Help! I’m going Mac! (blame Office)

Sounds kinda desperate, but maybe that’s a little true… I switched to an all-open-source ‘strategy’ on the desktop (and laptop for that matter) for the last couple of years (after many years of using MS Windows) and that worked quite nice for me. I used Ubuntu, OpenOffice and lots of more good open stuff. And when I make a choice for a software program I heavily (expect to) use, I always look at it being cross-platform (either as a native program or web-based), because of 1) I might want to switch to another OS or use the program on another PC and 2) The people I work with that use another OS need to be able to use it as well when needed.

But my job requires me to work closely with our clients and (sub)contractors. And they all use MS Office…. For the last half-year I really tried to work with Office docs both through OpenOffice and Office in a WinXP virtualbox environment, but both didn’t work out. The first one doesn’t because it’s not as compatible as I would like it to be, the second one worked terribly slow.

So I need an OS that can run Office natively, that leaves two options: a windows solution or a mac solution. Both are against my private policy for being open, but apparently the (work) environment in The Netherlands isn’t ready for that so I’m willing to compromise… for a few years…

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Top 8.5 tips for getting started in ecommerce

At my daily job, some of the people who come to us for a Magento webshop run companies that already have a webshop and know what is involved with it. Some other people though have a retail store or a complete new business model but have little to no experience in the e-commerce field. This post tries to hand some tips to the second group.

Tip 1: Time and money estimates

Thought about a rough budget for the project startup, the maintenance costs and how much time it will take you to run the website? Good. Now triple that and I will assure you it will be a lot closer to reality then your own estimates.

Tip 2: Crawl before you walk

It’s great to think big. It gives your team a goal to work towards and keep in mind what the big picture is. But don’t start running before you can walk or even crawl. This is new to you, take the adventure on but do so step by step. Slice the big picture into smaller parts, there is no shame in starting small. No-one expects you to start an e-Bay or Amazon sized business overnight. Besides, being small gives your company agility, something bigger companies don’t have so you can move faster. In every project we see people having some for of hindsight. If you start big, you can’t always use that hindsight anymore because processes are now fixed and hard to change. If you start small, you can optimize processes and products much more easily. Read more