Todd Hoskins chooses and uses tools, products, and practices that could belong in an entrepreneurial business toolkit. He’ll be checking out how useful they are to folks in a business environment.
Cool Tool Review: Docstoc
A Review by Todd Hoskins
Docstoc is a virtual flea market for small business.
Stepping into a flea market, you must sort through other people’s clutter, junk, and art to find what is useful or beautiful to you. In the same way, Docstoc offers thousands of free documents, but you’re going to need to be patient to find what you need.
Looking for a contract? Relevant presentation? Template? Background article? Chances are, there will be something of value within Docstoc’s archives. Think of it as a combination of LegalZoom (a content partner), eHow, and SlideShare. Scribd is very similar (and with a better interface), but puts more content behind the paywall.
As a small business, you can upload documents that others may find useful and share in the ad revenue. When registering, Docstoc links your account with AdSense. Through your profile, you also get the chance to highlight the capabilities of your business. Or, you can sell documents on your site – market reports, e-books, etc. You keep 100% of the upload revenue for the first 60 days, and 50% after that threshold has passed. Clicks on the ads earn you a bit of cash, uploads can earn you cash, and clicks on your profile give you potential leads.
There is the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a community-driven site. The good is the sheer amount of content. The bad is how much of the content is devoid of value. The ugly is that the ad-supported chaos is just that – ugly.
The document viewer, on the other hand, is clean, easily branded, and allows you to quickly embed PDF’s, presentations, and other document types within your site or blog.
There is a premium service, which gives you access to more free professional documents, storage, and an ad-free experience from $17 per month up to $120 per year.
I would like to see support for Google docs, more levels of curation, and marketing help for e-book publishers. The site could use some U/X help as well, but for free, I’m not complaining.
Summing Up â Is it worth it?
Enterprise Value: 2/5 â If you have extensive bylaws, handbooks, and approval processes, Docstoc has limited value
Entrepreneur Value: 4/5 â Go premium if you have the budget
Personal Value: 2/5 – One of a multitude of ways to now publish your novel, guide, or collection of resources
Let me know what you think!
Todd Hoskins helps small and medium sized businesses plan for the future, and execute in the present. With a background in sales, marketing, leadership, psychology, coaching, and technology, he works with executives to help create thriving individuals and organizations through developing and clarifying values, strategies, and tactics. You can learn more at VisualCV, or contact him on Twitter.