Grow Conference 2010

31 Aug

Two weeks ago in Vancouver a bunch of Canadian entrepeneurs and Silicon Valley types met up to network and share learnings and war stories. Here is a sample of some of the great talks that occured.

Book Review: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

23 Jun

An oldie but a goodie – published in the early 90s, so the examples seem a little dated. Many of the Laws in this book will seem obvious to trained marketers, but for people like me who’ve never taken a marketing course in their life, there are many nuggets of insight. I particularly liked the advice against product line extension. I’ve seen many companies take a good brand and ruin it through over-extension, and the law of focus – own a word in your prospect’s mind.

This is a quick read and well worth it for anyone with marketing responsibilities ie. everyone.

[amtap book:isbn=0887306667]

Ellen on iPhone

5 May

Hilarious sendup and apology from Ellen. Apple looking more and more like the bad guys. Especially love “Mr. Macintosh”.

Steve Blank on Customer Development

30 Apr

This guy is the startup marketing guru of the moment. A smart approach for startups.

Kevin Rose on growing your traffic

8 Oct

Awesome video from from Carsonified, featuring Kevin Rose, one of the smartest and most entertaining people in consumer web sites.

Taking your Site from One to One Million Users by Kevin Rose from Carsonified on Vimeo.

Chrome, Android, Chicago and NT: Google is looking more and more like Microsoft

9 Jul

As a long time Web/tech guy and a 9 year Microsoft vet, my first reaction to the Google Chrome OS announcement was “feels like I’ve seen this before”. In fact, Microsoft famously created and managed two parallel operating systems with an overlapping audience back in in the 90s. The first, Windows NT, had its roots in DEC’s venerable VMS system, and was originally designed by Dave Cutler. The second, Windows ‘9x (codename Chicago) evolved out of the DOS/Windows 3.x codebase. In the 1990s, the teams developing these systems developed a famous and intense rivalry – arguably distracting them from their real mission and costing the company millions of dollars in lost productivity. NT was first released in 1993 as an enterprise grade operating, and from then until the release of Windows XP in 2001, the development team worked in parallel to a consumer OS team. Given that there was significant scope overlap between the two teams, there are stories of intense battles between them for predominance and to earn the right to form the basis for the convergence between the consumer and enterprise products. As it turns out the NT group won out, culminating in Windows XP, which was actually Windows NT 5.1, sending Windows 9x to the dustbin of history after over a decade of development.
You could argue that Google’s two OSs are fundamentally different: Android targets mobile devices, Chrome OS targets PCs. However, in my mind this distinction is not 100% clear. What about Netbooks? What about other larger devices to come that converge high speed wireless data and voice with keyboards and larger screens. Google would be wise to learn a lesson from the Microsoft experience and ensure that their two Operating System teams focus on competing with their real competition, not with each other.

Welcome to my new blog

30 May

I’m still tweeking, selecting a final theme, and finalizing the content, but technically this is my new blog. So welcome! Enjoy yourself.

Times Open

21 Feb

Kudos to the New York Times digital team for putting on a great event yesterday. I firmly believe that this is the sort of initiative that will move traditional media companies – like mine – into the mainstream of digital media.

Embedded is an interview with one of the key guys driving The Times’ Open strategy, Derek Gottfrid, courtesy of Yahoo! Developer Network.

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8 Jun

Another reason I haven’t been blogging very much is the microblogging phenomenon. Given how flaky twitter has been lately maybe I will be blogging here more often.

Career Update

7 Jun

Its been a while since I posted. I’ve been getting much more involved in the technology team at Canoe. Its a very interesting challenge, looking at how we can improve process, organization and platform to become more agile and customer focused. All of this while trying to serve the business needs of the biggest Canadian based online network as well as one of the biggest media companies, and the biggest newspaper publisher in the country.

Also, we’re looking for tech talent. If you know of any great web developers, programmer analysts, functional analysts or QA folks in the Toronto, Montreal, Sudbury or Saguenay areas let me know.