Monthly Archives: July 2005

Book: The Virtual Handshake

Thevirtualhandshake_cover_112x162David Teten and Scott Allen just published a very interesting book called The Virtual Handshake. They were kind enough to send me an advanced copy and I went through it all in one day.

This is a very good primer for someone learning to use the Internet to build relationships. In fact, people like my mother should read it — it will allow her to network better online with people that might publish her new children’s book.

I encourage you to check out their book and their blog at

The best job in the world

StonebrickToday is a very important day for me. It is the two year anniversary of my company, Stonebrick Group. We got our first customer, LaunchSquad – a PR firm, on July 1 2003.

After selling BridgePath (an enterprise software company) in October 2002, I took some time off … reading, attending foreign policy conferences, going on trips with the military, learning … and then I started to get a little antsy.

So I did what every career advisor tells you to do but no one ever actually does … I decided to try to design my own job. One that I would absolutely love doing every day. And one that I would be able to excel at. It is tough to find both. I’d love to be a professional soccer player … but I don’t think that’s in the cards for me. And I might excel at a bunch of business things that I might not love.

So I designed my own job.

More than anything else, I love to help people. Especially when I can help people by connecting them with others for their mutual benefit (and therefore help two people at once). I love to help people build long-term relationships. Turns out, I’m actually good at it too.

So my only dilemma, before starting Stonebrick, was … would anyone ever pay me for that?

But LaunchSquad took a flyer on me. The four partners there (Jason Mandell, Jesse Odell, Jason Throckmorton, and Brett Weiner) are terrific to work with and worked with them for 16 months — helping them build long-term relationships. LaunchSquad was a five person company at the time. Now they are triple the size, just took over an entire floor of a downtown San Francisco office building, and have large expansion plans.

Then Zoom Systems became my second client in August 2003 and I started working with Clarium Capital that September. Since then, we’ve had 18 customers including Microsoft, Sanyo, Gerson Lehrman Group, Travelocity, CB Richard Ellis, and others.

And so today, I sit back and reflect … I am extremely thankful to be doing what I do. I love going to work every day. For me, helping others build relationships is the best job in the world.