Category Archives: Trends

Change Everything

This post presents the content and discusses the process in my journey to create the “This Can Change Everything” presentation for iMedia Breakthrough Summit on March 21, 2011. It was a 30-45 minute discussion where I covered So|Lo|Mo, Gamification, Maker-movement and Social CRM/Caring after a hat-tip to Moore’s & Metcalfe’s laws combined with the “People” coefficient. With an extra 15-minutes allowance, I may have added connected TVs as a potential “return to the Family Room” theme. Regardless, these themes are ones that I believe can change everything in the coming years.
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Bubble or Bubbly Panel Recap

We had a great visit to Austin for SXSWi 2011 and will dedicate the next few posts to recaps. Here is the video from our “Bubble or Bubbly” panel, where we put Angels/VCs and an Analyst on the spot about the nature of our current early-stage, venture, talent and potentially market froth.

There was lively and thoughtful debate about where we are, some notable differences from the dot-com bubble–low cost to start, ease of marketing and launching, real revenues, etc.–as well as about how to approach a frothy market. Please comment below or on YouTube with your reactions.

Special thanks to all the panelists for their generosity of time, knowledge, humor and spirit:

Jason Calacanis

Tony Conrad True Ventures

Kent Goldman First Round Capital

Charles Hudson SoftTech VC

Enchantment Going Up

Guy Kawasaki Garage Ventures


Lou Kerner Wedbush Securities

Great Panel for SXSW–“Bubble or Bubbly”

Illustration by Gregory Nemec

Illustrator: Gregory Nemec

I’m looking forward to hosting a great panel on Saturday, March 12 from 3-4pm at South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive on the PepsiCo Plugged-In Stage in the Austin Convention Center called “Bubble or Bubbly” exploring the topic of froth in Tech valuations from a number of perspectives. We’ll look at root causes, lessons learned, success and horror stories, adaptive behaviors and some thoughts about how to navigate going forward. For marketers, these same questions have to be asked to evaluate bets in emerging platforms with an eye towards leveraging the innovators advantage and disrupting early and often. The panelists are some of the best in the world to address this subject:

Jason Calacanis

Tony Conrad True Ventures

Kent Goldman First Round Capital

Charles Hudson SoftTech VC

Enchantment Going Up

Guy Kawasaki Garage Ventures


Lou Kerner Wedbush Securities



You can RSVP for this panel on Plancast and Like it on Facebook. Ask questions for this panel here or on Facebook. The most liked question by the crowd and by me will be asked on stage. Also, follow this post for updates and links.

Let’s get this party started!

The Role of Digital R&D and Experimentation

Agencies will thrive in the future and survive the in-house plus commodity services migration path of marketers by developing capabilities allowing them to keep pace with consumers. They will apply these tools, skills and talents to generating superior insights, inspired manifestations and communications born from these insights and  real-time responsiveness to the market reactions to them. We get there through Digital R&D and Experimentation. I think I can end the post here–that’s my belief, thesis and praxis. Looking forward to sharing how we live it over the coming posts. Credit to PepsiCo’s Bonin Bough for inspiring:

Paraphrasing a quote within: “We’re in a state in marketing where..we need to do more [digital R&D] experimentation. Any executive can have a gut reaction to a TV spot. You can argue that’s b/c they buy a lot of media but most likely its b/c they’re a consumer of advertising and have seen and experimented with a lot of spots. Executives across organizations don’t have that gut reaction to digital and social media. We need to know when you mix Chlorine and Benzine it explodes.”

Recaps for weeks of 1/10 and 1/17

Predictions for 2011

If you have a good prediction or round-up article for 2011/2010 please add to comments below. Here are some of the good ones I’ve read:

Mergers, Acquisitions, Funding & IPO Talk

Twitter & Culture

Weekly Round-Up 11/29/2010

This round-up may have been inspired by all the Black Friday-Monday marketing activity because there’s a lot of shopping and news about news to cover:

Social Shopping/Virtual-Real World

News/Reporting Looking Forward & Back

And, curate this under the “Really?” tag:

  • In its march to ubiquity Facebook could soon own the trademark for the word, “Face

What’s Happening with Curation

Over on AdAge Bob Garfield presents a good overview of the realities and media implications of Curation characterized by a student quoted anonymously in 2008: ““If the news is that important, it will find me.” The post has roots in Bob’s Chaos Scenario and was inspired by a forthcoming book by Steven Rosenbaum, Curation. Nation, How to Win in A World Where Consumers are Creator.

I’d propose that Twitter passed from the banal to the profound in its earliest days as users started curating their lifestream and sharing links. After reading Bob’s review, it’s easy to see how Curation Nation supports the transforming media landscape and his chaos scenarios with another consumer-driven digital dynamic. Harder to spot are the marketing implications. Here are some of my thoughts on Curation for marketers:

  • People seek expertise referrals in the “heads” and “long tails” (recipes as head or “best bbq in St Louis” for long-tail example) of passion-based subjects. Curate your brand values, category, pop-cultural overlaps, marketing activity or deeply functional/medicinal/helpful content–the stuff your Ad Agency usually tells you is too small to represent in your communications but which your frontline, FAQs & customer service folks deal with daily–to create the potential for discovery by Search and the SocialGraph. That last point is the financial incentive to Curate, btw.
  • Curation is mandatory if you understands the digital dynamic that micro-transactions like curation, ratings, check-ins, etc. create metadata that transforms discovery potential into something more viral, like the most viewed video on YouTube.
  • Wondering where to start for functional curation? Check out your Google analytics and in-site search logs for what people seek out around your brand. For more creative curation, consider a shared value like curating around a cause or social mission. For Axe that might be a compendium of links for how to woo the girl. For Method brand it might be around “dirty.”
  • Curation is more about will than means. It’s not about the time it takes but the commitment to do so.5) Quick tip: if you’re like most of us and end up with dozens of open browser windows of articles you’re reading or intend to read, use a bookmark system to curate these articles for your future reference as well as for others to find. I use the delicious plug-in to each of my browsers–Chrome, Safari & Firefox to instantly curate an article, using tags and notes to add context around the link.


Summary: curation=relevance to search & socialgraph and it’s easy, cheap, necessary for brands.

Some examples of curation resources I use that marketers could benefit from as well:

What Curation resources do you use & why? Comment below. Thanks.

Weekly Round-Up 10/11/10

Weekly links round-up:


Expect a consistent flow of activity around this theme in the next month. To kick things off, enjoy this “easter-egg” hidden presentation from Google’s Marissa Mayer on “The Need for Speed” from a consumer satisfaction/reality perspective.


Qualcomm launches augmented reality SDK in beta form, ready to rock your Android devices



Social Media

Other News–Crowdsourcing

Design Happiness

WarmGun 2010 Designing HappinessOn Friday 10/08/10 Dave McClure (follow) of 500 Hats (blog) & 500 Start-ups (angel) hosted the “Warm Gun” design conference. Original in many ways, this event emphasized design from a usability and technical perspective and still managed to be about design. You can pull down the slideware from and view the videos at –Developer path is /warmgun and Designers are /warmgun2

Big takeaways for me: an enormous amount of design and marketing talent lies deep within the walls of every major digital media and service provider. They’re thinking broadly about the implications of their data and usability across channels, in different media and devices as well as within different contexts. The new breed may have more science than art in their make-up, or at least more than they may have had to express in previous generations. And, as with every walk of creative life, they’re generally open, curious, opinionated and a lot of fun to be around.

As marketers expand their skillsets and embrace their inner-publisher/media-mogul by necessity, they’ll find a well-trained workforce available in the Valley. That’s not to say there won’t be competition, simply that there’s a farm-league for this talent within hundreds of digital companies and agencies. And, they’re really smart, connected and resourceful. Tip of a hat to Dave McClure and Christen O’Brien for bringing us together.

The entire event’s tweetstream is available via new aggregating service,—if you’re an event organizer be sure to check them out!

And, as the event had the heart, imagination and inspiration of John Lennon who would have turned 70 on conference date, here’s a tribute video in honor of the Man and the Idea:

Real-Time for Marketers

We’re curating a lot of thoughts on the implications of Real-Time principles for marketers. We believe that the dynamics of Real-Time are compelling, fundamental and enduring-enough to change the marketing playbook–not just in digital, although it’s a key driver of consumer behaviors, adoption and expectations–but in all channels and disciplines. Stay tuned for more on this topic in the coming months. In the meantime, one window into Real-Time dynamics is presented by Marissa Mayer of Google via this TechCruch.TV interview and the O’Reilly’s Web2.0 presentation below:

Here’s the O’Reilly presentation on the need for speed:

Marissa Mayers on Real-Time Search