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Monthly Archives: June 2007

A friend of mine, Noah Kagan of OkDork, Mint, Entrepreneur27 and countless other fames (not to mention a self professed burrito fanatic), is hosting the second Community Next Conference (oh yeah, he is of that fame too) on Saturday July 24th is sunny Palo Alto. The subject matter for this conference is ““Viral! From 0 to 10 million users”. It should be a good time, there are a lot of good speakers lined up: Gina Bianchini from Ning, Justin Kan from justin.tv and Hiten Shah from CrazyEgg to mention a few.

It will be actioned packed for sure, Noah knows how to get the crowd going. If you have not already registered (shame on you for not doing so), go here and sign up. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to make it out there, so Noah if I make it, I will give you a big hug!

I am posting about this now because I am going to be wasting away next week at the beach, drinking beers and enjoying the sun, and I wanted to get the word out.

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It is that time again, the next NOVA Open Coffee Club gathering is upon us. We are meeting at the same location, Starbuck’s Plaza America in Reston at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow, July 29th. For the details, click here.

If you are an entrepreneur, thinking of becoming one, an investor, or just a person in the industry, then don’t be shy, come on by. The conversation will be light, the mood informal, so if you want to meet other industry types in your area, then this is as good a place as any to start.

Hope to see you there tomorrow.

This has been talked about, hyped, debunked, debated over and over in the last year or two and quite frankly I am not sure where I land on the subject matter. A lot has been written to support both sides of the debate, and I tend to fall on the side of no we are not, but then I read about yet another web site/service that has launched and it makes me think, hummm.

In the heyday of the dot com explosion of the late 90’s and early 2000’s it was not uncommon to hear or read about some off the wall, hair brained idea that has turned into a company who has raised millions (I mean several here) of dollars and never delivered a product or turned a profit. Now a lot has changed since then, the cost of launching a startup has come down considerably, but I am starting to sense that we are not in a shortage of what I would consider not exactly necessary, nice to have (at best) companies being launched.

For example, there is a quick write up on TechCrunch about a new mobile service/web interface launched called MizPee. It assists you in finding the closet public restroom to your current location, at any time. I mean come on, really? In all fairness, this is just one of many services that are being launched by Yojo Mobile, the parent company. I would imagine their business model is to launch several of these services and monetize each one and collectively they will provide a decent ROI.

To me, this service falls into the nice to have category, which leads me to believe that we are starting to see more and more of these nice to haves and that at the very least leads to market saturation with so so products. With so many of these so so products being funded, what does that do to the value add products that are out their waiting to be funded? Do they just have to do double time to get funding? The next Google could be around the corner, but it will have to fight with the “nice to haves” to make it a go. Time will tell how this all plays out, I just hope we strike a good balance between the value adds and the nice to haves.

It happens to the best of us, all the greatest plans and schedules cannot account for nor prevent the inevitable, getting sidetracked. This is a problem that affects all organizations, large and small, so no one is free from it’s attack. It is like a snowball that eventually causes an avalanche, often times it is dismissed as non issue, but as it grows (what I mean here is that more and more people on the team become sidetracked) suddenly you are in a position that is unfamiliar, it is not in line with your plan or schedule. How does it happen and better yet why does it happen?

It seems like it happens more so when there is a large team working together who do not report up throw the same chain of command and are geographically located around the country (or world in some cases). When the team becomes so big, it is virtually impossible for one person to keep track of everything, keeping a watchful eye on every aspect of the project. With this, distractions come in and out of the team at a flurried pace, and inevitably it affects some more so than others, and it compounds to create a problem of epic proportions. Small teams seem to have a better chance, as by virtue of their make up, everyone is able to keep an eye on each other and if someone is distracted it is clear very early on. With that being said, if it is not managed correctly, it will derail a small team as well.

So what do you do if your team is getting sidetracked? Panic, abort, throw your hands up and say there is no way to fix it and you are going to be late?