Affiliate marketing in Romania

I think that with the economy going so bad spending money wisely is more important than ever. That’s why I was always attracted to affiliate marketing. Unfortunately In Romania there was never a real solution for the local e-commerce players. Until now.

2Parale was only an idea 6 months ago. Me, Lavinius and Radu were having a beer and discussing various niches in the market. And of course me and Lavinius started to talk about affiliate marketing. Beer was over… we got home etc… But in one month Radu calls us to show us his tool. “What tool?” we asked… “You know. The affiliate marketing thing”. He had built the whole thing in 4 weeks. I was blown away.

And after months of tweaking it he is officially lunching it to the public. It is an amazing step forward for the Romanian market but the tool is so great I can help thinking how it will work internationally.

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The Techcrunch thing
Image representing TechCrunch as depicted in C...

As you probably know we were featured on Techcrunch last week. We visited Michael Arrington’s home and office, demoed our product to Michael and he wrote a very nice review afterwards (except the fact he wrote Backtype, which is another company, instead of uberVU).

But some people were very very pissed off that in that article Michael said that uberVU is a London based company, when the founders and all the employees are in fact Romanians. I can totally understand your frustration but here are the facts:

  1. uberVU is a technically a London based company. We are registered in London, our HQ is in London etc. And this helps a lot from a business perspective. Not a lot of people will invest in a Romanian company. Ask Alexis!
  2. We never bragged or even mentioned London to Michael or any other journalist/investor etc. We always say that we are from Romania. We have nothing to be ashamed! Whoever said that is an idiot! In fact we found that mentioning Romania is one way to grab some attention: “Haaaaaa…. Romania. Cool!” But Michael wrote the article and he probably checked where are we incorporated.

So again: sorry we have disappoint you! But it is not something we did on purpose!

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Startup corporate culture

Should a startup have a corporate culture? Should it be invented or should it come naturally? These are some of the questions that came thru my mind as I watched Tony Hsieh’s presentation on Zappo’s culture, at Web 2.0 expo.

Start with the right corporate culture and the rest will follow is amazing advice, no doubt about it. But can any company do it? I think not. Most of,if not all, corporate cultures are mirroring the founder’s core values and I don’t think 1000 of hours of brainstorming can change that. Think for a second: Apple’s culture mimics Steve Jobs’s mania for perfection, Facebook is like a mirror image of Mark Zuckerberg … The same for Microsoft, Twitter, Ford, 37signals or any other company you like.

That’s why I think reading Jack Welch’s books on corporate culture at General Motors Electric or Jason Fried’s advice on how to run a software company and trying to replicate that will fail miserably. Think hard who you are and what your core values are, put them on paper and this is how your your corporate culture will look like.

I am looking fwd for your thoughts!

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Te vrem la uberVU
Posted in Business

Avem un loc liber pentru un uber-geek care sa programeze ca un zeu. Anuntul oficial pe blog si la jobber.

Cine se da mare ca stie programare si vrea sa schimbe lumea, nu sa lucreze la cms-uri pentru clienti de aici, sa ridice mana.

The new Microsoft
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 9: Apple CEO Steve...

Nu pot sa spun ca eram destul de matur ca sa-mi amintesc de Microsoft in anii 90. Pe atunci abia daca aveam notiunea de PC. Dar citind presa vremii am aflat cat de respectata era compania si cat de idolatrizat era Bill Gates. Microsoft era “the company” si toata lumea ii iubea. Pana cand Microsoft a calcat pe bec: a intrat in toate pietele posibile, si-a atacat adversarii cu tactici cat se poate de “corecte” etc. Microsoft a inceput sa puta pe la sfarsitul anilor 90. Lumea a realizat ca au de a face cu o companie mamut care vrea sa controleze orice piata si care o sa calce pe cadavre ca sa ajunga acolo unde isi doreste.

Si asta o sa se intample si cu Google foarte curand. Pentru mine Google si-a pierdut “the touch” si s-a departat serios de la misiunea ei. Vrea sa fie in orice piata si sa copieze, cumpere etc orice firma care face ceva revolutionar. Tineti minte cum Windows s-a nascut din “colaborarea” plina de succes intre Apple si Microsoft. How about Android? Acum un an jumate Erich Schmidt era pe scena cu Steve Jobs si il felicita pentru iPhone etc. Peste un an Google anunta Android, un fel de copie mai proasta a sistemului de operare de la Apple, dar pe care ei spera sa-l distribuie la toti producatorii de mobile. Asa s-a nascut si Windows. Remember?

Saptamana asta tinta e Wikipedia. Care are foarte mult trafic si nu are reclame. Asa ca Google a decis sa faca ceva. Si a facut Knol. Pe langa lipsa de viziune evidenta Google decide sa foloseasca aceleasi tactici ca “the evil” Microsoft. Adica daca pana de curand Wikipedia aparea prima la mai orice cautare pe Google mai nou Knol are prioritate acolo unde exista articole pentru cautari. Remember IE default on Windows. What a difference!

Nu spun ca Google o sa dea faliment. O sa castige din ce in ce mai multi bani. Dar o sa ajunga sa cada de pe piedestalul media in curand. Ma intreb cine o sa fie the next “media darling”?

Despre rabdare

Un nou capitol din foiletonul de pe startups.ro. Sper sa va placa!

Facebook Pages

Sunt foarte surprins de sucesul pe care l-am avut cu pagina uberVU de pe Facebook. Fara nici un fel de promovare si am ajuns la 60 de fani. Asa ca am facut si pentru CaptainGO.

Acum mai trebuie sa vedem cum folosim acest canal. A avut cineva experinte placute/proaste cu adurile de pe Facebook?

To the next level

De luna trecuta Adrian conduce operatiunile de zi cu zi la Metromind. Nu puteam fi mai fericiti cu un alt coleg si suntem siguri ca Adi va face o treaba exceptionala. Se anunta lucruri remarcabile. Fiti pe faza.

Primul articol in Jurnal de Startup

Acum 2 saptamani va spuneam ca e posibil sa scriu la Startups.ro. Ei bine…. azi a aparut prima mea incercare de articol in Startups la Jurnal de start-up. Unde voi scrie saptamanal despre experientele mele antreprenoriale. Evident daca exista ceva interes. Apropo, despre ce ati vrea sa scriu in articolele viitoare?

Start-up international made in Romania
Posted in Business

Am fost in Amsterdam sa ne prezentam jucaria. Povestea scurta. A fost foarte interesant. Am cunoscut o multime de vedete din Silicon Valley si de antreprenori vestici. Dar am dat si pentru prima oara de problema de a fi roman.

Prima poveste:
Cu cateva zile inainte de conferinta Mike Butcher scrie despre noi pe Techcrunch UK: Companie romaneasca care vrea sa faca multe chestii SF. Errrr. Ok. Vine si conferinta. Eu imi fac speechul. Nu a fost cea mai buna performanta dar e primul meu speech in fata a 1000 de oameni. Oricum in mare parte bine. Dupa ce ma dau jos de pe scena ma abordeaza Erick Schonfeld, de la Techcrunch USA. Imi spune ca ii place ce facem si ca ar vrea sa se joace cu uberVU ca sa ne faca un review. Se joaca cu produsul, ne da feedback, ii spunem in ce stadiu suntem (nu foarte avansat). Ne recomanda sa rezolvam niste probleme si sa ne facem infrastructura mai solida. Si cand suntem gata sa-i dam mail si 1000 de invitatii ca sa faca un review. Super cool.

In acelasi timp Mike Butcher de la versiunea uk avea reviewul gata: Companie romaneasca care vrea sa faca multe chestii SF. Errrr. Prezentare de cacao..Adica acelasi lucru ca acum o sapt + faptul ca prezentarea e de cacao. Ok. Stiu ca nu am avut o super prezentare asa ca ma duc cu laptopul langa el in timpul unei pauze sa-i arat ce facem. Daca mai scrie de noi macar sa stie ce scrie. El nu: “A voi sunteti aia din Romania.”; “Nu trebuie sa vad nimic. Nu ma intereseaza. Stiu tot.” Imi venea sa-l strang de gat.

A doua poveste:
Cineva ne spunea cat de mult ii place softul. Ne intreaba de unde suntem. Ii zicem ca din Romania. Si el foarte surprins ne intreaba daca noi avem ce manca acolo ca sa ne ocupam de net.

Si alte chestii de acest fel.