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GlobalMojo- Help Charities By Shopping Online

GlobalMojoGlobalMojo is the new tech startup that scored $1.15 million in angel investments and venture capital, including substantial backing from Founder’s Co-op. GlobalMojo CEO Daniel Todd is committed to making a difference and uses technology to do it. The Redmond based small business and thinkspace member company develops apps for web browsers that let people direct money to charities and causes of their choosing.With almost $30 billion spent online every month in the U.S. GlobalMojo helps people browse with purpose, allowing them to use online purchases to direct money to deserving causes.GlobalMojo is literally changing the world through web browsers. Buying something online for your mother-in-law’s birthday is now the socially conscience thing to do.If GlobalMojo were a cartoon character, they’d be a cross between Superman and The Pink Panther—saving the world, in a very slick way.

GlobalMojo CEO, Daniel Todd has some advice for entrepreneurs looking to start their own slick startup: have advisers, hire great talent, and get feedback. Todd has a team of advisers who he can “beat up ideas with” and who aren’t afraid to hurt his feelings. This honest feedback allows him to make quick adjustments and produce results.

Feedback from consumers is also priority and people can stay in touch with GlobalMojo via Twitter, Facebook and The Mojo Blog. Asking users what’s meaningful to them inspires ideas and helps create a browser product worth using. But Todd doesn’t just listen to users, he’s also in touch with his talented employees. Employee culture matters around GlobalMojo, and “hiring the right people is one of the most fundamental pieces of long term success,” Todd says.

And just to test how hip Daniel Todd really is, we used the universal measuring stick: Mac or PC? “I’m stuck as a PC, but I’m seeing the light. It’s only a matter a time, and then I’ll make the jump. So, I guess I’m a PC, soon to be Mac?” Can’t argue with that.

Is Facebook Invincible?

social media, facebook, superman, superhero social media, superhero facebook

What will be Facebook's kryptonite?

With Google+ quickly gaining a strong user base, the question keeps popping up: Is Facebook invincible?

It wasn’t long ago that MySpace was the end all, be all in the world of social networking. Just a few years later, the once up-start Facebook, dominates. The grip Facebook has on our world is tight; with over 600 million users, 2.5 million Facebook integrated sites, and 30 billion pieces of content moving across the network, Facebook is buried deeper into everything we do online than any social network in history.

The question is, is that grip strong enough to overcome new challengers, privacy concerns, and a future that will eventually include going public, more talent wars, and a constant battle to avoid becoming stale like many networks before it?

Threat 1, Losing Control: Facebook will have to go public eventually and that presents an opportunity for some instability in the organization. Never before has a young CEO like Zuckerberg kept control this long and this successfully. Becoming a publicly traded company may change the power structure depending on investors demands the nature of the sale. Keeping the top of a Facebook hierarchy that has steered the company to its crazy success in place, may prove an impossible task over time.

Threat 2, Losing Talent: There is a talent crunch in Silicon Valley and the talent wars with companies like Google are only making a shrinking pool of engineers that much more valuable, and expensive. If Facebook can’t remain one of the ‘cool’ places to work, they risk losing out on the young talent that will drive valley companies in the near future.

Threat 3, Competitors and the Open Movement: There is a lot of buzz about potential competitors to Facebook that may rise up very soon. Google now has Google +1, and you know they have all the talent and cash in the world to throw at it. Other competitors that have momentum because of the stark contrast of their open model to Facebook’s closed system are Diaspora and OneSocialWeb. Both are fairly small start-ups, but growing unrest over ownership and privacy issues are priming people for an open solution that puts them in control.

social media, social media superhero

Will a Dark Knight rise up to take Facebook's place?

To think that one day Facebook might not be as powerful or as inescapable as it is today, almost seems strange. I can imagine a world where Facebook’s power only grows; more integrated sites, more services requiring a Facebook login, and more apps designed for the Facebook API. To be fair though, I never saw Facebook overthrowing my once beloved MySpace. How wrong I was.

Organizational instability, key talent losses, and a new, ‘cooler’, network all came along to overthrow Tom for Mark and the same could happen to Facebook. Sometimes we forget that Facebook is a business and it has to deal with the same issues every other business does.

So will a new kid on the block overthrow the Facebook kingdom, or will King Zuckerberg tighten his grip? Can Google steal enough talent and overcome a failed Buzz experiment to become the go-to social network? Or will an open start-up solution take the world by storm like Facebook once did before it?

What do you think? Will you be Facebooking in 2 years? 5? If not, where do you think you’ll be?

Meet Thinkspace Guest Blogger- Mitchell Cuevas

Mitchell Cuevas

Meet Mitchell (@mcuevasm)

thinkspace is hiring and training new smiling faces. We want to let all of our frequent readers know that we are going to bring in an amazing guest blogger, Mitchell Cuevas to entertain you for the next couple weeks. He’s got some creative content, an entrepreneurial mind and a knack for writing some great articles so stay tuned. You won’t want to miss this!

ZaaLabs- Software Consulting Agency Takes on The Project of Eden

ZaaLabsZaaLabs is a software consulting agency, specializing in building mobile apps across a variety platforms. “We can basically write stuff that runs anywhere: Blackberry, iPhone, iPad, Nook, Nook color.” They’re not just about Apple, they’re about everyone.Nate Beck started ZaaLabs in February 2010 and in February 2011 had a promising new product: Eden. Eden is a platform for rapid tool development for Adobe Flash and one of the many projects coming out of Seattle based ZaaLabs. While still in its beta stage, Eden is available to the public for free download.

The need for a product like Eden is evident. With so many commercial options available, most developers end up using products that don’t meet their specific needs or they spend time writing their own code. With Eden there’s a standard, a way to write modular, reusable tools. “Our goal [with Eden] is to give you 80% of your tooling needs right out of the box. That way you only need to write the 20% specific to your game.”

Designer Turned Programmer & A Passion For Print
Beck is a programmer, a gamer, and has a soft spot for good film. “I wanted to make movies but I also liked computers; so, I was kind of torn.” In college, Beck studied everything from fine art and multimedia design to computer science and web design. Eventually he found his calling in programming. In fact, a former Boeing employee, Beck went in as a designer and came out a programmer.

But if you think Beck is all about computers you might be wrong. He also has a thing for books. “I love books—LOVE books. But they tend to be technical books, like, How to Work C#. I did just reread the 4-Hour Workweek. ” Okay, so maybe he is all about programming.

ZaaLabs – What’s in a Name?
ZaaLabs is a place where employees are passionate about technology and experiment with new concepts. “We do a lot of experimental stuff,” says Beck, “so I like the concept of labs.” Beck wanted a short name that still had meaning, and after living through enough rainy winters in Seattle, he felt he had a claim to something that represented the home of the company’s headquarters. He found “zaa,” pronounced zah, the Japanese onomatopoetic word for rain.

Check out the YouTube video of Nate Beck presenting at Ignite Seattle on how to stalk celebrities using photo gps tracking:

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SXSW 2012 Voting- Help us Support Thinkspace Member Panels

SXSW Panel Picker VotingThis year there are 3,278 panel submissions for 2012 SXSW interactive conference. Help us support our thinkspace members who have submitted a panel proposal. You have until September 2nd at 11:59pm Central time to cast your votes. It only takes a few seconds to register to vote. Thanks for your help!

Take a look at some of the proposals our members have submitted:

How To Break Through The Noise With Great Events by Jason Preston from the Parnassus Group

Description: “By now, every good marketer knows that bringing people together in the real world is a powerful tool for building a community around your company. Despite all our cool social platforms, from Google+ to Quora to Facebook, there is no substitution for getting together in good old physical reality. But how many parties are there at SXSW? How many drinkups are there every evening in New York, San Francisco, or Seattle? How do you stand out from the crowd and build an event for your audience that will draw people in and help you really connect? In this session, Jason Preston, Vice President of Strategy at the Parnassus Group, the creators of the Tweet House, 140tc Twitter Conference, and the Blog Business Summit, will share the secrets to creating a compelling event that will rise above the noise and turn attendees into evangelists.”

Time to Rethink Plugged in Parenting by Maya Bisineer from Memetales

Description: “A reality show that tracks journeys and learning from the life of 5 – 10 media and device addicted parents from different backgrounds and careers as they experiment with specific ways “unplug from devices” while they parent. At the panel, these parents present their learning, their journey and specific outcomes of their unplugging experiments such as no-device dinners, no device vacations and dedicated no device hours every single day. Do these parents experience a better quality of life as a result of unplugging or do they replace their computers and mobile phones with something else that takes their attention? This panel will be a lively discussion, discovery and argument all rolled into one. As parents we should care about and involve ourselves in these valuable discussions and make our perspectives be heard. Panelists will be self nominated social media and device junkies willing to experiment.”

Show me the Money: Helping Non-profits survive! by Daniel Todd from GlobalMojo

Description: “This expert panel will discuss some of the challenges of non-profits and tools and tips they can use to engage their supporters in other ways beyond requesting direct donations.”

Tired of @#%ing Social Media Experts? by Sean McDonald from Ant’s Eye View

Description: “You cannot swing a dead cat without hitting a “social media expert” (that is an expression, I am not suggesting kitty homicide). These “experts” are self anointed, often re-publishing sound bytes. But perhaps the best answers come from practitioners, like you. Join this session to get real answers from your peers on the toughest questions in social media. Format will be a quiz game show where audience volunteers are asked a question. The worst answer will lose their seat. There will be a final round to anoint the “social media expert”. The winner (determined by the audience) will win a valuable prize, in addition to the glory. You will learn real answers to real questions, but perhaps most importantly learn that the real experts getting business results are not necessarily the ones who who spend the most time to pimping themselves on Twitter.”

Newline Software Releases Online Data Backup Service With 100% Privacy

Online Data Backup Software

The universe really likes Newline Software. Why else would it pick such a crazy way to inspire its co-founder, Kory Gill, to create the online data storage start-up? Instead of just clicking a lightbulb on over Gill’s head, the universe went for more dramatic inspiration: lightning struck Gill’s house.”Three computers were fried, and I realized that no digital photos were backed up,” Gill says. He lost priceless photos and memories of his family. The lightning got Gill thinking. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, but what about some other natural disaster? What if his computer broke? Backing up data in Gill’s house wasn’t safe. He had to save his files online.

But when Gill tried to find a site to store his data, he found that none offered what he needed: security.

Gill realized that no site truly protected data. Either data was not encrypted enough, or when it was retrieved, the data came back corrupted. He decided to make his own data storage site, one that really met customers’ needs.

Gill and his colleague, Marius Nita, left Microsoft to found Newline Software, soon joined by Peter Denniston. Newline Software became a member of thinkspace, and leased an office in our Redmond building. Then the start-up started work on their biggest challenge: creating a safe storage site. “If you encrypt everything, how do you get it back?” Gill asks.

But in June 2010, inspiration struck again, this time with the solution to Newline’s riddle. Now, the data storage site 3exact.com, or Exact, is “the only product in the world that can search encrypted material.” When you type in a file name, Exact finds it without ever knowing what it’s looking for. There is no way for Exact to use, or misuse, your data.

Exact is the only “product that gives users 100% privacy,” says Denniston. Whether lightning strikes, a laptop breaks, or a tabloid hacks your computer, everyone needs to ask, “Is my data safe?” Exact is the answer.

Learn more about secure online data backup at http://3exact.com.

7 Habits of Highly Effective Facebookers

social media classes, social media vocabulary, social media, marketing, salty waffleThis is a guest post from our friends at Salty Waffle social media classes.

You have probably heard of Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Habits, but did you know there are also 7 Highly Effective Habits for Facebook Success? PsyBlog has a great post that cites different social media studies to determine how to make yourself into the best (or best looking) Facebooker you can be. We have adjusted their list Salty Waffle style, and stayed true to the science behind each habit. Enjoy!

  1. The Optimal Number of Friends Is: Between 100 and 300. Studies show that social attractiveness ratings peaked at around 150 friends, the same number of relationships psychologists believe humans can maintain.
  2. Get Hot Friends: Studies showed that people with more attractive friends surrounding them were perceived as more attractive.
  3. Understand Why People Join Facebook: There are 7 main reasons people join; connect with old friends, social surveillance (friends), look up people they just met offline, people watching (strangers), status updating, and sharing content.
  4. Don’t Stalk, Too Much: We wrote a little while ago how Facebook can make you jealous, keep in mind how much time you spend digging for information you may not like.
  5. Learn How To Use Your Privacy Settings: Use of these settings is on the rise, even among young people, but there is still a large chunk of the Facebook population that doesn’t understand just how much information they are sharing.social media, social media classes, entrepreneurship, social media vocabulary, facebook
  6. Be Real: Show the real you. Not only because it’s easier to maintain one life than two, but generally people figure it out if you are a poser. On top of that, studies show that people are typically very honest online so you don’t want to be the only faker.
  7. Don’t Separate Business and Personal: This is something near and dear to us at Salty Waffle, and studies show that people can effectively use Facebook to get jobs, contacts, and other important connections. People on Facebook are just that, people. You should be too!

To check out some of these studies in more depth, check out the Psyblog article and follow the links to the various journals they cite.

Hopefully this won’t result in a bunch of friends shaving me off their friend lists to get down to the right number or removing my posts from their wall to boost the overall ‘hotness’ of their page, but the science shows that people with Facebook pages that follow these 7 habits were perceived the best. The science behind social media is fascinating yeah?

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Seattle Startup- Hivemyne Makes Sense Out of Social Media Chatter

Hivemyne Seattle Startup

Maybe it’s fate that David Wachter, who is the founder of Seattle startup Hivemyne, wanted to be a meteorologist when he was a kid. “I was obsessed with weather,” admits Wachter. “I scoured the library for books about how weather worked.” These days, he forecasts a different kind of weather: the mood of the Internet.

Hivemyne makes sense of social media chatter. How do people feel about current events? What do people think of topics or products? Lots of companies collect data, but few look at the bigger picture. Wachter says, “I hope that collaboration and discussion will arise, but that’s not always the case. We strive to bring all the pieces together… [We] take data and bring it to life by putting a context around it.”

You can look at raw info all you want, but without the human touch, it’s just a bunch of numbers. The connection between companies, products, and customers is lost. Hivemyne bridges that gap and “get answers out to people.” Boeing and Microsoft are just a few of the companies who use Hivemyne.

Wachter knows firsthand how overwhelming the Internet can be. Between balancing social media, a start-up, and a family, “I’m not sure sanity is even an option,” he says. He’s helped by Hivemyne’s membership in thinkspace, a community of entrepreneurs that helps start-ups “learn to ride the wave instead of fight it.”

Those words describe perfectly what Hivemyne does. They make clarity out of chaos. Their name explains it all. A “hive” is a storehouse of honey, delicious information “mined” for meaning. So why is “mine” spelled with a “y” instead of an “i”? Simple. The info is “yours.” Hivemyne is part of Web 3.0, where every Tweet can change the world. Even an “LOL” matters.

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How to Divide Equity to Startup Founders, Advisors, and Employees

Since returning from MIT back in June I’ve been focusing on the growth of the company. It has been pretty much on mind non-stop for months now. The part that I’d like to zero in on is when you’ve got a high growth company what are some of the best practices out there to distribute equity to the founders, advisors, and employees?

Equity for Founders

The Founders’ Pie Calculator by Frank Demmler, an Associate Teaching Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Donald H. Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University invented an interesting way to divide equity between founders in a way that is both logical and fair. Sometimes when people start up a company they make decision to divide up the equity evenly because it’s “fair”. Demmler’s approach is a bit different in that the calculator provides a way to quantify the elements of the decision making process, and that it appears to be logical and fair. The elements of the decision making process are 1) Idea; 2) Business Plan Preparation; 3) Domain Expertise; 4) Commitment and Risk; 5) Responsibilities.

The idea behind the calculator is to come up with a weight for each of these five elements and then assign a value to each founder on a scale of 0-to-10. Then you take the weight and multiple it by the founders score to come up with the weighted score. From there you can get the percentage of equity. I like this a lot better than splitting things equally because it allows you to quantify what is important. See table below for example of how this works.

WeightFounder 1 (Contribution)Founder 1 (Weighted Score)Founder 2 (Contribution)Founder 2 (Weighted Score)
Idea71070321
Business Plan236816
Domain Expertise5630420
Commitment & Risk700749
Responsibilities600636
Total Points106142
% of Total43%57%

Equity for Board of Directors and Advisory Board

When figuring out how to provide equity to advisors, you can use this chart as a guideline. Typically for an Advisory Board it ranges from 1/10th of percent to 1/2% and for Board of Directors from 1/2% to 2%.

Equity for Employees

It’s important to figure out how much equity you give to your employees. David Crow writes in his article “Founders versus Early Employees“, “Remember the goal is to incent early employees to have an emotional ownership of the product and company they are building. Equally said, potential employees need to understand what they are getting into”. The one thing that I think is missing is distributing equity to every single employee in the company regardless of title. Quite honestly, it takes an entire team to build a company and giving each employee a piece is important so that employees are rewarded in the upside of the company as they have made a decision to work for you instead of some other opportunity. Giving equity to employees also helps foster the “act like an owner” kind of mentality. Below is an example of how some companies may approach distributing equity to employees.

TitleRange (%)
CEO5 - 10
COO2 - 5
VP1 - 2
Board Member1
Director0.4 - 1.25
Lead Engineer0.5 - 1
5+ years Experience Engineer0.33 - 0.66
Manager or Junior Engineer0.2 - 0.33
By Nevi on VentureHacks.com

Number of shares = Meaningless. Just the % Matters

Chris Dixon wrote a blog post about “The one number you should know about your equity grant“. The one number you should know about your equity grant is the percent of the company you are being granted (in options, shares, whatever – it doesn’t matter – just the % matters).

  • Number of shares: meaningless.
  • Price of shares: meaningless.
  • Percent of the outstanding option pool: meaningless.
  • Your equity in relation to other employees: meaningless.
  • Strike price of options: meaningless.

All this information that I’ve gathered up here seems rather logical. Are there other tools that you’ve used that you think would be helpful to share with other entrepreneurs and founders? Are there principles that you live by that you’ve implemented in your startup that have worked really well? How long should people vest – four years? Five years? No cliff? Should founders have anti-dilution rights? I would really like to hear your thoughts on this.

Get Ready for Seattle Mind Camp- The Practical Guide

This post has been republished from gearlive.com

Seattle Mind Camp 7 is coming up fast.  For those of you who aren’t sure what to expect, this guide will hopefully give you a bit of an orientation.  Even you Mind Camp veterans might want to look over the details, here, as a few things have changed this time around:

When should I arrive?
The doors will open at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 20.  Opening remarks and introductions will start promptly at 12:00, so please arrive in time to check in, mingle, check out the session candidates along the walls.  Note that if you’re hoping to present a session, you should arrive on time to post your Session Organizer Candidate Form.)

How do I get there?

ThinkSpace Downtown Redmond

Come to thinkspace in downtown Redmond. Our address 8201 164th Ave NE, Redmond, 98052.

Where do I park?
Feel free to park in any unlabeled spot in our downstairs parking garage. If the garage is full, parking is free on on all of the neighboring streets. If you commute via public transportation, there is a huge Park & Ride only two blocks away from thinkspace.

What will the introductions be like?
We are working on this – and it will be fun.  The aim is for everyone to have a chance to say something, and for these introductions to start priming the pump for later discussions. Expect the traditional Mind Camp game of Rock-Papper-Scissors to take place!

What else should I expect?  How do I participate?
You are expected to participate in some fashion, so come ready to share the things you’ve been working on or that get you excited.  Do note that Mind Camp is an NDA-free zone, so if you can’t talk about it, don’t bring it up.

See Getting Ready for Mind Camp – The Philosophical Guide for an explanation of the unconference concept.

What will be provided?
Room space, Wi-Fi, power outlets, lunch, dinner, breakfast.  We will have two rooms with projectors, and two LCD flat-panel televisions. Wanna bring an Xbox 360 and Kinect? Go for it. If you need or want anything more that what is provided, then you’ll have to bring it with you.

Lunch is sponsored by Monster Costume, and Alki Dog will be serving it up. They’ll also be doing breakfast on day two. There will be a two-hour break you to grab dinner from 7:00-9:00pm. We will have the WhereYaAtMatt food truck serving up some goodness, sponsored by Uber Seattle. If you don’t like those choices, there are a bunch of local places to grab food, but of course, you’d have to pay for that on your own!

We will also have a bunch of snacks provided by PopChips.

Puzzazz, one of the thinkspace member companies, is providing a bunch of board games for the event as well.

What to bring
It’s up to you, of course, but if you plan to stay overnight, you might want to gear up.

  • Comfortable clothing will be helpful.
  • Aside from the items mentioned above, don’t assume anything will be there.  Bring what you need, especially for your presentations.
  • Bring a sleeping bag, pillow, toothbrush, ear plugs, sleeping mask, teddy bear… that sort of thing.
  • Bring snacks and drinks; we’ll be providing lunch and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday, but we encourage people to bring stuff to share. It’s a social snack and drink mash-up fest.
  • Bring your own power strips and extension cords.
  • Bring any electronic stuff you have to swap or give away.
  • Bring your gaming gear, portable or otherwise.

Will there be Wi-Fi?
Yes!

What will the rooms be like?
A handful of conference rooms, plus two other areas set up for sessions. There are also a kitchen/dining areas, two common areas, and even space outside. It is gonna be a beautiful weekend, so we should take advantage of that. Anyone up for a photowalking session?

Who can I ask if I have questions?
We’ll identify the organizers and Camp Counselors, who are there to make sure you have a great experience.

What about alcohol?
No alcohol allowed on premises. Please respect that decision. In addition, if you go out for drinks and get smashed, you won’t be let back in.

Do I have to stay overnight?
No.  Mind Camp is your event, and you can make of it what you will – but you’ll miss out on some very interesting things if you decided to leave! Seriously – overnight is where a lot of good stuff happens.

Can we take pictures?  Can we record audio and video?
Unless you are specifically asked not to do so by another attendee, please feel free to document as much of the event as you can. We’d love to feature your videos on the Seattle Mind Camp YouTube channel.