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Donnie Cooper
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what i think seo is actually all about

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lessconf freakin' rocked! thanks to the sponsors

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super useful reference notes from lessconf 2013
Summary notes from a really cool and thought-provoking two days at #lessConf, a weird and wonderful nerdtrepreneur convention brought to Panama City by +Allan Branch  and +Steven Bristol of Less Accounting and zoo-animal-keeping fame.

+Donnie Cooper aggressively and mercilessly convinced me 'starting' was the most important thing, so I'm giving it a go with a @LukeW style conference summary. Sorry if this sends annoying notifications, guys, I don't know what + will do with a post yet.

LessConf Summary.
Sorry if the details aren't quite right, and really really sorry if I missed someone, hopefully I can edit this format. My notes weren't perfect, I think it was the bourbon marshmallows.

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// == Day 1:
@jwelde starts it off with execution, leadership, and some crazy Air Force video game type stuff. Explains leading a company at three levels, the commander's intent, the mid level, and day-to-day.
Favorite pseudo quotes:
"Get an 80% solution and start executing"
"If we're stagnating because of fears about stability, that's the wrong decision. We should side with innovation."

@ajleon talks about throwing away a great salary and pursuing his dream to travel and work with his wife fearlessly.
Favorite pseudo quotes:
"Make a good living, while making cool shit happen, while spending time with the people you love."
"You don't have to choose from available options. You can create."
"Money is a trap. The more you make the harder it is to walk away."
"Nomads don't own shit."
"Do things that amuse you."

@ryohara shows some brilliant and very weird (and very memorable) b2b cold contact techniques. This guy is way funnier than me.
Favorite pseudo quote:
"Follow up. Don't wuss out."

// Lunch

@RyanEvans almost made me cry. This guy went to prison for securities fraud (!), then talked candidly about it with us. I was shrunk up.
Favorite :quotes {
"I got sick of telling other people how much money they were going to make"
"No fence, but the sign: [Out of Bounds] was extremely effective"
"The single most important thing was learning what it is like to lose everything."
"Best thing about prison? Zero responsibility."
}

@jackpassion explains building a brand based on yourself. He has distinctive physical trait that he leveraged into a career. What I surprised me  is how self evaluative that requires you to be. Favorite pseudo quotes:
"Vulnerability is the number one thing in the way of you being yourself."
"You + Packaging = Personal Brand"
eg: Eric+ Smith = Eric, the village blacksmith
"I got a lot of chips and a lot of dip."

@bubs gives us a really unglossy and frank look at what it's like to be him as an entrepreneur. I think he made me realize that 'you' and the business are the same thing, or at least super super connected.
Pseudo quotes:
"Beware advice from experts without scars, because this is some really hard shit we're doing and scar-less folks are either really lucky, which you won't be, or unicorns, which don't exist"
"Find your true motivation. I did this by being great at quitting."
"Midnight oil is a fossil fuel"
"Distressed real estate" (cool industry term)
"The shitty part about being a founder is we are actors."

// Party

// Sleep

// == Day 2:
@scottbarstow talks about building successful remote teams. Very handy for starters.
Pseudo quotes:
"A technology I didn't have on my team" (lots of subtext here)
"There are talented developers in the world that lack only access [to the US market]"
"Be great at basic communication and use simple tools. Make everyone get online for some part of the day. Start with a small project. Treat your global team like whole people."

@aeden talks about starting by learning from the mistakes of others, as an employee, then a cofounder, then a super responsible founder.
Pseudo quotes:
"It's ok to go slow. It's ok to learn off the mistakes of others. But at some point you have to jump in."

Lift Marketing gives simple implementable advice for boostrap marketing.
1: Have credibility. A clean crisp website with signals like blog posts, testimonials, and company logos.
2: Have an 'angle'. Something unique.
3: Build a media list. Find bloggers and journalists who write about what your product is involved in, and start talking to them. He reccs a twitter list.
4: Help journalists using "Harrow" or similar to write SME-vetted articles and build relationships that way.

@amyhoy awesomely real about income, starting, and walking away when it isn't worth it.
:quotes{
"It's wierd that we don't talk about money."
"Are you a drug dealer? Yes. I sell dreams."
"Hedonic Adaptation"
"It's really hard to walk away from money you already have."

Colin from Customer.io explains some starter marketing ideas. Love the personal email from the CEO 30 mins after signup asking open-endedly (giggity) for advice.
:quotes{
"Hey, do you have this problem? Cool, I'm trying to solve that. I don't have anything to sell you right now."
"...cross sold into the product ideology"

Ford covers life in India.
"They are working their ASSES off for 60 hours a week just so they can LIVE."

Nathan Wong from BuySellAds.com had a cool peek into the remote work life.
"We don't care where you work and we don't care when."
"Working from home means I don't need to spend brain cycles on not pissing people off."

Greg raises awareness of, and makes a strong case for, increased occurrence of type 2 bipolar and ADD in the software/tech worker community.
"...Folder full of incomplete projects on my computer."

Garrett describes two ways to increase available resources. 1: Raise funds. 2: Lower costs (Both time and money). He even sold his Xbox :)
"Starting a business is like an athletic competition for finances."

Jesse talks on fundraising.
1: Timing. VCs go on vacation in the summer.
2: Fail fast, yes, but if that happens too often, pivot.
"I have a passion for plumbing."

Josh Pickford wields the merciless feature killing ax. Features add visual, managerial, support, and other complexity. Neutral==bad for features.
Non-quotes:
"Pugspot sounds like a social network for pug dog owners... which it is."
"Mission to simplify"
"Analytics are tools that educate your gut"

@hcatlin, lord of the new css, gets naked and does public speaking. In the other order. To be famous (besides the silly answers), be part of the future, and be brave. For him atheism seems to have led to the need to create something memorable.
"A good idea is when it sounds obvious and for some reason it doesn't exist."
"Think about your inventions as very very small. If they're big and scary you'll never make them."

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LessConf, Allan, Steve, thank you. This was awesome and having it at home just made it more amazing.

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yeap, i really really want this to happen too

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