Clients… gotta love them.
A group of technopreneurs made it out to the University of Maryland campus for Bootstrap Maryland.The aim of the conference is to teach budding entrepreneurs “the necessary tools for running a lean and successful technology business.” The event had 4 main panels covering a variety of topics from marketing and public relations to picking the right technology. I learned a lot from the anecdotes of the local entrepreneur panelists. While I ‘m more HTML than
Since every seat in the business school lecture hall had a power plug and the WiFi was strong throughout the entire event, I managed to take a copious amount of notes on my wiki. Here are some of the highlights:
- When it comes to a business plan, do you need one? Whole panel answers “Meehh… not really.”
- Recessions are a great time to start a business because everything is cheaper and there is a ton of talent available.
- Businesses don’t fail because of the technology, businesses fail because they don’t understand their market.
- How to better understand your market: Experiment, Evaluate, adapt.
- MYTH: Experience in the corporate world translates to the start-up world. The start up world is a totally different beast.
- Want to get rich quickly? Rob a bank. Sell crack. Don’t start a company.
- Best brand right now is “swine flu”, “susan boyle”
- If considering outsourcing, go with a brand name firm.
- Don’t under-estimate the value of play.
- The MD/DC/VA area has tons of groups and events
That last point is big. If you are looking for a local group of people who are interested in media/technology/business, the DC metropolitan area has something for you. After all, where else would 200 people get together to share ideas and stories about starting businesses on the cheap on a Saturday. Jared Goralnick did a great job organizing everything and I would expect the attendance to double for the next one.
Other coverage of Bootstrap MD:
It has been nearly a month and I thought I would update everyone about the last Zune in the DC area. I managed to sell the digital media player on the Amazon Marketplace for $329.99, a 32% markup over the original price. I still needed an MP3 player for my daily commute and with the profit I decided to buy another Zune 80 online via Amazon.com instead of in person at Target. In this situation buying online was a much better deal for the following reasons:
- Buying the player in person results in sales tax being tacked on. Here in Maryland, the sales tax is 5% so that would add an additional $12.50. Amazon.com doesn’t charge sales tax for Maryland residents.
- Amazon.com offers a 30 day price match on it’s own products. If the price drops within 30 days of a purchase, Amazon will refund the difference. When I ordered the player on December 2nd, it was $249.00. Today it is being sold for $239.99, a difference of $9.00. Claiming a refund is easy. Just go to Amazon.com/refunds and send customer service an e-mail. If you don’t want to keep track of the price differences yourself, check out PriceProtectr.com which will send you an e-mail if there is any drop.
- Both Amazon.com and any local store are sold out of the device, so I would have to wait either way. I don’t mind waiting which is why I decided to sell my first one when the demand was high.
Here is a final breakdown of the math:
1st Zune Bought at Target
+$12.50 Sales Tax
= $262.49 Total
Sold on Amazon.com Marketplace
$329.99 Price Sold
+$7.48 Shipping Credit from Amazon.com
– $10.35 Actual Shipping Cost (Added insurance to the cost)
-$28.14 Amazon Fee
– $262.49 Cost to Acquire
= $36.49 Profit
2nd Zune Bought on Amazon.com
+$5.58 Shipping and Handling
-$5.58 Free Super Saver Shipping
-$9.00 Price Difference Refund
Final price for my Zune
$239.99 for 2nd Zune
-$36.49 Profit From 1st Zune
Not bad for waiting a little bit longer and taking advantage of a unique situation.