There almost aren’t any barriers to entry into the eCommerce business. Secure and feature rich open source shopping carts, cheap hosting and effortless payment integration have made selling online a piece of cake. Once you have the inventory in place, you are ready to rake in cash as soon as the DNS propagation is done.

Ready to use, hosted storefronts from the likes of Shopify have made getting into online selling far more trivial. When the barriers to entry are virtually nil in a business, its the niche one chooses to operate in and the creative marketing campaigns that’ll decide their success.

Talking about creativity, a creative products marketplace sounds like a better business to be in rather than competing with the big box retailers. There can only be so much discount you can offer on diapers, books and shaving kits right? If that makes sense, you should try your hand at running your own Etsy-style site using Storenvy.

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Collaborating online with a team is still in its infancy. You’ll need to daisy chain a few different apps to get done things with as little friction as possible. There isn’t yet a “one app to rule them all” in sight. When you have to switch back and forth between multiple apps to collaborate, the focus and productivity levels take a hit.

I’m like curious George when it comes to discovering apps. I’m only too happy to try them all as and when they are launched. Except when it comes to team collaboration apps. It’s one vertical that still feels like snake oil and if you remove the branding and fancy copy, almost all of them have the same set of features.

Volerro got my attention with the bold proclamation that it can help users create, refine and distribute content. It’s the creation part that got my attention. No app is better in that aspect except for Google Docs. So, I had to try out this app and benchmark it against the competition.
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As many of you may know, Flipboard has started to become a pretty reliable RSS reader. Over the last year or so, it has continually added features and gotten better. In their last update, they added a feature that I thought was pretty neat and really gives the user a way to make Flipboard even better: Flipboard Magazines.

Not only that, but they also added a button you can add to your bookmark bar so that when you are surfing the web, you can add content to your magazine that you make. Then, you can tweak the magazine online to your heart’s content. It just might be the perfect way to share the stuff you love online.

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When Google announced it would be shutting down its Reader service on July 1 of this year, it left many customers of the popular RSS service feeling stranded. Many of the most popular alternatives, such as Feedly and The Old Reader, have had to beef up server capacity and bandwidth.

Meanwhile, other company’s, such as Digg, are planning their own upstarts to fill the void. In the meantime, customers have some time to experiment with various services and decide on which they wish to land. One of the newest is CommaFeed, which aims to be a complete alternative to Google Reader, but can also do a whole lot more in addition to being a simple web app. (more…)

When I started an online jewelry store a few years back, I discovered the advantages of creating a Facebook page to promote my products. I had a decent number of following at the time, and it was a great move that made my business grow with the support of people I knew in real life.

Years have passed, but my Facebook page remained the same. I was looking into giving it a makeover when I chanced upon Decor, a very helpful web app for creating Facebook pages. In this article, I’ll show you how someone that has zero coding knowledge — like me — can create professional pages in just a matter of minutes.

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Facebook stole the English language. Instead of inventing its own words for actions — ala email, google (yup, an official word now), Tweet (ok, so that was a word already), and others — it just took over existing words. Now, like, friend, fan, poke, and more are part of the Facebook vernacular, and there’s not much we can do about it.

We might resent them for co-opting friend and like, but some actually want Facebook to take over one other word: dislike. See, there’s a lot of stuff that most of us don’t like. You know, ugly ducklings. And sad stories. And, I don’t know, skunks.

You don’t passively just want to ignore it. Nope. You want to tell the world how much you dislike it. But in Facebook’s world, there’s the like button, and nothing else.

So you tell us: should Facebook add a Dislike button, or have they already taken over one word too many? Feel free to tell us how much you dislike this poll — or Facebook’s policy and button/word choice — in the comments below.

This week’s poll was inspired by my wife, Raht. Thanks, sweetie!

It would be fair to say that, in the last year or so, email has entered something of a renaissance period. At one stage, not so very long ago, developers were concentrating their minds on how they could replace the decade-old electronic mail system. Now, though, most have realized that email isn’t going away any time soon, and their response has been to innovate with email clients.

The most prominent example of this has been Mailbox. Now owned by Dropbox, this iOS email app has shown one new way in which we can organize our huge flow of incoming messages. For those yet to encounter Mailbox’s basic concept, the sorting process in Mailbox is based upon priority, providing one-finger sorting into categories like Later and Important. Given that Mailbox had a one-million user waiting list during its private beta phase, this idea clearly appeals to many people – including those who don’t have an iPhone.

It is no doubt with some of these people in mind that Handle was created. Handle is more than just another way to access your inbox, though. Billed as a “Priority Engine,” this private beta provides task management, itinerary tracking and an email client all rolled into one.

But is this integrated approach helpful, or a recipe for confusion? Time for a test… (more…)

One day, you’re happily using a free app without a care in the world. The next day, you hear that the app has been bought out, and the whole world is panicking. All your friends are posting that they’re glad they didn’t use that app, or how they’re switching to another app and wish they’d switched sooner. And you’re wishing everything could just go back to normal.

But the internet’s a fast-paced place, and stuff changes faster than we’d ever expect. So what’s one to do in a world where apps become popular overnight, get bought out for billions, shut down on a whim, and lost to history in less time than a movie can get produced?

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LaCuenta is a powerful, new invoicing and business management application from Luxembourgian company BeeWee. The first time I read the name I didn’t put two and two together, but after a couple of minutes I realised that the name is Spanish for ‘the bill’. I think the name is rather fitting and well thought out.

You will be able to see from the screenshots that the design of the app is very slick. Often design for invoicing or financial apps suffer as they are primarily seen as function over form. LaCuenta shows that they are not mutually exclusive, there’s no reason why you can’t have function and form in the same application. (more…)

How do you hire the right people in order to create great products and services? You’ll need to know if they’ve got the skills you need, and that can be tough. If selecting the right candidates with little effort is what matters to you, check out Talentguide, our sponsor this week.

Talentguide is a hiring tool for selecting the best applicants for technical positions. It works great when you’re looking to build a developer team in-house but also when you’re looking to hire developers from sites like Elance, Freelancer or oDesk. That’s why the tool is being used successfully by enterprises like HubSpot, Ooyala or Oracle but also by small companies and individuals.

As an employer, you can pick from a good variety of coding challenges designed to test the fundamental coding and problem solving skills that your candidate should have. If you already have your own programming challenges, the Talentguide team will quickly add them for you. You’ll then be able to quickly evaluate each candidate by their skills, and find the best person for the job.

Go get it!

Ready to find the perfect candidates for the jobs at your company? Then you should check out the Talentguide tour, and then give Talentguide a try. When you signup for Talentguide, you can test your first 5 candidates for free. Then, as an AppStorm reader you’ll get $50 off your first month’s fee of $199 by signing up with the link in this article: http://www.talentguide.co/?promo=appstorm.

Think you’ve got a great app? Sign up for a Weekly Sponsorship slot just like this one.
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