Archive for February, 2013



by Kaj Kandler

Yesterday night I did attend a new Meetup group, “The Reverse“, founded by Michael Bourque, of BostonPHP fame.

Michael wants to teach budding entrepreneurs and those with an entrepreneurial spirit to bootstrap their startup ideas by producing a perfect pitch first, a story backed by as good a mockup that one can produce and put it in front of the two audiences that matter. The pitch needs to be made to experts and investors, as well as to the potential buyers. If the pitch finds resonance there is motivation and help to build a prototype and to field test it with the audience that showed interest in the product/service.

Michael wants to build such pitches together in this Meetup group. He has >25 product/startup ideas and wants to use them as “material” to build pitches in an open group, so that everybody can learn in the process. I’m not quite sure what exactly Michael is expecting from the group members in terms of participation and commitment. I’d also like to know what he thinks will happen with the ideas that find some resonance?

I have to give credit to Michael Bourque and his main collaborators Lance Perry and Jonathan Baronville for pulling off an entertaining pitch for their idea in itself. They scripted a version of the TV show “Shark Tank” and called it “Spark Tank” to demonstrate the idea of pitches and presentations. Michael took a great risk to ask volunteers of the audience to play the roles of “Spark” investors.

I can emphasize with Michael for having lots of product/service ideas that seem great but it is not easy to find collaborators to realize. I like the idea of a focused process to develop the idea to a pitch that can be field tested with an audience and to find collaborators and investors. I look forward to Michael filling in the details of this new venture and how different folks play a role in it. I guess Michael does not know himself, the answers to many of the questions. But I give him credit for getting out there and trying to invent a new process to launch ideas into products and services.

If you live in the greater Boston area and have an entrepreneurial spark in you, you owe it to yourself to sign up and give it a try. Remember it is not about your idea, but about collaborating in a process how to turn ideas into startups. So bring your skills in product development, mockups, prototyping, marketing, etc. and join an exciting experiment in hands on learning! You have little to loose and all to win.



by Kaj Kandler

Alright, so I installed Twist on my HTC Sensation phone. Trying to set up my first twist, seemed more complicated than it need to be. When I tried to establish the party I wanted to notify, there was no search through my contacts. I found that odd, as it is one of the advertised features.

Well, it seemed to work anyway. I just had to enter the full phone number myself. Twist seems to send an initial SMS, when I start the twist and then get moving. The SMS contains the expected arrival time. It sends another SMS, when I arrive at my destination. In case I’m traveling slower than expected, because of traffic or a stop for gas, Twist sends an additional SMS with an updated arrival time. Neat, I wished, I could control a bit more how many SMS are sent and when.

Contacting support about the issue above, I was told “that is a known bug and will be resolved with today’s update.” Patiently waiting for the update to become available, I downloaded and installed. But my attempt to edit the existing twist in my favorites, did not do the trick. A couple of days later a second update did fix the issue and allows me to search my contacts. But it is rather slow.