Startup Life

  • Startup Life: Why I Don’t Trust Fullscreen for YouTube

    I have received a few messages over the past week from Fullscreen asking me to become part of their “YouTube Network”.  Both messages have talked up how great a CPM I can make, and that they help with “support and career management”.   The first message I received went into the trash ...
  • Startup Life: Don’t Do This at Home… or at Work… or Anywhere… Just NEVER DO THIS!!! (BetaPunch.com Loses it’s Mind)

    Holy crap on a cracker… I just… I mean… What the hell… Has he lost is darned mind..? These were some of the more politically correct comments that were going through my mind as I witnessed BetaPunch.com  commit Social Networking suicide.  An associate of my mind forwarded me a blog post ...
  • Startup Life: Thank Golly Christmas is Behind Us!

    Some businesses depend on the Christmas season to make them profitable.  Sadly I have found the opposite to be true for my tech businesses.  Both when I was a consultant, and now, I have found that my worst time of year is between Thanksgiving and the second week of January.  ...
  • Startup Life: The Great Defriending

    Well… It was fun while it lasted…  The great social networking experiment has come to a close for me, and as I say, “Now I’ve gotta go make some money.” Over the past 3 years I have delved into the world that is Social Networking.  I had around 1500 Facebook friends, ...
  • Startup Life: When Will Your Startup Hit the Trees? (Bizelo.com’s Numbers Problem)

    When we talk about the progress of a Startup we generally talk about Success or Failure.  Success means the startup is tracking on a acceptable course and is giving returns the founders and funders appreciate.  Failure means… well… the startup failed…   Success and failure is easy to talk about.  They are ...
  • Startup Life: Is Your Work Environment Conducive to Getting Work Done? (Eli the Computer Guy’s “Cool” Work Space Turns into an Icebox)

    It is surprising how easy it is to not actually do work on your startup.  With the best of intentions many of us can diligently do a lot of things that have nothing to do with getting paid.  One of the greatest obstacles to a successful startup is having a ...
  • Startup Life: Marketing as Orwell Would Have Envisioned (MindMe Provides Text Message Marketing Platform)

    I had the pleasure of seeing a demo today by the Text Message Marketing company MindMe at the Baltimore Tech Breakfast offshoot held in Columbia.  MindMe seems like a solid idea and the Founder Jeff Cohen has a solid grasp of what he’s trying to accomplish.     Essentially MindMe is a Text ...
  • Startup Life: Will Meetups Kill Coworking? (Is Betamore 2 Seconds Too Late?)

        (For full disclosure please know I am supportive of the Betamore Project, but I’m not very hopeful…)   An interesting thing has been happening in the Baltimore Tech Scene over the past year and a half.  Meetups have come from no where to become an ever present component of our scene.  Every ...
  • Startup Life: The Metrics Behind Changing Direction (Eli the Computer Guy Stats After He Stopped the Daily Blob Show)

    There is the way we believe the world works, and then there is the way the world actually functions.  By having a solid way to gather and analyze metrics you can see whether or not your Startup Business is on the right track.   Approximately six months ago I decided to try ...
  • Startup Life: What Can You Offer New Talent in Addition to Pay? (Finding Ways to Sweeten Offers In Lieu of Money)

    Now for all the startup founders out there reading this please notice that I said, “in addition to pay”… Some of you cheap skates have the ill informed view that qualified talent has any interest in helping grow your company for free. (And No… “equity” in a company that has ...
  • Startup Life: BetaPunch Gets a Gut Check (BetaPunch Asks Eli the Computer Guy for an Unvarnished Review)

    After my rather scathing review of Given.to last week a surprising thing happened…  Other startup founders started asking me to review their apps.  To my shock, and a bit of local pride, I’m finding that local founders actually want down and dirty, no holds barred reviews so that they can… ...
  • Startup Life: But… This IS My Business… (Defending My Business as a Business)

      One of the hardest parts I’ve found about being a successful technologist over the years is being able to take my job seriously.  I enjoy technology so much that many times it’s easy to not see it as real work, and many people don’t understand what I do so it’s ...
  • Startup Life: Know When to Logoff and Get Back to Work (Eli the Computer Guy Extricates Himself from the Crap Storm He Helped Create on the Baltimore Tech Facebook Page)

    He’s a douche… a big douche… a GINORMOUS DOUCHE… but… … I have promised myself to limit my comments to the Baltimore Tech Facebook Page to one per day, and so here I am plucking away at the keyboard creating the content I get paid well to create.   The Baltimore Tech ...
  • Startup Life: Does Spec Journalism Help the Startup Community (Betamore’s Opening Gets Lame Coverage)

    I feel that “Spec Journalism” is the Bain of our times.  I refer to “Spec Journalism” as content that is created about current events and products that essentially just reiterate the talking points presented by the vendor and nothing more.  There are countless blog posts and articles published everyday where ...
  • Startup Life: Bringing on Talent for Your Startup (Eli the Computer Guy Hires Freelance Writer)

    So I named this piece “Bringing on Talent” rather then “Hiring Employees” because frankly I hate employees, and I think employees may just be one of the biggest dangers to startup companies.  Once you are no longer a startup and have 20 people on staff, a medical plan, and possibly ...
  • Startup Life: How Valuable is a Win? (What if KnotFriends.com Succeeds?)

    What if you are successful?  What if you really do have a genius idea and take over an entire untapped market?  Would it be worth it..? This is a question that many new Startup Founders do not ask themselves enough.  They see an opportunity.  They see a solution, and then they ...
  • Startup Life: Creating Different Distribution Channels (Eli the Computer Guy Restarts Blogging)

    One of the hard things for many startup founders to deal with is how narrow their fans interests really are.  As professionals we see all of the many products and services we can offer and we figure that the best way to sell them is by using one store/ website/ ...
  • Craig Chamberlin of the PCM Tech Help Show Joins the ETCG Team!

    I’m proud to announce that Craig Chamberlin of “The PCM Tech Help Show” has joined my team as freelance writer.  He will be creating up to 40 written articles every month on topics such as WordPress Administration, Computer Hardware, and Practical How To’s and Troubleshooting Techniques.   Craig has been a YouTube ...
  • Startup Life: Should You Join a Startup Accelerator? (The Tragedy of NoBadGift.com)

    I remember a year and a half ago when I first started to delve into the world of Tech Startups.  It seemed like a magical place full of digital fairy dust and server rooms crammed with cotton candy.  Money apparently was like mana from heaven, high quality mentors appeared to ...
  • Startup Life: The $100 Bet…

    “I bet you $100 you won’t have a saleable app done by this time next week.”   I was sitting with my buddy Ron as he discussed his Startup company and talking about how impressive it will be.  The core concept of his startup is that he has created a web based ...
  • Startup Life: Cool Schwag = Cheap Advertising (FreeNAS.org Knows How to Say “Thank You”)

      As I discuss in many of my posts about starting a new business or project the most overlooked and underappreciated component to success is advertising and marketing.  You can have a great idea, an awesome team, a phenomenal product and delivery system, BUT if potential customers don’t know you exist ...
  • EverymanIT.com Implements Marker.ly so Visitors Can Share Specific Text

    So today I implemented Marker.ly’s text highlighting and sharing service today on EverymanIT.com.  This now means that if you highlight text you will be given the option to share that specific text on Facebook, Twitter or by email.  When someone clicks on the shared link they will be brought to ...
  • LinkedIn Makes Me Feel Like a Kid Wondering Which Girl Likes Me…

    One of the things I find interesting about how modern Social Networking is changing our lives is how it does so in a fashion that most of us would never think of.  We create an account on something like LinkedIn… spam the hell out of other users and figure that’s ...
  • YouTube Video View Count on Video Manger is Back to Normal!!!

    As I discuss with my fans day in and day out, end user usability of your web app is of paramount importance.  And even if something technically works correctly the end user may still be horrified with changes and “improvements”.     I was truly horrified last week when YouTube changed how they ...
  • Why I’m Sticking With Google Hangout for Livestreaming My Daily Web Video Shows.

    So… an hour and a  half into my three hour Daily Blob livestream show Google Hangout booted me off today.  With no warning or reason I was suddenly logged out of Google and the show stopped literally in mid sentence. On days like this many fans, and even myself, begin ...
  • Results of the “Low Orbit Ion Canon of Love” Test…

    So last week I ran another test of the “Low Orbit Ion Canon of Love”.  The basic concept is that I ask all of my fans, across all of my social media, to both “Like” a Facebook Page and Say that “Eli the Computer Guy thinks _____ is the coolest” ...
  • Apparently the Magic Number of Twitter Followers is 10,000

    I was discussing Social Media Marketing and Sponsorship with a VC last week and he let me know that apparently the magic number of Twitter Followers for companies to want to sponsor you is 10,000.  The theory goes that  if you have 10K Twitter Followers you are in the running ...
  • Distilled Intelligence 2.0 Is a “Must Go” Event for New Start Up Founders

    Another day, another Meetup/ seminar/ get together/ crappy industry event…  I remember a year and a half ago when I was excited to go to tech events.  I would search out events and dutifully plug them into my Outlook calendar.  It made me excited to think that I would get ...
  • Hin.ge (…Apparently…) Gets You Laid…

    As high technology moves closer and closer to the everyday lives of people I find myself more and more amused with the comments I hear about new tech.  Gone are the days when bland people will try to tempt me with dry information about tech that is as boring as ...
  • Why I Have Faith Marker.ly Will Succeed

    Many people who hear me talk about the Baltimore and DC Startup communities may come to the conclusion that I think all startup founders are idiots, and that  I find their supposed innovations to be no more then a giant helping of cotton candy and fairy dust wrapped tightly within ...
  • Why Doesn’t Empire Avenue Want My Money?

    image_thumb.pngI decided yesterday that I was going to throw myself into marketing with Empire Avenue fully.  Full steam ahead! I was going to burn through my saved eaves as quickly as possible, and if necessary I would start paying REAL money to buy more.  Imagine my joy when I saw ...
  • How Social Networking Sites Rank for Me for Use in Empire Avenue

    Like many of you I have accounts on all the major social networking sites, and frankly until I started using Empire Avenue most of the accounts were left unused.  I used my Facebook Fan page to update my followers, used my Google+ page to distribute the curious/ random web pages ...
  • This is Why They Call Empire Avenue “Rocket Fuel”

    image_thumb.pngIt’ ain’t a gimmick.  It ain’t a joke.  Empire Avenue REALLY does drive traffic to your web properties.  The below screenshot is from my honest to god YouTube Analytics.  ALL of my metrics correspond to what you see below.  EA sends honest , genuine traffic to my web properties, and ...
  • Are You Working, or Are You Just Busy..?

    One of my latest blog posts to create a fire storm in the Baltimore Tech scene was a one on a personal questioning about whether I thought our local tech scene was on the precipice of collapse.  There was much more to this question then I fully outlined because frankly ...
  • Empire Avenue – Using Game Theory to Get Real Work Done.

    image_thumb.png One of the big issues that you run into once you decide to go out and start your own business is how to stay motivated to do “real” work.  It’s easy to stay busy, but that is not the same thing as working.   Especially now that my business is web publishing ...
  • Stalking Chris Pirillo – Using Empire Avenue to Learn What Other Web Publishers are Doing Right

    image_thumb.pngCreating a web publishing business seems like it should be a pretty simple affair.  You create content, publish it to some platform, wait for some mystical “viralality” to happen, and then you make money.  So you create your content, you create your advertising accounts, you follow all the instructions, and ...
  • Beware of Sharks–Is the Baltimore Tech Scene About to Die..?

    Do you know the feeling you have when you go to a party that you have been anxiously waiting to attend and then you get there and all you really want to do is go home?  I’m starting to have that feeling towards the Baltimore Tech scene…   Some people are going ...
  • The Baltimore Funding Model

    Funding Start Up Companies in their initial stages in the Baltimore area can be a frustrating, and disappointing experience.  Highly excited, energized and impressive individuals try to launch their ideas only to find that the community is not willing to gamble on their success.  I believe this is not due ...
  • EverymanIT.com: Not How I Expected the Year to End

    image_thumb.pngThe little web project that I left for dead almost exactly a year ago has clawed its way back to life and surprisingly netted me an extra $3000 to boot.     January 2012 ended with the site earning $662.02 in Google/ YouTube Ad Revenue, We had 135,449 video views on YouTube, and ...
  • Thoughts on Creating Volunteer Positions in the Baltimore Tech Community

    Currently the Baltimore Tech community is a vibrant place with lots of people doing lots of great things.  Not only do we have the mass of startup companies with their entourage, but we also have numerous people giving their time, space, and some money to foster Meetups and other events ...
  • Thank God the Holidays are Finally Over!

    image_thumb.pngApparently I now have more to fear from the Holiday season then a stale fruit cake.  Total Daily Views on the “Eli the Computer Guy” YouTube Channel were steadily doubling every one and a half months last year until the week of Thanksgiving.  From Thanksgiving till New Years our stats ...
  • Faith in the “Internet Generation” May Be A little Overblown…

    Sent to my YouTube Channel: ‎Hey, I really lvoed your vids and subbed. im 14 and I know alot about computers regarding my age. So I want to get someones facebook login details. She goes to teh same school as me and I talk to her alot. ...
  • My YouTube Hero…

    image_thumb.pngI ran across the YouTube Channel for LockerGnome today, and I think I have found my new hero.  He has 4235 uploaded VIDEOS, and has 128,734,945 views.  Doing a back of a napkin calculation that means he’s probably made around $700,000+ off of his YouTube Channel! You can check the channel ...
  • How Do You Hang Christmas Lights on a Cow? Thoughts About the How National Holidays Effect Web Based Businesses.

    image_thumb.png  The holiday season here in the good ole’ US of A is finally behind us.  The holidays are a time when retail businesses do their best, but many other businesses grind to a halt.  When I had the computer service business I expected from Thanksgiving to the middle of January ...
  • The GBTC Diatribes Part 4: “What Were We Arguing About?”

    While I was backpacking through Nepal a few years ago I had the enlightening and frustrating experience of traveling with a Cambridge educated Philosophy graduate for a month.  When we first agreed to travel together and trek the Annapurna Circuit I was excited at the prospect of being able to ...
  • The GBTC Diatribes Part 3: The Huffington Post Rule

    Back when I was in college in the 90’s my Electronic Crime Professor introduced to me a concept called the “New York Times Rule”.  What this rule means is that you should feel comfortable with any information you send to someone else using electronic means being published to the front ...
  • Eli the Computer Guy is Kicked Out of GBTC (Greater Baltimore Technology Council)

    Do you ever have one of those days where you stare blankly at the end of a chain of events and wonder, “How the hell did that happen?”  My expulsion from the GBTC was one of those days.     Basically GBTC is supposed to be a dues based membership organization to support ...
  • GBTC Cuts the Cord: A Rudderless Organization Throws the Anchor Overboard

    I received an email from the new head of GBTC (Greater Baltimore Tech Council) stating that the GBTC will be going Nomad.  Apparently they are bailing out of the office space they have had for years and are going to try out the co-working model.  They are asking business members ...
  • And Then it All Changed… Dangers of Running a Business on Someone Else’s Platform

    image_thumb.pngYesterday I finished typing a blog post explaining how hopeful I am for the prospect for EverymanIT.com.  I explained how YouTube was driving traffic to my videos, and providing income to boot.  I spoke about the upward momentum my YouTube Channel was exhibiting, and discussed why I was so excited ...
  • EverymanIT.com: A Company Reborn.

    image_thumb.pngEverymanIT.com has continued it’s zombie trudge from the grave.  It has been showing enough spunk that I’m putting the defibrillator paddles to it’s chest and going to see if we can get the beast to live again!     Closing out November I earned $804.04 from the site.  $604.04 came from AdSense Ad ...
  • EverymanIT.com Continues it’s Zombie Walk from the Grave

    image_thumb.pngI find the growth of EverymanIT.com to be confounding and exhilarating.  My little site that I left for dead last February now is getting 5100 video views a day, and will put an extra $500 in my pocket this month.  All of this is happening more or less on auto ...
  • How Do We Make This Work?

    image_thumb.pngAs you may know I created EverymanIT.com almost 2 years ago as a way to provide online IT training on practical topics.  Instead of rehashing the same old certification regime, I have created classes on Data Recovery, Web Marketing, Hacking and such and have tried to explain the topics in ...
  • Eli the Computer Guy Earns YouTube Revenue Sharing

    image_thumb.pngA couple of days ago I received an email from Google saying that my YouTube channel was eligible for revenue sharing.  This means that Google will put ads on my YouTube videos and that I will get a percentage of the ad revenue for the advertisers.   Although the exact criteria for ...
  • Monthly Debriefing for ETCG

    Introduction I’ve decided to write up monthly debriefings of Eli the Computer Guy, LLC to give followers of EverymanIT.com a realistic idea of how the technology business works.  By describing real world situations, and giving solid metrics and numbers followers can have a better understanding of how theory is turned into ...
  • I Am a Very Happy Boy..!

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  • Is it Time to Migrate to YouTube?

    image_thumb.pngWhen I was looking to host the video classes for Everyman IT a little over a year ago I chose to run my own Adobe Flash Media Server out of a dedicated data Center because the hosted solutions did not provide what I needed.   Back in August I migrated ...
  • Why “Real” Schools Cost so Darn Much…

    I just downloaded the application to become a “Private Career School” in Maryland.  The application alone is 59 pages, and then you need to submit surveys, course materials, day by day outlines, a complete inventory of training equipment (with age, make and model numbers), create escrow accounts, and much more.  ...
  • Paying Yourself

    As an owner of a small business you are going to find what seems like a really great thing.  You generally don’t have to pay for Workmans Comp for yourself, and due to deductions you generally get out of paying most of the other taxes (Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, etc…)  ...
  • FourSquare and Facebook Places = TMI (Too Much Information)

    I thought FourSquare was going to be a real up and coming service.  When Facebook Places arrived I was sad to think FourSquare would die, but figured that Facebook Places would take off.  A few months on it seems that people are not as interested in sharing their current location ...
  • Google Blesses EverymanIT.com with Sitelinks!

    There are certain benchmarks that you try to achieve when promoting your website on the Web.  The big one is trying to get your site to appear first in organic searches.  Another benchmark is when Google blesses you with Sitelinks when you come up as a search result.   Sitelinks are the ...
  • MyLinksMyAds = Darn Good Idea of the Day

    I just got one of those spammy Twitter Mentions that actually end up leading to something interesting. MyLinksMyAds is a Twitter app that makes it so when someone clicks on a link that is in one of your Tweets that link opens up within a frame and the top of the ...


















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