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Showing posts from May, 2007

Can the UFL take down the NFL?

Short answer: No. End of post. ;)

See, Mark's bought in on a rival NFL league called the UFL, and he's listed several valid reasons why it could work. Specifically, they are:

1. There is obviously demand for top level professional football. That is exactly what the UFL hopes to be someday, an equal of the NFL, if not more. 2. The NFL wants and needs competition. They have grown so big and powerful that every move they make is scrutinized by local or federal officials. A competitor allows them to point to us and explain that their moves are for competitive reasons rather than the move of a monopoly.3. They just extended their CBA. Their CBA structure is not designed for a competitive environment. Competition for top players, even if the UFL gets just a few, increases prices at the top end for all teams. Every star will get paid more, but still have to fit under the cap. That forces teams to use more low cost players, at the expense of signing the middle of the roster. That gives …

Advertising still clueless on CGM

If you read my Nike post you might have thought "Dave, you're a nut. No brand is going to go all in and let someone create their ad". This is where you're wrong and, taking it a step further, so are ad agencies for trying to pretend the "get it".

See, Heinz is running a CGM contest where people can create a commercial and get paid $57k. Not bad for screwing around with a product on camera to let the ad agency collect their fat paycheck minus $57,000 in out of pocket "expenses". The NY Times sites the number of hours involved in screening the videos and "work" that's involved in selecting the right videos that make the cut. So you have to work to earn your pay? Damn, someone needs me to call them a wah-mbulance (credit goes to my cousin Brian for that one, circa 10 years ago).

Here's where they're wrong: It's not the fault of the people that you created a stupid campaign. And I mean stupid as in "lacking or marked by la…


I'm back in the States from Italia, well rested where among other things I bonded with my company's global senior management team, watched AC Milan win the European Cup in futbol (that's soccer for you Yanks), drank plenty of vino and am convinced I'm the tallest man in Italy (who would've thought it would be so hard to find a European size 51 shoe in the fashion capital of the world??). I'd love to share details about all of the aforementioned adventures, however jet lag and no sleep (6 AM return flight) are preventing a longer post. Needless to say I'm back after a much needed break. Gratzi, Italia!

Updates to Lyro

I got a nice email from Leif Larson, the founder of Lyro, alerting me of some new features on their site. They're still in beta so the site has been making enhancements. Such as:

1. Card pockets. What's a card pocket? Funny you should ask. From their site:

A card pocket is like a pant pocket; it’s a place to store stuff that you want readily accessible. You can store other peoples’ business cards in your card pocket for easy retrieval. As you search for new contacts, your card pocket is the place to store the cards of individuals that interest you. You can access any business card in your pocket when you want to message that person, send that card to someone else or download the information into your contact management system (in vCard format).

2. Multiple cards. That's right, you can now create multiple virtual cards under one profile.

3. Vcards. Once you have a few favorites you can download them as Vcards. Can't forget about the Vcards.

I would add this as a suggestion: …

How fast will brands bail on SL now?

I've always been suspicious of the value brands can get from Second Life, but this takes the cake. Apparently digital nirvana includes pedophiles and distributing naked pics of little boys and girls. That's just wonderful. I'm sure the brands that've set up shop are thrilled to be associated with this - even worse if this crap is taking place on their islands/properties. Forget about CGM worries and "letting go", this is far, far worse.

But it's ok, because I'm sure all of the brands in SL have been told by their agencies that there'd be little return and, given the nature of virtual worlds, people can lie about their age, sex, income and intent. Right? Oh, snap.

Update: Damn, Robert. Next time I'll just link to you... That's what a week's worth of working on a pitch will do to ya'. ;)

Ebay bought Epinions, still not sure what to do with it

Ebay's purchase of Epinions has a lot of sellers wondering what the hell is going on. To be more specific, Ebay is now asking buyers to rate sellers based on multiple factors, including accuracy of item description, communication, speed of shipment and "reasonable shipping charges", which is completely arbitrary.

Apparently Ebay used the European Union as their test market for this new system. And power sellers aren't happy about the changes, asking that they should have been included in the testing within the U.S. market. As a business person it makes sense to include your stakeholders prior to rocking their world.

What's even stranger is that even with the acquisition of Epinions, it appears that Ebay really has no idea what to do with it. In Emanuel Rosen's "The Anatomy of Buzz" he points to Epinions as a valuable resource for unbiased product reviews, especially as it relates to larger purchases. For no reason I'll point you to a photo of me w…

Leadership means a first round exit

Well, after arguing some months ago, both Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki (and Mark Cuban) are watching the second round of the NBA Playoffs from home. Or at least not participating in them.

I remember someone comparing blogging to Dirk's work ethic and effort to step up his game, a move that undoubtedly will lead him to his first NBA regular season MVP trophy, most likely edging out Phoenix Sun Steve Nash. I commented in the aforementioned post that it wasn't Dirk's D that stepped up but really his teammates who'd stepped up to help him on defense. And anyone that knows anything about sports knows that while regular season accolades are nice, it's post season performance that defines champions. So Dirk, you're right back where you started if not farther behind, being the first team with over 65 wins to lose to an 8 seed -- the biggest upset in NBA Playoff history. Well, there's always blogging.

One simple question

In business, as in life, I've tried to surround myself with experts - or at people who know a lot more than me in subjects other than what I know. It keeps life interesting and forces you to continually improve in order to contribute to discussions and make arguments. It also challenges the way you look at issues and forces you to be a critical thinker. This approach also sparks creativity when solving problems.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing candidates for an internship. You may have read about it in the Post. Anyway, the standard questions get asked so frequently that it's hard to gauge whether they're reciting lines or sincere about what they say. That's when I ask them the question:

Are you the smartest person you know?

Of course there's a qualifier, but the bottom line is that if you're going to work with me then I expect you to tell me something I don't know. Daily. You know the kind of person I'm talking about -- the one in the professi…

Telling it like it is

Not that they need the link, but ValleyWag just earned a spot on my blogroll with their post about How the top self-branders sell themselves. How'd they earn that spot? Well, for starters Robert's blog has been dormant for a year so there was room. Seriously, though, I love reading bloggers who aren't afraid of stepping on toes or telling it like it is. I've been told that's why audiences like my presentations - they're no-bullshit, no-marketing speak allowed tutorials on how to get things done or how things work. And, of course, humor doesn't hurt.

I do take exception, though to some of the Valleywag criticism. Guy Kawasaki is not only one of my favorite presenters but also thinkers and motivators. In my book it takes being at the top to have the kind of vision and learnings that he has, and I've walked out of his presentations feeling energized and, if nothing else, entertained. Most others hope they're right or guess it'll work, Guy hands you …