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Fred Wilson, an investor who is known with his good decisions (early investor for Twitter, SoundCloud and Kickstarter) has made an interesting speech at LeWeb.

It was about the types of start-ups he was interested in investing and want to share some of them as it was inspiring as well.

He started with saying that he is not interested in technologies but more in trends and prefer to invest in trends.

These 3 trends were the ones that he saw growing:

Removal of bureaucratic hierarchies

The need for speed when it comes to reaching information is clearly the heaviest trend.

The examples he provided were Twitter (replacing old media), Airbnb (replacing hotels) and Kickstarter (replacing production companies).

Simply, anything that removes the middleman in any service (or at least minimizes the number of them).

Unbundling

This can actually be summarized as focusing to niche markets.

The traditional business usually tries to sell all the things it can (like a bank selling loans, cards, accepting deposits, insurance..).

However, he thinks that the user now prefers to get products/services that are specially focused on that and want to get the best as a result (an example was Netflix).

People being the network

With the increasing smartphone usage, we are all part of an active network.

And, he attaches the success of apps like Uber or Tinder to that effect.

 

These 3 trends are the filters of Fred Wilson and think that they are worth considering when launching a start-up.

Here is his speech (it is worth the time):

Using footnotes in web pages and presenting them nicely is usually a difficult job.

Bigfoot, a jQuery plugin, not only eases but also beautifies the footnotes in web pages.

Bigfoot jQuery

It auto-detects the footnote link + content, converts the link into a button and displays the footnote content inside a popover when clicked.

The script adapts well to responsive layouts and there are options provided to customize its functionality.

Thematic design resources are great when it comes to working on projects that match with those themes.

Oceanica is a free icon set with a nautical theme and has 120 unique items related to it.

The set is in vector (.AI), has a slick-yet-simplistic design (mostly line art) and free to use in personal or commercial projects.

Oceanica Icon Set

We are used to controlling/navigating websites with mouse, keyboard and “touch” afterwards.

Voix.js is a JavaScript library that allows us to add another layer to controlling them which is “voice”.

Voix.js

It has functions to start and stop listening through the microphone and we can set events to be fired when a given keyword is detected.

The library is pretty easy to use and it currently works in Chrome.

Selling goods and/or services through web is great and there are lots of tools to accomplish that.

However, it is hard to analyze sales, revenues, expenses, refunds, etc. if we accept payments through multiple providers and multiple sites (anyone searched for a transaction at PayPal probably experienced this).

Putler, an Adobe AIR-based application, is a powerful sales analytics companion to anyone selling through web.

Putler

It is integrated with all popular payment gateways (PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, 2Checkout..) and e-commerce softwares (WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce..).

Additionally, with its API, any other gateway can be integrated pretty quickly.

The app provides you a quick snapshot of the sales, revenues, best selling products and more for a given period.

Also, you can easily see the trend, all transactions of a customer and even estimates in a chart-supported interface.

Putler Sales View

Putler is not all about viewing but can perform actions like issuing refunds or managing subscriptions which would normally take a time from the payment provider’s web interface.

Although a connection is required to pull the data from payment providers and e-commerce apps, after that, working offline is possible too. And it works fast when offline.

They are also working on a new mobile app and the web version will be released next year.

Additional free month to all

When you sign-up for a paid plan, using the coupon code wrdfreemonth, you get an additional month for free. Thanks to the guys at Putler for offering this.

P.S. The offer is valid until 31 Dec 2013

The giveaway

3 Annual Premium plans are being given away and, in order to join, please comment to this post.

Winners will be selected with the query below and announced a week later (16 Dec 2013).

SELECT * FROM wp_comments WHERE comment_post_id=4957 AND comment_approved=1 AND comment_type='' GROUP BY comment_author_email ORDER BY RAND() LIMIT 3

Good luck to all.

The winners

Here they are:

  • Steven Taylor (comment #1284316)
  • Spencer Spencerh (comment #1284220)
  • Darren Miller (comment #1284243)

Congratulations.

LeWeb, one of the oldest (10th year) and largest conference for web entrepreneurs and startups is starting tomorrow in Paris.

There is an exciting line up of speakers and sessions and the 3-day-event will be held around the motto “The Next 10 Years“.

LeWeb Paris

It’ll definitely be inspiring (which I think the conferences are usually all about) to listen Guy Kawasaki, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Fadell, Jesse Richman and others.

There will also be a start-up competition running parallel to the conference where winners will be set the last day and it’l be interesting to experience the process.

I was planning to go to LeWeb Paris 2013 since months, had applied to their official bloggers program, accepted and actually writing this post from the airport, my way to Paris.

LeWeb Paris Speakers

Like mentioned, there are lots of sessions and I’m specially excited about the ones with the founders of Parse, Uber, Nest, About.me and also crypto-currency discussion.

You will probably see some more posts this week about LeWeb at WRD as I plan to share the exciting stuff.

Also, If you will be there, don’t forget to say “hello” : ).

When working as a distributed team or meeting remotely with clients, video chat is used frequently.

Appear.in is a free and web-based app that provides group video chat for up to 8 people.

The application doesn’t require sign-up, a room with a unique link can be created instantly and shared with others.

Appear.in

It is built with native web technologies, no download is needed and works on all browsers except IE.

There is also an API which may simplify integrating it to the project management cycle with ease.

Allofthelights.js is a jQuery plugin that can change the opacity of the whole webpage but leave the video player.

This is for helping the user to easily focus on the video and there is built-in support for YouTube, Vimeo,  DailyMotion.. and custom players can be added too.

Allofthelights.js

It works with multiple players on the same page and supports responsive layouts/players with no issues.

The animation speed, background color and opacity can all be customized an callback functions exist.

When sharing designs with teammates or customers, sending them via e-mail or other ways is usually a bad way of presenting and hard to track

WebProjector is a free web-based tool that is built just for this. We can simply upload images via drag ‘n drops, send a link via e-mail and the images are presented in the order we prefer.

WebProjector

The tool also notifies us when they are viewed or number of views and it can wrap our designs in mobile, tablet or desktop frames for a more realistic view.

Additionally, it is possible to get comments on each design too.

We probably all experience the easy-to-use style-guides of front-end frameworks like Bootstrap or Foundation.

Such guides help a lot when it comes to reaching the “how-to” quickly and they are a common source of information to make sure that every designer consumes the code in a similar way.

Kalei Styleguide

Kalei Styleguide is a project that can auto-generate such (Bootstrap-like) style-guides from the “live” CSS files so it is always up-to-date.

It works on the client-side and uses the comments in stylesheets for creating the titles + navigation.

Simply, it is a less-effort, almost instant generator that enables us to get organized with our stylesheets.

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