App Fog Genius Lessons From A Successful Entrepreneur

App Fog Business Startup Lessons from a Lucrative Entrepreneur

Lucas Carlson is a successful startup entrepreneur. When he first started however, he made a few bad choices that almost cost him big time.

Don’t Skip Business Setup Planning

At first he was just programming an idea for App Fog. He didn’t have a landing page, any bank account, brain storming ideas, or thinking about the ideal customers. Skipping key steps really put him back for years. He would program for weeks, and then finish the app idea. Then program for weeks and finish the idea. He couldn’t get people interested in the idea that was created.

Creating a Landing Page

Finally, he decided to create a landing page one night when he was too tired to sleep or even tell his wife about the programming idea. The app idea was PHP Fog. He tried putting it up on a site before that called Heroku.com. He registered the PHP Fog website and just simply wrote “it’s like Heroku for PHP”. Heroku’s site only allowed for Rudy on Rails applications so he couldn’t put the applications on that site.

Living the Dream

The next morning he woke up and had eight hundred people on his website! He didn’t market it anywhere else. All he did was put one link on Hacker News network. Also, he described the website in more depth. It turned out that the idea was a “hair on fire” idea without even the creation of the project! This gave him assurance that if the effort is put in, the results will be desired. After programming for two weeks. he just only had a prototype and the traffic went from 800 to 4,000 unique visitors per day!

Hair on Fire Problem Equals Confidence

He had identified a “hair on fire” problem. This gave him confidence to program the solution. This changed his life forever! He realized the difference between having a problem that people know they have versus the problems that people don’t know they have. PHP Fog wound up being AppFog. It raised $10 billion dollars and was later bought out.

No Marketing Expenses

He didn’t spend a dime on marketing! It wasn’t an accident. People already wanted the idea and were looking for it. He learned that he could find what people already wanted and then program an application based on what they wanted. He wasn’t taking a “shot in the dark” anymore.

Don’t be Intimidated

Creating a landing page or micro-website is very scary for most people. They don’t want to know if others like their great idea or not. There is a denial psychological part to this way of thinking. It can be self-defeating to the creation of an idea. They will think “Well I believe in the idea so much, that I don’t care what other people think about it”. This philosophy will kill a great idea. Put your “right foot first” and see what people need.

Graphic Design: Top Tips for Successful Self-Branding

Your company’s name, the logo design, the company’s slogan and the specific colours that your business uses are all elements that contribute towards self-branding. If each of these elements is unique and appealing, it has better chances of remaining in the customers’ mind. Read this article to find very valuable tips for effective self-branding:

1. Identify yourself

The first most important thing to do is to inform clients about who you are and what you do. To achieve this, you will need to communicate information about your products and services and your company’s qualities in a way that you stand out. Clients want to believe that you will provide service on time.

2. Your location

Clients sometimes want to know where the company is located before they choose their service or product. If your client wants to know what area you are located in, don’t act as if you are based in a specific country or city just to gain business.

3. Describe your origins

Provide a brief background about your company, how it began and when, how you expanded and any other relevant information that communicates how much effort has gone into establishing your organization. Clients believe in roots and if they believe that you work hard, they will value you more.

4. Ask for opinions

When faced with branding decisions, consult other stakeholders, including your staff members, friends and professional consultants. Since you look at your business from within, you might not be objective in many arenas. Others might provide an outside view that is likely be more objective. Consult others, but ultimately, make your own choices.

5. Always be consistent

An important element in self-branding is consistency in your practices and policies. Your brand colours, tag line and logo are your identification points and customers recognise you with the help of these elements. So always stay consistent.

6. Using positive adjectives is important

Use positive words while you introduce your organization to the world. When you communicate positive adjectives with your company’s name, clients will associate these qualities with your business.

7. Stereotyping

Assign a specific label for your company so others can recognize you very easily and quickly. If you are a freelance graphic designer, use the same name and avatar on all platforms. Being unique, original and conspicuous will make you easily recognisable.

8. Find suitable resources

Research other leading brand names in your industry and look for their slogans, logos and other branding material. Choose the ones that inspire you and make a list. Visit this list whenever you need references.

9. Conceptualize

After you have compiled your list of resources and references, you now need to conceptualise and find the right characteristics for your identity. Keep reducing the options until you can finalise the one best option.

These tips will surely help you in your company branding but for a more professional and thourough approach, it is alway wise to consult with a branding company or graphic design company.

Branding Corporate Brand Company

Have you seen the new commercial and re-branding from Bill Ford and the Ford Motor Company? As you know Ford is in big trouble. So they seem to be changing their positioning and re-Branding. Here’s the brilliant re-positioning they came up with (and it pretty much includes everything):

1. American Auto Industry is facing new challenges and fierce competition: Ya think Bill? Maybe the writing has been on the wall for the last 15 years? Maybe Bill Ford was on a golf course somewhere counting his millions. You’re too late Mr. Ford! Telling us that you’re behind is like leaving the barn door open…we know it.

2. Ford is making new investments in R & D: Wow, Ford, you’re blazing a new trail…By the time you catch up to BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, Toyota, Honda they’ll be out with their futuristic space age models that fly which will again put you 20 years behind. Face it Ford, we don’t buy your cars because of R & D. We use to buy your cars because they were American made and RELIABLE. Now they’re made everywhere and they are not RELIABLE (hmmm, am I hinting at the correct positioning Bill?). Since you can’t have the luxury, sports car markets why don’t you make your cars more RELIABLE.

3. Hybrids: Here’s what I think of Hybrids: It’s like when you go to a vending machine and look at the choices. You can pay an extra quarter and get some trendy healthy tastes bad power bar or you can reach in and grab old comfortable Snickers. Since we’ve branded a national vending company we already know the answer. Here it is; People say they want to eat healthy and they scream for it but when it comes time to buy they buy unhealthy. Same will apply to Hybrids (see Diesel cars).

4. Working with Volvo to find new safety innovations: Man oh man, why is it that company’s think they have to be everything to everyone. People who buy a Volvo buy it for the safety and for nothing else. What a great brand identity and brand image Volvo has. Kudos to Volvo for doing it right. But Ford, are people buying Ford’s for the safety aspect? I think not. Why is it anyone buys a Ford? That’s your secret weapon. Draw your line in the sand and then build your new Branding!

5. Retake the US roadways and as always innovation is leading the way: This coming from the worst innovative carmaker in the world. Here’s what Americans want from Ford. A good, RELIABLE car made in good old USA. Stop trying to be everything to everyone and your re-Branding will pay big dividends (wink, wink).

I wish Bill Ford would call me. I’ll set him straight lickedy split.

What do you think world? Let us know.

Scott White is President of Brand Identity Guru a leading Corporate Branding and Branding Research firm in Boston, MA.

Brand Identity Guru specializes in creating corporate and product brands that increase sales, market share, customer loyalty, and brand valuation.

Over the course of his 15-year branding career, Scott White has worked in a wide variety of industries: high-tech, manufacturing, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, banking, restaurants, fashion, healthcare, Internet, retail, and service businesses, as well as numerous non-profit organizations.

Brand Identity Guru clients include: Sun Life Financial, Coca Cola, HP, Sun, Nordstrom, American Federal Mortgage, Franklin Sports and many others, including numerous emerging growth companies.