Friday, August 29, 2008

Classy Ad, RWW



Not an ideal brand fit - I'm not saying it's not remunerative, just takes away from the sterling RWW brand.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Icahn - Great Proxy Analogy

"An apt analogy would be a situation where a store manager raids the cash register and uses those funds to hire security guards to prevent the store's owner from entering the store to make suggestions on how the store is run."
- 3 Senseless Steps in A Proxy Contest

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Denver, Democrats, and Protests.




Denver, Democrats, and Protests.
"Where is the America I love?"

Fantastic photo from fantastic site: Daylife - with traction.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Seven Tips From Ben Straley - Reachmachines

My smart friend Ben Straley, founder of Reachmachines just coalesced 7 great points to address slash questions to answer up front as an entrepreneur - none of these are big secrets - just a nice list of the puzzle pieces you want in order to start a successful business:

  1. Find a partner you trust. Someone with complementary skills and experience that you like and know will be honest and upfront about their goals and level of commitment. It’s more fun that way and your odds of success will be exponentially greater.
  2. Clearly define roles and responsibilities of everyone involved on a day-to-day basis with the business BEFORE you determine ownership structure. For an early-stage business, this issue is of paramount importance. It’s the key to ensuring everyone’s incentives are aligned for the longterm.
  3. Have a clear idea of your target market. I don’t mean this in the strategic sense. I mean it in the sense that you need to have 5 (or more) individuals/companies in mind that you KNOW would be eager to pay for your service. Find them and talk to them.
  4. Have a good idea of how you will make money. In my experience, pricing model, price point, etc. can and should be somewhat flexible. Regardless of the model and price(s) you arrive at over time, you need to know you can charge something for it and enough to generate meaningful returns in a relatively short period of time.
  5. Think through your exit. Don’t build the business with an exit in mind but at the same time understand there will likely be one. This will also inform your financing plan. When you’ve thought through #2 and #3, the you’ll have a good idea if you’re building a $10M business or a $1B business. The former is interesting to a lot of angels while the latter is interesting to angels AND VCs. The sooner you know which of these two paths you’re heading down, the closer you’ll be to raising the funds necessary to grow the business.
  6. If you need to, raise a relatively small amount of money from family and friends. People that know you personally and believe in YOU. Use this money to prove the concept.
  7. Unless you’re within 90 days of a larger financing round (term sheet(s) on the horizon), do not mess around with convertible debt. A series A (preferred) is the better way to go.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Dear Washington DC Reader

Dear Washington DC reader - email me, we should be friends:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jason Calacanis on PR

I saw this first on Hacker News - so it's not like I'm finding a diamond in the rough here, but Jason Calacanis on developing & getting PR is fantastic

The 80-100 Rule

Everybody's heard of the 80/20 rule - and similarly, the 80/20 rule manifests itself everywhere.

My contribution is the 80/100 rule, namely, it's better to do a 100% job on the 80% solution than an 80% job on the 100% solution.

Tim Egan On The Republican Party

"And what nearly two-out-of-every-three Americans concluded in the last four years -– based on disapproval ratings -– was that Republicans could not govern at a national level.

They lost a city, in New Orleans, a budget surplus by pandering to lobbyist-greased congressional leaders, and world standing by waging a war that may end up as the most costly and longest in our history.

Their moral strutting proved as thin as the claim to fiscal responsibility. Down the road, in Colorado Springs, a minister who bragged that he had the White House on speed dial was brought down by a male prostitute and meth."

-Tim Egan in the NYT

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nelson Mandela - Early Internet Radio

Great story from a friend over IM today:

"So we had obtained all the global rights to the South African Broadcasting System via Q's friendship with Nelson Mandela, and we were the first guys to stream live radio over the web in the very first days of "Real Networks" (we put a boom box radio in a sound proof box and a high quality microphone connected to a sound blaster card in a PC, connected to a moden, connected to our hosting servers to get the radio signals on to the web!"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Forget People Who Dont Like You

In a reflective moment, my frequently wise, 17 year old brother told me that he thought life was much too short to waste time on people who didn’t like him. The same is true when you’re building and providing a web application. It’s generally accepted that you should design for yourself before you start designing for other people, but as an extension – don’t waste time on people who aren’t going to like you anyway. There are a couple of good posts floating around this week on this topic:

“I think the best brands, the best sites have a large portion of their founders personality in them. Never be afraid to be yourself, after all there are 1/2 billion people on the www, not all of them have to agree with you. Concentrate on the ones that share your views, concentrate on making their experience the very best it can be, the rest forget them.”
-SEObook

“Faced with the excitement of making a CD and all the knobs and dials, they overproduced the record. They went from being two real guys playing authentic music, live and for free, and became a multi-tracked quartet in search of a professional sound. And they ended up in the dead zone. Not enough gloss to be slick, too much to be real.”
- Seth Godin

Here’s the correct progression:
  1. Build a product that you yourself love to use – if you can’t convince yourself, how can you convince anyone else?
  2. Delight the people who already give you the benefit of the doubt. Believe it or not, there are people who will invest an inordinate amount of time in your application and excuse all kinds of foibles – worry about these people, they are the ones who will churn out over time if you don’t serve them well enough, not the ones who abandon right off the bat – it’s too hard to convince abandoners anyway.
  3. When you’re creating value and inculcating loyalty, then go ahead and aggressively open the floodgates.

Amadou And Miriam



I went to see Amadou & Miriam, the married, blind, musical geniuses from Mali with LL a couple of years ago in Seattle - this was probably the best concert I have ever been to - they make & enjoy such beautiful music together - here is a great Amadou & Miriam playlist that you can stream from imeem - if you can't see the player click through here:

Amadou & Miriam

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Google: Black Ink Within 24 Months! (1999)

This is a great Forbes article from 1999. You could practically run the same article today with regards to semantics and natural language.

This bit would work less well though:

"If all goes according to plan, Google should be in the black in less than 24 months. If Page and Brin pull it off, now that will be some story to tell."

Old, speculative articles like this one give great perspective on the speculative articles of today.

Ad Of The Day: The Navy SEAL Of Book Publicists


Ad Of The Day: The Navy SEAL Of Book Publicists

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Seattle Concert Listings in blist

You can scroll through or search for Seattle concert listings through the end of 2008 here. You can see band pictures, click through to their myspace page or listen on imeem:


Seattle-WA-Concerts

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Monday, August 11, 2008

SEOmoz Top 100 Sites In Situ



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