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Category Archives: Hot Companies

When I was a kid, my parents would sometimes say “Do as I say, not as I do”.  As a child, I did not really fully understand what they meant by that, I just thought it was one of the many things they would say to me when I was doing something that they did not like (conversely, it was usually something that I liked).  Now that I am a parent, I have found myself on occasion, saying this exact same thing to my children (Okay, if not saying it, definitely thinking it).

So then, if we are defined by our actions, then why would we not lead by example? Is it fair of us to tell our children to behave a certain way if we, ourselves, cannot do the same?  How can we expect our children to grow up to be responsible citizens of society if we are not setting a good example?  In a world where we get sound bites here, two second video clips there, we are forced to make quick first impression judgments of people and things.  Those first impressions are usually lasting impressions and if all someone has to go on for you is an action that was less than desirable, how are they supposed to think of you?

I, for one, want to be defined by good and just actions.  I want to do what is right, not just for me, but for everyone around me.  I want to strive to be a better person, a better spouse, a better parent, a better friend.  My actions (and to a degree my words) shape who I am and how the world sees me.  Do I want to be painted in a bad light?  The simple answer is no, but there are times I am sure in which a bad shadow may be cast upon me, and I am to blame for that.  After all, it would have been my actions that caused it.

I cannot change the past; what is, is.  I do possess the power (as does everyone else) to change the future, to do just and right things so that when someone thinks of you and how you are defined, you know that your actions have defined you in the light that you want.  It is something that we can all work on, strive for something better.

There is no better time than the present to get started.

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I have always wanted to say that, it sounds so formal and important ;-).  However what I am blogging about is not overly formal, but it is extremely important to me and to my business partner.  See for the last several months, we have been quietly banging away at the keyboard in our spare time (where that came from, I have no idea, but nonetheless we managed to make the time) creating a product that is pretty cool and pretty compelling (well, we are a bit biased, but I hope that you will agree).  It has been a slow and steady process, but we have learned a lot along the way.  There have been ups and downs, starts and stops, but in the end, we did it and are pleased with what we have developed.  Of course we realize that the road does not stop here, it actually just begins.  We have so many more things that we want to do to make the product and experience even better, but like everything else, it will come in time.

So enough with the babbling already, I guess I should spill the beans on what it is.  So the product we built is called trooQ, it is a user generated, social marketplace.  It marries the connectedness you find on LinkedIn, the social interactions you find on Facebook, and the marketplace you find on eBay to create a new way to buy and sell online.  By combining these elements into one solution, trooQ is able to provide an experience that is trusted, social, safe, personalized, reliable and cost effective.

So there you have it, I have come clean on what I have been alluding to here and there.  Keep in mind that it is our first release and we have a lot more work to do, but I hope that people will find it interesting and fun.  If you get a chance, check it out at www.trooq.com , and feel free to let me know what you think.  You can leave a comment here or send me an e-mail (my e-mail address is on the front page of this blog).

OK, OK, sorry for the gratuitous MC Hammer reference, but I just could not help it. I have been using the Lijit search widget on my blog for some time now, and they just recently added several new content providers, most importantly they added Mixx (well, most important to me anyways).

For those of you that are not familiar with Lijit, they “enhance the way your readers search for and discover information on the internet by using the power of people, their content, and their connections. You serve as a filter for all of the results your readers could possibly receive, ensuring they only receive the most relevant results from the source they trust…YOU”.

If you are a blog publisher and do not already have the Lijit widget on your blog, head on over to Lijit and get it set up and installed. Once you do that, anything that you have submitted to Mixx will show up in the search results on your blog. Pretty cool, huh? Say you have submitted a story to Mixx about the recent earthquake in China. When a reader of your blog does a search for China, one of the search results that will be displayed is the story that you submitted to Mixx with a link directly to that story. So now not only do your readers get the benefit of all the goodness you write on a regular basis, they also get the added benefit of all the cool stuff you submit on Mixx, right there on your blog.

Anyways, I wanted to take a minute and shamefully 😉 promote Lijit and Mixx, seeing how they are two really cool companies (one more so than the other since I work there, but others may disagree) doing some really cool stuff. That’s it, shameful promotions are over.

</end shameful promotions 🙂 >

Today has been an especially good day for a few friends of mine who just recently (I do not know if it happened today or a few days ago, but I just read it today so lets go with today) turned their dreams into a reality. What I am talking about are the guys at Goowy Media who just sold their company to AOL. There are excellent write ups on Mashable as well as TechCrunch with all of the details, so I will spare you the rehash of those posts here.

I had the pleasure of meeting Alex and Jeremey (CEO and CTO respectively) this past April at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. The circumstances of us meeting each other is a little hazy (there was a decent amount of beers involved), but someone introduced me to Jeremy and we hit it off. He asked what I did, I told him and I asked him what he did and he told me, we exchanged the usual pleasantries when you meet someone for the first time. After hearing what he did, I was intrigued so we began talking more about his company, which at the time was a startup (and I guess technically still is until the sale goes through and then they will be part of the AOL family, of which I am no longer) and one thing led to another and I told him about a startup I was trying to get off the ground. I had actually entered into a startup challenge a few weeks before, and made it to the semi-finalists (did not go on to the finals, but I was completely fine with it, it was not the right time).

Anyways, Jeremy was very intrigued by the idea and introduced me to Alex and he too really dug the idea. These guys were just 2 ordinary guys that had a dream to develop a company that filled a void they saw in the marketplace, and followed their dreams and made it a reality. I too felt like I had developed an idea that filled a void in the marketplace and I was inspired by their success and wanted to do the same thing. They too felt like I was on to something and took time out of their busy trip to sit down with me and review what I was doing and provide suggestions, pointers, and share their experiences and forewarn me of potential pitfalls. They did not have to do that, really they did not know me other than a chance meeting in a bar, but the fact that they did what they did for me speaks volumes of their character, both personally and professionally. They had nothing to gain by meeting with me and helping me along, but they believed in paying it forward (as do I) and they were just doing their part in helping someone else turn their dreams into reality.

So to Alex and Jeremy I say thank you for all of your help, but more importantly congratulations to you and the entire Goowy Media team in fighting the good fight, never giving up and turning your dreams into reality!