Monday, February 27, 2006

Rob Deichert has a great post

"Bird Flu and the Potential Impact on the Internet."

It's a short, GREAT read, very well done....

I find it interesting from a Sociological point of view, to see how human behavior, can be analyzed by online reactions, in a catastrophe, a crisis, and how major events, are "digested" online.

Complete Behavior analysis, one American at a time. Each displaying behavior, on a ONE ON ONE BASIS with a computer.....pure addressibility.

Rob does a very good job at explaining it.

Click here for Rob's Blog.
There has always been a set of lyrics in the middle of ONE song that rips at me.

The lyrics were written by, Robert Hunter, Jerry Garcia composed the music. This was the combination that was the POWER behind the Grateful Dead. Garcia & Hunter....were the DUO that wrote many of the classic Dead standards...

One song in particuliar, and ONE VERSE always STINGS me.

It's from the song, "Cat's Under the Stars"

The first and second verse, are this.

"Cats on the blacktop
Birdy in the treetop
Someone plays guitar that
sounds like clavinette
I ain't ready yet
to go to bed
Think I'll take a walk
downtown instead

Cats on the bandstand
Give 'em each a big hand
Anyone who sweats that hard
must be all right
No one wants a fight
No black eye
Just another cat beneath
the stars tonight"

But, out of nowhere, Hunter comes up with this line that packs a wallop. It hurdles me from where I may be, into another stratosphere.

Now imagine, me with a Walkman 15 years ago, hitting rewind OVER AND OVER hear this 10 second dissertation of the verse.

In the car, I hit reverse, to relisten numerous still happens 20+ years after my introduction to the song.

This is the VERSE.

"A satin blouse unbuttoning
satin blouse unbuttoning,
Time is a stripper
Doing it just for you
Time is a STRIPPER, doing it just for you....
Just for YOU."

Why this "hits me" I'm not sure? The jam by Garcia after this verse, is a 6-10 minute masterpiece, that I believe is KICK STARTED, by the verse itself....

I almost feel as though, (selfishly) that the line was written FOR ME, by Mr. Hunter. (I know it was not, but we can dream, eh?)

Time is a STRIPPER. There is no greater stripper than time. It is the ultimate judge, arbiter, and dealer, when it comes to life.

And, the words could not be more true.

The reason the words hit me in the soul, is because, I guess at a young age, I developed a great respect for age, culture, and history.

This FORCED me to be more cognizant of TIME, developments, and evolution.

For instance, I knew at a early age, I liked the Beatles, Beach Boys, and Mama's and The Papa's. Many of my friends were listening to "Freak Out" - or popular bands of the late 70's, early 80's -- I was not attracted to it, nor did I spend much of my time listening to it. I had "Pet Sounds" and Seargant Peppers on my record player, when my contemporaries, had Disco.

I knew, when I got a call on Sept 19th, 1981, at 1:00pm -- from a friend at the time, named Bill Murray, to go see Simon and Garfunkel play in Central Park. I realized then, that there were NOT too many kids our age, even contemplating, or plotting to go to Central Park - to see a band reunite, that WE LOVED...but, the band was 15 years BEFORE our time. It was not suppose to be our demographic, but it was.

I was AWARE of time, and my limited place in it.

Now, I hear my kids. I am watching them grow up. I see TIME before my eyes.

Verses like this, TRANSCEND music for me.

Time is a STRIPPER, doing it just for you.

Just for you, and NO ONE else. Time, is the most valued, cherished, perishable resource we have.
Use it wisely.

You know why I can write this?

For the first time in my professional career, I feel as though I'm ADDRESSING, and ACKNOWLEDGING, time, and all it's features and attributes.

It's not about money. It's about feeling good with what you are doing with time.

After all, time will strip it all away.

Till we are left with only 2 things.

Results or Excuses.

"Time is a STRIPPER, doing it just for YOU....."

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Letter from a Iraqi Mayor.

He is from the town of Tall 'Afar.

I've seen plenty about Dick Cheney, Guantanomo, and while in the UK last week, the beating of prisoners - with a video that was years old. Bascially, these 3 stories have been dominating our news cycle, OVER AND OVER again....and it's all negative, and deemed important by "people in the know." But, they keep harping on it, (Specifically, Editorial Boards of Major Newspapers, over and over - telling us all the negative stories of what's going on in the WAR in Iraq)

Any good news?
Anything positive going on?

Read the entire letter to our soldiers of the 3rd cavalry. CLICK HERE

WHY IS THIS NOT MAKING "all the news that is fit to print?" (emphasis on small letters, for my former favorite newspaper- it does not deserve capital anything in my book) -- I must guess that a letter like this one does NOT fit their ideology. Specifically, a letter from a Iraqi elected official, PRAISING our soldiers for saving his town from Zarqawi, and the terrorist's gang, killing the town's citizens.

Here are some quick quotes from the letter to our soldiers...from this brave Iraqi Mayor.

"To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young. This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them."

Read the entire letter HERE

Why has this NOT made news? Why is a GOOD story, about our soldiers who are doing a VALIANT and AMAZING job -- not included in reporting by the NY Times, or Washington Post, in a way that YOU WOULD EVEN know that this letter existed?

Friday, February 24, 2006

Music and Investing....

I ask myself all the time, if I was hypothetically living in the Bay Area (SF) in 1964-1965, or in London in 1961 -- would I have been keen enough, to identify RAW talent at the time, and be in a position to HELP, as well as BE HELPED -- with either 2 groups. The Grateful Dead or The Rolling Stones?

Here is the question:

"Would I have put myself in a position to, in a earlier time with either band, to HAVE FUN with them, and financially benefit -- while HELPING THEM GET BIG?" Undoubtedly, they would have gotten huge on their own, but AHHHH the fun, the magical ride, the's hard to imagine, but something I think about often...THE JOURNEY OF GETTING THERE... )

I'll never have the answer, because it's past tense, and of course hypothetical.

I was NOT going to let that chance pass me by again.

In Feb of 2000, I was helping a few guys in the Tenderlion district, of San Francisco, open up the 1st office. (it was the rise of the craze and the only place that could be afforded was a run down old restaraunt, turn into a .com office.....)

I went with a fellow named Jack M, (great guy, and early employee of and we treked, to the Great American Music Hall to see a band named "Steve Kimock Band."

We had many drinks at a dive bar before the show, and Jack was MY GUEST, although he went becasue I prodded him....I thank him for joining me to this day.

I was mid- Feb 2000, (Feb 17-18) a run of I think 2 nights at the place, a venue that was made famous for me, by the 1975 comeback of the Grateful Dead after a "brief retirement.." The Dead played a run of classic shows there, that are amongst some of the best 1975 concerts.

Back to the Steve Kimock Band.

Jack was not that impressed by the music, the scene... he left after 3 songs....he "stumbled out..." ( I think Jack and coke?) I stayed, grooving by myself, in the back of the floor.

I was blown away.

Something inside of me had perished on August 9th 1995, the day I was driving in my car, and my wife called to tell me that Jerry Garcia had died. It was 11:04 am, I was listening to a song called, "Comes A Time.." = I was traveling north on the Garden State Parkway....

For 5 years, I was "musically homeless.."

Until that night of Feb 17. I was re-awakened, blown away, and stomped on my head, by a little guy - SHREDDING on guitar. He played tunes, I had never heard, but, I felt like I knew all the songs - I felt full of inspiration..and HOPE.

This touched my soul. I was passionate, full of energy, and walking on air -- as I left the concert hall that night.

Needless to say, I came back the next night...

I met many great people, from Larry N. (who sent me a batch of shows) to Mark W. and Brad B - who have been more than generous to me, in many ways.

I have also been lucky enough to replace my "lack of Grateful Dead" touring, with semi-annual trips around the country to see this band play -- and it keeps me looking forward to "getting on the road.."

This past summer it was Colorado, with 3 nights, from one night in Aspen, to the back country for 2 more shows. I got to fly fish with my buddy Kenny by day...and see the Steve Kimock Band at night.


I had originally titled this post, Music and Investing, and I'd like to leave it that way....

I will write more on how I came to produce THIS (click here) in the not too distant future --- I was Not going to let my regret, about MISSING the early days, and the meteroric jouney of the Grateful Dead, and The Rolling Stones happen again....(I referenced it in the 1st paragraph of this post)...
I know nothing about investing in music. Still do not.

But, producing the Steve Kimock DVD, was fun, exciting -- and something I'm super proud of...

It was NOT award winning, it's a bit dull - but, it was my 1st shot -- and my initial test of doing something on film. It will never get high praise, it will never win awards -- but many years from now.....I can show my grandchildren something I tried to do, with little to no background, and show my "risk taking side...." (while I puff out my chest, and tell them to be a bit improvisational, like I was in my early days...)

This leads me to tonight.

These guys are doing a webacast of a show on DIGITALSOUNDBOARD.NET (click here)

A bit about the show that will be streamed tonight, on YOUR computer.... at 9:30pm EST.

"This is a quick note to invite you to tune in at
Friday night (Feb. 24) for the live stream of Porter-Batiste-Stoltz with
special guest Steve Kimock from Mexicali Blues in Teaneck, NJ. We will cut
over from DigitalSoundboard Radio to the live stream from Mexicali at
around 9:30PM (EST).

More about the two night stand…

Most people are familiar with the initials PBS as an abbreviation for
Public Broadcasting System. Here PBS stands for the all-star power/funk
trio of Porter-Batiste-Stoltz. PBS is three uniquely talented musicians
forging the New Orleans sound into the 21st century. Bassist George Porter
Jr., drummer David Russell Batiste Jr.and guitarist Brian Stoltz bring to
the stage an explosive blend of Supersonic Funk.

Being three of the four funky Meters and all natives of New Orleans, they
continue their journey laying down deep-rooted grooves not meant for the
faint of heart. Porter-Batiste-Stoltz are well sought after throughout the
jam-nation and today continue to solidify their place in New Orleans as
well as the rest of the world's rich musical history."

If you like funk, a great GEETAR, and fun, check it out.

9:30pm tonight. Turn up your computer. They rock.

This is Part 1 of this series, more to follow on the "investing side" -- enjoy tonight's webcast...I will.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

In complete contradiction to my previous post about the power of Google, and their tools...a study was released this week, polling marketers about their conversion stats. The marketers were buying media on search engines...thru WebSideStory.

"Web analytics firm WebSideStory released a study showing the following conversion stats across their many clients:

AOL traffic 6.17%
MSN traffic 6.03%
Yahoo traffic 4.07%
Google traffic 3.83%"

Conversion rate is defined as the number of clicks, it takes, to generate a might be sale,lead, or download. (so based on the above info, 6.17 out of every 100 clicks in AOL traffic, generates a conversion for the advertiser)

So, it would appear that Google is the least effective. AOL is most effective for ROI.

This is garbage data.

I will go into a few of the reason why it means nothing.

1 - Google is the biggest
2 - Google "pushes" data throught AdSense, meaning they buy media to SHOW relevant contextual keywords - so this data is flawed.
3 - Google has more "testing" going on, so marketers will naturally test more variations of themes, as well as price points -- becasue their bidding system is more robust.
4 - Everyone likes to pile on the big guy.
5 - The study DID not measure data beyond a click, meaning that - if someone clicked on a link in Google for airlines, and went back within 48 hours to complete the sale, it did NOT track latient conversion.....CONVERSION TAKING PLACE AFTER THE CLICK.

But hey, if I worked at AOL, (which I do not) I'd do a massive press release -- I mean tout this data that AOL is #1 in conversion rates, from their search traffic...

I'd make sure it (the release) was in the Wall Street Journal, and nearly every place media folks would be.

Guess the AOL/Goog partnership will pay off afterall, for BOTH parties.

I don't believe this data at all, but, what the heck, --- America Online Media Sales should turn this into a HUGE win for their company, and run with some good dat athat supports the fine people at AOL.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Stones, Google, and Behavioral Targeting...

The Beach party that I linked to in my previous post....can be found HERE

While I was on the page, reading about the RIO beach party -- I noticed a GOOGLE link on the side of the page...

The Google link (ad) said " Hear all Your Favorite Rolling Stones Songs, Live At a Simulcast Theatre Near You."

I clicked on the link, interested to see what I would find...(contextual and relevant advertising - it interested me mildly)

It brought me to THIS SITE...put in your ZIP CODE. (for the Rolling Stones)

The Stones Show (concert from yesterday in RIO), is being simulcast next Tuesday, the 28th of Feb, in a movie theater, and it is playing both in NYC, as well as, less than 10 miles from my house, in New Rochelle.

Wanna know where I will be next Tuesday night?

Here is what clinched the deal, and what the site sent me upon entering ONLY my zip code -- "REGAL NEW ROC CITY STADIUM 18 PLUS IMAX - 10 miles from YOUR ZIP CODE,
33 Le Count Place New Rochelle NY 10801"

Let me describe why this is fantastic, for the advertiser, the website that I was on -- as well as the company who facilitated -- GOOGLE.

1 - I was on a site reading about the Rolling Stones concert this past weekend in Brazil. A topic I am VERY interested in.

2 - The story was content that I desired, and choose to read.

3 - The advertising on the page was DIRECTLY relevant to the content I was on. (placed by Google)

4 - Google placed the ad, I clicked on the link.

5 - I liked the product because ALL THEY ASKED ME FOR WAS A ZIP CODE TO PROVE THEIR VALUE TO ME...(rather than ask for a ton of personal information, before I knew if they had value)

6 - I became a customer, and bought what was offered.

7 - Google facilitated the SALE, the website is happy, and the advertiser is thrilled, and the consumer (ME) is psyched.

8 - This is why Google, their data, and their future -- as well as their current valuation is amazing, and rightfully so.

The not to distant future...

What I just described to you is CONTEXTUALLY RELEVANT ADVERTISING -- meaning simply, I was on a site reading about the Rolling Stones, and I was shown Rolling Stones advertising. Simple, yet powerful.

The future, and coming quickly is BEHAVIORAL TARGETING.
Example, I'm on a site reading about SPORTS, NBA Scores, and all of a sudden I get a advertisment about THE ROLLING STONES -- because it was based on my previous behavior, (remeber I was looking at Rolling Stones information) not ONLY, the current content.

This is the difference between CONTEXTUAL and BEHAVIORAL targeting. The ability to show advertising based on previous behavior, no matter what site you are on.

Make sense?

Good, because Behavioral Targeting is the future of the internet...and the ability to show and monetize advertising in this fashion, is why the "addressiblity" of the internet has yet to even BEGIN. the market continues to evolve.
Talk about a BEACH PARTY.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

While in London, I stayed at a hotel, that had a computer in the lobby, next to the bar.

I worked from this computer at night, when I got back for the day, sent out email, surfed a bit, and wrote a few shorts posts on this blog.

While doing this, the manager of the hotel and I struck up a conversation. He was Lebanese, and lived in London for the past 5 years. He was a from a small town on the outskirts of Beirut, and a Muslim. He was nicely dressed, and was very, very friendly. We struck up a conversation about how he had lived in New Jersey, with relatives, years ago. He chatted about issues such as-- his wife and kids, his job at the hotel -- (the owner of the hotel had suffered a heart attack on New Years Eve, and he has assumed many of his responsibilities.) The guy was cordial, and after all it was close to 10pm, and it was only the two of us in the lobby. He stood close to me while I was seated at the computer.

I surfed upon one of my favorite sites, covering the Mid-East, (quite intentionally) -- and asked him his opinion on its contents, and headlines. (it is a Israeli site)

He sat in my chair, adjusted his seat, and read for 5 minutes, very intently.

His first response, while I fiddled with my blackberry was...

"You know, I can't pinpoint it, but, there are large forces at play, to discredit, and harm Islam and the Muslims of the world...."

"Jews, Bush, your so called Democracy -- aimed at making us (Islam) look bad - and humiliate ourselves."

I said to him, "This is why I am alarmed, I consider you a MODERATE muslim, by the way you dress, your job, and your appearance - but can you cannot for one minute consider that it may be the Arab, and Muslim world responsible for many of its ills, problems, and failures?"

He did not disagree.

He readily admitted, and addressed the corruption and the crime perpetrated against the Arab community BY THE ARAB leadership - and claimed that the fundamentalist RISE - is directly attributed to the "average citizens" having no where else to turn. He also said in European countries, Muslim would relish to be treated as second class citizens, but their are so relegated to the bottom of the food chain, that they feel "less than human.."

I was stunned, into asking for a beer -- (which, the bar was 5 feet away, empty, no one but us in the bar/lobby area, and the hum of the beer refrigerator, the conversation, and the knowledge I was gaining, made me THIRST for a cold ALE)

He continued.

The forces at work, "are aimed at turning us against ourselves, and destroying us (ISLAM) from within."

I poured my can of beer into a tall glass, he was sitting at the computer, in my chair, directly in front of the terminal -- with this site, in his view, he called it propoganda -- but continued to glance at it...and read the headlines.

Hamas, 9-11-01, (9-11 was a inside job, NOT done by Arabs) -- to the entire, Iraq WAR -- every instance, every question was met with - this type of response.....

"this is the constant effort for the US and Israel, to discredit, and dominate Muslims, make us weak, look bad -- keep us below living standards of the world, and keep our only natural resource for the WEST ...OIL."

I sat in silence listening, for more than 10 minutes...his tone was NEVER agressive, (after all I was a customer) -- I think he felt as though he was educating me, and CONVERTING me to see his side -- which I was clearly GETTING his view. (not agreeing, but relishing the opportunity to hear his views)

At one point, I cut him off.

I said, as I sat forward in my chair -- "how did you feel last year, when those Russian schoolchildren were taken hostage, and murdered in their school, by the hundreds, in the name of Islam?"

I went on, "the beheading of innocents, the bus bombing in London, the train bombing in Madrid, (I purposely stayed away from Israel) -- these acts aimed at INNOCENT people who are not in the conflict...?"

Then, he said what stunned me, "WE ARE ALL IN THIS CONFLICT."

I had to pounce, and get for the first time, and little aggressive in this discussion...

"Is this a HOLY WAR, is this the beginning of a greater world conflict?"

His answer was that the US and Israel, have brought this upon the world -- and that Muslims are simply defending themselves.

The Hamas election victory, is just the beginning, he went on...Egypt will be next, and when the normally peaceful countries of Lebanon, Syrian and Jordan, will all fall to the "fundamentalist" forces --- the Muslim view of dominance can begin to DEFEND itself, against the "forces against it"....

I then realized, he and his religion, viewed themselves as VICTIMS -- out to defend their honor, their religion -- and NOT BRING SHAME, IN THEIR TIME ON THE EARTH, TO ISLAM. He clearly stated - that in centuries past, (he spoke about history a lot) --that this PARTICULIAR TIME WE ARE CURRENTLY IN, was the time of the RESURGENCE of Islam. THE TIME HAD ARRIVED, and was brought here not by Muslims...but by EVIL forces -- (read, Jews and U.S) -- Muslims were just defending their religion - and FINALLY STANDING UP FOR THEMSELVES.

He felt as though he was educating me. He was giving me what I constantly preach --"perception matters and little else.." He was giving me, a foreigner, his views, opinions, and insight into perceptions DIRECTLY - that I rarely get to hear.

It was my turn.

I won't bore you with the details, but I did constantly ask - "where are the moderate Muslims....why is the Islam being represented by these hooligans in the streets, burning, looting, and murdering in the name of the Prophet Muhammed?"

The silent majority, as we in the WEST like to call it, DOES NOT exist.

I'm here to tell you, based on my views and opinions WE NEED TO LISTEN to SPOKEN WORDS, actions and inaction -- and interperet, BASED ON THEIR VIEWS...not filtered through our images and culture...

The gulf is wide, between Muslims, and the rest of the world.

The believe they are VICTIMS defending themselves, against EVIL.

This cartoon about the Prophet Muhammed that has resulted in protests, death and destruction..... as well as Iranian Nuclear Weapons -- and Hamas winning landslide victory in Gaza and the West Bank -- should be WAKE UP calls, to TALK honestly, of what is going on, as it relates, to what THEY VIEW AND BELIEVE IS COMING --impending WAR.

Where are the moderates Muslims, I ask you?

Any group that you have seen, or know about, protesting the hijacking of Islam?

You won't, and here is why -- it, THEY DO NOT exist.

London is a beautiful city, I learned alot, but most of all - I took away the simple truth .... the PERCEPTION of Muslims versus the rest of the world, is tragic, and simply put....dangerous.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Israeli Supreme Court -- has finally made a SOUND decision.

Supreme Court Justice Mishael Heshin defines the Palestinian Authority as an enemy state de facto

February 13, 2006, 10:23 AM (GMT+02:00)

He rejected petitions to allow Palestinians married to Israelis to settle in Israel under the family reunification law as a loophole that would pose a risk to state security. "Just listen to daily declarations made by Hamas," Heshin said. "The Palestinian people chose Hamas, which seeks to destroy Israel, and they are citizens of an enemy state."

He asked why Israel should take risks with Israeli lives, any more than did England and America by admitting Germans during World War II. The judge said no one is preventing mixed couples from building a family, but they should live in Jenin. The right to life takes priority over any other consideration, he said.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Flying at 30,000 feet -- 3 hours into a trans Atlantic flight, I glance around at other passengers to see...

Most asleep, darkness, the glow of those TV screens on the backs of seats, after all it was probably 4am - and these travelers were weary, exhausted, and blankets out, reclined, pillows behind their heads......

Not me.

I had in the rotation LOUD on the Headphones - and thankfully, a few hours to actually enjoy.

* Rolling Stones -- 2002 Toronto Rehearsal
* Cream - Royal Albert Hall May 2005
* Steve Kimock -- 3-5-05 Burlington VT
* Grateful Dead -- 11-17-73 Pauley Pavilion, UCLA campus

How often is it that any of us get to do ALOT (in big chunks of time) things and activities we really love to do?

I guess as we get older it dwindles.

But, I cannot remember the last time I got to REALLY enjoy listening to, and getting heavy doses of something I love. (and listening to 4 complete performances in a row)

Traveling for work, on a flight I will typically have the laptop up, answering emails (so when I plug in, they all get fired off from my computer, and I get to respond to issues that did not get as much attention as they probably should have), catching up, or working on a proposal...but generally working.

Not last night, not for one nanosecond on Flight 17, did I work, or touch the laptop.

I'd like to take a moment to thank, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Steve Kimock, and Jerry Garcia...(do you see a common thread?) for making me smile, get in to a GREAT frame of mind, which I remain in, a few hours later...and allowing me to remain awake for the duration of the flight - and NEVER EVER get tired last
night, while all those around me were sleeping soundly.

All Architects.

Imagine, last night on Virgin Atlantic...2am -- my head bopping, getting up to dance in the aisles, (ok, a little Stella Artois to prime) -- complete silence, darkness, my BIG headphones on -- and sleeping business travelers all around...but, the architects keeping me, in bliss, and FEELING AWESOME, great energy eminating from seat 20c.

That's why music is so important to my soul, state of mind -- and path on the walk of my life.

It continues to amaze me, and I often think about it, (I certainly did this morning) -- how music plays SUCH a pivotal role in my existence....

"One watch by night, one watch by day
If you get confused, listen to the music play"

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Just received this video, courtesy of Fred - called "Sniper in Iraq."

If you watch this video, and are NOT angry about this -- then I'm amazed.

The video is HERE

This made me sick, and angry, and sad.

All at the same time.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I've been following the Wayne Gretzky story quite closely.

The final chapter (or 1st chapter) has yet to be detailed about this...

But, we may have a similiar case to the Pete Rose deal.

Sorry to say Pete's name in the same sentence as Wayne's -- but it will be inevitable, to draw the parallels.

Click HERE for another reason why this is a big story.

It's big becasue he was THE BEST, like Pete, and he is a big gambler, like Pete.

And, his positions with the Phoenix Coyote hockey club, put him in a huge POSITION OF INFLUENCE for games.
London, what a great city.

The people I have come in contact with are, friendly hospitable, and caring.

I genuinely feel that in the world we live in today, there are very few countries, that we know have our interests at heart.

Maybe 3 or 4 at the most. (countries that really have similiar interests and values)

I'm proud to say, I'm in one of the countries today.

Meeting up with some old pals tonight, downtown in Central London...and, I'm looking forward to that.

Virgin Atlantic runs a great airline.

Happy Early Valentines Day to my readers.

Rob Deichert, (who I link to) has written a fantastic post about careers, and learning on the job.

I highly encourage you to read this, as it nails down alot of the (corporate issues that we all deal with)

The article can be found HERE

Great job Rob, good writing, and great insight.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Blogging next week --

Interesting week next week, as I will be posting from "across the pond" -- as in the United Kingdom.

Specifically, I will be in London, working feverishly on a project for a client...

But, here is what I think of, when I close my eyes and recall my history with London.

* The smell of Schwarma
* Texas Arizona -- great bar
* Damp and Cold
* Speaker Corner -- and VERY angry people
* Pomp and History
* HUGE Parks
* Great city

There are many more, but this is what always hits me...when the word London is said.

I plan on writing next week mostly about my experiences with the citizens I run into, and their feelings about issues that are important to me (world events, etc...) -- and their feedback. I have always found it interesting to hear from a "man on the street" - rather than some talking head, or media person, to make decisions and read a situation.

This is why blogging is so cool.

You get to hear from people that you normally would NEVER have a opportunity to come in contact with, hear lots of different viewpoints, and most of all process information from the "people, and the bottom up..." (not the top down)

I plan on asking tough questions next week, to waiters (my food will be spit on), taxi drivers (I'll get in a crash) -- and anyone else I come in contact with and can engage.

Blogging will be different next week.

Rock on.
I hope the direct hit, of ....

I sincerely hope the direct hit of the F-18's fury, from one of our guys, or our friends, lands directly on this guy's head.

Take people at their word -- he is letting us all know his intentions, his desire, and soon his mission.

Article HERE from the Bangkok Post

Ahmadinejad: Israel 'will be removed'

Tehran (dpa) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Saturday that the Palestinians and "other nations" will eventually remove Israel from the region.

Addressing a mass demonstration in Tehran - one of many organized throughout Iran to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Islamic revolution - he once again questioned the Holocaust "fairy tale".

"We ask the West to remove what they created sixty years ago and if they do not listen to our recommendations, then the Palestinian nation and other nations will eventually do this for them," Ahmadinejad said in a ceremony marking the 27th anniversary of the Islamic revolution.

"Do the removal of Israel before it is too late and save yourself from the fury of regional nations," the ultra-conservative president said. He once again called the Holocaust a "fairy tale" and said Europeans have become hostages of "Zionists" in Israel.

He also accused Europeans for not allowing "neutral scholars" to investigate in Europe and make a scientific report on "the truth about the fairy tale of Holocaust."

"How comes that insulting the prophet of Muslims worldwide is justified within the framework of press freedom, but investigating about the fairy tale Holocaust is not?" Ahmadinejad said.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Fascinating Stuff.

Everyone Sells. Everyday, whether they like it or not.


Sales is convincing someone that YOU are right, convincing another, that your way is the correct way - and asking them to listen, and take action that YOU recommend and desire.

"Trust me."

"Try it"


I met someone recently who is an amazing salesperson, inside of the company she works for.

She does not want to be called a "Sales person." Not, Sales Director, not Acct Exec, not anything remotely smelling or being involved with sales.

But, she is.

She is ADAMANT, "I'm not in Sales, I don't want to be in Sales..."

Somemone, somewhere, made her believe that salepeople were the bottom of the food chain in business. And, they were not to be respected, admired, and NEVER EVER Aspire to be in the "sales group" of any organization -- or you have failed.


I love that feedback, I actually love, and respect that perception.


Because it's real. There is NO phoniness, its actual and you can feel it, taste it, and its the TRUTH from her vantage point - and she wears this "disdain for sales" on her sleeve.

"But, you are in sales - you talk to clients, generate revenue for the company, even have a goal..."

"No, I'm not in sales - call it what you want - this is not a sales job."

Do you know how many people feel this way, who are prospects, clients, -- AS WELL AS PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY IN SALES, AND SELLING - but they never say it? (they never express THEIR disdain for sales, and salepeople in general)


So many in fact, that it becomes a TACTIC for selling.

Use it. Use the fact that you, ADDRESS the differences in your sales style, to PROVE value.

Sell INTO the wind.

The 'negativo's" as I call them, end up being your BEST customers, your best employees -- and your BIGGEST FANS.


Because, in the process of "proving your value to them" -- you have sold them, and now, they dont' even know it, they don't even know they were being sold by you - and because of that very fact of NOT KNOWING YOU WERE WALKING THEM DOWN THE SALES PATH --they end up being your amongst your elite clients/prospect base.

Be unique.

Be different.

More to follow.
Setting Expectations....

A "huge" in business, life and relationships.

There are a few ways to describe this:

* properly setting goals and vision
* executable and deliverable options
* what will transpire
* a roadmap of "if X, then y."

Problem is, when PERCEPTION and EXPECTATIONS are misaligned, little matters.

Case in point.

The Islamic world.

This is a MESS. A MESS that we need to confront, challenge - and NOT be afraid to discuss issues....of expectations for both parties.

But, there is such a MISALIGNMENT of perception, where to begin?

Watching the rioting and destruction over this cartoon horrifies me.

Will we be UNABLE to discuss perception issues moving forward, out of fear of retribution and violence from the Islamic community?

Will the real issues now NEVER get discussed openly?

Our country stands for freedom, and the freedon to express and share ideas and opinions is what seperates us from many countries of the world.

This rioting, and the general reaction of the press in the Western World has sickened me, almost as much as the riots itself. Many press outlets REFUSE to show, and publish the Danish cartoon in question. THAT IS NEWS.

We have gone down a slippery slope, and allowed it.

Hey, NY TIMES -- "paper of record" print the cartoon - and let your intelligent reader's judge for themselves if it is offensive.

Sorry, this just bothered me a bit.
I installed Feedburner yesterday to this blog.

Feedburner is a cool feature, and it will allow you to create your own personalized web page of content.

I use Google Reader Lense -- and I encourage people to take 2 seconds and do it.

It's yummy. And, it BRINGS you your favorite content to your destination page, as soon as it is posted by sites/writers that you like and visit often.



Tuesday, February 07, 2006

2005, and the Billy Joel Tune

Billy Joel wrote a song called, "We Did'nt Start the Fire..."

Those that do not know, the song is both a history lesson, as well as a comment on the fact that NO generation causes specific problems, no problem is UNIQUE to history. They are all baked together. Generations are dealt a piece of history, that they must deal with, like it our not. It's HOW they deal with it, thats up to interpretation.

2005 was NOT a good year for our world. It may have been a good year for many of us on a personal level, but in terms of world history, and MACRO issues, it was a less than stellar year.

Tsunami's, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Terror--- to name a few challenges -- but this past year overall was a tough one.

War in Iraq. A divided nation. Terror. Supreme Court nominations. Gaza. London. Madrid. Cheney. Oil. Rising Gas. Sharon. Osama. Internet. Al-Jazeera. Missle Strikes. Eavesdropping. Hillary. Bill. Democrats in dissaray. Karl Rove. Scott Peterson. Aruba. Natalee Holloway. Chavez. Drugs. Nuclear Iran. Trade Inbalance. War. War. (there are many more, that just took me about 30 seconds)

The above are issues.

Issues that need to be dealt with. One by one. Challenges that we face.

Maybe I am being pessimistic, but, I'm hoping that 2006 yields BETTER fruit, on a macro level for us all. Personally, YOU may be outperforming your life, and doing BETTER than ever.

But, re-read the list above from 2005. ONE of those issues above WILL affect/effect YOUR life in 2006. Just ONE. Pick one.

As innocent as this time is in our lives, (our national life) the riots over this cartoon, in th Arab World---should be a wake up call to us all, as to the ALARM bells going off around us.

2005 the alarm rang, and it's going off. It's shaking, "this is your wake-up call.."

Anyone going to answer it, and WAKE up in 2006?

As Billy Joel Wrote--

"We didn't start the fire
It was always burning
Since the world's been turning
We didn't start the fire
No we didn't light it
But we tried to fight it"

These words have been ringing in my ears for 48 hours, not sure why....

Anyone have a clue?
My Boy ERIC KRONTHAL - wrote a great letter to the
country of Iran.

click on his name above to see also

Monday, February 06, 2006

Use of Case Studies -

I am frequently alarmed that sales people neglect to ask for what is called a "case study" - or letter of recommendation from their clients.


It amazes me that this is even an issue. The most compelling, best marketing piece you can EVER use - is a case study.

I'm not talking about a "corporate case study."

I'm talking about a CASE STUDY ABOUT YOU...(the person)

One of the best experiences I had in a previous job was a letter (before email) - that I could walk around with, and in meetings show prospects how my client felt ABOUT ME. It made extra mention of my focus to their needs, extra effort I put forth, and trust. It was a great read, and infact, I used it is a conversation piece to let them know, if I provided similiar value, I'd be asking them for a similiar note.

The letter focused on BUZZWORDS that work.

Email,(the use of email as part of the sales process) makes this harder to present to prospects. But, a short 4 or 5 lines from one from your best clients -- at the bottom of your follow up email, accompanied by your information does wonders.

Simple, yet not many take advantage of it.

The steps are as follows:

* ask your best client for a short letter of recommendation ABOUT YOU.
* use the letter to assist in the sales process
* watch the results

Elephant Hunting:

In sales, the term "elephant hunting" is typically reserved for a salesperson that only goes after HUGE deals.

Elephant Hunters, in general do not want to waste their time, trying to hunt for "game animals" - or mid sized prey -- they always WANT the big FISH.

I have been there. I have been guilty of it.

There is a upside here, but also a HUGE downside.

The upside is that you have a part of your sales team landing MONSTER deals, and when the market is good, and the deals are coming in -- everyone is happy. Elephant Hunters are celebrated, happy, and positive.

But, when the market SLOWS DOWN - there are FEW to NONE elephant "prospects" (clients with monster budgets) out there to hunt for -- and ultimately close. You end up relying, on the small, to mid size prospects to keep you going. Without their big deals closing, your Elephant Hunter salesfolks are down, negative and gloomy. This can have a effect on your organization.

I have ONE word for the "Elephant Hunter" - (or their managers)

*** PIPELINE ****

Pipelines, (or new prospects that are in the sales funnel) need to be managed closely.

On average, Elephant Hunter salesfolk HAVE LESS IN THEIR PIPELINE AT ANY GIVEN TIME, because they believe they have to do LESS ACTIVITY to earn as much, if not more than their peers who hunt smaller, and work harder.

This may be true.

But, be aware -- even Elephant Hunters need SPURTS of activity, to sustain their ability to land deals. That is, a kick in the pants once in a while to fill up the funnel - so the next few months can be healthy.

Remember, sales and prospecting are different. Elephant Hunter prospecting, is going out with a MONSTER gun looking for clients.

And, sometimes when your weapon for hunting is too big, you miss all the mid-sized deals, (prey) that could have been in the pipeline all along.

Elephant Hunters, keep landing the big deals, but, keep multiple sized guns in your holster when hunting - it makes for a fresher meal once in a while.
A friend of mine, John Demayo - over at his blog, often posts job openings for companies that he is invloved with.

I'd like to do the same, as the need arises.

Sales Account Executives needed
Looking for a "Hunter" - that wants to help build a young company.
Company is in the DATABASE Marketing, and Marketing Service business online.

Salary is VERY flexible, travel is a MUST.
Looking for a "impactful" player.

Contact me if interested.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

"Reading Tea Leaves"

The term "fish where the fish are" & "reading the tea leaves" -- are expressions I love to hear.

But, in creating a message, and selling a product or service it is IMPERATIVE, to understand precisely, WHO your prospects are.

I had a job, that was in the "service" business. They were a brand new company in NYC. New York City was a new market for them. They were not a brand name. They had ZERO recognition.

One of the best exercises that the opening of this company/presence in NYC, was how efficiently they went after their prospects, and defined them.

They did it with precision, focus, and tweaking the message enough, in the first 90 days -- that they let the market dictate, and drive direction.


Creating a need, is one thing. Consistently coming up with new ideas and FORCING them on the market is another.

The business plan that was so effective that I wrote about addressed this carefully, and with precision. It detailed the market, as well as defined quotes about the potential of this business concept, from their biggest prospects.


Before sales, the process really is DEFINING YOUR MARKET.

And, it sounds simple -- but this is NOT about the territory.

It's about the prospects in a territory that HELP define the message, and assist the company developing and "optimizing" it's message....

Sales is the last step in a long process. The process that is often overlooked, and undervalued is PROSPECTING, and defining WHO THE COMPANY SHOULD GO AFTER to provide maximum FEEDBACK on it's message, along with the highest rate of "closing new business."

Companies often overlook this, and throw a new salesperson into the FIRE, by not only asking him/her to close new business, but define their market.. this doubles the job of a salesperson. This is OK to do, it just needs to be understood, and communicated --- early on in the interview/hiring process.

As we move along in this blog, prospecting and sales - are completely independent and different function inside of the term SALES. All too often, I have found that companies will HEAVY up and focus on sales -- without a true understanding on the prospecting side of the equation.

"Read the Tea Leaves" - is about envisioning your prospects, and moving forward....

Some of the BEST salespeople, are the WORST prospectors - and some of the best prospectors are the WORST salespeople.

It's figuring this out early, and executing, that is key to the success of a sales group.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Stones Tomorrow -- Super Bowl:

I'm more excited for the Stones tomorrow than the actual game, and I LOVE SPORTS, (love football, I'm a season ticket holder here in NY for the JETS)..but, when the Rolling Stones get to ROCK, LIVE, in my house -- coming through my stereo -- well, that's about as good as it gets.

I promise you, my kids will forget this game years from now, but they won't soon forget the THE HALFTIME SHOW -- volume, and the energy coming from my TV room, as we dance as a family -- to what my girls term..."Mick and Keef."

Fred Wilson, over at his blog - has a piece entitled "What Will the Stones Play?", it's a hoot to guess.

I posted a comment over there, on my choices for tunes -- but here is mine.

* Start Me Up
* Aint Too Proud to Beg (a salute to Motown)
* Gimme Shelter
* Satisfaction

I dont think they will play a song off their new album, "A Bigger Bang.." But,now that I said they won't, THEY WILL.

Remember watch Keith Richards do his thing - he is THE MAN. He is what I have written and termed an "Architect."

One more thing -- Paul McCartney played last year's halftime show...Stones playing this year. What about next year?

Do you know who the biggest three musical MOVERS of the 60's were, in my opinion?

**Beatles (Paul played last year's halftime shows)
**Rolling Stones (this year)
**Bob Dylan (next year) -- "You'll pay money just to see yourself with Dr. Robert"

Hope it happens. I'm going next year as it is in FLA, already got permission from THE, someone please call Mr. Robert, line it up, SELL HIM.

Friday, February 03, 2006

The Great Debate Society (United Nations) is surely on this?


Click HERE for a neighbor ALOT closer than us.

Boy, this is thrilling.

I said earlier, (in a previous post) - I will judge GWB on this issue.

This is a BIGGY.
This past week, I learned and digesting alot of data from clients on a VARIETY of different fronts, and challenges.

But, Chris Jackson -- sums up what I have really learned, and modeled, and had a HARD time putting into words for a big brand, as it relates to their website, and goals.

* Evolvability
* Parallelsim
* User Experience

Evolvability -- being able to adapt and change quickly to do testing on response as well as the ultimate goal, of driving profit.

-- HUGE, does it relate and have a "place" inside the objectives for all parties?

USER experience
-- is the "changes or alterations" consistent with the brand message...? (will focusing our website on RESULTS hurt our brand image?)

This is why I LOVE BLOGS.

Learn, process, and utilize.


Thanks to Mr. Jackson.....

Why Yahoo! Will Dominate (2)

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of sitting in with a Major (offline/online) Brand -- to hear, and take in, a Yahoo! sales presentation.

First off, without revealing any names -- let me say this guy was a STUD.

What is a SALES STUD?

A "Sales Stud" - is a person you WANT to buy from.
A "Sales Stud"- is someone who sells you, WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING you are buying. (or being sold)

A Sales Stud- is someone who focuses on his clients business, and their objectives --MORE THAN HE is trying to MAKE A SALE.

A Sales Stud - is a person who does their homework, and makes every single slide in a visual presentation easy to read, and does not clutter ANY PAGE.

A Sales Stud - asks a ton of questions, (even when in a large audience) to make sure that his attendees, "get it."

A Sales Stud - is self effacing, and can poke fun at himself.

A Sales Stud - uses the clients name TEN TIMES, for every time he mentiones his company's name.

A Sales Stud - only talks about his company when making a point, or emphasizing a particuliar aspect of ONE THING - NOT the big picture stuff, that is always reserved for the "client big picture thinking - painting the picture of win FOR THE CLIENT..."

A Sales Stud - soft closes, ask for the money, but knows when to "back off" and go another route. He also, "throws out a anchor" - meaning, he does not settle for a little $$$ budget, but asks for a TON of money... but, will, if pushed hard to back off the large amount.... settle in (dollar value) to, PROVE VALUE.

A Sales Stud - is sincere. He does not know how to be phony.

A Sales Stud - immediately follows up.

A Sales Stud -- is less than 4% of sales people. There are 96% of all sales people who can make a decent living, even hit some grand slams -- and be mildly successful. And, that's good. The 4% of sales hires, are who every sales leader looks to hire, and develop - and most of all HELP BUILD THE COMPANY. These sales people enjoy their jobs, are confident, because they know their worth. They have fun, but the confidence lies in the fact that they can get any sales job (because they can sell) -- and in EVERY SALES CALL THE POSITIVE KARMA FLOWS, and it's felt....

Clients feel it, and love it.

DOES NOT matter if a SALES STUD is selling a big brand, or a door to door guy. I'm all about good, kind positive energy....110% of the time, when the "lights are on" (in front of a client) - and only 99% of the time when you are OFF STAGE, - (in front of your peers) -- (and a Sales STUD knows when his product has "no legs" and has the insight to move on to greener pastures, ie. a different company or market....a sales stud RARELY will HANG ON and go down with any ship, or watch a ship go lifeless, like a sailboat that has no wind to generate power -- a sales stud wont stay around to watch the boat flutter in the water, directionless)

I said I would not use names, but I will use initials - RK, of Yahoo! my hats off to you, for being a professional -- and part of the 4% that sales people all aspire to be in.....

I'm buying more Yahoo! stock, and it's because I was convinced in the future of the company, BY A SALES GUY.

He was selling media to his prospects, not stock advice.

I'm bullish - because of the SALES dominance of ONE sales guy.

RK. Take a bow. You can work with me anytime, on any project anywhere.
My sentiment on "why" I am blogging --

Credit to the great Ric Heyman:

"But when I think about why I blog, it has more to do with self-expression. While it might be exciting to discover that half the Western world was hanging on my next post, I suspect that a lot of the joy would disappear in a flurry of expectations. I think that there a lot of bloggers out there who are doing it for their own reasons, and that only a few of them relate to reaching a large audience, and/or making money."

For me that sums it up.

I am blogging because I truly enjoy it. I have been mildy successful at some of my ventures, (from owning a window cleaning business, up to helping, and assisting in the sales group... grow a major internet company that was acquired by AOL in 2004) ...

Bottom line, I love interaction. I love the "Process of Relationships", and how they develop, the trends, the challenges, the communication.

I just love it.

"Andy, why are you doing this?"

My clients ask me -- "will you share on your blog, information about us?"

The answer is YES and NO. NEVER EVER specifics...

I will always share life experiences, but it is my goal to do it in a environment which protects the identity, shares the elements, the journey, -- but emphasizes the passion.

I have NEVER been a writer.

But, surprisingly I ENJOY it.

I agree with this quote 100%, summed up nicely by Kathy Sierra.

" one of the best effects of blogs is that--because the technology makes it so damn easy for blog authors/readers/commenters--people have a chance to share their knowledge and passion with the world, and potentially make a difference in someone's life.

Blogs let the "little guy", from a cowboy horse whisperer, or a geek who can make your life a little simpler develop a global microbrand. That means they can keep doing what they love--what they're passionate about--rather than, say, working 60 hours a week elsewhere and leaving no time for doing the things that help teach, inspire, or entertain the rest of us. Because of blogs, the lone programmer or writer can create something that others will find (and potentially pay for), so the lone author can keep doing it. It means the little guy who can't out-spend the competition, can out-teach (through his blog) the Big Guys."

Welcome, thanks for reading, and make sure your seat belts are buckled, and your coffee is far from the keyboard.

If I can have the privledge of making it to your "favorite" link - your RSS feed potentially, well then by golly, I WILL give it 100% to meet expectations of..... MYSELF.

I got the A GREAT Business plan today.

It was a plan... focused, short, and to the point. I learned alot.

As a "sales guy"-- alot can be learned (and avoided) from entrepreneurs -- and their business plan assembly, and presentation. (or lack thereof)

What made this plan so unique, and actually made me stay and read the ENTIRE thing....?

One thing, clarity of message -- and understnding of precisely WHY I WAS READING IT.

He knew his audience, and he may have 3 or 4 different BP's, (one for investors, one for potential hires, one for suppliers that he may need terms from...) but, bottom line it was FOCUSED based on why I was involved, and reading it.

Questions like -

"what does this mean to you (insert client)?"

"how does this affect you? (insert client)"?

"long term implications for you (insert client)?"

"action you have to take (insert client)?"

"why YOU (insert client) need to be involved?"

It was personal and specific, and it worked.

I will be writing more on this subject, sales, and the use of email and proposals....

A common response from prospects, -- "send me a media kit, I will call you if interested..."

"send me a proposal, let me look at it"

These require different tactics -- and need to be handled uniquely.

I'm proud to say in my career, I HAVE NEVER MAILED A MEDIA KIT to a prospect.


NEVER HAVE, and for those that do, I'm sure it works...but I see it is a objection that needs to be handled. By avoiding dealing with it, you are putting off pain, (or opportunity) to another day.

More to follow on this subject.

Stay tuned.
A fascinating aspect of Client Relations ***

One of my greatest learning in sales, is NEVER ask a salesperson to do what you (as a leader) would not do yourself.

Easier said than done.

Getting on a call, going the extra mile, doing the intense follow up.

Sale Leaders should ONCE IN A WHILE get in the trenches.

And NO. This does NOT mean going on a call or two because you are in town for the day. It does not mean, getting the "high level view" from your largest client, or opportunity. It does NOT mean going to every "boondongle" to hob knob with industry leaders. It does NOT mean, only going on 1st calls with prospects.

It means hanging with the people that get the most done on a daily basis in your sales department. Inside sales, account management, process, and "production.."

(I have been guilty of not doing enough of the above, so there is some guilt on my end as well, but being cognizant of it, and addressing it is key)

Spend a say with a sales group interanlly that YOU NEVER have.

I promise you will get a unique view of the company, and it might change the way you feel, and make you a STRONGER LEADER.
Unemployment at a 4.5 year low...

Competition for GOOD people across all walks of life.

No matter the industry, good employees are hard to come by.

I have found BY FAR the most successful place to "mine" for great employees.

It's a way that YOU CAN INTERVIEW them, before they actually KNOW they are being interviewed. You can pre-screen.

You can determine, without them knowing if you are interested. You can ask in-depth personal "motive questions.."

Want the secret?

It's your waiter/waitress in most good restaraunts.

These are the hardest working, sales driven, folks working today. They are sales people, and the good one's are GREAT.

The bad one's well tip em' and move on.

The good one's are all about EVERY ATTRIBUTE that makes for a great SALES PERSON. Customer service, focus, attention to detail, a smile...and making sure YOU feel comfortable.

Sounds crazy, right?

It's a gamble when a organzation says -- "we must hire with deep experience in blah, blah.."

Hello? You want ALL Retreads? You want a company full of people with prec-concieved notions of how the indusry looks, and their viewpoint on everything.

Bring in someone that YOU CAN INDOCTRINATE TO SEE THE WORLD FROM your companies perspective.
Once in a while bring in a fresh face from another industry, with good, positive energy - and a dynamic DRIVE to want to succeed.

The Hospitality, Restaraunt business is the place....

It works...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The power of the Web.

In the last 5 days, I have been reunited (via email) with about 20+ fraternity brothers.

These are guys (the vast majority) that I have not spoken with or had contact with in nearly 15 years.

We were connected because one of our brothers has a son, who has been diagnosed with a rare childhood disease called, ADEM - see his website link HERE -- we are trying to support him, by putting together a fund to help offset some of the cost associated.

I am really hoping that my fraternity brothers will band together in the same fashion, to contribute to Mike's son's Fund -- JUSTIN, to help defray some costs associated with his terrible illness.

I am confident they will. As a parent, there is NO GREATER fear - than having one of your children ill. It is the worst feeling in the world.

We had a fraternity brother named Lenny Massa. He was killed at our college on Sept 29, 1989 - in a shooting at a party we had thrown, when a local from the town, got drunk, and brought a gun into one of our gatherings. (he was on parole, and had just been released from a multi year sentence, for I believe, assault with a deadly weapon, and he was out early).......He murdered Lenny.

All these years later, I cannot help but think what he would be doing now.

This guy (Lenny) had so much passion and energy for LIFE. He played bass in a band called "Social Convention." He came to DEAD shows with us, and drove from CT to Greensboro NC for one show -- and drove straight back after the show. (we all stayed for 3 nights) -- but he came for one, and then at 11:30pm got in his soft top blue Jeep, and drove back to Connecticut.

He was unique.

He was special.

I have no doubt that he would be on this list, and he would have been WILDLY successful at anything he would have set out to do.


Because he had passion.

He could convince you of nearly anything. And, with his bravado, be SO CONFIDENT - that you just had to be trusting of his judgement.

I was.

He had a huge impact on me in a variety of ways, but none more so than the following:

He was a ARCHITECT (see my definiton) he defined being HIS OWN LEADER, and consistently marching to the beat of his own drummer.

Lenny inspired me in many ways. Some unspoken, and unrealized -- until I was old enough to know--the VERY characteristics that made me love him in the first place, and FORCED me to respect him.

Lenny was himself. Everyday. There was not ONE OUNCE of phoniness in him.

I raise my glass to Leonard Massa.

Thanks Lenny for being a great role model, you touched many of us -- and I;m adding you to our ongoing dialogue.

you can email him at :
Why Yahoo! will dominate.

Three words -- "SUPERIOR SALES STAFF."

I had the pleasure of sitting in today for a Yahoo! pitch to a major brand.

Let me tell you, this guy was ON THE MONEY.

More to come tomorrow, but rest assured I will be posting precisely what made him so special, and why he (and his style/message was so damn good)...

For you sales folks, stay tuned - more to follow.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

When you fight to be in 3rd place in a 4 horse race...can that be considered winning?

Once again the horses (companies) are : Yahoo,Google,AOL,Microsoft --

So, the trifecta finish is till up in the air, but I think, they might be coming around the 1st turn, and 2 horses look to be pulling away......
The blog is 25 days old today.

Thanks for stopping by. The blog passed 1000 visitors today, and I'm absolutely thrilled about the traffic thus far.

Site traffic link is HERE

Your time on this blog, and reading is valued by me. I do not take it lightly. As I tell my clients, your choice to spend time, money and effort with me - is not something I take lightly.

I appreciate it, and I truly thank you.

Another gem from the person I call the -- "King of Bloggers..."

Fred Wilson......the post is "VC Clich of the Week" = and a GEM
The Super Bowl....

First off, let me tell you who will win the game on Sunday.


You know why?

Because, I'm NOT betting on the game. For the 1st time in my life, I'm NOT betting anything on the Super Bowl. I'm gonna sit back, and enjoy - and REALLY watch the commercials, and not dissect coaches decisions with friends during breaks...(I might even enjoy the game)

Surely the team I like will win, because I have NOTHING on the game, right?

It's the exact same way with MEDIA consumption.

We have no financial gain in what we want (content) online, or offline...(TV, Print, Radio,Web) -- and even if you own shares (stock) in any media companies, surely no one is egotistical enough to think that THEIR viewing habits matter in moving the proverbial "needle" - or creating a win for the company benefiting.

But, the subscription model changes that.

Eventually, want we WANT will all be specific. and NOT free -- but will come with some strings. Today, those strings consist of the following, but not limited to

* advertisers wanting to reach you while viewing their content
* giving up some personal, non descript (anonymous data about you) and your habits.

In exchange we get what we want.

In a few years, you won't have to "bet" (like I did in years past to enjoy the game, but ensure losing the Super Bowl for the team of my choice) -- on getting what you want WHEN you want it from ANYWHERE ON ANY MEDIUM.

Movie Theaters will be the equivalent of how you feel about the word, "Drive In Movie Theater.."

You will get the movie (1st run) on your computer, PDA, or the combination thereof.

Radio will only play what YOU want.

Internet will be loaded for YOUR CONTENT. (you will tag what you want to see, and it will be delivered to you the moment you log on)

You won't have to go far - there won't be any journey to find what you want....

It's a winning proposition for what you desire, but a losing bet long term, just like betting.

Winning because you will get all the content you want at your fingertips.
Losing, because you will never have to learn things like the "Dewey Decimal System" -- or look in the Yellow Pages for a Plumber, or Surf the Web to discover the guy in Iran is pretty cool, or mistankenly land on a blog like this...out of your SPECIFIC CONTENT world.

Folks won't know how to "journey" -- to learn, or get info.

Pittsburgh will win, and long term we all lose the journey in the media world -- and the "fun factor" of actually working to get what we want - and the weird path by which we end up there, will be lost.

Go with Seattle. It's too confusing for a guy not betting.