GigaOM Pro, Jasper Malcolmsen, Hiten Shah, Tony Conrad, and more

Another stellar week out here on the west coast. I’m learning 20+ new skills/concepts/ideas every day – and not just tech related – I’m learning how the core of a start-up operates and how business is conducted. I absolutely love it.

So, this week I redesigned the landing page on GigaOM Pro. After meeting with GigaOM’s SEO guy, we felt like the old landing page just wasn’t cutting it – it was waaay too long and there was an explosion of information. So, I went in and streamlined everything.

I also had a face-to-face meeting with Kaite Fehrenbacher, Josie Garwaithe, and Celeste LeCompte. They gave me a good deal of feedback on a bunch of mock-ups that I had made for a couple of the network sites.

I was also fortunate enough to have met Sphere founder Tony Conrad, although not in the greatest of circumstances. As I was walking into the office on Wednesday morning, I saw a man at the front desk asking where the GigaOM office was. Naturally, I told him that I worked there and I could show him where it was. As we were walking, I just assumed that since he was a little confused on directions, he might be an outside designer or consultant. So, I flat out asked him if he was, and I ended up embarrassing myself a bit. He couldn’t have been a nicer guy though, and again, I was glad to have met him. It’s funny because I’ve been following him on Twitter for about a month now, yet I didn’t put two and two together.

Thursday was definitely the highlight of the week. The True interns, Christiaan, Shea, and Hiten Shah, and I rendezvoused at Pier 38 for lunch. We had awesome pizza from South Beach Cafe – I need to remember to visit that place sometime before I leave. After our meal, we listened to both Jasper Malcolmsen of Bloomspot and Hiten Shah of CrazyEgg/KISSmetrics speak.

While in the session with Jasper, we discussed things like how to form a business, where to get ideas for your business, massively scalable systems, shopping engines, A/B testing, Facebook advertising and many other things. A few of the key points that I took away from Jasper regarding how and why someone starts a business are:

  • To satisfy an unmet user need
  • To capitalize on a business model opportunity
  • Because they are extremely passionate about the industry/market/sector both as a business and a consumer
  • Because they previously worked in a relevant domain (Jasper previously worked at Yahoo!)

Afterward, Hiten Shah took over and gave us a talk. He founded both Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, two services that I have actually been used before meeting him (although one much less than the other). I peppered him with a few questions regarding CrazyEgg, his visual click tracking analytics software, since I used to use it on my personal websites. His software was like the coolest thing I had seen at that time. There was nothing like it. He also spent a good deal of time teaching us the ins and outs of being a Twitter power user. He showed us different tools and techniques that he leverages, and everyone got a kick out of it. Definitely a great Thursday afternoon.

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