The Only Sustainable Edge

It's one thing to learn about a powerful strategy or management technique that works and it's another thing entirely to actually implement it. One of the best books I've read in years is The Only Sustainable Edge. It suggests that trying to do everything inhouse won't work anymore. That to be competitive you not only need to outsource everything that isn't your primary focus, but you also need to outsource to the firms whose capacities are increasing faster than others, and to partner with firms on the edge of your business.

When I Need Help With PPC

A recent MarketingSherpa report shows that more than half of online sales at high-growth e-commerce sites come from search engine marketing (that includes PPC and SEO). Here's a quote:
According to MarketingSherpa 2006 study data, high-growth ecommerce sites get 19% of their overall traffic from search engine optimization (SEO) and 32% from paid search ads. That's 51% of ecommerce site traffic driven by a handful of search engines.

Provo Lab’s Eleven Bets

So in the past 7 months, Provo Labs has started or invested in 11 companies. It's been a bit wild. So for the next 6 months at least, we are going to stop investing and incubating new ideas and focus 100% of our energies on helping our current portfolio with revenue growth, with the goal of getting each company to cash flow positive without any additional investment from Provo Labs.

First genealogy post in a long time

Today my World Vital Records team let me see a sneak peek of what they have been working on for the last few weeks. We've been talking with genealogists around the world, attending conferences, and trying to create our company strategy. We have been acquiring large and small databases. There are so many wonderful companies and individuals in the genealogy industry that we are excited to partner with. We have been telling everyone that we are going to build the #2 genealogy company in the world. I guess we'll see if we can pull that off with the help of good partners and customers.

Phil Burns and Provo Labs Consulting

Phil Burns, whom I have described in the past as a Web 2.0 native that makes me feel like an old, slow, immigrant, is now heading up one of the most exciting things we are doing at Provo Labs. He describes in a recent blog our new Provo Labs Consulting services and how we will are utilizing our employees, our portfolio companies, and their extended networks to provide excellent technology and business solutions for its customers. Phil is on fire with this concept.

Provo Labs: Business Incubator

I recently wrote an article for Connect Magazine about business incubators and Provo Labs in particular. It explains what we are trying to do at Provo Labs and why we think it will work. One thing we have learned already since December is that our internal team needs to focus on one major project at a time and get it to completion, rather than having 5-10 simultaneous projects that are "on the brink" of completion but aren't generating any value for customers.