Archive for February, 2005

Back to High School

Posted: February 26, 2005 in Uncategorized

My high school — Serra High School in San Mateo, California — invited me to "Career Day" yesterday. 

What a kick!  I told the kids I was going to avoid the stuff they had always heard… the classic being the very best advice:  "Do what you love."

Instead I focused on irreverent themes such as:

*  "Learn English" (writing was the most important business class I took in high school)

*  "Don’t be an idiot" (find the good in everyone, that’s how you start assembling a talented team)

*  "Have a killer time in college" (build up your professional network;  get used to the work hard/play hard thing)

*  "Don’t listen" (the right path for you isn’t always the obvious one)

Maybe the most important thing I imparted was my email address. 

I told them that I thoroughly expect a note asking for some kind of help 5-10 years from now.  My pleasure:  Once a Padre (maybe the world’s silliest mascot), always a Padre.


P.S.  Some of the kids obviously got the entrepreneurial message right away and asked if there were any summer internships available.  A-l-r-i-g-h-t!



Seems to me that everyone is comparing podcasting to Tivo.

While the comparison is apt, I think folks are missing something significant:

For all, there was something before Tivo:  The VCR.

For most, there really wasn’t anything before podcasting.

Fun to be on the ground floor of these kinds of things!


P.S.  We’re now supporting podcasting with our free alerting mechanism. <smile>  Click here for details.


We’ve been trying to figure that one out for a few years, too. <grin>

That doesn’t quite sound right, does it?

Maybe a better way to say it: 

In that classic entrepreneurial way, our business has evolved.  Broadened.  Grown.  We started down one path and found ourselves running smack into a superhighway.


In the beginning…

We created something that was missing in the market:  A broadcast application that works over popular "real-time" pipes… the same pipes that carry IM traffic.

Sounds like email broadcasting, right?

Well, not really.

Unlike simple SMTP, we can find where someone is on the network.  Then, we deliver information that they’ve requested to a variety of devices — desktop alert, cell, PDA, or email.

Best, customer is anonymous and in 100% control — just like it should be.

All of this means we can get a message to someone about 10x more effectively than simple SMTP email.

In our opinion, any time you can improve an industry by 10x, that’s game changing.


But what happened in 2004 even took us by surprise…

RSS, blogging, and the power of relevant online advertising (a la Google) exploded into the mainstream, giving us an opportunity we never contemplated.

RSS gives us a "universal data trigger" letting us automatically trigger any kind of info alerts with instant set-up (i.e., zero implementation cost).

Blogging lets us alert on a seemingly endless supply of focused, relevant content.

And the boom in online ads means the market is absolutely, positively primed for anything that kicks traditional advertising in the teeth.


So here’s what we do…

Everyone’s heard of "Search Engine Marketing." 

We’re introducing "Alert Engine Marketing."

Using popular real-time networks like MSN, Yahoo!, and AOL, we alert readers with a headline when a website or blog has been updated. 

Doing this is a really effective way to help you manage the information you want to read.

(My favorite beta testing quote so far is, "I read ten times as much Slashdot using LiveMessage as I ever did with an aggregator!")

So the service is killer useful and — most importantly — free to content publishers and their readers.

And all supported by advertising.

Not just any advertising — but highly relevant advertising. 

We key advertising to content… and we know a lot about the content.  This obviously gives us incredible relevancy.

Like well placed yellow page ads or even Google search results, we take great pride that our advertising is helpful and never intrusive.

Alert Engine Marketing (AEM).  What we believe is the next big thing in relevant advertising.


Picture’s worth a thousand words:

Mighty Mouse

Posted: February 17, 2005 in Uncategorized

I’ve been waiting to unofficially launch a "CEO" type blog for a while now… waiting for something special.

After being in tech for a couple decades, a "first" happened to me today.

MessageCast occupies the entire second floor of a downtown Redwood City, California office building.  The third floor is being gutted for new tenants… let’s just say the building now has a lot of very small access points to the roof.

Somehow, some way, a little mouse got in the building.

How did we discover this?  It announced itself right in the middle of big conference call with a huge platform partner!

So here we are, espousing the virtues of our real-time alerting service and how people love it and how we take ad relevancy so far beyond where it is today and blah blah blah… and unbeknownst to the folks on the other end of the phone, a couple of execs are on their hands & knees with cardboard boxes trying to snare the little fella!

Felt like an "I Love Lucy" episode.

So that’s it… I had to chronicle this story for the corporate archives. 

Into the blogosphere I go.


P.S.  The call went great.  The mouse was captured.  Released into a friendlier environ (a corporate jungle is no place for a little critter).