Weekly App Store Roundup: Dec. 13th, 2008

The world slows down for another couple of days as we hit the weekend and take a few moments to catch our breath. It’s been another hectic week here at TAB, we considered the potential arrival of a Nintendo Wii-style iPhone, rejoiced at the release of a multi-touch Firefox Beta, extolled the virtues of Mac-augmented exercise regimes and explained how you can make your Mac even cooler (it’s a poor pun and yet I’m not apologizing for it).

Now it’s that special moment that happens ever Saturday at TAB where, after a week of trawling through the latest App Store releases, I hand-pick a few interesting specimens especially for your perusal.

This week I’m looking at Songbird Remote, Slydial, TED and DTESS Aphid Attack.
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Stand Out From 13M Others With Infectious iPhone Art

Since the Zunes inception, for all its faults, one thing that it did that seemed worth emulating was its Originals line, which are devices etched with original artwork from an array of designers. There’s no doubt that, even before comparing it to the Zune, or even the iPod nanos for that matter, the iPhone doesn’t offer a lot in the way of expressing ones individuality.

Thankfully, Infectious (see disclosure at bottom) is happy to fill that lack of identity with its line of iPhone Art adhesive decorations. Featuring artwork from well known illustrators and graphic designers like David Lanham, Jeremy Prasatik (aka JP33), Emil Kozak, and MAD, among many more, Infectious currently offers 38 designs to adorn your iPhone with. Each comes with a full and mini sticker that covers the full back of phone (with a cut-out for the camera lens) and the bottom portion of the front, respectively; as well as an Infectious logo sticker for good measure.
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F|R Crib Sheet: 7 More Sites to Cut Your Startup Costs

Last month we offered bootstrapping founders a short index of cost-optimization sites to help cut expenses for things like health insurance, web hosting, wireless plans and electric bills.

Many of you wrote in to offer your own recommendations, so this week we’re expanding the list with seven additional resources to help you cut costs associated with project management, conferencing, financial planning and accounting — plus, an entire search engine devoted to sourcing free applications for just about everything else, including: data backup, CRM, product price tracking, professional video editing and more.

As always, if you’ve discovered additional tools for cutting startups’ commodity costs, please share them in the comments section. Read More about F|R Crib Sheet: 7 More Sites to Cut Your Startup Costs

PeoplePad Keeping Mum on Semantic Plans

Last week I ran into Troy Lane Williams, founder of PeoplePad, a stealthy Austin-based startup that’s creating some kind of front-end portal for the semantic web. I have no idea what the finished product will look like, but Williams’ previous startup experience has colored PeoplePad’s product and its formation.

Williams may be familiar to readers who recall his involvement in Questia, the pre-Google Books, subscription-based online library that launched in 2001 with $150 million in backing. Questia is still in business, but Williams left in May 2007.

Wisdom from Williams includes:

Question of the Day: Do YOU Hire Workaholics?

By now you’ve all read some of the controversy over Jason Calacanis’ blog post on cost-savings for startups, in which he urged founders to “fire people who are not workaholics.” We posted Monday (‘Mahalo ‘for Tips on How to Save $$), before the firestorm was full-force. I said I didn’t think a punitive policy was the most effective management strategy, and suggested you try rewarding hard workers instead. Plenty of people took far greater umbrage:Calacanis Fires People Who Have A Life, and “running…your employees into the ground”. By now Calacanis’ real point —hire employees who are committed !–is being obfuscated. But bloggers love to provoke (even Calacanis!), so the debate rages: Instigator Ben supports Calacanis, Jon, at 37 Signals, says, Fire the workaholics!

I’m thinking, why debate it hypothetically? Why not find out if hiring workaholics “works?” So this is our Question of the Day:


Question of the Day:

1) Have you hired workaholics at your company ?

2) Was it good or bad ?

3) Would you hire workaholics again ?

Are you a workaholic? Do you have experience working with or for them? Share your wisdom with us here.

Preparing for the Recession: ‘Mahalo’ for Tips on How to Save $$


Founders can never get enough advice on how to save money. Last week Weblogs founder Jason Calacanis wrote a handy post about how he’s done this over at Mahalo, where he is currently CEO. Jason took some TechCrunch flak for one tip in particular (“fire non-workaholics!”), but his post still makes a nice addition to our new series on How to Prepare for the Recession. (See also: Preparing for the Recession: How to Market Your Way Through It, and How to Turn Your Revenues Up As Economy Goes Down.

I should’ve put Jason’s post, How to save money running a startup (17 really good tips), in Found|LINKS over the weekend — but you’re more likely to read it on a Monday anyway! A few highlights follow. Read the whole thing at Jason’s blog.

I’ve got a bunch of tips on how to [save money] for business. Among them:

1. Buy Macintosh computers, save money on an IT department
2. Buy second monitors for everyone, they will save at least 30 minutes a day, which is 100 hours a year… which is at least $2,000 a year….
3. Buy everyone lunch four days a week and establish a no-meetings policy.
4. Buy cheap tables and expensive chairs…
5. Don’t buy a phone system. No one will use it…
6. Rent out your extra space…
7. Outsource accounting and HR…
8. Don’t [use] Microsoft Office. [Do] use Google Docs.

and for tip #11, the one that got Jason into trouble,
and which he’s tried to amend on his blog (unsuccessfully) … Read More about Preparing for the Recession: ‘Mahalo’ for Tips on How to Save $$