Brad Feld

Marie Alexander, the CEO of Quova (our Internet geolocation company), was part of a USA Today article from a Churchill Club panel including Marc Andreesen (Opsware, Netscape), John Chambers (Cisco), Steve Jurvetson (Draper Fisher Jurvetson), Ed Zander (Motorola, Sun), and John Thompson (Symantec, IBM). It was illustrious company and Marie nicely held her own. All the panelists were optimistic about the future of the Internet (Chambers: “You haven’t seen anything yet”).

There was a nice segment on “The Internet becomes more local” – which is the core of what Quova helps companies do.

Q: The Internet has always been seen as global, but there is a possibility of the Internet becoming more local. What’s going on?

Alexander: There are reasons to have borders on the Internet. There are many things that can be enabled by understanding where the user is. You have situations where there are laws and requirements in one country but not in another. In Mexico, it’s OK to buy an antibiotic over the counter. In the United States, it is not. There are very good reasons for being able to understand geography and understand those borders on the Internet. And it can be done in a way that doesn’t take away anybody’s anonymity. An example of that is Major League Baseball, which last year introduced the ability to watch a baseball game on the Internet. But MLB had sold (video) rights to those games to (TV stations) in certain geographic areas. To be able to take that business to the Internet, MLB had to be able to determine if you were in an area where they had already sold rights to someone else. And in that case they would block you off from being able to see that game (though you could see all games to which local rights hadn’t been sold to someone else).

Jurvetson: There’s been a globalization trend for a few years, whereas this new trend that hasn’t yet fully played out is taking advantage of local services. It’s understanding where someone is based, either for personalization, for searches, for products and services, location-based services over wireless networks, you name it.

Amy and I had dinner at Thalassa in Tribeca with Fred Wilson, Joanne Wilson, Matt Blumberg and his wife Mariquita.

No – we didn’t spend the whole night talking about blogs, but we did connect the dots on a bunch of people from Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions (Fred, Mariquita, and I went to MIT, Fred and Joanne met there when they were sophomores, and Amy dated a guy in the poker ring,and Matt’s dad was an MIT grad).

I spent a couple of hours hanging out with Jeff Jarvis today. I was originally introduced to Jeff by Fred Wilson a few weeks ago and have been enjoying his blog ever since.

My goal for my meeting with Jeff was pretty simple – I’m trying to learn as much as I can about the Blogsphere (although this phrase appears to have been hijacked, so I guess I’ll have to call it something else). Jeff’s been a media guy for a long time and has a widely read blog. As a software / tools / data guy rather than a media / advertising guy, the more smart folks I talk to, the more of a clue I get.

I’m not entirely sure what Jeff’s goal with me was, but we had fun. He said a bunch of stuff that stuck with me, including the notion of blogging as a “Citizen’s Media” – a phrase he’s coined. We talked about the incredible proliferation of blogging in places like Iran, town blogging (news for the people, by the people), the blog content business (“it’s like owning a burger king franchise – a nice small business – but that’s not such a bad thing”, and blog advertising.

As each day passes, I see the power of two things converging – one is the massively distributed nature of content creation via blogging – which can be both good (everyone is a publisher) and bad (anyone is a publisher) – coupled with the rapidly decreasing friction associated with creating and disseminating information. People playing around with the Internet for a while have been predicting changes in the publishing, newspaper, TV, and advertising industries since 1994 (or whenever Al Gore invented the damn thing). They continue to be right – incrementally – especially as the broadband everywhere-anytime connected world becomes more of a reality. The friction of information creation and dissemination is one of the major inhibitors to this transformation. We might see real upheaval this time around.

Jeff – thanks for the stimulating conversation.

I was in Grand Central Station yesterday admiring the shiny food court (I hadn’t been there since leaving town on 9/11). I bought a decaf latte at the Italian coffee place in the middle (I can’t remember the name). My cup came wrapped with a coffee sleeve with an ad on it that said “Starch Away – Blocks Carbs by Reducing Calories from Starchy Foods!” I turned to my wife Amy and said – “look at this – can people be this stupid?”

Apparently the answer is yes. I went to the Starch Away web site and discovered that it’s sold almost everywhere. After poking around on the web for a few minutes, I was relieved to immediately find critical articles on it. According to the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter “No one, particularly people with diabetes, should take starch blockers sold over the counter.”

At least our government makes these kooks put a disclaimer on their advertising and product stating “These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administation. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”

I’m going to go exercise so I can have pizza with an extra dose of carbos for lunch.

World’s Leading Java Developer’s Portal Chooses GeoPoint’s Patented Technology

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 1 /PRNewswire/ — Quova, Inc., the world’s leading provider and developer of Web geography services and technologies, today announced that, the world’s largest community for enterprise Java architects and developers, has chosen Quova’s patented GeoPoint to provide state and country-level geolocation for its website, which serves over 500,000 unique visitors per month. provides news, feature articles, product reviews, case studies and a discussion forum for Java software developers worldwide, and is widely considered the voice of the Java development community. The site has deployed GeoPoint to analyze geographic traffic patterns and detect users operating under aliases, as well as automatically pre-populating the country and state dropdowns on the site’s registration page. TheServerSide is also an advertising business, and has ambitious plans to leverage GeoPoint to provide innovative online marketing solutions to vendors of enterprise tools and services.

“We chose Quova over competing providers because they clearly had the best technical expertise and the most easily integratable product to help us serve the Java community,” said Floyd Marinescu, founder and General Manager of TheServerSide Communities. “In addition to the current applications, we plan to deploy GeoPoint to help us deliver customized content and advertising based on each visitor’s nation and state of origin, enabling us to generate new ad revenue for our company and more relevant content for our members worldwide.”

“ is a household name among Java developers, including our own,” said Tom Miltonberger, Senior VP of Products for Quova. “We’re proud to be able to help them serve this thriving development community and execute a successful business model in the process, and we’re committed to a partnership that will produce stronger and more versatile technology across multiple industries.”

A good friend of mine – Jenny Lawton – just started a blog called As Yet Unpublished. Jenny is a retired technology executive and fanatical reader (and writer) who decided a few years ago to buy a bookstore in Connecticut called Just Books. Given her entrepreneurial compulsions – one store wasn’t enough – so now she has two.

I get all of my books (and many book suggestions) from Jenny. I expect her book reviews to be prolific, varied, and entertaining. If you are a reader, this is a blog for you.

The NY Times redeems itself (after the lousy blogging article) with And for His Next Feat, a Billionaire Sets Sights on Bush – a good profile on George Soros.

I have been fascinated with Soros for a while and found his recent book The Bubble of American Supremacy very thought provoking. Soros’s activity and character has been aggressively attacked by the Republican National Committee which confirms that he’s risen about the noise level.

Soros’s tag line – which he stays on message about as effectively as George W. Bush does in and after his state of the union address when he defines the Axis of Evil – is “I have come to the conclusion that the greatest contribution I can make to the values that I hold would be to contribute to the defeat of George W. Bush in 2004.”

According the the NY Times, Soros’s major contributions to date include $10 million to Americans Coming Together, $2.5 million to, and $300,000 to Campaign for America’s Future.

Look for a lot more from Soros as the campaign unfolds.

The New York Times article on blogging (5/27) titled “For Some, the Blogging Never Stops” is predictably shallow. Remember 1994 – 1995 and the NYT publishes an article a day on Al Gore’s Information Superhighway until it reaches the point even my mother asks me about it (“Brad, when did they stop publishing news in the newspaper?”). My philosopher wife’s comment on the article was, with disgust, “I’m tired of the word addiction being diluted to mean something that you really like to do – addiction has an element of compulsion, not simply a strong preference for the activity.”

Fred Wilson noticed this also and decided, after his one post for the day, to take the day off. Interestingly, I’ve noticed surprisingly few posts since 5/27 (I wasn’t on my computer for 36 hours as I flew from Denver to a meeting in San Diego to New York for the weekend so Newsgator accumulated my feeds in Outlook, which were few.) I guess all the addicts decided to take Memorial Day weekend off and enjoy the weather.

Time to go for a run (no, that’s not an addiction either).


May 29, 2004

Or New Jack City as my partner Rex calls it.

My wife Amy and I had a fabulous day. We spent the morning with Theresa Chong, an artist who Amy went to high school in Alaska with. While hanging out in Teresa’s studio, Amy noticed The Death Artist by Jonathan Santlofer. It turns out that Jonathan’s studio is adjacent to Teresa’s and he was there working on his third book (he proudly showed us the galley proof of Color Blind, his second book). Only in Gotham – two hours, full immersion with two artists – one of which is also a best selling author who Amy randomly read recently.

We drove with Teresa and her husband Brian to the Edgewater section of New Jersey and feasted on Korean food. Dinner was at Danube – which was mindblowingly good.