I've been cranking away on our monthly Webinar. On the first Thursday of every month, our company hosts a worldwide webinar... usually attended by a few hundred software and internet CEOs, Founders, and Execs. Putting together the content is the job of one Dougan Milne.
I secretly enjoy this little portion of my job. It's like a mad rush at the beginning of every month to get all the most recent market data quickly condensed and turned into something credible for us to present to all of our software chums. That isn't to say it is a slap-job.... oh, quite the contrary: we are tracking and categorizing all of this data on a day-by-day basis. But... getting it into presentation form is the tricky bit.
Anyways... of the 60 minute presentation, I usually report for about 20 minutes of it. The Charts, Graphs, Data... and generally, all the stuff that they are constantly telling me to "hurry up" with. ;-)
So.. tomorrow is April Fools. It is also the first Thursday of the month, and if you have time tomorrow morning to drop by and get some insight into our market... you are cordially invited.
See you there.
The weather has gotten significantly warmer here the past few weeks... downright nice. I've already taken the Supermoto down to the track a few times, but this weekend will be my first time out on the dirt in 2010. Very much looking forward to this. We'll be in Walker Valley. See you there!
A few weeks back, it was announced that Seattle was the first city to publicly apply for Google's 1Gbps fiber network. Naturally, being from Seattle, I was very proud to see our local government further honoring the hand that feeds it -- as our state has made some decisions over the past few years that have pushed other technology/engineering companies out.
After the initial excitement wore-off, I started thinking about How & Why Google would choose Seattle as their fast-as-dark internet testbed. Here are some Pros & Cons I've come up with:
+ Extremely high adoption rates for emerging technologies
+ Productivity/Activity are high on both the consumer and enterprise lever [over web], so Google would be supplied with a very rich stream of data to analyze
+ Very multi-cultural environment with strong international ties
+ Keep your friends close and your enemies closer ;-)
+ Keep your friends close, because your enemies might decide to eat you
+ Geographically, this is probably the single worst landscape in the world for fiber infrastructure
+ Competition -- T-mobile, Clear, AT&T call it home
+ Back to geography... While the population is particularly dense in Seattle, a fiber network downtown would be highly isolated, perhaps not meeting the spectrum of users intended for the project
I don't want to be the bad-news-betty, but I've already started adjusting my comfort level to the fact that Seattle WILL NOT be the test site for Google's 1Gbps project. I truly hope that I'm wrong, but the geography and competition here are HUGE hurdles that will likely nix the idea from Google's planning department.
I spent the morning at the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services. Ugh... right? Actually.... actually, I have to admit, this was probably the most pleasant experience I have ever had with a governmental agency. I had already secured the idea of the DMV, State Records, County departments in my head. This was something quite different.
Different is the key word here. What this particular department has done is set themselves up in a collaborative environment to interact with the community. Every day from 7:30am - 9:30am they have an open floor policy, whereby citizens can sign their name, their purpose, and then immediately start connecting with agents who have expertise in specific domains.
Let me clarify the situation with My example: I showed-up at 8am with a bunch of questions surrounding, A: Wetlands+Critical Area; B: Clearing+Development; C: Permitting; D: Septic+Well.
The lady at the counter tells me that she has paged 4 different individuals who specialize in my specific needs, each of which would meet with me.
First, I spoke to an Environmentalist who literally answered every question I could possibly manifest on the topic of wetlands, streams and critical zoning.
Second, I met with the Clearing and Development specialist who told me all of my limitations, exceptions, loop holes, and boundaries were.
Third, the permit lady was unfortunately not in the office, but quickly responded to my inquiries over the phone.
Fourth, the Septic and Water guru talked me through all the necessary steps I would need to take in order to qualify my water source and disposal.
I connected with 4 people today that completely satisfied all of my needs for this particular occasion. That is so rare at the public level.... and I have to say I am totally impressed.
OK... so you'll notice that all the blogs in here have the same date. The reason is because I just realized that I want to shift everything over to blog format, instead of basic layout format. There are a couple reasons for this - one of which is SEO. I hope you understand.
I just browsed through the Tech M&A Banking Review from the 451 group. It was interesting, to say the least, as I realized - being an insider at Corum - how undisclosed data can highly skew, augment, corrupt the overall circumstances of a research document. We work through these same problems here and often use/site 451 data for our own projects... so I understand the increasing complications of undisclosed information.
What struck me as most interesting was that when looking at stats for Software M&A transactions, we were not ranked in the top-10 for volume. In fact, some of those who were ranked in the top-10, I know for a fact produce less deals than us.
One of my co-workers this morning informed me that she was trying to switch her personal email to Gmail (at Corum, we also have an enterprise email solution). I thought this was a nice gesture - not that she did it for me, but that she told me she was going to give it an honest-to-goodness trial. She's switching from Hotmail and she found that the import of her email and contacts was very easy. Good Start.
From there, the conversation takes a bit of a philosophical turn. My co-worker, being from a different generation than myself (and a former librarian) asked me how to structure her folders and group her emails. Things start to get a little gooey here... I can see where's she going... and I know why she's asking...... I also know that my response is going to be tough for her to swallow.
The fundamental difference between the email systems developed in the early 90's, vs. the email systems developed in the early 2000's is that the earlier versions are built on a hierarchical system, whereas the latter are built on a system of search. At this stage in technology, they are now both capable of crossing over and performing many of the functions of the other..... but, like Mac vs. PC, no matter how you slice it, they just seem to excel in their specific domain.
"Sure", I tell her, "There are labels and color codes you can add to individuals, or groups... there are even 'extensions' (apps) you can add to Gmail to make it function more like the structured, hierarchical system you are used to.... but really, that is kind of defeating the purpose." The purpose of having a searchable inbox is so you don't HAVE to make folders; so you don't have to worry about where things go, how they get there, and if they made it safely. The purpose of a searchable inbox is to give you immediate access to any-and-all emails under a simple search command. Moving from a structured environment, I completely understand why and how this can be a difficult step in retraining your brain and your immediate intentions to think and act towards email, information, data.
Both systems have their strengths... both systems have their flaws.
Rapportive - I think this is one of the coolest little plug-ins I've seen for gmail. Basically, it pulls the social information of the email name off the web - twitter, linkedIn, myspace, facebook, etc - and displays their vitals in a window that eliminates the GoogleAds on the sidebar. check it out.
I've recently been looking at buying a home. Correction: I've recently been looking at buying a piece of property that could someday have a home on it. Ultimately, I've been looking for plots of land that have some structure already established - like a cabin, beat-up house, barn, etc. From there, I would do what was minimally needed to make said structure a primary residence (sleeping bag, if needs be - ok, not really) while I spend the next X-years building as-yet-unimagined dreamhouse.
1. The Left one here is a funny situation where a "Major Sports Figure" went bankrupt and now has to split his 5-acre property in half. 2.5-acre plot... including the pool and the mobile home!
2. The Middle one is an Estate Sale - 5-acre, heavily wooded, with an A-Frame on the property and a river runs through it.
3. The Right one has already sold. I put a bid out on it... but it went to someone else. 1.25-acre, with barn and log house.
So... we got new company photos taken at our retreat last week. When I asked our president, Nat Burgess, if he had seen the new photos, he didn't look up from his screen, but quickly replied, "Yeah.. you and Tomoki look like damn hippies". I had really meant to get a haircut... just didn't have time.
I work in Software M&A. This is a personal / business blog.