It looks like our concept of “friends with business benefits” is taking off! We recently sat down with Melissa Zieger from HP. She spoke with Pamela O’Hara and Michelle Riggen-Ransom of BatchBlue to talk about how The Small Business Web came about and where we think it’s going.
Check out “The Small Business Web: “Friends with Business Benefits” over on the HP Communities site.
Small Business Web member MailChimp has just announced a fund that will be used to help small startups integrate with the MailChimp API. The $1 million dollar fund was created to…well, Ben says it best:
“In fact, we’ve been practicing this approach for a while now without even realizing it. A small startup would approach us with some crazy powerpoint presentation or boilerplate “revenue sharing” proposal where they’d tell us about how they’re going to send us bajillions of customers in exchange for x% of the money or something. We’d say, “Um, you don’t even have any customers right now, do you?” And they’d answer, “Um, no.” Then we’d ask them if they’ve even built a product, and they’d usually answer the same way. So, partly just to avoid more paperwork and more pitches, we’d offer them a few thousand dollars to fund their integration, and tell them that if customers like it, we’d promote it more.
Just recently we figured, “Why not turn this into an official fund, and make it a process?” It sure would beat all the other cheesy, “Integrate with us, and win an iPad!” kinda promotions. Plus, it aligns perfectly with our philosophy.”
That’s a philosophy that everyone at The Small Business Web can get behind! Have an extraordinary MailChimp integration in mind? There’s a form for that.
Over on the FreshBooks blog they’ve got a great post up celebrating their 50th integration partner. (Congrats!) They dole out some excellent advice on building a platform that other folks will want to integrate with. If you’re wondering about the core philosophies of this site, you should definitely check out this great read.
As one of the most integrated members of the The Small Business Web, FreshBooks is helping to lead the charge in creating (and linking) software for small businesses.
The Small Business Web Directory has been live for just over six months (we officially launched in March at SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas). Since then, we’ve added some great companies to our listings, made some exciting new business connections and have been busy working behind the scenes on what we can do to make the Small Business Web site even more useful for people looking to discover great online tools for small businesses.
One of the things we’ve added is this blog, which will be a place where you can learn about upcoming Small Business Web events, see pictures and information from past events, read case studies of customers using various applications and hear from some of the awesome folks behind the scenes at the companies who are working so hard to build you the very best in software for small businesses. You’ll also notice a new Calendar in the right-hand column, which is where we’ll be listing upcoming Small Business Webinars and other events.
I’d also like to introduce TJ Sondermann, who is helping BatchBlue with our integration efforts and with managing the Small Business Web. Please feel free to drop him a line and say hello – he is nice!
Our biggest take-away from recent events was how amazing it was to bring small business-minded folks together, be they app builders, customers or fans. As such, we’re working at putting together some similar events in other cities in upcoming months. We’ll post a schedule and more information here once the details start to come together.
Thanks to everyone for all you do for small businesses. We look forward to seeing what’s next.