Archive for February, 2006

“Symbols For Our Times”

Posted: February 27, 2006 in Uncategorized
Read one of those "stop and take pause" articles by Marc Gellman of Newsweek today.
 
He wrote it because of the passing of Don Knotts, who never achieved superstardom, but rather, maybe something more:  A regular face in everyone’s family throughout the 60’s and 70’s.
 
Marc highlighted the sad loss of Knotts as well as James Doohan — Scotty on Star Trek — and Bob Denver — everyone’s favorite Gilligan on Gilligan’s Island.
 
Marc related each star’s signature character to real world stuff.  I thought Scotty’s was particularly touching:
 
     "Scotty represents all of us who are constantly asked to do the impossible and to meet unreasonable deadlines by bosses who just don’t understand that you can’t run engines at warp speed after Klingons have blasted the engine room.  I think mainly of the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan now and of how every day they are asked by well-meaning bosses to go out there and do a job that everyone knows is impossibly hard but most people know must still be done if Iraq is to be stabilized, so that the Middle East can be stabilized, so that the war on terror can be won.  If that example is too politically incendiary for you, then perhaps you might think of the linemen who repair power lines in the winter during a storm, or think of single mothers raising kids with not enough money or help, or think of clergy folk trying to get people out of the malls and off the golf courses on the weekends and into church or synagogue on the Sabbath.  So many people I know feel like Scotty and so few like Captain Kirk.  So many of us say, “I canno give ya more power captain.  The engines are already overloaded!” And then…we do."
 
Marc summed up best what I was feeling in his opening paragraph:
 
     "May God receive their souls into the world where everyone is a star and where every life is syndicated."
 
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A $100 Billion Formula

Posted: February 23, 2006 in Uncategorized
While we’re on simplicity of design, it blows me away how few people really understand Google’s formula for advertising success:
 
     At worst, don’t be distracting… at best, be helpful.

Who Doesn’t Like a Big KISS?

Posted: February 23, 2006 in Uncategorized
The key to all design — maybe even to life — is: 
 
     "Keep It Simple, Stupid."
 
Good reminder, eh?
Went to a big book launch party Fri night — hosted by TechCrunch, an awesome source for Web 2.0 info and written by all around all-star Michael Arrington.
 
Was packed.
 
And fun!
 
The new book is called Naked Conversations, written by ubber blogger Robert Scoble and PR expert Shel Israel*. 
 
Think of it as teaching old dogs (corporations) necessary tricks (blogging) to survive in a connected world.
 
What made the party fun?  Why, Web 2.0 did.
 
What’s Web 2.0?
 
What everyone is now officially calling the current period of development we’re in… essentially the second leg of development in a totally connected world. 
 
(See my 8 Oct 2005 post, "Web 2.0 — Intel’s Biggest Mistake That Nobody Talks About" for more on Web 2.0.)
 
There’s nothing like being in the early or romantic phase of a new period…
 
…where everything is still relatively small and intimate… where everyone knows everyone… where good, interesting, exciting things are happening… where VC $’s are j-u-s-t beginning to flow… where anything and everything is possible.
 
I’ve been fortunate enough to have been on the front lines during a few of these periods.  It’s certainly energizing to be back in one again.
 
 
P.S.  Way back when, Shel was our first outside PR person at T/Maker… and, interestingly enough, we were his first client <smile>.
Well, not quite.  My wife and a gaggle of friends have descended on LA… excellent star watching at the Four Seasons… Kiefer Sutherland of Lost Boys and 24 fame just passed Ann W. in the hallway, which immediately prompted Liz B. to run out in the hallway — in her underwear — to look.
 
Turns out they also saw Kiefer kissing a woman before getting in his car. 
 
Now, no one knows who this woman is… but, I just know it’s Kiefer and Julia getting back together!
 
What a scandal.  What a scoop.  You heard it here first! <s.e.g.>
 
UPDATE:  This actually happened yesterday around 11:22am.  Like a bonehead, I forgot to hit the "Publish Now" button.  There goes my scoop! <groan>
I am still — as advertised — the most optimistic guy in the world about online advertising. 
 
But, sometimes it’s tough.
 
Whether I like it or not, that puts me in the, "you idiot!  GOOG has gotten creamed in the last few weeks!" camp.
 
<gulp>
 
So has YHOO.  Only MSFT has held its ground.
 
Truth is, stock price isn’t always indicative of performance — remember my favorite investing phrase:  The market is always wrong in the short-term… and always right in the long.
 
Take GOOG:  Regardless of the way the stock performed over the last few weeks, GOOG had a quarter that any company would kill for.  It was spectacular. 
 
YHOO’s 40% performance was pretty darn good, too.
 
So — regardless of GOOG and YHOO stock gyrations — online advertising continues to make dramatic gains relative to offline offerings… and will for the foreseeable future.
 
There just never seems to be a dull moment in this revolution, eh?
 
 
P.S  With all the negative press lately, thought it might be helpful to share a positive GOOG comment:  Here’s a piece from Andy Swan of TradingMarkets.com.
 
I watched the opening ceremonies for the Olympics last night. 
 
Personally, I’m not a big "pageantry" guy.
 
But, I do respect what they are trying to do.
 
Even with the worse music selection of all time (Disco??), there was something magical about watching the very proud, the very deserving athletes of every nation — big and small — walk onto the world stage.
 
All nations but the US.
 
What do we get? 
 
One American clown acting like a chimpanzee in front of the camera.
 
Another — I think it was the half-piper, Gretchen Bleiler — was offensively chatting away on her cell phone.
 
It’s not like there weren’t other kids there.  Or self-confident people.  Or rebels. 
 
It’s just all those others weren’t embarrassingly disrespectful to the entire world.