Thursday, November 30, 2006

Technology vs Content...and Strategy.

Music is a DRIVING force in my existence. It soothes me, stabilizes me, and provides me comfort nearly every single day.

Riding in the car, my music is EXTREMELY loud, and very crisp, and balanced through a well respected, and adored sound system.

If you looked through my IPOD, or my CD's here is a list of music you would find.
Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Kinks, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby Stills ans Nash, Neil Young, YES, The Police, Rush - and various other bands that make up a large part of what I would term, "classic rock."

I respect people that can enjoy and appreciate newer music, but for some reason the recent and new bands - do not "hit me" the same way that Jerry Garcia, or Keith Richards does.

One thing you should know -- is 99% of the time -- I listen to the bands that I've listed above, in a "LIVE CONCERT" format -- I rarely listen to studio releases, as I've made a hobby of acquiring bootlegs, and rare live soundboard copies of shows. I blogged a piece about collecting live music, and the DILEMMA I WAS FACING, that I've yet to answer.........

But, I must say - THE GRATEFUL DEAD has so much of a impact on me, that they truly altered my outlook on life, BEYOND MUSIC.

I learned a few valuable lessons as I toured this beautiful country many times, "Who are the Grateful Dead, and WHY ARE THEY FOLLOWING ME?"

In every time zone, in many states, and places I had never been - but most of all, the many people that I came in contact with, that enriched my soul.

We all shared a common bond.


Now mind you, some people came just to party at the concerts, and especially at the end of the Grateful Dead's touring days -- the "scene", became folks in cities and towns across the country, that came to the concerts and venues, more to drink and tailgate -- than they did to see, amazing music. Make no mistake -- the scene grew steadily from the early 80's straight through to 1995......

One major attribute that sticks with me is the ability to live life, and allow your content to flow freely. Allow your creativity to end up where it may - with NO STRINGS ATTACHED. The band came out and played nearly one hundred nights a year for many consecutive years, and allowed their shows/concerts to be taped by the audience. (Some nights they were horrid, but it was all part of the experience, and then one night, you caught "Jerry's magic" that severely dented your being)

The Grateful Dead effectively led the way for what we see happening now in the media world, and content and distribution circles.....they were visionaries - and possibly we can all learn some lesson - and look at the, BYPRODUCT OF THEIR SUCCESS. What did their concept of releasing content, (their live shows without strings) what impact did it have, possibly unforseen over the years?

Early Record Labels (Warner) tried in vain to keep the DEAD from allowing their concerts to be taped - for fear of "diluting their product." The labels were worried that their business would suffer (and it did) by the unleashing of, CONTENT for free, on a mass scale with no commercial gain......

Had a record executive with vision, asked the band early on -- to continue their practice of allowing the audience to tape and record the shows, and in return - the record label could have, a fixed percentage for 35 years of ALL concert receipts and sales...... you think that would have worked for the label?

I believe so......and that is why - CONTENT OWNERS and PRODUCERS must look at "creative ways" to be compensated for their hard work and effort, they cannot rely on standard 20th century guidelines. Technology will not allow it.

I'm afraid the - BUSINESS AND COMMERCE SIDE OF ART AND CREATIVITY, IS FALLING FAR BEHIND THE ABILITY TO DISTRIBUTE CONTENT, and it is out of fear - rather than a visionary strategy.

Warner Brothers made a HUGE mistake in 1973 by fighting with a band (Grateful Dead) over creative rights to live concerts. If any visionaries at Warner, would have "thought out of the box" -- the revenue stream (of potentially attaching themselves to the gross sales of each concert,) the record company could have potentially dwarfed any gold or platinum record in the pipeline. Keep in mind the Grateful Dead toured until 1995 - and from 1986 to 1995 were continuously amongst the top touring bands in the United States.

I write this because today I helped a good friend (who is both a artist and a producer) explore a new way to "profit from creativity."

Creativity, is needed urgently not only from the artist and producers -- but from the BUSINESS side of the table as well.

Technology and The Social Angle, that the media world is taking - DEMAND IT.

My favorite musician GETS IT.
His name is Steve Kimock. He is the BEST GUITARIST IN THE WORLD.
Have a look/listen for yourself -- this is called "Hillbillies"
Its from 4-3-99, Great American Music Hall, SF.

4.3.99 - Hillbillies on PCP - Steve Kimock guitars, Bobby Vega bass, Alan Hertz drums, Ray White vocals, guitar
GigaOM on Lotame...

Liz Gaines of GigaOM did a fine job at interpreting what we (at Lotame) are trying to build and execute against in the WEB 2.0 world.

She got our core message, and for that I'm thankful.

"One startup, Columbia, Maryland-based Lotame, thinks it can target ads better by analyzing behavior on social networks. The idea is to provide software that bolts onto ad servers and feeds in information about people’s cookies, member profiles, interactions with other users, and responses to ads.

“We’re not looking to be an analytics company that just has cool reports,” says Lotame CEO Andy Monfried, a former executive at “We’ll make it actionable.”


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The "You Never Know" Post.....

While working at my former company, I met many fantastic people, and worked with energetic, bright - and motivated individuals. (it's part of my profile on the right of this post)

After a advertising campaign ran for a client, the clock started ticking on the payment schedule, or DSO clock. (days sales outstanding)

My internal person who handled our NYC office collections for years.....was, as one of my collegues recently pointed out, "extremely good at making everyone feel good, and always asking about your family. It was like working with your grandmother."

Well, this is her. Meet Rhian Smith.

"SANFORD -- Rhian McGuire-Smith is a tiny, unassuming woman, a grandmother who, neighbors say, loves to spoil her grandson.

According to law-enforcement officials and court records, she also is a longtime thief with a trail of victims across at least four states and Australia. Those cases, though, pale in comparison to what could be her biggest crime yet: She is accused of embezzling more than $1.2 million from a subsidiary of America Online."

You never know.....

Here is the REST OF THE STORY.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Value Creation in a Startup.....

I believe building a quality company from nothing, that creates value for both customers and shareholders is one of the toughest things to do in all of business.

Being a executive at a mid-size or large company, and making decisions when a company is already established, branded, and selling a quality product in the marketplace of ideas – is VERY DIFFERENT than building a business. I believe you make certain decisions based LESS on what is best for the business – but MORE about EGO and PERCEPTION.

I’m finding myself interviewing people for positions at my new company who have never been in a start-up firm. These candidates (that I’ve met) have always been in a company that has had more than 50 to 100 people, and have never had to come in to work, and worry about their respective jobs on a day to day basis.

They felt (the candidates) as though if they were doing a good job, their cube would always be there, the desktop computer would always be on, and the coffee machine will always be a few short strides away.

That’s not life in a start-up internet company.

No matter how hard you work ,there is no guarantee of anything. There is no guarantee of a job in the months ahead, no firm placement of a where your office may be, and certainly no perks that established companies have.

But, you know what you in a startup have, that larger companies yearn for from their employees?

Confidence, desire and a hunger to perform….

Confidence in leaving what they were doing at a established company, that may have evolved away from it’s roots – and transformed into a company that is well established, and stable – but LESS innovative than ever….. this is part of the phases that large companies go through in their evolution. (Some call it success) Many employees of these companies, see INNOVATION and the ability to perform, as taking a backseat to politics, ego’s and the internal “running scared” mentality, to protect their small empires. The percieved success, drives valuable employees to look elsewhere, and begin their quest to find a place where they can feel rewarded......

Desire – Desire to create and share new ideas in a open environment that breeds and welcomes thoughts and ideas. This is what a startup company is all about. Sharing, laughing and coming up with new thoughts, ways of solving problems, and communication. Larger companies sometimes lose this important internal fabric, of what made them great as they grow in headcount, and employees leave. Politics, Egos, and internal empires – (chain of command issues) replace the fostering and fertilizing of creative plans, fresh ideas, and innovation.

I respect Google and their internal structure more now than ever. They realize that as they grow, they still need employees to “think outside the box and be more than creative.” This has helped to breed employee satisfaction, and at the same time – assisted Google in building and executing against new products, that came from grassroots employee ideas. It's hard to believe that 5 years ago, they did not even have a ADVERTISING plan......

Many companies and their leaders stray from what made them great originally – (which is understandable as they grow and scale) but what is 110 % unacceptable, is to allow – EGO, AND POLITICS -- to crush creativity, and innovation completely…

These corporate leaders are nothing more than mid-level managers, with big titles, who have been taught that using slogans, symbols, and hallow half hearted communications, can somehow replace a SINCERE and GENUINE desire to create value, reward employees, and build confidence with REAL managers intent on making their staff feel GREAT. (they are more concerned with making themselves look good, and worry far less about their workers and their future)

All big companies go through phases, but much of what history has taught us in regards to corporate value DESTRUCTION, starts at the bottom of the company – and works its way north, to the top of the org chart.

As I hire and fill out the rest of my company, I can promise you that staying as focused and true to what helped us land our FIRST two customers, will be with me (and our corporate DNA) as long as I’m a leader. Putting every single employee FIRST, and making sure they know they add genuine value – and making sure they feel as though they are CREATING VALUE, through THEIR innovation is critical.

I encourage companies to create a “politics free zone” in their offices. A place where ideas can be shared with their managers in a arena FREE of ego’s and attitudes.

The “politics free zone” is any startup company – in their offices, in tight quarters…….and it is PRECISELY what creates value, and breeds employee satisfaction.

It’s the reason many of you who work on the internet, have a job.

Get part of your company BACK to it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

KVHW - Live in San Francisco

9.18.98 - Maritime Hall -

Steve Kimock - My Favorite Musician.

Here is his Band KVHW from, 9-18-98 - Maritime Hall, SF. (is you want to see Kimock sizzle immediately fast forward the video about 4 minutes in, and watch him channel some good, kind energy...)

Turn it up, sit back watch Steve work.

Slumber > Hillbillies on PCP

Steve Kimock guitars
Bobby Vega bass
Alan Hertz drums
Ray White vocal, guitar

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006 Football....

Norwood, NJ Style. We had a great game in the rain, mud...and fun.

We will all be sore tomorrow....but it was worth it, to act young, throw the body around, and laugh about getting older. "In my younger days, I was able to catch that????!!!"

The annual game was a success. No broken bones.

Here is the cast of "characters."


Friday, November 17, 2006

The Future of Media, as it Evolves Socially.

I've written this before, but it bears repeating and emphasizing, as the ground shifts around us, as it pertains to both content, advertising, and consumption of MEDIA.

To date, content has been controlled by companies and outlets that have chosen for you-- what you can watch, hear, and interact with. The owners of newspapers, for instance controlled what you read on a daily basis......

The ground is moving under the seisimic tremors of change and evolution are being felt across the globe.

The average session time (meaning time spent in one sitting) - on MySpace is over 30 minutes. Thats is 30 minutes LESS time spent watching TV. 30 minutes per day less reading the newspaper, 30 minutes less per day -- IN ANY ENVIRONMENT WHERE BRAND ADVERTISERS COULD REACH CONSUMERS, AND SELL TO THEM. (for me, as a kid, it was watching magilla gorilla and magic garden in front of a tv after school -- but, that same kid today, who might have been watching TV afterschool -- is NOW ON THE COMPUTER -- and not consuming TV media -- but, most likely on a site, like Myspace)

MySpace (and the 200 other sites like it) are social in nature, as they have the component of the consumer (you) being the producer of content. The consumer CREATES HIS OWN SHOWS...the consumer interacts with people he/she chooses -- and the consumer controls the media, and how they consume/digest it.

It has thrown the media world on it's multi billion dollar head.

Rupert Murchoch and News Corp caught on to the changing landscape, with their purchase of MySpace for $500 MM - but wait.....THERE IS MORE.

Remember the "old media" companies that controlled what you watched, saw and digested? They are struggling to figure out how to use blogs, and social content to their advantage. They can't target, or comprehend how to use SOCIAL MEDIA, to their advantage.

Social Media simply means that -- "Yet, unlike mass media before it, social media introduces the very unique element of the previously passive audience becoming both producers and distributors of media."

How huge is that?

As pointed out from the GigaOM piece -- traditional ad models simply will not work in a Social Media world.

Brand Advertisers do not have the proper data, to conquer social media planning, out side of doing what they have been doing online to date (using standard web targeting tools such as reach and frequency, and old school planning guides containing audience composition) -- which is using the contexually relevanant model, and demographic targeting tools to brand consumers.

It does not work in social media. Context and Demographic targeting in Social Media is the equivalent of, showing up as a driver to a auto race, with a set of golf clubs......the tools do not apply.


Contextual Targeting is LESS relevant than -- "social profile data collection and optimization."

Because, Demographic Targeting can't work in a environment where THE PRODUCERS OF CONTENT -- attract a wide array of people to their personal sites based on HOW THEY FEEL that day - and what was TAGGED.

The content is less important than the producer.

Lotame is hard at work building tools so that advertisers can use SOCIAL MEDIA IN A WEB 2.O WORLD TO ACHIEVE BETTER RESULTS THAN EVER BEFORE.

We believe that Social Media inventory (impressions sold on SM sites) are currently, tremendously undervalued, and are not being, MONETIZED correctly for advertisers or publishers.

will be at the forefront of yielding better results for Advertisers, while lifting the inventory value for Publishers who own the Social Sites.

The data is there, to begin to target based on SOCIAL aspects of media, as opposed to old models that have served us well........but need to evolve.

Rock on...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Shameless Self Promotion.
Who would do that?
My company release below.
Rock on.

Web2.0 Publishers Now Have New Value Proposition for Advertisers with the Next Generation of Ad Targeting and Yield Management Technology

Lotame™ Crowd Control Brings Web2.0 and Social Network Specific Targeting
Technology to the Market

COLUMBIA, MD. (November 14, 2006) – Lotame™, an Internet marketing and technology company, focused on lifting the value of social network media for publishers and advertisers, today announced the introduction of Lotame™ Crowd Control, the industry’s first targeting and optimization software built solely for Web2.0 social media publishers.

Traditional systems have struggled to keep up with the ever-changing environment of Internet media, as well as the growing world of consumer-generated content. Lotame™ has engineered its technology to specifically drive results for publishers and advertisers across Web2.0 media.

Founded by Andy Monfried, Lotame™ has tapped the industry’s best talent, bringing on Devin Rust and Jeremy Pinkham, both veterans, to build the next generation of online ad targeting technology. On the heels of raising seven figures of venture capital investments, Lotame™ is well-poised to take the social network inventory space by storm. Using powerful targeting and optimization tools, Lotame™ Crowd Control allows social networks to increase their value proposition as the space becomes more complex and dense.

Lotame™ Crowd Control utilizes the rich member data that is unique to social networks and consumer-generated content to better identify marketing opportunities and enable publishers to enhance their ability to target ads. Using this new technology, publishers will now be able to target specific members and niche audiences that have not yet been realized by traditional targeting technologies to increase returns and provide improved qualitative results for advertisers.

“As social networks continue to expand and warehouse an ever-growing amount of member data, Lotame™ set out to identify and establish new audience segments to allow advertisers increased penetration and improved targeting inside Web2.0 media. Our goal was to build the next generation of ad targeting technology, specifically for Web2.0 and social network platforms, whose members are estimated to account for as much as 20% of all Web impressions,” commented Andy Monfried, president and CEO of Lotame™. “With the introduction of Lotame™ Crowd Control, publishers will quickly increase revenue per member and promote advertiser acceptance of Web2.0 and social networks as a viable and profitable space.”

Using proprietary technology to collect behavioral and social data to identify specific actionable audiences, Lotame™ Crowd Control pinpoints groups using tracked social behavior and member profiles to predict increased likeliness of ad response. Specifically, Lotame™ Crowd Control will allow publishers to better direct campaigns to specifically targeted demographics, in addition to providing advertisers comfort in the knowledge that their ad spend is being efficiently allocated and directed.

“Lotame™ Crowd Control’s core technology, as well as its reporting and analytic tools for Web2.0 and social networks, provides the data collection, discovery and measurement of member audiences that are actionable and sellable,” said Devin Rust, Lotame™ chief technology officer. “Lotame™ Crowd Control offers a scalable marketing strategy and technology system to handle the volume and uniqueness of Web2.0. Using our technology will allow social media providers to improve the quality of their ad targeting for branded, as well as performance-based, campaigns.”

About Lotame™ (
Lotame™, based in Columbia, Maryland, serves publishers and advertisers looking to drive results from the media of Web 2.0. Its ad targeting technology includes an optimization tool that enables a Web2.0, or social network publisher, to automatically discover member communities and member social profiles that respond well to specific ad campaigns, for more efficient targeting.

# # #

Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Greatest Guitar Player Alive.....Steve Kimock.

Here is a snippet -- which is a very small sample of just how good he is.

Steve Kimock with ZERO from 6-10-06 in Santa Rosa, California.
This jam is from a song called, Catalina.

(the picture and sound are about 2 seconds off, but rest assured it is Steve playing guitar, and displaying his talent)

If you like what you see below, here is a link to his DVD - which is amazing. Here is also, one more video of Steve with his band KVHW -- from 4-3-99. The Song is called, "Bad Hair."

Click on the arrow, and turn it up..

Monday, November 06, 2006

Ad-Tech Post 2006

I am attending the 2006 Ad-Tech show being held in New York City at the Hilton Hotel on 6th Avenue.

I have had the great experience of witnessing the growth of the web from the, "inside, out."

You see, my first show with Ad-Tech was in 1998, when I was with Seeing the changes of companies, people, and concepts, is staggering and overwhelming.

Here are some terms you did not hear AT ALL (if you attended this conference) in 1998.
Some of the "newer terms" are:
Online Video, Web 2.0, Social Media, Behavorial Targeting, Social Targeting, Keyword Optimization, Google, Integrated marketing online.

Crystalizing the changes in the online media world, has been the growth and acceptance of, THE WEB as a, branding channel........

In 1998, many viewed the immediacy of information, and results from the internet as simply a, direct marketing/performance channel.....

I type this post as I sit in a session of Media Buyers and Planners from major agencies, who are pontificating about their needs and desires from vendors and media properties.

It STILL all boils down to one thing: PERFORMANCE.
Performance for Advertisers has many different and unique metrics by which to judge -- but some concepts that stand out, and clearly differentiate what makes the web so successful, (when compared to other media, such as print, newspaper, radio and TV) is:

1) Rapid Data Feeds
2) Consumption of Web Based Media is outpacing all other forms of media
3) Reach and Frequency of both portals, and networks
4) Unique Content
5) Applying Technology and Optimization to continually refine and maximize results
6) Limited Risk (compared to 1998)

There are many more.....

The point is that INTERNET ADVERTISING is growing rapidly. The numbers are simply enormous -- but advertisers (both Brand and Direct Response) have now - KNOCKED THE WALLS DOWN TO SPEND SIGNFICANT PORTIONS OF THEIR BUDGET ON THE INTERNET.

If you are reading this, and you, OWN NO internet advertising companies stocks in your portfolio, think again.

Google is extra ordinary (in terms of performance)....and is now the 900 pound gorilla with publishers and advertisers alike.

There are many other excellent companies (not as dynamic as Google) that have tremendous upside for potential investors.

Think about this:

"Whats is your primary means of consuming media?"

For many it is the internet, and if it is -- you are part of the trend of growth, JUST BY DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW.

Crazy days at Ad-Tech 2006.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Golf pictures from this weekend to kick off Nov 2006.

The course is called "White Which." Named after, Annie Palmer.

Amazing course, with scenic views and beautiful sculpture.

Relaxing days with The Pavells.

Jeff Pavell is a scratch golfer (he makes me look bad) - and his sailing is simply "out of this world & onto the rocks."

Good times of relaxation, golf, sailing, and fun family time.

Jeff was the captain of our sail boat -- and he steered us perfectly ONTO the rocks. We needed to be rescued. Click on any image to enlarge....

Enjoy more pics to follow.



Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Anyone Else Sick Of....

All this pre-election stuff being thrown at us in the media?

It is draining, and a HUGE turn-off to voters in general, but I fear mostly to our youth, who have to sit through commercial after commercial (sometimes candidates with back to back 30 second spots) of totally negativity, and bashing of the other guy.

The next Presidential election is going to be VERY ugly....with fear, security, and bad karma, being rained down on the American long stretches, leading up to Nov 2008. Very troubling.

One another note.

Lately, I've been doing lots of travelin....

A book that you need to get, to understand alot of the underpinnings of

* how we got into Iraq
* the inside mechanisms of the White House/NSA/dept of Defense and State Dept.
* Egos at play
* and, what happens when you have problems with leaders who fail to listen
* intelligence

This is a GREAT book. The book is called, "State of Denial" - by Bob Woodward.

Here is the link, buy it -- you will be happy you did.

Rock on,