The 4 Logical Reasons That
Make Software Businesses AWESOME

I recently learned about this company called Social Solutions.  They make their money by selling a software to non profit companies.

Learning about their business model made me think about how profitable software companies must be… check out the “thought flow” I had (below).

Here are the reasons why software is awesome, written from a user, developer, and sales person of software’s perspective.

#1: Everything is Software

Software From My Mac
Some of the software you will find on my mbPro

You don’t really realize it, but if you think about it – you’re using software right now.

As a matter of fact – anyone device that connects you to the internet uses software!  Computers, phones, credit card processing machines, etc…

Ever burned a CD? You used software.

Have you every wrote an essay or paper?  Did you do it by hand? No, you used software.

So software is everywhere and I’m guessing that people don’t even realize when they are using it.

Why is software everywhere, you ask?  Because of the next 3 reasons below:

#2: Software Makes Things Easy

Software solves problems, makes things faster, and probably most importantly: it makes things easy.

Sometimes a piece of software will come out that allows you to do things that you previously couldn’t do before (TweetDeck is a decent example: allows you to manage multiple social media accounts from one application).

Have you ever used Adobe software? Dreamweaver makes editing HTML very easy.  My man Chris Freeman knows all about this.

Software takes tasks that would usually require classroom training and makes them push button.

AND now-a-days, cloud-based software (which is basically any software that you can access from anywhere that you have an internet connection) is revolutionizing and accelerating the software industry… Google Apps (like GMail, Docs, Calendar) & SalesForce are good examples of cloud-based software.

#3: Software Sells Itself

Most of the time you don’t really need to “sell” software.

The software sells itself!

How many other industries can say their product sells itself?

I just remember a Chris Rock stand up:

Drug dealers don’t sell drugs. Drugs sell themselves. It’s crack. It’s not an encyclopedia. It’s not a f**king vacuum cleaner. You don’t really gotta try to sell crack. Ok?

You will never hear a drug dealer say: “How am i gonna get rid of all this Crack?”

The reason for this is simple:  see reason #2 above 😉

Burn CD’s, manage your accounting, write and format papers, browse the internet… all things that you need to do, so you buy software!

#4: Software is Ultra-Profitable

So you’re telling me that I can develop something one time and sell it unlimited times?  So wait, when someone buys my product, I don’t have to make it from scratch in order to deliver it?

Think about this: when a business wants to grow, it has to get more customers.

In service based businesses, when you get more customers you also have to hire more people, fill more seats, which costs you in both payroll expenses but also administrative headache.

In traditional product based businesses, you have to add to your manufacturing line or supply chain when you grow.

In software companies, all you have to do is have a couple support people and maybe a development team (to improve your software)… both of which you could outsource 😉

It’s no wonder that of the top 20 riches people in America (according to Forbes), 8 of them were running software companies!

Profitable Software Company Thought Flow

Social Solutions sells software to help companies organize their operations and track the company’s efforts to the outcomes they produce… most of their clients are non profit companies… some non profits get government grant money… non profits have to spend money (in order to show no profit at the end of the year) — SO –> Social Solution is indirectly getting government grant money… AWESOME!

(PS, a similar example of this can be found in the computer or IT training classestrade school industries)


Do you have an idea for a software that could be valuable to a particular niche?

Already work for or own a software (or software related) business?  I admire you and wish you the best! … just make sure you’re ethical and providing value – because otherwise, you won’t be around for long.

How To: Play YouTube Videos
in Background of iPhone [VIDEO]

I get it, you want to play youtube videos and do other things on your iPhone.

Ever time you start a youtube music video and try to do something else, it stops playing. Very annoying.

This is how to play youtube videos in the background while you multitask on your iPhone.

(requires iOS4+ .. if you have an iPhone 4, this will work… if you keep your 3G or 3GS updated with apple’s latest software, this will work… OTHERWISE: sorry)

Learn more about iOS4 features here.

How To: Play a YouTube Video in the Background of iPhones

Here is a step by step guide to playing a youtube video while doing other things on your iPhone.

The youtube video will play in the background much like the iPod app or Pandora app plays in the background while you text, use the maps, check out your calendar or the weather.

Play YouTube Videos in the Background of your iPhone
Play YouTube Videos in the Background of your iPhone
  1. Open the youtube app & find your favorite video
  2. Let the video load to the point where it starts playing
  3. Press the home button
  4. Double click the home button to bring up multitasking
  5. Swipe to the right to find the media buttons (rewind/play/pause/forward)
  6. Press the play button
  7. MULTITASK! – go text, map, whatever your heart desires!

That’s it!

Yet Another Way To Multitask YouTube Music Videos!

Alternatively, you can:

Start playing a youtube music video (like steps 1-2 above)

Press the home button

Lock the iPhone

Click the home button once to show your background – then double click the home button to bring up the media controls on the locked screen

Press play – since the last piece of audio you played was the youtube video, that will start playing

Unlock your iPhone and MULTITASK – since you locked your iPhone from the home screen, you return to the home screen with the youtube video playing in the background and you’re free to do whatever you want!

That’s all there is to it – play youtube in the background on your iPhone by following those easy steps above!

Hey, did you know your can play snake on youtube videos?

If this helped you – let me know in the comment box below!


Way to Trade Stocks

I’m not a stock trading pro… actually, I’m grateful and fortunate to have learned about investing during the 2007-8 recession.

Thanks to the advice of Chris Mechanic,, I opened a Roth IRA and put $500 in it (that was my “life savings” at that time).

My first stock trading experience didn’t teach me the best way to trade stocks – but it definitely got me excited about it!

The Best Way To Trade Stocks
OPEN (Open Table) Growing QUICKLY

I bought GGP (General Growth Properties).  I don’t remember exactly why – but the fact that they were once $60/share and were selling for $0.35/share probably had something to do with it.

Remember, this was the depth of the 2007-8 recession – GGP had filed bankruptcy as they had several commercial real estate (that’s what they do) loans coming due and didn’t have the money nor could get the financing (because banks weren’t lending) to pay them.

Long story short, I made a good bit of money when they crawled out of bankruptcy.  I still have some shares and plan to keep them for a long time… which leads me into the best way to trade stocks.

Easiest & Best Way To Trade Stocks

One of my friends saw the gains I made off GGP and asked: “Dude, what is the best way to trade stocks?”This was my response to him:

I’m not a “day trader”, stock trading pro, nor do I always make the best decisions… shoot, I barely know what the difference between a 401k and an ira is!

If you have some extra money and want to trade stocks with it …

OR —

If you don’t trust the mutual funds or the “financial consultants” (like me) …

OR —

If you just want to know the easier, best way to trade stocks …

Follow these simple steps for quick & effective investing (note the investing):

  1. Invest in the companies that you use.
  2. Invest for the LOOOOOONNNG term.
  3. Have cash available to spread out your investments.

There is no need to “pick stocks” … Just invest in the companies that you use.

Don’t get me wrong, you want to invest in good companies.

Good companies make money, bad ones lose it.  The whole goal here is to make money right?

How do you know what a good company to invest in is? —

Easy: If you use and are thrillingly happy with their products and/or services – that’s a good company to invest in.

Seems too simple?  It is… but it works.

Trust me, you don’t want to care if the stock goes up and down; that will just give necessary stress. Good companies will go up, in the LONG term!

Which brings us to the next point: only invest for the long term!

If the company has quality products and/or services, (all other things equal) it will gain stock price as time goes on.

Admittedly, there will be ups and downs – but I promise you that over time, the stock will go up!

Actually, those ups and downs can play to your advantage!  How, you ask?

Well, if you have cash available to spread out your investments – You can capitalize on those ups and downs in a couple ways.

Let’s say you want to buy 100 shares of BAC (Bank of America).  Instead of buying all 100 shares all at once, professional investors suggest spreading out your investment.

For instance, buy 20 shares today, 20 more in 2 weeks, wait a month and buy 40 more shares, then grab the last 20 shares 3 months later.

That way, you average your position to the general 6-month market price — instead of getting it all at ONE price.

In that 6 month period, the stock might drop significantly for a multitude of “short term reasons” — these include, but aren’t limited to: a bad quarter, raising capital, rumors/speculation.

Now, while you’re getting into a stock, you should pay attention to what’s happening.  If the company announces that it’s going to fire half its employees or that it’s closing it’s doors — you don’t want to buy more share then… AND you will be happy that you didn’t buy all 100 shares at once!

Another reason to have cash on the sideline (going along with spreading the investments out) is to be able to get into a stock when you believe it’s “on sale”.

For instance, if Steve Jobs of Apple announces he is going to retire – the stock will take a hit.  If you believe in Apple’s products, and you have cash available – you will be able to pick up Apple shares at say, 10-15% off.  That 10-15% will come back, in time.  How much time, who knows.. but I bet Apple doubles in price over the next 10 years.

Bonus Stock Trading Tip

I really hope this post helps you gain some confidence in trading stocks because I do believe it’s a very good idea (for the future).

But I do need to present the disclaimer:

Do NOT invest or trade stocks with money that you cannot afford to lose.  I hate to say it, but there is ALWAYS a risk of loosing your money.

If you need the money – don’t put it in the stock market.

Definitely keep some liquidity for emergency situations, and a savings account that has a plan (buy a house, car, etc..) — but any “extra” money goes to the investment account.

A RothIRA has a limit of $5k after-tax contributions per year — so throw 1k at it every 2 months and you’ll get there 🙂

If you want to learn about IRAs and 401ks – check out 401k for dummies or IRA for dummies

*** Disclaimer: the advice in this article cannot be held against me.  This is just what I do, if it doesn’t work for you, that’s not my fault. If you cannot afford to lose the money, do not invest it. ***

How To: Play Snake On YouTube Video

That’s right – you can play snake on YouTube videos!

You know that Snake game, where you have to control the snake with the up, down, left, and right arrows to try to eat as many dots as possible without crashing into a wall or your own snake body.

Want to know how to play snake on YouTube videos?

play snake on youtube video
Play Snake On Any YouTube Video!

Follow these instructions:

  1. Open your video of choice and let it start playing
  2. Pause the video
  3. Play the video again
  4. Press the left arrow key (and let go quickly)
  5. Press and hold the left arrow key
    then quickly press the up arrow.
  6. Quickly let go of all keys

Do those steps relatively quickly, except for hold the left arrow for a half second before pressing up the up arrow.

If it doesn’t work the first time, keep trying until it does.

I’ve been able to get it to play on every YouTube video I’ve tried so far.

So that’s it! That’s what you press to play snake on YouTube!

Two Random Thoughts

I haven’t played for that long since I’m at work and playing snake is like the ultimate productivity killer — so I’m not sure if there is an END to the game… I’m not sure if you can “win” … so if you win a prize or something, please let me know.

Also, this is a relatively hard game of snake!

Since the YouTube video is playing while you’re trying to play snake – it is a lot harder to concentrate.

Not only that, but it’s more difficult to see the next ball you’re trying to “eat”.

And even furthermore, the snake extends by like 5 dots every time you eat 1 dot… other games of snake extend on a 1:1 ratio — this one is accelerated!

Alright, now you know how to play snake on videos that are on YouTube… Have fun and comment with your experience 🙂

I Like

It’s kind of just like another social media site, complete with profiles, commenting, and event scheduling.

The main difference is that Meetup focuses on the niche — both topically and geographically.

Users can create “meet up groups” and invite those who are interested in certain topics to join.  The creator of the group is then responsible for organizing a “meet up”.

The meet up can be in person or over the internet, using GoToMeeting or something like that.

It Gets Your Clients Too!

One of WebMechanix’s most recent clients actually called us because they saw me on Meetup.  She said that she noticed I was an active member of the a Baltimore SEO group and since she was in the market for SEO, she decided to give us a call.  Awesome?

List of Meetup Groups

Here is a list of Meetup groups that I am currently part of:

Maryland SEO

Baltimore SEO

Baltimore PHP

Baltimore WordPress

Maryland Internet Marketing

Hospitality Online Marketing

Columbia Business Strategy and Networking

Baltimore Small Business Social Media Marketing

Can You Tell What I Like?

I just realized that you can easily tell what I’m into just be reading the group names… hahaha — Maybe I should join some skiing and tennis groups to round out the heavily weighted Internet Marketint Business groups!

That’s all for now – check out – hope to see you out there!

Way To Put On Bed Sheets

Sometimes putting bed sheets on your bed can be hard.

The best way to put on bed sheets is as follows:

  1. Get everything off your bed and ready to put the fitted sheet on. Have your sheets and pillow cases ready on hand.
  2. Important part: start putting the fitted sheet on.. Starting with the toughest corner of your bed go get to. (there are sometimes one to two corners of a bed that you have to climb on top of the bed or move away from the wall to get to – my suggestion is to start putting the fitted sheet on the toughest corner(s) of your bed.)
    Refer to the picture below — the upper left corner of the bed is the hardest corner to get to, so start with that one
  3. Stretch the fitted sheet so it covers the whole bed, tucking a little excess under the mattress on each side.
  4. Go to the bottom of your bed and take the flat sheet by two close corners and “pop” the flat sheet over the bed by quickly lifting up and pulling down the flat sheet.
  5. Tuck some excess sheet into the bottom of your mattress (where your feet would be)
  6. Put the pillow cases on the pillows and go to sleep! Good night!
Best Way To Put On Bottom Fitted Sheet
Start putting the bottom fitted sheet on the hardest corner of the bed to get to!

How To: Become A Better Manager

Business. What do you think of when you hear that word?

Money/Accounting/Finance), Systems/Operations, People/HR … Sales/Marketing, meals & entertainment ;), people in suits, etc…

What do you think of when you hear the word “Business“? (comment below)

how to become a better manager
Part of the WebMechanix crew at a networking event

Let’s Talk About People

I recently read this book “First, Break All The Rules” by Marcus Buckinham & Curt Coffman. These guys worked at the Gallup Organization in a 25 year study that found an answer to two questions:

  1. “What do the most talented employees need from their workplace?”

    They surveyed over a million employees and found that every employee is different and should be treated as such – but they all need great managers. Which lead them to ask the second question listed above.

  2. “How do the world’s greatest managers find, focus, and keep talented employees?”

How To: Become A Better Manager

First off, why do you want to be a better manager?

The answer should be along the lines of “I want to know about each individual’s strengths, weaknesses, and personalities so that I can provide them a better workplace.  I want my team to be focused, productive, and to grow with my company.

Sound like your “why”? Read on… otherwise, what is your “why”?

Even though every employee (I like to think of them as team members) is different – you can still gain insight into how they feel about their job.

The book “First, Break All The Rules” talks about the evolution of what an employee needs from their workplace.

They make an analogy to climbing a mountain. Haven’t climbed a mountain before? No problem, allow me to explain:

You don’t just climb a mountain all at once .. instead, you have to make stops at different “camps”. That basically translate to “you don’t become a CEO in one day” (or at least, that’s what I gather).

Let’s Apply It

As a manager, you want to make sure your employees are happy at their respective levels.

You can’t get to camp #2 which is half way up the mountain without first stopping at camp #1, right?

Check out this employee survey (let it be known, these questions were modified a little bit to be more “fun”.. they used to be dry and the answers were the standard 1-5, 1=strongly disagree and 5=strongly agree .. I made the answers a little more fun).

The questions are broken down into sections (denoted by a dotted line). The first section is “base camp”, second is camp #1, then camp #2, and camp #3.

If you answer positively to all 12 questions, you’ve reached the summit (so to speak).

How I Recently Used The Survey

We are a fairly new company, so everyone is pretty much at “base camp”.

Therefore, I want to make sure that everyone gave the top answer to the first 2 questions before looking at theresponses for the next 10.

I gave this survey to all our employees and learned that what I thought about each team member was wrong (and exactly opposite).

Looking at just the first two questions… The employees who I thought knew what was expected of them and had all the materials they need actually didn’t (and vice versa).

Using the results, we conducted a “review session” that focused on the first 2 questions. I asked them:

“What is expected of you?” and “What are you missing that would make you more effective at your job?”

Taking it from there is up to you because every business and every employee is different.

General Advice To Become A Better Manager

I highly recommend the book “First, Break All The Rules” – and there are plenty of other books that can help you become a better manager.

Gotta’ Have A Purpose

From Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Drive”, we learn that purpose is the most motivating factor which “drives” us to do what we do every day.

It used to be biological forces, such as the need for food & water, and money (or other monetary rewards) were the cornerstone of motivation tactics.

But if you think about it .. well, actually think about it.. WHY are you reading this right now? WHY do you go to work? WHY!?

You might find that you did something for a friend just because it gave you purpose. That is, you didn’t get any food, water, or money, but you did it because it gave you a purpose.

You can give purpose in many different ways, such as having a company mission or telling employees why they are doing what they are doing.


This is somewhat obvious, but works like a charm.

People like feedback, they like to grow, and they need to know what they are doing wrong (and right) so they can change.

If you think someone is going to change their ways without any intervention, think again (refer to Newtons first law).

Have quarterly (or bi-annual) reviews with your people – look up “how to conduct an employee review” in Google to get some tips.

That’s all for now – I hope this helps. Leave your feedback below.

Certain Excuses Just Don’t Work Anymore

Certain excuses don't work anymore
Don't even try that excuse, anymore!

As technology gets perpetually faster, smarter, and just better.. certain excuses, that were once fail proof, can no longer be used. Here is a look at some technologies that have nullified certain excuses… especially work excuses by text.

Picture Text Messages (MMS)

With cell phone and cell carrier standards of 2010, most people have camera phones and the ability to send picture sms text messages — so for instance:

An employee texts the boss to say “I’m stuck in traffic, going to be late”.

When the employee gets into work that day, the boss asks the employee about his phone.  He finds that the phone has a camera and is able to send pictures over text.

The boss tells the employee that next time he is stuck in traffic, send a picture of the brake lights.

So anytime there is an excuse that can be proved by sending a picture text message – you can’t really use it anymore.

That Stupid Beep When You’re On The Phone

You know when you’re calling someone and you hear that beep at the end of each ring?  That means the person you’re calling is currently on the phone.

If everyone knows about this, then when your friend calls and you’re on the other line – you can’t use any excuse that isn’t “I was on the other line”.

You can’t say, “Sorry I didn’t pick up, I was in the shower”, or “I was driving” – because the other person heard the beep and knows you were on the phone!

There are certainly many more examples … I’ll be back to update this as I think of them — if you know of any, comment below.