The choice is ours

January 4, 2007

New Year, New Strategies

Filed under: Business Development, News and Comment, Service Providers — shippingpal @ 10:43 am

Back in-country and flaunting a conspicuous cough from the damp Paris weather, 2007 is starting out with a bang.  We’ve been engaged in a number of meetings to re-orient our organization towards a new strategy and target market for 2007, which mostly revolves around switching our focus from the general public to the business audience, a strategy which in hindsight had been on the burner for a while but got temporarily lost in the holiday rush.  A moment’s reflection makes it clear that we were right in our thinking – the general public needs a reason to ship, namely the holiday season, whereas businesses need to ship all the time as part of their process.  So 2007 is the year of B2B.

Towards that end, we’ve been engaging new consultants and creating new partnerships to help us achieve these objectives.  We’ll be putting out an API early in the year to allow developers to integrate directly with our web service and switch our focus from being a brand to being a business solutions provider, following the model of our heroes, PayPal.  Subsequent to that, expect an eBay extension in Q1.  However, our priority in the short term is to get the web service and API out the door in advance of the semi-annual Shop.org conference at the end of January.

In other news, the Guardian has an interesting article trying to guess what exactly Steve Jobs is going to announce at the next Mac love-in – odds are it’s going to be a phone.

Currently reading: craigslist

Currently hearing: Bebel Gilberto

Currently watching: The Departed (dir. Martin Scorsese)

Advertisements

December 16, 2006

A day in the life

Filed under: Business Development, News and Comment, Service Providers — shippingpal @ 4:03 pm

Yesterday was one of those typical entrepreneur days, full of challenges and narrowly averted catastrophes which just end up making the team stronger.

It started out quietly enough, with a scheduled meeting with one of our service providers.  Only problem was, when we showed up at their headquarters, we got an urgent call from our contact saying that she was at our office.  Some wires had crossed somewhere, evidently.  So half-an-hour of Jay-Z and Nas and a cup of coffee later, we finally rolled into our meeting, which I’m happy to say went very well.  There’s nothing like some good hard hip-hop to put you in a negotiating frame of mind.

From there, we headed back to the office to work on a few things.  Form validation is a sticky issue around here, as there are many ways to do it but most of them involve messy alert boxes and can sometimes result in the filled-out data disappearing.  I finally found something that works nicely and doesn’t look like a dog’s breakfast, but for some reason it was causing the insert action on the action page to fail.  After staring at it for a cumulative several hours, I finally realised it was because one of the form fields was tagged as id= instead of name= – such are the blatantly obvious things that can cause MEGO.

We managed to arrange some coverage from City TV for our Daily Bread food drive campaign, and wanted to capitalize on it, so we decided to have some jackets made up with our logo on the back.  The only problem was, it was a totally last minute arrangement, so we ended up running to the mall and spending a good three quarters of an hour trying to find suitable jackets – they had to be white, and preferably made out of wool.  The ones we got ended up being really nice, and then we killed half an hour in the food court waiting for the transfers to be applied.  I’m happy to report that no food was consumed there – I’m pretty neurotic about what I eat, and it’s been a decade or so since I would venture into any kind of fast food establishment, but I digress…

We arrived at the Daily Bread HQ, where they were celebrating their annual volunteer Christmas dinner, and it was really the first time this year that I’ve felt anything remotely close to the holiday spirit.  It was really nice, and good to see all these volunteers, many of them recipients of Food Bank donations, enjoying the fruits of their labours.  A lot of nice, friendly people and their kids.  Hardin worked on his interview skills while we arranged the unloading of over 3000 lbs of food, generously shipped by our star partners, The Messengers International.  City caught it all on tape, and we managed to score a bit of a publicity coup, as well as contributing to a really worthwhile cause.

After that, there was reason to celebrate with a couple of gin and tonics before I blasted back into the city to check my friend and fellow genius Waleed Abdulhamid at the Trane Studio for a truly barnstorming concert. Those who were there, know exactly what I mean…

Currently reading:  Motto magazine

Currently hearing: Further Adventures in Techno Soul (Ferox Records)

Currently watching: English Premier League football

Blog at WordPress.com.