. Take a look at the list of blogs that I maintain:

Blogs
Smuggle Me
EMR and HIPAA
Lynn Family Blog
Something for Nothing
Fundraising
BYU Sports
Spoil On

Pure TV Network Blogs
TV Freaks
Dancing with the Stars
So You Think You Can Dance
Fringe
Amazing Race
AGT
TV Sports

Other People’s Blogs
Crowdsource This
True Life Relationships
Take Flight Blog

Blogs I Don’t Write To Anymore, But Don’t Want to Take Down Yet
Cambrian House
miaMessage Blog

Ok, so I’m too lazy to link all of them. A bunch of them are new blogs since I’m splitting Something for Nothing into a TV Blog network. So far it’s doing pretty good, but it’s a good thing that I’m not blogging all of them myself. I have 4 other people helping me to update them with content.

Now if I can just automate the WordPress update we’ll be all good. At least I’ve standardized the plugins I used so I don’t have to test nearly as much.

Live Tour de France 2008 Online Streaming

Posted on: July 5, 2008 I Written By

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In the past years I’ve always been able to find a nice stream of Versus that allowed me to stream the Tour de France online without any problem. This year I have yet to find a nice stream except for the free one that Versus offers for the first 2 stages at a very ungodly hour in the morning.

This year, it looks like Justin.tv is going to save us with the EuroSport Live stream of the Tour de France. I love that it also archives the race so that if you aren’t there live you can watch the race after the fact too. Granted, you have to put up with the english commentary, but essentially that’s what Versus has with Phil Ligget too. I actually prefer the english commentary since it’s a quite refreshing perspective.

I am just a little bummed about even watching this year’s Tour de France since they kicked off Levi Leipheimer and Alberto Contador and their entire team. Just doesn’t seem right. However, I’m sure I won’t worry too much once I see a crazy sprint or a tough mountain stage. I’m just a little sad that there are only 4 Americans participating. That’s really unfortunate that there’s so few.

Great News – CBS Will Stream All NCAA Tournament Games Free Online

Posted on: February 12, 2008 I Written By

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I’ve always had an interest in streaming video. Probably because I’m too cheap to pay for it myself. That’s why I found the news that CBS will be streaming All the NCAA tournament games online for free to be great news.

I’m pretty sure it will all be easily available from the CBS website. I’ll be looking forward to this. TVU Player worked well for streaming the NCAA tournament last year, but unlimited access to games will be so much better. In fact, now that I think about it, CBS streamed the games last year, but they had some filters applied depending on where you lived. This year should be much better.

Widgets on Your TV

Posted on: February 9, 2008 I Written By

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Some may consider the idea of widgets on your tv crazy, but I would absolutely love this. Considering the way TV sizes are growing there’s no reason part of the TV couldn’t be widgets pulling from the internet. I know I’m often found holding my laptopAsus eee while watching TV or running into the other room during commercials to do something on the internet.

The top of my list of things that I’d like on my TV is:
Email Updates (You’ve got mail!!)
Twitter Updates
Google Adsense or other stat reports

Heck, while we’re at it, might as well build in a nice RSS feed reader for me so that I never have to get off the couch. Who needs the Amazon Kindle when I could just read the RSS feeds on my TV?

Trying Out Some Video Advertising

Posted on: July 16, 2007 I Written By

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Today I came across a TechCrunch article about a company called Prerollr. They have a really simple way to put advertising on top of video content that is posted on a third party site. I thought it was a really interesting concept around monetizing videos. We’ll have to see how the company evolves. A quick look at their blog shows that they are a very new company. I love being part of new companies and watching them evolve. However, the real key with Prerollr will be how well they can sign up advertisers and therefore monetize blogs. Targeting the ads to the videos will be a challenge and signing up enough advertisers to make it worth a websites time to use Prerollr will be a major challenge they will have to overcome. Should be an interesting ride.

Here’s an example of a YouTube video with the Prerollr ad. By the way, this video is of the dance Benji Schwimmer choreographed for Pasha and Sara on So You Think You Can Dance.

I am a little concerned that it doesn’t say how much the pay will be and whether it will be an impression model or a click through model. Although the terms of use seem to indicate impression. I assume some of these details are because the site is so new. Hopefully they’ll get this information out soon. Also, they really need to have a stats page on their admin panel so we can watch our impressions and know how our sites are doing. Maybe they aren’t ready for that kind of traffic. You know we are stats junkies.

Now if Prerollr only had an affiliate program. Either way, I’ll at least give them a little bit of link love.

The Work and the Glory: A House Divided Interviews

Posted on: November 23, 2006 I Written By

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I’m very excited for the third video of The Work and the Glory: A House Divided opening today. Unfortunately, I’m outside of Utah and so I won’t be able to see it for a few months. However, I’ve found a number of interviews with Joshua Steed about the latest The Work and the Glory video. The thing I’m looking forward to most is that supposedly in this movie they actually have a little closure to the storyline.

Enjoy The Work and the Glory and I’d love to hear anyone’s review of the movie after they’ve seen it.

Fox 13 – Eric Johnson Interview

ABC 4 – Eric Johnson Interview

ABC 4 – Michael Bowen Interview

ABC 4 – L.A. Premiere

Drag Racing Taken to the Next Level

Posted on: November 18, 2006 I Written By

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I’ve been watching some really interesting Drag Racing Clips from SpeedTV’s show PINKS. It’s some pretty sweet stuff. It’s not like the drag racing you might seen on ESPN. That’s boring since it is so standard and everyone has pretty much the same technology. Drag racing on PINKS is someone putting their baby on the line. I love seeing the emotion people have for their cars. People are completely addicted to their rides. The thought of losing it should be scary which is what makes PINKS interesting. If you don’t believe me then watch this clip to see what I mean:

If you liked it you can catch an all day marathon of PINKS followed by premiere of PINKS All Out on Speedtv on Nov 23rd.

ABC Streaming Tomorrow?

Posted on: September 21, 2006 I Written By

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Tonight I wasn’t able to watch Grey’s Anatomy’s Season premier, because I was watching other shows. I know I should have Tivo and it wouldn’t be a problem, but I don’t. I’m too cheap and don’t believe in any service that requires a monthly fee.

Well, tomorrow I’m hoping that ABC’s streaming site finally kicks into gear so that I can see the season premier of Grey’s Anatomy online.

If anyone has any other suggestions for seeing Grey’s Anatomy then please let me know. I still can’t understand why all TV networks aren’t streaming shows online yet. It’s inevitable.

2006 Fall TV Season Premieres

Posted on: September 16, 2006 I Written By

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I think that the list of TV’s Season Premiers is so valuable I want to post it for all my blog readers. I found the list of TV Season Premiers on the really fantastic So You Think You Can Dance website. What surprises me most is how many different TV shows there are. It is also amazing to me how many new TV shows are on the list and premiering on TV.

A quick look at the list seems like a couple TV shows are missing from the premier list too. Which TV show premiers do you want to see?

Monday, Aug. 21
8 pm Prison Break (Fox)
9 pm Vanished (Fox)

Wednesday, Aug. 30
8 pm Bones (Fox)
9 pm Justice (Fox)

Tuesday, Sept. 5
8 pm Standoff (Fox)
9 pm House (Fox)

Thursday, Sept. 7
8 pm ‘Til Death (Fox)
8:30 pm Happy Hour (Fox)

Sunday, Sept. 10
8 pm The Simpsons (Fox)
8:30 pm American Dad (Fox)
9 pm Family Guy (Fox)
9:30 pm The War at Home (Fox)

Tuesday, Sept. 12
8 pm Dancing With the Stars (ABC)

Thursday, Sept. 14
8 pm Survivor: Cook Islands (CBS)

Sunday, Sept. 17
8:30 pm The Amazing Race 10 (CBS)

Monday, Sept. 18
8 pm The Class (CBS)
8:30 pm How I Met Your Mother (CBS)
9 pm Two And A Half Men (CBS)
9:30 pm The New Adventures of Old Christine (CBS)
10 pm CSI: Miami (CBS)

Tuesday, Sept. 19
8 pm NCIS (CBS)
9 pm Law & Order CI (NBC)
9 pm The Unit (CBS)
10 pm Smith (CBS)
10 pm Law & Order SVU (NBC)

Wednesday, Sept. 20
8 pm Jericho (CBS)
8 pm America’s Next Top Model (CW)
9 pm Criminal Minds (CBS)
10 pm Kidnapped (NBC)
10 pm CSI: NY (CBS)

Thursday, Sept. 21
8 pm My Name Is Earl (NBC)
8:30 pm The Office (NBC)
9 pm Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
10 pm Six Degrees (ABC)
9 pm CSI (CBS)
10 pm Shark (CBS)
10 pm ER (NBC)

Friday, Sept. 22
8 pm Ghost Whisperer (CBS)
9 pm Close To Home (CBS)
9 pm Men In Trees (ABC)
10 pm Numb3rs (CBS)
10 pm Law & Order (NBC)

Sunday, Sept. 24
7 pm Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC)
9 pm Desperate Housewives (ABC)
9 pm Cold Case (CBS)
10 pm Brothers & Sisters (ABC)
10 pm Without a Trace (CBS)

Monday, Sept. 25
8 pm 7th Heaven (CW)
9 pm Runaway (CW)
9 pm Heroes (NBC)

Tuesday, Sept. 26
8 pm Gilmore Girls (CW)
9:30 pm Help Me Help You (ABC)
10 pm Boston Legal (ABC)

Wednesday, Sept. 27
9 pm One Tree Hill (CW)

Thursday, Sept. 28
8 pm Ugly Betty (ABC)
8 pm Smallville (CW)
9 pm Supernatural (CW)

Sunday, Oct. 1
7 pm Everybody Hate’s Chris (CW)
7:30 pm All of Us (CW)
8 pm Girlfriends (CW)
8:30 pm The Game (CW)

Monday, Oct. 2
The Bachelor: Rome (ABC)

Tuesday, Oct. 3
8 pm Friday Night Lights (NBC)
9 pm Veronica Mars (CW)

Wednesday, Oct. 4
8 pm 20 Good Years (NBC)
9 pm Lost (ABC)
10 pm The Nine (ABC)

Thursday, Oct. 5
8 pm Big Day (ABC)
8:30 pm Notes From The Underbelly (ABC)

Monday, Oct. 9
10 pm What About Brian (ABC)

Wednesday, Oct. 11
8:30 pm 30 Rock (NBC)

Tuesday, Oct. 17
9 pm The Knights of Prosperity (ABC)

Friday, Oct. 20
8 pm Crossing Jordan (NBC)
9 pm Las Vegas (NBC)

Thursday, Nov. 2
9 pm The OC (Fox)

Wednesday, Nov. 15
9 pm Day Break (ABC)

What a list of TV shows. What a big business TV has become. This is just the major networks too. Amazing.