Kick Start
...Got your back! 

KickStart is an overnight sensation, 15 years in the making. 

Way back before the internet, I used to do the very geeky thing of  eating my lunch in front of my computer.  Since the WWW had yet to be invented, there were not 2.8 million sites on woodworking or Dilbert  to distract me.  There was also a dearth of valid, current information on business development. I read the news on USENET.   ...USENET may have been the epoch of electronic news.   - Brief, valid, low bandwidth, and no pop-ups!  Believe it, you don't know newsgroups if you don't know USENET.

It was great, so great in fact that I had to share.  First sending the information to my boss, then to others.  Eventually we had a distribution list of 800 folks within the corporation I worked for.  ...All was well until PR heard about it.  - - Shut down tight in a matter of minutes.

Things finally got paved for the process, people understood that the digital domain was going to stick around. 

People learned that stymied creativity in a new realm is counter productive. 

,,,And just as importantly, the PR Director's 3rd level boss started subscribing to it.

The process has been improved monumentally through technological advances.  Through Mosaic, and Netscape, and PERL, and HTML, and xtml, and Linux, and BLOGs, and ASP, and RSS, and...

The one thing that has uniformly held true is that valid news sources, delivered and read in a timely fashion can make for a terrific edge.  Even when you've got access to "the inside scoop" of a company it is great to be able to take a step back and understand what the rest of the world is thinking, ...or even what is being said outside the propaganda mill of one's own company.  Lately, I've come to appreciate the small to midsized companies and what a boon it is just to get them out of the mushroom mode when they are needing to compete on such quickly changing subjects as homeland defense, BRAC or aviation support.

I've got a great example of how KickStart hits the mark.   ...A few years back I was speaking to a crowd of kindred spirits.  The nice folks that invited me put me up in a very nice hotel in one of those major northern cities.  You put your shoes out at night and in the morning they were shined.  More importantly, right beside them was a copy of the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, AND your local paper.  These guys understood customer appreciation.

My regular schedule was getting up around 4:00, and putting out "KickStart".  I'd listen to Headline News until I memorized it, shift over to the other cable fare, and then listen to the local news.  I guess you could say I'm a bit of a news junkie.  An interesting metric emerged from this effort.  Headline News gave the same 7 or so stories, and none of them were valid to my needs.  USA Today had a 4 page spread on Shaft, the movie (this was a while back) some colorful pie charts, and quite a bit of information on who was voted off the island.  ...But nothing on what I NEEDED to know.   Wall Street Journal was some better, it had 6 articles that hit the mark, good meaty stuff on Aerospace and Defense.  Sure, mostly it was from the investment angle, or the CEO's profile but definitely worthy stuff.  I know this, because I'd ran across every single article an hour earlier when I was kludging together "KickStart"!  It wasn't called "KickStart" back then, but believe me, I'm trying to limit the confusion factor.

"KickStart", on the other hand, had 63 articles that morning, some on subjects that WSJ would never be interested in ...but all of them would be devoured by the folks in Huntsville that thrived or withered on information.  All 63 passed the litmus test that KickStart still uses ..."what is current, accurate, and should be acted upon".  Some were financial, some corrolated to personalities, ALL had a strategic bent, and ALL told an important, epic, story if you read them over time.

The current KickStart builds on all my previous successful iterations of this business journal format ...with a few exceptions.  ...Instead of focusing on a single corporation, the current commercial version looks at Huntsville and northern Alabama.  And instead of taking its lead primarily from a few executives and marketing wonks, it listens to all of its Readership. 

You could use KickStart to define "eclectic".  But then you could substitute "KickStart" with "Huntsville", so there ya' go.

KickStart works to capture the needs and interests of its readers, and uses some sophisticated search engines and refined  experience to provide a business journal the likes of which Huntsville has never seen.  With the advent of the website even better tools are coming on line to make it the 1st stop for Huntsville business news.

Stick around and see how things develop.

Get a free 30 day subscription to what we've been talking about by clicking here and typing in "sign me up" ...type in whatever else you'd like to say too, there's a real human that reads and listens at the other end!

All the best,

- Hugh -

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2004 HSV-CIC

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