Cringely on Parrot Secrets

March 14th, 2009

Bob Cringely has a very fascinating article about a website that makes $400,000 a year from selling a couple ebooks on training your parrot. Pretty incredible. Well worth checking out.

Before I lose you here’s the literal bottom line on Parrotsecrets. The site sells 15-20 eBook sets per day seven days per week. Using the low end of that range is 5,475 copies per year for gross sales of $437,726.25 from a web site that costs less than $10 per month.

The profit on Parrotsecrets, even after various expenses I’ll detail below, is WAY north of $400,000 per year

Here’s Cringely’s article: Parrot Secrets

Fast Company has an interview with the founders of Animoto.  I love their application.  As an early user I appreciated the fact that they were very responsive to my emails. 

The interview covers how they built their start-up on external infrastructure like Amazon S3.

Read it here

Update: How on the ball are these folks? I just got an email from them thanking me for my comments. They follow Google Alerts to see what’s being said. Very clever.

My experience

September 6th, 2008

I created a fun site for playing gags on the iPhone. I told a few people and then created a YouTube video about the site. Then I forgot about it. Then my site started crashing. 200,000 + views and visitors later it’s still going. If only I’d figured out a way to make money off the thing…

The technology has progressed a lot since the days of plain old DV. Here’s a cool clip made with an $800 Canon HV20

Escape from Kyle Shields on Vimeo.

NYT’s piece on people making money for making videos for online watching (not porn!),
Making Money, the How-To Way - New York Times

Jeff Bezos on Charlie Rose

January 21st, 2008

Here’s an in-depth interview with one of the most successful web 1.0 entrepreneurs he keeps Wall Street guessing and making money.

Facebook circa 2005

January 8th, 2008

Here’s an interesting podcast featuring Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook back when they were just another scrappy little social networking platform. What a difference 3 years makes! Courtesy of the Stanford Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders forum.


From Harvard to the Facebook

From Wikipedia to Wikia

December 13th, 2007

How do you take a non-profit concept and turn it into a for profit business? Gil Penchina of Wikia explains the path they took to the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders forum at Stanford.

The Contrasts of a Big Company and a Small Start-Up

Ben Franklin

December 6th, 2007

FranklinBenjamin Franklin is amazing in so many different ways there should be a word used only to describe him.  Franklinawesometastic.  Besides being a founding father, he’s also the prototypical self-made man.  He may have even been the wealthiest American at one point in history. His biography on Wikipedia is a good starting point. The Walter Isaacson biography is an excellent resource if you want to delve further into this Franklinawesometastic personality. Ben Franklin

Google on Creativity

December 4th, 2007

Marissa Mayer shares with the Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders forum the Google point of view about creativity. She makes a great point about creativity working best with defined constraints. I’m a staunch believer in this and don’t find that heretical at all.


Nine Lessons Learned about Creativity at Google