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JJB

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Barnish Group is focused on world-class content, communications and marketing technologies. We advise both startup, scale-up and enterprises on both strategy and execution.

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Dissecting an elevator pitch to a VC ..

Subject:

Introducing Ning to Blue Shirt Capital [A useful subject line!]

Hi Nivi,

Thanks for offering to introduce us to Blue Shirt Capital. [Reiterating the social proof of the introducer.] I've attached a short presentation about our company, Ning. [Did you notice the attachment?]

Briefly, Ning lets you create your own social network for anything. For free. In 2 minutes. [What is the product? What does it help the customer do? Who is the customer?] It's as easy as starting a blog. [What's the metaphor?] Try it at http:

//ning.com [Link to the product, screencast, or screenshots.]

We built Ning to unlock the great ideas from people all over the world who want to use this amazing medium in their lives. [What's the big problem or opportunity?]

We have over 115,000 user-created networks and our page views are growing 10% per week. [Traction.] We previously raised $44M from Legg Mason and others, including myself. [Social proof and more traction.]

Before Ning, I started Netscape (acquired by AOL for $4.2B) and Opsware (acquired by HP for $1.6B). [Team.]

I've admired Blue Shirt's investments from afar. [Why are you interested in Blue Shirt?] We're starting meetings with investors next week and I would love to show Blue Shirt what we're building at Ning. [Call to action and subtle scarcity.]

Best,

Marc Andreessen

xyz@ning.com [Contact information—how thoughtful.]

415.555.1212

[OVERALL, TEH EMAIL USEZ GOOD GRAMMAR, PUNCTUASHUN, AN CAPITALIZASHUN, AS WELL AS SHORT PARAGRAFS AN SENTENCEZ.]

Interesting video .. courtsey of Rob Van Es.

Gary Swart, CEO of oDesk - Startups Uncensored #38 - June 2013 (by docstocTV)

"But the bill has caused several problems for the Republican Party at a time when it desperately needs to reach out to women voters. The GOP lawmakers who advanced the bill out of the Judiciary Committee and unanimously rejected exceptions for rape, incest and health of the mother were all men. And during the debate over the rape exception, Franks said “the incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy [is] very low,” resurrecting an incorrect claim made by former Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.)."

5 areas that Apple could have innovated with in iOS7, and didn’t even try

We’ve all seen the updates in iO7.  The flatter icons, the semi transparent background colors, the control center, the fancy old-new retro font that designers love at the moment. Nice, sure.  But it’s been bugging me. What’s missing is some serious innovation in functionality.  

Here are just 5 areas they could have improved from other vendors upon that I would have loved.

1) Better top screen notification center.  I like the concept of Live Tiles in the Windows phone but it’s poorly implemented.  I was really hoping that Apple would add its genius to find a way to bring chosen notifications to the top screen.  I’m fed up of 3 clicks to get to news or FB.

2) Gesture based controls.  The Galaxy 4 is advertising the most interesting phone innovation of the moment - gestures that allow you to pick up calls, start and stop videos and the like.  Hands free control of an iPhone would be a great boon too.

3) An improved Siri tied to search or other apps.  Have you tried the new Google voice search?  Much better than Siri.  

4) Google Now, in my humble opinion, is the hottest new innovation at Google.  The semi-oredictive way that it searches your location, email, calendar to give you information and save you looking up yourself if a killer apps.

5) Make my email into a todo.  Mailboxapp, .mail and even Mail Pilot are all innovating like crazy to turn your inbox into a to-do list.   For me the best is mailboxapp, recently acquired.  This is another killer functionality I would love.

As it stands, iOS7 is simply a new sweet confection.  Sweet and sticky with chocolate on the top. I would have been happy if only one or two of these things had been addressed.   In the past Apple has always managed to marry form with function very well, in that the design changes were there to provide meaning to some new form of functionality.  This time, it’s pretty much all just form signaling that it’s a designer that’s in charge – which is a very dangerous thing.  And as welcome as it is to get rid of Skuemorphism finally, that is still highly dissatisfying.  

Come on Apple, try harder!  

"For example, in 2011, we conducted a test to see if including a personal name in an email’s “from” field would increase email clickthrough rate. In the test, we saw that the control (From “HubSpot”) had a 0.73% CTR while our treatment (from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot”) had a 0.96% CTR — the personalized “From” field was a clear winner with 99.9% confidence."

"Multitasking is a myth — what we actually do is task-switching," psychology professor Amishi Jha said. "Out of all the things our mind does, that switching function is the most depleting." Psychologist Donna Rockwell put it a little more bluntly, "There’s no such thing as multitasking — you’re just not doing anything well."

"As CEO, Cook made his biggest move last Fall when he fired Scott Forstall, the executive who ran iOS, the software that powers iPhones. Forstall built iOS with Steve Jobs. He was considered a mini-Jobs. It’s huge risk to fire the guy largely responsible for the most influential mobile software on the planet. But Cook did it because he wants collaboration. Forstall was reportedly a political creature who didn’t work well the the other executives."