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10 Lies Angel Investors Tell

I came across a fun blog post the other day – Frank Peter’s post on 10 Lies Angels Tell. Frank has been an angel investor for quite some time and an active member of Tech Coast Angels. I have taken the liberty to convert the post into a nice little slideshow. I hope you enjoy it.

Manufacturing Revenue 2010

If your company’s products/services are in the middle to latter parts of the life cycle, it is harder to sell new customers. In 2010 a lot more companies will be looking to acquire social media analysis/monitoring platforms, hardware/software virtualization, and cloud computing services than those looking for ERP solutions, mainframe job scheduling, or electronic data interchange. This does not mean that there are not significant revenue opportunities for older technologies – it just means that you have to work a lot harder since most buyers do not wake up in the morning and say “I really need to buy some middle-aged technology today!”

Manufacturing revenue is a harsh reality for most tech companies today. Over the next few days we are going to be exploring a few techniques you could leverage at the start of 2010 to get you closer to hitting your revenue numbers. The first approach is euphemistically entitled “The Bowling League Sales Program.” This program focuses on building awareness of your brand and customers’ successes via a geographically focused customer success blogging, social media broadcasting, and digital body language monitoring program. It’s a lot of work but it enables you to effectively leverage some of the most active and effective marketing technologies in today’s world to drive new revenues for your business.

Suing Gartner Doesn’t Work After All

Recently ZL Technologies Federal lawsuit against Gartner was dismissed by the Federal Court for the Northern District of California. ZL had sued Gartner over their placement in the email arching Magic Quadrant and Gartner’s supposed bad acts that had cost ZL millions in sales. ZL will not be able to cash in on the $1.696 billion in damages they had claimed. This post explores the details behind the Court’s ruling on the seven claims ZL made. We also provide some advice from a noted industry expert on how companies like ZL can actually use marketing, sales, and branding to positively influence their relative MQ positioning.

Using Wisk to Clean Up Your Social Media Reputation

Earlier this week, the makers of Wisk (the ‘ring around the collar’ folks) announced a Facebook application (Wisk-It) to help you remove pictures on Facebook that you really don’t want the whole world to see. This post explores the social media reputation repair community, including the infamous Dr. Phil’s recommendation for how to fix your social media faux pas. We also ponder what other well known brands (Ivory Soap, Clorox, Preparation H, etc.) could get into the social media reputation repair business.

[ More ] November 4th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted in Management, Product Management, Social Media |

Mary Meeker Internet Trends October 2009

Everyone is looking for the looking for the next big wave to ride in the tech marketplace. While social media has exploded in the past year it has not created a wave of hyper-valuable new companies aside from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Zynga. Morgan Stanley’s Mary Meeker thinks the next big wave will be Mobile Internet. Mary details her thinking in her Web 2.0 Summit presentation “Economy & Internet Trends” As TechCrunch’s MG Siegler noted “She thinks the mobile web will be 10 times as big as the more traditional desktop Internet, and that it will grow much faster.” The entire presentation is embedded in the post, along with a copy of the presentation she developed in March 2009 that described the background of the current recession along with her perception of the emerging Internet and Social Media opportunities.

Will Twitter Dis-intermediate Investment Bankers?

It was bound to happen sooner or later. Twitter is now being credited with playing an important role in two companies selling themselves. This post reviews the recent sales of Tinkoff Restaurants and JobVent, both of which marketed themselves for sale via Twitter.

[ More ] October 5th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted in Management, Private Equity, Social Media, Venture Capital |

Did Meetup Beat Facebook to Profitability?

Both Facebook and Meetup achieved important milestones recently. Facebook became cash flow positive while Meetup actually had real profits. Facebook’s news came via a blog post from Mark Zuckerberg, while Meetup’s information came from shareholder documents leaked to TechCrunch. While this post doesn’t get into the ethics of leaking, it does take a deep look at Meetup’s numbers. In a nutshell, Meetup is a great example of how a SaaS startup can scale revenues and profits from nothing to probably over $8 million in three years. While it may not be as exciting as what Twitter’s revenues could potentially be someday, Meetup is a great example of what a typical, successful startup can achieve.

Perception & Persuasion

In technology companies the key to personal as well as corporate success is often dictated by how persuasive you can be to get others to adopt your point of view. If you’re pitching a new feature for your product, assessing the probability of closing a specific deal, or recommending a game-changing strategy, you need to be an expert on having your audience perceive your messages correctly. Jordan Julien, of The Jordan Rules just published a simple, but highly effective presentation on how to improve the perception of your message, communication, and at the end of the day persuasion. Check out the presentation in the full post.

[ More ] August 4th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted in Product Management, Social Media |

The Details Behind Amazon’s Valuation of Zappos

Cold hard facts make it much easier to understand Amazon’s acquisition of Zappos. Amazon’s recently filed S-4 provided a ton of fact based insight into the Zappos deal. This post helps you navigate through some of the more interesting sections of the document including the timeline of Zappos’ discussions with Amazon (hint 478 days between the start and end), the key factors that were used to value the Zappos business, the size of the now famous liquidation preference shared by Sequoia, Venture Frogs, and select executives (another hint – it was about $181 million), and copies of Zappos’ financial statements for 2007, 2008, and Q1 2009 (final hint – they were pretty good after all). Finally, there’s a roundup of a few other posts about the Zappos deal that provides some very insightful commentary.

Did You Know Mafia Wars & Zynga Are Generating >$200 Million a Year?

It was certainly news to me. It looks like Zynga is one of the first companies aside from Facebook and MySpace that have successfully monetized the social media market place. TechCrunch’s Sarah Lacy has written an excellent post about a potentially serious threat to Zynga and any other provider of ‘virtual goods’ that get exchanged in sanctioned or unsanctioned secondary markets. Click through to learn more about Zynga’s background, the serious threat that Sarah Lacy uncovered via an anonymous source from one of Zynga’s competitors, and how the Senate’s discussion today about imposing a 10% excise tax on plastic surgery might lead to the taxation of virtual goods.


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