Category Archives: social media

Zuckerberg’s Regret. After the Movie: On Facebook & Privacy & More

The Social Network, both the movie itself and the event of the thing, works on many different levels. The Hollywood and real-life versions of Mark Zuckerberg’s striking gold are certainly a story of our (changing) times, and the timing of the film’s release is spot on. Having taken a crack last week at FB & Privacy, ive got some quick thoughts to throw down since seeing the movie in a jam-packed theatre on the Champs-Elysees, sitting next to at least one person who is not one of the Facebook 500 million club. And she liked the movie too!?

HACKER REDUX.…the early scenes of Zuck cracking into the Harvard computer system to get photos of campus coeds makes a nice hacking/historical/cinematic/bookend with “War Games“. Hey, that was 27 friggin’ years ago…!? Since then, the image of computers/computing has gotten much more personal and much less scary *in a WWIII kind of way…and yet, clearly, the impact on our lives is immeasurably greater. Possible consequences in the future? Even scary ones? As incalculable as ever….

NOT THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL the pre-punctual rushing to the defense of Zuck, FB, the Church of the Social Web that’s been circulating around the, er, social web...is all fairly ridiculous. That a hollywood screenwriter didn’t set out to “understand” or “explain” something doesn’t mean he has misunderstood it. And in fact, it’s all mostly there: the changing nature of business, communication and relationships, and yes, privacy. And how these things also have NOT changed. Fictional Zuck trying to talk to his ex at the restaurant after he’s irreparably blown it has no computer interface involved. He is a hero of capitalism not interested in money, a social innovator who struggles with sociability. This is not about geeks v. non-geeks or revenge of the revenge of the nerds. It’s about the real-life creator of Facebook. You remember: 0 to 500 million is six years. Letting these contradictions seep out, rather than hit you over the head with it–that’s what storytelling…and filmmaking…should be about.

GENIUS MR. Z. My basic lack of knowledge about the internet is nothing compared to my total ignorance about the ins and outs of building computer hardware and software…But I’m gonna venture to say that the Facebook founder has got a bit of both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs: being able to understand how to build the things that people want to use, and the underlying architecture that supports it. The social aspect of computing technology is Zuck’s great invention. If 9 out of 10 nerd/geek/hackers are identified as such in part because of their difficulty in the broader social milieu (and/or desire to stay outside of it)…it then follows that the 1 out of 10 (1 in a billion!) who manages to understand the very elemental structure of the way we interact with each other is destined to design new methods and machines for doing so.

BUSINESS IS BUSINESS They say the real genius of Gates and Jobs is in how they built their companies. The Social Network gives a hint of Zuck’s prowess as a coming corporate titan. It’s a mix of tenacity, decisiveness, finding good people to work with. Much is made out of the fact that he doesn’t care about money. (Hey, there’s time!) But it’s not so strange that someone isn’t in business to get rich…there’s much else to be had: power, fame, revolution…and there’s a bit of all those in Gates, Jobs, Zuckerberg.

PRIVACY, WHERE ART THOU? It’s ever more clear that this is much more than a side issue for Facebook, and the social revolution it is leading. In a certain sense the word ‘privacy‘ is the flipside/opposite of social. The more we share, the less privacy we hold on to, the more social the internet becomes — and the more of our lives we live on the internet — the more the very meaning of privacy is being transformed. That is Zuck’s revolution…and his business model. But it’s not a done deal. Facebook is still new, and habits can change. Platforms can shift. FB is still NOT Microsoft. Returning to my Friday night movie companion, who I will remind you, is not on Facebook. And neither are there any pictures of her…or our kids…on my FB page. I don’t know whether I agree with her diktat, but we’ll err on the side of privacy. She/we are the exception….for now. And the only thing the real life Zuckerberg has felt he had to apologize for is not any perceived invasion of privacy of 500 million, but stupid stuff he wrote on a blog when he was an anonymous 19-year-old student at Harvard.

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Why Facebook is in Bad Faith on Privacy: And Why They Will (and Should) Forge Ahead

This is my second attempt at becoming a real blogger. Keep it brief, dammit! Kick the urge to say too much, too cleanly. That’s not blogging: it’s two parts rambling, one part journalism. No good. From here on, as often as possible, i will try to just bang out these posts as single-topic hits, with a 300-600 word target length. Snapshots from my travels; Screen grabs from my brain… Ommm….ommm…channeling Dave Winer.

I begin in this new off-the-cuff & targeted format with one big topic: Facebook and Privacy. The latest instalment features the 500mln strong social network rejiggering the way FB Groups work, notably the blatantly Orwellian feature that someone ELSE can join you in these groups. I don’t think that’s even proper English, which is a sign that something is amiss. Jason Calacanis coined the phrase “force-join” for the occasion. Anyway you slice it, where I come from this is NOT cool. To say you can opt out of a group you’d been opted into requires a “when-did-u-stop-beating-your-wife” click of your keyboard. In fact it is not a GROUP, in the way the word is presented. Language matters. It’s like the pernicious inverse of the famous Groucho Marx line about clubs and members…??

This is not, as was suggested to me, like tagging photos. If you are in a photo, it’s because you were in fact in that photo. You may wish you hadn’t been, but you were. Even so, the first time it happened to me I was creeped out…and a bit pissed off…a shot of 16yrold ME holding my crotch in faux b-boy pose popped up in public circulation…via my Facebook page…via the Facebook page of a friend from high school who i havent seen since…er….high school. Yoda Zuckerberg would say: Ah, but look at you now… you are voluntarily offering it up here, in the public square SQUARED. And he is right, of course, as the pure force of his vision and his business move the goal posts on what it means to share, and to be private.

Revolutions in social norms — not to mention billion dollar businesses generated by a company of 20-somethings — don’t happen by playing by the rules. FB’s goal is not to win the internet, it is to BE the internet. Their internet is indeed a “social” one that requires people to be connected to each other in vast new ways..if they want to stay in touch, if they want to do business. Vanishing privacy is collateral damage.

I just saw a friend from high school whom I hadn’t seen in 20 years. She was coming through Paris with her husband on a trip planned just as she and I connected on Facebook. It was nice to see her, and we have Zuck to thank, I guess…We talked a bit about FB…I said I was on it mostly for professional reasons…and every once in a while I check people’s photos. “Yeah, me too,” she said. “I just snoop.”

That seems innocent enough. But we know new communication platforms have the power to change the very way we see ourselves. TV is still changing us. Check out this disturbing story in Italy where the mother of a missing girl was giving a live TV interview, and found out during the interview that her daughter was in fact killed.

What will the Facebook/Internet version of such a scenario be? Will the benefits outweigh the costs? Mark Zuckerberg, subject of an invasive biopic that is currently No. 1 box office movie, is not spending his time/energy making these calculations. Nor should he. He’s building his business, making his revolution. The boundaries are for the rest of us to set.

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Dream Scenario: Twitter, iPad, & My News Biz Ambitions

Lots to wrap your head around these days if you want to be part of the future of news. Through the hail, I see the same three blinking lights ahead that other lonesome hacks and big-time news execs must see: Twitter, iPad and Pay Walls. Or put another way: Mobile Feed, Lean-Back News and MoneyMoneyMoney.

For months, these little blips of the future have been ricocheting off my would-be world news project, and ricocheting off each other. Time to allow the damn light to shine! to imagine how it might all actually work out for the best. Of course it won’t — never does — and even if the future is brighter, it’s still a moving target. But hashing it out here, with the information we have to work with, will help prepare for the changes to come. Also let’s this poor slug stop for a moment to dream the dream…

TWITTER

I never liked the experience of getting my news from websites and blogs. I LOVE Twitter. My “brother-in-law” said he could see i had become possessed when i used my hands to mimic the upward flow/downward scroll of the feed. Twitter has finally created the right channel to get digital news into the light, vertical format that it was made to inhabit. The gentle passing stream has replaced the bang-you-up chase, run-you-over wave–the constant risk of DROWNING — that was “surfing the web.” Ahhhh. much better now, thank you. Twitter will be the way we consume news when we are mobile, that is to say both literally/physically on the go with our smart phones, and moving through our work day and socializing at our desks. Some media companies, news suppliers seem to think that Twitter is a play area/gossip zone, and put up only or mostly their most glib offerings. They are wrong. This is the future of keeping people truly informed! It has the potential to create something for journalism that is like the radio and daily newspaper melded into one.

Verdict for me/mine: Very good news, especially from the git-go. My project aims to be smart, world news that plugged in people across the globe will want a crack at seeing. Twitter is the obvious and open place where I can go to deliver it..

ps: The recent uptick in talk of Twitter applications, aimed at developers, is also a call out to journalists to develop “news applications” for twitter, including the human kind of application. HuffPost is taking it on before the rest of the pack, and will benefit no matter how it turns out. here’s my first tiny, one-man crack at it.

iPAD

I come most recently from the world of glossy newsweeklies. My web-only project (more details to come. I promise) was actually born from a weekly product. It is high-end, not mass market. It is journalism, in the classic sense. Seeing various news and magazine demos of iPad apps makes you see that there is a way to get people — and advertisers — to commit to, and pay for, quality content. Long and not-so-long form.  We don’t know if it will be the savior of news business, but it reminds us that we are searching for a way — a platform, device, what have you — to use the best technology and ideas out there that actually help us separate from the above sensation of being mobile: on the go, or at our desks.

Verdict for me/mine

I am tempted to return to my old idea of getting LOTS of funding up front, and quickly build my product around a tablet application. That would, however, probably be VERY stupid. In the meantime…sticking with premise of this post, to dream of glory…I can see my brand on iPad as the future flagship of the whole damn thing, something to work toward…where its true value (in every sense) is realized.

PAYWALLS

None of the above fantasies can truly come to life if we don’t find ways to get cash for what we produce. Last week we heard on the iPad subscription front, this week on Twitter ads front.And of course, something is tipping us toward a general acceptance that it shouldnt and wont all be FREE. This is of course just a start. But it helps to envision how the ecosystem, and our habits, as both users and consumers, might evolve.

Verdict for me/mine

OK…Here’s my business model/dream scenario, circa Jan. 2012: My product has taken off from a modest start, in large part because my unique professional content stands out in the twitter (and other social media) stream. People love the stories, we’re timely and lively and the brand is catching, the output is growing. A small team of web developers and multimedia producers have just helped launch the iPad application.Some of our most loyal readers have quickly signed up for a yearly 50-week subscription at 70 bucks. Those of them who have already been web subscribers ($35) get the first six months free on iPAD. My content online and on Twitter is metered, but more and more people are just making us one of their dozen or so paid outlets. Oh by the way, I happen to also have a growing syndication business with some of the top US newspapers, who have pay walls of their own and want some exclusive foreign news. Indeed the whole industry has largely bounced back as Twitter and tablets have helped people find their sweet spot for both staying informed in real-time and remembering how to savor old-style serendipity. Satisfied, well-served customers are typically paying customers.

As for me, I am proud of my 15 employees, and am actually turning a healthy profit. Google wants to talk exit strategies. Hey, I even got invited to some seminar at the University of Missouri to schmooze with Jeff Jarvis and David Carr. But I decline! I have no time….If your memory serves you well, I am finally taking a week off all to myself…to go follow Dylan in friggin’ Japan!!!

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Filed under branding, business model, content, entrepreneurship, funding, journalism, new media, paywalls, platforms, social media, Uncategorized

Ten Things or People Slowing Down My News Startup Launch

As I’ve described before, this would-be enterprise is not only an adventure in navigating the changing state of the news business, but the state of my own professional evolution (or lack thereof) as well. A wayward marksman and his moving target. With that in mind, momentum is key. Moving forward is not an optional. Peer News editor John Temple recently talked about that urgency of wanting to get up and running asap what you can already (more or less) envision in the very first week of operations. My target right now is just getting to that first week, and the desire to see something live is no less real. But when you’re still working mostly solo — and juggling other balls — the urgency can sometimes be hit and miss. The past week or two it’s been more miss than hit.

My big news, which would potentially be much more significant than the current slow down, is that have found a biz-tech partner who is ready to try to raise money and launch the thing with me. Yes!! There will be more on him in the coming days. For now, though, I am facing a mini brick wall. Here’s a quick rundown of the top 10 bricks in that wall…

1. Pope Benedict XVI

2. Attention Deficit Disorder

3.Howard Chua-Eoan, Time news director

4. Annie’s (designer of prototype) two young kids

5.   Overconfidence (convinced no one else is out there working on the same product)

6. Lack of Confidence (convinced no one else is out there working on the same product…for a damn good reason!)

7. My two young kids

8. Knowing that the next step is actually asking people for money

9.  Anxiety about having all my ducks lined up before starting to call (and call back) all the contacts on my list of potential funders/partners/mentors.

10. Distracted by ideas for OTHER startups (some not related at all to news business!?)

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Searing Your Brand on Social Media: The Overnight Birth of a Logo

Three weeks ago, almost by accident, I came up with what is the first tiny-but-tangible building block of my would-be world news media EMPIRE(!?) Aaiyaaaa!!

The great challenge and opportunity of the web is that you can actually create new stuff, which you then might just get someone out there in the ether to consume (and one day, buy!?) Rather than having to claw through a corporate list of meetings and measuring, some half-equipped dude can actually get his idea up  and running – and live — virtually on his own. Cool shit.

The adrenaline rush of inventing something brand new is different for a reporter who typically got his rushes responding: to events, to editors, to fill that empty space on the wires/paper/magazine/website that is waiting for your copy. Now, there is another void waiting to be filled, but only YOU are aware that it exists.

To try to capture that sensation, and show how accessible the digital world can be, I thought I’d try to chronicle the blow by blow of why/how/when I upgraded and expanded While U Slept, my aforementioned lil’ project of Overnight News Bundling.

Friday, March 5

4 p.m. On the phone with my Paris-based multimedia ‘rabbi‘ who I lean on for ideas/advice on the project. Brainstorming on how to build traffic for whileUslept. He notes its high time I stop posting only on my own twitter account…and give it a twitter home of its own. As we talk, I notice I’m getting a quick flurry of ”follows” on said personal Twitter account.

4:15 p.m.. This retweet of my day’s post of overnight headlines goes out. That explains the boost in traffic!

4:20-4:50. Feeling a sudden sense of urgency with new readers coming in, I quickly start to set up that Twitter account, scrambling to put up some generic foto and basic info/description.

5:13: After my thank you message, Prof Sreenivasan responds, saying he’ll refer to my little feed product on his Facebook page.

5:15-5:45. Oh hell! Facebook too!! I scramble to set up whileUslept Fan page, with same generic foto/info. (NOTE: keep reading…final links below. don’t wanna give away the ending!?)

Saturday, March 6

Tinker with new pages….see the first Twitter followers, send out  fan page recommendation to FB friends.

Sunday, March 7

whileUslept traffic has tapered off…both because I don’t do a Sunday entry….and because, well…why? Decide it’s time to give the whole damn thing a more professional look and functionality. It’s time, in other words, to call on Annie, who is already busy slaving away in her spare time to complete the prototype for the bigger site. I send an email out to her to see if she’s free for a Skype, though I don’t specify what’s up.

Monday March 8

9:49 AM Annie responds: she’s free this evening for a skype. I decide still not to mention what is up (She probably assumes it’s about prototype), figuring I can explain it directly more clearly…I also figure it will take a few days to get the various whileUslept venues spruced up. (Shower great compliments on myself for uncharacteristic patience…)

11:15  AM After spending previous 16 hours — minus 5 for sleep — trying to figure out why the damn link of my Facebook Fan suggestions wont go through to several friends who’d flagged me… I realize that I had a country restriction. In fact, all 9 of my fans live in friggin’ France! It is confirmed: I am an idiot!

12:29 PM this tweet goes out from a certain star journo-twitter, a former colleague who’d seen whileUslept post on Facebook, Biggest spike to date in traffic begins, heading toward 600 hits, and dozens of new followers/fans…I cringe a bit, knowing the clankity layout of the thing, but I do my best to NOT call Annie, who does have a day job after all! (and 2 kids!!), and gets exactly 0 euros in monthly salary from yours truly.

9-11 PM: No sign of Annie. It will have to wait, I tell myself, but I lay out in a detailed email my wish that we (she!) can come up with a logo/design for whileUslept.

11:54 PM: Email arrives from Annie: Sorry …fell asleep putting (daughter) to bed….starting work now:(

Midnight-4:30 a.m: this could be a post of its own…but to make it brief, Annie and I, fighting with a shaky skype connection and sagging eyelids, go back and forth on concepts/designs/executions of logo. We decide it should be the same colors/font as the prototype she’s doing for the Mother Site. We agree on designs for the different venues where it will appear. (Final touch ups will be made the next morning) HERE ARE THE RESULTS…

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

WHILEUSLEPT HOME PAGE

Conclusion to whirlwind: Annie is a Danish Rock Star. I am a happy American camper. But traffic is tapering off again!!?? Aaiyaaaa!!

(ALL FEEDBACK/IDEAS WELCOME!!) ANNIE can be reached at annieskovgaard.christiansen@fastwebnet.it

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Building an Online Audience (Nearly) from Scratch. Can An Old Media Veteran Bring His Readers With Him?

My world news website is literally still just a project on paper — or more precisely, Powerpoint. From what I’ve learned about all this technology stuff, websites on paper, uh, don’t work so good. The live prototype is still a week or two away, and the beta version wont’ be ready for a bunch of months. At least.  None of this, however, prevents me from starting…that is, trying to build an audience. Or at least a pre-audience.

It’s all part of that evil-but-necessary bit of New Media verbiage: personal branding. The frontiers of the world of journalism are now equal parts barrier-free and mind-spinningly fragmented, where everything is possible and nothing is a sure thing. In the face of this, how YOU get it done becomes ever more important. On some basic level, this has always been the case in journalism, and any profession, really. Do good work, and get recognized for it. What’s different now is that the promoting yourself and producing something for public consumption become one in the same. And so the pro forma act of attaching my byline to my copy transforms into attaching my name to everything I do professionally (and for others, well beyond the professional.)

And so the seeds of the audience is born, even if you’re not sure what your product is, or have not yet figured out how to produce it. Facebook friends, Twitter followers, email lists, etc are the first step. The good news for those of us coming from the world of full-time, branded media is that you are actually not starting from pure scratch. Anytime I tweet something, link something, and generally show up in some digital room with my nametag on, whatever I’m writing or shilling or, like here, thinking aloud, is traceable back to that old fashioned byline and where it’s been residing over the years.

There is no denying that it is a head start if you are looking to create something new. Beyond the actual experience I have acquired from it, the MSM brand is that first small step toward building your personal brand: doors and emails get opened, introductions get made, and maybe even rambling blog posts get read.

Still, this edge has a tiny shelf life. No one – I repeat, not a friggin’ soul – is going to become a customer of the content that I hope to produce/edit on my website because of my work with Time or the AP or whomever. (Likewise, a potential investor who might agree to meet with me, will not be reaching for his checkbook because of what I’ve done in the past) The project quite simply must stand on its own. In fact, for some, the new enterprise must actually overcome the old-school origins of its founder.

In the end, those of us veterans/victims of the crumbling state of MSM have two distinct choices: either see our past as a building block and calling card for the future. Or see the future as simply the thing that is killing some idealized notion of the past. After some real resistance, I have wholeheartedly embraced the former approach. Even with all the uncertainty, that very change in mentality feels like real progress. And some serious fun.

But back to the practical challenge of finding an audience. I wrote last week about my mini project-inside-the-bigger-project, While U Slept, a bundled aggregation of the Big 5 latest headlines/links that I put together here in the European time zone, aimed at early morning readers/bloggers wanting to know what news has actually broken since they logged off and unplugged the night before. I have been vigilant about getting it posted by 1 p.m (7 a.m EST). every day, six days a week. I’m establishing a method for scanning the news sources, making it the most relevant and timely mix it can be. And several colleagues have sent real encouragement. But let me assure you fine readers: it has most definitely NOT caught on like wildfire. My 3!? email subscribers get it first. My 160 Twitter followers get it 60 seconds later, followed by my 307 Facebook friends. And how many click through? What is my most trafficked day? A grand total of 56!? The daily average is at a whopping 23 hits…

I wasn’t so naïve to expect anything different. And I do have a plan..to aim high (future post about this concept). Perhaps it could make a good fit in a smart, heavily trafficked home on the web. Andrew Sullivan? Talking Points Memo? Slate? Or some other New Media outlet that still sees the MSM – and The News itself — as relevant, and a good starting point for the day. All suggestions are most welcome! For now, I am continuing to refine the process and story selection and timing. But when the moment comes to try to find the right home — to try to multiply my audience — you can bet that I will present myself with Old Media credentials in hand, and all the oxygen of the New Media in my blood.

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Filed under branding, entrepreneurship, journalism, new media, old media, social media, The Big 5 (Top Overnight Stories), Top Headlines, world news

Who’s Your Guru? My Startup, a 3-Hour Skype & the True Life Making of a Myth

The connection flickers, and the black Skype screen finally splits open to reveal a hulking figure standing over his computer in a non-descript kitchen. “Welcome to Speakertext headquarters…” Matt Mireles’ voice has the same light, aw-shucks timbre from his web startup demo, which makes an odd contrast with both the (virtual) physical presence in front of me and his profanity-sprinkled tweets and blog entries. He is walking around the kitchen, trying to get some coffee going, and indeed cursing and dude-ing his merry way. I can see that he’s decked out in a stretched-out t-shirt and what look like pajama bottoms, and is sporting…is it?..yes, that’s right: an old-fashioned John Riggins/Travis Bickle Mohawk. Daaang

Still, as well as I can determine from 4,000 miles away, Mireles is decidedly not a homicidal cabbie. But don’t let his nice-guy voice fool you either. You could even say he’s got the right mix of amiability, the old Redskin fullback’s determination and just enough of that taxi driver madness. He’s also got a plan. And he does his homework. Dude.

Mireles had stumbled upon a previous entry from this blog and sent me a slap-down comment, which got me reading his blog…and the rest, as they say, is biztory. He was not the first perfect stranger with more success/experience than me to be generous with his time, though the THREE-hour skype is up there with the most generous. The specific advice he gave me on my project was also bold and potentially game-changing. But he’s getting special attention here for another reason…and in some way, it starts with that particular hairstyle he chose. Or that chose him…

I actually only got a brief look because we cut the skype video after losing our connection twice. Still, throughout the morning (his NYC time zone) call, I imagined him there, still on his feet, at or near his laptop, pacing, jabbing the air, running his hands through that Augusta-fairway band of locks as he unfurled his unlikely bio and parried my attempts to stick to my guns on point X or Y of my core product and business model.

From the get-go, he apologized for his thoughts wandering a bit, which he blamed on a minor hangover: “Last night was poker night.” This is how hard-living workaholic entrepreneurs work off their Friday night booze: telling their stories, loading up strangers full of advice and inspiration and “this is what happened to me” tales. In another world/century, it would be the 41-year-old veteran journalist giving the once and future aspiring 29-year-old reporter counsel. But things, as Bob says, have changed. Born from his own aborted journalism ambitions, Speakertext is truly one of those “Of Course. That!” ideas. It’s so big and simple – and timely – that it’s just a question of working out the bugs, and watching where the crowd will take it. But even getting the beta version up has been a life-changing experience for him. As ever, it’s about the execution…and some 12 months ahead of me, he was eager to share….

But listening to Mireles, he stands out as much for the How as the What he is saying. It’s the way he barks out ideas, trusts his gut, makes you laugh that, with a splash of nuts-and-bolts success, could make him the next New Media Guru. And why not him? Or her? That, of course, is the driving ethos of the internet itself.

But Mireles is still not there, and he knows it – constantly blurting out: What the fuck do I know; and manically citing his gurus and firing off relevant links via skype chat. Ultimately, though, that ‘ stop him. He has something to say that goes beyond any single idea or project that is some kind of elementary equation of ability to absorb information plus charisma plus a nose for how people behave. And, oh yeah, balls.

I’m sure there was a logical arc to our three hours on skype, but hell if I can remember. What I’m left with is the specific advice he gave me on my project that I’m researching now…and a series of kernels, curse words, links, World War II metaphors that are not project-specific.

Here’s just a portion, not necessarily in chronological order…and he will be the first to admit that he is just aggregating from the wisdom of others. But, always like Bob, he makes it his own.

…make it a wiki…then you become another time suck – and that’s what you want to be!

…what you need is a tech co-founder.  If you make this a tech play, you’ll have an easier time finding talent and raising capital.

…don’t produce content.  be a platform.

…who’s your earliest early adopter?

…have you read Crossing the Chasm

…think like you think in war: military insurgencies are just violent political entrepreneurs.

…at  a certain point switch from prep and prep to having to put something on the line.

….…check out Joe Liemandt

…i dont know if you can do this from France.

…Whats the lightest weight, most easily scalable.

…Build the platform, foster the community.

…you know 500 hats? check it out.

….being an entrepreneur is pivoting, iterating.

…you’re in WW II, You see the map. You got your forces …how do we get there? What’s the beach head?

…you really think you’re gonna stay in France?

–who’s your early adopter? who’s gonna have a hard on for your product? who’s gonna spam their friends?

…you gotta fucking read, Crossing the Chasm.

… read everything Fred Wilson writes

…you know Chris Dixon? Follow him. Paul Graham? Him too.

…be light

…be scalable

…be like water going down a hill…

One fundamental difference we acknowledged is a question of geography and family…that is, mobility. He’s 29, single and totally committed to his project. I’m 41, married with two kids, and totally committed to my project. That is not the same thing. And the execution may in fact be very different. I explained that my wife’s good job here in Paris is actually making it possible for me to throw myself into this ever more every day. I couldnt make him understand that putting my family’s well-being on the line (ie, moving us to Silicon Valley or NYC without a fixed income) is a non-starter for me. He thinks that’s somehow a kind of existential deal breaker. I told him to read Malcolm Gladwell article about how some of the most legendarily bold entrepreneurs are actually calculated risk takers.  “Dude, you gotta get your ass to the States,” he shot back. “You gotta land at friggin’ Normandy.” Later, he put it this way: “As much as anything, doing this is about  getting amped about a myth…” That, I can’t argue with. And so, make room for the next great new media legend of Matt Mireles to catch flight.  And fuck it dude: why not mine too…

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