Five of Our Favorite Small Business Apps

It is hard to keep track of all the startups that are emerging daily from apartments, hackathons, and incubators. And from within the ranks of unemployed workers, many are cranking out business plans and working out sales projections at their neighborhood Starbucks.

We are definitely in a new era of entrepreneurship. One factor that makes starting your own less of a dream and more of a practical reality is that the costs of IT infrastructure have dropped significantly in recent years. It’s just cheaper than ever to buy a phone system, establish a web presence, and build out administrative functions for sales and marketing.

I’ve come up with five web-based apps that bring IT for little or no cost to IT-less companies.Continue reading

Kodingen: Free, Easy Web Development Environment

I missed this month’s New York Tech Meetup due to a previous engagement that was scheduled over 5000 years ago. By the way, Matt Merriam has a nice summary of September’s NYTM demos. One of the startups, Kodingen, caught my attention. It is a free web development environment that encourages a community to provide support and cheering. I filed this away.

I was intrigued by the recent release of the FCC’s open APIs for accessing competitive ISP data. I had already hacked out—I am not a developer by any means— tools for graphically displaying the FCC’s “477” data on Google Maps (see references below). Could I somehow combine this all into a single project and perhaps use the amazing Google Maps Data infrastructure for sharing my results?

A tall order.  That’s when I brought Kodingen back to the head of my to-do list, and so I registered on the site to see what I’d be up against.  In fact, this is a delightfully simple open-source environment to work in.

Nothing against my current hosting service, Bluehost, but I was able to start working almost immediately in Kodingen without any of the usual obstacles and annoyances.Continue reading