$1500 referral reward for Utah software engineering job

Robert Merrill, a Utah technical recruiter, is offering a $1500 reward
for the person who helps one of his clients hire the right SQL
engineer. He is using H3.com, a site that is getting a ton of press
lately, to manage the referrals and referral fee payments.

When I signed up at H3.com the following message was generated which I
am supposed to email to friends who qualify for the SQL engineer

Hi –

I recently heard from a friend who asked me to help them fill a job
vacancy, SOS Technical is looking for A Senior SQL Server
Engineer/Architect to be based in Orem, Utah County, Utah.

As part of this search, they are working with a new Internet company,
H3.com. Through H3.com a $1,500 reward is being offered which will be
shared equally among the people who help locate a successfully hired

Can you please take a moment to think about the following questions?

1) Do you know a good candidate for this position?

2) Do you know anybody who might know of a good candidate for this
position? (This way you can still earn a share of the reward!)

3) Would you be interested in this position?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, click on the link
below to view the job description and to register with H3.com:

https://www.h3.com?r=Uru0oS6bgW-iIlj5dNqkS7zWuJQ (link from Paul Allen)

Thanks for your help! Wouldn’t it be great if someone we know got their dream job and we got to share the reward money!

Paul Allen

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Josh Coates: Disruptive Entrepreneur Speaks

If you are in Utah Thursday, you have to pay $10 to hear Silicon Valley transplant Josh Coates speak about how to start a company
and raise money. He is an incredible technologist with a disruptive
business model and he knows how to raise capital. He likes to challenge
the way the Utah angel and VC community fund startups. Josh likes the
Silicon Valley way. The event will be at Los Hermanos in Lindon at 3:30
pm. Don’t miss this.

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Google Stock Price Soars

Google’s stock price is soaring today.
Google had $1.58 billion in revenue last quarter, exceeding
expectations. The market cap is approaching $100 billion. Microsoft’s
is $265 billion. The gap continues to narrow.

I just finished reading the excellent book “The Search” by John Batelle
(co-founder of Wired Magazine and founder of the Industry Standard.) He
has excellent insights on why search is so important, why Google is
winning, and what the next generation of search might entail. He cites
a leading technologist who says we are only 5% of the way there with
our present search technology. There is so much more to do in this

I had an idea this past week for a post-Google search engine. I
actually think Google has an achilles heel in the long run, a weakness
that stems from the way their algorithm is based on pure online
democracy (which is not a good thing), where every page can vote with
its links for what is relevant. Everyone in the SEO industry is gaming
Google, and the results are becoming less and less relevant. For many
terms it is ridiculous. I have an idea for a more “representative
republic” type of search engine.

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Netflix: subscription marketing machine

A nice article by Motley
Fool talks about how Netflix lowered prices in the past year to stave
off competition from Walmart and Blockbuster. They will reach 4 million
subs by the end of this year and project more than 5.5 million by the
end of next year. Next year they will generate almost $1 billion in
revenue. Impressive.

Netflix has one of the best online marketing machines out there. They
are everywhere. Entrepreneurs and students of internet marketing would
do well to study all the ways Netflix markets their services.

The one month free trial offered on their home page is great.

They promote that offer everywhere.

  • Natural Search. They have almost 600,000 pages indexed by Google. Blockbuster has only 55,000.
  • Search Rankings. They rank #1 on Google for “dvd rental” and which gets more than 1,000,000 searches per month in the U.S. They are also #1 on Yahoo for “dvd rental”. They are #2 on Google for “movie rentals” just behind Blockbuster.
  • Affiliate Marketing. Last year they switched from BeFree to LinkShare, a high end affiliate marketing network. They pay quite well and have many affiliates.
  • Pay Per Click. They are outbidding Blockbuster (as of right now)
    on “movie rentals” and many other terms on both Google and Yahoo. Googspy shows them bidding on many keywords (although the Googspy list only shows a tiny fraction of what people are really bidding on.)
  • Social Networking. Last year they introduced Netflix Friends. Haven’t heard how well it is working.
  • Online advertising (banners and rich media). Netflix had the 4th largest budget for online advertising in both August and July.
  • Email list size. I haven’t found this yet, but I’m guessing that
    millions have signed up for their free trial offer and that their list
    is probably much, much larger than their subscriber base.

Here is the management discussion of their business from a recent 10-Q.
And here is an interesting block called Hacking Netflix that contains tons of news and info about the company.

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The Importance of Writing Ideas Down

I like the story of Johnny Appleseed. Sometimes I feel a bit like him,
planting seeds (starting companies) and watching them grow.

As I told a good and wealthy friend yesterday, I think I will be
tempted in the future, if my harvest ever comes, to stop doing startup
companies myself, but instead, to just teach and write and blog about
all the ideas that I think should happen.

I currently have a list of about 50 ideas that I believe could turn
into viable companies. I often wake up in the middle of the night (Brock Blake calls this “The Curse”) with a new idea, or first thing in the morning a new thought will strike me.

There is no way that I’ll ever be able to do them all. It might be best
to just scatter the seeds for these ideas as widely as possible in
hopes that they will find good soil somewhere and grow. We’ll see.

I used to carry 3×5 index cards around with me so that I could capture
new ideas whenever they struck. Now I use my Blackberry memo feature. I
have several memos marked “Ideas” that each contain many of my best
ideas. I always write down the date and the idea.

The amazing thing to me is how short my memory is. When I occasionally
review my idea memos, I often come across great ideas that I have already forgotten about. I think, “Wow, that is a great idea!”, as if it were a completely new thought!

Writing down great ideas makes them permanent (“the faintest pencil is
keener than the sharpest mind”) and if you think good ideas come from a
Higher Intelligence than your own and you value them enough to write
them down and act on them, from my experience, you’ll find that it
leads to having more of them.

Joseph Smith, Jr., born 200 years ago this December, said this about inspiration:

“A person may profit by noticing the
first intimation of the spirit of revelation; for instance, when you
feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes
of ideas, so that by noticing it, you may find it fulfilled the same
day or soon;

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FundingUtah: Speed pitching for Entrepreneurs

Under the leadership of new CEO Brock Blake, FundingUtah.com is hosting its first ever speed pitching event
for angel investors and entrepreneurs. The event will be held in Provo
at the Marriott hotel. It will be limited to 50 angel investors and 10

This event shows how FundingUniverse.com will become more than just an online matching service for angel investors and entrepreneurs. The company will roll out all kinds of services to help entrepreneurs succeed, including events like this one.

I keep telling my partners that Florida (with 26 investors and 176
entrepreneurs) is looking like a nice place to hold our next event. And
we definitely need more people signing up in Hawaii (only 2 investors
and 8 entrepreneurs), so I can start arguing for that location as well.

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Executive Assistant with HR Experience Needed

A few months ago I wrote a very nice help wanted ad for the local
university paper and got 15 resumes from highly qualified people.

On Monday I wrote another ad, which has already run for 3 days, and I haven’t received a single inquiry.

I have called to revise it, but there is no excuse for a poorly written
ad. I should have kept the earlier version rather than starting over.
The earlier version emphasized the position and pay and “super-flexible
hours”; the later one focused on what the company does. Not smart.

What I’m looking for is a part-time HR manager/Executive Assistant for
Infobase Ventures, my business incubator. I’ll pay $12-15 per hour,
depending on experience. The hours are flexible, although it could lead
to full-time work, and the pay could increase significantly based on
performance. (If I need to pay twice as much to find the unique person
to fill this position, let me know and I’ll see what I can do. 🙂 )

The applicant must be amazing: a highly networked people person who is
also tech savvy. He/she will help me recruit and manage the personnel
in more than a dozen incubated startups / early stage investments over
the next year or two.

There are more details at

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A Billion Audio Players in 2009!

Sometimes you see market forecasts that blow your mind. I remember
attending Jupiter conferences starting in 1995 where forecasts were
made showing hundreds of millions of internet users worldwide in the
coming years, and it was mind-boggling then. Now, estimates say we’re
over a billion internet users worldwide.

Any time I see a billion of anything, I’m pretty impressed. So I was
suprised and impressed today to see analysts forecasting that nearly 1 billion mp3 players (including audio-enabled cell phones and audio playing portable gaming devices) will ship in 2009–just four years from now.

I always love seeing forecasts that reinforce business decisions that I have previously made.

In 2003, seeing the uptake in mp3 players (mainly iPods), I co-founded a niche digital audio company (LDSAudio.com) which is growing every month and is now moving into the mass audio book market with mp3books.com (great site redesign coming soon!).

It makes me wonder what other megatrends exist that might reach “a
billion” someday. Will there ever be a billion bloggers, for example,
or even a billion people reading blogs? Or a billion GPS-enabled
devices? Or a billion digital wallets?

I’ve seen the forecast for 3 billion cell phones by 2010, but are there
any other consumer electronics devices on the horizon that will see
rapid worldwide adoption and ever reach “a billion?”

Steve Jobs has denied for months that iPods would be video-enabled, but
yesterday’s video iPod announcement was really no surprise. And now it’s just a
matter of time before everyone else jumps into the portable video game,
following Apple’s lead, and there are a billion portable video devices
on earth. Maybe by 2012 or 2013.

I’m guessing a billion digital cameras (mostly on phones) is not too
far away. Maybe Tivo and other DVRs (or is it PVRs) are on track as
well. And I bet Skype, Google Talk and other free voip apps will collectively reach a billion users within a few more years.

What do you think? Please share your comments.

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Quotes from Business Leaders

I just noticed that a fairly large selection of quotes from business leaders has been added to the StrategyTree.com wiki. The beauty of a Wiki project is that any individual can add content and make the Wiki grow and become a useful resource.

I want to thank the person(s) who created this section and encourage
others who have collected inspiring quotes from business leaders and
entrepreneurs to add them to this growing collection.

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