Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Coming Tidal Wave of Concern regarding Online Personal Data.....

Consumers are worried.

Worried about what the implications, now that the INTERNET has become such a ingrained part of our daily lives.

There are THREE main parties involved with PERSONAL DATA.

* Consumers (Example -- YOU)
* Websites/Publishers (Example -- Yahoo)
* Advertiser's (Example - Lower My Bills)

"How is my personal information being used?"

"Is this recent phenomenom called the "web/internet", compromising my personal information?"

Now here is the questions for Websites, affectionately known in the industry - as PUBLISHERS.

"Am I getting my maximum return from Advertising revenue from my site?"

"Is there a way to better to use my Website, to PLEASE my visitors? Can I make their Advertising experience while on MY SITE, more relevant, less intrusive, and more valuable to my precious visitors? CAN I DRIVE MORE REVENUE?

Here is the Questions for ADVERTISER's, looking to reach consumers, (you) on while on your favorite websites, and INTERACT WITH THEIR (the advertisers) BRAND.

"Can I get a consumers to signup, or buy my product for a realistic acquistion price?"

"Is the internet a vehicle to move my product, or service, and can it be a sustainable model to help my business grow?"

You see the USE OF DATA, means different things to all three parties.

Consumers want to protect their personal information.
Websites want to make as much money as possible, and grow their traffic.
Advertisers want to generate business from the web.


The questions is -- how do you address ALL THREE - in a manner that benefits ALL OF THEM, and create a surge of benefits for all involved?

The answer is making the whole process TRANSPARENT.

Treat DATA from all three groups above, the way that the financial market treats:
* a buyer of stock
* a seller of stock
* the actual company being traded


OPEN. Honest.

Where consumers control which (particuliar) ADVERTISERS CAN SEE THEIR PERSONAL INFO.
Where websites control their ACTUAL VALUE OF THEIR ADVERTISING, (based on REAL VALUE, and not some deflated CPM)
Where advertisers can CUT OUT THE MIDDLEMAN, and in a scalable environment, BUY ACTIONS (Leads, Sales, Branding) from websites.

Similiar to the financial model - but applying it to something as valuable as financial information.


The company is called ROOT. CLICK HERE.

Create a vault for yourself.

The concept is solid, and I believe their model will be HUGE part of the future of data, online advertising and targeting, for all THREE parties.

When you find a SOLUTION, (or a company creates one, and is executing on it) that "lifts all boats" -- it's a solid plan - and one that I SUPPORT.

Go Root.

Identify the Issue == "The Use of Data."
Address it, and Execute on the plan.
Create Benefits for all involved.

You get HUGE VALUE -- and a win.

That's what ROOT is doing.

Rock on.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Processing Life's Lessons, and Growing Up......

As a young child I was a avid reader. I might even label myself a sort of teenage social activist. I wrote many letters. In a previous post, I wrote about some of the LETTERS, that I mailed.

But, one day in particuliar stings me as a teenager, and this one day I believe has helped make me the person I am.

Monday, June 8, 1981.

You see, it's just "Another Day in the Life" - as the Beatles would sing.

It wasn't.

I awoke that day to get ready for school. Jane Pauley and Bryant Gumbel on the TV, as I ate my oatmeal, and was drinking my morning juice.

Lead story on the NEWS:

"The Israelis have bombed a French-built nuclear plant near Iraq's capital, Baghdad, saying they believed it was designed to make nuclear weapons to destroy Israel.
It is the world's first air strike against a nuclear plant.

With remarkable precision, an undisclosed number of F-15 bombers and F-16 fighters destroyed the Osirak reactor 18 miles south of Baghdad, on the orders of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

The army command said all the Israeli planes returned safely.

The 70-megawatt uranium-powered reactor was near completion but had not been stocked with nuclear fuel so there was no danger of a leak, according to sources in the French atomic industry."

I was shocked. I was stunned.

Now, every day I would come home from school, and read our NJ paper called, "The Home News" -- I would sit at the top of the stairs, petting my dog -- and read about world events, local news, and sports. Paying special attention to the Mid-East reporting.

June 8, 1981.

A courageous day, or so I thought for Israel and the Jewish People.

Was I wrong?


I was confused.

Was Israel wrong? Was Prime Minister Begin, the man who reached out to Anwar Sadat only 4 years earlier in the wrong?

No. They were not.

But, the ENTIRE PLANET thought they were clearly WRONG.

The NY TIMES Editorial page was this...on June 9, 1981 - the very next day.

" “Israel’s sneak attack on a French-built nuclear reactor near Baghdad was an act of inexcusable and short-sighted aggression,”

"Time magazine fretted that "Israel has vastly compounded the difficulties of procuring a peaceful settlement of the confrontation in the Middle East." The U.S. secretary of state called the raid "reckless." The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. said it was "shocking" and approved a U.N. resolution demanding that Israel make "appropriate redress" to Iraq."

Was it short-sighted?

Can you imagine a world a few years later, if Saddam HAD BUILT Nuclear Weapons? Better yet, or if Israel DID NOT destroy the nuclear reactor in Iraq? Would our lives be a bit different?

Well, that's where my "contrarian view" of life comes into play. I think it started for me on June 9, 1981.

I never EVER, look at a basic situation anymore, and just play it straight. The bombing of Osirak, and processing this information as a teenager, taught me that important lesson.

Any important circumstance in life needs, MULTIPLE angles.

My multiple angle came from a VERY unlikely hero.

It was 1983. I was beginning my "foray" into a singer/songwriter named Bob Dylan. I was doing a DEEP DIVE, into Bob Dylan, and his magical lyrics.

He wrote a song called, "Neighborhood Bully." In this song, Israel - (according to Dylan), can be viewed as the "Neighborhood Bully" of the Mid-east.

Read this BETWEEN the lines, about Osirak, and Israel's neighbors.

"Well, he knocked out a lynch mob, he was criticized,
Old women condemned him, said he should apologize.
Then he destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad.
The bombs were meant for him,
He was supposed to feel bad.
He’s the neighborhood bully."

"Well, he’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace,
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now they wouldn’t hurt a fly.
To hurt one they would weep.
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep.
He’s the neighborhood bully."

Music helped me. Thanks to Mr. Dylan.

This made sense. Once again Music, and Bob Dylan explained something that no one else could communicate to me. Music touched my soul, AGAIN.

The Mid-East (Israel's neighbors) wait for the "Neighborhood Bully" (Israel) to fall asleep.

She won't.

Fast forward to 2006.

The Election's in Israel are over.

Iran is actively building nuclear weapons. They have already told the world of their intentions. Iran WILL seek to DESTROY the State of Israel. Make no mistake about their intentions.

I remember June of 1981, like yesterday. The feelings of bewilderment, confusion at what I was reading in the newspapers, watching on the evening news.....

No longer.

History is about to repeat itself in the Mid-East.

This time the stakes are higher.

When you wake up one morning, a similiar situation will be front and center, (IRAN) like June 1981 was for me.

Think much has changed?

We will see shortly.

I just hope Bob Dylan can reach out and touch a kid, the way his music explained it to me in 1983.

How will the "socially aware" teenager, process this information in 2006?

May Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel, have the strength and courage, of Menachen Begin.

"If I have a choice of being popular and dead, or unpopular and alive," Mr. Sharon told fellow cabinet members, "I choose being alive and unpopular."

Processing Life's Lessons -- one nuclear reactor bombing at a time.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Election Day in Israel **

Today is a National Holiday in Israel. It is Election Day.

I may be the only American, hoping for a upset victory by Likud leader, Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Bibi"- as he is nicknamed, has been on the HAWKISH, side of the "peace process", since the beginning.

He has been a supporter of the term, "mutual movement." Meaning, no more concessions without tangible results, and results on promises from the Arab side.

I do not believe in the so called, peace process. Based on the fact, that compromise, and peaceful co-existence, are not in the culture, and the vernacular of the Palestinians.

It has never existed on the Arab side.


In 1993, Rabin shook hands with a mass murder, father of Arab terror, Yasir Arafat.

Since then, the Palestinians have accomplished, NOT ONE of their obligations...NOT ONE - of the farce called the "peace process."

Israel has relinquished land, which is tangible. The request, on the Israeli side, was for peace. Teach the children of the Palestianians peace, was the party line - and then, the kids will grow up in a culture of peace....

Suicide bombers became the most respected, revered, and "lofty group" in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The bombers images line the walls. The families of the bombers are held in the highest esteem. This is a CULTURAL ISSUE, and not one that any "peace process", can remedy.

The Arab's have unleashed repeated terror.

Iran and Hamas are at the border of Israel, on ALL Sides. Al-Qaeda is there as well.

Why bring them closer, and give up the West Bank without a negotiation?

The Blame game does not work. I call the Blame game when someone continually makes excuses, or deflects the real problem with a culture, or it's people.

Israel is a democracy. Before the "blame game" continues, until a real democracy emerges, there can NEVER be a real peace in the Middle East.

Bold Leadership has NEVER emerged on the Palestinian side.

Until now.

It's called Hamas.

This is why I support Likud, and Benjamin Netanyahu.


Monday, March 27, 2006

"Kindergarten Round Up, and BRANDING."

This past week, I had the pleasure of going to our local school, to sit and learn about the upcoming school year.

I have twin girls, who will be attending Kindergarten, in September...

This day was for the parents, to ask questions, meet the teachers, and walk the halls.

What a BLAST!

Aside from the fact, like all parents, that I'm totally freaked out, that my kids are starting their "official" school was a VERY interesting, insightful day.

First off, the school, is Kindergarten through the 8th grade. Meaning, you have 5 year olds, in the same hallway as 13 year old kids.

The school is many long hallways with hundreds of kids, and scores of classrooms.

You walk down the hall, and the school is configured by grade.

Kindergarten is closest to the offices and entrance...and as you go down the hallway you pass the 1st through the 8th grade.

You can tell this by the writings, and the poems, on the halls next to every classroom. As you progress down the corridor's, the writing is more legible, as you go UP BY GRADE...

March was "Women Hero's" Month.

Each kid, in every grade, needed to write a short story, about who they thought were "The Woman Hero", that they wanted to write about.

These were displayed on the walls, outside of each classroom. These writings by the students, lined the walls of the entire school.

I stopped to read, the "Woman Hero" writings, while the rest of the parents continued on through the "Kindergarten Round Up Day" -- I was being educated in the corridors, at what I was learning....

It was a sociological experiment, to walk the halls of a school, and see how kids in the 21st century view, women hero's.

Before I tell you the ONE PERSON who consistently dominated the "Women Hero's" -- writings, by the students...let's backtrack to look at what my school, in the 1970's, might have written..(Lawrence Brook School, 1973)

Eleanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Clara Barton, Susan B. Anthony, maybe even an athlete or two....this is what I can imagine lining the walls of Lawrence Brook in 1973.

But in the year 2006, the one person who dominates writings of the THE HALLWAY?
Nearly 80% of all the children, wrote eloquently of WHY, she was a HERO TO THEM...

This floored me.

It was consistent from 1st up through the 8th grade....

Oprah Winfrey.

Maybe, I've finally hit the age where, I'm out of touch. I've hit the stage, where I've become, dare I say...A OUT OF TOUCH PARENT?!?!

Am I missing something?


What it took me days to figure out, was the following.

Oprah is a major figure. She dominates afternoon television. These kids today, were born and raised, with Oprah on the television, in their households during the afternoon. Whether it was a Mother, or a babysitter, or grandparents, chances are, Oprah was on for the kids to see, DAILY.

Oprah Winfrey often times, has content that makes parents, show emotion (cry, laugh, or smile) -- kids see this, and react to it. It has a effect on children, to see their mother reacting to something happened on the television.

I'm now convinced after this excercise we, as a society have been "Oprahcsized.."

What does this mean?

Our future, our children have been BRANDED, to not only think of her as a hero, but a trustworthy source of information, a guide, and a STABLE PART OF THEIR LIVES.

Do not discount the value of those three attributes, to the future of our country...they are important elements of being a hero.

1) trustworthy
2) a guide
3) stable, steady, confident part of children's lives

Oprah Winfrey will be President of the United States of America.

I have ZERO doubt of this.

She has been branded, with all the key elements, for being a hero, and a leader for the next generation.

You know how I know this?

I saw it on the grade school wall.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sales Feedback and Leadership ***

My last 2 jobs have been in sales, and sales leadership.

I spent 6 years at each company.

Both companies were/are, VERY successful in their respective industry. I'm proud to say, that when I joined both, early on, each was TINY, and both grew tremendously over a short period of time -- both companies were acquired, for HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of dollars.

I'm proud of this accomplishment.

In 6 years, with each company, as a early employee - I helped DRIVE REVENUE, move the needle -- and CREATE VALUE.

But, looking back on both jobs, I did something FAR MORE IMPORTANT than be a top producer. (in terms of sales and revenue)

The leaders of each company, HAD A OPEN LINE OF COMMUNICATION with their top salespeople. (usually one or two salespeople)

What is open communication from Sales to a CEO/COO? It means access, conversations and interest, in a few salespeople, who fit a certain profile...(I happened to be the person in both companies)

It consists, but is NOT limited to the following:

FROM A CEO/COO Communication/Listening side:

* A CEO letting his top producers have access to his/her time and resources (within reason)
* A CEO who picks up his/her cell phone, engages, and shows interest.
* A CEO who listens, and acts, upon some of the feedback, on his/her own.
* A CEO who keeps the conversations in confidence.
* A CEO who knows, and can determine, the sales people in his organization, THAT ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT THE COMPANY - and the feedback given by the sales person. This feedback from the salesperson, has LESS to do with their personal situation (the salesperson)-- but is ALL about the company, and it's "fight to succeed."

* A CEO who can solicit feedback, and make the sales staff feel comfortable, in a NON POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT.

* A CEO who trusts the judgement of his "horses, or producers" in sales to give straightforward feedback.

* A CEO who VALUES, the contrarian point of view, and NEVER GETS UPSET OR MAD, when he/she hears statements, or points, that are contradictory to his/her own viewpoint.

* A CEO who understands politics in his/her own company, and STILL asks the salesperson to trust him, and that their relationship is CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS of the organization.
* A CEO who is open to hear..."You made a horrific hire, this employee you chose for this position, is a waste of space, and you made a very bad choice..."

From a Salesperson Listening/Communication side:

* Saleperson keeps conversations and emails to CEO, BRIEF.

* Saleperson tells CEO honest "non-political insight" -- 80% of the information given to CEO, is regarding clients, market condistions, prospect feedback. 20% is about the company internal workings.

* Salesperson PUTS HIS/HER PAYCHECK SECOND, to the company success. (this is rare, but a good salesperson knows they are not exclusive of each other...they are VERY VERY connected)

* Salesperson holds communication in strict confidence...

* Salesperson shares IMPORTANT market info, client feedback, and can identify market changes BETTER than anyone in the company...because the salesperson is SPENDING THE MOST TIME OUT OF THE OFFICE, and in the field.

* Salesperson who always presents a SOLUTION, to their CEO with every single PROBLEM.


The above communication between both parties, have FAR more attributes on each side between...both CEO and TOP saleperson.

But, the model is clear.

A good CEO, like a good salesperson, needs to find a way to break through the politics of any organization, and have consistent, direct, and TWO WAY conversations......

This model has been what has made my last two companies, GROW from small start up's, into VALUABLE, consistent market leaders.

Politics in any company, will always attempt to stifle the CEO to SALESPERSON, line of communication. (as a company gets big, no mid-level manager wants to get sideswiped by this feedback loop, and it should NEVER happen, that as a result of this communication, that there is a direct line back to EITHER, CEO, or Salesperson)

A good CEO, and a good salesperson, should find their way around any politics in their company, to MAKE IT HAPPEN.

"Making it Happen" means winning....and both parties (CEO and TOP SALESPERSON) benefit in this communication....THEY BOTH WIN, CREATE VALUE, AND GAIN VALUABLE ACCESS, AND INSIGHT. THEY BOTH LEARN, AND BENEFIT.

This communication is critical to the success of THREE parties.

CEO wins.
Salesperson wins.

Ultimately, the COMPANY WINS BIG.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006 "opens" a HUGE DEAL....

Hats off to my ex-mates at

Jay Weintraub has a EXCELLENT, well written post, on one of the largest deals on the internet to date...

Jay's piece is HERE, CLICK HERE and it's really worth the read.

I enjoyed learning of this deal for a variety of reasons...but one you won't read ANYWHERE else is the following.

The Lead Contact on this deal for -- is a great salesperson. He is passionate, articulate, and he understands the client's business and needs -- inside and out.

This distinguishes (see my definition of a sales stud) him from many people on the internet, and not just in sales. He stayed with it...FOR YEARS. He provided value. He CREATED VALUE.

Hats off to the entire team at for "opening", one of the largest deals on the internet yet....
Media Kits and Garbage...

"Please send me a copy of your media kit.."

"Let me have a look at your media kit, and I'll let you know if we should meet."

Those are typical responses when I have called, and asked for a prospect for a few minutes of their valuable time, to attempt to engage them, and start the sales process.

One problem.


Seth Godin over at this AWESOME BLOG, has a great piece on this.

It's titled, "What Do you Think of My Brochure?"

Brochure = Media Kit.

I'm proud to say I have NEVER EVER mailed a brochure, or a media kit to a prospect.


A short concise email, is what I follow up with. Impactful. Short, to the point. That's it. Asking them to spend 15 minutes with me. Time is valuable, and I WILL NOT WASTE YOUR TIME.

But if you are going to mail media are some tips from Seth.

Seth's quote,

" **overinvest in paper and design. Spend twice or even ten times more than you planned. If you can't afford to do that, don't have a brochure. Especially if your competition does.

**use less copy. Half as much.

**use testimonials. With photos. Short captions. It's hard to have too many of the good ones.

**make it funny enough or interesting enough or, hey, remarkable enough that people will want to show it to their friends.

**show, don't tell. Don't say you have a tranquil setting... I won't believe you.
and most important, make sure you leave several obvious things out... so that people need to talk to you.

Media kits, go directly into the garbage...(or if you are super lucky, they get placed on someone's desk, under some other useless pile, and then periodically, the desk gets cleaned and your media kit gets placed into a file drawer, with a manilla envelope labeled "media kits.." The "media kit" folder, with your companies information, will be found when the prospect either quits, or get fired, then it goes in the garbage...)

Work on a strong letter or email, in the place of a media kit.

Follow up diligently -- and with PASSION.

It works.

But, if you are going the route of mailing media kits....think again.

Here is Seth Godin Blog...Click HERE.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

In a few short years.....

Met with a client today.

This client sells products to consumers and other businesses.

These are "HIGH TICKET/Considered Purchase Products for your home."

2 years ago they were spending on average $30,000 per month to advertise in the Yellow Page Book. (or approx. $360K per year)

The purpose of these Advertisements was to drive LEADS, or inbound calls, to their salespeople. (so that they can go out on appointments, and close deals)

Fast forward to TODAY.

You know how much they are spending with the Yellow Pages?


It's no secret, but this is the business that Google is the expense of YP, Valpak, and magazines.

Here's the more important data.

Their average ORDER SIZE, ON LEADS THAT COME VIA THE WEBSITE, is over 2x that of their other marketing vehicles. (double size orders come from online vs. direct mail)



And, I shorted GOOGLE cause I think it's overvalued.

Maybe not.

This is why, Google, as it expands it's products, into other marketing vehicles --- needs to start to roll out, and use the PURCHASE INTENT PROFILES, it is sitting on, because of their vast amount of search TARGET BETTER.

When they do, watch out.
The Rise of Search/Behavior ***

Creating Profiles based on "purchase intent.."

This company is taking the lead, and has been doing it in a way that is UNIQUE, and cutting edge for a while now.

The most compelling statistic for me, was that

"As people spend less than 5% of their online time searching and over 95%
of their time browsing 'other' ad supported content, most of which is sold
for low CPMs, there are more opportunities to show ads to people after they
searched based on their recently conducted searches.

. Advertisers will spend most of their advertising budgets with the company
that will have the largest number of purchase-intent profiles and the
largest number of opportunities to show ads to people based on those

This is the company that will dominate that.

I'm BULLISH on AlmondNet. Click HERE for their site.
President Bush's Strongest Statement yet on Iran...that the US WILL DEFEND ISRAEL.


Bush warns Iran he would use military might to protect “our ally Israel”

March 21, 2006, 9:50 AM (GMT+02:00)

“The threat from Iran is, of course, their stated objective to destroy our strong ally Israel. That’s a threat, a serious threat to world peace,” said the president after a speech defending the war in Iraq Monday, March 20,on its third anniversary.

“I made it clear, and I’ll make it clear again, that we will use military might to protect our ally Israel,” said Bush. On the atomic dispute, the US president said he hoped to solve this issue diplomatically with a “united message” to Tehran from Washington, London, Paris, Berlin as well as Russia and “hopefully” China. The message would be that “your desire to have a nuclear weapon is unacceptable.”

On the question of bilateral talks with Iran on Iraq, Bush stipulated the discussion must be limited to Iraq. He stressed US concerns about interference in “a democratic process that is evolving,” saying the talks will not decide Iran’s relations with a sovereign Iraq. “Ultimately, Iraq-Iran relations will be negotiated between the Iraqi government and the Iranian government.”

DEBKAfile adds: President Bush’s reference to Iran’s interference in Iraq Monday - and in a speech he delivered on March 13 - followed a top-secret intelligence report on his desk which was first detailed exclusively in DEBKA-Net-Weekly 246 on March 17. The report revealed the infiltration of thousands of trained guerrilla suicide fighters from Iran into Iraq in the second half of February and early March. They are being held ready under cover to strike at US targets upon a signal from Tehran.

Their commander is Iranian Revolutionary Guards General Ismail Dukaiki, former chief of the Badr Force in the nineties in Iran. The Badr Force now operates in Iraq in the framework of the national security army under American command. Planted within this force is a large contingent loyal to Tehran and under its orders.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Tradeoff of Advanced Technology, vs. Content*

I have been a collector of DVD's since they came out.
A very specific kind of DVD, NOT MOVIES -- but,...LIVE concerts DVD's. Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Crosby Stills and Jimi Hendrix, to 25 other weakness is LIVE CONCERT DVD's.

I own literally hundreds of them. I'm a sucker for LIVE music.

When I go to a a record store, I look for rare imports of DVD's. On EBAY, I look for rare concert DVD's.

Something happened this past week, that hit me like a freight train.

I bought the most amazing DVD I have ever purchased. I've bought many lame DVD's, so I was due)

It is called "L.A.Blues", by the Rolling Stones...(I'll provide the link at the end of this post, in case you are interested.)

It's a concert from July 11, 1975 at the LA Forum.

It is a 3 camera production of the GREATEST Rock N' Roll Band, on a GREAT NIGHT, captured on film. It's 26 songs and visuals of simply amazing content. (pro-shot)

Keith, Mick and Charley, in their early 30's....with, Ron Wood, who JUST joined the band, prior to this tour.

The content is THE BEST of all my Stones DVD's I own, including all of their official releases..BY FAR. I can't stop watching it.

So, I'm on the couch, watching it last night, (volume up) and my loving wife says, "This is horrible, the picture quality is horrific, making it unwatchable, and the sound is pathetic, you like this?"

And, it hit me.

She is right, the way it was filmed in 1975 - and the fact that it is a BOOTLEG, has meant that the quality is poor, at best.

But, you know what - it has the GREATEST content I have ever witnessed on a DVD.

Does Technology own the content of the future?

Will future generations ONLY EVER get a chance to see, and witness things recorded in "High Definition" or HD quality - or some other futuristic format?

Will incredible content, NEVER GET SEEN, because it was recorded BEFORE TECHNOLOGY advances?

With IPODS....Home Theaters....and, new gadgets coming out, will anyone want to hear my AUDIENCE COPIES of bootlegs from the Grateful Dead? (Meaning, someone who recorded a DEAD show, with a microphone and was NOT plugged into the soundboard...)
Will, technology render them useless, and nothing more than garbage, to future generations, even though the content is TOPS?

Will old content NEVER GET A CHANCE, to become someone in the future's, favorite musical choice?

Those Grateful Dead Audience tapes that I own, have energy and feeling...that no SoundBoard recording, can ever capture.

This 1975 Rolling Stones DVD, with incredible footage, and mind blowing performances by the members of the Rolling Stones....will NEVER get the respect it deserves, because it is grainy, poor quality -- and a C+ in terms of audio...

But, to me it's priceless. It's worth it's weight in gold.

Here is the AMAZON link for the product, although I just noticed it's not for sale anymore..(read another buyers comments in the comments section of the link.) If you are interested, contact me, either in comments or whatever, and I'll provide the seller's email address) -- here is the AMAZON LINK For The Rolling Stones LA BLUES.

Content is matter the quality....and that's my motto.

I've figured out that technology, with all it's advances, is still SECOND to me. I'll take grainy recordings, poor audio, and old time formats, to stay in my life - to provide a link - to HIGH QUALITY.

But, I'm afraid content may be losing out to technology.

Time for some 8 Track's Cartridges, to make a personal reappearance...

Content #1, Technology #2.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Heroes (Part One)

Many of us in the past have had "unlikely heroes", in our path through life. Someone, who touched us, provided guidance, became an inspiration, and acted as a role model -- but, most of all did it purely because the person was special, and quite often NEVER EVER KNEW that they were acting as a role model.

This is especially true for young people.

I attended a private school in Princeton NJ, The Hun School of Princeton. A terrific school, both boarding and day students...with a wonderful, outgoing group of teachers, engaged students, and a "close knit" environment, due to the small student body. (I think there were 120 students in my class)

My first year of the school, I was a bit rebellious (and one of the reason's my family sent me, thinking that the public school was not "grasping me", or I was not grasping it?) -- and, I had a VERY UNLIKELY HERO HELP ME.

It started in the 9th grade and continued.

He counseled me, gave advice, sat down with me...talked about family, (my parents were going through a divorce) -- helped me BEYOND WORDS. He would take the time out of his day, to spend TIME with me. He helped me talk about what I was going through. He listened....

We washed his car, between the ending of the school day, and the beginning of football practice...(ahh, how he kept his 10 yr old car shiny, and to this day - he taught me the VALUE, and glean of Armor All)....

He would stand on the hill,(overlooking the fields) and watch our football games, or in the gym watch our basketball games/practice -- and offer his insight, and take on what he saw.

We talked, but he never preached. He listened, and gently prodded me into coming up with my own answers. He frequently would say -- when I would say something off the wall, yell out --

"AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW Andy, Cmon Now....."

He was a bit overweight, for his 5 ft frame, his Red "H" Cap that he wore EVERY SINGLE DAY.

He loved life. He loved his job. And, at nearly 60 years old in 1982, he loved being around kids.

He was the janitor/custodian in our gymnasium. He kept it clean, and he went to work everyday with what I believe 2 missions statements in his mind.

1) Do a great job at keeping our school gymnasium, locker room and areas completely clean.

2) Be a role model for these kids, as a janitor.

"Jake, it worked. You have taught me well, and I've taken your values, teaching, and inspiration, (along with your work ethic to like what I'm doing) to help other's with me through my life."

Jake has been dead for over 10 years. He worked at the school for many decades, and inspired many. But, as a custodian, in a private school - he taught what no curriculum, school, books, or plan, could possibly impart on their students.

"Jake, it stuck with me....and YOU have made me a better person."

25 years later, I think I understand what made him a role model.
Jimmy Buffett' song,

"It's My Job.."

In the middle of late last night I was sittin' on a curb
I didn't know what about, but I was feelin' quite disturbed
A street sweeper came whistlin' by, he was bouncin' every step
It seemed strange how good he felt, so I asked him while he swept

He said, "It's my job to be cleaning up this mess
And that's enough reason to go for me
It's my job to be better than the rest
And that makes a day for me."

I'd like to post a pitcure of Jake, but, I don't have one.

Unlikely Heroes, come in all shapes, sizes and forms...when they cross our path...and often times we don't even know they were our heroes till we can sit back and take inventory of our life.

Thanks Mr. Jake...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Top 50 Internet Advertisers...

I did a exercise today in front of a group of people...

I tried to explain the "evolution of internet marketing..."

In terms of spending advertising dollars online. We talked about online advertisers, their objectives, and goals, and how they measure success -- as well as the web "channel" as a whole.

What I found by looking at data, based on media dollars spent online, was insightful and compelling.

First off, I want you to imagine that 10 years after the invention of television - (say, 1954) how the "advertising model", was still evolving on a variety of different levels. There was no rate card. There was no set metrics. There was no reach and frequency levels. There was no independent 3rd party to measure brand interaction, for companies like, P&G.

There were MAJOR issues for TV advertisers in 1954. (in terms of committing dollars to this new medium called TV)
Some of these were, but not limited to:

* amount of audience and their composition
* strength of TV signal (no cable)
* Correct Audience?
* Any reliable reporting or success metric?

The Advertiser's tackled the above issues, and challenges by doing---


TV started with advertiser's, SPONSORING content.

We have evolved a great deal from those early days -- but maybe, it's not so different and unique after all.

I looked at a list today. A CLICKZ list from Dec 2005.

It was the TOP 50 interactive ADVERTISERS. Click HERE for the list (Dec 2005)

This list is the companies that spend the most advertising online, by rank, from 1-50 in Dec 2005.....

What amazes me, is how much the names on this list have changed since I got into the Internet Advertising business in 1999. The list is much better in 2005,(than it was in 1999) but we, in the web advertising business, still have a long way to go.

In 1999, the dollar amounts, and the companies advertising online were radically different. There were lots of companies spending advertising dollars online, back in 1999, and lots of VC backed companies, pouring unrealistic money into online businesses. These businesses, were looking for something unrealistic in terms of success. The compnaies, by in large, wanted -- quick recognition, and branding, as well as customers, all within a short period of time.

In 2001 (the bursting the of the bubble).... the TOP 50 Advertiser list was radically different than it is today.

Once again THE TOP 50 LIST in Dec 2005

How many companies that were on the 2000 or 2001, TOP 50 Internet Advertising list --do you think survived to show up on the TOP 50 list in 2005....?

How many companies in 1954, that were spending Advertising dollars on TV, continued through 1959?

I BET ALL of them.

Can you imagine what this list will be comprised of in 5 or 10 years? What the TOP 50 Internet Advertiser list, will look like, in 2016?

I'm judging the DIFFERENCE in both brand names, and growth in dollars spent, based on the radical change in the list from 2001....

Did TV Advertising change this much in the 5-6 years between 1954 and 1959?

The evolution is in full swing, as more brand advertising, and LESS direct response, starts to find it's way in the Top 50 in the coming years....

Another reason to understand, and process, why the web Advertising Business is here to stay, and will continue to grow at rates that exceed nearly any other business.
Rupert Murdoch

I've never been a huge fan of Rupert Murdoch.

But, I'm moving slightly in his direction when I read --

Stories like THIS. Click here

A brief quote from his speech:

"Societies or companies that expect a glorious past to shield them from the forces of change driven by advancing technology will fail and fall," he warned. "That applies as much to my own, the media industry, as to every other business on the planet." Two hundred liverymen and freemen of the trade guild were joined by family and friends who then dined in Stationers' Hall, a Grade 1 listed building near St Paul's Cathedral in London.

He had some words of hope for his industry peers buffeted by declining circulations, free titles and the internet. "I believe traditional newspapers have many years of life but, equally, I think in the future that newsprint and ink will be just one of many channels to our readers," he said, predicting a future in which "media becomes like fast food" with consumers watching news, sport and film clips as they travel, on mobile phones or handheld wireless devices."

Monday, March 13, 2006

Walking Away ....

One of the most important attributes of leaders that I have witnessed first hand, is the, ability to "walk away...."

I had a boss in the past. He never would let a meeting end.
He would never fire a employee.....

A prospect would literally get up and leave a room, my boss would still be seated and talking - droning on and on about our product. The client was trying to escape. He did not GET IT.

He allowed, below average performance to run unabated, because, he "knew the person a long time..."

He had no clue (on a variety of different levels) - when to WALK AWAY.

The term has many different meanings, but I want to identify a few,(meanings) in the context I'm placing it.

Walking Away:

* identifying talent, and knowing when to let it flee
* identifying talent, and knowing when to cut them loose, in spite of popular feelings (and whether or not they are valued PRODUCERS, but the company would be better served without them)

* leaving a deal, for reasons OTHER than numbers, profit, or personal gain
* making a tough decision that critically impacts the organzation, but knowing it is the best long term decision, for the health of the company

* Letting someone else WIN a battle, but ALWAYS winning the war
* Understanding the "ego" in every person, and letting the bigger EGO have the appearance of always winning
* Knowing that when the "energy level" is low, it's time to move on.

* Being able to end things you know are going nowhere, QUICKLY.

* Ending relationships and deals, THE SAME WAY they were started.

The last point is crucial.

When a agreement ends, (for whatever reason) -- being a strong enough person to honestly give feedback, counsel, and insight, that would potentially help the individual that is being impacted. It is not always well recieved, but, in the very least, making oneself available is the key difference.

The point of this, is knowing when to walk away.

Successful people in business, and in life -- more often than not, make the right decisions - and time them right, in regards to walking away, FROM ANYTHING.

No one is correct all the time.

But, the key elements of the "walking away trait" involve more than skill or luck. They involve a trait no one talks about.


People don't want to call it that, but it is.


Because, a good salesperson understands his audience/prospects/clients and employees BETTER than anyone else. And, based on that - they make good "walking away" decisions more often than others.

It's a SALES trait.

The leaders don't have to be in sales, but they are GREAT salespeople.

The ability to empathize, and understand a situation, personality, or problem -- and putting it in the context of -- "what will the timing of this to do to affect me, if I walk away or not..."

Leaders that have this attribute stand out. They make choices that are right more than 50% of the time.....and, when it comes to walking away, it's the Leaders of a company that really UNDERSTAND and COMPREHEND sales that make the right correct regards to walking away.

My point?

It's better to have a leader who respects, understands, and can sell....than one who does not.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Internet Data and Advertising Online...

I've been bullish on the concept, created by Seth Goldstein -- called

Root's site is HERE.

Well, a writer for the NY Post wrote a piece about them...

I believe this is a HUGE part of the future of Advertising, both online..and whatever the future brings.

Here is the story in the NY POST.

Good quote.." March 10, 2006 -- An Internet start-up is betting that spam-besieged Web surfers would be willing to trade some personal information for e-mail ads they'd actually be interested in.
Start-up firm Root Markets is developing an Internet exchange that would connect consumers and advertisers.

The first step is a new service, called Vaults, that lets users store their own Internet usage and share it with others."

Watch this company, a great concept coupled with a CLEAR MESSAGE - will create tremendous value, for both consumers and advertisers alike...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

This is Bravery...

Wafa Sultan, (Arab American Woman) goes on the most watched TV network in the world,

She talks about Muslims, and their interactions with the rest of the world.

Short read, but a MUST.

Click HERE.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Growing up in East Brunswick, NJ - we were pretty much "wedged" in between New York City, and Philadelphia.

It was nearly equidistant to go to both major cities.

In the 70's, that meant a WIN for a little kid, in terms of Television watching, and programming.


Because, we got BOTH New York TV stations, as well as Philadelphia.

I got to watch Channel 6 News in Philly, and then - Roger Grimsby on Ch. 7 in NYC.

I also got to watch DOUBLE sports. Phillies, Mets, Flyers, 76'ers, Knicks, and Islanders, Eagles, Giants and Jets...(2 cities sports teams)

How many kids in the country on a daily basis could choose (before satellite TV, remember the was the late 1970's) - - the amount of sports by different teams, on a nightly sports/by team?

It was surreal.

I knew it was great, when I went to my grandparents house, who lived a few towns away..when I said, "what do you mean I can't watch the Phillies, you don't get WPHL (the Phillies Station) here?"

Prodding and guidance by my Dad, and the fact that the Phillies broadcast into my house on a nightly basis, made me a Philadelphia Phillies fan.

I'm probably the only guy who likes both the Mets and Phillies, as they are in the same division and compete with each other...that's not suppose to occur, a kid liking teams considered, "enemies."

One of the best aspects of having BOTH sports teams (NYC and Philly)-- was that as a avid sports fan, I got to see GREATNESS displayed daily.

Steve Carlton, Mike Schmidt, Larry Bowa, Stevie Henderson, Willie Montanez, Tug McGraw,Ron Reed, Felix Millian, John Milner, Craig Swan...these were my SPORTS HERO's growing up...

2 cities, multiple hero's.

But, to this day one guy stands out.

He was NOT a hero, he was a role player.

A utility infielder.

He came in to pitch run, pitch hit, and play once a week at second base...(giving Dave Cash a rest)...

He was never great, he was average. (in a baseball context)

His name is Terry Harmon.

But, he made a impact on me for a variety of reason.

I always marveled at, "how could a player come to the park everyday KNOWING he was not going to play, but prepare himself as though he was?"

I think about him often, to this day.

The reason I do, (think about him) is because I think of how many "Terry Harmon" type people we see in our business life?

How many people are ROLE PLAYERS, just waiting for their chance, to get off the bench, and prove their worth to their bosses, and their organization?

I've heard recently, "we need to hire good people.."

I do believe you always needs to hire good, solid people to fill jobs...

But, does your company have any Terry Harmon's?

Bet you do.

My point is, look inside...look within, ask people to step up, take more responsibility, be more of a leader -- EXPECT MORE...and you will get more, in every way.


To everyone else he was a role player, but 30 years after his retirement, he was a MVP to me.....

Thanks Mr. Harmon wherever you are, for showing me how to stay ready, prepare -- and be a "business role model" 30 years later, in regards to TAKING YOUR ROLE, no matter the size of the job, seriously.

I have no idea what Terry is doing, but I bet you he is successful.

Terry's Stats.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Power of the Past....

As a young child I liked to write letters to sports hero's and government officials.


I'm not sure, but from Gerald Ford, to Rod Carew...I was writing short letters to people that made a difference, TO ME.

Rarely did I get a response.

One of my highlights, was a note back from President Carter's Undersecretary of State, Hodding Carter - on his personal stationary, about a issue I was concerned about. I was 12 years old..

Another was from my Senator Bill Bradlee of NJ, handwritten on his letterhead.

These made a difference, and made a huge impression on me.

Never did I think any one of my letter's made an impression on any of the recievors.

In 1976, Jesse Owen's was getting recognition, 40 years AFTER his amazing feat in the 1936 Olympics - in Munich.

Watching Jesse Owens was simply amazing.... the old footage of his victory...a black man, in NAZI Germany.

An African American Athlete goes into Munich 1936 Olympics, Nazi Germany - in front of Hitler, and WINS gold --a sports story of unrivaled accomplishement.

So, in 1977...I wrote him a letter...

I got a call from a "high up Ohio State" educator. They were doing a big expose on one of their most famous graduates, Jesse Owens. Jesse was a real HERO, in every sense of the word. The "Jesse Owens Story" was being shown on campus, his gold medals, his prized possessions...

The Ohio State lady, told me, that one of Jesse Owens most prized possessions was, my note to him in 1977. It's in the case, under glass, next to the medals. THIS.

Click here to READ my note.
Closing The Deal....

I hate that term.

Someone will say, "close em."
Or, "go in for the close..."

It implies sales people of all stripes, NEED TO CLOSE their prospect.


They need to OPEN their prospect, open them, (the prospect) to move - to WANT TO DO BUSINESS, and are willing to act upon it, and move forward with the arrangement.

I was recently at a sales meeting when someone said... " we need to close them now..."

I shuttered.

The term is universal, and as old as sales...but, it reminds me of a vision of a "old time car salesman.."

It's not the image many of us find appealing.

Don't close, OPEN.

My best relationships (and your's) in life and business, were not started, or formed, around the CLOSING of a deal, but rather, the opening of the relationship/communication/trust.

Think about it.

Our best bonds center around OPENING, not closing.

Change the mindset, and the dynamics change as well.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Iraq Reporter on the Ground....

Ralph Peter's arrived in Baghdad, as this latest "internal civil war" broke out the last 2 weeks.

This is a ongoing series, but YOU HAVE TO READ THIS.

It's insightful, and a real eye opener of what's really happening on the ground.

Take a minute and read....
Hamas leading the Palestinians...

I'm glad Israel is taking this stance, no matter what the world community will say.

Basically, if you are a terror group, whether you lead a government or not, does not matter. You are fair game. Let the UN be mad. Blowing up buses, putting bombs in restaraunts.....makes you a target.


Mofaz says incoming Palestinian Authority prime minister could be a target

March 7, 2006, 1:47 PM (GMT+02:00)

"If Hamas, a terror organization that doesn't recognize agreements with us and isn't willing to renounce violence, presents us with the challenge of having to confront a terror organization, then no one there will be immune. Not just Ismail Haniyeh. No one will be immune," Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said Tuesday.

"The moment Hamas chooses the path of terror, there is no question here of political or nonpolitical [leadership]. This would be a terrorist leadership, and therefore none of its members would be immune."

Monday, March 06, 2006

Satellite Radio, and Changes in Consumption..(Part 2)

Earlier, I wrote about how Satellite Radio has radically changed my interaction with terrestial radio. That piece is HERE.

Basically, I ave NOT listened to AM/FM radio since Howard Stern has arrived at Sirius.

I've had Sirius for over a year, but it was HOWARD STERN's arrival that got me more involved in their programming, and other content.

It seems I'm not alone.

This past weekend, while on a skilift in Vermont, I got to spend some time on a slow lift, with a radio executive from Clear Channel.

Let me just say, "OH BROTHER."

The radio industry is in a WORLD of TURMOIL right now, as Advertising rates, programming, and the CHANGE IN MEDIA consumption is underway.

I said to him, "You know, since I got Sirius, I've not gone back to my AM or FM presets in the car, 104.3 here in NYC, or 880 AM....I stay on Sirius, I LOVE MY PRESET CHANNELS, and love to "discover" new stuff once in a while..."

He was stressed.

His response -- "Don't tell, but me too. I love Satellite Radio, and I'm doing the same thing.."

Subscribers are low today, (3+ mill for Sirius) -- but, as the barriers come down to own a reciever, and it becomes EASIER to implement ACROSS, auto/house/work....the radio industry is in trouble.

And, it took Howard Stern to START this revolution....(it had begun before he started at Sirius, but he clearly KICK started the awareness) -

I've got 2 words when it comes to Terrestial Radio.

Horse and Buggy. Horse and Buggy BEFORE the Car came out.

Think about it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Google and Privacy...

First off, let me thank Barry Benjamin, my attorney, who has helped me immensely over the past few months, with the law firm of Pitney Hardin.

Barry has been a trusted counselour, given me sound advice, and been a reliable source of data and information...on many fronts - as I begin this new professional phase of my life....

He has brought something to my attention that is fascinating.

Google's new product "Search Across Computers..."

The tool is similiar to the Google Desktop service, with one major exception.
Google will be making a record of EACH AND EVERY hardrive that is involved in the "Search Across Computers" - and housing that data on their servers.

So, when you go to San Francisco, for a meeting you can access your computer, and all of it's contents remotely, from anywhere...

Because Google has made a copy and placed it on it's servers (temporarily)...

What are the privacy implications of this for a business owner?
What are the privacy implications for the financial and healthcare industry if a employee can use this tool?

Barry writes below --- here is the official PRESS RELEASE from the law firm of Pitney Hardin

"Google's new "Search Across Computers" tool could be hazardous to a company's efforts to comply with its privacy obligations, and not just in the financial services or health related areas.

Companies outside these specific have posted privacy policies where they make specific representations about how they will protect a customer's personal information and may expressly limit disclosure of customer information to third parties. Moreover, government regulators such as the FTC have even sought sanctions and penalties against companies, going beyond posted privacy policies, if a company disclosed sensitive customer information, whether unintentionally or negligently, to third parties via a common hack, for example.

If a company employee uses Google's Search Across Computers tool, any sensitive customer information that resides on the employee's hard drive will be copied to Google's computers, unless the employee takes specific action to prevent the copying. Any reasonably competent CIO knows that employees are the most likely source of a problem with unauthorized disclosures or loss of passwords - lost laptops, lost blackberrys, common passwords (birthdays), etc.

When Google makes a copy of the sensitive customer information on its own computers that resides on the employee's hard drive, in order to make it accessible to the employee from different computers (e.g. if the employee works from home or visits the company's offices in other cities), that could very well be an unauthorized disclosure to a third party under the company's posted privacy policy. Moreover, companies are now subject to various laws which require notice to customers if the customer's information has been exposed to an unauthorized third party - a company would have no way of knowing if Google's servers are breached.

Of course, Google probably has better info security than any company that might be using its tools, but that is beside the point. The company has legal obligations that it may breach merely by its employee's use of Google's new tool. Companies need to be very wary about letting their employees install and use this new tool."

Many thanks to Barry Benjamin for the tip.....

More on the Google privacy issue to follow.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Classic Sex Pistols.....this will make you laugh.

Even if you don't like the band or respect their music, they have a SERIOUS place in "pop culture..."

THEY never ever wanted it.

Last week they were nominated, and asked to attend the ROCK N' Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It's a big deal in the music business......

Evolution of Internet Marketing, Targeting and Advertising.

One of the ways that advertising works online is as follows.

* Advertiser A wants to Advertise online and reach consumers while on the web.
Site B has Advertising "space" to sell, (banners,buttons,) - these are called IMPRESSIONS.

A contract or IO is issued, and a deal is arranged based on 3 typical metrics.

CPM - Cost per thousand of impressions (high risk advertiser, low risk site)
CPC - Cost Per Click - or each time a consumers CLICKS on the banner, the advertiser pays the site (shared risk)
CPA - Cost Per Acquisition - or each time the Advertiser generates a SALE, Lead, (from the site's efforts at showing impressions) or desired action, the Advertiser has ZERO RISK in this model, and pays the site only when a acquistion is generated. (high risk site, low to ZERO risk advertiser)

This is a typical example of how 80% of the internet marketing world has WORKED UP UNTIL the end of 2005.

Today, a new and interesting dynamic is being tested, and ultimately rolled out.

Remember how advertisers bought impressions in the model above?

How about if the Advertiser could buy COOKIES? Buy and pay for the SITE be able to cookie the consumers visiting the sit..and NOT buy Advertising, as the model above described.

Meaning, Advertiser A can now say to the site.

"I do not want to buy your impressions, but rather, I'd like to "cookie or tag" your users, and traffic to your site, and PAY YOU A CPM for that."

Think about it.

The Advertiser can then create segments based on WHO ALLOWS THIS type of "audience segmentation.."

Thus, a large advertiser can quickly have the ability to use those cookies to target much more efficiently. The advertiser can "anonomously" identify, users when they see them on ANY OF THEIR MEDIA BUYS..(when they buy impressions in the original example described above) -- and show them HIGHLY TARGETED AD's, based on their previous behavior.

Strong, and compelling -- as you can see, with this type of efficiency, the market is moving.

But, watch out.

Small companies out there, filed VERY SPECIFIC - "patent's, around intellectual property" --, six and seven years ago, around THIS VERY TYPE OF TARGETING...(paying sites for cookies, and using those "idenitifiers" to target more efficiently..")

The internet is still a bit like the WILD WEST...but when it comes to Internet Advertising, and it's future, you can expect some HUGE happenings, as the market matures...and the table is set, for the technology, to DRIVE the targeting needle.

Major changes are in progress, from a legal, IP, targeting and consumer perspective. I predict the next 120 days you will see some landmark changes in the advertising space, as it relates to "targeting, and advertising online..."