My friend has just launched a new venture that sounds really fun called LocalCoaster. LocalCoaster is a startup social venture that produces beverage coasters to help stimulate local commerce and at the same time support local charities. We are working on a new advertising model that engages the community and gives back. Basically, LocalCoaster provides coasters to local bars and restaurants that have cool local messages on them; messages that support local charities or local retailers. As the company says, “Coasters are an unexploited medium for delivering messages in a unique, engaging, social way. LocalCoaster brings an advertising message to beverage consumers within the community while donating a significant portion of proceeds to a local charity.” They are launching today in Portsmouth, NH, and are also on Twitter here.

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Will Google Play app store revenues catch Apple’s next year?

So Apple continues to beat Google in terms of revenues from app sales – by a factor of four. However, Google Play’s revenue is growing an amazing 311% ytd vs Apple’s 13% ytd growth.

This info is from a cool report by App Annie (which I have never heard of but am about to sign up for cuz it sound cool) that I saw written up in thenextweb here.

At that pace, Google app store revenues will catch up to Apple in something like a year (my calc).

Will it really be a year that Google Play really be as big of a revenue driver as Apple is as little as a year?

I think it will.

The OfficeDrop iOS Apps were driving over 4x as many daily new users as the OfficeDrop Android app was in July of last year. Now they are basically neck and neck, with Android just a good PR event away from leading the pack.

Why is Google Catching up?

In my opinion, Google Play has become a real contender for several reasons.

  1. Tablets. Our user data shows that there are a lot of aggressive Android tablet users out there. The first gen of Android tablets really didn’t do the trick, but in a post Nexus world there are a lot of dedicated Android tablet users, reducing the iPad volume bump that iOS has had historically. It’s since we released the tablet friendly version of our app that Android caught up with iOS (note that we intentionally timed the launch of our tablet app with the launch of the Nexus tablet; kind of like building the hotels on Boardwalk as your opponents round the “go to jail” corner.
  2. Foreign markets. Android really seem to be big outside the US for OfficeDrop – for us in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. The App Annie report references Android’s dominance in Asian countries with the following charts (Our results are clearly a little different, but we have focused first on translating our file search engine into romance languages prior to hitting Asian characters):
  3. Android devices are just getting better and getting more share (although the iPhone  recently staged a market share comeback after the new iPhone came out.)

I do hope that mobile doesn’t become a two horse race. I’d love it if BlackBerry or Windows Mobile achieved meaningful marketshare. But, maybe the smartphone market will be like the computer market, with Apple and one other company pretty much controlling the entire market.

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Startup legal structures

I found this great infographic on Entrepreneur, listing various legal structures available to startups and showing each legal structure’s pros and cons.

update: OK, so this infographic did not paste over very well, so click on that link above to go see it!!

What's the Best Legal Structure for Your Business

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Some fun with video marketing

We had a fun recently with a video marketing effort, putting on a “webinar” on document backup that was taken over by Mayan doomsdayers. It’s pretty funny, you can read it below and see me attempting to be a comedic actor.

Webinar Taken Over By Mayan Apocalypse Believers

To Save Important Files from Doomsday, Act Now and Let the Cloud Protect Your Files

Cambridge, MA. — November 26, 2012 — A recent webinar by cloud storage provider, OfficeDrop, was quickly and unexpectedly taken over by those who believe doomsday is imminent on December 21, 2012. Webinar participants held a common theory that, as the Mayan calendar ends next month, so will the world as we know it. Those who voiced questions had similar a similar concern: “Is the cloud a good strategy to save my documents after the Apocalypse?”

Calmly understanding the concern, OfficeDrop vice president, Healy Jones fielded questions on how to best approach a Mayan doomsday, from a document-management viewpoint. “The big thing is [that] you want to get your files and docs into the cloud now, before the Apocalypse – which is why we have OfficeDrop sync,” explained Jones in the webinar.

Jones, who was later contacted for questioning insisted the public know that OfficeDrop sync is available for both Mac and Windows, what he described as a “common courtesy.” It appears Jones is no stranger to the Mayan Apocalypse belief, airing another opinion: “The only reason this should be newsworthy is that people actually attended a webinar, nobody attends webinars! The chances of the Mayan Apocalypse actually happening are greater than someone attending a webinar.”

Know as meticulous and precise keepers of time, the Mayan civilization has pinpointed December 21, 2012 as the end of the 13th b’ak’tun, a time that marks both an apocalyptic change and rebirth of Earth. Flimsy paper documents aren’t expected to survive, those which do will certainly become unorganized and unusable.

Jones points out that through optical character recognition (OCR), files uploaded into OfficeDrop’s cloud before December 21 will be searchable by word, phrase or number in the OfficeDrop search box. This allows users to focus on more pressing matters, like securing family, food and firearms, rather than remembering document names.

It’s clear that Jones has a professional strategy to access his important personal and business documents after the Mayan Apocalypse. As an expert on both the cloud and world-changing doomsday events, one has to wonder – What does Healy Jones know that he’s not telling us?

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Tablets as TV

No surprise here, but tablets are growing quickly as a medium for viewing TV programming. I came across this cool infographic pointing out how quickly video on the tablet is growing:

via Ooyala

Have I mentioned before that it’s tablet time? Or that tablet sales are surpassing PC sales? Or have I mentioned how fast tablet growth is happening or pointed out tablet growth numbers? Maybe I have, just a little bit… :)

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