Friday, November 21, 2008

8 myths that haunt online marketers

Sure, you've heard it all before -- but is everything we hear right? We asked digital media experts to go against the grain and debunk some commonly held wisdom about the business. Some of these truisms used to be true but are no longer; others are legacies of the traditional advertising world. And one of them might depend on whether you're on the client or agency side of the table.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My love affair with Zappos continues...

I will say it again the best customer service I have ever had from any retail store or web site is Zappos. I came across the 10 Core Values Zappos employs the other day and thought I would list them. If every company/service followed such practices the world would be a better place.

Zappos Core Values:
1. Deliver WOW Through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8. Do More With Less
9. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble

Any business owner should appreciate the above

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What happens on Main Street affects Wall Street

In an attempt to find humor in our current economic state
With our economy in crisis, the US Government is scrambling to rescue our banks by purchasing their "distressed assets", i.e., assets that no one else wants to buy from them. We figured that instead of protesting this plan, we'd give regular Americans the same opportunity to sell their bad assets to the government. We need your help and you need the Government's help!

I wonder if someone will take my Michael Jackson red leather jacket from the 1980's.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Managing "Unproductive" Meetings

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures writes a great blog called "A VC". Today Fred posted a piece called "Managing 'Unproductive' Meetings" that breaks out 6 tips for meeting management. #3 seems so obvious but most meetings lack an agenda and can be a big waste of time. An agenda is critical.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good

I am currently reading "Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good". This book is a great read. I really enjoyed going down memory lane of the dotcom days. Sarah is a great writer and injects her internet spirit throughout.
The Rebirth of Silicon Valley and the Rise of Web 2.0
The captivating story of the mavericks who emerged from the dotcom rubble to found the multi-billion-dollar companies taking the Web into the 21st century.

Everyone has heard the story of the Internet Bubble. Beginning with Netscape's blockbuster IPO in 1996, billions of dollars flowed into Internet startups, and companies with no revenues and shaky business plans earned sky-high valuations on Wall Street. It was the era of paper millionaires, $800 office chairs, and Super Bowl ads for dotcoms that no one had ever heard of. Then in 2000 the Bubble burst, with the Nasdaq losing 75% of its value and hundreds of companies closing up shop. It was all written off to "irrational exuberance," and everyone moved on. Once You're Lucky, Twice You're Good is the story of the entrepreneurs who never gave up on the Internet dream.

I highly recommend this book.

Barack and Bobby: Compare and Contrast; and, Obama-Clinton as Lennon-McCartney circa 1970

It was moving to read Tom Hayden's reflections on Bobby Kennedy's candidacy of 1968, his own role in it, and the ways in which Obama's campaign has reconnected him with the spirit of those times. Yet I find it equally moving to consider the ways in which Obama and RFK are different, the ways in which they are mirror images rather than carbon copies.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

40 years later a new comparison

It has been 40 years since the assassination of Robert Kennedy and still we ask: what could have been

Today the media attempts to draw comparisons between RFK and Barack Obama. The comparisons to me are obvious. Both believed in unification of the country. Both opposed similar wars and both were/are forces for civil liberties.

Ultimately both appeal to our hopes and dreams not our instincts or fears.

We have to look forward. We have to be compassionate towards others and we have to have a sense of responsibility.
Robert F. Kennedy, 1967

Monday, June 2, 2008

CompareNetworks, Inc. Fuels Growth by Raising Round of Financing

CompareNetworks, Inc., a global online B2B media company for the life science and healthcare industries, today announced that it has closed a round of financing from Alta Communications.

Based in South San Francisco, California, CompareNetworks operates vertical websites and email newsletters that target life science researchers, medical and dental professionals. The CompareNetworks sites, which include,, and, help marketers in their respective industries target decision makers in these specialized fields. CompareNetworks generates highly qualified sales leads through its comprehensive marketplaces, targeted editorial and video content.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Zappos- Getting to $1 Billion

Zappos is one of my favorite internet businesses. The level of customer service cannot be beat. Zappos is also starting to diversify, they are no longer just shoes. Zappos is now in the apparel business. It really makes it easy to buy apparel/shoes from Zappos because they allow free shipping on returns AND they send your purchases overnight when you select "ground" shipping. I recently heard a story of a woman who bought 20 pair of shoes. She didn't know her size so she ordered multiple sizes and styles. She returned the 17 pair that didn't fit and Zappos happily paid for the return. Zappos is truly all about the customer.

Monday, April 28, 2008

interesting article: How to Run a Meeting Like Google

Meetings get a bad wrap. Regardless the size of your organization meetings are viewed by most as a time suck and preventing the person attending from actually doing their job.

I came across this article which I found interesting. The article is a few years old actually but still relevant.

I love the Dilbert reference
The Dilbert cartoon in which several people sat around a table while the meeting organizer said, "There is no specific agenda for this meeting. As usual, we'll just make unrelated emotional statements about things which bother us…"

1. Set a firm agenda.
2. Assign a note-taker.
3. Carve out micro-meetings.
4. Hold office hours.
5. Discourage politics, use data.
6. Stick to the clock.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

end of jet lag?

Something I recently came across...

If there is anything to help lessen the effects of air travel bring it on!

FlyRight was developed by Ted Ray, a Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist in Mountain View, CA. It is an all-natural herbal jet lag remedy in an easy-to-use liquid form. FlyRight helps you adjust to new time zones, avoid jet lag, and protect you from airborne pathogens.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hitting your Productivity Targets without GTD

In my quest to find the perfect project management system I stumble across: UNO (Universal Organizer) from the site "Geekpreneur". Who needs GTD?

It took David Allen about 250 pages to explain his Getting Things Done productivity system. You’ll have to read each page at least twice to understand it, spend several hours wondering how to make it work and fiddle around with 43 folders before realizing you don’t need a book to teach you how to procrastinate.

I plan on trying this for the next project I am involved with.
Give it a look:
Easy Organizing with UNO

There must be a pony in here somewhere!

Joke- This is a great one for all of the eternal optimists

There are twin boys of five or six. Mom was worried that the boys had developed extreme personalities -- one was a total pessimist, the other a total optimist -- their parents took them to a psychiatrist.

First the psychiatrist treated the pessimist. Trying to brighten his outlook, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with brand-new toys. But instead of yelping with delight, the little boy burst into tears. "What's the matter?" the psychiatrist asked, baffled. "Don't you want to play with any of the toys?" "Yes," the little boy bawled, "but if I did I'd only break them."

Next the psychiatrist treated the optimist. Trying to dampen his out look, the psychiatrist took him to a room piled to the ceiling with horse manure. But instead of wrinkling his nose in disgust, the optimist emitted just the yelp of delight the psychiatrist had been hoping to hear from his brother, the pessimist. Then he clambered to the top of the pile, dropped to his knees, and began gleefully digging out scoop after scoop with his bare hands. "What do you think you're doing?" the psychiatrist asked, just as baffled by the optimist as he had been by the pessimist. "With all this manure," the little boy replied, beaming, "there must be a pony in here somewhere"

Words to live by

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A must read/see--- "Last Lecture"

I don't know if any of you have seen or heard about Randy Pausch. Randy is a professor at Carnegie Mellon. Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given 6 months to live. It has now been 7 months.

Professor Pausch decided to give a "last lecture". The lecture was recorded and virally taken off via Over 10,000,000 people have viewed the "last lecture".

The story is incredibly moving. ABC is actually running the entire lecture tonight at 10:00pm (pst).

In this day and age it is very refreshing to see someone speak from the heart and with no agenda.

I have seen the lecture and cannot recommend it enough.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Great book, a must read

I stumbled upon a book last week called “Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets” by Sudhir Venkatesh. I can't recommend this book enough. I enjoyed the book so much I reached out to Sudhir to let him know how much I liked the book. Sudhir was nice enough to respond to my email. In addition he had a documentary, Dislocation, available.

I like Thomas Friedman's "Flat World". It allowed me to reach out to a great person and a fantastic writer.

From Publishers Weekly
Honest and entertaining, Columbia University professor Venkatesh vividly recounts his seven years following and befriending a Chicago crack-dealing gang in a fascinating look into the complex world of the Windy City's urban poor. As introduced in Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner's bestseller, Freakonomics, Venkatesh became involved with the Black Kings—and their charismatic leader J.T.—as a first-year doctoral student at the University of Chicago. Sent to the projects with a multiple-choice test on poverty as his calling card, Venkatesh was, to his surprise, invited in to see how the drug dealers functioned in real life, from their corporate structure to the corporal punishment meted out to traitors and snitches. Venkatesh's narrative breaks down common misperceptions (such as all gang members are uneducated and cash rich, when the opposite is often true), the native of India also addresses his shame and subsequent emotional conflicts over collecting research on illegal activities and serving as the Black Kings' primary decision-maker for a day—hardly the actions of a detached sociological observer. But overinvolved or not, this graduate student turned gang-running rogue sociologist has an intimate and compelling tale to tell.