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11 Top New Web Apps of 2007

11 Top New Web Apps of 2007
11 Best New Web Apps of 2007

I’ve been on something of a web app kick lately.  I really like the idea of creating,editing, and sharing documents and computing power “in the cloud”, accessible by whomever you want from wherever you want on whatever system you have handy.

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The field of web-based productivity is growing by leaps and bounds, and seems to be on the brink of becoming mainstream and ubiquitous.  That’s good news for mobile workers like me, who can never be completely sure where, or on what kind of computer, we may need to access our files. 2007 has been a good year, with great strides in core productivity apps like word processors and presentation software, and some interesting developments in specialized areas like collaborative brainstorming and todo list management.

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Because I love you, lifehack readers, here are 11 of the best web apps released in 2007!

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  • bubblus
       
      bubbl.us: Flash-based mindmap creator  bubbl.us allows you to quickly and easily make effective, attractive mindmaps that can be exported as images or as HTML outlines, or shared with others who can add new items or draw new connections between existing ones.
    • buzzword

        Buzzword: I’ve raved about Buzzword before, but it bears repeating: this online word processor is both gorgeous and a joy to use. Running in Flash, as you’d expect of an Adobe product, Buzzword works well and has a pretty full set of features already, and promises off-line functionality and PDF export in the near future.
      • empressr

          Empressr: Another Flash-based app, Empressr allows users to create and share slideshows using text, images, videos (including webcam captures created on the fly), and other rich media.  Presentations can be shared on the Empressr site and can also be embedded in users’ own pages.
        • highrise

            Highrise: From the good folks at 37signals comes Highrise, an enterprise-grade contact manager and customer relations manager.  37signals sets the standard for web 2.0 apps, so you know it’s good: clean design, a highly functional interface, and interconnectivity with other 37signals apps.
          • jott

              Jott: A combination of speech recognition and live workers backs this “note to self” service, allowing Jott to produce remarkably accurate transcriptions of your spoken messages.  Originally Jott simply recorded your message, transcribed it, and sent it to you to someone in your contact list, but their new Jott Links service connects up with various web services allowing you to post to blogs, add appointments to your online calendar, tweet with twitter, and add todos to your todo list.
            • mint

                Mint: Online money management made almost frighteningly easy, Mint allows users to add all their bank accounts, credit cards, stock trading accounts, and other financial information into a simple, clean view.  Although some have raised concerns about the security of all this sensitive information, Mint’s model was impressive enough to garner the TechCrunch40 Top Company Award (and $50,000 seed money).
              • nozbe

                  Nozbe:Modeled on David Allan’s “Getting Things Done” approach, Nozbe aims to be the ultimate GTD app. With easy-to-add next actions associated with contexts and projects, Nozbe comes pretty close!
                • sandy

                    Sandy: Sandy is a virtual assistant centered on your email.  You email Sandy with (almost) natural language statements, like “Remind me to call John Smith at 8am tomorrow”, and Sandy emails you a reminder at 8am tomorrow to call John Smith. Coupled with Jott, Sandy is a really exciting service!
                  • scrybe

                      Scrybe: The much-anticipated release of Scrybe left some feeling let down, but hype aside, Scrybe could well become the online calendar of choice.  Flash-based Scrybe uses a natural-language parser similar to Sandy’s, allowing new entries to be created quickly and easily.  The developers say they’re hard at work on integrating Scrybe with Outlook, which would make Scrybe a hard one to beat.
                    • todoist

                        Todoist: Billing itself as “useful, fast and easy to use”, Todoist can be nothing more than a todo list — you start typing into the text box, select a due date, hit enter, and move onto the next.  With a little specialized syntax, though, you can format lists, search for multiple criteria, manage your lists from Gmail, and integrate with external services like Launchy and QuickSilver.
                      • vitalist

                          Vitalist: Another contender for the GTD app, Vitalist also offers next actions, projects, and contexts (unlike Nozbe, you can create your own contexts), as well as a virtual “tickler file” and a mobile-optimized version. GTD apps are a highly personal product — one person’s way of getting things done might be nothing but a series of obstacles for another — so it’s good to see so much competition and innovation in this space.

                        While not all of these are necessarily the best in their class, they do compare favorably with more established apps like Basecamp for project management, Remember the Milk for todo lists, and Google Calendar for scheduling.  Some, like Sandy and Jott, essentially create new classes — try explaining to your grandmother just what, exactly, Sandy does!

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                        What excites me is that these represent only the first, or in some cases the second, step for web-based applications.  Any of these apps will help you be more productive, but imagine them integrated and refined 5 years from now — using Jott to call Sandy to schedule a payment in Mint and placing a todo in Todoist telling you to call in three days to make sure the payment is received. Maybe it won’t be these apps or these companies, but if not, the ones that follow will have the creators of the apps above to thank for blazing the trail.

                        So, what have I missed? What else came out this year that’s exciting you? What rounds out this list to an even dozen? And what have I included that’s old news around your neck of the woods? Let me know in the comments!

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                        Last Updated on October 18, 2018

                        10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

                        10 Key Characteristics of a Highly Successful Entrepreneur

                        When it comes to starting your own business and pursuing your dream of becoming an entrepreneur, it can be advantageous to go all in and embrace the flexibility of finally quitting your day job.

                        Keep in mind, though, that it takes a special kind of person to take the business world by storm: a person who has cultivated the key characteristics of entrepreneurial success.

                        People with these characteristics are likely to succeed, whereas people without them have difficulty moving forward with even the most brilliant business ideas.

                        These characteristics of an entrepreneur are so important that I’ve decided to cover all 10 of them in detail so that you can start your business with your best foot forward.

                        1. Successful Entrepreneurs Practice Discipline

                        Plenty of business experts claim that you can’t get anywhere as an entrepreneur without vision or creativity, but that’s simply not the truth. Instead, the one quality that no entrepreneur can be successful without is discipline.

                        To build an idea into a business, you have to have the discipline to spend time slogging through the least fun parts of running a business (like the bookkeeping), rather than taking that time to do something fun.

                        Andrew Carnegie, one of the most financially successful Americans of all time, grew up working dull and difficult jobs in factories. Despite going to bed hungry some nights, he continued doing his best work. He was eventually hired by a railroad company and continued to move up the ladder until starting his own successful businesses. Carnegie is a fine example of an entrepreneur dedicated to discipline and hard work. He truly earned his dreams of prosperity and success.

                        When you’re the boss, there’s no one to keep you at work except yourself — and there’s no short-term consequences for skipping out early.

                        Sure, if an entrepreneur plays hooky enough he knows that the business just won’t happen, but it’s very hard to convince someone that ‘just this once’ won’t hurt (and to keep ‘just this once’ from becoming a daily occurrence).

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                        2. Successful Entrepreneurs Keep Calm

                        Things go wrong when you run your own business.

                        Most entrepreneurs go through crises with their businesses — and more than a few wind up with outright failures on their hands. But when you’re responsible for a business, you have to be able to keep calm in any situation. Any other reaction — whether you lose your temper or get flustered — compounds the problem.

                        Instead, a good entrepreneur must have the ability to keep his cool in an emergency or crisis. It may not make the problem easier to solve, but it certainly won’t make it harder.

                        Honestly, losing your calm is a quick path to becoming the kind of person who gives up in the face of adversity. Instead giving in to frustration, remember classic entrepreneur Benjamin Franklin.

                        Franklin kept his calm as he experimented and tweaked his inventions again and again in pursuit of success. He didn’t give up during his many failures – he chose to innovate. You can choose innovation, too.

                        If an entrepreneur can handle failure without frustration or anger, s/he can move past it to find success.

                        3. Successful Entrepreneurs Pay Attention to Details

                        Restricting your attention to the big picture can be even more problematic than ‘sweating the small stuff.’

                        As an entrepreneur, unless venture capital has magically dropped out of the sky, a small expense can be a killer. It’s attention to detail that can make a small business successful when it has competition and it’s attention to detail that can keep costs down.

                        Attention to detail can be difficult to maintain — going over ledgers can be tedious even when you aren’t trying to pay close attention — but keeping your eye on a long-term vision is just asking for a problem to sneak in under a radar.

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                        After a business grows, an entrepreneur might be able to hire someone to worry about the details. In the beginning, though, only one person can take responsibility for the details.

                        Skeptical about the importance of details? Look no further than Howard Schultz, who grew a small coffee shop called Starbucks into one of the most globally successful coffee businesses in the world through his extreme attention to detail.

                        He is famous for taking all aspects of growing a business into account, paying attention not only to financially smart business decisions, but also focusing on socially responsible business decisions. Details can take you far.

                        4. Successful Entrepreneurs Embrace Risks

                        No entrepreneur has a sure thing, no matter how much money s/he stands to earn on a given product. Even if a product tests well, the market can change, the warehouse can burn down and a whole slew of other misfortune can befall a small business.

                        It’s absolutely risky to run a business of your own and while you can get some insurance, it’s not like most investment options. Even worse, if something does go wrong, it’s the entrepreneur’s responsibility — no matter the actual cause. In order to deal with all of that without developing an ulcer, you have to have a good tolerance for risk.

                        You don’t need to channel your inner frat boy and take on absolutely stupid risks, but you need to know just how much you can afford to risk — and get a good idea of how likely you are to lose it. If the numbers make you uncomfortable, the risk is too great.

                        Embracing risks is essential for growth and additional success, as well. Walt Disney, for example, could have stayed comfortable with his advances in the film and animation industries, but decided to expand his brand with a new dream: a theme park that soared above the competition. Without taking this risk, the incredibly successful Disney theme park empire would never have come about.

                        An entrepreneur has to be willing to accept pretty big risks, with some level of comfort.

                        5. Successful Entrepreneurs are Balanced

                        You can take any characteristic too far. There’s a point at which attention to detail can become obsession or calm can become unemotional response.

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                        As an entrepreneur, you have to be able to balance your characteristics, getting the most of them without going over the edge. But balance for an entrepreneur goes far beyond keeping your characteristics in check, though.

                        Just as an entrepreneur doesn’t have a boss to keep them at work when necessary, they don’t have one to send them home when they’re done. If you are working for yourself, you have to decide how to balance your work and home life — and if you have a day job to add into the equation, balance just gets more complicated.

                        Oprah Winfrey, one of the most successful and influential entrepreneurs out there, understands the importance of balance. Winfrey has a lot going on; she runs her own media kingdom, acts, produces films, publishes print, and more. In an interview with Fast Company,[1] she talks about her efforts to balance priorities and self care, saying that she must ask herself what is truly important in each limited day.

                        You may or may not have as much on your plate as Oprah, but learning how to balance whatever you have going on in life will certainly help you farther along down the road as you learn to be a great entrepreneur.

                        6. Successful Entrepreneurs are Passionate and Motivated

                        In order to develop any of the above characteristics, you must have a foundation of passion. Staying disciplined day after day during the building of your business takes unrivaled motivation.

                        Before you start any business, ask yourself if you can sustain true excitement about your idea during even the darkest days ahead of you. If the answer is yes, then good for you! Nurture your natural motivation by taking these action steps throughout your business journey:

                        • Commit to making short and long-term goals. Check in with them often to stay on task.
                        • Have a plan in place for the inevitable days when you feel discouraged. Make a list of things that will help keep you motivated and focused.
                        • Share your ideas with trusted individuals who are just as excited as you are. They will help keep your enthusiasm rolling even when you are feeling down.

                        By being prepared for apathetic days and holding fast to your authentic passion, you can actually enjoy your journey to success.

                        7. Successful Entrepreneurs Adapt

                        Remember this one word: flexibility. Seasoned entrepreneurs know that change is not only a part of life, but also a part of the business world. Expect change and choose to adapt.

                        As a new entrepreneur, it will be tempting to cling to your original business plan with no exceptions, even if you notice it isn’t working. Good entrepreneurs know that it’s okay to make smart, informed changes in order to ensure efficiency.

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                        8. Successful Entrepreneurs are Marketing and Sales Experts

                        No matter what kind of business you are starting, a knowledge of marketing and sales will save you many headaches. A passion for creating a beautiful handmade lifestyle product is not enough to run a successful lifestyle brand; it is critical that you understand key business principles in addition to your natural skills or great product line.

                        Not sure how to start? Taking business courses is a great idea, but you can also easily brush up on sales and marketing through free online resources. Check out these 10 Sales Skills Everyone Should Master To Be Successful to begin now.

                        9. Successful Entrepreneurs Have Strong Money Management

                        Along with sales and marketing skills, money management is a very useful tool in the box of the entrepreneur. Understanding how to best manage your money can be the difference between early success and early failure in the business world.

                        If money management isn’t your strongest skill, prepare to hire a financial expert to help you with any tricky business that comes up. Financial guidance and knowledge is never a bad idea.

                        10. Successful Entrepreneurs Ask Questions and Continually Improve

                        Pride is a natural human quality, but it’s important to humbly conduct some constructive criticism every now and again on both yourself as a leader and your new business as a whole.

                        Assess how things are going and be willing to make positive changes if necessary. Here’re 15 ways to cultivate lifelong learning.

                        If you are always improving, then how can you ultimately fail?

                        The Bottom Line

                        Let me remind you of one important fact: the qualities of an entrepreneur listed here are not exclusively available to some people and elusive to others.

                        Although some people may have natural strengths and weaknesses, these qualities can be learned by anyone interested in taking up the entrepreneurial challenge. It might not be easy to change old habits, but it is absolutely possible to cultivate these characteristics in yourself.

                        Whether you’re a business owner or an aspiring entrepreneur, with hard work, you can train yourself to develop the qualities that truly determine the entrepreneurial spirit and future success.

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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