Small Biz Survival focus on small towns and rural areas

I enjoyed hearing and talking with Becky McCray, a principal blogger for Small Biz Survival at SXSW 2010.

The list of businesses she runs vary from a cattle ranch (she lives in western Oklahoma) to a liquor store to a web site to a consulting firm for small businesses. “I fill out four Schedule Cs with my income taxes.”

It’s easy to get focus on tech entrepreneurship in major cities but Small Biz Survival focuses on the smaller areas of the country. It also has good advice for those on smaller budgets too.

Here are two good posts recently I enjoyed reading:

How do you make FourSquare relevant for small towns

On location-based data:

Now, that same scenario makes less sense in a small town. We just don’t need that kind of location data. We already know what all the local restaurants are like. There are only four, and we’ve eaten at all of them this week. (Sad, but true.)

Can you teach entrepreneurship

Being a successful entrepreneur requires some particular skills. Many programs exist to teach entrepenuership in schools, in community organizations and in entrepreneurial support groups, but debate continues over whether entrepreneurship can really be taught. Are you born an entrepreneur, or can you learn to become one?

A featured article on the blog by her  is Say NO gracefully

Small businesses are constantly hit with offers from potential suppliers, hopeful partners, and even potential customers. Then there are the constant requests for free help, volunteer work, donations, and even jobs. You can’t possibly do it all. Let’s face it. Being in business means saying “no” a lot.

Danah Boyd at SXSW2010 on privacy and publicity

A video clip of Dana Boyd‘s opening keynote at SXSW2010 by explaining why Google Buzz crossed a privacy barrier:

Her keynote conflicted with other sessions. I did not attend, but am able to enjoy through the SXSW Channel, and because she posted the draft of her speech “Making Sense of Privacy and Publicity” on her blog. There she explains Facebook’s privacy FAIL in December:

By continuously arguing that Privacy is Dead, technologists justify their efforts to make publicly available data more public. But there’s a big difference between something being publicly available and being publicized. I worry about how others are going to publicize this publicly available Facebook data and, more importantly, who will get hurt in the cross-fire.

On the need for privacy:

Wanting privacy is not about needing something to hide. It’s about wanting to maintain control. Often, privacy isn’t about hiding; it’s about creating space to open up. If you remember that privacy is about maintaining a sense of control, you can understand why Privacy is Not Dead. There are good reasons to engage in public; there always have been. But wanting to be in public doesn’t mean wanting to lose control.

More good quotes and statements from SXSW Interactive 2010

Kami Huyse @kamichat on Southwestern’s response to Kevin Smith removal:
“Their post was about policy. Leading with policy always fails. You can’t communicate through the lens of policy.”
Jessamyn West and Jenny Engstrom on what new internet users hate about web sites from their talk on the Digital Divide:
  • Advertising
  • Forced registration
  • “watch this video to learn this”
  • PDFs
  • DHTML menus and tiny triangles
Monica Guzman on corrections in Twitter with If seattlepi makes an error in a Twitter post, they note the correction in a new post and remove the old one because not everyone following the stream sees the corrected before forwarding or replying.
Jesus Diaz with Gizmodo for supplying the CNBC video about this story on the reaction to Steve Jobs’ Health Declining Rapidly, Reason for MacWorld Cancellation. This video shows what a circus media can be at times:

Becky McRay of SmallBiz Survival for how important economic development in small and rural areas are.

Among McRay’s businesses: liquor store and cattle ranch:

“I file four Schedule Cs on the personal income taxes.”

AK Pradeep for the video “Dr NeroFocus-Listen To Your Brain”

AK Pradeep on the best way for kids to study:

  1. Watch TV
  2. Eat dinner
  3. Do homework
  4. Go to bed

His reason? The brain consolidates your memories, so you want it process the homework rather the TV show.

Evan Williams, CEO of Twitter:

Openness or transparency in a company? “Openness is a door. Transparancy is a window.”

“We have always held that it was important that Twitter reach the weakest signals, which would be SMS to mobile phones.”

Mark Risher, Sr. Director of Product Management, Yahoo! Mail Yahoo! on email’s demise:

“The death of email is exaggerated. It’s still the best way to for one to few.”

Jay Habegger, founder of OwnerIQ Inc. comparing the privacy standards of BtoB web sites compared with BtoC:

BtoB word is much looser. “It behaves about five years behind the norms in the BtoC sites.”

Jim Coudal on the CPM mode of advertising:
“CPM is not the model. It’s in a downward spiral. It’s in a downward spiral. To counter it, you end up increasing the number of ads.”

10 good quotes from SXSW Interactive 2010

Chris Shipley, Guidewire Group, on the state of venture capital and entrepreners:

“Today revenue is the new venture capital.”

“Even the state department now believes that world peace will come from entrepreneurs. So you guys are ambassadors of peace.”
Brian Solis, author of How your Brand Can Succeed on the New Web on social media :
“Social media feels like our summer of love. Twitter is our Woodstock.”
On brands and social media:
“Brands are going to have to think like media … Just checking in on the wall is not enough.”

Jesper Anderson started his business, from anger over the financial meltdown, the lack of information and wanted to do something about it.

“When you live in San Francisco, you’re obligated to try.”

Alan Martin, Campus Book Rentals, on why his company did not need social media to succeed:

“Luckily we had an angry audience. College students are angry about the college textbook deals. We had an audience that was angry and ready.”

Matt Chasen, uShip, on starting a new business:

“Go into a business where everyone attending the conference is over 70 and doesn’t own an iPhone.”

Paul Graham: Y Combinator, on picking the best seed accelerator group:

“It’s like picking a girl friend or a surgeon. With a girl friend you pick the one that’s right for you. With a surgeon, you pick the one that’s best. I’d pick one like I’d pick a surgeon

Naval Ravikant, Venture Hacks:

To be successful in a start-up you have to have high intelligence, high integrity and high energy. Inteligence and energy are easier to mesure. Integrity is the most important factor

David Cohen, TechStars: “If everytime you talk with the founders you get more excited. That’s a company I want to work with.”