Categories
community building

Zombie post – a WordPress blog comes back from the Dead

Posted on February 24, 2016

Richard Lucas

Towards the end of February 2015 I migrated this blog onto Richardlucas.com and posted “The Last Post” blog  where I wrote that it would be the last post ever on this blog (unless I changed my mind). Like a Zombie, this blog has come back to life.

zombie

I am not sure if I will post here again, but something is happening that might be of interest to WordPress bloggers. The stats for the old blog on WordPress are solid but not stellar   – around 1000 visitors a month on average. The most popular post by far being Letter to a new business partner  which still get 20-40 views a day.

Traffic on the old richardhlucas.wordpress.com blog

Traffic on the old richardhlucas.wordpress.com site
Traffic on the old richardhlucas.wordpress.com site

I am no technical wizard but it seems surprising that with no new posts since February, traffic on the old site seems to be higher than on the new.

An old Google Hack from my past was a way to show the number of inbound links –  a key concept in Google Page Rank. I don’t know if it still is accurate or significant, but it shows  287 inbound links to the old blog.. link: https://richardhlucas.wordpress.com  used compared to a Stellar 1 to the new  – admitttedly from the  ultra high value late and much lamented Economist’s Eastern Approaches  blog  –

link:www.richardlucas.com  links only to The Economist’s inbound link to my site, whereas

link: https://www.richardlucas.com has over 100,000 (note that E.L – the author of The Economist’s article is TEDxKrakow and TEDxKazimierz speaker, Economist journalist and author –  Edward Lucas, my admirable and brave big brother)

 richardlucasblog

Traffic on the new Richardlucas.com blog 

The question are?

Why is traffic on the old WordPress site higher and and on the new site lower?

Was it a mistake to change?

Is there some means to improve traffic on the new site?

I’m going to post this on both my old blog here  and the new and try to compare the traffic to both, and send a link to this post to my WordPress consultant Rafał.

My business partner Pawel thought that it might be because WordPress does a good job of indexing blogs hosted on its site.

Anyone with other ideas about what may be going on is welcome to get in touch. Whether the Zombie will return to its resting place depends on what I what I find out.

Categories
community building

Building bridges between Jews for Entrepreneurs and the Polish startup scene

by Richard Lucas

February 2016

I’m writing this post on the invitation of Jenny Belotserkovsky – one of the co-founders of Jews For Entrepreneurs.

The route to this blog post started with a Mixergy podcast – where I heard Max Shevakov being interviewed by Andrew Warner on, the home of the upstart entrepreneur. Max was talking about how he had built up and sold his business lending lenses to photographers.(Mixergy is a great resource for bootstrapping entrepreneurs – better than business school – I gladly pay $200 for my subscription and also another $400 as a gift to the founder of a recent investment). Once again for those who don’t know about the incredible resources available from the world of English language podcasting try Googling “x and best Podcasts” where x = something you are into).

I made contact with Max because I have recently invested in Zalamo.com – a software tool for professional photographers. I thought Max could be a good mentor, give us advice about our marketing strategy – when we start going after the US market where he build his business Max was helpful, is ready to review our US marketing plan once it is created. I noticed on his Linkedin profile he was a member of Jews for Entrepreneurs. I hadn’t heard of JFE but I have had several conversations with my friend Jonathan Ornstein – Director of the highly successful Jewish Community Centre in Krakow (where I live) about broadening the connection between the JCC and the thriving Startup scene in Poland. To know more about the great work of the JCC read and/or watch Jonathan’s TEDx talk, or Chief Rabbi Schudrich’s. Hear Jonathan’s TEDxWarsaw talk here , Warsaw Rabbi Schudrich’s here Read about Jonathan and the JCC here

I asked Max for an introduction to JFE which led me to Jenny, who wrote back full of interest and support. Jenny encouraged me with her response “It’s our goal to connect Jewish startup communities worldwide and we are excited to hear about the resurgence of Jewish life and startup innovation in Poland. It would be great to showcase Poland’s innovation with our network. We recently launched a renovated site for JFE Network. We would be thrilled to add Polish-Jewish startups to our startup vault and share with our community and investor network in Silicon Valley, New York, and Israel. Every Tuesday, we send out a weekly email with new startups, jobs, and blog posts from tech experts in our community. We can send an upcoming email campaign (9.6k people) featuring Polish innovation. We can showcase Polish startups and feature blog posts from innovators and thought leaders in the Polish community.”

This was just the response I wanted. I asked Startup Poland (I’m on the Advisory Board) for examples of Jewish Israeli Polish entrepreneurship in Poland. The most prominent fund is Giza Polish Ventures which has many investments in startups. There is a good overview of the Polish startup scene on the Startup Poland web site and an American website called Google is excellent at providing lots of links and articles Passive aggressive Richard often refers people to this website as a starting point, but I don’t think now is the time.

Poland is a country with strong regional hubs. Cities like Gda?sk, Katowice, Lublin , Poznan, Rzeszow Szczecin, Wroc?aw as well as Krakow where I live and the capital Warsaw have startup activity. Berlin is just over the border too and Polish/German relations are better than would be believable a few years ago. Cheap flights and visa free travel (thanks to the European Union) to Europe and modernized airports mean that getting to London, Paris, Cambridge, Dublin, Milan and most other major European cities is very straightforward.

I’m biased towards Krakow – we have several world class startups here in Krakow – Estimote* world leader in Beacons, Base world leader in mobile first CRM, Brainly – a world leader in social learning. Integer Group is the world leader in final mile drop off pick up logistic and is active in 20 plus countries, Meble.pl is doing to furniture what Dell did to PC manufacturing. There are any number of smaller companies also doing interesting things.

Campus Warsaw has opened in 2015. This has put the Warsaw startup scene on steroids. It’s got off to a fantastic start. Previously Google for Entrepreneurs Krakow (GEK) did a great job. Hub.Raum in Krakow owned by T-Mobile. and Colab*.pl (a co-working space owned by members of the Startup community including me) have stepped forward to fill the gap left when Google departed. There is still a fan club for GEK here

The Krakow Startup community chose the hashtag and brand #OMGKRK ! Find links here omgkrk.com and here

There is an excellent events listing site called Crossweb.pl . I won’t name any specific events for fear of annoying those in charge of the events I omit.

TED and TEDx are active in Poland. Progressive, internationalist, open-minded people are involved. See their listings here I moderate a TEDx Fans group on Facebook here I’m the Curator of TEDxKazimierz and a huge fan of the whole movement in Poland and worldwide.

The other community event I am closely connected to is Open Coffee Krakow which works very well indeed – low budget, high impact, useful and productive. Our Linkedin group is here Another group Silicon Valley Network is here Finally my podcast Project Kazimierz showcases success and interesting initiatives usually connected to Poland.

JFE are going to link back to this blog post in their newsletter, and I encourage anyone interested in networking with them to sign up for their newsletter here

What’s next

In terms of possible outcomes and next steps – I hope this initiative triggers mutually beneficial contacts. Not just at the level of investments, but startups doing business, licensing technologies, buying selling each other’s products and services, outsourcing opportunities and pure research. Please leave a comment or let me know if it does. It’s good to keep track of the impact of actions. Perhaps JFE can visit Poland – members are warmly invited if they are thinking abut it do. Or maybe host a mission of Polish startups to the US. For sure there are people here who would welcome you. People do business with people, and personal contacts can be enriching. Maybe something with the JCC.

I’m not Jewish, Israeli or Polish (though I’ve spent most of my adult life in Poland)**. I am deeply internationalist in outlook and believe that flourishing businesses that create wealth, jobs and pay their taxes are the bedrock of free societies. We need all the prosperity and growth we can in these difficult times to pay for the many pressing challenges that face us.

If anyone reading this wants to get in touch, I cannot guarantee personal help but will do my best to get you in front of the right people. Readers are welcome to make contact via Linkedin

* I’m a shareholder in these ventures.
** since writing this article I’ve applied for and been granted Polish citizenship, for which I am profoundly grateful.

 

Categories
community building

Co founders/entrepreneurs/partners wanted

February 2016

I just created a new Google form to recruit business partners, following a conversation with my friend, business and squash partner Pawel Nowak.   Will it work ? I don’t know. Below is the introduction  you will  read if you click on it.. to read the questions as well, you need to go to the form itself

Feedback welcome

Co founders/entrepreneurs/partners for Richard Lucas

Why this form?I realised in February 2016 that I don’t have a good co-founder recruitment process. I’m known as an angel investor, and entrepreneur. I don’t often get people approaching me wanting to be a co-founder. I am ready to contribute time money experience and contacts to new ventures I am involved in, so this form is designed to encourage people who want to be my partner or co founder get in touch.

if you don’t know who I am check me out here
https://www.richardlucas.com/about-2
https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardhlucas
(if you are an Eddie Izzard fan take the opportunity to re-watch the Death Star Canteen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ma3a7hqZer4

It is extremely difficult to profile a co-founder. If I look at the people I am in business with they vary tremendously. And as in attraction, love and relationships just because I might want to be in business with someone, doesn’t mean that they will regard me as being a suitable partner.

You are likely to have at least some of the below characteristics.

• high levels of motivation and energy
• excellent/reasonable/acceptable interpersonal skills,
• creativity
• self confidence,flexibility, tolerance, open mindedness. I’m internationalist in outlook. Patriotism is fine, nationalism and intolerance absolutely not.
• a willingness to “get your hands dirty”. To do work needed rather than just describe it.
• ability to communicate in English, other languages a plus.
• willingness to learn, to start solving a problem by spending an hour or two on Google before wanting to hire an expert.
• A willingness to try and take on new challenges.
• Generosity.
• High expectations of yourself and other people.
• Good communication skills
• Toughness -the ability to take hard decisions
• Curiosity about the way the world works
• Good at Time management, self organisation and getting things done
• intolerance of waste, interest in getting things done well as effeciently and quickly as possible
• Ambitious. a desire to build work on something great. it doesn’t have to be a project with the scale of of Space X or Tesla (though why not?) but if we are doing a shoe repair business, let’s aim to make it the best run, most efficient and profitable in Europe.
• Profit orientated. A business that is not aiming to make a higher rate of profit than the average, as much if not more than the best companies is not interesting. Being cheaper than the competition may be a strategy, if our costs are lower. but if we are better then we should be able to prove it by charging more. If you for example – want to start a bar, and you don’t know how much bars like the one you want to set are making, you have not done you homework. The profitability of businesses can be found out, if you don’t know how, ask me.
• be able to code, or manage developers. It doesn’t mean that we won’t pay for development, but a technical co founder can bring the ability to spend money wisely.

• common sense.

Money. It’s great to know if you have got some savings. All too often the mind set of technology start up-ers is conditioned by years of grants and competitions. They want to rewards of their own business without ever experiencing the financial risk of failure. Of course someone who has 2 kids and 10,000 złoty in savings, is not in a position to put in significant amounts of cash, but on the other hand, to be in that position at all,  shows they know how to manage their money. it’s a plus. And I know they will work like crazy to succeed.Many of the successful entrepreneurs I know started with their savings, or money borrowed from friends or family who expected their investment to be spent carefully. Many ventures which started with “easy money” from me or others have ended up with the founder and me losing time and money. The ability to learn fast and think is more important than previous experience, People with motivation and commitment tend to pick up experience as they go through life. If you have no experience of anything what have you been doing between the age of 3 and now?