Category Archives: Friends

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.

Hunter Walk on Baby Names

My friend Hunter Walk was a recent guest blogger on Google’s Blog. He has some Modern advice for parents-to-be when is come to optimizing baby names for modern parents to be.

To dig into this further, check out the Top Five Male Names for Births in 2003 by state (i’ll give you a hint, “Auren” isn’t one of them). You’ll see a lot of Jacobs — they’re everywhere. and you’ll see some cultural changes (like a lot of Joses in Texas and California).

FOA: Paul Meyer, CEO of Voxiva

Paul is based in Washington DC but he is rarely there. My guess is that he spends more time on a plane then anywhere else. Voxiva ( is a terrific company and was introduced to me through Peter Kellner who is an investor and board member. The company tracks disease in a given area so officials can see health trends -– much like COMSTAT does with crime.

Before founding Voxiva, Paul founded IPKO – the largest Internet provider in Kosovo. He has also had stints at the Markle Foundation and the International Rescue Committee. He was the COO of Endeavor ( and was a White House speechwriter under President Clinton. He graduated from Yale Law School and went to Oxford. He was recently named a Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Funny story: in the early days of Voxiva, they only had the domain name of “” – some guy was cyber-squatting on the “” domain. Frustrated with always going to the wrong web page, I finally got fed up and contacted the domain squatter to buy the dot-com name myself. He wanted $20,000 but I was able to negotiate him down to $300 and immediately handed the “” name to its rightful owners.

Voxiva is an incredible company and I am looking forward to seeing great things from them and from Paul. See a good USA Today story at

Barry Nalebuff and Why Not? How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small

I had an opportunity to meet Barry Nalebuff at a conference last weekend. Besides being the co-author of Co-Opetition (one of my favorite books), he runs a site called Why Not? How to Use Everyday Ingenuity to Solve Problems Big and Small.

the WhyNot site is an open-source idea mart for new ideas. Some examples:

Two way horn
Why not make all car horns just as loud inside the car as they are outside? This would quickly eliminate 99% of all unnecessary honking and improve just about everybody’s quality of life. This is one I can’t take credit for, as it was my friend’s idea. But I think it is one that bears repeating.

— dug4000, Dec 2 2003

News ticker during commercials
Some cable news stations have a news ticker going across the bottom of the screen at all times. This is a brilliant idea, since it gives people a reason to look at the screen even if they find the current news item to be boring. For some reason though, they don’t show the news ticker during commercials. If anything, people are more likely to look away from the screen or change the channel during the commercials. They would retain more viewers during their commercials (which would be great for their advertising rates) if they not only show the ticker during commercials, but actually increase the number of items on the ticker then, so that some bits of news will only be shown on the ticker during commercial breaks.

— Curious Cat, Nov 27 2003

it is full of really interesting and ideas that make you want to ask “Why Not?”

Scott Bonds — I Want to Work at EA

I Want to Work at EA: Games 411

Scott Bonds — one of my oldest friends (since 1993) — has published a site called “I want to work at EA”. Unlike many job seekers that try to be overly opportunistic, Scott has honed exactly the type of job that he wants … and he has built a successful blog with large readership.

assuming scott is successful (i am sure he will be — he is one of the most talented people i know), look for more people to copy his job searching technique.