You think you are going into business by yourself…

Came across this in my DropBox. Seems to be from a weekly school assignment where we’re supposed to write a passage based on something from Businessweek.


The challenge of starting a small business.

Rather than cite an article this week I think it would be more interesting to write about a conversation I had with a local business owner.

I’ve lived on the corner of Hamilton and Louis Street for the past three years of college. There is a local pizzeria called “Ta-ta’s” that is famous for being “the only pizza place until Easton ave.” It’s far down Hamilton Street, next to a convenience store but far away from competing pizzerias. They deliver, but not often enough to have a reputation.

The food does not have a reputation for being phenomenal, but the owner, Andy, gets a fair share of business because of his location. Andy is there almost every day. Ta-ta’s also has abnormal hours, as the pizzeria is only open from 4:00pm to 2:00am.

Because the pizzeria is so close to my house, I have eaten there quite a lot over the past few years. I’ve made small talk with Andy now and then. For a while I thought he was the smartest business man on College Ave. He was far away from other pizzerias, he was only open during the hours that mattered for college students, and the store quickly became a regular place for underground punk rockers going to shows close by. Andy also stocks more than 100 unique drinks at Ta-tas.

I got dinner from the store last night and Andy told me I could get $5 off by using a referral code he had on the counter. I stepped behind the counter onto his Windows 95 machine and entered in my information and billing address into grubhub.com. He was very eager to get my referral.

I figured if he was comfortable letting me behind the counter he would be alright with me talking about his business a little. I was always curious about how he saw his business. Why did he open so late? Why didn’t he deliver more? Did he ever take a day off?

It turns out that Andy is an extremely hard working man. He outlined a normal day for me. He wakes up at 9:00am to go to stores. It might be the restaurant depot, Cosco, Shop Rite, who knows. He then has to go to the bank to get change (this morning needed two bank stops because he forgot something). After that, he picks up his two employees and heads to the store.

He works a full day, opening the store at 3:00pm and ending at 3:00am. After the store is clean, he drops off his employees and records the sales for the day in an Excel spreadsheet. He mentioned that he would be lucky to sleep by 4:00am to wake up the next day at 9:00am again.

I asked him, “why don’t you hire anybody?” He mentioned that he hires now and then, but has caught numerous employees stealing from the register. He said that once the employees get sick or call out, he must come in anyway. He needs a lot of trustworthy employees for this to work correctly.

Another customer came in through the door and Andy quickly zipped his mouth. His last words were “You think you are going into business by yourself, and it turns out you’re doing all the work. Sometimes you really wonder if it’s worth it.”

He greeted the next customer with a smile.

moteio

Mote.io Now Supports Spotify + New Pandora Stations

The hackers are at it again! Rutgers student, Waynce Change or @wyc on github put together a Spotify remote! This remote works with the web player.

Now you can search, play, pause, backtrack and skip songs on Spotify Web with your phone. I know one person in particular who’s going to be very happy about this!

Chrome will update the extension to the latest version automatically, but if you need to install it head over to the Chrome Web Store.

That brings us to a total of a dozen remotes! We started with just 6 remotes at launch, and although we’ve both created and lost remotes along the way, the current list of supported sites stands strong!

The full list of remotes include:

  • Vimeo
  • Hype machine
  • Google Play music
  • Grooveshark
  • Youtube
  • Pandora
  • Soundcloud
  • Rdio
  • Tunein radio
  • Twitch.tv
  • Last.fm
  • Spotify web

Remember, you can make your own remote or improve existing ones by contributing to the Mote.io Chrome Extension. Hackers like you are responsible for making the last half dozen remotes.

I’m also excited to announce, a very highly requested feature, the ability to change Pandora stations!

Pandora is the most popular remote by far, and the ability to create new stations is the most common feature request.

Now when you synchronize your phone with the Mote.io extension and Pandora, you’ll get a search bar where you can type the name of an artist to use for a new station. Get the update from the Chrome Web Store.

That’s everything for now! Make sure to follow me or the Mote.io account on Twitter for more updates.

Mote.io hackers bring support for Last.fm and Twitch.tv!

Hackathon hackers have brought you two new remotes for two great sites, Last.fm and Twitch.tv. That brings us to a total of 12 Mote.io remotes - DOUBLE the number of remotes the app launched with in September.

If you’re not keeping track at home, Mote.io now supports Youtube, Hype Machine, Vimeo, Pandora, Rdio, SoundCloud, Grooveshark, Plex, TuneIn Radio, Google Play , Twitch.tv, and Last.fm! Woo!

You can get a hold of the new remotes by updating your Chrome extension:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/moteio/okkhbojknlfdoooeghbkplihbjajpecc

The new kids: Last.fm & Twitch.tv

The Last.fm remote lets you take control of streaming radio stations while the Twtich remote gives you a full couch mode experience of all the video game streams Twitch.tv has to offer.

Thanks to the awesome organizers at HackRU and Music Hack Day NYC, I was given the opportunity to present the Mote.io API at their events. Awesome hackers from each event spent the weekend building remotes for their favorite sites.

Want Mote.io at your next hackathon? Send me an email at hello@mote.io

Here’s what the Twitch.tv and Last.fm hackers had to say about developing for Mote.io:

Bryant Satterfield - Twitch.tv Remote

I remember I was in the Cave here at Rutgers browsing HN went I discovered Mote.io. After checking it out, I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to create a Twitch remote. I watch Twitch a lot and I figured others might find a use for it too. I talked to Vaibhav, who also had the same idea and we decided to collaborate. Our first attempt at the remote was at HackNY where I finished the main menu functionality, but nothing else as I wasted too much time watching Twitch. At HackRU, I met someone who also had the idea to do Twitch remote, Sam Sheikh. I took him on for finishing the project and helping cleaning up the old functionality. It was a very quick process and we finished the first complete version with all the necessary features. Working with Mote.io is very straightforward and thats why I like working with it. I plan to work on a remote for the Spotify Web Player soon. I started a couple of weeks ago, but haven’t had much time to work on it recently.

James Scott - Last.fm Remote

Hey. I added the remote during Music Hack Day in New York. I’m on the Last.fm webteam and thought that with the adding of video content to the Last.fm player coming up, a remote control would be the perfect compliment to the experience. Other stuff I’ve built includes the lastfm node library and boxsocialfm.com (the best domain name in the business).

Some other great news!

Before working on Mote.io I created a website called Hacker League (http://hackerleague.org) with some friends from school. We were in our senior year of college at Rutgers and hackathons were just taking off. We weren’t going to miss a single one.

We noticed that every event was using a different website for announcements, registration, and hack submission. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a site that did all of that especially for hackathons?

We launched the first version of the site at the Fall HackNY Hackathon in 2011. Just two years later Hacker League has powered hundreds of events.

Today I’m excited to announce that the company has sold to Intel.

Hacker League will operate under the Mashery brand. Mashery has been a huge supporter of the hackathon community for years and we don’t believe Hacker League could have gone to a better company.

You can read more about the acquisition here:

Thanks

I’m ecstatic that developers take their time to build remotes for Mote.io. That the hackathon community supports Hacker League. That you’re on the other end of this mailing list.

The only way to turn these projects from code into a community is with your support. I’m glad to have it.

Thanks, Ian