Sunday, April 30, 2006

Growing a Business

I have been working in the "internet media" business, for seven years.

Recently, (last 6 months) - I have been lucky enough to work with a group of clients, who are looking to GROW rapidly, and "scale" their organizations.

The one constant theme I hear regularly, across all the companies I come in contact with is:

"We need to hire good salespeople, do you know any?"

My response is, "tell me a bit about the people that you have...what are the commonalities of your BEST salesperson? What are the common traits of someone not working out?"

Typically, I get many responses, and they vary GREATLY.

Here is one that rips at me: (and I've heard it more than once)

"We have not had a good, productive, salesperson in years, inside this organization.."

Or, "We hire, but our turnover rate in sales is extremely high, we have a lucrative commission plan, but our hires just are not working out..."



This leads me to the point of this topic.

Since the beginning of business, employees complain about the, "lack of training." (no matter the group inside a company)

A small company, or a start up group, just cannot incur the cost to hire a good, effective sales trainer, to help build a sales model.

But, many companies have AVERAGE SALES PEOPLE. Average producers, who generally do not "hit or exceed" their goals, but just are, "plain vanilla."

Sometimes these people make good, Sales Managers.

My best Sales Managers, (in the past) have been less than stellar producing, salespeople -- but have been, VERY EFFECTIVE MANAGERS.
They are typically, balanced, and less emotional. Care about the company -- and most of all, create balance for those around them.

But, in a start up -- or small business -- what should be done with the, "average producer" -- who is NOT management material.

Remember, this employee is below goal, but, THE COMPANY HAS SPENT VALUABLE TIME with this person, they probably, have a understanding of the business -- and most importantly, they just are just NOT a good fit, for what a company might view as a "successful sales producer."


I cannot tell you, how many companies recently have told me that, it is EXTREMELY difficult, to not only hire -- but, enable their sales hires to be, PRODUCERS.

The internet is growing at close to 40% a year.

If the company has a good business model, it is incumbent, FROM THE EARLIEST STAGES TO MAKE SURE THAT THERE IS A SALES TRAINER/STRATEGIST ON STAFF.

The "sales trainer/strategist" can fill many roles - but should be judged on the success of new hires. Success of activity, learning, and implementing the goals of the organization. They can be responsible for PROSPECTING, and "sharing key data" with the leaders of the company.

They do NOT replace a sales manager...but, allow the SALES manager to really focus on "growing the business" -- the Sales Trainer is focused on MAKING THE SALES PERSON A PRODUCER, within 90 days.

7 new companies (that I've been involved with) over the past 6 months, have had challenges of making their salespeople, successful, and a winning part of the growth.

"Sales trainers/strategist", leverage the talent of a employee who is NOT a great salesperson....but, helps the company by using, KEY KNOWLEDGE to make new hires, better, quicker.

Sales Trainer/Strategist, makes the best use of limited resources in a company. They do this by keeping talent, and aligning them with their potential strenghts -- yet judging them on the success of their role.

Hiring is one thing -- creating a greater probablity that the new hire will be a producer, and a winner for the company is quite another.

And, as MUCH attention should be paid to this (training) -- as the hiring process itself.

Sadly, for many companies it is not.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

2 superstars in one night.

Watching both Lebron James, and Kobe Bryant play in back to back games last night on ESPN was amazing.

Both players stepped up, involved and relied on their teamates, and in the END- created victory.

I've worked with business people on the same level, as Lebron and Kobe.

They were focused, leaders, with passion....who created VALUE....

My hats off to SF and JF, for stepping away for a bit, to catch up, breathe and live life.....

SF and JF, I did not have to see you on ESPN, my seat was courtside., and I can't thank you enough.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Life's Twists and Turns

My Favorite new TV show....

I have yet to see it.

The plot is still developing.

Rob Burnett is involved, he is Executive Producer.

Quote from the article, about the show --

"Mr. Jagger called at 2 a.m. "He was enthusiastic," Mr. Burnett said. "He asked all the right questions. How was the series going to build? Could the idea sustain? He seemed like a guy who cared a great deal about the quality of work he gets involved with."

Rob Burnett, Mick Jagger.

Oh man.

The story about it is HERE.

In life, never say never.

Can you imagine, if someone told Mick Jagger that when he was 63 years old, he'd be doing a ABC Sitcom. (say, 40 years ago?)

He would have laughed. I know he is a actor, and has played in many movies, but a SITCOM, on a American network?

Seems funny, but I see a funny twist about, "life's twists and turns.."

First off, never say NEVER.

I went to a funeral last week. A man in his 70's passed away. It was VERY SAD. The saddest part was the past 15 years, he did not speak to his only son.

They had a fight.

They stopped speaking.

The father never met his son's children . The son has 2 handsome boys, aged 12, and 7. HIS GRANDCHILDREN.

The boys never met their grandfather.

This is the only time when, NEVER MEANS NEVER.

I learned a valuable lesson at this funeral. Not sure precisely what it was, but I did learn something. The something had to do with, we "don't know what confronts us, in the years ahead, or decisions we will be faced with."

The finality of death, and the decisions that WERE NOT made in life, (healing his relationship with his son) caused this to be a painful ending to, "life's twist and turn."

Mick Jagger in 1970, had no idea he would still be the "tops" in touring, have a top 10 album on the charts, and be a SITCOM star --- at age 63, 36 years later.

My friends father had no idea, he would never get to repair a relationship, meet his grandchildren, and hug his son again.

He put off decisions, thus now, SOLIDYFYING the word, NEVER.

I guess, the bottom line is we never know what lies ahead, while we are lucky enough, to have the choices, make decisions...... and are still alive.

One thing we do know that awaits us, is death -- and then all bets are off, and it is too late.

Mick Jagger amazes me with his many talents, and passion for what he does. That's why I love hearing about his new ventures.

I'm sorry for my friend's family, and their pain.

Two opposite ends of a broad spectrum, about choices, opportunities, and most of all - making the most (or least) of, "life's twists and turns.."


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Accepting the Importance of Email as a Major Component of Business.

The lack of attention paid to email communication is staggering.

Companies are ignoring a MAJOR trend.

I mean MAJOR.

They acknowledge it, with huge infrastructure set ups, servers, and HR rules around email. They backup their systems, they have server farms, huge databases...and much more.

But, do they realize HOW email has transformed "client contact" - as well as, "management of employees?"

Client Contact:

Prior to 1995 there were a few major ways of dealing with, and communicating with clients, and prospects. These were primarily: (but not limited to)
in person contact, phone, fax, handwritten letters.

That was it.

Client contact has moved since 1996 to, EMAIL.

Think about how much your company/organization has utilized email, and most importantly -- without even acknowledging it -- REPLACED IT AS THE PRIMARY CONTACT TOOL TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD.

Here is the amazing part.

When was the last time, or, better yet -- just acknowledged by your organzation, and shared -- BEST PRACTICES FOR SELLING, and COMMUNICATING OVER EMAIL?

Not, powerpoint presentations or marketing materials. That is not email communication -- that just using email to SEND your brochure to prospects.

But explicit acceptance that email (and by extension Instant Message) -- have become the PRIMARY TOOL IN DEALING WITH PROSPECTS/CLIENTS/VENDORS?

I believe companies need to pay more attention in both accepting and training, their employees, and discussing how -- EMAIL plays a critical part in the success, and growth of the organization.

What are the best practices for email communication in your company?

Wins? Losses?

What are the best ways to engage, create value, and convince, a prospect that your company has value?

You see, email has become the BEGINNING, of most EVERY SALES cycle. This needs to be accepted.

Not only the beginning - but the PRIMARY, ongoing dialogue tool, in 2006 - when dealing with folks -- "outside of your companies walls."

Management of Employees:

The management of employees over email is truly astonishing.

Email has really replaced any other means of communication, when dealing with

* accountability of employees
* project mangagement
* sharing of ideas
* social interaction between manager and direct report

This is a HUGE deal.

The endless threads. People CC'd, the constant thread that NEVER quits.

I cannot tell you, (and this has bothered me greatly) - -that until recently, I really had no idea, or could not grasp the fact that:


Gone are the days, of staff meetings. Daily one on ones. Memo's.

Replaced with email threads, and "high importance" emails.

Email training.

It is a requirement for any organization that wants to GROW, and succeed in 2006 and beyond.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Musical Mashup.

Last night at the Canal Room, in NYC - I attended a VERY intense, energetic and musical Mashup.

Defintion of a "mashup" --
"A *mashup* is a website or web application that seamlessly combines content
from more than one source into an integrated experience."

This was the Musical Version.

The 5pm session, included non other than Walter Cronkite, on Cowbells.

That's intense.

How many of you have seen Walter Cronkite, with cowbell in hand?

Here was the 5pm EVENT , (borrowed from a music list, thanks to the writer)

From last night - April 21,2006
The Setting: 5pm free show on Vanderbilt Ave next to Grand Central
The Bill: Mutaytor (about 15 of em) with special guests Mickey Hart & Baaba
The Surprise guests: Steve Kimock, Mike Gordon, Angelique Kidjo and . . .
Walter Cronkite (cowbell) - all for the whole set
In the Audience: John Barlow

The 45 min Set:
Supralingua-esque jam >
Voodoo Chile
Rhythmic Jam while belly dancer & male(?) hula hoop dancer perform
Not Fade Away


Then, the Canal Room starting at 8pm.

Kimock PERKINS Mathis Waldman
April 21, 2006
Canal Room
New York, NY

show booked as Kimock/Perkins
as part of the Green Apple Music & Arts Festival

Steve Kimock - Guitar
Stephen Perkins - Drums
Reed Mathis - Bass
Willie Waldman - Trumpet

with special guest Mickey Hart - Percussion set 2

This was intense. I have never seen Stephen Perkins, (drummer from Jane's Addiction) -- he is VERY VERY good.

Always good to see Mickey Hart, fiddling with his unique sounds. great to see him smoking a good stogey, playing his "percussionary instruments." GREAT to see this musical icon, and a player who provided me, and still does -- many a driving beat, and rhythym, behind Jerry Garcia.

The one constant for me: Mr. Stve Kimock. To my ears, by far -- the best guitarist playing today.

Always good to see him with different musicians, and cooking a different "stew."

This mashup was spicy and good.

Here are some PHOTO's courtesy of ROB.

Here is the Music from last night, on ETREE. (click here)


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Thinking about Philip Balhasan.

My heart goes out to this family, who lost their Dad, in Monday's bombing in Tel Aviv...This strikes a MAJOR cord, inside of my soul.

"Philip Balhasan's relatives said he traveled to Tel Aviv with his two children, Linor and Uri, after promising to buy them CDs and computer games for Passover. The family was apparently standing next to the fast food stand at the time of the explosion.
Balhasan, who was still conscious, yelled out to his son to grab his cellular phone and call his mother to inform her of the attack. The son, Uri, recounted the moment of horror: "When we heard the blast, dad wrapped his arms around me and Linor and hugged us tightly. Then he said 'grab the phone, call mom and tell her about the attack.'" Shortly thereafter, Balhasan collapsed, but police officers who led him to an ambulance were able to talk to him and heard him say he was hurt by shrapnel and by the force of the blast.

It appears some of the shrapnel hit Balhasan's heart and he died on the way to the hospital."

The article on the family is HERE.

My newer readers, this is especially heartbreaking for my wife and I -- it strikes at us, in unspeakable ways...

We were involved in a suicide bombing in Jerusalem.

That story is HERE. (click here.)

My heart goes out to the Balhasan family.
Steaming Mad...

Courtesy of a fellow blogger, and someone who I enjoy reading -- Tony Alva, brought this to my attention.

Why is this not making national news?

I'm mad, and this story will make you MAD too. (Tony has pictures and more insight on his blog)

Click HERE for a UNREAL story.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Testing Protocol for Sales....

A good question, and a fine riddle entreprenuers are faced with when starting a building out their SALES group.

Often times, it's done last, as a company figures out a business model, sets up the technology, aligns operations --- and then, poof - Sales should start rolling in.


Now more than ever, I'm officially of the belief that, "Sales Leads the Company."

What does this mean, and why?

It simply means, resources at most companies are scarce. There are not enough internal assets, to complete all projects in a timely manner.

It's a fact, that many companies are facing this's called "Scalability."

Many projects, and initiatives, get placed in a que, and processed ACCORDING to operations, immediate needs (fixes) -- or, different and new ventures by key employees.

Testing Protocol for Sales.

(**this is based on when the company is in the critical stage of having multiple projects at once, but has a problem focusing on WHAT'S most important --- and, this is an ongoing problem at most GROWING, STABLE companies. The question is, how to deal with it?)
I've recently seen the model, and have watched it work well - that has the following business rules. (when dealing with operational efficiency, for dealing with Sales Needs, and Internal Processes)


1 - all internal operations issues - which require IT, or technical resources of any kind, are split into TWO camps. This data needs to be filled out BY SALES with EVERY request is to be clear, and measured.

Is the request --?
a) a fix to a existing program, or current project
b) non-fix - or NEW

2 -REVENUE potential.

a) precise amount associated with request. What is the the revenue model, and case you have built out for this project? (moreso, if it's B above)

Keeping a record of requests, and making sure the data they place in front of the company is realistic, and in fact -- honest. (making it part of a comp plan)

Sounds corney?

The early stages of this being put into place in a company has had stellar results after 90 days.

1 - moral is much higher in the IT group
2 - every employee has a clear understanding of the project they are working on
3 - job tickets are down 60% (requests)
4 - completion rate within a 5-6 days timeframe for all projects is UP 80%.
5 - Productivity in IT/Tech is up...employees are more "involved" and feel part of the team.

Because SALES had some input on projects - IT dept. gets to feel a "part of" directly creating value. .

Sales never interfaces directly with IT, but SUPPLIES the information and data to operations. There is typically a point of contact between Sales and filter.

But, it's NOT layer upon layer of operations.

As a company grows, and fills out their "organizational chart" -- the end result is usually a BALLOONING of the internal operations that lie between TECH/Sales groups. More employees between 2 VERY important groups.

It just happens that way.

It kills innovations....makes people feel like employees. Rather than "business owners" working in their department.

Communication, and GOOD DATA -- along with using it properly, allows companies to continue to grow..and scale.

Sales Teams want a project done yesterday.
Tech/IT teams are swamped by project after project.

Both need BETTER DATA, to add value.
A common theme amongst TECHNOLOGY employees in any company is "lack of corporate focus." -- and, "not feeling a part of the team."

Testing Protocol allows MORE EMPLOYEES to gain important insight, on the VALUE and importance of the jobs - and projects they work on.

Too often --- they feel as though they are just part of an assembly line.

Creating value is VERY HARD.

Making people feel they are part of the VALUE is another.

This is a beginning. It works well.......

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Music online....

Think about how music gets distributed.

How much has it changed over the past 30 years?

I heard a business plan today, that has the potential to revolutionize how music gets delivered, listened to and purchased ....

LOVE how the web has changed the patterns of usage, and CONSUMPTION...of media.

50% of our media content in 10 years (According to a recent study) will be packaged and delivered to us, in a DIFFERENT FORMAT than we currently receive, and consume it.

I will be writing more on this...but, the point is, if you listen to AM/FM radio now......

That will change.

If you listen to music by CD's or IPOD.

That will change.

In the next 10 years, formats and delivery will be RADICALLY different that n they are today.

Newspapers are you listening?

FM Radio Owners are you listening?


Monday, April 17, 2006

Suicide Bombing in Israel......

As of this writing, early reports, 6 dead. 35 severely wounded.

Hamas NOW needs to be punsihed.

If I was Prime Minister, here is the steps I would take immediately.

1) Complete lockdown of PA areas.

2) One mile buffer zone, between Israel border, and PA zone. No mans land. You are there, your shot.

3) One week NO electricity. ZERO. NONE. Israel should supply no power to a terrorist entity. Let them build their own powerplants.

This is a start.

And, its nothing compared to what I would do if it continues.

Before you feel bad for the innocent Palestinians.....think about the 6 dead this morning - eating their lunch, and the 35 wounded.....

Sent and blessed by the LEADERS, of the Palestinians.

If the Palestinians, choose this type of leadership - that's their choice.

But, let them SUFFER horribly for their support of terrorism.

ZERO tolerance for terrorism.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Steve Kimock, Great Musician....

Courtesy of a music list I'm on...I bumped into this link.

It's a GREAT PERFORMANCE from 2001, at Jazzfest, Tiptina's Uptown.

If you have speakers, click on the link below -- and then it's the bottom called "Steve Kimock." (turn on those speakers)

Trust me, this is worth 2 minutes of your time to see one of the GREATEST.

I present to you one of the best musicians in the entire world.

STEVE KIMOCK, click here.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Anyone Who is NOT listening ....

To THIS GUY, is just avoiding reality.

I cannot fathom people who just say, "peace, peace, peace - no war, war is bad..."

You need to LISTEN, and process what other's say.

Gone are the days of, "mutually assured destruction" - to keep people secure.
The US and USSR had that mentality keeping the "psycho balance", between the two superpowers, thus keeping World War at bay for 60 years.

That's gone, now that fanatical, religious extremism, is in the mix.

You see, this is a RELIGIOUS WAR for them.

All bets are off. The United Nations is powerless.

It is now a matter of time before President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is taught a very severe lesson. I just hope his fellow countrymen, see where he is leading them, before it's too late.

CLICK HERE for today's comments.

"Any means necessary" - should be President Bush's new mantra, when dealing with Iran.

The President should be SELLING this to the American People on a DAILY BASIS...

If not, I'm afraid we will be dealing with a much more antagonistic problem with Iran, and nuclear blackmail, as well as global terror in the years ahead.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

First 100 days of Blogging.

Guy Kawasaki has a fantastic piece about his observations on his first 100 days in the blogging arena.

That piece is HERE.

It inspired me a bit.

That's one of the beauties of writing a blog. You can read other bloggers that you respect, and enjoy reading -- and it can inspire a post.

That's what happened here.

First off, I started blogging because I'm a horrendous writer. I'm much more social, and I love SOCIAL interaction far more than hitting a keyboard. I also am beginning to enjoy, expressing myself, through writing. It's refreshing.

However, I have tried NOT to make this blog about me. It has been about my ideas, thoughts, experiences, and passions....but in some weird way -- NOT about me.

Sounds weird, and even weirder to type - but true. (Conscience effort NOT to use the word, "I" too much, although this post has ALOT of "I" (s)....)

Blogging has allowed me to come in contact with people who I never knew, and people who I knew long ago.

Blogging has made me come in contact with VERY FAMOUS people -- and receive emails from some of my "musical heros"...that I've never even dreamed of. (hint: a quick 4 line email about the title of this blog from it's author, and originator) ...

Very inspiring.

I love spending some portion of the day thinking about what to write about.

That "question" (about what to write about) in my mind is AWESOME. It's new for me, and it actually makes the brain waves work REALLY well. It pushes creativity.

Speaking of CREATIVITY.

Thanks to many of you who have sent emails, comments, and insights.

As Fred Wilson says, "this blog IS NOT a diary, it's a discussion.." --

Ultimately, I'd really like more interaction with my readers. Comments, (can be left without a name) -- but, if you see a post that might drive a comment, please do so. It keeps me going, and I REALLY love being somewhere, checking the blackberry - and reading a comments from one of my -- "creative posts..."

So, my guess is 100 days into this blogging thing, dream will be to inspire more posts from my readers.

6000 visitors in 100 days, I'm proud of that. My readership steadily grows, but, to be honest -- I hope to continue to allow folks to visit the site, and think a bit.

The thing I'm most honored by -- is that on average -- new visitors to my site, spend 3 minutes and 8 seconds on this blog.

My readers spend on average -- 1 minute and 8 seconds.

Goals for this blog for the next 100 days.

1) write good content
2) hopefully inspire more comments
3) build a more steady, realistic stream of daily visitors.

There, I shared my 100 days goals for the blog.

Thanks for reading, and now that the - "State of The Union for Andy's Blog" - is out of the way ... we can go back to writing about what's on my mind.

I'm looking forward to Day 200 for another "goal sharing" session.

Thanks for being a part of this blog, I sincerely appreciate it, and I'm looking forward to BETTER DAYS ahead....


"You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know...."


Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Important Traits of Companies, and Leaders.....

Passion, Energy and Focus SELLS.

It sells prospective employees to join a new company, and it sell prospects, to become clients......

When you see someone with all three characterisitics......that is rare.

Often times, people have 1, maybe 2 of these attributes.

It is EXTREMELY rare to work with, or for, someone with equal weighting for all 3.

I have been lucky enough to choose my previous jobs.....and, I can tell you, without doubt.....that I look for all THREE -- in the following order of importance.

1) Passion
2) Energy
3) Focus

Why in this order?


Simply put, this is one trait you cannot teach. Its in you, or its not. A leader can't fake passion. Passion and love for what you have built, INSPIRES others, to go the extra mile to get the job done. But, passion is sometimes volatile. It can backfire, and ultimately come back to bite.....but, its worth the gamble. Passion is BY FAR, the most compelling reason to get up and go to work for someone, or a company that makes you FEEL ENERGY. Its all from their passion.

2). Energy - second to passion. Energy is just the complete, "gut wrenching", ability to OVEREXTEND, yet OUTPERFORM expectations. This can mean working hard and grueling hours. I associate ENERGY, with the ability to, multi-task.....and NOT be distracted when manuevering from one major issue to another. (Very different than focus) People may call it intelligence, but I call it ENERGY, both the physical aspect of raw energy....but just as compelling is the, "processing of many variables at once......".
Incredibly important......

3) Focus - Focus is very important, but can be taught.....or shifted to another employee. People that are not focused, need to be managed closely. It is identifying this.....and discussing it early on. Often times, a Board Of Directors of a company will try to assume this role, and keep the leaders FOCUSED......
Focus is BEST SERVED by surrounding "unfocused leaders" with very tactical, and efficient managers.

Passion, Energy and Focus......if you are lucky enough to possess all three, or have leaders, bosses, or clients that do----then you have the VERY KEY ingredient.......

Raw Intelligence.

And, we all know that cannot be taught.

Blogging from 30,000 feet en route from Chicago to Newark.......

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Creating your Destiny, and Owning it.....

When is enough, enough?

When is a bad working situation, YOUR FAULT?

Not your Boss.
Not your companies products, or vision.
Not your co-workers.

When is it your fault?

When do YOU take responsibility for feeling down, about going to a job everyday?


We all have bad days, weeks, months, and sometimes unfortunately, years.

But, let me tell you -- we are in a economy in the United States -- that is BOOMING.

Unemployment is a record low levels. (4.5%?) This is unreal.

Fred Wilson, over at his blog has a GREAT POST About finding jobs in startup's.


It's surprising that so many are frustrated in their roles. A piece I read recently said close to 70% of workers, wished they could find another job, outside of their field of expertise.

I spoke to someone at a company today, who was ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE.

I mean, thoroughly depressed, and demoralized..I could hear it in their was something I did not expect from this formely, "peppy" person.

This person has been making good money, but, was FEELING DOWN, about who they were working with/for, the culture, as well as the vision of the company....and much more.

They had the Blues. (it's certainly OK to have the corporate blues, but not for long periods of time)

The "blues" in this case -- have been going on for SIX MONTHS.

I asked, "when it is YOUR FAULT, and NO ONE ELSES Problem?"

"What day will you be able to look in the mirror, and realize that IT IS YOU, that has the issues, problems -- and it has little to do at this point, with the company?"

Of course, the company may be wrong, pigheaded, and stubborn.

It does not matter.

The company sleeps VERY WELL, especially if they are hitting their goals.

I have the honor of working with many companies, and get to see many different styles of management, culture, and vision.

Here is the ONE CONSISTENT, amongst the companies I come in contact with.


Recently, I met a young lady who was working at a department store in a mall.

Recently, I met a young man, he worked at our local car wash. He told me his wife was hungry and willing to find another job, outside of "retail banking." (she was a teller)

Both landed jobs at companies, BECAUSE THEY LOOKED, and were hungry to find a position in a startup.

We are living in extraordinary times, (as far as a economic cycle goes) -- and I have to say....

"If you are NOT happy in your job consistently, then it is YOUR FAULT."

Start today, "you just gotta poke around..."

Saturday, April 08, 2006

The Power of Purchase Intent

I came across a study this week. I will attempt in "laymans terms", to describe the importance, as well as value of this data.

The study was about how US consumers are using the internet, and specifically, search engines, (Google, Yahoo) when purchasing, "considered products" or high ticket items.

"Considered products" can be defined, as a item, like Real Estate, buying a car,, Plasma TV, or even a vacation.......

Purchases which are high tickets items, can be expensive....but, most of all REQUIRE INSIGHT, and THOUGHT.....not what we term, staple items, or necessities...clearly not inexpensive purchases.

The study disclosed that, 80 percent of all, "considered purchases" - begin with a search, using the internet as a resource for INFORMATION.

What does this mean?

Simply put, I would call this data extremely valuable, and astounding.

Car Makers know it.

Real Estate Companies Know it.

US Consumers are using Google/Yahoo, in record numbers, when at the beginning of their purchase cycle, for "considered" items.

I call these consumers, and their behavior, "purchase INTENT profiles."


Because, generally a consumer WILL NOT purchase these considered, high ticket items online, but will GO TO A STORE, or dealer, to make the purchase.........BUT.

The INTENT to purchase started online.....

The INTENT to purchase is CRITICAL DATA to any company who is in the, "considered purchase" business.

Once again, car companies, real estate firms, cruise/vacation companies, places of advanced, or higher education...(Getting a MBA).....

All of these decisions, by a buyer, require spending THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. 80 percent of these purchases are starting online.

The purchase intent profile is critical data.

Imagine, if you searched for a Lexus Auto.....on Google. You typed in, "Lexus Sedan" - in the Google searchbox.

You surfed the Lexus site, TOOK NO ACTION......but, just passively browsed.

If Lexus could show ADVERTISING, and offers, SPECIFICALLY TO YOU, over the next 24-72 hours, based on the fact, that you were on their site....but most importantly, TYPED THEIR BRAND NAME INTO A SEARCH that valuable to Lexus?

You bet.

What if the "purchase intent" data, could be used to target TV commercials?

The LEXUS search by the consumer, resulted in specific TV spots, during, your favorite program?

If Lexus could offer......
Special prices? Special a example of this....

" Set up a test drive appt, and if you purchase receive a free satellite radio., installed..."

Using the "purchase intent profile", which began with the search on Google, to target advertising in potentially, THE MOST TARGETED segment for a advertiser to date.


1 - timing, using the "purchase intent profile" in a timely fashion, (24-72 hours) to show the correct frequency in short period of time.

2 - across mediums, using the "purchase intent profile" to show ads, and offers both while the consumer is ONLINE, as well as watching TV.

Timing and Addressbility.

This data, and using "purchase intent profiles" in a manner, described above, would be a, NEARLY PERFECT MEDIA PLAN....for Lexus, or any seller of, considered purchase products.

Lexus would still need to promote their brand to their audience, and demographic.

But, one could argue....their "sweet spot" in advertising, is QUICKLY REACHING -- WITH THE RIGHT message....the critical, "purchase intent profile", described above.

One company, one organization, owns this vision...they have the, "edge in targeting...with the efficent use of purchase intent profiles."

Both, from a patent perspective, as well as a execution angle, this company has the focus, to BE GREAT.

Stay tuned, "purchase intent profiles" --and their efficient use, while respecting privacy....are coming to a media company near you.

Simply put, this will be the next stage, in the advancement of internet advertising.

Consumers will ultimately win because companies will have the ability to create specific and relevant offers and advertising, for this "sweet spot" segment....

Similiar in a way to the use of, "grocery store cards..." -- the tradeoff of your purchase information to advertisers, for discounts, and direct mail coupons to your house.....all tailored to your purchases at the grocery store....

The consumer acceptance of, "cookies", will be the "opt in", or validation for this type of efficent advertising online.

The coming months will see a subtle shift in the online advertising arena.

The combination of behavioral advertising, combined with more efficient use of "purchase intent profiles", will begin to plant seeds for the beginning of a oncoming internet advertising revolution, Part 2.

Stay tuned.........Andy
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Changes in Vacation Travel

In Beaver Creek, Colorado this week. The Skiing is awesome. Tons of snow, as well as amazing weather.

As an example, yesterday we skiied all day in typical spring conditions, up at the top of the mountain. Sunny and in the 40's.

After skiing, we sat out by the pool at the base of the Mountain, in our shorts...and it was in the high 70's.

But, a big learning happened after a great day on the slopes.

WE HAVE AN EQUAL NUMBER of BRITISH CITIZENS, in Beaver Creek Village, as we do Americans.

There is no conventions in town.

Entire families, couples, enjoying Colorado....and everywhere you turn, the unmistakable accents....

This "british invasion" peaked my curiousity.

"Why would a British Citizen travel 11 hours on a plane, when they can SKI in Switzerland or France, and it is much closer?"

Of course, I had to ask. And I did.

I felt like a reporter, investigating a story, while relaxing.

Met a family of 4 from London, and when I asked them why they came to Colorado.....the answer was simple, and direct....

The Mother told us, "We work too hard, to go to France, and get mistreated, and humiliated year after year. The French treatment of the British has gotten worse.....and we will no longer holiday in France."


Another elderly lady from just outside London, told me that the combination of the riots, as well as the general feeling of TRAVELING to France, has made her apprehensive in general about Europe.

Europe is changing.

I predict that soon, we (Americans) will begin to see MORE DATA about Europeans asking for extended Visa's as well as applying for Citizenship in the US.

Key learning for me.......

I don't think our REAL ESTATE correction, that folks have been echoing will happen in certain places.

You know why?

3 of the families we chatted with were going on to Miami, Vegas, and Scottsdale.

Common Thread that I uncovered amongst all 3 British families.

All potentially in the market to BUY a condo, or property, where they were going to in the US.



Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rare moment in Time.....

Tomorrow, Weds April 5th at just after one am....the following time and date.

01:02:03. 04-05-06

Thanks to Greg S. From a music list I'm on.....a RARITY.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Monday, April 03, 2006


The Monday April 3, 2006 edition of the Wall St Journal has a piece called, "The Inside View"....

Its about Blogging, and it's under the title, "Employee blogs can put a human face on companies, but that's not always a good thing."

What really rang true with me, is the CORE reasons, and rationalities people go online and create a blog.

The reasons corporate executives blog range from, "putting a human face on a corporation", to, "blogs serve as a more personal and informal way to get their message out - and tout their products."

I was with a friend this weekend, he said..."Why are you blogging?"

My first instinct was to answer him, in a bit of a defensive nature - because I take for granted that people know, based on my writings thus far, why I have started this blog.

But, since you have read this far, let me discuss a bit why I'm blogging, and what I've feeblily attempted to accomplish.

First off, thanks for reading my writngs the last 3 months. I really do love watching my reader's and visitors interact with this site, and I truly value every time someone visits, goes deep into this blog, and MOST of all, leaves a comment.

A few reasons on, "Why I Blog."

1). I do not write well. This fact made me want to try to communicate with my writing skills. Jay Weintraub wrote about me, on his blog recently, "Andy's prose and use of the language must make his English teacher shudder.". Jay, is so right. But, if you can see beyond my conjunctions, and parsing of verses....I hope you find a message. Jay is linked on my blog, and as usual he is 110 percent correct in his assesment. In some weird way, I'm proud of it......

2) Improvisation - I love the fact that I want to build a readership on a "inconsistent theme.". That is, my valued readers never have a simliar concept, or topic when they visit. It changes daily, like a Jerry Garcia 16 minute jam on, "Dark Star" - it continually morphs into new and interesting places. My writing and ideas in some small way pick up on this broad, misunderstood trail. I love that, and I love that SOMEONE is weird enough, to be somewhat strange enough (or massively bored with their time) to actually read, and digest, my keyboard strikes.

3) I feel sorry for my wife. She is stuck with me, YOU ARE NOT. If life was a record player or turntable, at any given time I have 16 recordings spinning at the same time in my head. This simply means, my wife must deal with my insane, craziness --- of how I PROCESS LiFE. She has been kind enough for 13 years, to deal on a daily basis, with creative ideas on music, life, and the world at large.
I feel bad for her having to listen to my early stage ideas, world problems, and worst of all - making her endure THOUSANDS OF HOURS OF my music.
It was time to make some other folks suffer. This blog helps me widen the "sphere of disservice of ideas" I put her through.

4). Energy. I've got too much energy and passion for issues that are important to me. This is called focus to some, obssesive compulsive to others. Whatever it is, it makes me tick.

5). I love SALES. I love MESSAGING. I enjoy participating in success and winning. My corporate ideas, and thoughts stem from the fact that I've learned from the best in the INTERNET business, a company named, The people that I was lucky enough to hire, mentor and train, and surround myself with....all taught me many valuable lessons. I try to share some of those learnings on this blog.

8) The evolution of a incredible medium called the internet. I'm lucky enough for the past 7 years to have had a "box seat" at this incredible evolutionary show....and, its simply amazing, breathtaking, and stunning. Blogging provides the outlet to share this passion, as well as not burden my wife with new WEB 3.0 companies concepts.

11). Keeping myself sharp.
13) Communicating
15) Life

23). All of the above and more

25). Thanks.

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

This is NO SECRET. (click here)

It is just preparing the world for the inevitable.

Specifically, three countries that will carry the load.

United States, United Kingdom, and Israel.

Any others?

Saturday, April 01, 2006

One of my favorite weekends of the year.

Baseball season is starting.
NCAA final four..

And, the Weather is great.

I will be blogging from Colorado for the next week, so you will notice the "rocky mountain flavor" in my upcoming thoughts and writings.....

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.