Tuesday, September 13, 2011

TAG Trailer for GBTC "Hottest Tech in Town"

I love how we have the phenomenally talented people in our org to put something like this together so quickly.  viaPlace was nominated this fall for Baltimore's "Hottest Tech in Town", and we made this video to both clarify what TAG is all about, and give people more of a reason to vote for us (link to come when it opens).  Please pardon me for the small pat on our back, and would love any feedback on our trailer if you want to check it out!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Response to O'Reilly's Opinion on Internet Sales Tax

Article here: https://plus.google.com/107033731246200681024/posts/QypNDmvJJq7

My first company was an internet retail business, so I feel I have an experienced eye on the industry from the "little guy's" perspective.  Here are my $0.02.

1) O'Reilly seemingly has no experience in administering AR (Accounts Receivable) for an online retail.  Even on a small scale organizing finances for sales tax by county for only a single state is a monumental task with a ton of oversight required, especially for a public company.  It's all well and good to say "these guys have built scalable processes for handling mundane tasks before, they can just do it again", but in practice it's an entirely different story.

And more importantly...

2) Even if amazon could pull it off with a huge multi-million dollar investment in software and ongoing recurring expenses beefing up human resources, the smaller vendors won't be able to.  These are the same "local" businesses that O'Reilly is hoping to shield from the big, bad, Amazon.  These same local businesses are the people setting up online stores with larger reaches than when they started, and the national sales tax would shut them down before they can get off the ground.  If anything it would extend the barrier to entry of small market retailers hoping to set up an online presence vs already entrenched and well capitalized businesses, like Walmart and Amazon, who may be able to withstand the bloated HR depts and clunky enterprise software the tax would require everyone to use.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review (Part 2): “Crush It!” and “The Thank You Economy” by Gary Vaynerchuk

If you didn’t read Part 1 of this post, you can find it here about my review of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It!”

Part 2: The Thank You Economy

This is going to be less of a book review, and more of a “Hallelujah!”  The book is fantastic in relaying it’s overall goal of convincing brands both big and small that change is here and customer service is not just a choice anymore.  With the transparency that Social Media provides consumers, it is crucial to every business to create the meaningful relationships with all potential customers to build brand equity, as this will be the main driver in purchasing decisions from here on out.

Of the many great results of the wide spread adoption of Social media, the key point I grasped on to was the power in engagement.  This concept is still being lost on most brands and is why most of their campaigns that begin so well intentioned, never take advantage of the true value this new media platform can offer.  

A lot of Social Media campaigns aim to grab the most Twitter followers or Facebook Likes as possible.  While this can be a good start to a campaign, it can not be the end goal.  It is not in the quantity of the relationships, but the quality of the engagement that drives the value in Social Media.  We preach this at our company to all clients that ask us how to market the new product or website or widget we just built for them.  We tell them over and over again to focus on engagement of users.  These are the future customers, or even better, friends with many other potential customers.  Push marketing by spamming specials or coupons in exchange for a like or a follow is exactly that – spam.

I’m very proud that at Mindgrub we have always taken this to heart.  People ask me how we have marketed/positioned the company, and how we’ve grown so quickly in the past year.  I’m always proud to say we haven’t spent a dime on any digital marketing.  We engage with our community (and potential client-base) by participating in any networking events we can find, or speak at any event that will let us, or heck, even try to host our own.  We also try to seek out interesting technological debates and engage our community on Twitter and Facebook.  

Starting conversations about technology, provide advice and feedback to those searching for information on mobile technologies and we have valuable insight is all part of the package.  We could definitely be doing better, but without a doubt I can say we’ve grown to this point because of the Social Media efforts we’ve made so far - and will only keep growing at our current pace if we find bigger and better ways to engage with more people and create more of these types of relationships.

I think everyone and anyone needs to read this book (http://thankyoueconomybook.com/) and understand the new age of commerce we are living in.  As Vaynerchuk says, it provides boundless opportunity for those willing to take advantage of the gift Social Media has to offer.  It will also leave behind those unwilling to adapt to the changing mindset of the consumer driven market.  Transparency, honesty, authenticity, and caring will win out every time.  That I do believe and can get behind.


You can read Part 1 of this post here about my review of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It!”

Book Review (Part 1): “Crush It!” and “The Thank You Economy” by Gary Vaynerchuk

I read both of these books last weekend, which is why I am reviewing them together.  They are very different books with different messages, but a common theme of the importance to use new social media platforms to build brand identity (either personal or corporate) and connect/engage/build relationships with people.  In short, they are very interesting, quick, and informative reads and I recommend them both to anyone interested in building a brand, and/or entrepreneurship, on any level within any industry.  

I’d also like to say I’m embarrassed it has taken me this long to read these books.  They have flashed on my radar over and over and there is no excuse for me to have delayed in taking the initiative to read these books (and others that I am working through now) that are so crucial to what I do and consult about on an everyday basis.

With all that being said, here are my opinions on each book in two parts, starting with “Crush It!” (You can read Part 2: The Thank You Economy here).

Part 1: Crush It!

‘Crush It!’ is about following your passion; making your job what you love doing, and getting paid to do it.  I love this message and it mirrors the most powerful lesson I ever learned from my parents - that you will never be completely happy if you don’t wake up in the morning and absolutely LOVE what you do for a living.  In fact, you love it so much that you would do it for free. I absolutely agree with this idea in principle.  However, I think Vaynerchuk has taken several difficult assumptions for granted, which won’t allow me to take the leap with him in assuming anyone can quit their day job and make a living by creating a personal brand around their burning passion. 

First, he says working on your passion means you will be happy to work harder than you ever have in your life. I think there is a reason people don’t like to mix business with pleasure.  They don’t want to turn their hobby, the thing they are truly passionate about, into a livelihood.  One’s hobby may lose its luster when you feel required to write a blog about it, or tweet about it, and then get scrutinized over it, instead of sitting back and enjoying it.  Gary may then argue that it may not be your true passion to begin with, but I disagree.  People have the capacity to be truly passionate and excited about a topic that they may not want to pursue for a living.  There is nothing I love more than baseball, and I have worked in the industry in the past.  As much as I hate to admit it, there were definitely times while working I wished I could go off the clock and simply watch my favorite team for the love of the game – no more, no less.

Second, not everyone is wired, or as Vaynerchuk would put it, have it in their DNA to work 18 hours a day to get their personal brand surrounding their passion off the ground.  This is an internal motivation/work ethic issue, and not a passion issue.  Working hard, being patient through the slow times, doubling up your efforts when you don’t see results, and foregoing a stable, steady income is a lifestyle choice that not everyone can live with.  Someone who wishes they could talk about stamps for a living, and they want to leave their job in PR to do it; and they say they have the blueprint from ‘ Crush It!’ scares me more than a bit.  This book inspires, no doubt, but also gives users just enough information to make a poorly infomred decision.  A decision without fully understanding what their potential life choice will entail.  Some people are built for the entrepreneurial, risk-seeking, career life choice, and many aren’t.  Some may view anything more than a 9-5 job as working harder than they ever had, and not truly grasp living and breathing your job every second you are awake is what that life choice will require for a chance at success.  I’m nervous of the somewhat false promises that readers may perceive to be a very straightforward path to walk - which is you can just talk about what you love to ‘Crush It!’

Third, Vaynerchuk references this in his book, but in my opinion, does not drastically enough describe how difficult it is to create best-in-class content.  He notes how if you are truly passionate about something, you will be able to create first class content.  Are you not comfortable in front of the camera?  Then do a podcast!  Don’t like your voice?  Write a witty blog!  Well, what if you’re not a good writer either?  Or a creative person by nature?  Telling people all they have to do to live the life they always wanted by simply following their one true passion by creating amazing content sounds a bit like describing steps 1 and 10 in a process without saying how difficult it is or lucky you need to be to get from 2 to 9 first.

He couches his arguments and is careful not to speak in direct absolutes about this, but creating amazing content is really hard!  There’s a reason some people are magnetic on camera, or have a voice you can’t stop listening to on the radio, or write witty blog posts/columns that you can’t stop reading.  Those people have endless amounts of talent (and training, and practice) that separate them from the crowd.  Even if someone is truly passionate about their one topic and has the DNA of an entrepreneur, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can be creative enough or interesting enough to make a living out of their personal brand.  Vaynerchuk may truly believe this to be the case, or maybe I interpreted his message incorrectly, but I think it is dangerous to tell everyone and anyone that their passion can be their payday simply by using a little elbow grease and flexing some social media muscles.

To summarize, I think the message behind the book is phenomenal, and I agree with it 100%.  I also love the inspiring nature of loving what you do for a living, and the importance of building a personal brand  (*Note: He is definitely correct that one's web presence will become, if it hasn't already, the resume of the 21st century).  However, I caution some of the readers to be wary that it is rare to become a Perez Hilton, or a Deadspin, or a Wine Library TV.  To truly take that leap requires talent, dedication, belief in oneself, and incredibly risk-seeking entrepreneurial DNA that isn’t for everyone.  And on top of that, you need to get lucky.  Really lucky.

Part 2: The Thank You Economy here

Monday, July 18, 2011

A Startup at SxSW

I have taken a brief hiatus from blogging due to the dizzying pace at which life has been moving lately.  Back in March, I was with my company launching a new social, mobile game called TAG.  Attending panels all day, happy hours all afternoon, and parties all night was fun, entertaining, informative…and exhausting. 

I was asked a lot when I got back from friends, family, and business peers: “How did it go?”; “Was it worth it?”; “Are you going back?”  Hopefully I can describe the experience well enough to answer all three.

“How did it go?”

The launch went extremely well.  Of course, there is a reason why they call it a “Beta” launch, and there were the occasional hiccups (Trouble installing the app via OTA [Over The Air]; Slow upload times for kill shot photos due to AT&T and SxSW killing 3G speeds; Slow game moderators), but they were all informative and did not disrupt game play or people’s enjoyment of the game.  We ended up with 10+ Baltimoreans playing across Austin for a couple of days.  The winner was someone who I hadn’t known – which is definitely the point of this game and framework (Make new friends! Socialize! Engage!). 

There was a ton of great data to work with when we came back to improve the game, and a wealth of great ideas from the newcomers to TAG to help improve game play, add game modes, and encourage further engagement between users and their social cloud.  All-in-all a big win for us, and only increased our excitement and encouraged us to keep pushing forward with TAG.  If you’re interested in Beta testing and have an iPhone – contact me and I’ll try to hook you and a couple of your friends up.  Hopefully within the next 3-4 weeks there will be a TAG game in both the iTunes App Store and Android App Market. (Update: Now available for free download from iTunes here.  Android still on its way.)

“Was it worth it?”

We had two talks – one on Singularity and one on Social/Mobile Gaming, and both were well attended and received.  Everyone was very excited about the things we were doing and we collected many business cards after the talks and met a lot of interesting people.  Only time will tell if this was truly worth it (in terms of new business and popularity of TAG moving forward), but in terms of brand awareness and a great PowerPoint slide to put into our capabilities deck/portfolio it is a great feather in our proverbial cap.

“Are we going back?”

We are still undecided and just put in a couple of topics to the SxSW Panel Picker that interest us a great deal, and we hope interest the rest of the entrepreneurial/technology community at large.  If we get selected to speak again, or course we will attend.  Maybe not in full force with a large percentage of our Management, but definitely with at least the speakers and a Biz Dev guy checking out any of the new angles to attack with.

If we don’t get selected, we may sit this one out.  I think it may be too saturated and popular to accomplish anything worthwhile there for a startup such as mine.  In otherwords, it may have gotten so popular, the signal-to-noise ratio makes it too hard to seek out and begin relationships with valuable biz dev contacts (investors, agencies to partner with, advisors, local entrepreneurs to work with, etc), or make an impression on those potential clients you are trying to court.


All in all, it was a phenomenal experience that I wouldn’t give up in a second.  However, it may be hard to justify continuing to go knowing that as SxSW continues to grow at its frenzied pace, there may be better opportunities at smaller, more focused trade shows to find the customers we’re looking for, and have other agencies that would like to find a technology partner find us.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

TAG: Mobile Assassination Game

One of the perks of working at a Technology Agency is that you get to dream up cool games as a team, produce them as a team, and release them as a team.  It is so rewarding to see these things through from ideation to released in the App Store.

The latest of these ideas is TAG: Mobile Assassination Game.  This is meant to be a Social/Mobile game to play with friends in a specific geographic region, that we think will be a huge hit with college aged kids.  You put a group together, and you set parameters around what times you want to play (The game is only live between 6pm and 9pm, for example), and how long you want it to go (2 days, 3 months, etc).  Then each player in the game has an "assignment," or person they need to "assassinate."  The way you "kill" someone is taking their photo on your cell phone, and submitting it to the game's moderator to confirm the "kill-shot." After you notch a confirmed kill, you get another target - until only one player remains and is the winner.

We added foursquare integration, so each player can get updates on where their targets are checking in during regulation game hours.  Or you can use these foursquare check-ins as a way to find your friends and socialize.  We think this is the future of gaming as a whole.  Incorporate all new technologies that allow us to use augmented reality (AR), along with the increasing social/mobile behavior of our culture to create a fun all-consuming game.

We were lucky enough to have SXSW think so as well!  They were kind enough to invite us to speak at their future 15 panel about TAG and more generally about our thoughts on AR, and mobile gaming.  If you're in Austin, or planning on going to the SXSW conference March 11-15, please sign up to be part of our huge TAG game to launch the product, and check out our talk!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

How an Entrepreneur Views Time

One of the best and hardest things about being an entrepreneur is that you have no one telling you what you need to be doing.  This requires an incredible amount of internal motivation.  Everything you do is because you decide it needs to get done, and it gets finished when you decide it needs to get done.  This means everything an entrepreneur spends their time doing has to become a math problem, whether they want to admit it or not.

I guess you can call this time management or prioritization, and at the end of the day that's what it boils down to, but I view it as an optimization of an expected value equation.  After all, entrepreneur does come from latin meaning "value creator" (Note: not accurate).

A good entrepreneur understands that everything has an opportunity cost.  Should I put together a formal proposal that will take 4 hours for a 100k contract (with 20% expectation of landing the deal), or should I create three proposals each taking 30 minutes for 10k contracts (each with 85% chance of closing) and give one capabilities brief to a new ad agency that has clients that are "dying for mobile."  If I choose the three smaller contracts, there are less margins, but greater possibility of future deal flow from each client.  If I take an extra day on the 100k bid, that probability goes to 15%, but if I take longer and the smaller contracts, their probability of closing goes from 85% to 45% and almost no chance at future business.  Of course these numbers aren't written in the e-mails I get from the clients, but that's part of the art to this crazy science.

Now all this is running through my head at 9:30 am, after my morning coffee has finally kicked in and the phone rings.  It's a Fortune 500 company asking us to put a quote together for a 50k bid.  We already handled their last mobile app and now they want an Android version.  Uh oh, throw out the old calculation.  Not valid anymore...the entrepreneurs mantra goes something like "Take a great answer now over a perfect answer later."  This is because that perfect answer later will be flat out wrong when the new dynamics of the business are taken into account.

It should go without saying that as a startup the HARDEST THING to do is turn down business, or a sales call, or a "Glengarry" lead, as any business is good business when you're trying to grow.  But you always have to be thinking about opportunity cost of that sales call, or the time putting together that big proposal, and how to maximize the total expected value of all your business needs to grow your business most effectively.  This is because no matter how good you are as an entrepreneur, and how good the processes you put in place to streamline your business, the one thing you can't scale is yourself.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Breakfast Was the Most Important Meal of Today

Huge props to Mike Brenner for doing a great job this morning spearheading a phenomenal startup event (Startup Breakfast)  through his community building organization called Startup Baltimore.  As an entrepreneur in the area, it was great taking time out of my day to meet with others in a similar situation as me with interest in our growing tech community, in such a collaborative and welcoming environment.

Baltimore creates such a tight knit community bond that it is always worthwhile to dive deeper into the community to figure out how I can be helpful to others, and meet so many talented and passionate entrepreneurs.  I loved speaking to the group about my companies and getting their feedback.  They provided both positive energy towards my work, and tons of great feedback including their valid concerns about our customer acquisition model, and excitement about trying new features for us as beta testers when the time comes.  Equally beneficial was listening to others in all different company stages from trying to get their startup out of their apartment and into office space, or going from two co-founders to hiring employee #1, or in some cases just pitching an idea and looking for the groups collective wisdom and feedback.  A great experience all around, and I can't wait to be a presenter at a future roundtable, or give advice to the next eCommerce startup to avoid all the pitfalls I ran into, or get tips on raising funds from a CEO that just raised a round of angel investment.  I will definitely be attending these events and others through Startup Baltimore in the future.

Another tangential benefit was walking through the ETC (Emerging Technology Centers) in Baltimore where the event was held.  With Baltimore being such a welcoming and small (at least compared to Manhattan where my last startup was located) community, I must have known, taken meetings or had a drink with half of the companies there.  And even better, one of the few companies I hadn't known, got introduced to their CEO on the spot, and it turns out they have a need for an eCommerce web and mobile technology provider and we are setting up a meeting for next week.  It's definitely inspiring walking through and seeing all the hard-working and successful startups sprouting up in the ETC and I definitely need to make a point to drop in and visit more often "just because."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Is There A Tech Bubble Really?

It seems to be a pretty big question on everyone's minds these days.  Is there a tech bubble or isn't there?  My answer would be both yes and no, and it all depends on which tech universe you're talking about.

Some people are skittish around a $50B+ valuation for Facebook or Twitter valued at $10B.  I think those valuations may be a little bullish, but I would definitely not call it a bubble.  These are companies with a track record of consistent growth, large corporations vested in their success and an entire ecosystem of developers and entrepreneurs dependent on their platform - not to mention insane revenue numbers.  Also, the investor market on social networking and publishing has matured quite a bit since the early 2004 days when no one knew how to value a user or a network.  Now, the way to value a network of users is pretty well defined.

Even the Groupons and LivingSocials of the world valued in the $6B range isn't a bubble, in my opinion.  When all else fails, look at the fundamentals. Their revenue, customer base, revenue per user is all growing - and rapidly. LivingSocial mentioned that of it's over 20mn deep subscriber list, 6mn were added in January alone!!  Whether you think the business model is sustainable or not (Note: I do not), if they were selling shoes instead of deal-a-day coupons, no one would be crying bubble.

However, I do believe there is a bubble in early stage companies that will be a long-arcing, inevitable and painful burst.  The bubble is found where there are no fundamentals or vetted metrics to value these immature technology companies (I'd even take active users, or whatever).  Seeing early stage companies that are getting essentially acquired pre-launch or even in talks pre-beta (???) for rumors of upwards of tens of millions is absurd.  These may be acqui-hires, or initiatives that may wind up being successful for the acquirers, but in the long run the valuations for such immature and inherently risky things as tech companies, with absolutely ZERO fundamentals or traditional valuation metrics to back them up is precisely what I call a bubble. After enough of these investments/acquisitions pan out to be worth $0.00mn, money will flow a lot slower to these types of companies - or as Mark Suster says, "When the spigot slows, the water is gone all at once."

Ironically enough, this current early stage bubble is also hurting the entrepreneurs RIGHT NOW (For those without a San Fransisco zip code, that is).  While the Valley provides great cache and incubating/investor opportunities,  this frames all investors in all areas of the country with a new valuation standard at each funding level.  This implicitly increases the price tag on all startups in the tech community before an entrepreneur even lands a meeting.  This assumption of increased valuation for even a seed round makes it that much harder for startups to find a willing investment partner to join them on their great roller coaster ride.

I guess like everyone else, I'll just have to wait and see what the future holds for this early stage tech bubble, and companies in my area (including my own) that are looking for investment. But in the meantime, if any potential investors (or AOL) are reading this, I have a GREAT idea for bridge currently in beta and I'd be willing to talk acquisition - just shoot me an e-mail!

Monday, February 21, 2011

You Are Judged By The Strength Of Your Enemies

This phrase has always rung true to me, and I think Microsoft has been a great example of each side of the double-edged sword.

Back in 2006, Apple began running its "Get a Mac" commercial campaign where Justin Long and John Hodgman go head to head for computer market share. This was a brilliant ad campaign that increased the exposure of the simplicity and headache-free nature of OS X over the bogged down PC counterpart (Guess what computer I own??). At the time these ads starting running, MSFT stock was valued at ~$27 (~$227B market cap), depending on your estimate for initial air date. AAPL stock was ~$63 (~$58B market cap).

Not surprisingly, Microsoft made no effort to engage Apple in this overtly antagonistic marketing campaign at the time. If you are judged by the strength of your enemies, Microsoft wanted to give Apple no such moral victory as to define them as an enemy by pushing back.
Flash cut to Sept 2008. MSFT was valued at ~$27 (~$227B market cap), and AAPL stock was at ~$160 (~147B). MSFT decides enough is enough and begins their $300mn "I'm a PC" response to the exceedingly popular, now 3 year old ad campaign from Apple. They have officially declared Apple an enemy. Apple did not have to spend another dollar on advertising while these commercials ran. Every time one of these commercials ran, consumers thought "Wow, Microsoft is really worried about Apple taking their market share." Apple executives must have popped champagne when they saw the first run of these commercials.
Flash cut to May 2010. MSFT ~$27 (~$227B market cap), AAPL ~$257 (~$237B market cap). Apple officially passes Microsoft in market cap, and makes the smartest move possible. They officially shut down the "Get a Mac" campaign. Microsoft is no longer their enemy in their eyes, they have bigger fish to fry now. Microsoft is still running their "I'm a PC" response ads, holding out hope to reengage their now prized enemy.


Onto Microsoft's new great revenue generating hope - Search. I don't know if they did this on purpose, but they now are treated like an enemy to the Search Overlord, which is a pretty strong enemy to have. As Apple popped champagne in 2008 when MSFT ran their "I'm a PC" TV spots for the first time, they must be shipping in the Dom by the case for Google making such a public fuss about this. We're they viewed as a true threat to the stranglehold Google has on search? It doesn't even look like Bing's market share gain is at Google's expense. Well, certainly public opinion has shifted on who the top tier search engines are and ultimately public consumption will follow. Would Google even care if Blekk-who? was stealing their results? They would not value Blekko so highly as to treat them as an enemy.

So what does this all mean for me, the small business. We are always trained to view competition as bad, diverging revenues and potentially creating price wars for prospective clients that chop margins to pieces. However, this may not be all bad. Your value to the consumer may end up lying in who your competition is perceived to be in their eyes. Always try to play in the bigger sandbox. Compete over bigger clients. Pop the Andre when your bigger competitor engages you in a price war over a valued client, or tries to publicly undermine your corporate initiatives with marketing around similar efforts of their own. Even if you lose out on a single client, it will make your perceived value across the entire market incrementally better by having such a strong enemy (then go off and find an even bigger one).

Sunday, February 20, 2011

How Can We Measure Mobile OS Market Share?

After reading this article on TechCrunch, I was shocked they did not think more critically about the validity of measuring mobile platform market share using advertising impressions. The article assumes (as does the ad publisher) that these impressions are as good as actual unit sales to measure market penetration. I'm not here to say which side is actually gaining or losing market share - that's not really the point. The point is figuring out how to measure this, and why certain metrics won't work.

Back in the good ol' days when companies only had to worry about a website destination for their brand, everyone had to go to the same domain. Advertising impressions was an effective and accurate method to measure browser market share, as well as OS market share. Every browser rendered the same ads from the same place.

In the new mobile frontier, there is no longer a single destination to access the same content for a single brand and this has huge effects on native application mobile ad impressions. Each OS (for the purposes of this blog I'm just focused on Android and iOS), has different pros and cons, and that leads to different methods of content consumption, which leads to skewed ad reporting metrics.

Angry Birds was a highly publicized example this divergence of platform behavior for both developers and consumers. iOS is famously closed, while Android tries to be famously open. There was a very good reason why the Angry Birds iOS version is $0.99 with no ads, and the Android version is offered for free and ad-supported. Rovio knew that Google's desire for openness makes it super easy for one user to pay, then zip and e-mail the application adk bundle to your Fav 5 (or 50) for free. Ad-supported may very well end up being the more profitable business model for Rovio, but you certainly can't measure the popularity of the application on Android vs. iOS, nor the overall popularity of the OS' themselves, by measuring these ad impressions against each other.

Also, consider a premium content provider like the NY Times, and how consumers access their information based on their mobile OS. On both platforms users can choose between native app and mobile web. Based on the well-documented differences between browser experiences, along with load times, it will affect whether users choose to use native apps at all. While Medialets (the datasource from the TechCrunch article) will record the native app ad impressions, they are completely out of the loop on mobile and full web advertising metrics. Unless they capture the whole picture, they cannot say from their metrics what the true market share and growth is for each platform. They may simply be measuring an increasingly positive mobile Safari experience with iOS users (and/or increasingly poor Android browser experience) when they calculate slower growth in the iOS market vs. Android based on native app ad impressions or vice-versa. There are simply too many variables without enough control groups for such a fragmented market.

For what it's worth, my agency has engaged more than one Fortune 500 company in the past 6 months that have asked us to build their Android app first, and the iPhone/iPad version later if they have the budget left. This doesn't mean that Apple is losing their stranglehold on mobile like they did with the desktop back in the 90's, but Medialets can't tell us the whole story either.


My bio to the right spells out most of my work background and interests, so I'll take this opportunity to describe what I'd like to do with this blog, rather than bore you with more details about me.

I love technology and the startup culture around innovation. After grad school, I specifically avoided Wall Street where most of my peers ended up going (which in 2008 was 2 out of every 5 graduates with full-time jobs!!) because I wanted to surround myself with passion, innovation, and the excitement of building something that will help the world - or at least be a part of that process.

Hopefully that same enthusiasm will shine through with my blog posts, as well as be a vehicle for me to express some of my thoughts on new startups, the direction of the tech industry, and the state of innovation as a whole from my perspective. That perspective is one from someone who has worked as an "Ops Guy" at a startup in the shadow of Madison Square Garden, as an EIR at a VC firm in DC, and now at a Tech Agency in an up-and-coming city in Baltimore that is bursting at the seams with creative and innovative entrepreneurs. The goal isn't to define my stance on a given topic, or chime in as an expert opinion, but rather to craft the beginning of a discussion that can flow into the comments section, or pick up where another blog post left off. To that end, I'll try to keep my personal rants to a minimum.

My favorite blogs to read, whose extremely valuable and insightful commentary on the tech community and the world at large which I hope to emulate are AVC, Chris Dixon's blog, Both Sides of the Table, and Feld Thoughts.

Oh, and I may occasionally post about my favorite Baseball team - the Mets. Welcome to my blog and I hope you enjoy!