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Scott Thomas (SimpleScott) on Designing Obama

I’m at Web Directions South today pretending I’m press filling in for Kim Heras. I’ll be putting together a full post for TheNextWeb about the day, but I thought I’d share the interview with Scott Thomas here.

StartMate applications are open!

StartMate LogoSydney’s new incubator (like Y-combinator) has just opened the applications. This is your chance to get some seed funding, but more importantly to be mentored by some of the best entrepreneurs in Sydney. If I wasn’t one of the mentors, I’d probably apply to this program myself. Anyway, time to get your applications in: http://www.startmate.com.au/application-process

So what is StartMate exactly?

Startmate is a group of startup executives offering mentorship and seed financing to founders of Internet and Software businesses based in Australia. Our first program is in the first quarter of 2011 in Sydney and applications will open later this year.

We want to help the most exceptional technically-focused founders create world class companies that solve customer problems.

The three month program offers a $25,000 investment, mentorship from more than 20 successful founders, sage legal counsel and a two week trip to Silicon Valley. At the conclusion of the program there are two demo days, one in Sydney and one in Silicon Valley, where you present in front of early stage investors.

We strongly believe in lean startup principles. The biggest risk in a startup is not whether someone will steal your idea or if you can build a product but rather that no one will care. Startmate is designed to help you win your first customers and work through the initial stages of customer discovery.

Personally I’m excited about the final selection process. Instead of some pitches and interviews, the plan is to run a camp like the StartupCamp I ran last weekend to really figure out how the teams work when the stress is on.

22 Ways To Fail

A while back I did a short presentation at Startup BarCamp Sydney on how to most effectively drive your startup into the ground. This list is a mix of things I’ve read, experience from people I’ve spoken to and a little bit of personal opinion. This post has been sitting in my draft for a while as I was going to add more info. But here’s is just the list I used:

Team
– Single founder
– No technical team member

Idea
– Refine your business model before you start
– Do in-depth market research
– Write an impressive 40-page business plan with awesome graphs, charts and projections
– Build a “nice to have”
– Be in it for the money
– Stick to your idea no matter what
– Don’t tell anyone about your idea, they will steal it
– Don’t network, it’s a waste of your time

Funding
– Seek funding before you start

Development
– Outsource all development
– Don’t quit your day job
– Make it perfect, don’t launch until it is
– Spend lots of development time making sure your app is scalable before you have any traffic
– Add lots of cool features (twitter/facebook integration etc)
– Give up when you hit a barrier

Growing
– Don’t talk to your customers until the product is finished
– Assume that when you build it, they will come
– Don’t waste time on your hiring process, any coder will do. If they don’t work out, give them a second chance
– Don’t listen to your customers/users, you already know what they want and need
– Don’t worry about the business model

Keep in mind… this is the perfect recipe for guaranteed FAILURE…. so you might want to try the opposite 🙂

How many of these are you guilty of?

MyMediStats Press Release: Take Control of Your Health Records

People often lose track of their medical records, especially information relating to vaccinations and allergies. A new application, MyMediStats.com was launched during the weekend which allows people to track their immunisations and allergy information in one place, anytime, anywhere.

The website can track past vaccinations and notify users of future vaccinations. Users can print out a card which will have a unique url which doctors can access to check the patient’s vaccination and allergy information.

“People don’t always appreciate the importance of knowing their medical history until they’re in a desperate situation. This application will help to remedy that,” said Sarah Babetski, co-founder of MyMediStats.com.

MyMediStats.com was built by five team members over a weekend during Start Up Camp Sydney (October 8-10, 2010). The team members included web developers, graphic designers and internet marketers: Katrin Suess, Ganesh Shankar, Marco Palmero, Lee Xin and, Sarah Babetski.

Five people got together, having 48 hours to build a tool which will provide value back to the community. They brainstormed through many concepts and narrowed their ideas to solve one problem: the fact that many people forget their immunisation and allergy histories.

DealPinch Press Release: Stealing the deals so you don’t have to

DealPinch will launch at 9pm tonight out of Startup Camp
Sydney, a weekend long bootcamp run by Startup Australia and Seed
Accelerator.

DealPinch aggregates the best daily deal and discount sites in your city
and delivers deals tailored to you to your inbox.

Australia has caught deal site fever. Popular services in Sydney include
Cudo, JumpOnIt, Scoopon and Spreets.

StartupCamp co-host and CEO of Seed Accelerator, Patrick Driessen said,
“This unique new service brings transparency and convenience to retail
customers of deal sites, who on average have subscriptions to two or three
different sites, if not more. DealPinch also offers a new source of
referrals and a new marketing opportunity for the operators of these
sites.”

Consumers find getting a great bargain very satisfying and market feedback
is that these discount sites are very addictive.

“I am really excited about DealPinch for a range of reasons, I think it
has the potential to change the game in this market,” said Driessen.

While having a broad selection of bargain deals on offer is good for
customers, psychologically this scenario of hyperchoice can leave
customers overwhelmed. The cognitive overload that results from
hyperchoice can result in regret and anxiety instead of buyer
satisfaction.

Scanning for deals online is a daily task for many bargain hunters. The
DealPinch team heard frustration from people about the growing number of
deal site email alerts they were receiving, but these people don’t want to
miss a great deal. DealPinch is a solution that aggregates these deals,
enabling users to select categories of interest and get email alerts that
are tailored to them.

Currently, women make up the majority of the customer base of deal sites
in Sydney but this may be because deals have largely been targeted to
them, focusing heavily on health and beauty. The DealPinch team are
exploring ways to expand into underserved demographics driven by analytics
on where demand exists.

DealPinch team member, Jonathan Clarke said, “I want to see some great
deals for us manly men, there is room for growth in this market. However,
at times I also want services more suitable for my girlfriend and there is
currently nothing on the market that allows me to tailor my preferences.”

DealPinch plans to pursue partnerships with deal site operators assisting
them to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace.

uInfluence.me Press Release: Get a recommendation at uinfluence.me

Uinfluence.me takes a novel approach to online interpersonal connections by allowing users to nominate individuals who are a significant influence in their life. If an individual wanted to be recognized in a specific field of influence, their supporters are given the opportunity to recommend that individual. In this way, uinfluence.me creates an organic and growing web of influences and connections.

A Young team of 5and gave birth to uinfluence.me under the guidance of Bart Jellema, the co-founder of Start up Sydney, Patrick Driessen and Adeline De Waziers at StartupCamp Sydney. As one of its founder Gy Sag Sohn said ‘There was a lot of work to do but it was interesting”

Uinfluence.me creates value not only by allowing the user to share its influences, but also by allowing them to create a unique situation where the user can explore the interesting fact of why people follow them. “It was really interesting to see what people have recommended me to” said New User. Since it’s a unique proposition which provides this direct relationship between the users, this creates a unique value proposition for the website.

The uinfluence.me provides the service to there users for free and make there income by providing advertisement space and having a data to which clearly indicates the market influencers. The data that uinfluence.me collect creates the most amount of value to its business as the data it collects is very rare and important in prediction market trend.

DateRate Press Release: Feedback from your Dates, Learn to Read Minds

daterate.com.au gives honest, constructive, anonymous feedback from the people you date. A team of five Aussie Gen-Y entrepreneurs who want to improve their dating have banded together to create a better dating experience for millions of Australians, by letting them read each other’s minds.

“Ever had a date you thought went well, only not to get a call back? Not knowing what you’re doing “wrong” can be a frustrating experience, because it feels so unmanageable,” said Helen H, 22, Chief Dating Office with daterate.com.au.

Simple and quick to use, daterate allows you to provide your dates with with short links to your profile, through which they can then
rate you according to different criteria. The whole process takes your date 1-2 minutes and they are then compensated through choices of cool and fun promotions offered by our partners.

daterate compiles aggregate data which is randomized to protect the identity of dates, while allowing daters to harness the power of
social analytics following a set number of dates.

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