Monthly Match: Planned Parenthood: #istandwithPP

Amy and I have been supporting Planned Parenthood every year since we became a couple in 1990. Today, the House is going to vote on a bill that, among other things, defunds Planned Parenthood. I’m long past my surprise by any of what is coming out of Washington, so instead of being shocked, I’m just continuing to take action on things that are important to me.

So, your Monthly Match team (Fred Wilson, Joanne WilsonAmy Batchelor, Susan Danziger, Albert Wenger and me) is launching this month’s match for Planned Parenthood.

As I read Joanne’s post on this, I thought she said it well.

“Our Government, that is right, our Government that is for the people, is holding a vote today on the American Health Care Act (Obamacare) with the hopes to defund Planned Parenthood (and much more). For those who can not afford healthcare for basic needs such as proactive check-ups, prenatal care, pap smears and more is that the cost to care for those who find themselves ill (or their children) is a bigger drain on our economy than funding organizations like Planned Parenthood. It is wrong not to fund Planned Parenthood and it is shortsighted. I will never understand those who do not believe in being socially responsible for their fellow person.”

At this point, I’m not going to argue with those who disagree with me. Instead, I’m going to encourage those of you who agree with me (and Fred, Joanne, Amy, Susan, and Albert) to join us in our monthly match and help raise at least $60k for Planned Parenthood.

Here is how the monthly match works

  1. Go to our match offer page and click the big Donate button
  2. Select any amount (min is $10) and click the big Donate button again
  3. Enter your payment credentials and click the big Donate button again
  4. Click the big Tweet Your Donation button
  5. Once you have done all of that your donation will automatically be matched
  6. If you don’t have Twitter, forward your email receipt to [email protected]

I hope you will join us in supporting Planned Parenthood on this difficult day for all who care about women’s reproductive health and women’s health more broadly.

FullContact Connect – The Future of Customer Intelligence

FullContact is one of our silent killers. Unless you are a customer or partner, you don’t hear much about a silent killer until it’s suddenly everywhere, leading the market it is in, and functioning extremely well at scale. One of the hints of these silent killers is their inaugural user or partner conference. An example of this from our past was the 2013 Big Boulder Conference that Gnip (now part of Twitter) put on.

Connect ‘17 is FullContact’s inaugural conference exploring social and customer intelligence, to help companies reimagine the customer journey. The goal of the conference is to get together professionals in marketing, media, customer intelligence, and other roles which focus on knowing and serving their customers better.

While this is not a new idea, we are at another inflection point in the development of tools, technology, products, and processes around this. As an industry, we’ve learned a lot about this over the past decade since web 2.0 started to emerge. Today, the components are there to once again completely redefine the customer journey and the business of personalized marketing.

In addition to speakers from large media companies like Joe Pindell (Pitney Bowes), Tod Szewczyk, (Leo Burnett), and Doug Kaczmarek, (Wiland), you’ll get to engage with:

  • Falon Fatemi, CEO Node, Google’s youngest ever employee
  • Chris Voss, CEO The Black Swan Group, former FBI hostage negotiator
  • Ryan Leslie, Founder Disruptive Multimedia, former hip hop recording artist/producer, accepted to Harvard at age 14

And yes, I’ll be there the morning of May 11th hanging out and participating on a panel.

The conference is from May 10th through 12th at the Curtis Hotel in Denver, Colorado. While they are close to selling out, I got them to give me some discount registration codes. If you want to join us, use the code HalfOff on the registration page.

I love silent killers.

 

Mentors 14/18: Accept and Communicate With Other Mentors That Get Involved

Two mentors in one of the Techstars programs were both people who I knew well. They hated each other as a result of being co-founders of companies that had been bitter rivals.

Each company was successful, but their paths ended up being very different. These two co-founders hadn’t interacted with each other, but the CEOs of each of their companies had some rough interactions. As a result, each of these co-founders thought the other was an evil person.

Each of the co-founders was technical, extremely smart, and capable. Not surprisingly, they gravitated toward mentoring the same companies.

After a few very awkward moments, I encouraged the two co-founders to let their pasts be history and to move on. I knew them each pretty well and expected they’d like each other and get along if they had an opportunity to reset things. Being mentors to the same company gave them this opportunity.

It turned out that they loved working together. At some point, the co-founders talked about their past. They had never actually met, and each realized that their emotions were a function of the hostile relationship between the CEOs. Since they were channeling these emotions, they realized this was a self-limiting perspective.

They became friends. In a few cases, they’ve been mentors for the same company. It’s been a great example of moving beyond whatever your past is and accepting each other as a mentor in a new shared context.

The Best Time To Invest In Something Is …

At 18 minutes into this awesome talk that Fred Wilson did at MIT a few weeks ago, he finishes the statement “The best time to invest in something is ...”

… when nobody wants to invest in it but you.” He adds “And – you have to believe in it and know why.

Truer words have never been spoken about investing as, or in, VC. Just don’t forget the phrase “and – you have to believe in it and know why.”

Fred is one of my closest friends in the VC business and someone I’ve learned an amazing amount from him since first meeting him in 1996 when he was just starting to work with one of my male soulmates Jerry Colonna.

Watch the video. Listen carefully. Learn from his experience.

Fred – thank you for everything you’ve done for and with me over the years.

True Stories of the NCIS with Oblong Mezzanine

If you are an NCIS fan, you are probably excited about the upcoming 48 Hours: NCIS which premieres on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 10pm ET/PT. I like NCIS, but I’m especially excited about Oblong’s Mezzanine product being a central part of the show.

John Underkoffler has been showing us – through Hollywood – the future of user experiences since Minority Report (where he was the science and technology advisor.) It makes me smile to see him, and his gang at Oblong, continue to lead the way.