Esther: Welcome to another episode of the BusinessMakers Overtime Show heard here and online at the BusinessMakers.com. I'm Esther Steinfeld.
Katie: And I'm Katie Laird.
Esther: And we're back with Episode 49.
Esther: We're almost to the big 5-0.
Katie: Five oh, five oh.
Esther: Well we're not quite there yet. This week we're gonna be talking to Russ Capper. He's well known because he's the host of the BusinessMakers.
Katie: That's right.
Esther: But he's also a well known entrepreneur. He started many a company in his former life before he started the BusinessMakers and he's gonna kinda' give us some insight on what it was like to be an entrepreneur at a time when there were no incubators, there was no venture capital. There wasn't this process that you have now in place where everyone thinks they're an entrepreneur. It was very much like the Wild West of -
Esther: Or at least, ya' know what? I don't know. Maybe that's what it was like. That's what I imagine it was like.
Katie: There wasn't such an underground entrepreneurial culture.
Katie: It was a different world.
Esther: That's absolutely right.
Katie: Yeah; he's gonna school us younguns.
Esther: Well and then, that's a nice way to segue way into what we're gonna talk about in Chapter 3. We're gonna talk about school and whether or not you need it.
Esther: Basically I'm curious to know if you guys think that you really even need to go to college to be successful at what you wanna do.
Katie: Exactly. Is it worth all of that cash? College tuition costs are just rising and rising and rising. Do you need it? Do you not?
Esther: So yeah; I'm lookin' forward. It's gonna be a good one.
Katie: But first, as always, we're going to jump right into the world of business news. And after that we have another one of certainly our favorite little segments where we talk about our business links of the week. We share that internet geekery with all of you. So one of our absolute favorite sites of all times and not just because there's hilarious and is on it, is YouTube.com. Esther, they recently have come up - they're probably celebrating a little bit, those You Tube heads after getting into a little bit of a kerfuffle with Viacom in a recent lawsuit.
Esther: This is very big news actually. You Tube is no tiny little start-up anymore. You Tube is -
Katie: Not really.
Esther: You Tube is a pretty massive organization and Viacom sued them because people were uploading content and remember, people upload millions of video clips a week to You Tube.
Esther: This isn't like a video here and a video there. This is millions. So this is content that they've gotta go through. They don't do it manually. They have these spiders that crawl the site and see what is being infringed upon. Well, they missed a couple things and Viacom was saying that they were infringing on their copyrights and they sued You Tube for a very hefty sum of money and they lost.
Katie: They lost. They totally lost. This is a really, really important judgment because it's not just You Tube that could possibly be in danger of not just losing money, but getting stripped of the DMCA, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act Safe Harbors, but think about all the other sites that are user generated focused that are really rich with power of the people, all this content, like e-Bay, Blogger, Flicker, Wikipedia. These are things that sure they're large organizations that may employ a lot of people to be making sure that the infrastructure's there, that rules are generally followed, but there's no way that they're gonna be able to police every single piece of content that goes live to their website.
Esther: And this does set a precedent. It's certainly not the first time it's ever happened, but this is maybe the biggest that this if you're an online company you have protection from your third-party users who might put you in harm's way.
Katie: Although this article that we're taking a look at on the Electronic Frontier Foundation, eff.org, says that while this is certainly a big victory, Viacom, the RIAA, the Recording Industry Association of America, they are furious that -
Esther: They'er going to appeal.
Katie: -- this went down. Yeah; they're going to appeal. This is just the very, very beginning of many fights like this in the courtroom. Great that they got a good hit here, but we'll have to see where this goes. Copyright infringement, an awfully big deal.
Esther: Well speaking of sites that are growing by leaps and bounds, there's a little site you may have heard of, maybe not. I don't know. It's called Group On.
Katie: Group On.
Esther: If you haven't heard of Group On then you're basically living under a rock for the last year -
Katie: And you don't listen to our show. So thanks a lot -
Esther: That's right 'because we're sort of obsessed with Group On.
Katie: We are.
Esther: Katie actually is the first one who told me about Group On. I actually didn't really understand it when she first explained it to me and then I saw that I could get $20.00 worth of pizza for $10.00 and it was a momentous day in my life.
Katie: So Group On of course, if you don't recall from previous episodes, is basically a group coupon, Group On. So the idea is to drive business to local area small businesses typically. They'll have discounted rates. Maybe it's 50 percent off of a massage or a teeth cleaning or Tastee Delite and people will buy before setting foot into the storefront, they'll actually buy these coupons for a great rate to get a great deal. A certain number of people -
Esther: It's a great way to bring new people into the business, but what has happened -
Esther: -- is a lot of small businesses have been - basically Group On gives one deal a day per city. So little businesses that are trying to drum up new business have put themselves out there on this Group On site and said yes, come in, we will give you $20.00 worth of food for $10.00 or $500.00 worth of carpet cleaning for $300.00; whatever it is. Well, it's putting businesses out of business.
Katie: It really is.
Esther: 'Cause they're giving away too much and to many people are buying the GroupOns.
Katie: Exactly. So just to give you an idea of how wildly successful GroupOn has been, they've only been around for barely two years. They have already sold six million coupons around the United States; six million. So a lot of small businesses of course want the traffic. They want the increased business, but they have no idea where they may be thinking oh, 100, 200 people will come in. They're seeing 2,000 to 3,000 people coming in.
Esther: It's crazy.
Katie: I've gotten firsthand reports saying that they had no idea the reach, the impact this would have and literally either it's hurting their business substantially, they're having to dip into the credit line or sadly, there's one in the Houston area, a little deli shop that couldn't make rent. It took a few months of people buying sandwiches at half off, 60 percent off and that was it. They had to close their doors because -
Esther: Oh my gosh.
Katie: Because they got so much business, but it was so discounted it just wasn't doable.
Esther: There's a good chance that the businesses who are offering these coupons are not doing the math beforehand because they're giving too big of a discount.
Esther: I think you could probably give less.
Katie: Give us or what I heard from one business owner was that she was not aware that you can actually cap, you can cap how many people can get it and you can also say for instance, my hair dresser recently put out a Group On and they actually specify that if you wanna use this coupon you have to make an appointment. It may be three to four months from now, but that way they can stagger it, spread it across. So it's a great idea to bring traffic to your business, but make sure that you are very well aware of just how powerful it is.
Esther: So I guess we should move onto a little links of the week. What do you think?
Katie: Let's do it.
Esther: Alright. So what are we talking about this week?
Katie: We are all about analyzing; analytics.
Esther: We like analytics.
Katie: We do.
Esther: They're very important to your business, whether you're online or whether you're offline. You don't need to be measuring metrics to have analytics.
Katie: Gone are the days where you'd go to a website and they would have that little ticker down at the very bottom like -
Esther: You're website visitor number 303.
Katie: Exactly. So that's not we're talking about -
Esther: spinning, smiling--
Katie: Exactly. That is so 1995. We're so past that now.
Katie: GSEs; that's right. So Esther, what you got? What are you analyzing with these days?
Esther: Well this one's gonna seem pretty obvious to some of you and some of you maybe not. Analytics.google.com. Now I made Google Analytics my link of the week because Google is of course known as giving away a lot of free stuff; free mail, free maps, free everything, but for me Google Analytics is really like the crown jewel in their suite of offerings of free offerings. If you are a company, a small business and you have a website with a little bit of code you can basically track every single person that's coming into your site, where they're coming from, your trends over time. It's truly a phenomenal free tool. There's really not much more you could want. Of course if you're a big e-commerce company like Blinds.com it's not enough for you, but for small business I think it's a great tool.
Katie: Absolutely. So I'm gonna take the whole analytic tool in a slightly different direction. So while I love being empowered with knowing exactly what's happening on my own website, sometimes an entrepreneur or a business owner also wants to know what the other guy's doing. What are your competitors doing? What are the industry leaders that you're striving to kick their butt, what are they up to on the web? So my link of the week is called SEM Rush. So the letters S-E-M, which of course stands for search engine marketing, SEM Rush, R-U-S-H. This is basically a site where you type in either a domain, it can be your domain, it can be a competitor's, you type in specific keywords, whatever it is that you wanna do a little research on and it'll actually pull up some pretty interesting information. Everything from the Google keywords that a site is bidding on or maybe that would be bidding on looking at the site content to actually looking at how your competitors are placed in both organic and paid Google search reports. So basically a way that if you're trying to get a little bit more serious about marketing yourselves, putting some of those online ads in place, really optimizing your website content, you can get a leg up and see what people are doing, how successful they are and where are the holes that you can fill in and really help your business grow on the web.
Esther: So it sounds like you need both of these tools.
Katie: I think you need both.
Esther: They work well together it sounds like.
Katie: Exactly. It's just like us, Esther.
Esther: Very cool. So now we're gonna move onto our segment, Business Jargon of the Week.
Katie: Oh, I'm excited.
Esther: We love business jargon. It's really fun. I actually have one that I'm going to pose to you guys and see if you know what it is.
Katie: Ooh, John, are you ready?
John: You bet.
Katie: He's ready.
Esther: I actually had a few that I was going to give you. So I'm gonna pick one based on the Viacom story. You mentioned safe harbor.
Esther: So my word of the week is safe harbor, but it has nothing to do with Viacom or You Tube.
John: Safe harbor, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. you can put up content that may be objectionable to younger children on the radio or TV.
Esther: That's not the right answer. That could be a safe harbor, but that's not the safe harbor I'm referring to. This is a different one, but that's a good and correct guess, but not in this case -
John: That's the broadcasting safe harbor.
Katie: So this is a business safe harbor.
Esther: It's related more to the work place environment.
Katie: I'm gonna say it's a place where you can go and really just be free to be yourself and to speak your mind, like at the HR manager's office or maybe wherever your wine fridge is in the office at happy hour. I'm totally making - I don't know.
Esther: No; ya' know what? You're pretty close.
Esther: You wanna know what the answer is?
Katie: I do wanna know what the answer is.
Esther: Safe harbor, noun, the office bathroom. Borrowed from nautical terminology, this refers to how it is often the only place one can find a moment of peace at work. There you have it. The business jargon of the week.
Katie: That's awesome. Also known as under my desk on Sundays. No one will look for me here.
Esther: I don't know. You're like George Costanza creating his little bed.
Katie: That's a good one. Okay; safe harbor; safe harbor.
Esther: There ya' go. Well that wraps up Chapter 1 of the BusinessMakers Overtime Show. Tune in for Chapter 2. It's coming up next. We've got Russ Capper, host of the BusinessMakers Show.
Katie: You're listening to the BusinessMakers Overtime Show heard here and online at the BusinessMakers.com/overtime. We'll be right back with Russ Capper.