Monday, May 28, 2007
The Star Wars convention was awesome. For my son Tate it was a superbowl of activities. We traveled to
The convention was broken up into a commercial area where you could buy just about anything you wanted, a fan hall with things like Jedi training classes and then a variety of meeting rooms and other stuff. We really just spent out time in the commercial and fan hall as well as getting pictures with just about every character you can imagine. Here Tate is with his Jedi outfit and a Storm Trooper helmet which might be a good birthday present in the next couple of months…
Friday, May 25, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
As someone who does a lot of business development and sales, I can totally appreciate the need to reach out to people you don't know and to reach out to people who you think might need your service or product. Where I have a problem, is in the lack of qualification of a prospect. Something on the order of 80% of the solicitations have no relevance to what we do in any way shape or form. Accountants? Ok, that makes sense. Banks? Check. Lead generation services? Not exactly.
In addition to the really bad hit rate, which I think speaks to some laziness on the part of the sales professional or telemarketer, is the method of reaching us. We have a generic phone number that goes into an IPPBX and I get an email with the message attached. When I get a chance I play those messages. Some people are slightly more crafty and they go to our website and look up our email and send a direct email to either Shawn, myself, or both of us. Ok, a little more effort.
The really smart ones actually do a little bit more homework. In my case that would be finding my blog. Once they have found my blog, if they actually look around and read some stuff they will find that I put my cell phone number on here. The very small handful of sales professionals who did this managed to get me on the phone last week. While I didn't welcome the unsolicited interruption, I did in fact either channel those people to the right person or told them there wasn't a need for their product, albeit as quickly as possible. Hats off to the resourceful.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
We are also excited to have our previous investors, Avalon and Masthead, involved in our Series B as well. Both firms have been great supporters of ours and I'd like to send my thanks out to the various partners at each firm. We really appreciate their insight, support, and continued involvement in the building of our company.
Without the great team we have built, we wouldn't be able to accomplish the things we have so far, nor would we be able to deliver on the vision we have going forward. A big thanks to our team for all their hardwork and dedication. We expect to do big things in the coming year.
We started this company with the intent to work closely with the carriers to develop a category of applications and to work to build this category in unison with them. We appreciate the support we have had from all of our carrier partners so far and look forward to delivering on the promise of an exciting revolution in mobile data applications.
Most important to me though, has been the support of my wife and my kids. My wife has been a world class startup wife, raising our kids, running the house, and continuing to work 75% time as an attorney. I can't thank her enough for her belief in what we are doing and her strength in helping to make that a reality. Without her, none of this would have been possible.
We have a lot of exciting announcements coming very quickly and we look forward to sharing the news as it becomes available.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
A week or two ago, I read a post about Google history and quickly signed up and allowed the logging of all my data in a variety of categories. Then I forgot about it, much the same way I keep my Attention recorder running on my browser (By the way...When is Root.net going to fix their security certificate? Very disappointing, but that is another post...).
Earlier this week I went in to see what was in my Google history goodie bag. The main page is a chronological listing of all the pages I clicked on from now going backwards. I have this in Root.net as well but I get to block out certain domains I may not want to record (things like ego surfing my site statistics). Not here, everything gets recorded. Not really a problem, but still kind of freaky when you sit down and think about it and then multiply me by the population of the web world who uses Google. I am creeping you out yet?
I can then slice it more finely by looking at just news, or images or videos etc. especially for Google related services. Not too shabby.
I then click on trends which slices out the top queries, top sites, and top clicks. Are you still wondering why they are making so much money in advertising? Hold on there is more...I almost forgot to add you can slice that by week, month, all time etc.
My favorite part though, and where I think it all really comes together is the tab called interesting items. Here Google has determined other searches, pages, videos and gadgets that might be relevant to what I have been up to while surfing on the web. The list of pages is pretty impressive as we have been doing the fund raising exercise and the top 10 list for me includes nine venture firms and a buyout firm. Uncanny. I am curious though on how they rank them. Could it mean that the sum total of my interests (wireless, media, etc) when intersected with venture fund raising means that these are the best prospects for closing a round with those specific venture firms? Hard to say. In any event I was pretty surprised that there weren't fantasy football references or NFL draft results or other items which given the recent NFL draft would make the most sense. Maybe the algorithm is skewed?
In any case, if you have the slightest interest in Attention or wanting to understand the data you are throwing off when you mindlessly browse and search the web, I would certainly recommend that you check this service out. In any event, Google isn't the only company tracking this data (Yahoo, Doubleclick, AOL, etc.) and I think it is important we all be cognizant of the invisible transactions we are all generating behind the scenes with our web based actions. A final note is that I am not a Google hater or fearer as I know some are. I use Blogger, Google, Gmail, Google Apps and occasionally Google Maps. I get that the price of the services I am using are a value exchange that they need to offset by profiling me in great deal to yield high advertising returns. I would however like for Google to give me the option to keep my own copy of all the data they are keeping on me in the event that I want to use it for my own benefit somewhere down the road. You know, like when I am trying to decide which venture firms I should call on first, or which ones I should cross off the list. :-)
On May 24th Star Wars Celebration IV, which is a 30th anniversary celebration of the release of Star Wars, comes to the Los Angeles Convention center. My son Tate loves Star Wars so we are going to head up for one of the days to check it out. We saw a bunch of Star Wars types at Comic Con last summer and this figures to be a total blow out for nerds.
The weekend prior the Second Annual Maker Faire takes place up in San Mateo. I mentioned the Maker Faire to Tate before I had heard about the Star Wars event. If given the choice he would do both but if pushed I think the Force is a bit stronger in him. Tate and I have had a lot of fun doing different projects and I think if we could swing it he would really love the Maker Faire. I showed him the promo podcast for the Faire and it really stuck in his head, so much so that last night whe we were talking about having to choose only one of the events, he drug out all his toys and made his own "Maker Faire" on the floor of the family room. Picture here.
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
I like to cook and am a fan of a wide variety of cuisines. I tend to go in phases both in terms of what I am cooking and what I am sampling while pumping up the frequent flyer miles.
Around two years ago my friend Jonathan who manages a bunch of the top bands today (Fall Out Boy, Panic At The Disco, Gym Class Heroes) took me to an old warehouse style noodle shop in Soho for lunch. It was amazing. I didn't recall the name of the place but I knew that if I ever ended up in Soho for lunch I had to find the place. A couple of weeks ago, while in NYC, I had coffee planned with Jonathan and the day before I was determined to find that place he took me took. That place is Kelley and Ping. A slightly blurry picture can be seen here. The featured dish was Roast Pork in Chicken broth with egg noodles. If you are a noodle freak, this is a must stop.
The following week on the left coast, I stopped in at Osha Thai Noodles and had an equally good bowl of noodles although this time with duck as the meat.
Needless to say, Noodles are on my list right now. Know any good places where you are?