Tuesday, December 16, 2008

My affair with small computers

Around this time last year I participated in the give one get one program of the OLPC foundation. It took a long time to get the laptop but when I received it, I was very impressed. I had attended the EG 2007 conference and had seen both Negroponte and the designer of the device whose name currently escapes me talk about the device and it inspired me to get involved/donate.

The industrial design is/was unlike anything I had seen. The operating system was intriguing. The computing power was disappointing. My now six year old son, who was the recipient in my house, while excited that he had his own technology, didn’t like the delays and waiting and opted instead for the use of our Mac Mini and an old moster sized laptop I designated as his. I on the other hand was digging the form factor and ruggedness of the device. I wondered whether or not the OS was the limiting factor and embarked on a process of trying to install a variety of linux variants on the machine. I had conculded that a device that small would be the ideal vehicle for trips to places like New York where most of my time is spent demoing phones and presenting powerpoints. If I could travel with a pocket full of phones and a computer the size of a book, my life would be very easy. Ultimately the various Flash and USB booting options didn’t work out with my level of technical expertise.

Around the time that I was trying to find ways to USB or Flash drive boot my OLPC, a couple of guys in my office showed up with some small devices. One of the guys on our QA team had his own MSI device running Windows in the office. Another engineer had an ASUS running Xandros I believe. Next door at Michael Robertson’s Linspire company they were doing a number of deals with ASUS around the distribution of their Click and Run Software distribution platform. While I was focused on a travel related convenience use case, I saw other around me looking at a way to use a new device/platform that was portable, personal, and most important cheap. Cheap was both key and compellling. The devices are largely in the $300 - $500 range which makes most of the either cheaper or on par with the half a dozen cell phones I carry.
For my birthday this year, my only desire was to buy one of these low cost lightweight netbooks. While my primary computing platform today is a Mac, I wanted a Linux based netbook and was leaning towards either the ASUS or the Dell entrant which launched with a Microsoft XP version at a higher price point than I wanted. One day prior to a trip to Seattle I went and sourced the cheapest netbook available at the local Fry’s.

While Fry’s has a number of options, the one that was $350 at the time was the Acer Aspire One running Windows XP. I am certainly not a Windows hater as I have used Windows most of the time I have been using computers, which is many years now. In the last two years I have moved to a Mac as I can run Windows, Linux and Mac OS and I have the widest selection of software choices as a result. I selected a nice blue version and have to say that I was amazed out how small, lightweight and powerful the device is. I still was hoping to have a Linux device as I support the libertarian implications of Linux, but have to say that those concerns/ideals have been outweighed by the benefits I have experienced with this device and the manner in which I am using it.

There are a number of issues associated with using a “satellite” computer and a normal beefy laptop. Synchronization of files, management of email and streamlining work are all something worth a separate post. For now I think the important thing to convey is that computing is getting really cheap. And portable. And the performance at this end of the spectrum is certainly nothing to laugh about. There are also drawbacks. The mouse on this device has a learning curve. I also couldn’t use this for a fulltime computer given the overall keyboard size. On the other hand, I wrote this post on my netbook and nothing can beat how easy it is to use on an airplane and the entire discussion that crops up when I pull it out in a meeting to give a presentation. I am not one to predict the future but I do think that some of the prognostications around everyone carrying a device around like this in the not to distant future is certainly something that is not all that far fetched. Bottom line for me, I LOVE IT!

Monday, November 10, 2008

My Current Media

This is for me. If you find it interesting, I am glad I can share. I like to look back on these periodically and I find it is a good way to keep friends up to date. Nuff said.

Television - Yeah, I watch TV sometimes. While in general TV is muy malo, there are some very notable exceptions.

Friday Night Lights - I love this show. It hits me on three levels. 1. It reminds me of my soap opera phase where I was glued to each passing day of Day's of our Lives. 2. Great acting, great directing, great look and feel. 3. High school football. It doesn't get any better than this and a big thanks to Direct TV for keeping the show alive. For those of you not on Directv, you are missing out.

True Blood - Currently my hands down favorite from HBO. It carries on the great tradition of Oz, Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Deadwood and Big Love, except, it is heavy on white trash and vampires. I LOVE THIS SHOW. Great music, great story line, great creepy swampy vampire vibe and a lot of of social commentary to boot. It may be the best HBO show yet.

Supernatural - CW show. Demons and other freaks. I have to say that I want to hate all shows on the CW but this one keeps sucking me in. Probably has to do with my True Blood fetish.

Entourage - I always want to skip Entourage, which Jessica loves, but I keep watching and have to say that it is a great low engagement show that reminds me of how much fun I had in LA in my 20s.

Mad Men - I am not religious enough in watching but love it when I pull it up on TV. This show nails the period piece on the head and given my age it always hints at things I recall experiencing as a child. Except my dad wasn't an advertising exec.

Football - It is a great year for Football. The Titans undefeated? Tom Brady out on day one? Miami a playoff contender? Outstanding.

Movies - We try to get out every so often and watch some shows. With Oscar season we will step it up but for now it is whatever strikes our mood. The last three are as follows:

Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist - This was such a fun movie. It was the indie kid / emo version of Linklater's Before Sunrise ( in my opinion). It had great music, compelling actors and clearly hit the hipster youth coming of age market.

Choke - Chuck Palahniuk is one of my favorite authors. Hands down. One night Jess told me that his book Choke had been made into a movie and it was in the theater and she wanted to know if I wanted to watch it. Hell yeah! I forgot to tell her it was about a sex addicted, con artist who intentionally chokes himself on food to obtian sympath and money to support his institutionalized mother. She was disturbed. I was delighted. It was well done and I think Anjelica Huston is going to get an Academy Award nomination as well as Sam Rockwell potentially. I couldn't properly explain why I love his books so much so I just gave up. Hopefully Survivor or Invisible Monsters comes out soon!

W - Josh Brolin knocked it out of the park. Stone has been better and he has been worse. I liked it a lot.

Music - I haven't been listening to a whole lot of new music. It seems like I am stuck in an emo punk (Brand New, Saves The Day, Alkaline Trio ) world on one hand, and an eclectic world music electronica one on the other (Thievery Corporation, Federico Aubele, Azam Ali). I need to branch out. That said, there are a couple of exceptions...

+/- is the name of a band I am really into right now. Their page on Allmusic is here. Really good stuff. People who have heard it compare it to Postal Service. Since I don't listen to Postal Service or Death Cab For Cutie, I can't comment. I just like it.

Faded Paper Figures - So there is this series of commericals on television for Lexus that has some really cool snippets of music. I was so drawn to the music that I had to find out who made this music. Well, there wasn;t really a band, or even a song, just a snippet. It kind of reminded me of a fake memory of a replicant. Or something like that. Fortunately, the guy behind the music has a band and recently released a CD which I love. The commerical didn;t lead to buy a Lexus but I did actually buy a CD...which leads me to the last point.

MP3 Blogs - I am advising a company called Notify.me. They have a cool notification service that subscribes to email addresses or XML feeds or whatever. I initally signed up for some nerd news and after a day or two of seeing headlines pop up in my IM window thought there had to be something better. I subscribed to some Football news feeds for fantasy football. Very cool. I am now getting IM messages as fast or faster than the unemployed guys in my fantasy football league. Progress. Both of these use cases, while interesting, didn't speak to my soul. Then I remembered MP3 Blogs.

When we started up Rabble we reached out to some cool punk/indie and hip hop labels. One of then was Nitro. The head A&R guy at Nitro told me about an MP3 blog he was involved in called 3hive. 3Hive has a number of contributors with some seriously good music sensibility and taste that runs the genre gamut. I went to their site and checked out the sites they linked to. I ultimately subscribe to 3 hive, Aurgasm, Motel De Moka, and Cover Lay Down. Every so often, not to often, a friendly little message pops up in IM and I know that I have some tasty new music to survey. That is how I found out about +/-. And a bunch of other cool bands.

Ok, I was going to do political, tech and mobile blogs but I will do that some other time. I am out.

My Favorite ads

I have two ads right now that just kill me. One is from the eTrade baby series which involves the child talking about renting a clown. It rings so true. Link here.

The second one is the new series of ads for Ask.com. My wife doesn't think this is funny but I start laughing my ass off everytime I see it. Link here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tmobile Android G1 Phone

Ordered mine today. Can't wait.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Genius, unless you are Tool!

Not sure how many of you have tried Genius yet on your iTunes/iPod. It rocks! Big time!

When I first installed it I was kind of annoyed by the MASSIVE iTunes upsell that is off on the side. I almost didn't get over it but then I started playing with it and figured it out. You select a song from inside your library and then click the Genius button. iTunes then returns a playlist of songs that are sort of like that song or at least seem to make sense to me.

Picture this, you head out on a run and are listening to Metallica and all of a sudden a mile into the run your ipod set to shuffle starts playing Dashboard Confessional's Screaming Infidelities. Buzzkill right?

Genius pulls together a bunch of songs into an on the fly list. For example I just selected Mastodon's Colony of Birchmen and I get back tracks from A Killswitch Engage, It Dies Today, Metallica and Black Flag. Proper running music. Nothing emo. The part I especially like about this is that I of course can make a playlist of all the songs I know but Genius actually picks a variety of songs including a bunch I have never played or listened to. True music discovery.

That is as long as you are part of the iTunes infrastructure. I have 6 Tool CDs ripped into my library and I was excited to get some playlists based on songs like Eulogy, Pushit and Sober. No dice. Not on this software. I am not sure if this is a technical limitation of not having the tracks in iTunes or a policy retribution but I always find the Tool vs. digital standoff pretty funny. And since I love Tool, I can respect that.

It's the economy stupid!

Earlier this week one of the guys I worked with came into the office and asked me what I thought of the economy. My response was that it is pretty ugly. He asked me if I had seen anything like this. I thought about it for a little bit and then responded that the crash in 1987 was pretty ugly and so was the dot com bubble bursting, but that this felt pretty significant. The previous ones felt like they were investor slaughters and that on a day to day basis there wasn't a big feeling of other issues directly impacting me. That may have had something to do with my age and perspective.

This time around has been more concerning because a number of factors seem to be adding up to longer lasting and structural impacts. To me it started with the post 9/11 war stance which seemed not entirely unreasonable pre-Iraq in my opinion. Moving away from an orientation of balanced budgets to a ramping up the war machine is always a cause for concern. While one can argue the merits of our middle east strategy, more problematic to me is the unbelievable cost. The Libertarian in me finds that hard to swallow.

When you layer on the housing and mortgage collapse, with the devaluation of the US dollar and the spike in oil prices, the pain is obvious. This kind of pain hits normal people as the decrease in personal wealth ala perceived housing value and the personal overhead on day to day expenses around food and putting gas in the car.

While the previous crashes or crises seemed like a paper problem for lots of people, myself included in the dot com instance, this one feels like we just spread the flu from normal people to Wall Street and make no mistake, Wall Street is burning.

I don't pretend to be an economist or any wiser than anyone else on these issues but the conclusion of the discussion I mentioned at the top was that yes this is pretty bad and pretty broad based. The good news is that we are resilient and I have the utmost confidence that we as a country can weather any storm and provided we have some leadership to sort through critical decisions during this critical times we will find ourselves back on an upward trend in the not too distant future. Let's hope so.

Headed Home From Seattle, playing with Qik

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Intercasting news

Haven't been here in a while. On the company front though I thought it would be good to share that we announced our launches with ATT and Verizon yesterday at CTIA and also the inclusion of Myspace on Anthem. To date we have launched Sprint, Virgin, Boost, 3UK, Tmobile UK, CSL in Hong Kong and now ATT and Verizon. The New York Times has a nice piece here. It has been a ton of work by all of our team and there is much more to come.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Me on Local Radio

On July 11th I was on a local radio show that profiles San Diego based companies. Head to this page and click on the July 11th segment. I am the first person on.

Monday, June 30, 2008

New Habits, New Reading, New Tools

About four weeks ago I came down with some pretty serious headaches that were experienced in conjunction with a general illness I was experiencing that my children gave me. I didn't think much about it and figured I would get over it until I hoped on a Virgin American plane to San Francisco for a day of meetings.

Right after takeoff I had some seriously sharp pain in my neck and head and began to get pretty worked up about how sick I was. At that time I thought that I had a mild infection that was complicated by a dental issue I was experiencing. After a number of calls to doctors and dentists etc. I got on a plan and a series of appointments that put me back on track. One thing that didn't get on track though was the issue with my sinuses that I assumed was just another symptom of being sick.

After a full 3 weeks, I couldn't get the feeling of having a nail driven through my head to go away. After a CAT scan (gasp) I found out that I have a pretty major infection in the deepest part of the sinuses. Armed with that knowledge, I have been on a regimen of antibiotics, mucus reducers and nasal saline baths. Good times. The only positive benefit of this has been a lot of time at the home office which has allowed me to catch up, take a deep breath and focus on the non business development part of work as well as generally reducing the overall stress level of the organism which is me. Aside from the headaches which are coming down, things are actually very good.

So the point of this post that was in the title has yet to be addressed...

New Habits - Over the last several months I have been working on organizing my work. I have read and followed the various GTD and other things out there and am certainly a big fan of sites like Lifehacker. For all my interest in this there really are only three big items that I have found myself doing that I would call new habits that I have focused on over the last six months of this year that I would say are ingrained habits. They are use of Spaces on the Mac, use of outlines to manage my work, and staying current on email.

As far as the last two, those are pretty self explanatory. I process email on a fairly regular basis and aspire to get to zero while knowing that I never will. There is an ebb and flow of around 200 emails that are always in my email box and I keep a range open of about two months. When I am more organized than not I can leverage my outlining to capture the emails and drive the number down. When I travel a lot, I might peak up to around 600 or so. Outlining is critical for me and although I can be engaged or not at times, when I really am trying to juggle a lot of things, the outline is my best friend. We should teach outlining and mind mapping to everyone at a young age.

The Spaces one is certainly more novel for me. A lot of my engineer friends who are Linux nerds use multiple windows. When the new version of the Mac OS came out I gave Spaces a run and slowly over time found it to be a way to organize what I do as I work on my machine. My current configuration is using 9 windows in a 3 by 3 grid with Email in the top left, browser in top center, communication apps in the top right. I use middle center for music and bottom center for calendaring. I use the other winodws for docs or file management or whatever.

New Reading - I haven't been reading any books which bums me out a bit but I have adopted a couple of new blogs over time. My daily reading right now is as follows: Techmeme, Hacker News, Lifehacker, Google News and then checking my news reader. I adopted Hacker News at the recommendation of one of our engineers and have really been enjoying the stories. There is certainly some overlap with my other blogs/sites etc. but there is a pretty strong nerd flavor as well.

New Tools - Not a lot. The biggest one has been a switch for news reading. For around four years now I have been a Bloglines reader. Nothing of any significnce has changed with Bloglines as far as I can tell. While it is adequate for reading stuff, I had cluttered my reading list with the accumulated blogs of those four years and cleaning was less than push button on the interface side. I went back and checked out Google Reader, which didn't blow me away when initially launched. A quick look showed some impressive progress and I made the switch.

The only other thing that I would consider a new tool right now is Google Gears for offline access to Reader and Docs. I have been bummed about how long it has taken to roll this out but it is now here and I am waiting for that next plane flight to give it a run on both accounts. I will let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Death of the Tech Cell Phone Fetishist MVNO

Silicon Valley Insider has a good piece here about the Virgin takeover of Helio. It is interesting to note that in many ways this marks the death of the second wave of MVNOs (Amp'd, ESPN, Disney, Helio). It will be interesting to see how the market segments over time as the 1st wave players (Virgin, Boost) compete with fast moving low price carriers like Leap and Metro PCS. It seems that some combination of 2 or 3 of those players would make for an interesting opportunity. I think that both Virgin and Boost do a great job of marketing, but the growth that Leap and Metro are having driving low price leadership and all in pricing is certainly attractive to a big segement of the market.

I have posted previously on my thoughts around Helio and I think that the article linked above makes the most compelling point about Helio in my opinion. As I said before, I always expected Helio to be the technology fetishist MVNO with cool devices and advanced technology features. While the phones materialized, and to some extent the services did as well, the focus on marketing to the youth demographic on the one hand, while operating high concept stores on the other hand struck me as misaligned. The bottom line has become that the iPhone has become essentially the technology fetishist MVNO with a very attractive price point and soon a very fast network. I hope Virgin maintains some of the focus on the higher end on the market in a practical way but given overall price competition both from above and below I would expect that best execution is the name of the game for a couple of years ahead.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Socialthing 2.0

One of these days I will blog again. I swear. I did want to share that my buddies at Socialthing rolled out version 2.0 Last week. Check it here.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008

The Ocean

I live in a little town in what is called the North county part of San Diego. Back on April 14th we had a really nasty Santa Ana wind condition that raised our temperatures well into the 90s. I decided that given the heat it would be a great day to take all the kids to the beach and I couldn't help but take my first plunge into the sea. It was cold but awesome.

Having lived in a great surfing area for almost ten years now, I have made it an annual ritual to promise myself to learn how to surf and each year I neglect to follow through on this. Instead I am a big fan of boogie boards. I have some decent boards, a spring wetsuit and flippers than make me look something like a hybrid between a seal and a walrus depending on how my diet is going.

All my life I have lived near the ocean and I have to admit that weird things in the water creep me out. I especially hate seaweed but as I get older it is less of a concern. This last week freaked me out. Let me explain...

The picture above was taken on Christmas day at Seaside beach in Cardiff.

View Larger Map

The map here is a close approximation of where the fatal shark attack happened last week. the picture I took, is about half a mile north of there and it is at the beach we usually go to during the summer. Yikes.

I don't expect this to stop us from a lot of beach trips this summer but I am thinking that I am going to be wearing the wetsuit and end up being mistaken for a tasty little shark snack.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

More Socialthing Invites

I just realized I have 10 more socialthing invites. If you want one send me an email to derrick AT doien DOT com.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Google Maps Goodness

I am heading to San Francisco tomorrow for a speaking event at Haas and for some meetings. One of my meetings is with someone I have never met before who happens to live in Santa Cruz. I asked him to meet me in the city and he asked me to suggest a place. There is a place over on Brannan near Bacar that I can't remember the name of for the life of me. It is a place I like to go to when I am meeting with Six Apart or some of the other companies in the area.

I used Google maps to search for Six Apart. After that I did a local business search for restaurant and cafe and bar. None of the results were the place I was looking for. That didn't make any sense to me. I know this place is all three of those things. And it is good. I had a bright idea. How about I use the street view and meander down the street. Having been there many times I knew exactly where it was but that would be of no help to the guy I was meeting. I cruised down Brannan until I saw the familiar place, The Brickhouse cafe and bar. Now that is some useful stuff.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


Earlier in the year I attended the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The conference was good but one of the highlights of the conference for me had nothing to do with wireless technology. The flight I took to Spain ended up in Madrid and given that I was going to get in at 7 AM and was in no rush to get to Barcelona, I decided to spend the morning checking out Madrid.

I had never been to Madrid and have always had a strong desire to get there but it had never happened as other places had called us instead. Back in 1997 when my wife passed the bar we had made it to Barcelona and had plans to go to Madrid but it was hot in Spain and we instead opted to head to Italy and then Germany.

In Madrid there are a number of places that I have always wanted to visit and at the top of the list was the Reina Sofia Museum. The Reina Sofia is home to the National Modern and Contemporary art collections and, of most interest to me, Picasso's Guernica. I have always been fascinated by this painting and it had some particular interest to me based on my Western Civilization class in high school.

In my senior year I took the Western Civilization AP test and the question I answered for my essay was roughly as follows:

Two paintings were shown, Picasso's Guernica and Goya's The 3rd of May 1808. We were then asked to write about the paintings, the artistic movements they represented and the socio-political setting in which the paintings were made. While there might have been easier questions, this one was a no brainer for me as I had studied the military history of Spain both around the time of Napoleon and during the Spanish Civil War and have always been a huge art fan. Needless to say I did well. I bought a small Guernica print and hung it in my room for many years.

Seeing the painting in person was an absolute treat and unfortunately for me my time was short as the entire museum was hosting the Picasso museum of Paris's collection during renovations. I briskly walked through the various rooms and took in the wonderful paintings many of which I had seen in Paris previously. Goya's painting is in the Prado and I had no time to visit but hope to make Madrid the next destination of a European pleasure trip sometime in the coming years.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Email Assasination

Where am I? Haven't been here in a while. I find my blog is an inverse reflection of what is going on in my life. Relatively calm and peaceful? Blogging. Crazy and overworked. No blogging. Today however I was moved to put the hands on the keyboard and share something.

My email was hijacked last night. What do I mean? Well, my personal email that I have been using for around 8 or 9 years had a giant inbox this morning. I keep up with all my stuff all the time although I don't usually respond over the weekend unless it is critical. As of last night, not much. As of this morning, 10 pages. What the hell?

I started combing through the list of emails and all of them were bounces across a variety of domains across the Internet. The senders were various people but all the from email addresses were mine. Ouch.

I have spent a chunk of time today deleting the various bounced emails and other than a nuisance I haven't been too concerned. More important though is that I am certain that I am a very likely to have my personal domain listed on the RBL. That is essentially death of your email account.

While I have often laughed at the stupid amount of spam that I get from all these poor people who I generally assume are hijacked spam zombie computers firing from all over the world, I never expected to see my name as the sender of one of these messages, much less a million or so which is what I am sure happened. In my case, neither my laptop or domain were compromised, but the net effect to me is the very real possibility that my personal email is at risk of becoming a dead useless email address.

It is interesting to read the stories about the death of email and the various attempts to "fix" email. It is less than interesting to be on the other side of the problem and realize that any of us can be easily hijacked by spammers and rendered the unwitting roadkill in their ongoing attempt to get people to buy Viagra.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Socialthing Invites

I am good friends with the founders of Socialthing as a reader of this blog knows from my posts about Techstars last summer. I have 10 invites available on a first come basis. They were featured on Techcrunch today and are getting a lot of good buzz. Don't post a comment here but email me at Derrick AT doien Dot com if you want one.


Busy Startup + A Very Busy Travel Schedule + A Large Young Family = No Blogging.

Sorry. I hope that something changes but I have to say that business is great and the family is a blast and unfortunately my returns to blogging will be getting the short end. I have a couple of things today to post about so I thought I would start with this.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Barcelona Redux aka MWC 2008

I returned from Spain last Thursday. I was very impressed by the scale and quality of the conference. It was amazing to see how many people they could get to pay 600 Euro compared to a similar number of CTIA attendees at $50 a pop. There is probably a lesson in there for the CTIA.

I didn't have a whole lot of serious takeaways other than one over arching thing that I couldn't shake. The overarching thing was that the music is playing and everyone is looking for a chair and this is making for some strange bed fellows. Witness Microsoft buying Danger, Sony releasing a Windows Mobile device, etc. I think there is a lot more of that sort of thing to come.

For our part we announced a partnership with Bebo, one of the largest social sites in Europe, that you can see here as well as a with Moko which is a leading mobile only community in the UK which is here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Travels and Talks

I am in Los Angeles for most of this week for a variety of meetings and am hoping to catch up with some friends. After the LA stop, I will be heading to Spain this weekend for 3GSM. If you want to grab a nice cold cava in Spain let me know.

At the end of the month, I will be speaking at the Wharton Business Technology Conference. Details here. Shortly after that we were invited to speak at the Microsoft sponsored Mix08 conference in Las Vegas. Link here. Details pending.

The Industry Standard Lives!

Holy Bubble Batman! The Industry Standard has relaunched. It is now more of a game theory / marketplace of people speculating on Internet happenings. Do check it out. My sense is that this one is gonna last longer than the previous one. Don't get me wrong, I am/was a huge fan of the original.

The Rabble Tribe

Two weeks ago at a conference I spoke about the different consumer archetypes in the Rabble community. Anastasia from Ypulse graciously reposted some excerpts. If you are interested the whole deck I used can be found here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Travels and Sex::Tech

This week is the first travel week of the year for me. While I have already been to San Francisco and Los Angeles, I don't think of those as travel days since they are short trips. This week includes a trip today to Seattle, down to San Francisco later this evening, an appearance at a conference called Sex:tech and then a journey out to NYC.

The Sex:tech conference is going to be interesting for me in that it is not the usual speaking engagement. When Shawn or I are out it is usually to talk about the mobile industry, or social networking or something that is more business focused.

Several weeks ago I was invited to participate in an Aspen Institute conference that was focused on social implications of mobile technology. I was one of the industry folks in attendance along with Steve Chen from Youtube as well as a lot of people from the non-profit sector.

One of the interesting people I met at this conference was Deb Levin who heads up ISIS in San Francisco. Their mission (or at least my interpretation) is to get out information around sexual health to youth in a manner that is authentic and focused on places where the kids are. Our discussions led to me discussing what we are seeing with Rabble in our community and some of the interesting findings that we have encountered as a result.

While I don't usually talk about these things for competitive reasons, I will be discussing some of those findings tomorrow with Anastasia Goodstein from Ypulse (A blog I love) and Janet Kornblum from USA Today. I have a light deck that I will post a link to on my blog tomorrow. It should be interesting and am I excited to meet Anastasia who I am a fan of.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I think I had a little more restraint this year in talking about football than I normally do. So if you don't like football stop reading now. This is more of a mental marker for me than anything else.

This year, like last year, I participated in 3 fantasy football leagues. I know, nerd.

I am in a redraft league, a keeper league and a dynasty league. Without getting to much into it, a redraft league is where everyone starts with nobody and we draft our teams from scratch. In our keeper league you can keep up to 4 players from a previous year according to a scheme where a players draft position is cut in half from the previous year. For example a 10th round pick this year will be a 5th round pick next year.

In our dynasty league, we keep up to 18 players from the previous year and then have our annual draft right after the real NFL draft. The Dynasty league is sick and I predict it will become the primary format for fantasy football nerds in the future.

In terms of performance, I won my redraft league, came in 4th in my keeper league and came in 7th in my dynasty league. In dynasty, which is in our second year, I took a long term view and took a bunch of rookies the first year which insured my last place finish the year before. Next year, I am a contender.

In terms of real football this was a fascinating year. To see a team go undefeated was really impressive. To have 3 of the 4 teams I care most about in the playoffs has been great. To have two of them playing against each other next week, is depressing but unavoidable.

Beyond all of this though, my personal highlight was last week when I was able to assist as a runner for a friend of mine who is a photographer on the sidelines of the Titans Chargers game. The picture here is from the game. I can only say that it was amazing to be that close to the action.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Pedigree Technologies - Update

Back in December of last year my brother in law's company Pedigree Technologies, was selected as a Top 100 company in the M2M space. Link here. It's been fun watching him build his company in an almost parallel time frame as we have been on at Intercasting. I wanted to send him some props for hard work recognized.

Happy New Year

I usually post a retrospective post from the previous year but opted not to out of mostly laziness. 2007 was a great year for me. Family life was hard, especially with the amount of traveling a do, but the kids got a lot easier and a lot more fun. Professionally I couldn't be more excited and I expect 2008 to be a very big year for both home and work. Best of luck in the coming year.