The 'building a business' scrapbook.

Saturday, March 30, 2002  

Is it just me or is the new Text Topup option for Vodafone Ready-to-Go the most stupid thing ever (not in concept but in functionality)? I'll start from the start. There I was yesterday evening needing to make a call on my (not so) Ready-to-Go mobile only to realize I was yet again out of credit (ok, so I only ever topup with the bare minimum).

Now I live in the sticks so it's not a simple matter of a 'walk down the shops' to top her up. No, but of course Eircell long had an internet topup option and surely Vodafone had brought that with them? Fast forward 5 minutes, I'm online and looking at www.Vodafone.ie Yes, they have brought it forward and what's more they have even added a neat new SMS topup option.

You simply fill in your credit card details in the online shop, they store them and thereafter you can topup just by texting 'TOPUP' to 087-7777000, and verifying your oder by texting your PIN in reply. Brilliant..... I thought! But, there's just one small hitch....... you can't send the SMS when you're out of credit!!! Duh! Or at least I couldn't. Was it just me? Has anyone else had this problem. The thing is, the webpage carefully points out that you won't be charged for these topup texts. But you nevertheless have to be in credit to send them?

posted by James | 11:32 AM

According to ENN.ie Vodafone and Eircom have agreed a 16 percent cut in call charges from fixed line to mobiles.

posted by James | 11:31 AM

ENN.ie reports Esat has launched a service that will let users check and reply to e-mails through a phone using voice commands. What do people think of these services? I signed up for the Eircell equivalent (e-merge.ie) over a year ago, thinking it was damn cool technology. But you know what, I never used it. I keep thinking I will some day and that it must be very handy for the jetset but right now it's something I can live without.

posted by James | 11:26 AM

Monday, March 25, 2002  

I've been a long time subscriber to a number of the excellent Adventive email based discussion lists. They've just launched their latest 'title', I-Entrepreneur, which I can tell already is going to be well worth the reading. Oh, and It's free!

posted by James | 8:58 PM

Sunday, March 24, 2002  

This new TextKey solution from Ireland based mPerium is something I'm going to look into for GlobalGreyhounds. No good being the largest greyhound racing fansite on the net if we can't monetize it! Apparently TextKey will allow Web site owners to charge for access to content via SMS. The system will allow surfers to key in a 5 digit TXT number which will return a unique code to allow access to pay per view content. Your mobile phone account will be charged the premium rate and the content owner will be paid by the operator. Nice!

posted by James | 10:41 PM

Friday, March 22, 2002  

Just a quick test to see if I got my YACCS commenting system going. If I did, it's bloody brilliant. I've rarely seen such an excellent setup procedure for a free software service. Congrats to the designers involved!

posted by James | 10:54 PM

Thursday, March 21, 2002  

Eirepreneur sets out to be a diary of my ladderless existence and quest for occupational independance. Why am I doing this? Partly to experiment with the medium of blogging, partly to share what I learn about being an entrepreneur in Ireland and partly to learn back from you (via comments).

This is a blog so I'll try to keep the fluff to a minimum and post just short daily snippets. But first a little fluff :)

Background: I entered the frightening world of employerlessness in January 2000 (it's my blog so I'll continue to take artistic license with the english language thank you very much :) )

January 2000 just seemed like an ideal time to take a leap of faith. It was the start of a new millenium and I'd been a rat in the employment race for 5 years. I'd also reached the realisation that working for someone else was never going to give me lifestyle satisfaction. To be honest I'd prefer to work 12 hours daily for myself than 8 hours for a gazillion faceless multinational stakeholders!

Pre-background: I scraped a pass degree in Computer Engineering and did a one year Grad. Dip. in Business Admin. Significantly, all my working life has been spent in the techie zone - sofware tester, system administrator, website developer - so it seems to me that I'm coming to the world of entrepreneurship from a distinctly disadvantaged background. Witness the celebrated Irish mogul du-jour who invariably has a background in accountancy or business (Dennis O'Brien, Dermot Desmond)

So, Eirepreneur will expose my dearth of business acumen, my lack of people networking skills and my deficiencies in one hundred and one other areas. But you know what....... I'm determined to make it..... and what was that Edison said about perspiration and inspiration? So come along and enjoy the adventure. You'd never know, you might just learn something!

posted by James | 8:54 PM