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Books for Basic Company Management

Last response: in Business Computing
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July 24, 2012 8:13:27 PM

Hello. Do you guys know of any good Basic Management books? I'm starting a web mail company.
:jakebarnssmiley: 
July 24, 2012 9:04:51 PM

web mail like hotmail or gmail?
July 24, 2012 9:07:01 PM

rgd1101 said:
web mail like hotmail or gmail?

Yes.
Related resources
July 24, 2012 10:21:23 PM

This is going to be harsh, but sugar coating it isn't going to help you.

I looked up your website, http://www.emailyourafriend.com, and it instantly threw up tons of red flags. To be frank, I don't think you even have a remote chance of pulling this off, and I think you vastly overestimate your abilities.

1. Typo in your URL. Email Your A Friend? Are you meaning to say email is your friend? Then it should be http://www.emailyoureafriend.com. Extremely unprofessional to have typos of any kind on your page, and one in the address is even worse. To be perfectly honest. I don't think you have even the slightest shred of an idea of what you're doing.

2. Soliciting help to develop it on your front page. Perfectly obvious for all to see that you're already in over your head. Why should I use your service when it's so obvious it's going to be an inferior product since you can't afford to hire a professional? I'm going to assume that you'd be offering some kind of stake in the company to whoever contacted you, or promise payment later from the profits. This might attract overconfident, untalented high school kids, but I'll eat my hat if you get anybody with a shred of real talent. How are you going to pull this off if you can't build the page and can't afford somebody who can? How to you get from A to B?

3. I Googled you, and the results confirm the worst. Your Facebook page is frighteningly unprofessional. Seriously, your image is the Cookie Monster and the background is a bunch of Post-it notes with angry faces looking at a crying Google? Begging people to visit your site and demanding that they Like your posts? Typos everywhere. No mention of what it is that makes your email different from the thousands of free email services that already exist (I suspect nothing).

Your Twitter was worse, confirming my suspicion that you're only twelve years old. I also ran across a forum thread related to some electrical work you're attempting on an ATV. You proclaimed yourself a "master" then proceeded to fumble about and show that you really have no idea what you're doing needing help with absolutely every step along the way. I've got a feeling you overestimate your abilities quite a lot. I don't mean to insult you, but overconfidence is just going to get you into trouble with this.

The bottom line is why do you expect somebody to give you the substantial amount of money you need to pull this off? Nothing I've seen inspires confidence, and any one of the things I've listed would be enough to turn me off as an investor or possible user. I've already got an email account, works great thanks. You're fighting an uphill battle and need to distinguish yourself. Right now you're doing a great job of distinguishing yourself, but in all the wrong ways.

4. Your business plan appears to be nonexistent. Your website says your email service will provide "lots of freedom" will be free and offer "lots of space." You know what does that too? Gmail, Yahoo! mail, Windows Live Mail and countless others. Your Gofundme says you will revolutionize email. How? With "lots of freedom"? What is so restricting about Gmail, and how will you address it? These are questions you need to answer, and if you can't, then that says quite a lot about the viability of this business idea.

5. Your Gofundme... oh my god. "Servers are frustrating"? Translation, "I have no idea what I'm doing." Unsurprising that you've received zero donations in four months. You need to convince potential investors that your product is worthwhile and that you can pull it off. Posts like that do exactly the opposite.

6. "If Google saw this, Google would be scared..." Reality check time. Google is an international, multi-billion dollar company that has thousands of the world's best software designers on staff full time. Their email service has millions of users, offers more web space than you could ever hope to (web space is expensive and you clearly have no budget).

I'm going to be blunt. You are a twelve year old with delusions of grandeur. You are not going to dethrone Google. You are not going to revolutionize email. If you do manage to somehow get this off the ground, it's going to do nothing but lose money. You are absurdly unqualified and unprepared for what you're attempting.
July 24, 2012 11:29:00 PM

willard said:
This is going to be harsh, but sugar coating it isn't going to help you.

I looked up your website, http://www.emailyourafriend.com, and it instantly threw up tons of red flags. To be frank, I don't think you even have a remote chance of pulling this off, and I think you vastly overestimate your abilities.

1. Typo in your URL. Email Your A Friend? Are you meaning to say email is your friend? Then it should be http://www.emailyoureafriend.com. Extremely unprofessional to have typos of any kind on your page, and one in the address is even worse. To be perfectly honest. I don't think you have even the slightest shred of an idea of what you're doing.

2. Soliciting help to develop it on your front page. Perfectly obvious for all to see that you're already in over your head. Why should I use your service when it's so obvious it's going to be an inferior product since you can't afford to hire a professional? I'm going to assume that you'd be offering some kind of stake in the company to whoever contacted you, or promise payment later from the profits. This might attract overconfident, untalented high school kids, but I'll eat my hat if you get anybody with a shred of real talent. How are you going to pull this off if you can't build the page and can't afford somebody who can? How to you get from A to B?

3. I Googled you, and the results confirm the worst. Your Facebook page is frighteningly unprofessional. Seriously, your image is the Cookie Monster and the background is a bunch of Post-it notes with angry faces looking at a crying Google? Begging people to visit your site and demanding that they Like your posts? Typos everywhere. No mention of what it is that makes your email different from the thousands of free email services that already exist (I suspect nothing).

Your Twitter was worse, confirming my suspicion that you're only twelve years old. I also ran across a forum thread related to some electrical work you're attempting on an ATV. You proclaimed yourself a "master" then proceeded to fumble about and show that you really have no idea what you're doing needing help with absolutely every step along the way. I've got a feeling you overestimate your abilities quite a lot. I don't mean to insult you, but overconfidence is just going to get you into trouble with this.

The bottom line is why do you expect somebody to give you the substantial amount of money you need to pull this off? Nothing I've seen inspires confidence, and any one of the things I've listed would be enough to turn me off as an investor or possible user. I've already got an email account, works great thanks. You're fighting an uphill battle and need to distinguish yourself. Right now you're doing a great job of distinguishing yourself, but in all the wrong ways.

4. Your business plan appears to be nonexistent. Your website says your email service will provide "lots of freedom" will be free and offer "lots of space." You know what does that too? Gmail, Yahoo! mail, Windows Live Mail and countless others. Your Gofundme says you will revolutionize email. How? With "lots of freedom"? What is so restricting about Gmail, and how will you address it? These are questions you need to answer, and if you can't, then that says quite a lot about the viability of this business idea.

5. Your Gofundme... oh my god. "Servers are frustrating"? Translation, "I have no idea what I'm doing." Unsurprising that you've received zero donations in four months. You need to convince potential investors that your product is worthwhile and that you can pull it off. Posts like that do exactly the opposite.

6. "If Google saw this, Google would be scared..." Reality check time. Google is an international, multi-billion dollar company that has thousands of the world's best software designers on staff full time. Their email service has millions of users, offers more web space than you could ever hope to (web space is expensive and you clearly have no budget).

I'm going to be blunt. You are a twelve year old with delusions of grandeur. You are not going to dethrone Google. You are not going to revolutionize email. If you do manage to somehow get this off the ground, it's going to do nothing but lose money. You are absurdly unqualified and unprepared for what you're attempting.

I know, I know...
1. First of all, there is a typo in the URL. I do agree it is really unprofessional, but I wanted to make it short. :heink: 

2. Exactly, but I didn't take that much time to make the page.

3. I haven't even considered my own facebook page or my twitter... That was about my atv, I can do other stuff but can't rebuild a stator without help!

4. I know I don't spend enough time developing my image.

5. Your translation is somewhat funny. I fully agree with you.

6. Why not give it a try? :cry: 

Don't worry, I will. But lets get back on topic about some good books about basic company management. :bounce: 
January 27, 2013 9:08:13 AM

My webmail service has developed over the past few months. I changed my sites URL to emailfd.com
Willard, you actually made some good points when I re-read your post.
January 28, 2013 2:57:03 PM

You may have made things prettier, but all of my criticisms still apply. You've also regressed in new and interesting ways. I'll start with the legal liability you've introduced.

Quote:
Q: Is it secure?

A: We are more than sure.

This is dangerous. I really, really doubt you know enough about security to even answer that question, much less implement the necessary security. You could actually get sued over these statements if you're claiming you're secure when in fact you aren't and don't even know how to become secure.

Have you hardened against XSS attacks? Man in the middle attacks? Verified non-repudiation of your login system (of course not, I checked myself and it is not compliant with non-repudiation principles)? Verified there are no SQL injection exploits that could dump your consumer database? Verified that your back-end install has been secured (they're rarely secure out of the box, a necessity for proper configuration).

Your site is running on PHP, which is nearly inherently insecure (something like 40% of all web vulnerabilities are PHP related). Have you familiarized yourself with PHP development best practices and security exploits? Have you brushed up on application security in any way? Things aren't secure just because you want them to be or because you're using somebody else's code (that actually tends to make you much less secure, because you can't control the risk). Security is a hard problem, and you don't seem to be taking it seriously.

Next, usability.

1. Your captcha is a joke. I could write a piece of software to defeat your captcha in under 90 seconds. Seriously, 90 seconds. 20 lines of Java could pull the HTML from your reg form, parse it with a simple regex ("(\d+) \+ (\d+)" would do it) then I'm done. I can now automate registrations on your webpage, and I'm sorely tempted to do so to stress test your system.

Parsing text is easy, unless you're using an image, the only thing your captcha does is irritate your users. Whoever you got to program your site (I suspect you did it yourself) is just as untalented as I expected them to be.

2. Your registration form doesn't validate any data at all. It also looks like you didn't set your database tables up correctly (you should be getting unique key constraint violations on insert). My guess is you've got a ton of garbage data in there now from all the times I registered without a name, password, username or filling in the captcha. That or your programmer was so bad he decided to show the success message without checking for failure, which doesn't bode well for the whole "security" thing we talked about before.

Also, if he's not even checking for success, there's no way in hell he's sanitizing inputs. This is serious amateur hour stuff. Nobody with any actual skill would assume success of a registration form, and nobody who had an inkling of an idea about security wouldn't use addition of two numbers displayed in plaintext as a captcha.

2. No password strength requirements, not even minimum length. Very insecure.

3. You claim to be much faster than major mail servers because you don't have any users yet. Hate to break it to you, but even without users you're still slower. This is because the big boys are running on major server hardware and have lower latency. You're not going to beat them here.

4. Your login failed notification is literally the worst I've seen. After several seconds a transparent pink box opens against a complex black and white background? My eyes, they hurt.

5. I can register accounts multiple times (though at least it doesn't successfully register new passwords for the account). You even get the welcome message multiple times. Serious security problem.

6. You block images in your own welcome email. That email backend you installed is pretty bad if it's flagging its own internal emails like that.

7. Your mail software is pretty barebones. I recommend you do a side by side comparison of your software and Gmail to understand what it is you're asking potential customers to give up.

8. The "Follow Us" links in the welcome email aren't links, but static pictures. Going to drop your conversion rate to effectively zero.

9. Why can I unsubscribe from a one-time email?

10. No ability to view email headers? Well, I hope your back end is good at checking for spoofed addresses, otherwise this is yet another security issue because your users won't be able to verify that an email was sent from who it claims to be from.

11. Terms and conditions aren't displayed, or even mentioned when signing up. That means anyone who signs up isn't bound by them. It's like walking into a bank and being informed upon entry that you've just taken a new boat loan. Even the EULA on games and other software must be mentioned on the box, and of course the user has to be shown the document (or at the very least, be told to look at it) when installing.

12. Your terms are incredibly overbroad, going so far as to claim anyone who registers has an obligation to police anyone else using your site on the same network. You also assert ownership of all intellectual property of everything on your site ("We are the owner or the licensee of all intellectual property rights in our service/site, and in the material published on it.") Might want to look up what happens when web services try to assert ownership of the IP users put on their site. That or amend your terms so you aren't asserting ownership of everything on the site.

13. "Any of the material on our site may be out of date at any given time, and we under no obligation to update such material." Translation: "I have no legal obligation to make good faith efforts to make sure legal documents are up to date." You do, actually. You can't change laws with contracts, especially contracts you never asked your users to agree to in the first place.

14. "We process information about you in accordance with our privacy policy." You don't even have a privacy policy.

15. As a 12 year old kid, you shouldn't be trying to write legal documents. Really. Lawyers spend a lot of time at very expensive schools to become competent at these things. You haven't even started high school yet. You are laughably unqualified to be writing a TOS or EULA.



Really, it's nice that you were able to get through the installation of a some PHP code on a web server. That's not exactly easy, but it's not even in the same zip code as hard, either. It falls more into the category of "time consuming" rather than difficult.

You still haven't figured out how you get from A to B. How do you get from "barely functional prototype using off the shelf software" to "dethrone Google"? This is not rhetorical, I really want you to think about this. Because if you can't see it, then you can't do it, and if you can't do it, then your time would be better spent figuring out what to do instead of just doing and asserting that what you're doing is right.

All the things you set out to do better than Google you seem to be doing worse (just like I said you would). The only thing you lead in is ads, but that's a problem I solved many years ago with a simple ad blocker.

If you want to learn to program, great. But this isn't the way to do it. You aren't really teaching yourself much, you're just making countless mistakes and refusing to acknowledge them. This in turn builds very bad programming practices, and is actually detrimental.

If you stopped and did things the right way, things would be different. Instead of learning about security, you merely state that you're secure. Instead of learning how to make good forms, you built a registration form that barely works at all. Instead of learning how email worked, you installed an off the shelf module.

In your mad dash to get to the finish, you've assured your failure and passed by every opportunity for learning and growth without so much as slowing down.
October 3, 2013 2:43:38 AM

I read a book called ‘Build From Scratch’ written by Vineet Bajpai. It really gives Practical Insights and a Stepwise Guide into Building a Successful Start-Up.
October 4, 2013 3:48:49 AM

"One of the biggest impediments towards towards smooth business functioning and one of the most important skills you will have to learn in your entrepreneurial career, is that buzz word called Cash Flow..."

Interesting. Isn't it?
Read it in a management book called Build From Scratch' by Vineet Bajpai.

!