Author Archives: Brad Kingsley

MagicJack – “and 1 more”

I don’t have a land line and in my new house I barely have any reception on my cell phone while inside the house. The phone will ring but then almost always drops the call shortly afterward (Verizon in case you’re curious).

The magicJackGo device.


Anyway, I needed a solution to allow me to make a receive phone calls in the house. After some research I selected magicJack (no, that’s not a mistake on the case; they really use a lowercase “m”). Honestly I was a little skeptical at first – just because the commercials seem cheesy to me. But, I bought the new magicJackGo to try it out – it’s so affordable that with such a low risk point I figured I’d take the chance.

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Are You Monitoring Your Brand (and Yourself)?

Do you know when someone writes something online and mentions you or your company? No? Why not? If someone writes a post or makes a comment stating a problem or concern, don’t you want the opportunity to address the concern and reply to the comment?

GoogleAlertsSince Google seems to know everything, I think having some Google Alerts set up for various terms is a great way to monitor your online mentions. Plus, it is super-easy to set up.
Go to and log on with your Google account if you aren’t already logged on. Then setting up an alert is as easy as entering a search term and pressing enter.

TweetDeckSearchAlertIf you want to know specifically if someone tweets about you (which won’t show up in the Google Alerts) then I recommend using TweetDeck – now owned by Twitter so it probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In TweetDeck you can search for a phrase and it will automatically prompt for whether you want to add a new column for those search results or not. Go ahead and add the column and then you’ll see whenever someone tweets and mentions that search term. It’s a great way to monitor your brand on Twitter.

If you don’t want to use the desktop version there are also both Android and IOS versions of TweetDeck and both support setting up searches, columns, and alerts – so you’re covered that way too. In fact, here is a video of a guy walking through how to set up search term alerts in TweetDeck on Android.

Between Google Alerts and TweetDeck notifications you’ll be pretty well covered for notifications if anyone mentions you online. Even if you can’t imagine anyone saying anything about you – go now and set these up. If no one mentions you (not necessarily a good sign) then you won’t get any alerts and it costs you nothing but a few minutes of time. If someone does mention you online (great news!) then you’ll be notified and able to thank them, respond to questions, or at least be aware of the mention taking place.

Again, go now and set these up.

Honest Feedback

Honest Feedback for Start-ups

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Honest feedback is very valuable. In reality though – while we might not admit it – we’d rather hear validation of our idea than a criticism even if that criticism is the honest feedback.

I’ve found that a lot of start-up investors like hearing pitches and consuming information. In fact it seems like some start-up investors’ goal is nothing more than consumption of data and they have very low levels of engagement. My assumption is that they’re hoping the next Facebook opportunity is going to present itself in an obvious fashion and that is when they’ll engage.

My philosophy is different though. Read more »

Securely “Wiping” Hard Drives

Being a tech person I know that just deleting a file from within Windows or Linux doesn’t assure that the data isn’t recoverable. Most files when removed using normal operating system delete functions can still be recovered with a variety of fairly easy-to-use utilities.

Because of this, I historically have pulled hard drives from systems before donating, recycling, or disposing of them. Also, whenever I upgrade hard drives (which is more frequently than perhaps I should admit) I clone the old drive to the new one and put the old drive in my “drive pile”. Because of this practice, I find myself with a huge pile of hard drives.

Today I’ve decided to get rid of the pile. I’m not just going to throw out the drives though – both for security reasons and also because the drives work fine, and in some cases are really nice drives (but perhaps I went for a newer/faster/bigger model).

What’s the solution that can assure that your personal data isn’t going to be handed over to some nefarious soul who will start recovering files for fun (or unethical purposes)? Securely wipe the hard drives first. Read more »

Your Startup: Current Value – Future Value

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Let’s say you have a startup and you’re looking for funding. As part of the funding process, one – of many – things to discuss with be the current valuation of the venture. Perhaps you or an external source has pinned the current value of the business at $1 million dollars.

Because you know that angel and venture capital investors are often looking for at least a 10x return on their investment, you mention as part of your pitch that your goal is to be acquired in about five years at a $10 million valuation.

What does that really mean though operationally, strategically,… realistically? It’s easy to take a number and multiple it by 10 but from what I’ve seen in the local startup world so far, many founders haven’t taken it much further than that. What does it mean to get have a $10 million valuation on your business and how do you get there? Read more »