Tag: Startups

All things related to startups, new ventures and enterprises, mind-boggling new ideas

Ready, steady, go!

Refreshing. Innovative. New. Creative. The sky is the limit. Startup fever. Brian Haven:

This new job is ambiguous. I don’t have a job title. The company doesn’t have a name. At the moment, there are only three of us. We don’t know what this will become, we only have a general direction. My office will be at my house… in Austin… and in cyberspace on IM, Twitter, Facebook… To many, this recipe might spell fear. To me, it’s comfortable. I thrive in the unknown–no rules, no baggage, no momentum to pull us into mediocrity. We get to build this from scratch in a thoughtful and disciplined manner. It’s my opportunity to bring my engagement ideas to life and the perfect time to leverage my background to apply a design thinking approach to the way we, and our clients, do business.

I had the joy to experience the reviving entrepreneurial spirit at yesterday’s public beta launch party at the Wuala office in Zurich. And I experience it daily when working for my own company – Printscreen GmbH. A great feeling indeed, and inspiring others, too.

Global version of Xero expected by early 2009!

Wow, that’s what I call modern corporate communications and a quick reaction to feedback (see my earlier blog post)! Nice to see that Xero sets a new standard in this area, too.

Rod Drury, CEO and co-founder of Xero, just announced on the Xero company blog that there will be an international edition of the Xero online accounting system soon:

As you’d imagine, designing and building a proper yet fun-to-use accounting system that scales globally is no small task. Our approach has been to evolve Xero with the feedback of customers and partners in our initial markets, while building up our internal systems to scale internationally.

The plan is to have a global version ready by early 2009.

And there’s no doubt Xero will celebrate a huge success in Switzerland and all over the world!

Xero: The ideal online accounting solution for startups/SMBs?

When going through Jakob Nielsen’s list of the 10 Best Application UIs of 2008 [1], I’ve noticed there’s also an online(!) accounting(!) system for SMBs among the winners:

Xero – The world’s easiest accounting system.

This is a big surprise, as I’ve already tested quite many accounting systems for SMBs/SMEs, both standalone and web applications, but none of them was particularly easy to use. The point isn’t that I couldn’t use a complex accounting system [2], the point is that I don’t want to if it isn’t necessary. In other words, every hour I can save on accounting and invoicing, I can spend on business development and software development. Which obviously makes sense.

Considering this, the price of 49 NZD (34 USD) per month for Xero is a fair deal. The only thing that isn’t customer-friendly at all, is that they decided to go with an opt-out free trial model (i.e. if you don’t cancel the trial within 30 days, you’ll be charged). Definitely worth a try, though.

[UPDATE 20080813: Note that Xero is not available for purchase in Switzerland yet (hopefully soon). You can still try the demo though.]

[UPDATE 20080814: I’ve quickly tested Xero. Conclusion so far: I like it a lot! It delivers, what most startup companies need in regard to accounting and it makes things as easy as possible. In fact, I’ve never seen a more intuitive accounting system before! It will definitely set the new benchmark in its class. Let’s hope there will be a Swiss edition soon. Kudos to the makers of Xero in NZ: You rock!]

[UPDATE 20080815: Xero’s plans are to have a global version of Xero ready by early 2009, see my follow-up blog post]

[1] Also noteworthy: CMSBox, a very user-friendly CMS made in Switzerland.

[2] Among others, two of my majors at the University of Zurich were Management Accounting and Managerial Accounting.

[3] Of course, you could also outsource all your accounting duties, but particularly for a new startup with a minimal headcount, the outsourcing efforts generally outweigh the benefits.

Aug 29, 2008: BlogCamp Switzerland 3.0 in Zurich

Note that this year’s Swiss BlogCamp, the BlogCamp Switzerland 3.0, will take place on the same date (August 29, 2008) as the Tag der Informatik (informatica08) and the tweakGrill, and at the same location (Technopark in Zurich), too! Of course, this is no coincidence :) No matter whether you’re a blogger or not (or plan to be, have been, are interested in the Swiss blogging scene, the web 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0, whatever etc. ;): Be there, I’m sure it will be an interesting event, again! (And attending the “Tag der Informatik” is a point of honor anyway :)

(Bloggy Friday will start at 8 PM, guess where ;)

BlogCamp Switzerland 3.0

[UPDATE 20080802: I probably can’t be there due to military service :( At rather short notice as they managed to send the march order to an address that doesn’t exist. No comment.]

TechCrunch Meetup Zurich

Well, there are quite a few blog posts with reviews of the recent TechCrunch Europe Tour Meetup in Zurich already. Instead of writing an extensive review about it, I’ll thus try to keep it short.

Personally, I highly enjoyed the TechCrunch Meetup in the Bluewin Tower in Zurich West and the gathering in the “Besame Mucho” lounge afterwards and met many interesting people. I wasn’t quite ready for releasing news about my company Printscreen GmbH (iG) yet, but it was nonetheless a great opportunity to network and chat with other entrepreneurs, organizer Mike Butcher, some of the co-organizers and media people. All in all I had the impression that a lot is going on again in the Swiss IT/web startup community (not limited to the roughly 40 startups officially presenting).

So, many thanks to the organizers (TechCrunchUK, Wuala, Doodle, NewsCred, Sandbox) and sponsors who made this all possible! Of course I hope there will be a second edition of the TechCrunch Meetup Zurich soon (it was so well organized and such a nice event, I’d like it to become a recurring, regular event in the Swiss IT and startup scene).

Links to some other posts about the meetup (incomplete and in no particular order):

“Realising Dreams – strategies for deep design” by William Gosling

One of the about 30 something new books on my bookshelf – and a truly great one I just finished reading. Gosling gives a systematic insight into the matter of design and innovation. A very inspiring and useful, yet very concise framework!

“Realising Dreams – strategies for deep design” by William Gosling