Category Archives: Product Reviews

Online Dating Rapid Penetration Dilluting the Market

For a long time online dating has been one of the fastest growing segments on the internet. The relationship of Large Online Dating Companies and profitability has taken a sharp turn. Although market adoption has still been growing at substantial leaps, the number of new companies entering the market has grown at a much faster rate, absorbing most of the growth for themselves. Here’s an article that tells more about it.

The concept makes me smile when I think about the little online dating company that my friend has recently purchased and is working to build it up. The website is LDS Friends… Which as you might imagine specifically targets the LDS Dating niche. It includes a craigs listing type sales page. as well as a number of other member services that lds match seekers could enjoy.

Niche dating websites are popping up all over the web. Although large corporations are trimming their fat, eventually the market will stabilize and new companies will work to the top. While now is not the best time to enter the market, it seems like a great time to be a player while things remain so mobile.

To help start your website… Get G.I.M.P.

Either for fun, or if starting a website for your own home-based business, here’s a few helpful tips to start your own business website and hopefully avoid some problems.

When a person first wants to start their own website. There are few costs they need to take into consideration, (these are not all in the order they might appear in your individual quest).

Domain Registration

Graphic’s Editor

Page Editor (unless you program from code, which can get a little long after a while)

Pictures (Unless you plan on taking all of your own)

Merchant Account

Today I just want to briefly mention Graphics editor. I once purchased a full photoshop suite from an O.E.M. reseller. About 8 months later, my hard-drive crashed and I when I contacted them to get another key to unlock the software, they were no where to be found. I came to find out later that the company I purchased from got caught in a big scam and is now editing his graphics in prison.

Honestly, if you have the money and want to invest it in some good software, I would suggest you get Photoshop (at least) the other programs that come in the suite are nice as well.

If you have don’t have the money or otherwise don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on software you may not use, I would suggest you get The GIMP. This program takes a little bit to download and install but is really a helpful little tool.

It’s a little less than super-user-friendly, but i’d imagine that you could install it less than 15 minutes… Visit and check it out… For people who have windows and want to skip right to installing it… Here’s the quick links. once you get here, Install the appropriate add on, (I prefer to run XP but select the add on appropriate for you), then download and install the “GIMP FOR WINDOWS” button.

Install it, then enjoy! You’re that much closer to making the website of your dreams!

Rupert Murdoch China and Dan Jones… Pieces of Global Conquest

I’ve been out for a while enjoying the stresses and joys of a growing family.

It looks like there’s also some growth going on in Rupert Murdochs corporate family. It looks like Rupert has all but sealed the deal to purchase Dan Jones. There’s a great MSNBC article here.

As a small business owner and entrepreneur, one of the first questions I ask myself when I see a move this is, “Why?” Why does Mr. Murdoch really need to own the business news giant? Although the Bancroft family has long said they wouldn’t give in to Rupert’s questionable motives, a stock price 65% above posted price was helpful to change their minds. Rupert Murdoch is currently the 32nd richest man in America… but his motives could go far beyond his eg0-sized Manhattan apartment.

Rupert’s company, News Corp, has recently made significant headway in China. Home the largest and fastest growing middle class in the world, this communist-capitalist society has a very long (and censored)journalism history. Murdoch’s alleged business biases are no concern for this awakening country. As News Corp. prepares to enter this reliable financial information vacuum, a name that carries the longevity and responsibility of the Walls Street Journal would provide the perfect platform for swift and deep market penetration.

This could certainly become a lot of centralized influence in our growing society. The jury is still out on whether or not Rupert will keep things unbiased. History is a great indicator of future performance and absolute power can corrupt absolutely. But who knows, maybe this media mogul will prove us wrong once again… We’ll have to see.

iPhone Gets Hacked… Businesses and Individuals Need to Protect Themselves

The iPhone may seem like an immortal device, (check out this YouTube iphone spoof) but even it has its weaknesses. The New York Times has just released an article that states the iPhone has a security hole that allows remote control or hazing/fisching with fake websites. We knew it was bound to happen. It kinda reminds me of the line in Jurassic Park where Malcolm, (played by Sam Neill) says, “Nature will find a way”. But really when it comes to hacking, “People will find a way.”

The iPhone is the perfect item to hack as well. Limited supplies and relatively high-costs, (for a smartphone) mark its users as targets: Not only as die-hard Mac fans (for Steve Jobs’ next big product), but also as people with money who do a number of transactions over the internet. Intercepting or placing spyware could be very valuable to information theives. In addition to getting credit card information or typing histories, think of how great it would be to also pick up names, numbers, pictures, email addresses and more–all conveniently stored in the same location.

Identity theft has a long history. (Check out this wikipedia article.) The increased danger of hacked identity is more than a Hollywood storyline, (although The Net was a fun movie and one of Sandra Bullock’s better performances). The truth is that the advent of new technology is raising risks not only in the depths of thefts, but also in the breadth and number of people who can be affected.

For now, Apple has released information on a plug-in that can help patch the problem. Check out for more information. But really, big brothers, (like the NSA) or little brothers (like local scam artists) can be tough to shake.

Here’s a website that offers great information on how to protect yourself from scams and hacking. Anyone who does business or shares information should be familiar with information theft and its prevention. Check out the ID Theft Center website and the FTC Identity Theft website for more information.

Really though, we can’t live our lives in fear. The main thing is: be careful what unsecured wi-fi networks you join. And if we’re going to do business and live anyhow, why not do it with an iPhone?

As a Man Thinketh, Harry Potter to James Allen…

As the commotion dies down over the final Harry Potter Book, The Deathly Hallows, I have searched through the rubble for a lasting moral. Of course there are a lot of morals which can come from this story: friendship, sacrifice, love etc.. but the moral I enjoyed the most is the principles that really made Harry good and Voldemort, well, bad. (And more specifically, J.K. Rowlings–Successful).

The moral is simply this: What we think about ultimately makes us who we are…

Although this moral is almost as old as written literature, and transcends even the immortal walls of Hogwarts, it is also clearly described in the little book, As a Man Thinketh by James Allen.

I first read as a man thinketh when I was about 17 years old. Haunted by feelings of frustration and failure, I read the book and experienced a significant paradigm shift. Reading the book was more a stroke of luck and laziness than really looking for a solution. I was looking for something to read and relax but didn’t want to spend more than an hour finish the book. (It just happened to be in my parents’ library). I read the book and realized that my circumstances and relationships were really only a reflection of the reality I had created with my own thoughts…

Bad people don’t just instantly become bad. Good people don’t instantly become good. We are a result of a development process. Or rather we are sum of our thoughts–Which thoughts lead to our actions. Which actions lead to our habits. Which habits become our character. Which character becomes our destiny…

In business, family, or wizardry… We create our destiny. Really. Even Harry Potter… Just ask the brilliant writer who developed his story and got millions of people reading and shaping their own destinies… I’m pretty sure that J.K. Rowlings has read As a Man Thinketh… :)

HARRY POTTER 7–The Real Ending Uncensored!

Speaking of Harry Potter Seven, (Who isn’t speaking of Harry Potter these days?) I read a fascinating article on the internet about some pictures of the new book that have been circulating. This is making big news, (and big money) in China (who’s surprised?).

After extensive research to find the legitimate ending to Harry Potter 7, –not some lame book seven spoiler– but I was able to find the following picture…



As further proof, I retrieved this video from Google Video. (Never mind who uploaded the video… :) )

Video Lost…

After all my research, (as much as any entrepreneur needs to do), I believe this is the only true ending to the Harry Potter series. However, in case you still want to verify the legitimacy of this video, you can always be a good muggle and check out the underground Harry Potter site to make sure…

You can also checkout wikipedia for the fully edited reviews of Harry Potter Book Seven (Be careful though, this really will spoil it if you haven’t read it :) .

Can a business-man not be a hit-man?

I just finished reading the book, Confessions of An Economic Hitman by John Perkins.

It was a fascinating novel with a very basic and well supported premise: Giant corporations work with the government to secure large contracts and make lots of money.

As a student of international business and development, I find myself torn in his analysis. I do agree with his logic that we could spend more money on relief and less on defense contracts. I do agree that the greed of giant corporations is creating a significant imbalance in world perceptions. I do not completely know (yet) if giant MNE’s are really such a bad thing. What about the shrinking world of Thomas Friedman? Don’t more McDonalds means less wars? Although I do question John’s zealous efforts to label himself as an Economic Hit Man, I believe the patterns he discussed do exist. I’m still struggling with the complete assault on Friedman economics.

I think before going into more analysis I need to read some of the basic documents of the United States of America, to get a more clear understanding of the ideals that John Perkins frequently made reference.

I do not endorse this book as revolutionary truth, but it is a thought provoking read for anyone involved in business. John Perkins does a great job to illustrate the three major relationships that exist in all business ventures, big or small, domestic or international: The interworkings of Companies/Products, Governments and Consumers/Workers.

Really though I would enjoy to hear the thoughts and experiences of others…

Out of This World Small Business Opportunity

I recently had the opportunity of meeting with Lynn Taylor, Owner and Operator of the Utah County M.A.R.S. (Miracle Appearance Reconditioning Specialist) — mobile detailing company. I was impressed by his genuine character and also his reasons for being involved in the franchise.

I spoke with him about why he chose to be involved with MARS when there are hundreds of different opportunities–many of which have reportedly higher margins. He said the company and people involved were trustworthy and it provided him with the flexibility he preferred to grow and coast. The price of the franchise plus materials were close to 100K. Not a small amount, but certainly not the end of the world if things go sour.

I wish Lynn the best of luck in his venture and any other entrepreneur looking to get things on track.

I would be very interested in looking at the success rates of first time franchisees across a spectrum of different opportunities… If anyone knows where to get info on that, please let me know.

Happy Independence Day!

Today was a fun little adventure. I had the opportunity of volunteering in the Utah, Provo, Freedom Festival as an Announcer for KSTAR 96.7 FM and KSTAR 1400 AM. It was a great opportunity to see the Grand Parade and also drive around in a brand-new 2007 Toyota Tundra double cab truck. (Perhaps not the greatest symbol of American patriotism :) but an excellent truck none the less.)

The Tundra was extremely light weight, but still packed an impressive amount of torque off the line. I understand the decision to make things lighter weight was in large response due to the number of women and baby boomers purchasing full-sized trucks, but looking for something a little easier to handle.

Brent Brown donated 10 trucks to be used for Announcing in the Parade and nearly a dozen more that filed through the parade. A great little stunt for additional publicity on the part of Brent Brown Toyota in Provo.

There were about 3,500 people attending my section of the parade. Coordinating commercials, announcing floats and working with audiences and changes in the scheduling was challenging, but also a lot of fun. It is always impressive to see and feel the immense energy that comes from these types of assemblies.

Great Blog Tools for Beginning or Advanced Internet Entrepreneurs

I attended a fun opening meeting for a blog incubator group called, Incublogger. It was a lot of fun to meet energetic and excited internet entrepreneurs. I really enjoy being surrounded by talented, ambitious and community minded people.

In addition to learning about the basics of how to blog, there were some very helpful hints for more advanced bloggers. I would certainly recommend that beginning or advanced bloggers, or just readers interested in blogging should check it out.

One of the fun tools they discussed was Blog Desk. It is a free and fun tool to improve your website and simplify some of the more difficult aspects of design and content setting.  (like inserting this image :) )