Get Cozi With Your Family

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

The old-fashioned family lifestyle: kids do the chores, mom writes her shopping list, and everyone puts those important events on the calendar hanging on the kitchen wall. Coordinating a family is a process. A particular Seattle startup is very aware of that process and what better way to make it easier than providing a web service for it – a service for your family.

Cozi is a startup that’s main goal is to “simplify family life.” The feature’s it provides help to organize your family in the traditional fashion, but in a modern way, using the power of the Internet.

On Cozi’s website, you can create a family calendar and utilize widgets to access them from your desktop. You can send the week’s agenda out via email. You can create shopping lists to access from your mobile browser when you get to the grocery store, or create a to do list for your teenager and send them their chores via text. You can setup reminders for important events, or just sync your family calendar to your outlook calendar at work so you’ll remember that recital you need to get to after your meeting with the boss. Cozi offers a simplified solution for family coordination.

Along with the full website, there is also mobile site and iPhone app available to take with you so you can always have access to your family’s agenda. The Cozi founding team included veterans from Microsoft, Amazon, and Expedia, and that expertise and team member experience is really shown throughout the site, providing a great user and design experience. An experience that makes me feel…..Cozi.

If you’re a developer, you should check out Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

What is the Best Viral Video Ever?

This old video by The Richter Scales has got to be one of the best viral videos I have ever come across. I laughed so hard that I nearly fell out of my chair. I admit to chair dancing – I dare you NOT to while listening. I also have to admit that I found myself nodding in agreement at several different statements made in the song. The lyrics are so full of epic win that I cannot possibly begin to do them justice by describing them. You simply have to listen to it and read the lyrics.

I have to thank community member Kevin Connolly for sending this video my way. If you’re not already following him, you should be. Kevin has a lot of excellent things to say in addition to unearthing oldies but goodies.

Do Google Employees Need Servants?

In the fierce competition for good programmers and employees, large companies are beginning to realize they need to offer more than just a cushy salary and stock option package. It’s not unheard of for Facebook to offer a half-million-dollar bonus to an employee who signs on that almighty bottom line. With carrots like that dangled in someone’s face, how can other companies compete? If you’re Google, then you’re likely going to offer to pay for the mundane tasks that your employees don’t want to do themselves.

Google is offering the services of TaskRabbit to employees who live in one of the five cities the company covers – including the Valley. If a developer doesn’t want to do his laundry or walk his dog, he can turn to TaskRabbit runners to do those things for him. TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque explains: “The perks are obvious – employees get the extra help they need and some work life balance, while companies get happy and loyal employees that are more focused on their work (without the stresses of the “little” stuff).”

Do you agree with companies using perks such as this to hire and retain top talent?

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How Much Are You Worth?

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

If you ask most people the question, “Do you get paid enough?” You’ll most certainly always be answered with a NO. Salary is a top concern and there’s always that certain number that will make you a happy worker. Fortunately, there’s a Seattle Startup to let you know what you should be making after all.

PayScale has a service that determines how well you are being paid compared to others who have a similar job. The service is free in a limited fashion, but your scale is determined based on many factors including work environment, education, your professional experience, company size, etc. This is all information you must provide. Some of it is optional, but the more you provide, the more accurate PayScale will be in determining how well you’re being compensated. In the end, you receive a report and graph that shows where you are in relation to other people who’ve reported. The report is anonymous, so don’t worry about your co-worker giving you dirty looks because he found out you’re making much much more than him.

You can also upgrade to their premium service for $19.95. By doing so, you’ll gain insight to a lot more information that you could leverage to get that raise you know you deserve! With the largest online employee salary database according to PayScale, I’m pretty sure you can confident your scale of pay will be compared accurately.

If you’re a developer, you should check out Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.

Smilebox Makes Scrapbooking Easy

This is a guest post written by Matt Gamboa.

Are you in to scrapbooking? Do you like to make decorative web cards to celebrate the birth of a baby? Does the thought of making a high school prom collage online to share with your Facebook and Twitter friends excite you? Well, don’t worry about taking out the heavy-duty scissors and craft glue. The online service, Smilebox, was created solely for the purpose of creating fancy photo crafts.

The Redmond-based startup has developed an online platform around the popular homemakers craft of scrapbooking. The website offers hundreds of designs to use to create scrapbooks, collages, greetings cards, or photo albums. The tool itself is not web-based, it’s a native application you must download and install onto your Mac or Windows machine. But the unique service itself is worth trying if this craft is your passion.

Smilebox is still a very small startup, but they are growing a fast pace and recently moved to a new, bigger office this year to accommodate the growth. They are gaining lots of traction even though their product is niche, but the fact that they don’t have too many competitors in their market will help them to expand products and make business quick.

Smilebox will be featured at Deploy 2010 on Monday, November 08, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (PT). Deploy 2010 is an all-inclusive conference for technology builders to give you new tools to create the applications of tomorrow. The conference will be held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle.