Category Archives: Friends

Introducing Scott Kirsner

I met up with Scott Kirsner for lunch yesterday …. he just moved to the Bay Area from Boston where he has been a columnist for the Boston Globe and running tech conferences there. He’s also writen for Fast Company, Salon, Wired, Newsweek, the New York Times, and others.

he’s now “working on a book about new technologies have changed (and are changing) Hollywood for Random House/Ballantine Books.” To that end he just launched a blog entitled CinemaTech

Hunter Walk tries to drink all of Google

By day Hunter Walk manages AdSense for Google. Also by day, Hunter is attempting to drink every variety of drink in Google’s kitchen.

this is a pretty stupendous task.

Summation analysis:
Let’s say that Hunter has two drinks per day (as he might not always be motivated to try the latest watermelon cola). And let’s say Google carries 300 drinks right now and will add another 120 over the next six months (for those of you who have been to the Google kitchen, you know that this number is not an exaggeration). That means it will take Hunter 140 work days for him to drink all the drinks in Google’s kitchen. Given that he usually doesn’t go to the office on weekends or holidays,and given he’s probably already tried 50-60 of the drinks, that means that he’ll finish in on about September 30. I’m looking forward to hearing the result of Hunter’s quest then.

Why Michael Powell is a rock star

Cimg3713Yesterday I spent five hours with outgoing FCC Chairman Michael Powell. this guy knows his stuff.

i don’t think i am out of line by saying that Chairman Powell understands technology better than any other government official — elected or otherwise. he understands where technology is going and the strains and benefits it will bestow on our society. Powell is also incredible articulate, candid, and thoughtful — another rarity in Washington.

Yesterday I saw him in three different settings. One was a private meeting with the top venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. The second was a meeting with the CEOs of some of the foremost technology companies. The third was a large evening reception where hundreds of Silicon Valley execs came to hear Powell discuss his views on the industry.Cimg3708

In all the meetings, Powell was incredibly charismatic, intelligent, and extremely engaging. Even people who were predisposed to be his critics were incredibly effusive after meeting him.

When Powell leaves the FCC at the end of this month, the government will lose one of its finest public servants (it lost another amazing person last month when his father also left government employ). Michael Powell is young and has a large opportunity ahead of him. He’ll probably go into the private sector and help grow the tech economy from the inside. But I hope he doesn’t stay away from the public eye — Powell is an incredible advocate of technology.

And I, for one, will be the first one on line to support Powell if he chooses to go back into public life by running for a Virginia US Senate seat or Governor.

Spme pics at:

Silicon Valley 100 introduction

OK. So the Silicon Valley 100 (SV100) has been getting a lot of talk lately (see buzz below). I started the Silicon Valley 100 because I believe influence marketing is a good filter if the right influencers are involved.

(More of the Silicon Valley 100 at the Stonebrick site.)

I don’t publish the list of people in the Silicon Valley 100 (Newsweek, which broke the story, somehow got a list from either a SV100 member or a potential client), but I pick the people based on the following criteria:
1. Integrity. These are people known for their high integrity, honesty, and strong commitment to ethics.
2. Connectors.
3. Salespeople. They are naturally inclined to spread ideas.
4. they are all connected to the Bay Area. I believe it is much easier to “tip” an idea in a few zip codes
5. early adopters. they like to try new products and ideas.

Only 15% of the SV100 are regular bloggers. Most of the people meet with lots of people every day and can relay ideas personally (which, in my opinion, is the most powerful way to spread an idea).

some people share a similar view, come people think differently. I’ve compiled a list of commentary over the last three days and published it below. Enjoy:

Newsweek (Jan 20, 2005)
The Connected Get More Connected. Seeking buzz, companies will funnel free new products to Silicon Valley’s elite.

Joi Ito’s Blog (Jan 21, 2005)
Silicon Valley 100. “The idea is to make a list of ‘connectors’ and send them new gadgets and products to test.” “I think it is almost like an opt-in focus group.”

Slashdot (Jan 22, 2005)
Toys For The Rich To Cultivate Product Popularity. “wake up dudes, the world works in a hierarchical fashion not because it can but because in fact this works well.”

Nouveau by Zaw Thet (Jan 23, 2005)
The Silicon Valley 100 – Truth & Rumors. “…for the same amount of exposure the group of 100 people would each have to tell around 31 people and get them interested enough to go to the company’s website. I think that’s pretty realistic, don’t you?”

Ross Mayfield’s Weblog (Jan 21, 2005)
Free Crap. “Its kind of like schwag for a virtual tradeshow with a decentralized cocktail party.”

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc. (Jan 21, 2005)
Buzz-Makers: More Disclosure, Please “What bothers me is the lack of transparency … It’s just an extension of a concept of what some call “buzz marketing” — getting allegedly “regular people” to tout products without disclosing the practice.”

Susan Mernit’s Blog (Jan 21, 2005)
The ultimate connector “…he’s created a Silicon Valley 100 list and is recruiting companies to distribute *stuff* to the influentials he’s compiled.”

Om Malik on Broadband (Jan 22, 2005)
The Schwag Set. “This is a ridiculous idea in a decentralized media environment where experts in the blog-world are more the influencers than those mentioned in the story.”

Silicon Valley Media Watch (Jan 21, 2005)
Silicon Valley 100 will generate “buzz”. “Marketers are expecting the Silicon Valley elite to promote their products in exchange for free stuff.”

Buzz Marketing with Blogs (Jan 22, 2005)
The Connected get more Connected. “get the right handful of people talking about your product, and the masses will follow.”

Silicon Valley Media Watch (Jan 21, 2005)
Silicon Valley 100 will generate “buzz”. “Marketers are expecting the Silicon Valley elite to promote their products in exchange for free stuff.”

Digital Musings (Jan 23, 2005)
Are you a Connector? “It’s a good thing that last year was the year of the Blog because a number of influential bloggers also made the cut…”

Eight Diagrams (Jan 21, 2005)
The Disappearing Line “Traditional media has long had to grapple with the separation of advertising and editorial. At times, those lines have become blurred. Now they are further blurring in the blogosphere as well.”

MEX Blog (Jan 22, 2005)
Silicon Valley 100 macht sich die Superspreader zu Nutze “Auf den ersten Blick eine gute Idee und letztlich ist die Message klar: Mach Dir den Blogger zu Nutze.”

nonablog (Jan 23, 2005)
Cyber Elite “Créé à l’initiative d’une entreprise de marketing, ce groupe se compose d’entrepreneurs, d’avocats, d’investisseurs ou de blogueurs, qui auront le privilège de recevoir des produits gratuits.”

Minding Everybody’s Business (Jan 21, 2005)
Silicon Valley 100 will generate “buzz”

Can I Get A What What (Jan 23, 2005)
Free Crap “As I always say, the best beer is free beer.”

John Tokash’s Weblog (Jan 23, 2005)
The Silicon Valley 100 “Someone PLEASE set up a feed for the SV100. I wonder if they would standardize on a prefix for subject lines of posts that refer to these products….”

Dan Crowther’s (Jan 21, 2005)
Buzz-Makers: More Disclosure, Please

Scoble’s Link Blog (Jan 23, 2005)
Buzz-Makers: More Disclosure, Please (from: Dan Gillmor)

Scoble’s Link Blog (Jan 23, 2005)
Why do they get all the loot? (from: Digital Man’s Outtakes)

New Media Musings (Jan 21, 2005)
Paying bloggers to get buzz.

In Search of Utopia (Jan 21, 2005)
To Any High Tech Company…. “To Any High Tech Company…. Who wants to send me free stuff…Send away baby!”

Michael Martelli Jr.’s Blog (Jan 22, 2005)
New Age Buzz-Marketing: The Silicon Valley 100. “…this group will provide feedback to the makers and hopefully praise these products via word-of-mouth advertising.”

Media Guerrilla (Jan 23, 2005)
Influencer Marketing – The Silicon Valley 100. “High fives to the gang at Stonebrick for exploring this particular direction of an influencer program.”

Digital Man’s Outtakes (Jan 23, 2005)
Why do they get all the loot? “Since they do have the ability to purchase these things relatively easier than average Joe, why not send them to average Joe and see if his thoughts are in line with the big guys/gals?”

Geek News Central (Jan 23, 2005)
Would you write honest opinons of Products if they were given to you? “My question is why not give some of these devices to people that are down in the trenches instead of the famous, rich and well connected.”

There Is No Cat
(Jan 22, 2005)

First against the wall when the revolution comes “…an old Saturday Night Live sketch. Eddie Murphy was made up to be a white man, and when he went out into the world was amazed to find that there was a giant conspiracy among white people where they didn’t have to pay for anything ever, at least not so long as there were no non-white people around. Winks all around.”

Johnnie Moore’s Weblog
(Jan 23, 2005)

More bzzz “Neil Turner and Dan Gilmour … They’re both a bit wary of it.”

Books: The Entrepreneur’s Success Kit : A 5-Step Lesson Plan to Create and Grow Your Own Business by Kaleil Isaza-Tuzman

My friend Kaleil Isaza-Tuzman recently published The Entrepreneur’s Success Kit : A 5-Step Lesson Plan to Create and Grow Your Own Business.

i haven’t read it yet but i am sure anything Kaleil writes will be extraordinarily valuable. Rumor is that he’ll come out with some companion books for minority business owners and other targeted demographics.