Let's Talk: 1-877-479-4385

Posts Tagged business theory

Guiding Principles – Part 2

The following is the second part of our assumptions pulled from our “Guiding Principles” Wikipage. Here is Part 1 Assumptions Part 2: These are broad based and not as set as principles. It’s useful to list assumptions, just to be clear on the thought behind the system. Some of these are more controversial than others. Some were controversial when we started and are not anymore. Some we believe whole heartedly. With others we just needed to pick a side. On Interface / Web 2.0 Tags are the way to organize things when the things change all the time. (They are flexible, adaptable, surprising, and folksonomy is fun to say.) WWW.INTERNETJURISDICTION.NET/RANKING/2013/ “Works well” is pretty. “Good design is clear thinking made visible.” -Tufte Bottom -> up organization releases some of the incredible power stored at the edges. This is great for […]

Read More...

Guiding Principles – Part 1

Our Wikispace reminds me of my over stuffed parents’ attic. Among all the “once cool/relavant but now outdated” stuff are gems that got lost in the noise. In the process of updating a few Wiki pages, I stumbled upon our “Guiding Principles” page and, in rereading, realized it’s well worth exposing to the light once again. Due to the size, I’ll post in three parts so your scrolling finger doesn’t get jammed. Software Principles: Simple. Simple gets used. Students are the primary customers. Schools are secondary. Student desires come before school desires (right up to the simple line). If students don’t use it, the rest is moot. Open standards. Users should be free to roam with their data. APIs instead of build in house. Work in the open. Network = learning and adoption. Adoption trumps secrets. (And secrets aren’t as […]

Read More...

Filling the Gumption Tank With Some Help From Friends

Had a great day today. A few quick thoughts: Vid Blog 9/20/2008 from Kevin Prentiss on Vimeo.   I feel like McCain’s team: what I meant by “scalability” was: we are trying to hone our app and message to grow faster. I said “Garvee”, but meant @garyvee : )

Read More...

Cutting the Fat

Cutting the Fat

My fiancee and I (Tom) recently sold our car and signed up for the non-profit car sharing service iGo Cars. Our reasons for breaking free from the car chains were partly environmental, economical, and practical as we live in downtown Chicago. But three months into the program, I discovered another unexpected reason and it interestingly relates directly to my work with Swift Kick. When we owned a car, the trip to the grocery store would take an hour and some change to complete. The goal was to get our weekly grocery supplies. That goal hasn’t changed since selling our car, but the time it takes to do the task has. With iGo you rent by the half-hour, and I realized the exact same trip to the grocery store can be achieved in under 30 minutes. This gives me an extra […]

Read More...

How to Bankrupt a Startup – A Funny Take From SXSW

How to Bankrupt a Startup – A Funny Take From SXSW

No one starts a business with the goal to go bankrupt, but yet somehow 9 out of 10 businesses fail within the first 3 years. Good thing we are in our 4th year 😛 A panel at the recent SXSW conference had a humorous take on how to bankrupt a startup. It was a collection of entrepreneurs telling their war stories from the front lines of multiple failed businesses. Once you listen your way through the first 1/3rd of the podcast of pure humor you get to their actual advice, but be warned the satire continues. For your reading pleasure, here are the main points I grabbed on how to make sure your business fails: – hire a CEO who doesn’t know anything about your business/industry. – over engineer everything and build more than you need before launching and testing. […]

Read More...

Speaking is Just One Piece

Even though, right now, the majority of our income is from our trainings for schools, we’ve always believed that speaking was only a piece of the bigger goal of solving student apathy. We speak, but we aren’t speakers. In fact we think there are speakers out there like, Dave Coleman, who are hands down better speakers than us. He’s mastered the art. We consider ourselves somewhat decent cooks with a great set of ingredients (our content) to work with. Schools seems to appreciate it as we we’ve been named Speaker of the Year and rebooked many times by the same schools. But we believe speaking alone doesn’t solve the issue. Thus we developed Red Rover, The SA Blog, The (soon to be) SL Blog, The (Wiki) Kitchen, and Integrated Partners so we can work with schools on a deeper level […]

Read More...

Reviewing our 2007 Goals – Looking Forward to 2008

Reviewing our 2007 Goals – Looking Forward to 2008

At the beginning of 2007 we created company goals for the coming year. In 2005 and 2006 we did a similar exercise.  This last year we wanted to create more specific, measurable goals that we could follow up on. At our company retreat last month, we reviewed the 07 goals. Below is a list of each goal with our one year assessment. The overall mission of Swift Kick is to increase student engagement. All of our goals work toward that mission. When we created our 2007 goals, a year ago, we mapped out what we thought was the best route. As the year went on, and new ideas and information came to us, we shifted our strategy and goals accordingly. One mistake we made was not revisiting the goals list every quarter.  This left us with a bunch of “dead” […]

Read More...

Turned Down by the MacArthur DML Competition – Staying Sustainable

Turned Down by the MacArthur DML Competition – Staying Sustainable

The Conference on the First Year Experience was a fantastic event for us because Red Rover was very popular. The attendees were a mix of student advisors, deans, faculty, and librarians. Each group had a slightly different curiosity for Red Rover, but they all had one question in common and it was probably the most popular question we received: “So if Red Rover is free for any school to use, what’s in it for you or how do you make money?” Great question, and I am sure many of our readers are probably wondering the same thing. To keep Red Rover sustainable we have several options: Option A – Apply for grants such as the MacArthur DML Competition. There are many grants out there, but the DML was our first attempt. We knew it was our lottery ticket strategy and […]

Read More...

Utlizing Facebook Flyers for Marketing Red Rover and Swift Kick

Last November, Facebook updated it’s semi useful “Facebook Flyer” advertising system. The biggest updates were better target marketing by keyword and the ability to pay-per-click instead of impressions. What that meant was very little harm in setting up a flyer to test its effectiveness. And so we did… We created ads for our Dance Floor Theory Leadership Training our Secrets Behind Facebook and Myspace open campus lecture and our Red Rover Orientation Software The three ads have been running for just under 3 months and I thought it would be interesting to share some stats on their effectiveness. So far we’ve spend $11.62 to have the flyers appear 177,835 times and be clicked on 97 times. That makes a click through rate (CTR) of .05%! I know it sounds really low, but when you take into account the average CTR […]

Read More...

Working Out in the Open and Eating our own Dog Food

Working Out in the Open and Eating our own Dog Food

In an earlier post Tom mentioned that one of our goals for 2008 was to work out in the open. We often recommend this in Dance Floor Theory leadership sessions – telling students to hold their meetings in the commons every once in a while, with a flip board showing what they are doing. It piques interest. It shows movement. It builds credibility. We also recommend wikis. Especially for student government, though activities can be equally as powerful an application. It’s a way to show interested students how much work goes into planing. It’s a way to involve others in that planning. Eating your own dog food is always a good idea. Especially with web 2.0 tech. I’ve been the victim of technolust so many times – something seems like it will be really cool, but for whatever reason it […]

Read More...
12