So what did you learn from running a consumer internet company?

Ruth was number 20. I don’t know Ruth, and I didn’t know the other 19, but they all sent me emails/Linkedin messages that read something like this:

So sorry to hear about Bizzy. I am building a very similar service but with a twist/different monetization/different target audience: can you share your learning from Bizzy?

I answered few in writing, few via phone calls and even had couple of face to face meetings but when number 20 hit my inbox, I figured it time to have a permanent link I can send people to… Every answer here deserves a post of its own, and one more for the questions I haven’t answered yet, but let’s start with something… I also tried to write the answer in a more general way, so they are useful to the broader audience. So here are some of the questions I’ve been asked:

So what did you learn from running a consumer internet company?

A letter to Bizzy

I don’t know Ethan. I never heard his name before or saw him on Bizzy. I got an email from him today thanking me and the bizzy team and thought it was worth sharing. After all, we worked on Bizzy because we loved it. And knowing that we were able to amaze people is all we could expect.

Hi Gadi,

It’s very sad to see you guys go. Bizzy is a very fun and useful product and while it had its glitches, I enjoyed playing with it for most of the time. I’m writing to let you (and the team) know how impressed I was with the recommendation engine from Bizzy. Continue reading “A letter to Bizzy”

A letter to Bizzy

High on Bizzy love…

Yesterday I shared with our users that the startup I founded, Bizzy, will be shutting its doors soon. Bizzy was a part of a larger public company so in this sense we did not have the same control over our destiny as a true independent startup has but in any event, closing the doors over something you built and loved is not easy.

There will be time for lesson learned and what’s next. Today, I just enjoy the public and private love we are getting from our users. I mean, it would have been horrible to tell your users you are shutting down and get no one to react… But in Bizzy’s case, we got hundreds of emails, tweets and phone calls from users all over the country and it really helps to keep our collective spirit high… Tomorrow we might wake up with a hang over, but today, I would like to share some of the funny/heart warming responses we got… Continue reading “High on Bizzy love…”

High on Bizzy love…

How Small Businesses Can Improve Their Relations With Customers Through Social Media

Also published by Search Engine Watch on September 2 2010

he big question for small business owners five years ago was, “Should I use Google instead of yellow pages to attract new customers?” NowGoogle is commonly used by SMBs and that question gave way to a new one: “Do I need to be using social media?

Social media is a much more complex issue than the Google versus yellow pages debate. With dozens of options, most small businesses can’t decide where to invest their limited time. Many become overwhelmed and end up doing nothing. So, what to do?

Do You Need to Use Social Media? Continue reading “How Small Businesses Can Improve Their Relations With Customers Through Social Media”

How Small Businesses Can Improve Their Relations With Customers Through Social Media