Entries Tagged 'Internet' ↓

[title of site]: Nine Lessons a Broadway Musical Can Teach Internet Startups


The scrappy Broadway musical [title of show] chronicles two guys writing a show about themselves writing the show they’re in. Working within this ouroborosly simple framework, the four performers (the creative team and their friends) and single musician on keyboard create a lush environment and motivation for anyone trying to create something — writing a novel or a blog post, researching a cure for cancer, or developing an internet startup. Jennifer and I watched [title of show] in July and it has been resonating in my brain (and repeating on my iPhone) since. I see parallels between this Broadway production and an internet startup and believe the show has a lot to teach us.

A brief history of [title of show]: two unknown guys, Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen, decide to create an original musical in three and a half weeks just in time for the 2004 New York Musical Theatre Festival. The show stars Hunter and Jeff and their two friends Heidi Blickenstaff and Susan Blackwell, all of whom play themselves. In 2006, the show opened Off-Broadway at the Vineyard Theatre. Finally, in July, 2008, [title of show] opened on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre. Not only was this the fruition of life-long dreams of the creative team, it is also an incredibly difficult achievement as there are less than 40 Broadway theatres, 15 of which house shows that opened more than a year ago. The small number of available venues is only one of the many obstacles a Broadway-bound show must overcome. [title of show], a Broadway startup, has succeeded against great odds. Here are nine things I’ve learned about creating a successful internet startup from [title of show].
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Google Mail + IMAP = Happy Dance!!

Gmail IMAP

Davak IMed me this morning that some gmail accounts had the luxurious IMAP protocol enabled. I’ve had a hate/hate relationship with POP for… ever. Before replying to him, I clicked the settings link at top and saw “Forwarding and POP/IMAP” instead of the normal “Forwarding and POP” tab up top. This will be particularly great for iPhone access where messages sent through gmail appear as new emails not long after.  Don’t fret if you account is not currently enabled.  No one else I know has theirs enabled yet.  IMAP can be a server-intensive protocol in some ways, so it is prudent of Google to roll it out slowly.

CaringBridge.org provides support during illness, treatment, and recover

Visit www.CaringBridge.org

My mom showed me a great website today that has helped her keep appraised of the treatment of two people very dear to her. CaringBridge.org provides a free, easy-to-use service that allows users to maintain a journal, similar to a blog, and to receive messages of support from family and friends.
From the website:

A CaringBridge website helps keep loved ones informed during difficult times. In return, family and friends give patient and caregiver support through guestbook messages.

Every free, personalized CaringBridge website includes:

  • Patient care journal to update family and friends
  • Guestbook for messages of love
  • Photo gallery
  • Free online support for using the service

A dear friend of my mother has twin grandsons, one of whom is being treated for leukemia. The site has helped them in many ways. It provides a fun place for them to share photographs and daily stories with family and prevents his parents from making or taking dozens of calls a day spreading the same news, sometimes difficult to say even once. Family and friends can signup for automatic email delivery of updates which makes following things much easier.  The ease of setup is perfect for families lacking someone high-tech enough to fearlessly procure a domain and create a stand-alone blog.

They claim on their site that 15 million users each year use CaringBridge which is an impressive crowd. They also point out that their service is appropriate for “life-changing events” other than illnesses and their treatment, for example military deployment. It’s a great example of a beneficial use of the internet to help keep people together.

Google's Craig Silverstein at UNC on video

Garrett French has provided video of Silverstein’s talk at UNC last month. He and David attended, but I was, sadly, in another time zone. David’s posts one and two on the topic made me a little sad that I missed it. Garrett, I appreciate your efforts to provide this video (appropriately hosted on YouTube).