Technology for Business Sake Podcast - Shows

Is This a Good Time to Start a Small Business?

Posted by Brent Leary on Tue, Sep 23, 2008 @ 02:30 AM

Tags: saas, 37 signals, jason fried, rieva lesonsky, peter corbett, video

Show : IsThis a Good Time to Start a Small Business?

Guest :SMB Connects' Rieva Lesonsky, Jason Fried of 37 Signals, Peter Corbett of iStrategyLabs

Aired :September 22nd 2008 

We are smack dab in the middle in the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. And if we're not technically in the throes of a recession, you'd be hard pressed to explain that to the many people facing foreclosure, job loss and rising gas prices.  But as bleak as things seem right now, could it actually be the right time to start a small business?


Two small business experts share their take on this subject, as we welcome SMB Connects CEO Rieva Lesonsky, and 37 Signals cofounder Jason Fried.  They discuss why both feel now is a great time to start a small business despite the current economic climate.  They also touch on the growing importance of technology to small businesses, particularly in a sluggish economy.  Rieva touches on the importance of creating a marketing plan, while Jason shares how his company uses blogs and sites like Twitter to communicate directly with customers and prospects.  Rieva stresses the importance of negotiating with vendors as a way to get the best prices.  And Jason talks about how to use Software-as-a-Service applications to cut down on hardware and software costs.  All in all these two pack a whole lot of great information into a short amount of time, and gives those thinking about starting a business excellent advice on how to start a business in tough economic times.


We also are excited to have Peter Corbett join us.  Peter, founder of iStrategyLabs, is an expert in creating online videos that captivate viewers and lead to conversations, collaboration and meaningful relationships.  He shares with us the importance of video in your content creation strategy, how small businesses can get started with online video, some tools you can use (,,, etc.) and a few best practices to keep in mind.  



Rieva LesonskyRieva Lesonsky is the CEO of SMB Connects, the leading provider of information, data, decision support tools and research for and about America's small and midsize businesses (SMBs). SMB Connects helps corporations, government agencies, and other organizations identify, understand, and connect with SMBs. It provides information, products, services, and resources to help SMBs build their businesses. Prior to co-founding SMB Connects, Lesonsky was editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine. Under her editorial leadership, Entrepreneur grew to a monthly readership of 2.4 million people and became the nation's leading authority for and about entrepreneurs. 


Jason FriedJason Fried is the co-founder and President of 37signals, a privately-held Chicago-based company committed to building the best web-based tools possible with the least number of features necessary. 37signals' products do less than the competition - intentionally. Jason believes there's real value and beauty in the basics. Elegance, respect for people's desire to simply get stuff done, and honest ease of use are the hallmarks of 37signals products. 37signals products, used by over 2,000,000 world wide, include Basecamp, Backpack, Highrise, Campfire, Ta-da List, and Writeboard. Their latest book, Getting Real, has been called the Bible of Web 2.0. Ruby on Rails, another 37signals creation, is the underlying technology driving thousands web apps.


Peter CorbettPeter Corbett comes to iStrategyLabs with a breadth of knowledge and experience perfectly suited for his role, which focuses on producing marketing campaigns that marry the online and offline worlds. In prior roles, Peter has been a TV producer, art director, international content licensing executive, documentarian, concert producer, and digital strategist. He has a degree from Emory University's Goizueta Business School with a focus on operations, management and entrepreneurship. He is also an alumni board member of the Goizueta Business School and Greater DC Cares. 


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Talking with the Experts - Tien Tzuo and Pat Sullivan

Posted by Brent Leary on Sun, Jul 27, 2008 @ 03:26 AM

Tags: saas, zuora,, pat sullivan,, tien tzuo

Show : Talking with the Experts

Guest : Tien Tzuo - ceo of Zuora, Pat Sullivan - ceo of

Aired : Sunday July 20th 2008 

Michael Schultz


Today's show has twice the power.  Tien Tzuo SaaS expert and CEO of Zuora shares his thoughts on how you can successfully implement a SaaS business model.  Pooling his year's of experience as's chief strategy officer alongside the experience his co-founder's bring from executive positions at Webex, Tien discusses best practices for setting up subscription-based services on the web. And Tien talks about making the decision to leave, and what Marc Benioff had to say about him moving on to head up Zuora.



We also welcome back ACT! creator and serial entrepreneur Pat Sullivan.  This time around Pat discusses his latest venture,, and how it will help salespeople more effectively communicate with customers and prospects.  The art of storytelling, using rich media to capture the attention of potential buyers, is growing in importance as people turn to the web for information on products and service.  Pat fills us in on how makes it easy for a salesperson to create Flash content without having to know how to code.


 Tien Tzuo founded Zuora after nine years at where he held a variety of executive roles in the company's technology, marketing and strategy organizations. Part of Tzuo's role at included building out the product management & marketing organization, serving as chief marketing officer for two years and most recently as chief strategy officer. In 2004, Tzuo was named "CMO of the Year Finalist" by the CMO Council and BusinessWeek Magazine. Tzuo is also widely recognized as one of the thought leaders in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry. Tzuo holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University and a master's in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Pat Sullivan, CEO of Flypaper Studio, Inc., is widely recognized as a pioneer and visionary in the high-tech industry. He is the founder and former CEO of ACT!®-the best-selling contact management solution used by millions of business professionals around the world. Sullivan was named as one of the "80 Most Influential People in Sales and Marketing History," among the ranks of Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Jack Welch, Donald Trump and Bill Gates. Sullivan was also honored with the prestigious Ernst & Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" award not once, but twice. 

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Why SaaS Will Take Off in 2008, But Should You Jump Into Web 2.0?

Posted by Brent Leary on Mon, Jan 28, 2008 @ 02:18 AM

Tags: saas, small business, web 2.0, phil wainewright, gene marks

Show :  Why SaaS Will Take Off in 2008, But Should You Jump Into Web 2.0?
Guest : Phil Wainewright - ZDNet SaaS Blog
             Gene Marks - President of Marks Group
Aired : Sunday January 27th, 2008

Phil Wainewright of ZDNet returns to talk about SaaS and why he feels 2008 is the year software as a service will hit the mainstream.  Based on his recent entry, he fills us in on some of the driving factors for this, the role of virtualization, how SaaS is "recession-proof", and the expected impact Microsoft Live CRM will have on the industry.  Phil also talks about the companies shaping the future of SaaS and how it will affect how we'll do business.  Plus fill shares with us his ideas on how companies can make money with Web 2.0 tools and strategies, like's newDevPay service.

Gen MarksSpeaking of Web 2.0, our other featured guest, Gene Marks, fills us in on the article he wrote for BusinessWeek that explains why he feels small businesses should avoid certain web 2.0, blogging, CRM and RSS, to name a few.  Gene has a lot of explaining to do, but he's up to the task. He talks about why spam filters haven't worked for him, his negative experiences with SEO consultants, and why he included customer relationship management software on his list of things to avoid.  And he even fills us in on the special name he was called by someone who didn't necessarily agree with his list, and no that person wasn't Brent or Michael.  Gene finishes things off by talking about the right way to execute email marketing campaigns. 

Phil Wainewright is an influential commentator and strategist on emerging software industry trends. He first spotted the significance of on-demand software services in 1998, when he set up, which rapidly became a standard-bearer for the nascent industry. He sold ASPnews in January 2000 and went on to found Loosely Coupled, a specialist website covering enterprise adoption of web services and business process automation. He recently completed a series of analyst reports for Summit Strategies on current trends in software-as-services.

Gene Marks owns and operates the Marks Group PC, a highly successful ten-person firm that provides technology and consulting services to small and medium sized businesses. The Marks Group PC, launched in 1994, has grown to help more than 500 companies and more than two thousand individuals throughout the country.

Gene's books include the #1 Amazon Small Business Best Seller The Streetwise Small Business Book of Lists (Adams Media), The Small Business Desk Reference (Alpha Books, 2004), Outfoxing The Small Business Owner - Crafty Techniques for Creating a Profitable Relationship (Adams Media, 2005) and The Complete Idiot's Guide To Successful Outsourcing (Alpha Books, 2005).

Gene's column, "The Penny Pincher's Almanac" appears nationally in American City Business Journals ( publications weekly.

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Social CRM, SaaS and Uncovering Words That Get You Noticed on the Web

Posted by Brent Leary on Sun, Dec 09, 2007 @ 12:30 AM

Tags: crm, saas,, wordtracker, paul greenberg

Show :Social CRM, SaaS and Uncovering Words That Get You Noticed on the Web
Guests : Paul Greenberg, author of CRM at the Speed of Light
               Ken McGaffin, CMO of Wordtracker
               Siamak Taghaddos, CEO of
Aired : Sunday December 9th, 2007

Tim BerryThe December issue of CRM magazine's cover story is on what's coming up in 2008 with respect to CRM, social networking and SaaS.  The magazine's senior editor, Marshall Lager, wrote the feature and talks to a number of industry leaders who share the opinions on what 2008 has in store.  And the go-to guy for this piece is our buddy Paul Greenberg, author of CRM at the Speed of Light.  Paul gives us his take on what to look out for, the growing importance of social networking on crm, how software-as-a-service is growing stronger, and what vendors to look out for in the coming year.  He also talks about the huge mistake Facebook made with Beacon, and talks about the new social networking site for crm professionals,  Plus we hear about a new podcast series Paul's putting together, and what role Brent plays in it. 

Ken McGaffinWe also introduce a new monthly segment called Keyword Rich: Uncovering the words that get you noticed on the Web.  In this segment we're glad to have Ken McGaffin, chief marketing officer of Wordtracker, join us to talk about how you can find the best words and phrases to bring people to your website right when they're looking for help.  We get started with the basics with Ken explaining the importance of finding the right words to your success on the web, and how Oprah Winfrey can help you reach people searching for chocolate.

We also spend a few minutes with GotVMail ceo Siamak Taghaddos discussing how entrepreneurs can have a professional phone system with all the bells and whistles, without having to install and maintain a traditional PBX system. 

Paul Greenberg is an internationally renowned expert on CRM and one of CRM's most influential authors. His best-selling book, CRM at the Speed of Light: Essential Customer Strategies for the 21st Century, is now in eight languages and is used as a textbook in over 60 countries and universities across multiple continents. It is called "the number 1 CRM book" by The Asian edition of CIO Magazine named it one of the 12 most important books an Asian CEO will ever read. It is called "the bible of the industry."

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or   download here

Microsoft on Small Business and Microsoft CRM Live

Posted by Brent Leary on Mon, Sep 17, 2007 @ 12:44 AM

Tags: crm, saas, startup center, microsoft, crm live

Show : Microsoft on Small Business and Microsoft CRM Live
Guest : Cindy Bates, Microsoft GM of US Small Business Group
           Brad Wilson, Microsoft GM of Dynamics CRM
Aired : Saturday September 15th, 2007

Cindy BatesMicrosoft's long awaited on demand crm product, Microsoft CRM Live, is close to hitting the streets and will no doubt be of interest to businesses of all sizes looking to implement a customer relationship management solution. But what will it mean to small businesses ready to take the crm leap?  And how will it work with other popular Microsoft products like Office and Outlook?  Our guests this week are Cindy Bates, Microsoft's general manager of the US Small Business Group, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM general manager Brad Wilson.  Cindy and Brad fill us in on the biggest challenges facing their small business customers and how Microsoft is addressing them.  They also discuss how Microsoft CRM Live will benefit small businesses, and how services like Office Live are being used to help small businesses utilize the web more effectively.  Plus find out how Microsoft Startup Center is helping entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground with the help from partners like Federal Express, Bank of America and Master Card.

Brad WilsonAnd check out Brent's take on why too many people are focused too heavily on figuring out how to get ranked higher in search engines and on social media sites like Digg, and not producing the best content they can to capture the attention of those who can use their services.  In fact, people can use the COLT-45 approach to the web.  No this is not about cracking open a "40" with Billy Dee Williams, but writing content that people will want to Comment On and Link To.  And the easiest way to begin getting comments and links is to build your home team of friends and family that you can count on to write a short comment and/or link to when you post a blog entry.  Try to get at least 4 or 5 (these numbers just work better for naming purposes) folks to get started with and move up from there.  And check out Michael's reaction when he hears Can I Kick It from A Tribe Called Quest for the first time!

Cynthia (“Cindy”) Bates is the general manager of Microsoft Corp.’s U.S. Small Business where for the past two years she has been responsible for harnessing Microsoft’s resources to best serve the needs of the 5.5 million small businesses in the United States.  Bates is charged with bringing even greater focus and visibility to Microsoft’s already strong, ongoing efforts to serve small businesses. She aims to build increasingly meaningful connections between Microsoft and its small-business customers and educate them on ways that Microsoft® products can help them successfully meet their business objectives.

Previously, Bates was a managing director for corporate development and strategy at Microsoft, a role in which she led a team responsible for strategically evaluating, structuring, valuing and negotiating the company’s mergers, acquisitions, investments and joint ventures. One of her primary areas of focus was on the small-business applications market, including the orchestration of the strategically vital acquisitions of Navision a/s and Sales Management Systems for Microsoft Business Solutions.

Brad Wilson is the general manager of Microsoft® CRM for the Microsoft Business Solutions Business Group at Microsoft Corp. Wilson leads global product management and marketing for Microsoft CRM and is responsible for driving awareness, demand and revenue for Microsoft CRM on a worldwide basis. His team is responsible for product positioning, pricing and packaging, as well as press and analyst relations, sales tools, and partner channel development.

Wilson has 20 years of experience in the technology industry, including more than 10 years in CRM. Before joining Microsoft, Wilson was the worldwide vice president of marketing for PeopleSoft where he was responsible for messaging, sales tools and support, press and analyst relations, and global demand generation. Before PeopleSoft, Wilson held senior management roles at E.piphany, including vice president in product marketing and technology alliances. Wilson also spent approximately 12 years at HP in engineering, consulting and marketing management roles, and has played key roles in two Silicon Valley software startups (RightPoint and Sigma Dynamics Inc.).

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or   download here

The State of SaaS - Software as a Service

Posted by Brent Leary on Sun, Aug 05, 2007 @ 02:44 PM

Tags: saas, software as a service, phil wainewright

Show : The State of SaaS (Software as a Service)
Guest : Phil Wainewright, Analyst and author of ZDNet's SaaS blog
Aired : Saturday August 4th, 2007

Software as a service (SaaS) is allowing businesses of all sizes to do things faster, easier and cheaper than imaginable just a few short years ago. The biggest beneficiaries are small businesses who can now compete with companies of any size,  located anywhere in the world.  They can put new strategies into play almost instantly, and automate routine processes with relative ease.  But many are still trying to figure out what are the best ways to use services like, NetSuite and other service providers to help drive their business.

Our guest this week is SaaS expert analyst Phil Wainewright.  Phil is one of the leading analysts following the SaaS industry and is the author of ZDNet's software as a service blog. Among other things, Phil updates us on the state of SaaS, what the impact of Microsoft CRM Live will have on the industry and gives us his take on what Cisco's acquisition of Webex will mean in the long run.   Plus Michael and I discuss our trip to Las Vegas for the Customer Feedback Week conference and how Facebook is giving LinkedIn a run for its money.  And find out how you can win $20,000 worth of products and services by winning the  ePrize-Entrepreneur magazine Marketing Jolt contest.
Phil Wainewright is an influential commentator and strategist on emerging software industry trends. He first spotted the significance of on-demand software services in 1998, when he set up, which rapidly became a standard-bearer for the nascent industry. He sold ASPnews in January 2000 and went on to found Loosely Coupled, a specialist website covering enterprise adoption of web services and business process automation. He recently completed a series of analyst reports for Summit Strategies on current trends in software-as-services.

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or   download here

CRM: Where is it heading and where will it take your small business?

Posted by Brent Leary on Thu, Jul 26, 2007 @ 04:09 PM

Tags: crm, saas, technology, it trends

Show : CRM: Where is it heading and where will it take your small business?
Guest : Ginger Conlon, Rob Bois, Marshall Lager and Steve King
Aired : Saturday July 28th, 2007

Small businesses are turning to customer relationship management (CRM) in growing numbers to help bolster customer acquisition and retention.  Companies like, NetSuite and others have made CRM accessible to companies of all sizes.  And today these services are easier to use, offer tons of functionality and can provide competitive advantages if you use them effectively.  But it's hard to keep up with all the changes taking place.  And that's why we've assembled a trio of CRM experts to talk about the latest developments and what small businesses should be considering as they begin implementing crm strategies and technologies.  Our guests include 1to1 magazine's Ginger Conlon,  Rob Bois of AMR Research and CRM magazine's Marshall Lager.  They cover topics like what impact the iPhone will have on CRM, are we in the midst of CRM 2.0 and what does Microsoft's CRM Live mean to the industry and to small businesses. 

If that's not enough for you, we also talk with research affiliate Steve King of The Institute of the Future .  Steve is one of the authors of the Intuit Future of Small Business report series, and he fills us in on the finding of the second installment focused on technology trends that will impact small business over the next decade.

Ginger Conlon, editor-in-chief of 1to1 Media , is responsible for the direction and day-to-day editorial operations of 1to1 Magazine and its e-newsletters. Additionally, she serves as vice president of analyst relations for the CRM Association and as a board member of the New York chapter of the ASBPE.  Ms. Conlon is a 20-year industry veteran, having covered sales, marketing, and customer service strategies and technologies since starting her journalism career. Previously, she served as the editor-in-chief of CRM magazine. 

Rob Bois 
works as a research director in AMR Research’s Market Services team with a specific focus on customer management. He is dedicated to the detailed study of business processes and software related to sales, service, and support functions. Rob is specifically responsible for researching, analyzing, and writing about channel management, sales tools, marketing automation and software-as-a-service .

Marshall Lager is CRM magazine's news editor. He assigns and edits daily news stories for and for the Insight section of the magazine. Marshall covers the sales and wireless technology news beats in addition to writing features and section articles for CRM magazine and its Web site. He also writes "Pint of View," the magazine's humor-in-CRM column.

Steve King's  work at the Institute for the Future (IFTF) is focused on helping clients gain insights from IFTF research and create action plans based on IFTF forecasts and analysis. Steve has over 20 years experience of technology industry and consulting experience.  Steve's current research area is focused on understanding how the Internet and social networks are changing the corporate marketing function.

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