GTV Revenue Bootcamp

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On Friday, Guy Kawasaki’s Garage Technology Ventures held their “Revenue Bootcamp” conference with an all star lineup of speakers and panelists, including Y Combinator’s Paul Graham, Sequoia’s Mike Moritz, Chris Anderson, author of Free: The Future of Radical Price, alongside a host of executives from Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Pandora and other leading Web 2.0 companies.   Unable to attend in person, I followed the stream throughout the day on Twitter at #revenuebootcamp.  Some the best bits are collected below:

How to Create a Traffic Jam by Really Trying
(i.e. Driving traffic through SEO and website analytics)

@designmom: Adjusting the color blue on Gmail page increased conversions by 20%. Would love access to that kind analysis. #revenuebootcamp

@huihuilow: Charlene Li b2b marketing tip- give the ppl tools to make their case internally – white papers plus ppt help! #revenuebootcamp

@zegig: See how search engines see your site at

@designmom: #revenuebootcamp– Simply Hired CEO says SEO is a mindset. Ex: during interviews say SimplyHired dot com, not SimplyHired, to get more links.

@kirtsy: Figure out the top 10 blog influencers in your vertical. Read their blogs, comment, reachout. #revenuebootcamp

@divyashah: #revenuebootcamp SEO vs SEM, want to get word out quickly -> pay per click/ but $$$$, SEO -> slower, better in long run.

@zeevex: Google Webmaster Search ProdMgr: Traffic is great. Conversion is what matters. #revenuebootcamp

@mccammon: Driving traffic still need a good product at the end of the day, but good product without traffic is pointless – Dion Lim #revenuebootcamp

@zeevex: Driving traffic: Simply Hired COO… Search/SEO won’t get you to 10M UVs a month. Need dist’d strategy (widgets, socmed) #revenuebootcamp

@aihui: How to create a Traffic Jam? Figure out a way to help people make money on ya site (via simplyhired) #revenuebootcamp

Keynote w/ Chris Anderson (on Freemium Bus. Models)

@aihui: People will pay to save time, lower risk, things they love, status, if u make them (once they r hooked) #revenuebootcamp

@noelleee #revenuebootcamp Another great insight by Chris Anderson: Quality is relevance. (I like that).

@zeevex: Chris Anderson. 30 days free = bad. Too easy to walk away. Give away enough free to gain utility, then upsell features. #revenuebootcamp

@designmom: Most popular content on your site should be free. Content behind a paywall should appeal to niches. #revenuebootcamp.

@mccammon: Freemium, 21st century business model, give away 99% to sell 1%, inverse of free sample model, give away 1% to sell 99% – #revenuebootcamp

@zeevex Chris Anderson on Newspapers: Model shouldn’t be free vs paid. Should be ad-driven free vs freemium. #revenuebootcamp

@noelleee: #revenuebootcamp Anderson: Find a product that’s different enough and then make it free. Differentiate. Don’t use price to win market share.

@karmali: In competitive markets, price tends towards marginal cost, which is zero in digital goods (Chris A #revenuebootcamp)

Is the Advertising Model Dead?

@HenryWong94301: Focus, verticalize, drill really deep & specialize. Your summarized model to Sucess ! #Revenuebootcamp

@kirtsy: Facebook guy says to use Quantcast to get a pretty granular view of who your site users are. (Also, Facebook guy is hot.) #revenuebootcamp

@huihuilow: How to get smarter to monetize by ad? – follow the money where advertisers are spending now, then design your business. #revenuebootcamp

@huihuilow: How to target influencers that can be converted to brand evangelists would be crucial. #revenuebootcamp

@huihuilow: So, blurring the boundaries of content and ad but focusing on the sphere of interaction and engagement is the way to go? #revenuebootcamp

@jjuan01: #revenuebootcamp about 65% of users on Google searches don’t know that the sponsored links on top and right panels are actual paid ads.

@barbarakrause: Ad panel at #revenuebootcamp : You don’t make money by diversifying, you make money by specializing.

@kirtsy: #revenuebootcamp – Facebook committed to non-interruptive ads. They want ads to be indistinguishable from content.

@feedbackjar: #revenuebootcamp The Art of Advertising is NOT looking like an Ad

@bigchiefalice: RT @fffabulous: Advertisers love ‘microsites’ like Blahnik – know the content and the audience and be relevant. #revenuebootcamp

@designmom: #revenuebootcamp – the sites that successfully make money from advertising, were purposefully designed to do so from early on.

@aihui: Focus on being the largest FISH in a small pond – strategy of Glam for the first 2 yrs! #revenuebootcamp

@bigchiefalice: #revenuebootcamp — listening to “is advertising dead?” again facebook guy gets it — be relevant to the social context with your ads

Beyond CPM – Innovate Business Models for Generating Revenues

@AstiaSF #revenuebootcamp. Twitter is the new Adwords. Companies are seeing highest conversion rates from Twitter advertising

@feedbackjar What?! IMVU sold virtual wrapping paper for $2 #revenuebootcamp

@kirtsy 10 cent, $1 and $2 virtual wrapping paper sells. $10 virtual wrapping paper does not. Experiment. #revenuebootcamp

@designmom #revenuebootcamp – 2 panelists have tried running google ads for fake products to see if anyone clicks. Google ads as research.

@zeevex Test your startup idea with a small buy with AdSense. Just see if your idea gets clicks. (email apology is optional 🙂 #revenuebootcamp

@feedbackjar #revenuebootcamp experimentation is key to understand what your users want

@lawrencecoburn Some of #IMVU ‘s third party virtual clothes developers are making more than $1M per year. IMVU share’s revenue 50/50. #revenuebootcamp

@karmali interesting that some panelists personally began with CPM, and then moved away from it. #revenuebootcamp #revenuebootcamp

@divyashah #revenuebootcamp Panel’s advice for entrepreneurs: force yourself into having revenue targets early on + rapid development cycles

@zeevex: False internal constraints (sales goals) are crucial for startups. Give the metric a name, so it becomes more important. #revenuebootcamp

Fireside Chat

@adstads #revenuebootcamp @GuyKawasaki on valuations: Add 500k for each engineer; deduct 250k for each MBA. Ouch.

@bigchiefalice #revenuebootcamp no one knows what the “the next big thing is” — no idea.

@bigchiefalice #revenuebootcamp sequoia doesn’t like owning too much – means owners aren’t shrewd and there’s not enough for everyone else – 35% is the max

@zeevex Guy K: Why do you invest in so many 25-yr olds? Paul Graham: Because Mozart was dead at 35. (huge laughter) #revenuebootcamp

@zeevex Mike Moritz: Talk to investors like your doctor. Don’t hide the symptoms. Talk like you do among yourselves. #revenuebootcamp

@zegig Paul Graham says don’t say the word “passion” just show it #revenuebootcamp

@designmom RT @huihuilow: Paul Graham: “We like people who really like to build something….” #revenuebootcamp

@zeevex Paul Graham: Rev is imp, but we don’t worry about forecasts or s.sheets. We worry how the co. will make it past 1st year. #revenuebootcamp

@zegig Paul Graham asks pitching entrepreneurs what they have done outside of school/work #revenuebootcamp

@huihuilow Paul Graham: “We like people who really like to build something….” #revenuebootcamp


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