Tuesday, September 23, 2008

madKast in the News with ShareThis

There are various reports today that madKast has been acquired by ShareThis. We can't give details at the moment; you can, however, expect a forthcoming post addressing these reports as soon as we can.

- the madKast team

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Google Chrome Error

Some of you have reported that Google's new browser Chrome is throwing an error that madKast is hosting malware and warning users.  This ended up being a misclassification on Google's part and has been solved.  Don't worry, madKast has never hosted malware.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Congrats to a TechStars team: SocialThing!

As most of you know, last summer we participated in an investment/mentorship program in Boudler, CO called TechStars.   TechStars was an amazing experience that we would recommend to any startup in America that wants access to some of the best mentors in the country.  Last summer 10 teams went through the 10 week program and today we are happy to congratulate our friends at SocialThing! for being acquired by AOL.  We couldn't be happier for you guys!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

madKast loves your feedback

We get a lot of emails from happy bloggers telling us that we have the easiest to use sharing widget.  Thanks to all of you.  Please keep the feedback coming.  We really build our product roadmap around the feedback that we get from people using our widget.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

madKast is hiring

madKast is looking for the best flash, .net, and javascript developers in Boulder.  If you are interested please send a resume to: jobs [at] madKast.com.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Watch for the New madKast!

Something big is coming from madKast. Very big. Suffice to say that before March ends you can expect to find a brand new website from madKast to accompany a brand spankin' new product launch!

While, in the interest of suspense, I can't give you too many details at the moment, let's just say that we're expanding way beyond sharing blog posts. Soon you will be able to share significantly more types content with your friends. I can also tell you that the new madKast will also have a significant presence on the social web -- think sites like Facebook and MySpace.

We will also be expanding to reach e-commerce sites with our sharing technology. As such, if you have an e-commerce site and want to be part of our beta to help you best advertise your products on the social web, please send me an email: josh AT madkast DOT com

If all goes to plan, sometime in April you can expect to see madKast on some pretty big, non-blog sites.

We are thrilled about the direction we're moving in, and think you will be too when we release it!

Stay tuned....

Friday, February 22, 2008

What's on the madKast Bookshelf?

In a recent meeting with one of our investors and mentors -- David Brown of Zoll Data Sytems -- he mentioned a book that he had found particularly useful for him regarding sales. The book, called Spin Selling by Neil Rackham, is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the intracacies of selling a product -- whether large or small, simple or complex -- to someone else. It is an extremely well-researched guide to successfully selling based on the research of 35,000 sales calls tracked by Rackham and his associates.

The word "SPIN" in the title refers to the method that the authors have found is the most successful: (S)ituation; (P)roblem; (I)mplication; (N)eed-Payoff. The author's premise is that the "traditional" steps in a sales call -- (1) opening the call; (2) investigating needs; (3) giving benefits; (4) objection handling and (5) closing techniques do not very well for larger, more complex sales such as one that may require many phone conversations.

Instead, the authors guide the reader through the four steps their research has found pivotal to successful sales calls. First, situation questions that help the seller gather data regarding the buyer. Second, problem questions probing difficulties or dissatisfactions in areas where the seller's product can help. Next, and most important, implication questions which take a customers problem and explore its effects or consequences. Finally, need-payoff questions, which are powerful ways to get the customer to tell you what the benefits of your solution are.

The authors also do an excellent job of describing how to assess the outcomes of particular interactions with buyers. From worst to best: "no sale," where the customer actively refuses a commitment; "continuation," where the sale will continue but where no specific action has been agreed upon by the customer to move it forward; "advance," where an event takes place in the call that moves the sale forward to a decision; and "order," where the customer makes a firm commitment to buy.

Rackham also spends a lot of time explaining how larger, more complex sales differ from that of smaller, simpler sales and that techniques that work well in one arena may not transfer well to the other. For instance, in larger sales, needs take longer to develop, their more likely to involve more than just one single individual (decision-maker) and needs are more likely to be expressed on a rational basis.

There's a host of other fascinating ideas and strategies that the author takes about in the book, and I couldn't recommend it more highly. It will certainly benefit madKast significantly as we frame our new product launch and pitch it to content

Also on the madKast bookshelf are Punk Marketing by Richard Laermer and Mark Simmons and Marketing to the Social Web, by Larry Weber. Both of which are also recommended! Have you read any of these books? Leave a comment if so!