Archive for October, 2007
- @jasoncalacanis – I’d be fine with the text link thing if they hadn’t *also* penalized tens of thousamds of sites by accident. #
- www.b5media.com/blog – my halloween costume. #
- lol @chrisgarrett – give’er a hug for me. For the record, I love my totally embarrassing costume. Really. Heh. #
- Thanks @willpate, my kids are very proud of my costume ;-) #
- @jasoncalacanis / @1938media – when is dimsum? I’ll be in nyc sun-wed… #
- @technosailor – they bought the attendee list from last year. Ad:tech sells it every year. Pr guys can’t know you’re a blogger from it. #
- @chrisgarrett / @technosailor – I think I only use 3-4 of’em… My worst is "at the end of the day" and "what you need to do is", heh! #
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- Sent out the "1 week before conference" speaker email. Hoping it goes over alright! #
- @technosailor – I responded to a pr flack today too. She was pitching a book signing in a country I don’t even live in. #
- Destop tower defense has had a *tonne* of upgrades in the last few months. Very cool! #
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- @marshallk – mindmanager is the best of the pack. @mochant is the man on this stuff, as is @thussey, you may wanna ping’em :-) #
- @kickstand – email@example.com, and the cell is 416 726 3602 in case you need it :) #
- @tdavid – next release is Tabby ;-) #
- Democamping. Wondeing if jobloft guys’ll show their ugly mugs ;-) #
- @willpate – I’m back-rowing democamp, feel free to join (right hand side) #
- @technosailor – done and done ;-) #
- First demo: www.jesterjs.org (very cool @technosailor). Gives you rails activerecord style stuff in js. It’s very nice. Demo was 2/5. #
- Presenter 2 almost killed the audience… Screen nearly fell. His vaio died, heh. #
- Projecter dead. CS department trying to fix. This should be fun to watch! #
- Presenter 2 ois back. 4 mins in and nobody has any idea what’s being demo’d. So far we know it’s a mobile app and it will install.. #
- @remarkk does the swarm know what’s being demo’d (another ipaq)… #
- Held my tongue and didn’t ask wtf the app actually was… (Thanks @djanes). #
- Ahhhh, 2 was a tax/currency conversion app! Wouldn’t that be better as an sms service than a fully-fledged web app? #
- Lolllllll @remarkk #
- Lol @ CS department forgetting to turn on projector :-D #
- Presenter 3 is pulling into the lead on the useful/crazy scale! #
- So we’re here being demo’d a less advanced Meraki system? #
- Company is omesh networks. The guy knows his networkig, just needs someone else doing his demos. I love mesh networking, personally! #
- They use unlicensed spectrum radio to augment the wifi mesh… Interesting! #
- Meshing wifi mesh with radio hop-reduction is a dascinating approach. #
- #4 is www.o-grant.ca. It’s to empower student loans and grants and scholarships. It is *not* (as I thought) p2p lending for students. #
- Instead, it’s a clearinghouse for this scholarships and grants. Interesting, but not as much as p2p lending (to me, persnally). #
- Ogrant allows students to vote on candidates for grants. So, y’know, you can bury a competitor. Yay! Scholarships based on popularity! #
- Swarm should swarm outta the conceptshare demo ;-) #
- Shazzam, conceptshare slams octopz! #
- Conceptshare v2 is verry nice. Great evolution!!! #
- If you don’t know conceptshare, it’s the best way for designers and clients to virtually sit down at a table, mark stuff up and comment #
- New torcamp metric: TTC: time to content. It’s the average # of mins it takes to get 1 min of content presented. Democamp is a ttc of 3 #
- Now up, ignite presentations. First, andy walker on finding your $oul. #
- Find your geek power. His is giving away the intarwebs (not on cd!). #
- I can haz intarwebs? #
- I’m wondering, has he found his $oul? Or just his inner navel? #
- This guy knows everyone! This is what happens when you find your $oul! #
- Guy just changed the ignite rules only for himself! I call foul!!! "Average of 15 seconds" is *not cool*!!! #
- This guy is very, very good at reading his own slides oina funny voice. #
- When you only have 15 seconds per slid, *don’t just read the slides*!!! #
- Commercials or companies should *not* be allowed at ignite!!! #
- @marshallk – it’s okay, send it, I’m a big boy! I won’t cry (much) heh! #
- @marshallk I love you too ;-) #
- At the duke. Damn having the scooter get me there quickest ;-) #
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This post by Ed Sutherland reminded me that I hadn’t blogged about b5media’s latest addition, our Advisory Board, yet!
Rick announced the change last week while I was in NYC propositioning midgets.
Why an Advisory Board?
Before I go into the specific members of our AB, I thought I’d talk a bit about why I wanted an AB in the first place. During b5media’s first year, myself, Darren, Duncan and Shai functioned largely as our own collective.
Most decisions were made as a group and that worked pretty well. Post funding it was clear that the headquarters would be in Toronto, and that we needed a single person to be responsible for stuff – and that person became me (since I was in Toronto and had raised the round, the decision was fairly obvious).
Our second year was really a growth year for b5. We went from just me and Duncan being full-time to the current team of about 15. We went from 3 clunky servers to a cluster of nearly 20 great boxes. We went from 4-5MM real pages served to real people to more than 30MM/month now. We drove revenue from 20K/month to more than 100K/month. We matured our processes, added great content areas like our new Music Channel, launched our first Gateway (Spekked.com, the best way to find all of our best Entertainment and TV Show content). We went to Gnomedex and laid it down hard. We got an office (which is now nearly packed!).
All in all, it was an incredibly busy year. But, it was basically the year I’d planned out (though we blew through my expectations in terms of growth!). Very little of what happened wasn’t in the scope of the business plan we prepared for our VC’s. And very little that was in the BPlan didn’t get done.
So a great year.
But we’re now entering b5media’s 3rd year as a company! And this year there will be fairly massive changes afoot. All good. All fun. All incredible, but they require talents, knowledge, connections, wisdom and experience that I simply don’t have.
There were a bunch of options for filling this knowledge and experience gap, but the most attractive (by far) was to work with people I knew, trusted and admired to build a group of folk I could regularly bounce ideas, progress and concepts off of. And not a group of folk who were just going to agree with everything, but a group of people with a history of drawing their lines in the sand and really standing up for what they believed in. A group who were going to challenge me and push me to think bigger, think harder and think deeper.
So we formed our AB.
Why These Participants in the Advisory Board?
As Rick and Ed noted, the Advisory Board is made up of the following folk:
With the exception of Hugh, I’ve met and had chats with all of these folk. And I’d consider Robert, Renee and Stowe “friends” (in the business, travelling in the same circles, try and hang out when we can kind of style). Doc I don’t know a tonne, but we’ve done a few podcasts together and met once, so he isn’t a total stranger.
So why these folk, and what did I feel they brought to the table (that was uniquely theirs)?
One by one, here’s what I like about these folk (for Rick’s take, read his post):
- Robert Scoble: Robert is one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met. He lays everything out there in a way I’ve always admired. He never holds back (even with his laugh, heh) and has taught me a tonne through his example. This passion for community, transparency and people will be critical in the next year or two. In addition, Robert knows video. I love video. Video is something we here at b5 want to do more of. Robert can bring knowledge that myself and the team simply don’t have. There are a bunch of other areas I want to pick Robert’s brain on, but mentioning them would reveal our plans a bit too soon ;-)
- Hugh MacLeod: I haven’t met Hugh, so this is a bit harder to do. But, from reading his blog and listening to some of his talks a few things strike me about Hugh (whether they’re true or not): He doesn’t assume anything, thinks outside the box, and pushes you to not only think things through but to think them through from an entirely different perspective. Hugh strikes me as a bit of a gemologist (if that’s the right word). He takes an idea, spins it around and looking at it from just the right direction under just the right light he can see very tiny blemishes – blemishes that could do long-term damage to the company if the CEO weren’t aware of them. No pressure Hugh, heh!
- Renee Blodgett: I love Renee. Renee is cooler than Colber, by a country mile. She’s totally passionate, loves the people she loves, loves making intros and is the best PR person I’ve ever known. And she’s great at pulling a smile out of me on camera, which isn’t easy to do. Professionally, Renee nows everyone in the valley (and beyond). And the people who matter love her. Not that I’ll only be using Renee for her connections, of course. Her experience in the last (insert an appropriate number of years that shows she has experience but isn’t in any way “old”!) years has helped her see things that others have missed. As the PR person for companies that have been wildly successful and others that have flamed out spectacularly, I believe she has an innate sense for things that work and things that don’t, and I can only hope she’ll share those with me and the team this next year or two unfolds!
- Stowe Boyd: I’ve worked with Stowe on a couple of projects over the last few years. While none of them ended very well, we’ve managed to stay in touch and stay friendly. I met Stowe a few years ago on the conference speaking circuit, where we’d often grab drinks and bitch about how awful and tiring the whole thing was and how we’d never do another conference. And then the next month we’d do the same thing. And the next ;-) Beyond that, though, Stowe has forgotten more about building successful companies, communications plans and growth strategies than I’ll ever learn. I’ve wanted to get Stowe officially involved with b5 since the launch, and I’m tickled that I can finally toss ideas at him and see what he thinks!
- Doc Searls: Like Hugh I don’t know Doc incredibly well. But I know he’s one of the most wickedly smart people of this generation, that he knows media the way Stowe knows business (ie: has forgotten more than I’ll ever know) and has seen so much that it’s hard to imagine anything truly surprising him. As much as I hope we can (pleasantly) surprise him with some of the things we’ll be doing in the future, I’d be just as happy for him to lend his wisdom and experience to help figure out which rabbit trails lead to gold mines and which just lead to brambles.
So, to those who (like Ed) were wondering why the AB, and why this AB, I hope this provides some insight into my though processes on this.
It’ll be a change for me to interact with an AB, and I’ll need to learn (hopefully quickly) how to do that. I’m not used to having one, so building the habit of communicating with them regularly will likely be my biggest challenge.
But I’m absolutely looking forward to working with this group of luminaries, acquaintances and friends and I can’t wait to not only bounce this year’s plan off of them in Vegas at CES, but to continue bouncing ideas off of them and getting their individual and group feedback throughout the year. A huge thanks to each of them for agreeing to join, to Rick for kicking me in the butt for getting this done and to my team for 2 fantastic years already!
- Dude wearing sandles in 5c weather! #
- For the record, The Comebacks absolutely freaking sucks. It isn’t even worth seeing at 6am on a Sunday in Russia if SOMEONE ELSE PAYS FOR IT #
- @scott_goldblatt (hey!!!) – I’ve heard from a lot of small publishers that they’ll lose 50%+ of their revenue due to the PR issue. #
- @scott_goldblatt – If pubs are losing that much, it means they were always at risk – and knew it – and were simply hoping all would be ok. #
- @scott_goldblatt – that doesnt’ make it those publishers’ fault or that they were doing bad business. Just means they were aware of the risk #
- @scott_goldblatt – end of the day, as a web publisher you do what you have to to survive. That used to mean text links. Now things change. #
- That was a mini blog post ;-) Text links dying is like CPM ads dying. It’s bad for publishers. But it just means we get to innovate. Cool. #
- There’s nothing like ringtones of songs you have stuck in your head to KEEP them there. Case in point: umbrella by rihanna is my wife’s. #
- I think I’m'a’gunna do some catchup work in the office today. Hit the ground running tomorrow kinda thing! #
- @1938media – sorry I didn’t stop in for a drink, was heading to a meeting. Next time! #
- @scobleizer – say hi to hugh for me, and a thanks to him too for joining the board at b5! #
- @mochant – give sue my love and a bday (insert something appropriate)!!! #
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