LaunchBox Digital Announces Their Summer ’09 Program

The Washington, DC, early stage investment firm LaunchBox Digital has recently announced their Summer ’09 program.  This is a 12 week program where the LaunchBox team and their advisors work with entrepreneurs to help them build their companies and refine their ideas.  It’s really pretty phenomenal.   I’ve gotten to know some of the LaunchBox team and they’re great!  If you’re interested in their summer program, make sure that you apply today.

Long Distance Friendships Don’t Have to Suck As Much Any More…

Last night at church, our associate pastor announced that he’s leaving for Boston to start another church.  This announcement is bittersweet.   It’s great that he’s got this awesome opportunity but it sucks that he’s leaving.

This got me thinking.  In today’s day and age, long distance friendships don’t have to suck as much any more.   We have the tools to build what my friend Shel Israel would call a “global neighborhood.”  Despite someone being in a different part of the country, it really can be like someone is next door and you’re having a conversation with them over the back fence.

I travel all across the country  and make friends everywhere I go.

Twitter has been AMAZING.  It gives me that “ambient intimacy” with my whole community. With a glance at Tweet Deck, I can know everything that’s going on in my community, what they’re thinking, and how they’re feeling.

In my Google Reader,  I have a whole section for photos.  I subscribe to the Flickr Photostreams from my friends from all over the country.  With the click of my keyboard, I can see all the photos from my friends adventures.

I have a good chunk of friends who blog too.  Those are such a blast to read too.  When you read a friend’s blog, you feel like you’re having the same conversations you would if you were all sitting around the kitchen table together.

Granted these tools don’t replace face to face communications but they allow for you to build these global neighborhoods… these global communities.

“TechCrunch is not a marketing plan”

My buddy Sunir from FreshBooks just wrote an awesome blog post entitled, “TechCrunch is not a marketing plan.” I agree with him 100%. Definitely worth a read:

I met a woman at Gnomedex this year who was recently hired to be the head of marketing for a service with 5 million customers. She was charged with expanding that to 6 million. I asked her what her strategy was, and she was adamant that all she needed was a single post on TechCrunch. She was willing to spend a million dollars to razzle and dazzle TechCrunch. I asked her why not spend that money with your existing customers, and she looked at me like I was stupid.

TechCrunch is not a marketing plan. You need to be out in the world, going after your own customers, treating them well, earning their admiration and recommendations, and continuing to build your business for the future.

Don’t get me wrong. I read TechCrunch everyday. I think it’s a great publication but you can’t depend on any one medium for reaching people. You could substitute Twitter into the title. Twitter is not a marketing plan.