Optimizing Web Sites for Search Traffic

26 Aug 2008

I recently gave the following talk to the Chinese Institute of Engineers on the Microsoft campus. The talk is an introduction to Search Engine Marketing (SEM), focusing on Search Advertising and Search Engine Optimization. I also explain the search business model and ranking algorithm to the extent that is needed to effectively implement SEM.

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Are you a “Must-Have” or a “Nice-To-Have”?

26 Jul 2008

I remember being asked this — with the implication that we should strive to be a “must-have” — when we were doing our initial fundraising round for Blue Dot (now Faves.com). At first, I thought the distinction between a “must-have” and a “nice-to-have” is somewhat arbitrary. But, scoping the question to “Are you a “must-have” for a paying customer or would be acquirer?” has helped me get my head around it.

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Corporate Structures Talk - Takeaways

31 May 2008

I recently attended a talk by Craig Sherman of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati about Corporate Structure and Common Problems. The event was organized by StartPad, an excellent Seattle-based entrepreneurial organization through which we rent our office space and hence get the opportunity to intermingle with and work alongside other startups.

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On Compensation in a Startup

12 May 2008

I get asked from a lot of folks who are considering startup employment if x% is sufficient equity. As with so many things, the answer is, “it depends”. Below is one rough framework for coming to a number. But, you should also seek other methodologies, such as finding averages for comparable roles at similarly sized companies in the same geographic region.

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On Packaging - WordPress vs. Drupal

11 May 2008

In the past month or so, I’ve spent some time with two content management systems: Drupal and WordPress. Both products make it easy to build and edit relatively sophisticated Web sites from within the browser.

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Project Management - Representing All Views

10 May 2008

I am currently reading Scott Berkun’s excellent book on project management, Making Things Happen and am enjoying it for it’s directness. It goes straight to the essence of being an effective project manager and leaves specific methodologies to other books.

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Microblogging with Twitter and Faves

09 May 2008

I have included widgets from two “microblogging” services, Faves.com and Twitter, in the sidebar of this blog. Not surprisingly, I use these microblogging services to broadcast “stream of consciousness” thoughts whereas I plan to use this blog for hopefully more thought provoking and “on-topic” posts.

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Openads – A Real Life Example, Part 1

10 Jan 2008

I recently setup Openads for Faves.com. Openads is a powerful ad server that lets your manage how ads are delivered on your site. It is similar to Google’s Doubleclick except that a) Openads is free and b) you can host it yourself.

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