How to market your company at SXSW

I had the pleasure of getting to know some of the awesome guys from Freshbooks at Future of Web Apps (FOWA) Miami.   We chatted over drinks and they told me about how they planned on taking South By Southwest (SXSW) by storm and they sure did.

Saul Colt, one of the guys on their marketing team, wrote up a great post on what Freshbooks did to get their name out at SXSW.   It’s fantastic and will serve as a guide for me for next year.

For the love of the game…

I guess one thing that I’ve learned for myself is that I don’t wanna work with folks who do something because they wanna get rich.  If they make their decisions in life based on what markets are going to be the most profitable or what’s popular, it’s just not for me.

It’s more important to do something for the love of what you’re doing.  It’s about having a love for the product and a love for users.

Instead of waking up in the middle of the night thinking about what will make you more money, wake up in the middle of the night thinking about how you can better serve your users.  If you think of service first, the money will follow.

As I said before, don’t worry about your business model.  Worry first about your pleasure model.

If you think about it, the greatest companies didn’t worry about making money at first.  Google didn’t know how they were going to monetize search when they started but look at them now.

How to be noticed and have people market you…

Tonight I was having dinner with a friend  whom I have a TON of respect for.   We both agreed there are more and more people who want to be noticed. There are a lot of people in the Web space and everyone wants to be the ones to bubble up to the top.

The thing is too many people do it the wrong way.  They come off as wanting to sell themselves (no one likes that guy) or they really spam people with their personality.  People just tune spam out.  You don’t wanna become white noise.

For me, if you want me to notice you, you need to first do good work.  Be good at what you do.  Give it 100%.  Don’t half ass it.

Second… give without  thinking about what you’re going to get in return.  Help people just because you wanna help.

These are the people that will stick on my radar and I’ll even go out and tell my friends about them. People like to see their friends succeed.

For example, when you’re looking for a job, you’ll have people who’ll go out of their way and help you search.

In NYC, My iPhone Was My Best Friend

Me walking through NYC

Last Wednesday,  I popped up to New York City to fill in for our CEO, where he was scheduled to speak at a conference.  I had never to be to NYC before so I especially jumped at the opportunity.

In NYC, I felt pretty overwhelmed.  Everything is way bigger and more packed then Washington DC.  Felt like if you stopped on the side walk for more then 5 seconds you were going to get run over.  Yet, I needed to be able to find my way around.

My iPhone quickly became my best friend.

To be able to pull up Google Maps was amazing!  With the triangulation feature, it was able to pull up where I was and use that as a base for the search.  I could find a landmark or place super quickly.

I felt like I could maneuver my way through NYC without much of a problem.

It really demonstrated to me the power of having the Web in your pocket.

Are you coming to TECH cocktail DC 2?

If you’re new to the DC tech scene or you’re just looking for an opportunity to hang out with some geeks, I’d highly recommend that you check out the upcoming event TECH cocktail DC 2.

Frank Gruber and company are throwing another one of their great parties on Thursday, April 24, 2008 from 6:30pm – 9pm at the club MCCXXIII.

The best part is it’s free, which means you don’t have a reason not to be there.

Are you going? I definitely plan on being there.

Congrats to Blogdigger & Greg Gershman for Getting Acquired by Odeo

Congrats to Washington DC-area entrepreneur Greg Gershman on the acquisition of his company Blogdigger by Odeo.  The folks at Odeo are really cool and Greg is crazy smart. I’m confident that Greg will do GREAT things there.

I’m speaking at AJAXWorld in NYC Tomorrow

So… Tomorrow I’ll be giving a talk at AJAXWorld in NYC tomorrow entitled “The Social Aggregator – Widgets Reshape the Social Web.” It should be good.

Attending the conference? Live in NYC? I’d love to meetup. Drop me a line at

Finally! The Library of Congress Adds Photos from 1910s to Flickr

After much waiting, the Library of Congress has FINALLY added more photos to it’s Flickr account.  The 50 new photos were added to the 1910s Bain News Service set.

Hopefully the love and excitement, that started with the Library’s foray into Flickr in January, will continue here.

Go there. Enjoy the Library of Congress photos on Flickr. Tag them.

Storefront with a crowd infront of it

Our current biggest online revolution isn’t user facing…

There have been a lot of folks who have been down on the current state of Web startups.  They said there is nothing interesting and nothing innovative happening.  I think thats a load of bull.

There is a revolution that’s happening online right now but it’s not sexy or exciting enough to be written about in newspapers or major blogs.

The Web is being broken apart into smaller bits.  Seems like everyone has some type of RSS feed, API, structured microformatted data, or a platform on which to build upon.

The most important thing is no longer your Web site. It’s making the content, services, and functionality of your Web site available so that your users can consume it however and where ever they please.  Steve Rubel has a GREAT article about this, “The Future is Web Services, Not Web Sites.”

Seems like this was the BIG theme at the Future of Web Apps conference in Miami that I attende a few weeks ago.

At SXSW, folks were announcing new platforms and APIs like it was going out of style.  For example, my friends at MapQuest just announced a free API.

Seems like plenty of folks were talking about the Facebook platform or MySpace’s implementation of OpenSocial.

YouTube recently opened up and has been getting A LOT Of press.

The thing is… these are all tools for developer and publishers. They aren’t out of the box that usesful or interesting to the average joe.

The Twitter API doesn’t mean anything without something like Twitteriffic.  The Remember the Milk API isn’t that interesting but how they’ve used a Grease Monkey script and the API to put my todos on the side of GMail is pretty dang hot.

At Clearspring, our CEO Hooman Radfar wrote a great blog post, “Semantic Web Rising“:

Web 2.0 is about the web breaking into pieces. Web 3.0 – the Semantic Web – will put it all back together.

So who is going to be the one to put together all of these APIs, pieces of structure data, and feeds in an interesting and useful way?

In the future will there be a Yahoo Pipes, which makes it even more painless to stich together all of these sources of data?