CafePress files for IPO, looks to raise up to $80M

The summer of the tech S-1 continues: CafePress has filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise up to $80 million in an IPO. The S-1 reveals the e-commerce company made $2.7 million in net income on $128 million in revenues in 2010.

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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My 8 Commandments for Marketing Your Startup

I’m one of the co-founders of two-year-old startup Marketo, a marketing automation company serving B2B companies. I’m also VP of marketing, meaning I’m under constant pressure to take Marketo’s own messaging to new heights. After all, if we can’t market ourselves like a world-class company — and make it look easy — why would customers ask us to help them do it?

The challenge: How to do all this with a limited budget and limited resources. At Marketo, we’ve had our share of ups and downs, but I’ve learned important rules about how to be a better marketer that I think will help you, too.

The 8 Commandments of Startup Marketing

1. Use free distribution. Our early goal was to extend as many online tentacles as possible so anyone searching for a solution like ours would “come across” us. Since we didn’t have a lot of money, we focused on low-cost tactics like my blog and search engine optimization. This helped us generate search rankings and free site traffic.

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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 $$

Cost of Customer Acquisition – What Is It?

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Editor’s Note: Contributor and serial founder Aruni Gunasegaram has written recently about her experiences fundraising for her current startup, BabbleSoft, in My Funding Toolkit and A Founder’s Tale: Angels vs. VCs. Today Aruni shares with us her insights on another major founder’s challenge: the cost of acquiring customers.

One of the interesting things about fundraising is the different perspectives you get from potential investors. If they spend enough time to really understand what you are trying to do, they offer great feedback, suggestions, and advice. They also sometimes ask a tough question or two.

I officially started the fundraising process a couple of weeks ago and have had a couple of meetings and a few more set up in the coming weeks. Since many of these angel investors are really busy, getting on their calendar can take weeks!

One question I was asked had to do with the cost of customer acquisition. It’s so hard to tell what that might be, given the uncertainty and newness of many business concepts out there (including mine) today. I searched and searched and oddly only found very dated ancient info (i.e., 1999 – 2001) figures for sites like Amazon.com. At a high-level, the cost of customer acquisition is how much it costs to get a customer/visitor to your site. Read More about Cost of Customer Acquisition – What Is It?