When starting a business, Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest, says “first look for free open source technology.” At a panel on how great small companies use technology to drive growth held Thursday night at the Trump Soho hotel, von Tobel gave her list of favorite free resources.
von Tobel’s list included:
- Gmail for Business – Webmail service
- WordPress – An open source blog tool and website publishing platform.
- Disqus – Online service that offers a centralized discussion platform for websites.
- iContact – Email marketing software to create, send and track your email messages.
- Survey Monkey - Create and publish online surveys and questionnaires and get results graphically in real time.
- Crazyegg.com – Allows you to track pages to figure out what people are doing on your website.
- Google Analytics: A product aimed at marketers that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website.
Also on the panel, moderated by Inc.com The Internet Strategist blogger Maisha Walker, was Mike Hudack, co-founder and CEO of blip.tv and Tricia Han, general manager of DailyCandy Deals. Walker added that Google Website Optimizer is another great free tool.
All the panelists agree that in the beginning you should leverage free tools but once your business scales eventually you should upgrade to premium services.