Friday, February 29, 2008

*stay tuned*

Thanks for your patience! I know I have not blogged recently, this is because I am a semi-finalist in a Business Plan competition...Bizplan was due by today! Next I will be helping the $12 Billion per year Music Biz make lots of money Web 2.0 style, in the 21st century.

Soon I will get back to helping; VC's screen web 2.0/Net start ups, locate their competition,fix broken business models,sell off assets headed for the dead pool; Start-ups write their business plans,develop new business models and revenue streams,fix broken strategies,do their bizdev,structure their marketing,strike their deals; Internet & Web 2.0 Companies teach them what a white paper is,proper pr,marketing subsets such as marketing collateral,trade shows & exhibitions,contests,talking to sales team,high level business development, website design, GUI design and usability, and lots lots more ... Stay tuned!


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

buying Print Media

No one should ever pay rate card and I assume most do not. I was always very proud that I was able to get excellent placement in tier one publications at MY price and not theirs. It would be inappropriate for me to "name names" here, but what I will state is for a $69k rate card price I was paying less then $20k. For another with a 25k rate card I was paying in the four figures.

Be careful with your media buys though - price is not everything. I always stipulated, and was granted "front of mag" placements. Most of the time, I was even able to receive a right hand page, and sometimes got the fold page as well!!! Make certain you take care of your ad. rep. :-)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Yahoo OneConnect

Day late and a dollar short!! Just one day (maybe even hours) after I highlighted a $15Billion opportunity to own mobile - Yahoo introduces Yahoo One Connect at the Barcelona Mobile show:

Congratulations to Marco Boerries, and his team!!

In my earlier post, I referenced why others already in that space would fail. Kudos to Yahoo's OneConnect product managers - It's like they read my mind. Yahoo will succeed - here's why;

1) Support multiple (and most) of the popular social networks, not just Yahoo properties.

2) Work "Off Deck", so I do not have to use a particular wireless carrier that they chose to partner with.

3) Work with OTHER Instant messaging products, not just Yahoo's.

Image is Everything!

Website when I was first hired

I was with this company from 2000-2007. Possibly the most painful employment I ever had. Don't get me wrong, I like the product, liked what I did (headed up all marketing / bizdev and sales). I LOVED all my success. Unfortunately, I worked for a micro-managing CEO who had the mentality of a software developer, but the business acumen of a peanut. So after BEGGING for years, to let me take over the message/ look & feel of our website - It was like pulling teeth and took years. Here is a look at the website when I first started, with a new *look* approximately once a year. NOTE to web designers and marketing people; WHITE (empty) SPACE is GOOD - LESS is MORE!!!:

Front Page 2007
Enterprise Page 2007 (I lobied for this look for the main site as well but was denied)

Main Page 2002

Main Page 2003

I called it an ICMS - Now at its simplest form You call it Blogging Software

Was just thinking back to 1995, my first Internet Start-Up. Raised angel money at a $10M Valuation, and got as far as a proof of concept site, based on our ICMS technology. Funny to note that sites based on our ICMS still exist (and are totally self maintained) today;

Go to The Website

DDBC has created an Internet technology called the Image Content Management System (ICMS). The ICMS is designed to allow any company operating in vertical or specialty markets a robust and quick "time to market" solution for adding and implementing a buyer - seller model on the Internet. Below is a brief overview of the Image Content Management System Technology. You can then visit an example of the system at or visit for a more detailed description of the ICMS technology. The ICMS is considered to be beyond an end-to-end solution. Simply putting up an online catalog of your products just will not do. Ask yourself, will it cover both my retail and wholesale (extranet) needs? Is it simple and yet robust enough for my customers to navigate? Can anyone within my organization administer the site, without the need for special computer skills? Can I update and change my content 24 hours a day? Will my site be able to grow as our customers and inventory grows? Will it run on any platform? Is it search engine friendly? Buyers and Sellers Speaking the Same Language - Our unique categorizing matrix gives the ICMS engine unparalleled search capabilities. A Platform That Grows As Your Needs Grow - Because the ICMS is an application server, and not CGI based, it scales as your site traffic grows. Your Own Look And Feel - The ICMS is driven by standards based HTML templates allowing for complete reconfiguration of the "look and feel" of the target site without touching any of the code. End User 'Point and Click' Maintenance - Whether being used in a multi - vendor environment, or a multi department environment, every exhibitor has 'end user' control over their own home page. Your Products Found by NEW Customers - Specialized technology allows the ICMS database to be posted on to search engines. Users Search THEIR Way - There are a multitude of browsing techniques for your customers to use.

Friday, February 08, 2008

1 + 1 + 1 = $15Billion -

IMNEARBY.COM The Killer App.

It is important to note that, IM technology, Contact Management and LBS components can easily be licensed, not just built internally. This is important, because this is a market that needs to be hit prior to other larger players entering the space. So the concept is to be able to suck everyone of your business and/or personal contacts into a neutral IM client (should work ideally not just with AIM, but with all the messaging clients). Marry the IM client to Navigon’s SDK … And you have an immediate mobile social network unrivaled… Users would be able to determine who sees them and who does not, as well as “friends of friends “ (linked in).

So one day I happen to be at the airport, and my IM client would alert me that someone in my social network is nearby me…I would have the opportunity to “meet” / cloak / “reject” … Paid user business model for PRO features, as well as huge local advertising opportunity.

There are already many different companies in this space ie;

Ask Mobile GPS
Dodgeball (service)
Skyhook Wireless
Smarter Agent
Sprint Family Locator
Super Local
Trimble Outdoors

Problem is as with most start-ups, they lack correct product management,business model and marketing. Carriers will always try and protect this via their "Walled Gardens", charging a monthly fee. Why this ultimately fails to become the gorilla is because - Apps/Content just want to be free * Note how the multi-billion dollor MVNO/Ringtone business is constantly moving off-deck; Carriers loose because their models lock out all other carriers other then themselves (think the multi-year ongoing communication issue between Yahoo Messenger,MSN Messenger, AIM Messenger,etc) . Free + Cross Platform = Scale / Category Killer most quickly.

Initial GEO locating can be done via Cell Tower triangulation, IP addressing as well as GPS. It is expected however that the majority of cell phones shipped going forward will have GPS - Thus, ultimately the service would prefer to support GPS.

So who will be in this market?

Wireless carriers (Verizon,AT&T,Sprint,T-Mobile)... They will all leverage their existing users...they will not be the victors for the earlier aforementioned reasons.

Operating System guys (Microsoft via their windows mobile,Google via their android, Apple via Iphone)

Portal guys (Yahoo via their large userbase combined with their Yahoo IM userbase)

IM Clients (AOL IM,YahooIM,Microsoft Messenger,Meebo,Trillian)

Phone Guys (Nokia,Motorola,Apple,Sony/Ericson,RIMM)

GPS & Sat guys (TomTom,Mapquest (aol),Garmen)

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Note to RIAA and record labels

Now you want anti malware software to scan desktops for illegal music downloads??? Huh??? You need to loose all the DRM, and EMBRACE the digital economy.

1) Make ALL your music 100% free - There's nothing like free advertising, and this is what that is FREE ADVERTISING

2) Make your money on new ancillary revenue streams ie; RingTones,CallerTones, Higher quality (loseloss) digital recordings then the MP3's you offer for free,licensing fees for comercial uses,concerts,etc ...
3) Think outside the box for even newer yet to be discovered revenue streams. How much do you get everytime a Guitar Hero player downloads a new song??? How about making your music available for download on a "track" by "track" basis. Then, I, as a casual (or even professional) musicion could "Jam" with Aerosmith ... Do you know what every Tom, Dick and Harry would pay to be able to do that???

Marketing / PR for Web 2.0

It's not your father's PR anymore. Start up & Web 2.0 launches:

1) Interactive press kit - Beside hard copy needs online elements . ie ; Corporate Blog/s

2)YouTube videos both product demo & viral / fun campaigns (*think Superbowl ads on a start up budget).

3) PR Blitz to industry/product specific bloggers (*must be done prior to general press)

4) Podcast from both a corporate & product perspective

5) Website SEM/SEO

6) Launch via high visibility events ie- Demo / Showstoppers / etc

7) Gotta have a widget and ties to social networks when possible

8) Share functionality for viral effect

9) Beta launch invites need be limited at first ala google email launch

**Updated in response to a question someone asked on whether PR should be run in or outside:

I have dealt with, and there are many agencies that will work with you on a "per hit" pricing scheme. I do not recommend this however and I am a big believer that you get what you pay for. PR is NOT and should not be practiced how it was even ten years ago (though it is not that far off).

You can get a very competent PR (outside) team for as little as $5-$6k per month. To be done properly however, I would strongly suggest that they be managed by someone in house. This is for a few different reasons. No one will know your product as well as you do, nor will they be able to pitch your product with the passion you will have. An outside agency should be used for their contacts and introductions... Most of the time saying only what they need to walk you in.

Another reason it is important to manage this resource internally is that if you let them simply run loose, they do not necessarily know your needs/what's available outside of basic media contacts. For example, when I managed PR for a consumer software company, not only were media hits (newspaper,wire,Tv,radio,blog) important - but equally important was getting the company in front of, and entered into different "award" offerings ( Best Software of the Year, Crunchies, SIA awards,etc). Regarding an outside agency working 100% on a per hit basis only, I would turn the question back on you... As a sales person do you work for 100% commission only, or do you (as most) have a salary, benefits as well as a *bonus* kicker commission?

Stupid Factoid of the day

If you bought stock in the 1920's, it took you till 1954 to break even!!!!!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Stupid Factoid of the day

As we move from an agricultural economy, to an industrial economy and now to a service economy ... Services as a percentage of GDPis now more then 2 to 1 over durables/non-durables