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Archive for August, 2008

Data & Quality Control – QCing Bizak

August 31, 2008 Leave a comment

Determining the validity of the Bizak data is essential for the accuracy of our benchmarks. I personally QC every estimate that comes into our database. When I find data that is questionable I’ll exclude it from our calculations. When I do so the startup automatically receives an email alerting them to the exclusion and prompting them to either update or delete their numbers. Doing this allows the startup to see the numbers they originally entered and make the necessary changes. Once the numbers have been updated they are entered back into the benchmark calculations and also back into my QC list. 

The investor side of Bizak also provides an added level of quality control to the database. If you’re a startup interested in receiving funding, and you’re fabricating your numbers, I can guarantee that an investor will eventually discover the truth – when he does you can rest assure that he will not trust you with his money.

With an increase in volume the benchmarks will eventually follow a tight data set that will enable us to apply a standard deviation above and below the mean. Internally we can then integrate a flag that will notify us whenever a startup falls outside of that standard deviation. This doesn’t mean that their numbers are incorrect just that we should probably double check them. This would then alleviate the vast majority of the manual process for when volume increases.

Categories: Uncategorized

StumbleUpon = Worthless Traffic

August 29, 2008 2 comments

Every few weeks or so one of my sites gets an onslaught of traffic from StumbleUpon. Though it’s always fun to see a huge surge in traffic the truth is the traffic from StumbleUpon is worthless.  In general web visitors are quick to click but when those visitors originate from StumbleUpon they’re supercharged!  

As proof, on a given day for Bizak I received 585 visitors from StumbleUpon – those visitors averaged 1.11 pages per visit and averaged only 6 seconds on the site.  In comparison this blog sent Bizak 87 visitors who averaged 5.43 pages/visit and over 8 minutes on the site.  

I’ll take less, but more qualified, traffic any day of the week.  StumbleUpon just proves the point that more traffic doesn’t always mean better. If you can’t monetize that traffic and if you don’t know who your visitors are then they’re nothing more than inflated statistics.

YouNoodle

August 29, 2008 Leave a comment

I recently spent some time on YouNoodle to test their Startup Predictor.   YouNoodle’s Startup Predictor estimates what your startup will be worth in 3 years – Bizak estimates (based on revenues) what your startup is worth right now.  From the YouNoodle questions it appears that they calculate your startup’s valuation based on the probability of success and the previous success of similar startups and entrepreneurs. For example, I have 13 years of online experience so my guess would be that I have a higher valuation or probability of success than someone with only 1 year of experience?

My initial interest in YouNoodle was because my startup, Bizak, calculates valuation based on revenues and in essence could be seen as a competitor.  However, this information could be very interesting and possible useful for Bizak – especially on the consulting side. In addition to the Bizak Benchmarks it could also be beneficial to offer startups this probability of success data. For example an entrepreneur looking to start a business network can use Bizak to determine the average valuation of startups in his industry is $100,000. They can then use YouNoodle’s probability of success data to determine that for entrepreneurs with over 5 years of experience the average valuation jumps to $500,000. That would be a very interesting combination of data! This combination would be very beneficial to investors in the form of direct data, research papers and consulting services. With this information we can decrease investors’ investment risk by providing them with both an estimate of future valuation and which type of entrepreneurs have a higher probability of success.

Visual Thesaurus

August 28, 2008 1 comment

I’ve recently become quite frustrated with my limited vocabulary and out of nowhere I just discovered Visual Thesaurus from Thinkmap.  Based in New York City, Thinkmap “provides dynamic, data-driven, visualization technology” and Visual Thesaurus is their 3D word reference tool.  VT is an amazing application that makes expanding your vocabulary a lot of fun – if you can believe it VT is very addicting. Search for a word’s definition and you get a tree diagram of synonyms and antonyms for that word with connectors (green & red dots) displaying the definitions when you hover over them.  

Visual Thesaurus is not a free application ($2.95/month or $19.95/year) but if you’re having trouble completing the crossword puzzle then I highly recommend this tool.

Categories: internet Tags: ,

Questions?

August 27, 2008 2 comments

Lately I’ve been answering a lot of questions about the internet, Bizak, infoMedMD, startups, entrepreneurs and my thoughts on numerous internet companies. With all of these questions I’ve come to the realization that answering questions is a lot easier than producing new and creative blog posts.

So with that I would like to answer any internet related questions that you might have! Just leave your question in the comment/reply section of this post and I’ll answer your question (if appropriate and if I can) in a new post on this blog. If you represent a startup (or a website) please include your URL in the comment – if I answer your question I’ll credit (and link to) you in the post.

Thank you!

Tom O’Keefe (bio)

Financial Analysis – Bizak’s Root

August 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Bizak’s idea is rooted in the financial analysis and EPS of public companies. What I’m trying to do is create an average performance metric for startups according to their industry, business type (wiki, blog, etc.) and revenue source (Adsense, consulting, etc.) and any and all combination of the three. Bizak computes (and creates benchmarks) for visitors, revenues, revenues per visitor (RPV), costs, CPV, earnings, EPV and valuation. This will allow startups to view their performance to their industry, other industries and possible more importantly the ability to research what industries, types and revenues are good business models.

Leveraging our tools with and/or partnering with investment firms?  A partnership includes the integration of our data/benchmarks with the investment firm (via XML feed) in return increasing everyone’s exposure to internet startups.

Google’s Keyword Tool vs. Wordtracker

August 25, 2008 1 comment

I was finally able to spend some time on Google’s new keyword tool and all I can say is, “it’s about time”!   Before the new tool I’ve always used Wordtracker for my keyword research and something tells me I’ll be letting my subscription expire.  My biggest question has always been about the accuracy of other services like Wordtracker.  Are their numbers really indicative of search queries on Google?  Well my assumption now is no.  I did a handful of keyword searches on both and the difference between the two are significant.  For every keyword Google’s numbers were considerable higher then what Wordtracker predicted.  Here are my results:     

Note:  Google’s numbers are for July searches.  Wordtracker gives a daily keyword search prediction.  To come to a monthly estimate (for Wordtracker) I multiplied the daily number by 31 days in July.  Their monthly prediction is probably different than my results but either way they’re not even close.