This is a story about how an entrepreneur can build an internet business on the side. The business Sean Percival launched wasn’t meant to be the next Google. He was just trying to make some money and improve his business skills.
Sean built a site that sold customize European license plates, the kind of plates you might see on cars speeding on the Autobahn or cruising down the Champs-Elysées. As you’ll hear in this interview, he spent $12 to buy the domain, customeuropeanplates.com. Then he built the site using a free ecommerce platform. To fill and ship his orders, he partnered up with a company that was already in the business of selling license plates online. And he got customers by teaching himself search engine optimization and developing link partnerships with related sites.
He ended up selling the business — which was profitable — after Tweeting that he was thinking of selling it.
We talked in this interviewed about how he built the business, and how he built up the kind of social capital online that helped him sell his business for about $100,000 via a Tweet.
December 23, 2009 by mlq3
Filed under Daily Dose
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See my previous entries, Platforms and Platform time begins November 30.
In chronological order, the platforms thus far, are the following.
Manolo Quezon is a gem. He has compiled all published platforms of Presidential Candidates to the 2010 National Elections of the Philippines.
I only ask the very hard question , or rather I only try to answer the HARD questions during my birthday, which as more than a week ago, I’d be lying if I thoughts like this didn’t enter my mind.
I was brought up to believe that I am special. I was told that I am unusually smart and gifted. Whether or not this is true, it has given me a deep-seated expectation of myself to do great(ish) things, to achieve a bit more than the average Joe, to stand out from the crowd, to gain recognition.
Most people of course achieve very little that is noteworthy beyond the solid humble everyday victories of a quiet life. I’m sure that most people do not have a sense that this is in any way insufficient. I’m also sure that many of these average achievers have talent and potential far beyond that needed to live a standard life. They just don’t expect of themselves to do any more than the average person. I believe they are by and large content.
The skills and training I have are not much sought after. There is very little professional demand for me. This clashes badly with my grandiose ideas about myself. I achieve things that I am proud of on a small one-man-project scale, but few care, and I gain little recognition. I am frustrated.
At the start of the day I have something of a ritual which involves in almost chronological order:
-Check Email, Answer only immediate and important emails, leave the rest for later
-Read RSS Feeds of Expansion/Thinkers/Coding
-Check Unimportant/Not immediately pertinent emails
-Read RSS feeds from news sources (Inquirer/GMA)
-Check tasks for today.
-Check production servers applications I am supporting.
-Begin work on tasks.
All in all this takes about 1-2 hours of my workday.
So I was pleasantly surprised with the new “social features” that they have included in google reader.
As far as I can see they have made liking more open, because now people who allow other people to see their likes are showing up at the rss entry.
This is interesting because now you can follow these people.
Following other people has been an old feature of google reader, what’s new is that it is now far easier to find people who read the same things you do.
Hope they can do this with google reader notes, and that they find a way to convince more people to read posts from rss.
I’ve been just using the new social features for a few minutes but, I can see the possibilities!
Kudos to the google reader team, I don’t know what they plan for the future but I am surely going along for a ride!
uthor Walter Jon Williams says that he has an unimportant problem toay:
Angel Station: Watching My Uncompleted Novel Go Down in Flames: There is a scene just like this in the novel I’m working on. My whole novel is playing itself out before my very eyes. All its specialness and wonderfulness, coolness and invention is curling up and dying in fire, as if one of the incendiaries from Fahrenheit 451 found it before I could even finish it. The Twitter Revolution in Moldova was bad enough, but at least it didn’t get a lot of coverage over here, and most Americans never heard of Moldova. Iran is different. I feel like all those guys who were working on Cold War novels when the Wall fell.
The parade of demonstrators in Tehran today was nine kilometers long. It’s a People Power revolution fired up by social media— you don’t get a crowd that big by sticking up posters on lamp posts. (Does the use of Twitter in Iran somehow absolve it of totally sucking?) Hackers are also proving useful, by attacking Iranian government web sites. (But be careful, script kiddies of the world— you don’t want to bring the whole system down.)
And he has a recommendation for what you can do to help the people with serious problems:
If you want to turn your computer into a proxy server to help Iranians avoid government roadblocks, “Austin Heap” provides instructions here. Be sure to read the disclaimers. I’d do this myself, but I have to admit that it’s all beyond my competence.
I couldn’t agree more. People are just so fucking annoyed with two bit, multi faced interactions that it is personally dragging to interact with people. I remember this scene from “The Office” probably season4. Where Kelly kapoor and Darryl from the warehouse fights and kelly says. “I don’t understand him who says exactly what he means!” can’t help but feel this when talking to people I interact with hesistantly. What I mean is I tend to hang with simple people , people like darryl. Call shit on me when I am shitting them, tear me a new one when I am getting too arrogant and all in all telling me when; Incidentally If i had only listened to them a couple of weeks ago, I probably would not be depressed and extremely fragile right now. I am like a tinderbox ready to explode any second. Well to sum up, try to minimize the fog, speak simply and clearly, tell it to me straight and we will get along fine! In some ways I don’t like erecting walls that separate , but this is very important to me. Enough of the lies, enough of the deception tell it straight!
Which means that even if you have a really good reason, no, you can’t call me on the phone. Which means that even if it’s really important, no, I’m not going to read the instructions. Which means that god forbid you try to email me something I didn’t ask for… you’re trashed. It’s so fashionable to be skeptical now that no one believes you if you attempt to do something for the right reasons.
Selfish short-sighted marketers ruined it for all of us. The only way out, I think, is for a few marketers to so overwhelm the market with long-term, generous marketing that we have no choice but to start paying attention again.