Nova-mind has outstanding support

I’ve really been into mind mapping for the last 6 months or so and dropped some cash on the product I found to be the best for me: NovaMind.

I’ve been using it every day for 6 months on my old trusty PowerBook and yesterday it crashed on open. This has never happened before. The crash reporter popped up, I hit send and it restarted. It’s been working fine since.

This morning I get an email from their tech support. Yes, someone actually reads their crash reports, suggested a fix in a quicktime that was trying to load, and told me I should let them know if it happens again.

Have you ever received a response from sending a crash report?

Me either.

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I love these guys.

FedEx cracks me up

I sent a package to myself from Alexandria VA to Fredericksburg VA yesterday via FedEx standard overnight. It’s currently in Indianapolis IN and will be here this afternoon. It’s traveling about 1200 miles to be delivered to an address 40 miles from the originating address.

How to not bork up your startup

So you’ve done it. You quit your job and are working 18 hour days on a new venture. It’s great, you’re doing what you want, you’re scared and excited. It’s great.

You add some people to help. They are a virtual team because the best people out there don’t have to move to be part of the team and you want the best.

Then you loose your original vision in feature creep.

18 months later, you have a bloated product that doesn’t really do anything and is 12 months from ever shipping.

Sound familiar?

I thought so.

I’ve done a number of startups. Some succeeded, some went down in a pile of flaming crap. All were worth it. Here’s what I learned. Okay here’s a few things of the 10 bazillion lessons I learned.

  • To succeed you must lead these people you brought in. It’s your vision, keep them on your vision. They wont know how to do it. You can’t say “work on what you want”.
  • No whining. If you whine, the people who work for you will whine to each other. And yes, they’ll be whining about you.
  • People are not going to get it. You will have to cram it down their throats. Get a few poeple to LOVE it and they’ll tell all of their friends, who will tell all of… Once a few people get it, it may just explode into a viral phenominion that will have you calling me to figure your how the heck you’re going to scale this sucker.
  • Keep it simple. Period. It doesn’t need that new feature for people to use it. Your sales guy is making an excuse because he doesn’t know how to sell.
  • Stop having meetings. Or do what google does and limit meetings to XX number of minutes. Say it and get back to work.
  • Lead from the front, not from the back with a whip.