From the November 2004 issue of Entrepreneur

Up to Speed

I just saw Eric Bender's story "This Just In" on Entrepreneur.com. He did a great job introducing RSS to readers. I think you may be intrigued by how far RSS has come in just a few months.

You can read RSS-formatted content without making a visit to a newsreader site. And you can get RSS feeds delivered as messages to your cell phone, PDA, desktop or plain ol' e-mail.

We broadcast over the popular real-time networks (i.e., the IM networks), like AOL, MSN and Yahoo!

That means we can take advantage of "presence" on these networks and find people to deliver messages in real time. And they're authenticated, which, combined with us giving users 100 percent control over opt-in/opt-out, makes this the first truly viable spam-proof mechanism.

By taking advantage of RSS, companies can be up and messaging customers in a matter of hours, and for a lot less than companies pay to get most existing online communication programs up and running.

Renee Deger
MessageCast Inc.
www.messagecast.net

The Start of the Matter

I can't resist an opportunity to let you know how much I rely on Entrepreneur magazine for my startup marketing communications firm. Having previously worked 20 years in the corporate world, I didn't think it would be that different launching and operating my own company. Was I wrong! Intense, yes. But worth every chaotic and unpredictable moment of it.

The more I ask around, the more I see commonalities and challenges unique to companies during the startup phase. Those challenges seem to be very unique from [the challenges of] those companies already established.

Keep up the amazing work, and thanks for being a key source of direction in my day-to-day operations.

David Woodruff
President, CEO
WordsOut! Communications Inc.
Del Mar, California

Golden Opportunity

Thank you for your recent article, "Coming of Age" (August). You hit the nail on the head with this insightful and encouraging article. I especially appreciated your four recommendations [in the sidebar] "Before You Start."

This year, I turned 50 and was selected as Connecticut's Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (in business for less than five years) by Connecticut's Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. A real key for me (in addition to examining my finances and seeking objective advice from people other than friends and family) was to be sure I was creating a business that I would enjoy, especially when the going got tough. I had no idea that two days into my new adventure, the twin towers in New York City would be toppled. The going got tough in a way none of us could imagine, but having passion and a vision for the future sustained and energized me.

Again, thank you for writing this article. It struck a chord with me, and I hope it will inspire people, whatever age they may be, to explore becoming their own bosses. It is the best decision I made in my life. No regrets . . . no looking back!

Pam Butterfield
Owner
Butterfield & Associates LLC
Manchester, Connecticut

Trump Card

I would like to commend Rieva Lesonsky for criticizing Donald Trump and The Apprentice ("Editor's Note," May). Do we really want to suggest this is the way America should do business? Spoiled multimillionaire kids who fail in so many casino endeavors should not be teaching anything, except maybe a course on cold calling or over-the-top sales methods.

Who else can choose from thousands of resumes and offer extravagant bonuses? Most employers have to deal with the staff that is available and make the most of the team they are given.

That show is entertainment at best. I can't believe I had to search for a while to find a critic of Trump. Kudos to Rieva.

Roy Owens
Via e-mail


Corrections:

In the September "Sales Force" column, Scottie Oliver was referred to as "he." Oliver is a woman.

The correct website for Align Technology is www.invisalign.com ("Sources," October).


Contact Info:

If you would like to reach any of the businesses reported on in this issue, turn to "Sources" on page 160.

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