Nickolas PassigInternet Swiss Army Knife
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Consultant, Mentor, Startup Doer. Can help you bring digital dreams into reality: App, software and website -- full lifecycle management. Ecommerce optimization.



Recent Answers


The first thing to do is wait a little while. Sometimes ranking losses from G Updates are not permanent. So before changing anything, give it some time to settle (a week or two is sufficient).

The typical SEO strategy is to first identify what the G Update was for (if possible), then examine the site's backlink profile and take action accordingly.

In addition, you'll want to examine the backlink structure of the sites that link to your site.

If those actions do not work, and you must be ranking in G, then this is really troublesome. I'd recommend you contact a SEO professional immediately for an evaluation of the site.

Cheers --
Nick
http://nickpassig.com

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In my experience, international organizations of all sizes successfully hire freelance product managers and/or product consultants. This is especially true In the entertainment and media business. Anyone who says differently has probably never seen it done successfully. Are there challenges with freelance - absolutely - but what do you think all this product development lifecycle software is used for?! What are all these telecommuting tools, online presentation tools, and mobile phones used for?!

Apparently the naysayers here have never worked with a large organization that has multiple international offices -- many times, this is the ONLY way to get things done.

Cheers!


Big question - here's my only thought...when engineers author software they own the code. There are certain laws to protect their rights so be sure to have your bases covered there (oh and hire people you trust)


First off, there is not enough information for a qualified expert to provide an expert opinion.

This is because these kind of developer partnerships are very complicated and full of unknowns.

The bottom line is that someone will get a bad deal if you do a partnership where the future efforts are unknowns. Many experts would recommend that you keep full control and figure out how to do this deal in a "transaction" relationship instead of equity.

The follow up questions are why OpenCart? Why pick a solution that requires a maintenance team? Why not purchase a pre-coordinated or hosted solution where the maintenance person comes with the hosting. Then hire developers on a transaction basis to make custom changes?


Simple questions, simple answers.

Clearly a 301 redirect case because there is no canonical value for just switching URLs...however...this is the most important line on this whole thread coming up...

You have to do a search in Google to see which pages are ranking better based on URL and keep those to have maximum ROI. To do this properly requires a rank checker and keyword list to see how the URLs rank.

Should be a snap for a SEO specialist with Screaming Frog and a proper rank checker -- at least to identify the right URLs to keep. Now, updating the URLs with a 301 redirect should probably be done in programmatic fashion to save time...

Cheers --
Nick


Dear Idea Person,
A lot of tough love on this one!!!

Here's the deal - ideas are the most common thing on the planet. Ideas are basically worthless until they are proven practical. Take it from me, I'm a crazy inventor who has had to learn this lesson over and over again.

Here are some strategies:

1. Get them to sign a non-disclosure on the idea (this probably won't happen because big companies say 'you are not giving us any ideas we do not already have'. And they are usually right!

2. Make it look like a full product or service and sell it. Get the order and then build it to suit them.

All big businesses are in the game of taking other peoples' ideas and profiting from them. But you are wrong in thinking that they want to squash you -- they have no time to even think about that. That is your fear for not taking action. Ideas and business models get "stolen" all the time. Big investors will never sign a non-disclosure for the very fact that they might "already" be working on your idea and would want to avoid any legal troubles of signing to hear your "idea".

If you are going to approach a big company, put in all the footwork first, get your intellectual property protected.

Why not contact 1,000 people and pitch your idea. Maybe some one will steal it. Maybe someone will deny you. Maybe someone will say, "we love it, how do we start?".

Cheers --
Nick


This is a common issue...and I may have a different opinion here with my startup and scaling organizations experience.

In fact, I want to cherry pick from another answer "I would suggest that you take more ownership of the decision to accept this position in the first place."

My feeling on this is that if you think the team is weak already, you are setting yourself up to fail. People have greatness in them. With that said, the counter is that sometimes people are unwilling to change or take action. Finding out which type of people you have here is important. Also, everyone thinks differently -- you may come in with your checklist, but they may not be checklist type thinkers. You may come in with your ideas and they may revolt! Sometimes you will be the oddball out and they will think you are weak.

If you can terminate these employees they will never be completely honest with you if they are fearful of their job. So surveying them about "what they think"...not so sure about that. Also, giving them even a hint of aggressiveness may cause a lot of trauma.

Going back to the previous comment - do your homework on this one. Find out how open your supervisors are to personnel change.

And now for my best recommendation --- there is a book called 'The First 90 Days' that I think may be a tremendous resource for you. It covers the "transition" from your perspective and your employees perspective which very few managers ever think about.

Cheers - you'll do fine and they will love you.

Nick


Simple answers depending on what your product is:

1. Post the product to eBay and test pricing
2. Post it to Craigslist
3. Ask all your friends and family to buy it
4. Take 20 people out to lunch that are in the target market, tell them that in three weeks you are planning to launch a business that sells x. Ask them a lot of questions about their needs as a target customer - but do not sell them at all. At the end, ask if they know anyone who might be a good fit for your product.
5. Create landing pages and test them with Google Adwords, Bing Ads, or Facebook ads. Get the sale but do not charge the credit card. This is relatively low cost, gets fast results, and is my specialty - I'd be happy to help.

Cheers -
Nick


This is not my specialty, however, I have been in your position many many times -- maybe this will help.

If the product is in-tangible, then look for JV partners on the Internet. Try to find an expert that deals with these JV opportunities (like me).

If the product is physical, then look for sales organizations that have networks of sales people across the country. You do the deal with the organization and the independent network of sales people sells your product. It's a sweet setup if you can negotiate a margin that works for everyone.

Hope that helps -

Cheers -
Nick


Hey Super Star SaaS,

Here's an idea:
30/30/30 - 30% sales, 30% product, 30% wow factor.

Another:
Sell the software before you even build it. The cash you get from the sales could be what you use to bootstrap. Build the business with a few select customers until everything is dialed in. Make it profitable, then contact investors for marketing dollars.

Here's a full path to stardom:
1. ID TARGET MARKET: Identify the target market and the massive problem that your SaaS is fixing -- just the one single greatest benefit and who gets it
2. BUILD LIST: Setup a prelaunch page to collect emails - think LaunchRock or something
3. SPECIAL INVITE LIST: Invite people to get in early -- leverage your greater network (particularly your circle of influence)
4. SOCIAL MEDIA: Build social media tools to compliment the pre-launch. Reach out to potential users through social media (if you have time to write custom messages)
5. REVIEW COPIES: Give away review copies to bloggers and reviewers - ask for their feedback (your product better be solid though)
6. GET PRESS: Get the press either through #5 or through a press agent

Another great resource is the $100 Startup Launch Checklist.

If you need help dialing this in - there are a thousand ways to do it. I would be happy to help you craft a plan and execute it.

Cheers --
Nick


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