Category Archives: Computer Industry

Thanks John for podcasting the party

Thanks to John Furrier for podcasting the party. It’s interesting cause I was stuck signing books in the corner that I wasn’t able to have very many deep conversations with people so I’m relying on recordings like John’s to fill in the gaps. Anyone have other podcasts or video blogs or things like that? Leave your URLs here.

I also wanted to say thanks once again to all the people who took pictures. Not many people might look at them, but I am and I appreciate it.

I specifically appreciate Scott Beale. You might not know who he is if you don’t hang out at conferences, but he shows up to almost every geek event I’ve attended with his super cool camera (he just got a new Canon 5D, which is a full-frame new SLR that just has me drooling) and takes pictures of everything that moves (here’s his of our party). He doesn’t expect anything in return. Never complains. Just posts pictures. And I always appreciate them so thought he should be called out in particular. He’s not the only one, just the one who’s done photography at events like these more than anyone else that I can recall.

Back to my passions

Hey, Guy, how come you haven’t invited me over for breakfast? I thought you were my friend! :-)

Seriously, though, if you’re a company or a blogger and want a link, you don’t need to suck up. Just go to my comment and post your freaking URL along with a pitch of why your blog, software, new idea, etc rocks. But more on that in a bit.

Anyway, this weekend was really incredible. Our party was just over the top.

I find myself asking “now what?”

I’m asking myself what’ll get me excited to get out of bed tomorrow. Thanks to Rick Segal for putting that question in my head (he took Patrick and I out for sushi and we spent a bit of time talking life and technology).
Passion. It’s coming up in lots of conversations.

Today I had lunch with the team from Ether.com. I’m not allowed to say what they showed me, but I saw the fire in their eyes (that’s program manager Ron Hirson on left, and developer and co-founder Scott Faber on right). The passion for building something that changes the world. If you’re someone who sells your time and want a new way to do that (like, say, a lawyer does) then you should sign up for their beta.

I love that passion! It’s why I love hanging out with geeks. People who build things. People who put it all on the line. Who risk everything for an idea.

We need more people like that. Enough talking about me. Who’s the geek sitting tonight in a dark room typing code into a keyboard and hitting F5 to see how much further they’ve gotten in their dreams?

But, back to the Guy Kawasaki post: why suck up to anyone? If you are good, people will notice. They’ll stand in line overnight to buy your product. Word will get around. All you need is a few people to kick it off (and they don’t need to be the A list either).

I get bummed out when I hear people assume that getting me (or other A listers, or even someone who really has huge influence like Walt Mossberg or Steven Levy) to write about them will make their company.

Here’s a little secret: want to get me passionate about something? Get every single person in my life passionate about it.

Why did I return my Cingular aircard and buy a Verizon EVDO one? Cause my friends were passionate. My readers were passionate. And they were right. At Oakland my Cingular card would barely work. Verizon has five bars here and is fast, fast, fast.
Why did I try CoComment? It’s not cause Laurent took me skiing. Well, that helped. But I started hearing about CoComment from other people at the LIFT conference. Laurent didn’t come to the “A list” first. He just was passing them out to anyone. Passion. It’s not about sucking up.

It’s about being so excited by what you’ve built that you’ll tell anyone. Remember Flickr? Two years ago Stewart Butterfield was so excited that he was just pulling anyone who would listen aside at the O’Reilly Emerging Technology conference and showing them his stuff. That passion won me over as a customer and continues winning me over to this day. (Although he better watch out, cause Albert Lai of Bubbleshare is even more passionate than Stewart was!).

So, don’t suck up, get excited!

PS: are you excited about something you’ve built? Just post it here. Don’t send me email. If you send me email your excitement might get lost in my inbox. 133 emails to go.

Getting Naked in Silicon Valley

At about 1 a.m. this morning I was sitting on Michael Arrington’s couch talking with the few people who were left over. Topic of conversation: “is this a bubble?”

Yes. Next question.

What kind of bubble is it?

Not an economic one. No one’s marketing budget was harmed in the creation of this event.

A hype one? Of course! But, then, it’s easy to get hype on a Saturday on a slow news week (the party is at the top of Memeorandum).

A photo bubble? Of course! Scott Beale has a bunch. Dave McClure has a show. Alex Moskalyuk; Dan Farber (good ones!); Renee Blodget (best captions I’ve seen so far); Jeremiah Owyang; On Flickr: techcrunch; techcrunch5; robertscoble; nakedconversations.
How about a social bubble? Well, you just gotta read Rick Segal’s Valley Observations to see that it was. Or check out all the blogging over on Michael Arrington’s post.

Is it a wine bubble? Yes! Jeff Clavier, wine snob (and VC), has the details. Thank you to Stormhoek for sending us the wine, and thank you to all the sponsors. By the way, Stormhoek is looking to sponsor 100 dinners, so you can get some wine for your own dinner!
Was it a salacious bubble? Well, when Valley Wag (the new geek’s tabloid screed)’s Nick Douglas came over I said “here’s something for Valleywag, I sleep with Maryam” and promptly planted a kiss on her (photo captured by Technorati’s David Sifry). It was one of the best kisses Maryam’s given me so far this year.

But, really, I met so many people I look up to. Jeffrey Veen, for instance, just sold his company to Google and dropped by our table. So did Douglas Engelbart, inventor of the mouse, among other things. Dave Winer.

Yes, Rafe Needleman, it is a sweet and rather innocent little bubble!

In case you didn’t get enough of us yet, Brian Oberkirch interviewed us this morning for his podcast.

Whew! Can I sleep yet? Nope, Maryam, Patrick, and Rick Segal are going to see Pink Panther, no matter what the reviews say.

I can’t thank everyone who made this possible, so won’t try. But thank you to everyone who came and make the evening a memeorable experience!

Oh, and to Michael Arrington, wow, I can’t repay you. We appreciate what you’ve done! It was really great meeting your dad. Speaking of dad’s, it was great to have my dad come to this party (and my son too!).
PS: regarding the “no pride” photo (those are Dave Winer’s words) here’s the backstory: Narenda Rocherolle was shooting a video for RocketBoom. Well, when RocketBoom asks you to take off your shirt, you do! At least I do. Heck, it was that kind of party, might as well give people something to talk about!

To the more than 100 people who bought a copy of our book last night, please do go to Amazon and write a little review! Yes, even if you don’t like it! After all, we wouldn’t want to be accused of starting a bubble now, would we? ;-)

Guy on community…

Guy Kawasaki talks about building a good community. I think he forgot the most important one: hang out with the community! Why have I been successful where other people at Microsoft haven’t? Cause I hang out at geek dinners and other events. Tonight we had a blogger dinner. Just being there is important. Bringing Maryam is even more important cause she builds a stronger community by not talking geek stuff so much.

Another important rule? Include the Z list. How do you do that? Link, and link often! (Something that Guy hasn’t done yet in a big way).

Another way? Don’t make the community come to you. Go to the community. Huh? Answer your email! (I’m behind, but I’m on vacation). And, use CoComment and head off to other people’s blogs and answer their posts there.