Monday, October 29, 2007

A Day at PodCamp Boston 2

This was the first time I've had a chance to attend a PodCamp Boston UnConference and after being there, it was a great way to spend a Sunday in October.

Here are some pics I took from the sessions I attended. The rest can be found on Flickr.

Chris Penn gave us a snapshot of his social graph during his talk on Social Networking 101. Chris spoke of how social networking platforms (software) like Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace can be used to launch and foster your personal brand. He mentioned that it didn't make a difference which platform you used; it just depended on which need you had. His best advice was to get a "Primary Key", or a solid email address, so that when your social networking friends do take the plunge to sign up, you'll be findable.

Laura at Pistachio Consulting with her Z. Z kept anyone from getting too serious and was the lightning for David Culter and I to get a chance to meet.

A bunch of folks got together for a quick jam session. They drew a good crowd and the music was a nice distraction while passing from room to room. They need to get set up on

One of the top sessions for me was Jeff Pulver's "Lessons of Serial Entrepreneur". Jeff gave us his story about how he launched the companies he has over the years. During his talk, he spoke of all the "accidents" he's had as an entrepreneur and based on what Jeff has been able to do, "accidents" are good.

His key takeaway was, believe in yourself and let your convictions be your superpower. He mentioned to not let anyone or anything get in your way of communicating your ideas to friends, colleagues, and investors. He wrapped up his session with "be serious about having fun" and I couldn't agree with him anymore. What's the point if what you're doing isn't any fun.

Here I think Jeff was participating in "lolsaur" with Chris Brogan.

During Jeff's talk he invited anyone who had an idea and wanted to pitch it, to see him after his talk. A couple of folks took him up on the offer.

Isabel Hilborn of MarketHum takes us through some "Crappy" marketing stories that show how not to interact with your customers. Some of them were real bad, especially the sleeping Comcast technician one. Amazing how some companies just don't get it.


Overall, PodCamp was well worth the time spent. From all the great talks, to the "unSession" with loudmouthman, to having Z serenade us with her little voice. If you've never been to a PodCamp, you should. Follow along at their site for the next one in your area.

Thank you to everyone I connected with yesterday. It was a pleasure sharing ideas and conversation with you throughout the day and I look forward to our next meet up.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Facebook: Start of the End?

First the Ballmer video at Web 2.0 Summit. I was anticipating him jumping up on the couch to profess his love for Mark Z. Jeeze! I would love to be a fly on the wall during a Ballmer/Zuckerberg meeting. "Hey there little fella, cmon on in to my big castle for some cookies and milk. Dora the Explorer will be on in a few minutes". If Google is a tween in Ballmers eyes, then Facebook is the real toddler.

In my opinion, the MSFT/FB deal will hurt FB in the long run. When you're a cool company with a cool product and you've been working out of your "garage" to get it built; you grow a certain following. Look at the Google & YouTube stories. Everyone loves those because it shows that garage built companies can be successful, BUT, when the folks that follow, use and understand your new flashy product start to feel that what they love has jumped the shark, they begin to lose interest.

It only takes one event to completely change a users mindset and getting TOO big will do that. $15B valuation, business user base growing and now a partnership with MSFT. Any of these could be the change.

Could this be the start of the end? Only time, and user hits will tell.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Transparent Zuckerberg

I just finished watching the Web 2.0 Summit interview with Mark Zuckerberg on John Battelle's blog. This is about the third time I've watched Mark in an interview and this one struck me as very interesting.

Take a minute to watch John and Mark's exchange for the first question. I've transcribed in case you have a slow connection:

John: So the how's financing going?
Mark: It's going well, we are almost wrapped up.
John: Wow, I actually didn't expect that response.

From a traditional business, investor and analyst view, this response is completely foreign. Never do you get such a "transparent" response from a CEO related to their financing activities. Isn't this what Sarbanes Oxley is supposed to accomplish?

Granted they are still private but even most private companies don't comment like this.

The rest of the interview is very good as Mark relaxes and opens up more about how Facebook is changing the social communications landscape.

Keep watching.


Monday, October 22, 2007

So Many Choices, So Little Time

The tourists in New England these days are here for the foliage, the PATS, definitely the SOX, and over the next few weeks, as many events as you can take. Below is what is going on:

PodCamp Boston 2

October 26 – 28thDetails here


VON Show Boston

October 30 – November 1stDetails here


Web Innovator’s Group

November 6th 6:30 – until you’re done. Details are here


Mobile Monday

November 13th (and yes I know its not a Monday) – Details are here


TechCrunch & IDG Ventures MeetUp11
November 16th – SOLD OUT. Here are the details in case you want to crash the event.


Get "High" on Your Own Supply

On my way to do some apple picking with the family this weekend we stopped off to fill up the guzzler and at the gas station there were some Verizon folks street marketing FIOS. I’ve been patiently waiting for FIOS to reach my home and although they keep flying a banner over my house, it still isn’t available. Verizon’s FIOS rollout has been real aggressive everywhere else but in my area.

I thought this would be interesting to show how on the street Verizon is, so I decided to grab some pics to include with the post. As my camera started snapping, the paparazzi hands started coming up from the “street warriors” like I was taking a picture of Britney’s hooha. (Uh… I’m not linking that!) Slow down folks, I’m just exercising my rights. To protect the innocent, I blurred out their faces.

I did tell them why I was taking pictures and after I said what they’d be used for, a member of the team says “what’s a blog?” I didn’t have time to break out a presentation so I just put the camera away and got on my way, but it did raise a question. You’re selling optical to consumers for quicker speeds and better services, and as a representative you don’t know what a blog is? Who do you think is buying this service, Grammy and Grandpa?

Selling a service that you have no idea what it can and will be used for isn’t a very good strategy. Instead of having street “marketers” you should have street “evangelists” pushing your product.

I can’t remember which hip hop star said, "Don't get high on your own supply" but in this case, you “should” get high on your own supply before you sell a product.


Friday, October 19, 2007

To Burst or Not to Burst, That is the Question!

Before you get to the NY Times article I think it is important to read Carlota’s interview with Booze Allen Hamilton’s Strategy + Business because it gives more to her background and long wave theory.

I read this interview years ago, and after reading it my perception of what I had just gone through with the Internet bubble burst wasn’t so bad after all. Actually, after reading her interview, I wanted more explanation so I read her book, Technological Revelutions and Financial Capital: The The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Ages to which she goes into much more detail about how technological revolutions are a necessary evil and what benefits are left in their wakes.

Since reading the interview and book, I’ve become a follower of her theory because I lived through the “frenzy” and I am now living in the post-Internet bubble burst era. Over the years, I’ve asked my friends if they thought the bubble burst was a good thing and of course they all say “HELL NO”. Most of them were burned hard and that is a tough question for them to say, “yes” to.

Take the time to read her interview and after you’re done, you’ll see that the bubble burst was necessary and beneficial to us “new” entrepreneurs. What benefits were in the burst, you say? Look at what happened in the 90’s and early 2000s. There was so much over-investment in infrastructure & technology that post burst, we were left with all this extra capacity. I like to think that Google buying dark fiber, of which was left from the burst, has some level of correlation to her theory. That’s me thinking way out loud. We also see how this build up changed the consumer Internet experience & expectation. Who here is raving about their 56K dial-up speed?

If you wrap up the over-investment in technology, infrastructure and the change in consumer expectations, it becomes easy to see why the next generation of entrepreneurs are founding such "new" richer web experiences.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Microsoft has no friggin clue!

As I was going through my feeds this morning, I found interest in Mashable’s drop regarding Microsoft’s new web development tool called Popfly. Popfly is supposed to be a tool that allows non-technical folks a way to build web content within their social circles. It also allows users the option to pull in their Facebook, Digg, and Twitter content.

My curiosity peaked because any platform like this is a good idea as social networking continues to pave new roads. To get a better idea of the offering I went to Popfly to take a look and ultimately, to try out. I’ve done this with YahooPipes, Aptana, Flex, AdobeAir and many other web dev technologies, Flex so far is my favorite.

Well if you open the Popfly link, you’ll see exactly why Microsoft has no friggin clue. The homepage has a splash with the Popfly name and as you can see in the pic above, it also has that damn “Sign In” button that I have come to hate. Microsoft Passport is waste at it’s best because it doesn’t work. After reviewing the site, team and examples, I battled my hesitancy to click the Sign In button because I wanted to see what Popfly really looked like. Well, after I clicked through, I didn’t get any better understanding because I ended up at a fill in your information page. Like I want to sign up in order to preview MSFT’s newest offering. Am I the only one who sees the pain in this approach?

MSFT is trying to play catch up with everyone when it comes to social media and next generation web technologies. For their newest product, that is supposed to show how innovative they are, they deliver us the same old horrible approach which completely turned my interest off. Now as a potential user, tester, advocate, I’m left with no idea what Popfly is really like. They lost my eyeballs at “HELLO”.

Getting people to play and evaluate your new product should be much easier than this.

Cmon guys, get a clue!


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My Cloud

What do you do now within your cloud? Om blogs about Apple and Google's plans for cloud computing.

Do you think Google and Apple are preparing a device, "if they really are", that will do what our devices do today? Certainly not.

Jobs with Leopard and Google with their vast army of servers are preparing for the inevitable, the network becoming our friend.

Right now, you are subject to network availability and service providers terms. Some have even gone to the extreme of "don't criticize us or else", and so I don't lose my service, I won't sAy Their name To you.

There will be a day and age when the network is at your beck and call. Gbps speeds right down to your handset, device, or wearable item. I'd like this kind of availability to be ready today but that's a dream. It's getting there but that kind of throughput isn't going to happen in the next 3-5 years.

Which leads me back to My Cloud...

It will change over the years and I'll add similar services like Spinvox, Thinkature, and maybe even SnifLabs to my cloud but after a while, I'll only consume so much. 10 years down the line, the appetite for technology and services will have changed from us to the next generation. There the new services will lie and they'll be nothing like we've seen so far.

What do you think the next generation cloud of services will look like?


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Personalized Services

If you have never been to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, you should. It is a geological wonder and the formation are absolutely incredible. Back in 1998-9, I used to live about 15 mins from GoG and hikes were the best.

XOsphere reminds me of when I used to hike at GoG; remote with nature. Their service is exactly what I mean by, "next generation services" because it allows me to stream "my" mp3s, and a whole bunch of other content, directly to my mobile phone without any DRM issues. Actually, I like how XOsphere makes the network transparent to the consumer, if the network is working properly. If it doesn't, then it becomes apparent which poses a problem to the service provider.

If enough subs use XOsphere today, this will become a minimum service down the road, just like caller id and all the other now "free" services.

Next Gen Services will become unique, extremely personalized, and have minimum to no costs.


Communications = Interactions

I’ll take Jeff Pulver’s comments one step further. I think VoIP is Communications and Communications is Social but I think communications doesn’t capture the essence of what VoIP provides. VoIP provides a layer for unique and better “Interactions”.

It is not longer whom or where your friends/acquaintances are; it’s now more about the levels of Interaction you provide to them and VoIP was implemented to create more ways of doing this. If you look at the ways in which we provide Interactions today, they are nothing like before. Yesterday I could call or mail. Today I can twitter, Tokbox, Facebook, blog about what I’m doing, saying or thinking; all of which are some level of an Interaction. What we expect today will be nothing like what the next generation will expect when it comes to the way they Interact with their network.

VoIP and Social Networks are the underlying methods for all our Interactions and as our worlds get larger and freer, Interactions will continue to increase.

How else would you want to Interact with your network? Maybe share a real-time comment on the TV show your friend is watching from your mobile phone. Would you do it if it was available?

It's Interactions…

Monday, October 15, 2007

Starting out...

I wasn't quite sure where to start so I'm just letting it all flow out. I'm sure some of my post will hit and others will fall silent. Either way, it is out of my head.

So what is Phive Tacos all about.

I have watched technology and business over the last 8 years from the "ground" as well as from a "top" of business view. I'm amazed with what is going on and as I read news, blogs, and current happenings, I often leave remarks of what it all means to me as a consumer.

In what I read and follow, consumers are often left out of the equation. Consumers are the most important part of a business, yet the most overlooked. New technology is worthless unless someone buys it and every business has an end-user.

As I visit with new technology and new business models, my hopes are to leave feedback about how I believe these businesses affect the next generation consumer. Hopefully I can make sense of it all.