Email for business? Get a real domain!
I had a company repair and rebuild a bunch of windows in my new house last week and just got a nice followup email from them about the job and how to maintain the new windows so that there are no warping issues or clogged weatherstrips, etc.
What struck me about the message, however, was that the return email address was
account name @comcast.net
Yeah. A business that, I'm guessing, is clearing over $200,000/yr and their digital identity is tied to their ISP. If Comcast changes its account name structure, or they forget to pay their hosting bill, then what? Their email address is dead.
I see this all the time with companies sending email from @aol.com or @gmail.com. What amazes me, though, is when I see a consultant, contractor or other professional send me an email from @hotmail.com.
Here's my Monday morning tip for y'all as a result: If you have a business, get a domain, then use that as your email address. Even if you don't want to have a Web page, which I guess is not a critical problem, having your email come from a free public email hosting service? Not so professional after all...
Skirting the edge of startups
As someone who has been involved with the Internet -- and its precursors -- for over thirty years now (amazing but true: I first logged in to the ARPANet in 1980 while an undergrad at UCSD) I am privileged to constantly say "been there, done that" when bright folk come up with nifty ideas about new business opportunities.
I've also created, launched, funded and sold four startups, though to be candid the scorecard was more like one sold and then died at the dotcom collapse, one sold to an incubator that didn't care about it and let it die a quick death while I was pulled into other projects, one merged with a sympatico business and the joint venture never gained traction and one never quite achieved liftoff. That's okay because they were all extraordinary learning opportunities and I sure learned a lot through these various adventures.
Learning about things like... the dark side of hiring a fancy Ivy League MBA to help run a company, the advantages of having a big law firm (and then the idiocy of not exploiting that advantage), the Faustian price of getting a big ($1.3mil) check from a venture capitalist, and the pleasure of turning down VCs who cold called, asking if they could invest in my second startup.
Now I dabble, as is probably most appropriate for someone who doesn't have the lifestyle or unifocus needed to really put in those 60+ hour weeks required to birth a startup. The cost of launching might have diminished with things like Amazon S3 (we had servers colocated in expensive facilities "back in the day") but the time required to turn a slick idea into a viable business hasn't changed a bit: it's an intense, exciting and all-consuming adventure.
That's why I really like being on the Board of Advisors or Board of Directors of companies, actually. Because as a startup person you might well know everything you need about your specific niche and market segment, but you quite likely know very little about the business of creating a business. That's my job, and that's where I try to add value to the many companies I'm involved with today.
I just really wish I had a mentor or advisor during my own startup days. The outcome would have been oh, so very different...
An Overview of eDiscovery in Litigation
This is a guest post by Deborah Galea...
The process of preparing for and responding to eDiscovery has become both increasingly important and more complex as companies produce more and more electronically stored information that is relevant to litigation. eDiscovery refers to the process of obtaining forms of electronic communication to be used in civil litigation proceedings and includes email, instant messages, voicemail or data stored on a smartphone or PDA. The process can be incredibly time-consuming, expensive and complicated, so it is important to have procedures in place from the outset so archiving and data retrieval is easy, accessible and integrated as policy throughout your company.
To ensure that organizations are properly retaining such information, the federal government and several regulatory agencies have enacted compliance requirements that differ per industry. It is crucial for management and executive teams to understand the specific requirements for their business. However, companies looking for general eDiscovery standards can look to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), which govern how litigation is carried out in U.S. district courts, and apply to any company that faces litigation, independent of industry and size.
Continue Reading "An Overview of eDiscovery in Litigation"
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