Well, not exactly. Yeah, I’m dropping names, but not to try to impress you with how important I am [laugh], but rather, the very cool people that I’ve had the distinct privilege to meet and/or chat with in-person over the past two weeks and the stuff they’re working on:
Anita Wilhelm, Co-Founder & CEO, Caterpillar Mobile. I haven’t gotten the full scoop on what Anita & her crew are up to, but from her preso at the well put together Mobile Media conference, Caterpillar is at the intersection of mobile photography, mobile gaming, and light-weight (assisted) annotation (which, if you read this whole bit, you know is an area of keen interest to me, dating back to my time at Ofoto.) I’m hoping to connect with Anita soon to see if she’ll reveal enough about what they’re doing to get you as excited as I am based on my high level chat with her. If not, we’ll all just have to wait till July when the beta is birthed.
Mitch Ratcliffe, CEO Presuadio. Mitch’s new company (he was formerly a founding member of ON24) is a Social Network analysis company (ack, competition!), an appropriate abstraction to match his etheral presentation. Whereas most presenters strictly informed, Mitch expanded the box (and blurred its edges), a key component of the conference mix for Media companies, most of whom don’t know that they don’t know what there is to know. Know what I mean?
Marc Brown, Co-founder Buzznet. I finally met Marc Brown and got a brief chance to chat with him. I walked away impressed and wanting to know more about what these guys are up to, and how abstractly they’re thinking about the intersection point (photos, community and large commercial events) they’re focused on. Hopefully the fact that they weren’t part of the
photo-acquisition spree over the past month won’t prevent them from realizing their potential.
Brian Russell. Brian’s “the other kind” of entreprenuer; you know, motivated by and focused on social causes and community, rather than profit. By day he’s with AmeriCorps; by night, he’s putting together PodcasterCon, focusing on Podcasting and its community. I encouraged Brian to reach out to Craig Newmark; there’s a meeting I’d like evesdrop on.
Artie Wu, Entreprenuer in Residence (EIR), TPG Ventures. In Artie’s past life, he was the founder and CEO of Vividence. In his new life, he’s an EIR thinking deeply about social media. Artie’s thinking and questioning around building community and encouraging certain behaviors showed (IMHO) a truly nuanced understanding of the space. In a victory for yours truly, I appearantly said enough things of interest over lunch that he finally broke down and got out a pen & paper to take notes. I’m looking forward to learning (and sharing) more as appropriate.
Ari Jacoby, CEO VoiceStar, a Pay-Per-Call infrastructure proider taking the opposite take of Ingenio (who I’ve gushed over in the past). I actually have enough notes to justify a long form post from our breakfast; hopefully this weekend. I said last year pay-per-call was a space to watch in 2005, and from what I’m hearing, VoiceStar seems well positioned to be a significant
Kirsten Mangers, Chief Strategy Officer, SME Global Solutions. SGS re-packages bidded clicks into a fixed price offering to make SEM less complex and time consuming for SMEs. The rumor mill says funding has arrived, and I’m thrilled for her and partner Terry. Perhaps we’ll see them apply the same model to Pay-Per-Call? Hmm…
Stu MacFarlane, CEO & Founder, InsiderPages. A year into the biz, and things are really clicking (well, more aptly, ringing). To the tune of $1MM in new biz for their advertisers in
their first month with a live pay-per-call implementation. And how about 20K listings in LA (and ramping nicely); sounds like a Tipping Point to me.
Pamela Parker Caird, Managing Editor, ClickZ Network. I finally met Pamela in person. I think I went overboard going for the hug instead of a handshake, but she accepted gracefully. (It’s truly weird how reading her blog [coupled with some blog to blog and email exchanges] made me think I knew her well enough to be that personal. One day I’ll have to try to track down Mary Hodder and see if she’s studied that aspect of the blogging!)
Peter Krasilovsky, President, Krasilovsky Consulting. Plug another consultant? Yeah, I’m that kinda fool. Peter’s put together some thoughtful posts on the Kelsey Conference sessions I “transcripted“. You can find them here (four of ‘em, dated April ’05).
Dick Costolo, CEO, FeedBurner. While I already mentioned that FeedBurner was going to be releasing a public API (and that I hoped that some folks would reconsider the role of Feed Mgmt Srvs because of it), I didn’t say why. In a word… courage. Feed Mgmt has a challenging slot in the stack, and offering a public API doesn’t necessarily put them in a better position (in fact it could disadvantage them). On the other hand, a public API sends a crystal clear “you’re in control” message to Publishers, which says a lot about the nature of the relationship FeedBurner intends to build with its customers (and frankly, the nature of the people making decisions at the company). My kudos, FWIW.
Alright, there’s a catch-up on some smart and scrappy folks… which leaves two conferences, a few rants, and a ton of news to comment on. More over the next few days.