I'm sure you're aware that the music/film/interactive superfest SXSW is currently underway in Austin, Texas. Given this is a film-specific site, you'd expect me to cover the film festival portion of the festival, right? Well, it's being well-covered by those who are actually in attendance. But I did want to share something related to the interactive side of the fest: a bundle of applications and software tools for startups and web entrepenuers. I get a fair number of questions from readers about monetizing a web site, so I figured this would be of interest to some of you:
AppSumo is currently offering a SXSW special entitled the Lean Startup Bundle. Designed for "lean" startups that keep the overhead low, as I did in order to launch NFS, this particular app bundle includes a lot of tools for independent web workers. App bundles are generally worth it as long as you're sure you'll use one of the included tools; in my case I know I'll use the click-tracking analytics program Crazy Egg, which lets webmasters see exactly where on a page users are clicking (see example heatmap screenshot at left). It's a very nice design aid that is included (in limited form, albeit with a never-ending free contract) as part of the bundle. Considering this particular slate includes 30+ tools that would cost $6,000 if you bought them separately, the $99 asking price is a serious deal for anyone who runs a web startup (or is thinking about launching one). It also includes a number of books on launching and building startups.
Disclosure: like most anything these days, AppSumo has an affiliate program, but that's not the reason I'm posting about it (it doesn't pay out real money to affiliates, anyway, just credits for sign ups). The real reason I'm sharing it here is because I bought the bundle myself and am already putting to use a number of its 30 bundled tools (in addition to Crazy Egg, I'm already using Server Density and LessAccounting, so far). Other highlights include $300 worth of Wordpress hosting at WP Engine, $50 of cloud-based video encoding at Zencoder, and a $69 credit at the crowdsourcing design site 99designs. Getting $6,000 of product for $99 sounds too good to be true, but while no one's going to use every single included tool, it really is a great deal. Check it out if you're interested -- the deal expires March 20.