Month: March 2008
Time to actually figure out the real job board thing on this blog since I’m now posting job notices a couple of times a week (feel free to comment if you provide these things and I’ll try them out and pick one.) There has been plenty of response to the job postings so I assume those of you that don’t care are just filtering them out and those of you that do are appreciating them!
Rally Software is actively recruiting sales people. On Thursday April 17th from 5:30pm – 7:30pm they are having a Sales Recruiting – Speed Interviewing event. It’s happening at Bacaro at 921 Pearl Street in Boulder.
Over the past few years, Rally has grown to be one of the largest and fastest growing software companies in Boulder. They recently passed 100 people on their way to 150 at the end of this year. I’ve worked with them from the beginning – it’s an awesome team that is just crushing it. Send email@example.com a note if you are a sales hunter who wants to join a winner.
P.S. Hey mom – notice that I used "who" correctly this time instead of "that." Special bonus points.
I was going to edit my Getting A VC’s Attention post but I thought the point I was going to add was important enough to highlight it in a separate post. In the post I wrote:
The feature is not the magic. Listening to your customers (in the case a prominent VC blogger – who’s attention is in high demand) and reacting to requests quickly and publicly is.
What I meant to emphasize is that the magic is in "the doing." It’s not about talking. It’s not about commenting. It’s not about emailing. It’s about doing. Rapidly iterating your product – demonstrating that you know how to process feedback, prioritize (based on whatever your current goals are), and executing.
If your goal is getting a VC’s Attention (as I expect Bret Taylor had as one of his goals), this was a brilliant approach. I’m not suggesting that you should orient your development schedule and feature list around what a VC wants (yeah – that would be a generically bad idea), but if you are trying to get a specific VC’s attention that you think has something to add to the mix, this is a great way to do it.
All of this (and the early morning, thin mountain air) made me think of my favorite Star Wars quote. "Do, or do not. There is no try." … Yoda
I regularly get asked "how do you get a VC’s attention?" Fred Wilson at Union Square Ventures just demonstrated – on his blog – how this works.
Last week while Working On Vacation, Fred was screwing around with FriendFeed. He wrote a post titled Ten Things I’d Like FriendFeed To Do. Bret Taylor from FriendFeed immediately commented on the post "Thanks for the thoughtful comments. Wanted to let you know we all read them here at FriendFeed, and I agree with you on almost every single request." A few days later FriendFeed implemented the ability to post an @reply to twitter from FriendFeed.
Result: Fred posts I Just Fell In Love With FriendFeed. For those of you that don’t know, Twitter is one of Fred’s investments. So – the fact that FriendFeed rapidly integrated with his investment is the clincher.
Now – the "post an @reply to Twitter" feature is no big deal. SocialThing – one of the TechStars companies – that does something similar but different to FriendFeed – has had this feature for a while. The feature is not the magic. Listening to your customers (in the case a prominent VC blogger – who’s attention is in high demand) and reacting to requests quickly and publicly is.
I’ve had similar experiences over the years with great entrepreneurs. The first one was within a month after I started blogging when I got connected with Dick Costolo at FeedBurner. If you go way back in my blog archives to June 4, 2004 (eek) you’ll see Feedburner signals improved feed stats coming soon. I wasn’t yet an investor, nor did I realize that "Feedburner" was really spelled "FeedBurner" but Costolo was all over me (and Fred) and we both fell in love with him (and FeedBurner.)
Speaking of Dick Costolo, yesterday he had an insightful tweet about M&A and Sex which Paul Kedrosky picked up. What a deliciously self referential world I live in. I wonder how good his 14 year old is at Rock Band? I guess we’ll find out tonight.
I’ve had a lot of fun over the past few years as an investor in NewWest.Net. I’ve learned a bunch from Jonathan Weber – the founder – about the intersection of Internet media and print media.
NewWest.Net launched in 2005 as a local and regional online publication about growth and change in the Rocky Mountain West. The company then launched a conference series which has been quite successful. Recently they came out with their first print product, The New West Magazine.
It’s a reversal of the old-media way of doing things; the Web site is the center of the enterprise, a general-interest publication with local and regional dimensions, while the print mag is a brand extension that is focused tightly on the growth and development story. New West founder Jonathan Weber has always advocated a multi-platform approach for journalism-driven publishing, and it’s easy to see how The New West is print does some things that can’t be done as well online, even as NewWest.Net online does lots of things that can’t be done in print.
The conferences continue to be a key part of the mix as well: New West’s new conference, Designing the New West, Architecture and Landscape in the Mountain West, will happen April 24-25 in Bozeman. Even in an online-centric, social-networked world, there’s no substitute for in-person gatherings – or for the look and feel and portability of old-fashioned print. Subscribe today (free via questionnaire or $9.95 if you don’t want to fill out the questionnaire.)
Josh Kopelman doesn’t blog that frequently, but almost all of them are worth reading carefully. His latest post – Feed Frenzy – is great. Josh is facing the "multiple news feed problem" as he joins more and more services that publish a news feed. He takes on the notification side of the equation – the opposite of what FriendFeed and SocialThing do.
All of the social network sites continue to use email as a notification mechanism. When something happens on the social network that pertains to you (including messages), you get an email. Anyone that has a meaningful volume of social network activity quickly learns how to turn these notifications off. This defeats part of the real time value of social networks – now I have to go check and see what’s going on to see if anything relevant to me has happened.
As the "too much email" meme continues to circulate, someone is going to realize that one of the drivers of it is the endless notification cycle and the least common denominator – namely email – that is the mechanism for the notifications.
The solution – as Josh points out – is analogous to SNMP and network operations. Josh wants an SNMP enabled dashboard for all his news feeds. Aggregate everything into one easy to monitor dashboard, take action automatically on critical things that I’ve told the dashboard it can take action on, and organize the rest of the notifications in a way that I can deal with.
As an extra special bonus, this dashboard would help me connect all the atomic data (namely – my friend data) on the various social networks I’m getting news feed data from. Fred Wilson would be "Fred Wilson" across twitter, his blog, his tumblr, facebook, linkedin, myspace, disqus, intense debate, etc. I’d be able to interact with "Fred Wilson", not each of the discrete Fred Wilson’s.
There was a moment in time where I thought RSS might be the solution for this. But it’s not – there’s a second order problem (and opportunity) here that requires something additional, especially given that new API’s are appearing for handling specific services news feeds.
Stuff like FriendFeed and SocialThing address part of the problem, but not all of it (and – ironically – often create additional data as anyone who was been notified by email that a new friend has signed up to follow them on FriendFeed has discovered.)
I love recursive problems.