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Silicon Valley Exec Mike Homer Died Sunday – The Lost Conversation February 2, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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Kara Swisher has a classy post that pays tribute to Mike Homer.   Mike died in his home on Sunday of a rare, neurodegenerative “prion” disease, which in Homer’s case has occurred sporadically rather than via infection (the well-known variant that occurs in animals is called mad cow disease), CJD’s incidence is one case in a million annually, and few survive beyond a year after exhibiting symptoms.

Mike Homer was a straight talking tech executive who didn’t mix words.  A few years ago before Mike was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Bud Colligan and Mike Boich went to see Mike to record a podcast on innovation and Silicon Valley.  It would be one of the last times Mike would be in his normal ‘call it like he sees it’ mood.  That podcast was never posted due to a hard disk error.  From the description from Bud Colligan of that podcast it was a memorable conversation.  I wish that we all could have heard that podcast.  I’m sure his voice will carry on in the stories that he created here in Silicon Valley.

Homer is survived by his wife, Kristina, and three young children: James, Jack and Lucy.

His funeral is at Saint Raymond’s Catholic Church in Menlo Park on Thursday.

Good Bye Web 1.0 – AOL Now Hemmorging Just Like Yahoo – Hello Web 2.0 January 28, 2009

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When I read the reports from Boomtown’s Kara Swisher, I had a personal sinking feeling.  Now, Boomtown’s the latest memo from the CEO of AOL allowed me to just put my finger on why I’m sad by this. It’s the final ‘nail in the coffin’ of Web 1.0.

Yahoo and AOL’s storied successes are crashing down around all of us in front of our eyes.  I’m deeply saddened.  I know many of these people in both companies.  What’s worse is the addition of thousands of newly laid off employees – the rank and file.  More importantly is that the hemmorging of these companies will  make their best employees (the stars) leave.  They most likely will become entrepreneurs to fuel the real opportunity – Web and Infrastructure 2.0.

I’ve been writing the impact on venture capital and now we’ll see more people looking for jobs.  We need the best talent to start companies to house these employees. Or better yet Yahoo and AOL need to cannibalize their own businesses in order to invent their new businesses.  Either way 2.0 is here.

Good Bye Web 1.0 and Hello 2.0.

Running Naked: Mark Cuban Just “Pulled Down the Shorts” of CDNs Everywhere January 28, 2009

Posted by John in social media, Technology.
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Mark Cuban just ran up behind the CDNs and pulled down their ‘shorts’ exposing a BIG problem. Video on the internet is far from democratized it’s a dictatorship.   For once we are not talking about the cable companies or service providers (although they have issues).

The Maverick strikes again.  Where Mark does not talk about in his post is the need for a viable P2P platform now!  The P4P standard group offers hope, but their motto is “No We Can’t”.

We need legit P2P standards now for a viable platform for online live and ondemand video.

The post is worth reading but here is my favorite part ..

Lets say you have your “Worlds Greatest Concert” that you are sure can draw 500k simultaneous streams (on demand or live) . Also planning to stream a large event, lets say the first broadcast of Dark Knight 2, which the producers will stream live at the same time, and oh my goodness, the remaining Beatles decide to have their final reunion with a single live concert at the exact same time. 3 Mega events, each with an expected draw of 500k simultaneous users. Who has the greatest opportunity and the most leverage ?

Thats easy. Its the CDNs. You have so few choices of vendors that the CDNs can charge whatever they want to handle the event. And thats for one single event. You dont want to know about costs for 24×7 streaming for viewership levels of even small cable networks.

The internet is not an open video platform. Video distribution of any scale places you  at the mercy of just a very few CDNs.  You literally have to compete for timeslots for very large events.  If you want an interesting excercise, call up a CDN and ask them how much it would cost to support an audience that is never smaller than 10k simultaneous viewers for a 1mbs stream, 24 hours a day, for 365 consecutive days. Then call up one of the satellite providers and ask how much they would charge you to deliver to 100pct of their customers, and then call up a cable company and ask the same question.  Total up the cable and satellite numbers and compare them to the internet costs. You may be surprised to see which is cheaper.

If you have dreams of competing with traditional TV network viewing numbers using the internet, dream on.  You cant afford it. You have been sucker punched  by the Great Internet Lie.

“Scotty More Power” – Users Love the iPhone Blackberry and Portable Devices and Applications January 28, 2009

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by Anton Wahlman

With the Blackberry app store launching by the end of March 2009, a
dramatic new problem will emerge with full force: Where is the
application memory to run these new applications? In order to
understand the magnitude of this problem, we have to look at the
mother of all app store pioneers: Apple (AAPL) and the iPhone.

Ask almost any iPhone user what excites them about the iPhone, and
almost all of them answer immediately that it’s the app store, with
many thousands of apps available. Many iPhone users have page after
page after page worth of applications that they have downloaded. It
seems like iPhone users install dozens and dozens of applications, and
I don’t see any signs of abatement. We may be entering a situation
where most iPhone users love their platform so much because they have
hundreds of applications running.

The Blackberry app store is being launched for the obvious reason that
it’s becoming the critical tool in the competitive tool kit. Without a
vibrant developer community, it’s very difficult to compete. The
analogy with the PC world is pretty strong, and possibly even stronger
given that location-based services generate so many more application
possibilities that aren’t as meaningful in the PC world. Here is the
problem: An iPhone has 8 gig or 16 gig worth of memory, compared to a
Blackberry, which has 64, 96, 128 or 256 meg worth of app memory,
depending on the model. Yes, I know these numbers are not perfectly
“apples to blackberries” (no pun intended), because Blackberry has an
expansion card slot and the iPhone doesn’t, and so forth. But keep in
mind that the Blackberry’s expansion memory is for multimedia
(pictures, music, etc) storage, not for running apps or even
containing things such as the address book that synchronizes with
Outlook. One can also argue that an iPhone typically contains a lot
more multimedia than most Blackberries, but Blackberries also synch
with iTunes for DRM-free content, so that gap should narrow as
awareness of this ability grows.

Those caveats aside, the SMALLEST iPhone (8 gig) has 32x the
application memory of the LARGEST Blackberry (256 meg for the 8900
model). The manner in which most users will feel this dramatic 32x
difference is in the ability to install new apps. Clearly, while some
Blackberry apps have tended to carry a small memory footprint, one of
the attractions of the iPhone is that those apps are very rich in
their appearance and functionality, so in order to compete, Blackberry
apps may have to become larger in order to be competitive.

What does this mean? It looks like this clash of Blackberry’s app
store vs the very small app memory will mean many unsatisfied users
who will be lighting up the customer service switchboards like a
Christmas Tree. Many people aren’t likely to understand why they can’t
download/install/run all of these new apps, and their devices could
start to freeze up, and their old emails and instant messaging
conversation could be wiped to free up memory.

This is both a challenge and an opportunity for RIM (RIMM). The
challenge will be all the unhappy customers calling to complain about
the lack of ability of their current devices. The opportunity will be
to start selling new Blackberries with an app footprint equal to, or
greater than, the iPhone. Such a “forced upgrade cycle” is not free,
and it is unclear how consumers will react to this. Either way, for
Blackberry to go from 256 meg or less worth of app memory in its
devices, to 16 gig and more – a 64x increase – will mark Blackberry’s
most important generational shift in the company’s history.

The installed Blackberry base is now approximately 20 million. Ask
yourself: How many of these will use the Blackberry app store as the
excuse to go to another platform such as iPhone, Android and Palm,
versus how many will upgrade to another Blackberry containing some 64x
more memory than your current Blackberry?

Infrastructure 2.0: The Modernization of the Datacenter – Doug Gourlay of Cisco January 28, 2009

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I cornered Doug Gourlay Senior Director of Product Marketing of Cisco’s Datacenter Business Unit, at the Infrastructure 2.0 event to answer my question about what he means when he says “The Modernization of the Datacenter”.

Question (John Furrier): What do you say to all the skeptics who say that you’re promoting the modernization of the datacenter because you’re in that business and that it really isn’t a problem? Is this just virtualization or is there another issue?

Answer (Doug Gourlay): It’s absolutely a systems approach. There are multiple factors. Lets take Moore’s law for instance which has proven true over the past 30 years. In datacenters you want it to last at least 10 -15 yrs. With 750x processor improvements under Moore’s law in the last 12 years yet cooling efficiencies has only grown 64x for IT assets – that is an 11 or 12x disparity. That’s why you see datacenters with racks designed to cool 4000 to 6000 watts. If I took a set of blades today I would need to cool it with only 30,000 watts. The reality is that we can draw more power then we can efficiently cool today. You either run out of space so — we made denser equipment; you ran out of cooling capacity — you bought more crack units; you ran out of power and the power company will NOT give you more. So when we talk about a modernization were talking about the underlying physical facilities that we built are being obsoleted almost every 5 yrs.

Question (John Furrier): It’s not just a Cisco issue it’s more of an environmental issue around the datacenter themselves ..the raw infrastructure the physical plant or whatever to equipment.

Answer (Doug Gourlay): That’s the biggest compelling event. how do i enable the IT infrastructure to make that facility infrastructure last longer.

To View the Entire Infrastructure 2.0 video feed click here (sorry registration required).

Yahoo Earnings 4th Quarter and Full Year 2008 – The Facts January 27, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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I fully expect a decoder from Boomtown’s Kara Swisher soon and I will spare you my opinion for now.   Here are the facts on Yahoo 4th quarter and full 2008 results.

Update: Kara Swisher has the decoder on for this – Her take is “Yes We Can...”..Apparently Carol is doing a fine job.

Here is the new CEO Carol Bartz in a written statement…  “Despite the challenging economic environment, Yahoo! delivered adjusted operating cash flow above the midpoint of guidance for the fourth quarter,” said Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz. “The company also made important investments while aggressively managing costs, leaving us better positioned to weather the economic downturn and emerge stronger when advertiser spending improves. We have work to do, but I am excited by Yahoo!’s opportunities, and encouraged by the tremendous innovation and momentum I’ve seen since joining the company as CEO.”

Fourth Quarter 2008 Financial Results

  • Revenues were $1,806 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, a 1 percent decrease compared to $1,832 million for the same period of 2007.
  • Marketing services revenues were $1,594 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 compared to $1,590 million for the same period of 2007.
    • Marketing services revenues from Owned and Operated sites were $1,063 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, a 3 percent increase compared to $1,035 million for the same period of 2007.
    • Marketing services revenues from Affiliate sites were $531 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, a 4 percent decrease compared to $555 million for the same period of 2007.
  • Fees revenues were $212 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, a 12 percent decrease compared to $242 million for the same period of 2007.
  • Revenues excluding traffic acquisition costs (“TAC”) were $1,375 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, a 2 percent decrease compared to $1,403 million for the same period of 2007.
  • Operating loss for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $278 million compared to operating income of $191 million for the same period of 2007.
  • Operating loss before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $60 million compared to operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense of $527 million for the same period of 2007.
  • Adjusted operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $542 million, excluding restructuring charges of $108 million for severance, facilities, and other restructuring costs; a goodwill impairment charge of $488 million related to our international segment; and incremental costs of $7 million incurred for outside advisors related to Microsoft’s proposals to acquire all or a part of the Company, other strategic alternatives, including the Google agreement, the proxy contest, and related litigation defense (collectively, the “strategic alternatives and related matters”).
  • Cash flow from operating activities for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $321 million, a 48 percent decrease compared to $622 million for the same period of 2007.
  • Free cash flow for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $219 million, a 34 percent decrease compared to $330 million for the same period of 2007.
  • Net loss for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $303 million or $0.22 per diluted share compared to net income of $206 million or $0.15 per diluted share for the same period of 2007.
  • Non-GAAP net income for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $238 million or $0.17 per diluted share compared to non-GAAP net income of $184 million or $0.13 per diluted share for the same period of 2007.

Fourth Quarter 2008 Segment Financial Results

  • United States segment revenues for the fourth quarter of 2008 were $1,338 million, a 2 percent increase compared to $1,313 million for the same period of 2007.
  • International segment revenues for the fourth quarter of 2008 were $468 million, a 10 percent decrease compared to $519 million for the same period of 2007.
  • United States segment operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $308 million, a 21 percent decrease compared to $391 million for the same period of 2007.
    • United States segment operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for the fourth quarter of 2008 includes restructuring charges of $83 million and incremental costs for advisors of $7 million related to the strategic alternatives and related matters noted above.
  • International segment operating loss before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for the fourth quarter of 2008 was $368 million compared to International segment operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense of $136 million for the same period of 2007.
    • International segment operating loss before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for the fourth quarter of 2008 includes restructuring charges of $25 million and the goodwill impairment charge of $488 million.

“We are encouraged by our results for 2008,” said Yahoo! Chief Financial Officer Blake Jorgensen. “Yahoo!’s aggressive cost management and strong balance sheet helped us navigate this unprecedented economic environment. The cost reduction initiatives and investments we made in 2008 have positioned us well for challenging conditions.”

Full Year 2008 Financial Results

  • Revenues were $7,209 million for 2008, a 3 percent increase compared to $6,969 million for 2007.
  • Marketing services revenues were $6,316 million for 2008, a 4 percent increase compared to $6,088 million for 2007.
    • Marketing services revenues from Owned and Operated sites were $4,046 million for 2008, a 10 percent increase compared to $3,670 million for 2007.
    • Marketing services revenues from Affiliate sites were $2,270 million for 2008, a 6 percent decrease compared to $2,418 million for 2007.
  • Fees revenues were $892 million for 2008, a 1 percent increase compared to $881 million for 2007.
  • Revenues excluding TAC were $5,399 million for 2008, a 6 percent increase compared to $5,113 million for 2007.
  • Operating income for 2008 was $13 million compared to $695 million for 2007.
  • Operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for 2008 was $1,211 million, a 37 percent decrease compared to $1,927 million for 2007.
  • Adjusted operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for 2008 was $1,915 million, excluding restructuring charges of $137 million for severance, facilities, and other restructuring costs; the goodwill impairment charge of $488 million related to our international segment; and incremental costs for advisors of $79 million related to the strategic alternatives and related matters noted above.
  • Cash flow from operating activities for 2008 was $1,880 million, a 2 percent decrease compared to $1,919 million for 2007.
  • Free cash flow for 2008 was $1,312 million, a 2 percent decrease compared to $1,337 million for 2007.
  • Net income for 2008 was $424 million or $0.29 per diluted share compared to $660 million or $0.47 per diluted share for 2007.
  • Non-GAAP net income for 2008 was $642 million or $0.46 per diluted share compared to non-GAAP net income of $652 million or $0.46 per diluted share for 2007.

Full Year 2008 Segment Financial Results

  • United States segment revenues for 2008 were $5,190 million, a 10 percent increase compared to $4,727 million for 2007.
  • International segment revenues for 2008 were $2,019 million, a 10 percent decrease compared to $2,242 million for 2007.
  • United States segment operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for 2008 was $1,213 million, a 15 percent decrease compared to $1,434 million for 2007.
    • United States segment operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for 2008 includes restructuring charges of $107 million and incremental costs for advisors of $79 million related to the strategic alternatives and related matters noted above.
  • International segment operating loss before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for 2008 was $2 million compared to International segment operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense of $493 million for 2007.
    • International segment operating income before depreciation, amortization, and stock-based compensation expense for 2008 includes restructuring charges of $30 million and the goodwill impairment charge of $488 million.

PEAK IT – Big Trend in Enterprise Information Technology – IT Trend January 27, 2009

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Some are saying that the polarization of IT is changing back to one side.  You decide.  Right now I’m digging into this further.

Here is the paragraph to read.

Peak IT occurs in an organization when investments in automation and productivity tools are crowded out by rising operations and management expenses. The result is a downward spiral of increasing complexity and expense and shrinking productivity as expenses continue to increase and take a growing share of budgets.

If you can understand the following paragraph then go directly to the site (via the link) and read the detailed post on “Peak IT”.

What Pisses You Off About Blogs – The List January 27, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.

I am launching a new blog next month and I really wanted to get a pulse from the twittersphere on what pisses them off about blogs.  I put out a tweet today about what pisses people off about blogs – the responses poured in so I thought I’d keep the list here.

I will use the comments to document the things that piss you off about blogs:  could be anything – My goal is to incorporate this feedback into my own blog.  Extra points for funny useful comments.

Go comment away – What features of blogs do you hate?

Social Media Fallacies – What To Know If You’re Thinking of Social Media January 27, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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Here is a great post by Jason Baer on the fallacies of social media. Social media is the email marketing of our web 2.0 everyone will do it but how is the question.  I’ve been doing it for years and I agree with this post.  I’ve added some of my comments in { } below.  Thanks Jason for a great post.

1. Social Media is Inexpensive

False. Done correctly, social media – even a simple reputation monitoring program – is a time intensive proposition that requires daily vigilance.

2. Social Media is Fast

False. Social media is by definition slow. Done correctly, social media is about developing meaningful relationships with customers and prospective customers in their natural habitat. You have to create content, be part of many communities, and proceed incrementally. Many successful social media programs take months (or even more than a year) to really germinate.

3. Social Media is “Viral Marketing”

False, in the same way that a square is also a rectangle, but a rectangle isn’t a square. Can a social media program go viral? Absolutely. But if you’re engaged in a social media program in an effort to go “viral” you’re not really engaged in social media at all. You’re engaged in an advertising and marketing campaign that uses the Web as its distribution platform.

{I will agree but add something here to Jason’s post:  the conversation is the advertising campaign and the social result of the conversation if done correctly is the definitive word on the topic – hence an ad-like message or effect}

4. Social Media results can’t be measured

False. Especially in comparison to many other communication programs like traditional PR, TV advertising, outdoor advertising and others, social media actually offers pretty solid metrics.  Can those results be tied back directly to sales, and therefore ROI? Probably not yet, but other than search and email (and maybe banners) where CAN you do that?

{I will add that the metrics are not online and this is the opportunity to bridge both offline and online experiences and benefits to users}

5. Social Media is optional

It doesn’t matter what the demographics of your customers are. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. Your customers and prospects are talking about you online. Your company needs to be part of that conversation. Today. Online is where many people do their talking, so that’s where you need to be.

6. Social media is hard

False. It’s not hard, it’s complicated.  It’s about having a strategy for making your company or organization more like a person and less like a machine. It’s about humanization.

If your customers and prospects feel like your company is more human and actually cares about them, they’ll want to be part of it….use technology to be yourself, and don’t overthink it.

Update: Thanks to Ben Smithson for point out the mistake in the title..

Silicon Valley in Trouble? I Don’t Think So – A New Model Will Arrive January 26, 2009

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Comparing Silicon Valley to Detroit is ridiculous, but Dan Lyons does bring up a big issue worth discussing – innovation problem. Silicon Valley is not setup for long term research in a way that made it what it is today. We are seeing institutional research vaporize in front of our eyes. Checking around it’s apparent that there is very little core and applied research going on. If there is research it is controlled by short term horizons like business profits and venture capital horizons. I’ve said before that we need a new approach.

I posted about this before about a new venture development paradigm that will emerge soon – one based upon open principles and collaboration.

Here is a snip of my post from last year – Silicon Valley – The Rebooting Meritocracy

Silicon Valley is a special place for entrepreneurship, and it continues to be. The issue is not that there is a wrench in the machine, but that the machine is broken. It’s rebooting.

One thing I love about Silicon Valley is that there are no handouts. It’s the ultimate entrepreneurial meritocracy. Change happens and it happens both from the bottom up (entrepreneurs) and the top down (capital market). The question is which force is driving the change.

Redistribution of wealth is upon us. The entrepreneurs and investors that move on this current market opportunity will capture the proverbial “chips on the table”. As an entrepreneur, I love this market. Opportunities are everywhere. Unlike the dot com bust, this tech (entrepreneurial) market never really crashed. Everywhere I look I see discounts and new opportunities. Smart money will move around, but in select places. Is the market scary? If you’re an incumbent it sure is scary.

Silicon Valley Web 2.0 is hurting, but not for the obvious reasons. A bigger force is at play here – massive redistribution of wealth is taking place. Some are scared, and some are welcoming the opportunity of possibly acquiring the wealth “on the table”. I think that Facebook and Twitter are great examples of what might be possible. Facebook will become the next Google. The only thing holding them up is that the ‘new revenue’ model that is soon to arrive at the “station”. When that “train” arrives (and it will) Facebook will say Goodbye to all the naysayers.

Research & Development Void?

The bigger picture is more long term and that’s all about research and development. Judy Estrin recently came out to talk about something really important – the innovation gap. Let me translate her thesis – we are screwed if we don’t have steady research unencumbered by short term agendas. Think how important institutions like Stanford, MIT, and SRI have been to Silicon Valley and entrepreneurship. Without these deep research institutions we would not have many innovations that created wealth – hello Ethernet; hello Apple; hello Cisco; hello Google, ..etc.

The lack of institutional research leaves a void in the Silicon Valley ecosystem. John Markoff postulates in his book “What the Dormouse Said” that the culture and research of the 60s drove the PC revolution. The question now is what revolution are we developing and where is the research? Will we miss the next important energy, medical, or tech breakthrough? Where is our modern day moonshot mandate?

Even top HP executives agree with me.  At HP, the concern reaches the very highest levels of the company. Shane Robison, HP’s chief strategy and technology officer, says he’d like to see the following: a permanent research-and-development tax credit, which would encourage tech companies to do more basic science research, which in turn would benefit everyone, not just the company that conducts the research; more government funding for basic science research; more spending on education; and changes in immigration laws to help foreign-born students who study in the United States to stay in this country afterward. “The technology industry is one of the crown jewels of our country,” Robison says. “It’s the one industry where we stand head and shoulders above the rest of the world. We need to protect that.”

My Version of Yahoo’s Turnaround Plan – Focus on Management Team and New Players January 26, 2009

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Boomtown has a post speculating that Carol is taking the :bull by the horns” and charging hard to make changes. First up an earnings call that will surely be a bad report.

In the NFL they talk about franchise players. In business and startups they talk about the management team. Here Yahoo has one clear short term goal – GET A TEAM. More importantly get some ‘franchise players’.

There are more than a few great and wacky ideas that Yahoo could do, but if were advising Carol I’d say focus on the management team first. Overhaul that team. Waive all the people not performing, get a great staff, trade for players who want to play for you, and sign some fresh new talent.

Remember Yahoo still has a great revenue stream and a massive user base. Get the management and players then make the big moves.

Infrastructure 2.0 – The Next Big Thing in Cloud Computing January 26, 2009

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I had a chance to meet with Doug Gourlay, Senior Director of Cisco’s Datacenter Business Unit, to ask him about what he thinks of Infrastructure 2.0.

Very interesting response. I have a few more segments: Modernization of the Data Center and What Cisco thinks of the phrase “Moving up the stack”.

Enjoy the video (less than 2 mins).

To view the entire Cisco event in video you can go here – Click here for the Cisco Infrastructure 2.0 event.

Kids On Facebook – Facebook Briefs Parents in Palo Alto: Where does Facebook’s Business Model Fit into Protecting our Kids? January 23, 2009

Posted by Linda Miola Furrier in social media, Technology.
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NOTE:  Visit the siliconANGLE blog for a community of bloggers on Social Web and Technology Opinion and Analysis.  THANKS

My kids have Facebook accounts and we have a Facebook policy in our house. I guess that you’d put me in the camp of “parents for Facebook”. As a new and avid user of Facebook and someone keenly interested in social science and child development, I attended a Facebook meeting last night with parents in Palo Alto with great interest.

Every social media network is searching for the best method to create large audience leading to large amounts of advertising revenue. With over 200 million users and increased R&D budget to develop 35 new foreign language interfaces….I would say that Facebook’s goals are clear … to increase the social graph as quickly and dramatically as possible. It is working. 70% of Facebook’s users are outside of the US. Every day new members are added. Friends of friends become friends of friends…and so on and so on. Facebook is our children’s present social communication culture. Bravo to Facebook.

How many of those “friends of friends” do you want your child interfacing with…regularly, publicly & not in the real world? Being the inquisitive parent I am, I attended a local high school Parent Ed meeting last night.

The event l was billed as an event to increase your knowledge of your kids’ cyber culture on Facebook. The Facebook employee panelist was informative enough, but I couldn’t help feel that he really didn’t “get it”. His youth was indicative of the Facebook employee culture, but I am guessing he has never worried about a child getting home safely or being stalked on the Internet.

Questions were answered relating to privacy settings & Facebook procedures for blocking inappropriate posts and or members. The slide show was informative, but didn’t really reach the heart of the matter. The high school principal spoke with us about how the administration disciplines kids who post inappropriately in the high school network. The two high school age panelists spoke to their methods of protecting and sharing their information on Facebook. Yes, interesting, but I still left the event feeling hungry for more parenting tools.

I was left wondering, who is monitoring cyberspace outside of school hours? Whose responsibility is it? Should Facebook default to the most restrictive privacy settings for minors? Wouldn’t restrictions to spreading networks be highly counter to their business goals. Is Facebook’s sharing and connecting utility and business growth plan in conflict with the best interest of the kids?

Some parents felt that the school needed to become more proactive in teaching our kids to be safe, and even went so far as to suggest a mandated course. Others indicated that the cyber businesses which interact with youth need to take more responsibility.

My take: This is a new parenting frontier – an opportunity. We are two steps behind our kids, even if we think we know what they are doing online. It is a parent’s responsibility to discipline (Latin root = teach) our children how to protect themselves. Many kids balk at the idea of sharing their online communications with parents. Until my children are 18, I am the authority. We need to set expectations for our kids & walk them through this uncharted territory with guidelines. Parents: require your children to share passwords with you. Set time aside to see what your children are doing online. Invite them to browse through their accounts with you. Ask questions and really listen.

It is only with the cooperation of the businesses, schools and parent communities that we can hope to enjoy the benefits of social networks AND keep our kids smart & safe online.

Digg Lays Off Big Chunk of Staff – Still Alot of Work To Do January 22, 2009

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Memo from Jay Aldelson from Digg.  I really love to see how companies are trying to survive.  No doubt Digg will survive – Jay’s a good manager and he would have to seriously screw up royally to fail (that’s certainly possible but highly unlikely).  Techcrunch says it’s growth is flat. Digg’s sister company Rev3 is hurting and has laid off staff as well.  Rev3 is now being run by Jim Louderback who has media experience, but the economy isn’t favorable to video at the moment.  Well see about them.  (note: I saw Jim at CES and they were doing some great stuff there with NBC).

Here is Jay’s public post on Digg’s priorities in 2009: goal cut staff and focus on 5 major bullets  to manage.  I would have expected them to have only 3 bullets but maybe there is more coming from Jay and his team.

Hey all,

Wanted to reach out to folks with an update on Digg and our priorities for 2009 as well as address some of the recent speculation about our business.

As we’ve often stated over the past couple of months, given the current economic climate, we’ve made the decision to take a more conservative approach to our expansion plans and aggressively focus on reaching profitability within the year.

This means we’ll be taking proactive measures to manage our costs including a headcount reduction in certain areas that are less core to this year’s objectives while continuing to hire for roles that will help build on our leadership position and get us to profitability faster. This includes hiring a direct sales team, in addition to other targeted hires in 2009.

As part of our aggressive path to profitability within the year, I also wanted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the major priorities for the company:

  • Rolling out new features to grow and engage our community
  • Building on our advertising infrastructure
  • Building on our successful partnership with Microsoft
  • Ongoing sponsorship opportunities
  • Ongoing publisher and trade partnerships

I’m confident that with commitment and focus on these priorities, Digg will be an even stronger company in 2009 and will continue to create innovative features for our more than 35 million community members. I want to thank you all for your continued support and commitment – helping us achieve our vision of the democratization of media, and revolutionizing the way people consume and discover information online.



“Build It Because They Are There” – The Real Meaning of Cloud Connect – It’s About Getting Apps Up and Running January 22, 2009

Posted by John in social media, Technology.
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As I sit in the CloudConnect Event at the computer history museum (twitter stream here), I was wondering about how to talk about cloud computing and the meaning of all this.  It became clear to me when I saw the Paul Buchheit post today on “Communicating with Code”.

He writes (talking about his experience with the development of Gmail..)…“From that day until launch, every new feature went live immediately, and most new ideas were implemented as soon as possible. This resulted in a lot of churn — we re-wrote the frontend about six times and the backend three times by launch — but it meant that we had direct experience with all of the features. A lot of features seemed like great ideas, until we tried them. Other things seemed like they would be big problems or very confusing, but once they were in we forgot all about the theoretical problems.”….”The great thing about this process was that I didn’t need to sell anyone on my ideas. I would just write the code, release the feature, and watch the response. Usually, everyone (including me) would end up hating whatever it was (especially my ideas), but we always learned something from the experience, and we were able to quickly move on to other ideas.”

What we have here is a real time web waiting for real time code.  All of the discussion about cloud computing is really about rapid development,provisioning of resources..etc. – in the end a better product for users (hopefully).  Paul talks about this in his post -Gmail turned out pretty good.

Cloud computing allows developers the ability to get “stuff” up fast.  Speed and feedback is critical to success and more important than having some “hardened app” that no one wants.  This is only way to develop in the web today.  Success is about speed and product acceptance is dependent on that speed which drives relevance.  Build a great product and it will work.

The motto “build it they will come” is irrelevant.  Instead the motto today is “Build it because they are there already”.  Having a robust, easy to use, easy to provision, and reliable cloud and services will flow to users for critical feedback  The rest will take of itself.  The good apps and services will “come to us” – Welcome to Infrastructure 2.0.

discussion on twitter via tag #cloudconnect

Market Economics Work – How We Solved Our Gas Crisis – Hey Mom Look No Government January 22, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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By Anton Wahlman

American memories are apparently becoming shorter and shorter. Various
misguided references to the alleged causes and cures of The Great
Depression aside, people don’t remember that we once upon a time, less
than 100 years ago, didn’t have a Federal Income Tax, that drugs were
legal (and then alcohol prohibited), and that inflation and interest
rates were double-digits less than 30 full years ago.

Among the most recent things to be completely forgotten are the high
gas prices, peaking in July 2008 with nationwide averages over $4 per
gallon and people in California paying $5 on occasion. Politicians and
pundits blamed this on “speculators” and called for the government to
“do something.” Toyota (TM) Priuses were selling at MSRP or higher.

Less than six months thereafter, gas prices had fallen by over 50%,
and Toyota Priuses now come with $750 rebates to make them move. Never
before did gasoline prices fall so far, so fast. Not even close.

What was the government program that fixed this economic problem? The
answer is none at all. The government didn’t lift a finger to solve
this problem. It let the market do its magic, curing the issue with
its own natural self-healing mechanism first described in Adam Smith’s
The Wealth of Nations [1776]. Sure, there was a lot of huffing and
puffing about what people suggested the government should do, but in
the end the government did nothing. The problem just went away. No
government intervention solved the problem.

Think about it: The one recent problem which the government left to
the free market to solve, got solved in record-short time. Contrast
this to the ever-ballooning demands for the government to “do
something” about the financial and economic crisis. The demands from
almost all ends of the political spectra suggest that we drop all
economic common sense and instead spend money we don’t have.

Think about it again: We got into this mess by borrowing too much,
spending too much, and making too many loans. What’s being proposed?
Let’s spend even more, borrow much more, and make even more loans.
It’s like an alcoholic trying to cure a whiskey bottle’s hangover by
drinking a whole case worth of whiskey the next morning. If there ever
were a more self-evident disaster outcome guaranteed, I can’t think of

The free market cured the high gas problem in less than six months
without the government lifting a finger or spending a dollar.
Likewise, the free market would cure the imprudent debt bubble by
allowing it to be pierced, seeing prices falling, wages falling and
allowing bankruptcies and foreclosures to clean up the imprudent
investments into orderly liquidation. Adjusting wages to demand, would
guarantee full employment as with any other market price.

In a free market, the current recession would probably be cured within
a year or two, and it would allow the government to cut expenses
instead of increasing them. Only by dramatically cutting the size of
our government, so that we can eliminate the deficit and start paying
back the debt, can we restore sanity to our financial and monetary
equation, which includes saving the value of the dollar.

As it stands, we are on a path that will put us in Germany’s World War
I surrender rail car and its 1918-20 aftermath. We will be left with a
debt burden so great that the only way out will be massive inflation,
as we essentially default on government bonds. Germany was left with a
huge war debt after World War I, but because the debt was not
denominated in British Pounds or French Francs, Germany simply
inflated itself out of its obligations, causing dramatic
mis-allocation of resources, societal chaos, the rise of Hitler and
the bloodiest war (World War II) in its wake.

In our case today, the debt-explosion path that we will apparently be
pursuing, will most likely also mean a massive inflation when we
eventually print the money to pay off the bond buyers (read: The
Chinese). China has one of the soundest economies in the world today,
with low or nonexistent public and private debt, and high growth, but
it has invested its surpluses largely in U.S. government bonds.
Whoops! All that the Chinese worked for during the last decade, will
go up in smoke. And in the wake of the Chinese losing their savings
invested in U.S. government debt – another war? We are clearly playing
with fire, taking on all this debt to finance unprecedented levels of
government spending.

Recession Startups: Great Post On Innovation and Entrepreneurship – No Vacation for Entrepreneurs January 21, 2009

Posted by John in social media, Technology.
Tags: , , , ,

I love this post from David Hornik.  I guess that I have an addiction because I love starting companies – I can’t help myself.  His real message is simple – many entrepreneur friends are starting companies in this market. Personally, I think that doing startups is like taking a vacation each startup is like a good journey.

The post is worth of a full posting here on Furrier.org.  Thanks David for a great post.

By the end of 2008, Venture Capital had been officially declared dead. Startups were laying people off so fast that even TechCrunch couldn’t manage to keep up. University Endowments and Foundations, the source of the “capital” in Venture Capital, were hemorrhaging so badly from their public company investments that many long-time believers in “alternative assets” declared a moratorium on Venture Capital. And the IPO market was a distant memory. Good times!

Welcome 2009. The public markets remain closed. Venture investors and the investors in venture investors remain “challenged.” Follow on financings have become increasingly difficult, in some instances impossible. And, while there may well be light at the end of the tunnel, it would appear that we haven’t gotten far enough down the tunnel yet to see that light.

So why am I optimistic about investing in 2009? Because entrepreneurship is an addiction, it isn’t a choice. Great entrepreneurs aren’t driven to create companies because it is easy, or because capital is plentiful, or because the public markets are swallowing anything the venture community will throw at them. Great entrepreneurs start companies because they can’t help themselves. They see a problem or a solution or white space or an opportunity and they have to do something about it.

Innovation doesn’t take a vacation during an economic downturn. Innovation is a constant. While the resources an entrepreneur may be able to bring to bear on a problem may vary with the economic climate, the desire — the need — to innovate never goes away. And Venture Capital is the fuel of that innovation. [1]

So I remain excited about the companies that will be started in 2009. There will be great companies started during this economic crisis. Some of them will be born out of the crisis itself. Others will simply be born during the crisis. But, rest assured, there will be important tech companies hatched in the next year or two. And I am certainly hoping to fund them.

Some of you reading this will say to yourselves “starting companies today is so inexpensive that we don’t need no stinkin’ VCs.” More power to you. I don’t mean to suggest that innovation will die without Venture Capital. There are many great ideas that can come to fruition without a meaningfully-large capital infusion. My hat is off to the 37 Signals and Smugmugs of this world. But for those ideas that require investment ahead of revenue to reach their full potential, Venture Capital remains an important resource for company building.

Cisco Buying Sun? – Cisco Announces It’s Move Into Server Business January 21, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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NOTE:  Visit the siliconANGLE blog for a community of bloggers on Social Web and Technology Opinion and Analysis.  THANKS

This past October I posted about Cisco getting into servers and compute.  I broke the news quietly but only a few handful of insiders got the message (GigaOm reported early in March 2008).   Word has been circulating on the street for many months on this announcement and it will sure have an impact on Cisco’s partners. Now it’s been finally announced.

What is now being kicked around is Cisco’s move to buyout Sun Microsystems.

What do you think?  Should Cisco buy Sun and really get into the server business?

Obama’s Inauguration Speech – Alternative Version January 19, 2009

Posted by John in Technology.
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By Anton Wahlman

My fellow Americans, change has arrived in Washington.  Not as much in
the area of foreign policy and homeland defense, because I realize
that my predecessor and distant cousin Dick Cheney had it right in the
hours and days following 9/11 when he set this great Republic on a war
footing to defeat the enemy and protect the homeland.  Seeing as I
would rather not have another 9/11 – or worse – on my watch, the
change will come primarily in the area of economic policy, where my
predecessor presided over many failures and set a dangerous course for
this country, particularly in the last year.

My new administration promises a clean break with the failed policies
of the past.  In the last eight years, government spending grew to new
heights, from $2 trillion per year to over $4 trillion this year.
This stratospheric rise in the growth of the US government’s burden on
the people is nothing less than a crime against our beloved
constitution and the intent of the Fathers of the 1776 Declaration of
Independence.  In recent times, the US government has failed to impose
on itself any of the restraints that have made this country so special
for so long.

To the contrary, the US government is now engaged in a long list of
activities and spending not authorized by our most fundamental
governing document.  Working with Congress, I will seek to restore the
US government to its constitutional limits in my first year in office.
What this means in practice is a rapid shut-down of all government
departments except the Departments of Justice, Defense and Homeland
Security.  This means that all these other unconstitutional creations
of the 20th century, such as the Departments of Education, Energy,
Commerce, Health and Human Affairs, Interior will all cease operations
in this glorious year of 2009.

The Federal government’s budget deficit, which the first time exceeds
$1 trillion, will also be eliminated this year.  Yet, I will also
abolish all of the destructive and unjust taxes that have mushroomed
over the last 95 years in particular: the income tax, the death tax,
the capital gains tax, the corporate tax and the dividend tax.  These
tax cuts will once again make the US economy competitive with the
countries around the world where economic growth and liberty has
recently exceeded our own.

My first budget, which I intend to deliver to Congress already this
afternoon in the hope of a speedy approval, will authorize total
Federal expenses of less than $1 trillion over the next year, which is
an amount ten times greater than President John F. Kennedy’s 1961
budget.  This will fund an efficient Federal judiciary, our military
defense, and the ongoing war against terrorism.

What the new budget will not do, because it is being returned to its
constitutional limitations, is to send checks – to anybody or
anything.  If you or your company has an addiction to receiving money
from the government, this will be the year when you sober up.  It will
not matter whether you are rich, poor or in-between – the time of
government spending money on you are now over.  Every single
government program providing services or sending out checks, will come
to an end.  You and your company will live in the freedom of keeping
what you earn and receive in voluntary help from your friends, family
and any charitable institutions, but the mirror image of this blessing
of freedom is that government will not support anybody or anything.  I
am breaking the back on welfare state dependency and entitlement by
going cold turkey on all recipients, large and small.

This restoration of the constitutional legitimacy of the US government
will be funded by a simple flat tax on US adults: At $1 trillion in
total annual Federal expenses, a number which may end up even lower,
it represents a flat $5,000 tax on each of our 200 million US adults.
There will no longer be any need to file an income tax return, keeping
any receipts, paying a tax preparer, or equivalent.  This flat $5,000
tax will be due in monthly installments of $417, equivalent of $13.70
per day.

I expect the impact on the economy from this simple flax tax to be
profound.  People will be able to work as much as they want, and
invest in any way they want, knowing that every incremental dollar
they earn will be theirs to keep.  All of the lost productivity
resulting from tax-avoidance and the administration associated with
corporate payrolls, will remain with us only in the form of an
unpleasant memory, similar to the memories of living behind the Iron
Curtain and Berlin Wall before 1989.  Small business will be able to
form without any bureaucratic hassle.  The entrepreneurial spirit will
be unshackled from all red tape, bureaucracy and tax disincentives.

My plan to cut over 75% of all Federal government expenses, and fund
the remainder with a flat $5,000 tax, will also help cure political
corruption in Washington DC.  Lobbyists come to us because we have
money to spend, and they seek to maximize their share of the pie.  My
cold turkey approach to restoring the US government to its
constitutionally legitimate size will make almost all lobbyists
obsolete: If the size of the pie is zero, there is nothing for which
you can lobby.

So in closing, I can say with confidence that the 75% or greater
reduction in size of the US government will bring about a rebirth of
the era of freedom, rugged individualism and self-reliance.  It will
allow the US government to focus on its constitutionally narrow
purpose of securing the property rights of our individual citizens,
and to protect our country from those who seek to do us harm.  This
focus will enable us to perform these duties better.  With this, I
salute our constitution, our Founders and our Declaration of
Independence.  Now let’s get on with it.  Thank you, and God Bless

Furrier.org Is Media Partner at MediaBistro’s User Generated Content Conference January 17, 2009

Posted by John in social media.

Furrier.org will be at the Mediabistro User Generated Content conference.  I will be covering the event and hopefully announcing some new things. I love mediabistro because it reminds me of my eastcoast upbringing – they have good content but edgy in a professional way.

Here is the info on Mediabistro’s User Generated Content Conference in February 9-10 in San Jose.

UGCX is part trade show, and part educational conference program. Conference program sessions will be loaded with successful case studies and business models in four tracks: social content, photography, video & gaming, and music. Our trade show floor will feature all the relevant vendors you need to connect with to gain new resources and tools to stay ahead of the social media curve.

Because face-to-face interaction will never be beat as a means of relationship building, we are stocking our 2-day event full of networking opportunities, so you can be sure to leave with lasting connections to help you create, use, and profit from user-generated content.

Join the new media revolution. Register today.

Here are the speakers of UGC Conference

–> <!–







Yuri Arcurs is the world’s top selling microstock photographer and sells over 1,1million individual licenses per year. The list of clients that have bought and used his pictures, include Time Magazine, MTV, Sony, MSN.com, Microsoft, Samsung, Hewlett Packard, Tyra Banks Show, Late Night Show and many more.

Terry Balagia, , Co-CEO, SnowballMedia.mobi, Inc.
Most recently Mr. Balagia served as SVP/Dir. of Creative Marketing FOX BROADCASTING NETWORK, Los Angeles where he worked on the launch of American Idol and The OC. Prior to that, Mr. Balagia was executive creative director at some of the largest advertising agencies in the world. He has created ad campaigns for many major brands including Toyota, Nabisco, Blue Cross, Activision, GM, Sony, Proctor&Gamble, to name a few. Mr. Balagia’s career includes stints as:

  • EVP/Executive Creative Director/Co-Managing Director DMB&B, Los Angeles
  • EVP/Executive Creative Director, Saatchi & aatchi/Canada:
  • Creative Director Saatchi & Saatchi, Los Angeles
  • Co-founder/President Third Channel Communications, Century City: A digital entertainment company for the mobile space

Ryan Barrett, Co-founder of Google App Engine, Google
Ryan Barrett is a co-founder of Google App Engine and the lead engineer on the datastore. He’s a systems engineer at heart who got sidetracked into making webapps scale. Before App Engine, Ryan worked on transaction processing, database sharding, distributed and grid computing, network protocols, and open source. Outside of work, Ryan hobnobs with celebrities, wins Nobel Prizes, cures cancer, and recently achieved nirvana. (That was on Tuesday.)

Lane Becker, Co-Founder & President, Get Satisfaction
Lane Becker is co-founder and President of Get Satisfaction, a web startup dedicated to fostering new methods of communication and collaboration between companies and their customers. Previously, Lane was co-founder of Adaptive Path, a user experience strategy, research, and design consultancy, known for, among other things, coining the technology terms “blog” and “ajax.”

Rick Becker-Leckrone has worked in the commercial stock photography business for over 17 years. In various roles as a photographer, editor, creative director, and technologist, Rick has had an opportunity to work with many of the top photo agencies and commercial advertising photographers in the U.S. and abroad. As Director of Content and Technology at upstart agency Digital Stock, Rick had an integral role in the development of the company and eventual sale to Bill Gates’ Corbis Images in 1998. Upon Digital Stock’s acquisition, Rick was promoted to Co-Director of Commercial Photography and had a unique opportunity to oversee the creative efforts and content development efforts of this world-class image collection. In 2001 Rick left Corbis to create imagery full time for Corbis, Getty Images and PictureArts. In 2004, Rick founded Blend Images, a stock collection emphasizing ethnic diversity. Blend Images is distributed by over 250 agencies world-wide. Blend Images has gained wide acceptance of as one of the strongest niche commercial stock collections in the industry.

Barry Benson, President, Stratus Digital Music
In 1991, Mr. Benson began his career as the Director of Radio Promotions for Walt Disney’s newly founded record label, Hollywood Records. Three years later, Mr. Benson segued to A&M Records where he oversaw radio promotion for the likes of Mint Condition and Barry White.In 1995, Mr. Benson would embark upon his most storied musical journey, as the Director of Rhino Records Urban Division. In this capacity, Mr. Benson created, produced, and marketed over 47 CD releases, over a nine year span.

Making the transition from the traditional record business to digital music was seamless for Mr. Benson, given his extensive experience. In 2003, Mr. Benson was at the ground floor of ringtone/mobile phone entertainment technology, working as a Director of Merchandising for InfoSpace Mobile. Mr. Benson was then tapped to head Digital Marketing for Universal Music Group/Interscope/Geffen/A&M.

In 2008, Barry launched his own digital music marketing company called Stratus Digital Music Marketing, based in Los Angeles, California. SDMM focuses on implementing online campaigns with recording artists. Mr. Benson also oversees the Urban, Electronic, Jazz, and World Music, content and marketing strategy for the iTunes Essentials Store. He also hosts a weekly podcast, along with the iTunes music team, entitled iTunes Weekly Rewind. His latest endeavor includes online content creation and strategy for Vivendi/Universal, CodeBlack Entertainment.

Benveniste has a unique and rich background in connecting, empowering, mobilizing and influencing youth culture. He founded StreetWise in 1997 to promote the band System Of A Down and is responsible for the company’s overarching philosophy that has established StreetWise as an award winning, premiere social marketing agency specializing in the youth market, community and the brand building experience.Benveniste began his entrepreneurial pursuits as an independent band manager through which he founded Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group, a music management company with an impressive roster of top-selling and Grammy winning artists, that include System Of A Down, Deftones, Alice In Chains and Cypress Hill. Concurrent to his role at StreetWise, Benveniste is also CEO of Velvet Hammer.

Benveniste grew up in Beverly Hills, CA and is a graduate of Beverly High. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Communications from The University of Southern California.

David Berkowitz, Director of Emerging Media & Client Strategy, 360i
David Berkowitz is Director of Emerging Media & Client Strategy for 360i, a leading digital marketing agency. He helps 360i’s leading brands in media & entertainment, retail, and other verticals leverage marketing opportunities at the nexus of search engine marketing and social media. Additionally, he has penned a weekly column for MediaPost (Search Insider and Online Spin) since 2004, with 200 columns written to date.Prior to 360i, he served as director of marketing for Viewpoint’s rich media advertising group Unicast and search engine marketing firm iCrossing. Previously, with research firm eMarketer, he interviewed 175 executives, authors, and analysts on the cutting edge of technology and business. His writing has also appeared in Ad Age, DM News, MarketingProfs, iMedia Connection, and other publications. Mr. Berkowitz has also blogged extensively, launching MarketersStudio.com, an Ad Age Power 150 media & marketing blog. He has contributed to MarketingVox, nowEurope, AdTechBlog, ReverseDirectMarketing.com and Rich Media Today.

He’s been spotted and heard on the airwaves (CBS, NBC, CNBC, Canada’s ROB TV, Bloomberg Radio, CNET Radio, Reuters TV) in print (CNN.com, Reuters, Associated Press, DM News, Ad Age, Adweek, BtoB), and online (MediaPost, iMedia, ClickZ) commenting on internet, advertising, media, and technology trends.

John P. Bevilaqua, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Digital College Network
John Bevilaqua currently serves as Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Digital College Network. John has spent over 25 years in marketing, communications, public relations, special events and sports marketing. He began his career with Coca-Cola USA and served as National Sports Marketing Manager and 1984 Olympic Project Manager. In 1983 John was “loaned” to the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee where he served as Director of Corporate Relations, Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Communications managing a wide variety of external relations activities.Upon returning to Atlanta in the Fall of 1984, John founded Bevilaqua International, Inc. and for the ensuing 12 years consulted to corporations and special events such as: 1986 Goodwill Games (Moscow); 1986 (Soccer) World Cup (Mexico City); 1992 Olympic Games (Barcelona); 1996 Olympic Games (Atlanta); 1996 Paralympic Games and other international events. His agency also provided marketing counsel to a variety of corporations including: 3M Corp, York International, IBM, Coca-Cola, EDS, Chase Manhattan Bank, Turner Broadcasting, First Union Bank, Gulfstream, AT&T and others.

Since 1994 John has served as President and CEO of Creative Marketing Strategies headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Mr. Bevilaqua has created a variety of strategic communications programs and platforms for a wide range of clients. Integration of new technologies with traditional strategic marketing counsel has been the hallmark of John’s most recent professional development.

Aaron Booth, Director, Commercial Media Partners and Community Content, Corbis
As Director, Commercial Media Partners and Community Content, Aaron Booth is responsible for designing and managing the product sourcing strategy for the Corbis and Veer brands. In this role, he manages creative directors and product managers for photography, illustration, type and community content. Aaron is based in Calgary, Canada.Prior to joining Corbis in 2008, Aaron was Director of Products at Veer, responsible for managing Veer’s third-party image strategy and supplier relationships, image editing and Veer’s Hispanic brand, Somos.

Before entering the stock photography industry, Aaron was a founding member of Viewit.ca, a successful online property advertising platform in Toronto, becoming the company’s national Photographer Operations Manager.

Outside of the stock photo business, Aaron is an independent singer-songwriter and music producer, having released five albums since 2001, licensed his songs for TV and film and has toured Canada, USA, Japan and Europe.

Ellen Boughn, Director of Content, Dreamstime
Ellen Boughn was the founder of the early commercial, rights managed stock photo agency After-Image that ultimately became part of Getty Images. She has held executive positions at Corbis Images, Getty Images (Stone), Workbookstock, Punchstock, UpperCut Images and SuperStock. Current she is the Director of Content for the microstock company, Dreamstime, as well as acting as an independent consultant and appraiser of intellectual property and an expert witness in matters relating to the commercial value copyrights associated with photography. She writes a weekly informative blog for the over 1 million members of Dreamstime and is currently under contract to write a book about the microstock business. Her special skills include extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of the stock photo industry, including editing, licensing, contracts, acquisitions, pricing and general executive management.

Nate is currently the founder and CEO of Groupable.com, a group sponsorship marketplace servicing large brands and local merchants by providing them direct access to their target markets through offline groups, such as Little League teams, soccer mom organizations and singles clubs.Prior to Groupable, Brochin founded Rare Medium Group in 1995, helping to build one of the leading Internet consultancies in the world and managing its growth with $85 million in revenue and over 900 employees in 5 years.

Following his success with Rare Medium (RRRR), Brochin founded and served as President and COO of Savos, Inc., the first company to deliver streaming audio to mobile phones. Brochin was a patent co-author of the proprietary hardware/software product, eventually purchased by GiantBear, Inc. and released as a service offering by InfoSpace in 2002.

Nate has been invited to speak at conferences on topics that include “Managing Rapid Growth”, “Professional Responsibility”, “Youth Marketing” and “Mobile Marketing Trends.”

Brochin received an MBA from the London School of Economics, an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and a BA from Oberlin College. Mr. Brochin also serves on the board of Clancy Productions, an award-winning off-Broadway production company specializing in intellectually engaging contemporary American theater.

After getting a Computer Science degree from Case Western Reserve University, Paul worked at Intel, and then Google. There, he was the engineer behind Gmail. Paul is also responsible for Google’s famous “Don’t be evil” motto and the first AdSense prototype. He left Google in 2006 and co-founded FriendFeed in October, 2007. Paul got married in a tiger suit.

Ryan Buckley, Vice President & CFO, Scripped, Inc.
Ryan Buckley is Vice President & CFO of Scripped, Inc. At Scripped, Ryan is responsible for business development and legal strategy. Prior to his role at Scripped, Ryan worked in the corporate litigation group at Navigant Consulting. Ryan is currently enrolled in a joint Master’s degree program with MIT Sloan and the Harvard Kennedy School, where he is focusing on entrepreneurship and political Internet campaigns. Ryan also holds a dual B.S./B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in economics and environmental sciences.

Jim Caparro is an accomplished Chief Executive with broad-based expertise in managing and evaluating business solutions and developing effective solutions. He founded the Entertainment Distribution Company, a neutral provider of complete supply chain solutions for the entertainment industry. As well as the Island Def Jam Music Group, creating one of the largest and most profitable record labels in the industry. He also created PolyGram Group Distribution, which became one of the largest and respected full service entertainment distribution companies in the US.Caparro redefined and developed varied businesses including Video, Special Markets, Merchandising and Diversified Entertainment, New Media, Business Development and Independent Distribution. He has more than 25 years of execution management experience in marketing, sales and operations and has achieved international recognition for repeated “start-up and turnaround” success. Caparro is an established respected leader in building highly motivated and dedicated staffs and holds a proven track record for successfully integrating and optimizing merged operations and cultures.

Chris Chinn, Vice President of Sales, Watercooler
Chris Chinn is the vice president of sales for Watercooler and is responsible for revenue generation. He has been in media advertising sales for more than 19 years with online and broadcast television companies ranging from media conglomerates to startups. Chris realized the potential of social media’s impact on advertising and has contributed to several industry-leading companies such as AOL Instant Messenger, Facebook, Bebo and SocialMedia. Some of the key marketers Chris has worked with include Nike, Coca-Cola, Apple, HP, Nintendo, McDonald’s, Sony and Universal Pictures. Chris built the U.S. sales team for Bebo, which was acquired by AOL in early 2008. Prior to Bebo, Chris ran Northwest regional sales at Facebook where he led the iTunes partnership, which was the largest-ever iTunes music promotion for Apple to date. While at AOL, Chris oversaw U.S. sales for Netscape and regional sales for AOL’s Web Properties over nearly seven years.

Kevin Chou is the CEO of Watercooler, the world’s largest fan community online for sports and TV audiences. Kevin has led the company from its founding to over 25 million application installations users across the Watercooler network. Watercooler’s products enable passionate fans to connect with other fans inside their favorite social networks. Prior to Watercooler, Kevin spent several years at the global venture capital firm Canaan Partners investing in digital media, consumer internet services, and online advertising companies. Kevin took part in funding 10 companies during his tenure at Canaan Partners, deploying part of the firm’s $2.3 billion of capital. Earlier in Kevin’s career, he advised public technology companies on M&A and corporate finance as part of Deutsche Bank’s investment banking arm in San Francisco. Kevin holds a BS from University of California, Berkeley in Business Administration, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.

Dawn Clark is a sensitive and pioneer in Cyberenergetics, a field that influences game theory, psychology, biological systems, organizational structure, systems theory, architecture and more. Her deep insights in energy dynamics at the sub-atomic level are relevant for developing strategic direction, alignment, and understanding how products engage, engross, and become viral.Where most people see empty space, Dawn perceives wave form, frequency, and interaction. Recognizing her natural gifts, a former elite US counter intelligence agent trained her in the art of spycraft and developed her skills in remote viewing, subtle energy perception and engagement. Rather than work in the government arena, Dawn chose instead to create solutions to help people and organizations realize their potential. Internationally published, Dawn has guided clients with Fox Entertainment, ABC, PBS, Wall Street Journal, 2010 Olympics, creative artists, and entrepreneurs. Faculty at Omega Institute, she is a member of the AHP, ISSSEEM, and FMBR.

Kelly Cline, Photographer & Food Stylist, Kelly Cline Photography
Kelly Cline is a Seattle photographer specializing in shooting Food and Food Lifestyle images. She has been dubbed by many as a “Food Pornographer.”Kelly’s work has been featured in several magazines, newspapers, books, billboards and television. She was the sole photographer for the New York Times Best Selling Cook Book from Hungry Girl. She currently resides and maintains a studio in Seattle, Washington.

Mr. Collier has over twenty years of experience in corporate finance, accounting, and computer science. He specializes in the development and financing of early stage/growth companies and has provided his clientele with comprehensive business services which have included: strategic planning; corporate formation; branding and positioning; mergers and acquisitions; business development; business plan compilation; reverse mergers; equity and debt structure and financing; augmentation of management; capital restructuring; joint ventures; and procurement of channel partners.Concurrently, Mr. Collier is a Managing Member and Co-Founder of C2 Capital, LLC, a private financer providing bridge loans and financing the cost for private companies to go public. From May of 2005 to the beginning of August 2007, Mr. Collier was the Managing Director and CEO of Greenbridge Capital Group, Inc., a company specializing in developing and financing early stage companies. From October of 2004 to April 2005, Mr. Collier was a Venture Consultant to Funk Ventures Business Services, LLC and from January of 2003 to January of 2005, Mr. Collier was the president of EuroBancorp a multi-faceted corporation with services including business development and investment banking consultancy and prior to that, Mr. Collier held the position of President with Fillet Capital Corporation an international investment banking firm established in 1953.

In 2000 and 2001, Mr. Collier was the Southern California Regional Co-Chair for the United Association of Equipment Leasing, and in 2001 was the keynote speaker at Euromoney’s Equipment Leasing Conference of the Americas.

Marty Taylor Collins, Group Marketing Manager Windows Consumer Marketing, Microsoft
Marty Collins is a Group Marketing Manager in the Windows consumer marketing group at Microsoft. As leader of the Windows Social Media Team she is responsible for building a strong community ecosystem for Windows and Windows Live customers using social networking techniques.Before joining the Windows Live marketing team Marty worked in the Developer Platform & Evangelism group at Microsoft focused on building technical community. Prior to Microsoft Marty worked at Oracle focusing on user groups, and in New York City marketing for professional services.

Marty was born and raised in Seattle; she has a BA from the University of Washington and an MBA from Seattle University. You can find her at martycollinsblog.spaces.live.com

Jerome Conlon, President & Founder, Brand Frameworks
Jerome Conlon is president and founder of Brand Frameworks, LLC, a national business consultancy based in Portland, Oregon that focuses on brand, marketing and business development. Brand development always starts on the inside. Jerome first looks through the lens of internal strengths and cultural values before devising strategies for growth. Jerome’s career experience spans a range of brands and industries. He was the Director of Marketing Insights and Planning for Nike, Inc. for the ten years of greatest % growth (1986 – 1996). He then went on to be the Director of Brand Planning, Marketing Insights and Category Development at Starbucks Coffee Company (1996-1998) and; he was Senior VP Marketing and Program Development Research at NBC Entertainments (1998-2000); and CMO at Internap Network Services (2000-2002).Jerome has 25 years experience in categories that include: new media, automotive, entertainment, healthcare, beverages, financial services, retailing, real estate, education, sports footwear & apparel, quick service restaurants and internet services. He is a (magna cum laude) graduate of Gonzaga University 1978 in Economics & Accounting and in 1980 with a Masters in Business Administration.

David Dalka, Internet Marketing Strategy Consultant / President, daviddalka.com
David is a passionate voice for fully considering Internet / search engine marketing and social media strategy at the c-level executive and board of directors level and integrating the activities into corporate culture. His interests are in seeing organizations outperform by acting nimbly, with a bias for action and utilizing current marketing technology to create customer focused experiences that drive revenue growth. You may ask David to speak at your conference or private session and seek his consulting, read his executive leadership credentials, visit his Internet Marketing Management Strategy blog or follow him on Twitter.

Shay David, VP Business and Community Development, Kaltura Inc.
Dr. Shay David is a scholar and serial entrepreneur who specializes in collaborative and open-source information and communication systems. Shay is the co-founder of Kaltura, a pioneer in collaborative media, where he oversees technology and strategy. Kaltura has developed the world’s first open source video solution stack, and is empowering the next generation of Wikipedia and sites like the UN’s with collaborative rich media functionalities. Prior to Kaltura, Shay was a co-founder of Destinator Technologies, a leader in mobile-GPS-navigation software, and MindEcho, a collaborative filtering software company. Shay was involved for many years in cutting edge software research, combining open source and proprietary software.He lead various product development cycles from concept to market and consulted on open systems to Fortune 500 companies like Toyota and Becton Dickson. Shay holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Philosophy, Magna Cum Laude, from Tel-Aviv University, and an M.A. from New York University. Shay wrote his PhD dissertation on ‘The social construction of participatory information networks’ at Cornell and he is also a fellow at The Information Society Project at the Yale Law School. Shay has published extensively in leading academic journals, and has presented his work all over the world. He lives in New York City with his wife Ofri, an artist who works on large-scale video art projects.

Jay Durgan, Member of the Board of Directors, Outhink Media, Inc.
Jay Durgan serves on the Board of Directors to technology incubator/VC Outhink Media, Inc. – http://www.outhink.com – and provides consulting services to its subsidiaries, MEDIAmobz, Inc., SpinXpress and OurMedia.Durgan also actively participates in advisory boards to and/or has minority equity interests in mobile application provider TagText, London, England and speech replication technology company Voxonic, New York.

He has exceptional experience and extensive knowledge: 1) building businesses; 2) developing and exploiting brands; 3) generating new revenue sources for established products; 4) identifying new technologies that represent valid business opportunities; and 5) in many countries, economies, political circumstances and other unique climates.

Prior to joining Outhink Media, Jay headed Warner Music International’s business development efforts throughout the world excluding USA from their London headquarters. Durgan also served as Warner’s head of global marketing between 2000 and 2004 and held similar positions at both Universal Music Group and PolyGram between 1996 and 1999.

Fred Durham, CEO and Co-founder, CafePress
As Chief Executive Officer, Fred is responsible for setting the overall vision and strategy of CafePress. He also oversees the running of all business units and operations. Prior to starting CafePress.com, Fred and fellow business partner Maheesh Jain launched over ten companies – most failed. In 1999, taking the best elements from two of their failures, they launched CafePress. Since then, Fred has steered CafePress’s growth from two people in a dusty garage to the recognized leader in user generated commerce with over 400 employees in two locations and a community of 6.5 million members. While he never finished high school, he did end up with a political science degree from Northwestern. A vegetarian and spiritual monist, he nonetheless has a soft-spot for vehicles: “Think Gandhi with wheels”. He currently drives a 56 Bel Air, ’62 Fiat Multipla, a ’68 cinquecento, and a two-wheeled Triumph Bonneville.

Serban Enache is the co-founder of Dreamstime.com. As CEO and active Managing Director, Enache is responsible for the development and implementation of specific strategic plans (business, creative and marketing) and he oversees their operation. Serban and his associates have brought the three-year young stock photography company to platinum status within the industry.A graduate of the University of Architecture and Urban Planning (Bucharest, Romania) with a specialization in Form Representation & Interior Design Studies, Serban has worked exclusively in the design industry over the course of the last ten years.Prior to his full-time commitment to Dreamstime.com, Enache was co-founder and Creative Director of Archiweb, the company that developed and launched Dreamstime.com. As Creative Director of Archiweb, he was instrumental in the development and creation of establishing an online presence for a number of Fortune 500 companies including Xerox, Unilever and Despec. Since 1998, Archiweb has become an award-winning leader among web design companies in SE Europe.

DCN has an exclusive deal with Follett Higher Learning, the largest college bookstore chain on campus with more than 850 colleges and universities reaching more than 90 million annually. DCN provides LCD screens to the stores displaying UGC by students for students with SMS, text capabilities to the 18-24 market. Launched in may of 08, DCN has launched six channels including a Music, entertainment (film), Sports, Eco, Comedy and All College.

Jay Fajardo, COO & Co-Founder, DesireMesh
Jay is a technopreneur, startup junkie, and code jockey. From 2002 to 2008, Jay was founder and CEO of Airborne Access, the Philippines’ pioneer and largest Wi-Fi service provider. After building the company for almost 6 years, Jay and the other founding shareholders fully divested their equity in the company, now fully owned by SMART Communications, the country’s largest mobile phone carrier. With almost 20 years of tech experience, Jay has been involved in many startup ventures in various internet and technology concerns including new media, applications development, and VOIP. Jay plays Division 2 soccer, is a voracious reader, and a history buff.

Scott Fennel is a member of ICCS Partners, a Los Angeles-based consultancy where he creates and executes consumer-facing business and marketing strategy for start-ups and Fortune 100 companies. Among Mr. Fennel’s current engagements are an advertising agency and motion picture studio venture creating a long-term strategic plan for an existing film and television character; a national law firm expanding its presence in California and Nevada; multiple consumer products; and a record label / management company start-up focusing on A&R for emerging artists. Prior to ICCS, Mr. Fennel practiced law from 1988 – 2003, focusing on IP and Entertainment litigation and strategy for studios, labels and corporations. Additionally, Scott operated Serious Music, LLC and its related labels / publishing companies; created and produced Spanish DVD’s in the fitness market; and is a founder of the first independent anti-doping agency in professional cycling.

Dennis Fong, CEO & Founder, Raptr
Dennis (a.k.a. Thresh) was previously a die-hard PC gamer as the world champion of Doom, Doom 2, Quake, and Quake 2 and was called the “Michael Jordan of Videogames” by the Wall St. Journal. These days, you’re more likely to find him playing Guitar Hero (X360), Starcraft (PC), Bejeweled 2 (XBLA), and Desktop Tower Defense (Flash). Dennis founded Raptr out of his frustration of not being able to easily keep track of his friends playing across so many platforms. Prior to Raptr, Dennis co-founded three successful startups: Xfire, Lithium, and Gamers.com.

Miles Forman, Creative Director, DCN
As Creative Director, Miles Forman visits college campuses to create original programming for DCN that features students and faculty.Miles, a native of Fort Lauderdale, attended the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and has worked on a wide variety of projects since graduating.

He got his start working on the film Striptease, featuring Demi Moore. Shortly after, he traveled to New York to produce his first film, The Ride. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he produced See Dick Die, a horror film based on Jack Kevorkian.

It was during the filming of See Dick Die that he met Doug Deluca, a longtime producer of Jimmy Kimmel’s Man Show, Crank Yankers and Jimmy Kimmel Live. Miles would remain in LA and work on a wide variety of projects from feature films to television programs.

In 2003, Miles began production on Fatboy: The Movie, a documentary that tells the story of Miles’ mission to lose more than 50 pounds. Fatboy: The Movie went on the festival circuit and brought home five awards and much national praise from festivals and critics alike.

Evan Forster is Chairman of Forster Brothers Entertainment LLC, a niche consulting firm that focuses on marketing strategies and brand development for artists and businesses in the entertainment industry. Prior to founding Forster Bros Entertainment, Evan was the Head of the Crossover division at Universal Music Group where he spearheaded the launch of several platinum recording artists. His music career began when Evan was recruited out of a talent agency mailroom to head up a start up division for A&M Records, where he soon became President and GM of Tuff Break Records, the first hip hop label in the companies 50 year history. Evan is also CEO and President of TUFF BREAK, the first multi platform feedback based intermediary for aspiring artists in the entertainment industry. He is also an accomplished screenwriter, published author and runs Huddies Buddies, a charitable organization which provides toys to children in need.

For more than fifteen years, Jonnie Forster has thrived as a successful entrepreneur in a number of industries. Best known for his establishment in the music entertainment business, Forster created the diversified entertainment marketing firm, Forster Bros Entertainment in Los Angeles. A well-connected man in the entertainment industry, Forster began his career at Capitol Records and quickly rose to become the youngest director in the worldwide EMI family of labels. Realizing his need to be his own boss, Forster soon opened his own company with his two brothers and quickly secured production ventures with Warner Bros. Records, Sony Music, BMG, and EMI while simultaneously creating the premier music supervision company for the video game industry with a roster of clients that includes EA Sports, Sony Computer Entertainment America, and Activision. Prior to Forster Bros. Entertainment, Forster was a marketing executive at Capitol Records where he was an essential leader in widely successful campaigns for The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Jimi Hendrix. In addition, he executive-produced funk legend George Clinton’s “Greatest Funkin’ Hits” album and hosted the first-ever live Internet webcast with Clinton and Macromedia. He presently works closely with the Bob Marley Estate and his recording studio, Forster Sound.

Laura Fortner, SVP, Marketing & Insight, CafeMom
Laura leads efforts to build CafeMom’s profile with consumers, businesses and the media. She also oversees the strategy and research teams, and is responsible for proving the value of advertising programs, sharing insights with our partners, and generally establishing CafeMom as a leading source of mom expertise and insights in the marketplace.Laura was previously CafeMom’s senior vice president of Sales Strategy and Operations, where she was responsible for developing and marketing the company’s sales offerings, and overseeing the production, management and measurement of all advertising programs. Prior to joining CafeMom in 2006, she held executive positions in sales and business development at Time Warner’s CNN, CNN.com and CNNmoney.com, and prior to that, at Viacom’s Nickelodeon. Laura holds a BA in East Asian Studies from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and three young sons.

Zachary Freer, VP & Co-Founder, Scripped.com
Zachary Freer is VP and Co-Founder of Scripped.com, a free screenwriting software and community for professional and aspiring writers of new media including videos, webisodes, tv shows, and films. Prior to Scripped, he graduated from Claremont McKenna College and earned his MFA from the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California’s Cinema School. He has worked as an independent producer and is also an award-winning writer/director.Using his combined experience in the entertainment industry and new technologies, Zachary brings his unique perspective to industry relations, product development, business strategy, and user interface design for Scripped.com.

Peggy Fry, Senior Vice President, Clearspring Technologies
Peggy Fry is Senior Vice President at Clearspring Technologies, managing the company’s business development and client services business.Previously, Ms. Fry was Vice President of Ad Sales for Netflix where she developed and launched an online and offline targeted advertising platform for the entertainment community.

From 2002-2005, Ms. Fry served as president of Smashing Entertainment, a film production and co-financing company she helped create to produce films for television and theatrical distribution. The company’s productions have appeared at the Sundance Film Festival and on Showtime, as well as direct-to-DVD.

From 1997 to 2002, she held a series of increasingly senior sales positions at America Online, including vice president of interactive marketing for the AOL Entertainment Group. In this role, she was responsible for AOL’s studio relationships covering both filmed and home entertainment.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Fry held sales positions at several large print publishing concerns, including Hearst Publishing, Family Media and Lang Communications.

Amit Gadhia, Founder & CEO, Artyllect
Amit Gadhia is founder and CEO of Artyllect, a web2.0, open source and mobile application development consulting company. Artyllect is headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Los Angeles, New York and Mumbai. Amit and his engineering team are experts in the art and science of extreme programming and rapid prototyping. Artyllect i.e. a mind of the artistic and the intellect helps entrepreneurs develop a social application distribution strategy that includes facebook application development, iphone gadgets/widgets and Google’s open-social and Android sandbox suites. Apart from strategy and application development, Amit also helps entrepreneurs raise venture capital and team building. Amit holds a Bachelors in Business from Kennesaw State University.

Jordan Gimbel is Counsel at Jones Day and has experience in patent litigation involving pharmaceuticals and chiral compounds as well as software, telecommunications, and electronic devices. Additionally, Jordan assists clients in securing their intellectual property rights and prosecuting such rights before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in similar foreign governmental offices. Before joining Jones Day, Jordan represented clients in negotiations involving entertainment and media properties and drafted a variety of licenses. His experience with media and licenses involving multimedia extend back to the years he worked as director of business development at a national multimedia company based in Los Angeles.

Dan Greenberg, Founder & Chief Operating Officer, 750 Industries
A native of the San Francisco Bay area, Dan Greenberg is responsible for operations, sales and customer development at 750 Industries. Greenberg is a 2007 graduate of Stanford University with a BA in Economics. In 2008, he dropped out of a Stanford Masters program in Management Science and Engineering to work full time building 750 Industries. While an undergrad at Stanford, Greenberg studied persuasive technologies and later was the lead course assistant for the first-ever “Facebook Class” in the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, exploring how persuasion strategies and digital technology can bring about behavioral change. While still at Stanford, Greenberg and fellow student Matt Monahan co-founded The CoMotion Group, a consulting company that helped large companies design successful viral video campaigns. Through CoMotion and the Stanford research experience, Greenberg and 750 co-founders Keintz, Monahan and Fan identified a need for scalable technologies to help brands reach target audiences via evolving media, leading to the formation of 750 Industries.

Jim Greer is the co-founder and CEO of Kongregate, a startup that combines over 2800 user-submitted Flash games with achievements, high scores, chat, and other community features. Developers share in ad and microtransaction revenue, and retain the rights to their games. Before founding Kongregate in June 2006, Jim was Technical Director for Pogo at Electronic Arts.

John Griffin is a former Wall Street stock trader turned entrepreneur. He founded Cutcaster in the spring of 2006 and launched the site into beta in April of 2008. The education he got while working with electronic trading platforms on Wall Street, his passion for media of all types and his A.D.H.D, led him to create a dynamic marketplace that could be used by anyone to buy, sell and request digital photos, vector illustrations and videos seamlessly over the internet.Originally from Syracuse, NY, John went to boarding school at Philips Exeter and to college at the University of Pennsylvania where he received a BA in International Relations and in German. John resides in New York City.

Eyal Gura is the co-founder and CEO of PicApp, which enables Bloggers free access to legally add premium images to their sites. Previously Gura co-founded PicScout and led it to become a profitable company that leads the market of visual assets monitoring. Prior to PicScout he founded the first online video recruiting hub – TheScouter.com.Eyal is a graduate of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program of IDC Herzelia and earned his MBA from the Wharton Business School. Gura served in the Israeli Navy Submarine Flotilla in various command positions.

Gannon Hall, Chief Marketing Officer, Kyte
Gannon leads product and marketing for Kyte, including market strategy, product road map, user experience, corporate communications, messaging and branding.Gannon is an award winning technology and marketing professional, bringing to the company 15 years experience in both emerging and established consumer internet and enterprise software. Prior to joining Kyte, Gannon was Principal at Horn Group, Inc., a premier digital marketing and public relations agency with offices in San Francisco, New York, Boston and Washington DC. As head of the agency’s New York office, Gannon was responsible for client strategy, business development and operations. Under his leadership the New York office won several prestigious branding, digital marketing and public relations awards.

Prior to Horn Group, Gannon led Hall Consulting, an award winning San Francisco interactive design, development and marketing consultancy that he founded in 1994. Clients included a diverse set of emerging and established enterprise software companies including Vitria, AvantGo (Sybase), Commerce One, and PlaceWare (Microsoft).

Gannon began his career as a web developer and consultant for companies including Pacific Telesis Group and US Web San Francisco, where he helped design and build websites for clients including Rolling Stone Magazine, Proxim and Flextronics.

Richie Hecker, Chief Bootstrapper, Bootstrapper.com
Richie Hecker is a Cereal Entrepreneur residing in New York City. Once the youngest interactive advertising executive, he has grown up amongst the interactive community and remembers when people used to tell him to get offline and “get a real job.” He previously was a cofounder of ClickZen Worldwide, a profitable ad network & agency in the web 1.0 days and has since built a successful outsourcing company and has been involved with over a dozen startups. He currently runs Bootstrapper.com, a popular blog featuring entrepreneurs & investors and is very active in the New York Startup Community, having been ranked #5 Most Influential Person in Silicon Alley. Richie is currently building two revolutionary advertising platforms and enjoys high impact sports and advising startups.

Liz Heller, Buzztone’s CEO, is recognized as a media innovator and marketing pioneer with an award-winning career that spans film, music, technology and marketing. Since 2000, Buzztone has been a leading experiential marketing firm which has successfully connected leading brands to consumers by leveraging unique metrics-based online and offline services with its proprietary marketing tools. Liz and her company have recently bee focusing Buzztone’s efforts on a media platform entitled Assignable Spaces that allows content from many different sources, including UGC, to be aggregated together in a unique interface, recently deployed by TV Guide, the Emmy’s, theshouldLA and the Cabbage Patch Kids 25.Liz has sat a number of content, tech and entertainment company boards and is currently on the board of Uwink, a publicly traded company. Prior to founding Buzztone, Heller served as Executive Vice President of Capitol Records and led the charge in developing award- winning websites such as Hollywoodandvine.com and Bluenote.com. Liz also oversaw Capitol’s soundtrack department. Liz began her career as VP of Artist Development for MCA Records.

Adam Hirsch is the COO of Mashable, responsible for event planning, partnerships, marketing and client relations. Since joining Mashable in 2007, Adam’s initiatives include the MashMeet events and the Open Web Awards. Adam is a New York City native and a graduate of Cornell University.

Celia Hirschman oversees a wide scope of music business. With 29 years experience behind her, she runs the marketing company she founded, Downtown Marketing. Ms. Hirschman also runs the UK based independent label, One Little Indian, in North America, overseeing the marketing for such artists as Bjork, The Twilight Singers, Pieta Brown, Lloyd Cole and others.In addition, Ms. Hirschman is a weekly commentator on Los Angeles NPR station KCRW, speaking on issues affecting the music business. Her show, “On The Beat” airs at 4:44 on Wednesdays, right in the middle of NPR’s, “All Things Considered”. “On The Beat” is podcast around the world, via KCRW, Itunes, and many other nationally known outlets. Ms. Hirschman also serves as guest host for KCRW’s half hour radio show, “The Politics of Culture” as well as a guest commentator on the National radio show, “Marketplace”, and XM’s “Musician’s Radio”.

She resides in San Francisco.

Jack Hollingsworth, Chief Creative Officer, JackHollingsworth.com
Stock photographer Jack Hollingsworth steers the helm of JackHollingsworth.com, a new breed of stock content provider with offices in Austin, TX and Chatham, MA. With production contacts in every corner of the world—from Beijing to Mexico City—Hollingsworth is one of a few American shooters set up to meet the growing market demand for world photography. His imagery, a fusion of lifestyle and ethnic photography, is represented by every major stock agency in the industry, including Corbis, Getty, Jupiter and Blend.

John Horodyski, Account Manager, Work at Play
John Horodyski is an Account Manager with Work at Play, a leader in social gaming and virtual storefront / digital item management for the entertainment and knowledge management industries. He comes from the interactive entertainment industry, most recently from Electronic Arts working in production and project management. Specifically, he has managed some very large online launches including social networking web sites and console games within the EA SPORTS brand on a variety of platforms. John is an experienced project management professional having worked on several large global IT projects and has led, consulted or trained on product development, software delivery, marketing and branding projects at several organizations. He teaches a graduate online course at San Jose State University in Digital Asset Management and has been published and presented on metadata in video games at various conferences.

Jeffrey Kalmikoff, Chief Creative Officer, skinnyCorp
Jeffrey is your average 29-year-old tattooed metal-head with an eye for design and nose for tomfoolery. The focus of his work as chief creative officer for the Chicago-based, community-business-centric skinnyCorp is design and strategy for their numerous community-based web projects. These projects range in scale from Threadless, a multi-million dollar tee shirt business and ongoing open-call for tee shirt design submissions which sells more than 100,000 tees per month and has over 850,000 registered users, to YayHooray, a just-for-fun design and technology community site with only a few thousand members.His work has been published numerous times, and he’s had the pleasure of speaking all over the world from MIT to the University of Copenhagen to CNN to NPR. You can check out his personal site at callmejeffrey.com

Guy Kawasaki is a founding partner and entrepreneur-in-residence at Garage Technology Ventures. He is also the co-founder of Alltop.com, an “online magazine rack” of popular topics on the web. Previously, he was an Apple Fellow at Apple Computer, Inc. Guy is the author of eight books including The Art of the Start, Rules for Revolutionaries, How to Drive Your Competition Crazy, Selling the Dream, and The Macintosh Way. He has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

Maria Kessler, Vice President of Creative Business Affairs, Jupiterimages Corp.
Maria Kessler is the Vice President of Creative Business Affairs at Jupiterimages Corp., where she oversees the content production teams and image partner relationships. She started her professional career in licensing at the National Basketball Association where she was part of many business development opportunities and the team that launched NBA.com. Her image experience started with FPG International. She also worked at Digitas, an interactive agency, before coming back to the images industry.Ms. Kessler is a graduate of Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts and she has a JD from St. John’s University School of Law. She is the current president of the Picture Archive Council of America.

Tim Kring, Executive Producer/Creator, Heroes
Tim Kring is creator and executive producer of “Heroes,” NBC’s Emmy nominated epic saga that chronicles the lives of ordinary people who discover they possess extraordinary abilities.Kring attended the master of fine arts program at the University of Southern California’s renowned film school and worked his way up in production as a grip, gaffer and on camera crews. He continued working in production until selling his first pitch for an episode of “Knight Rider” in 1985. Kring spent the next eleven years writing feature films, including the sequel “Teen Wolf II,” series pilots and television movies such as “Bay Coven” and “Falling for You.”

In 1996, Kring became a producer on the popular television series “Chicago Hope” and became the supervising producer on the series a year later. In 1998, he co-created the series “Strange World” and served as co-executive producer on the drama “L.A. Doctors.” Kring joined the staff of NBC’s “Providence” in 1999 as co-executive producer and signed an overall deal with NBC Studio. In 2001, Kring created the procedural drama “Crossing Jordan,” which ran for 6 seasons and over 100 episodes.

Richard Krueger, Co-Founder & CEO, Samepoint.com
Richard is Co-Founder and CEO of Samepoint.com, a social media data mining and analytics company focused on brand perception across the social web. The company operates samepoint.com, the leading conversational search engine that indexes more than 10-million conversations taking place across hundreds-of-thousands of social media sites, including Twitter, Digg, YouTube, blogs, etc., Mr. Krueger also serves as Managing Director of AboutFaceDigital, a social media agency headquartered in NYC. Author of popular social media marketing blog, WidgetADay, Mr. Krueger has served as founder, CMO, and part of the original management teams of companies that brought true innovation in the areas of broadband infrastructure, content syndication, social media, mobile entertainment, online gaming and local search.Prior to his entrepreneurial career, Mr. Krueger worked at several top ten advertising and public relations agencies in New York City, overseeing leading consumer technology accounts, such as RCA, Sony, Sharp and Nintendo.

Mr. Landau brings over 15 years as a business strategist with new media and entertainment industry experience working with digital platforms, top-level recording companies and platinum recording artists. He is currently the principal of a company called Digital Media Integration, LLC., a consulting company that assists companies with their content licensing efforts with the major record labels, film studios, major networks, cable channels and major sports leagues. They provide access to top senior executives and entertainment brands while providing business development, strategic planning, monetization solutions and negotiation services.Mr. Landau was Vice President of Artist & Repertoire (A&R) executive with Island/DefJam Records, a division of the Universal Music Group. Prior to his role with Island/DefJam, Mr. Landau held various A&R executive and consulting positions with Warner Records and Atlantic Recordings. Throughout his career in the music industry, Mr. Landau has signed over 20 acts to recording, publishing and distribution deals and maintains strong relationships with many top-level entertainers, executives and Fortune 500 brands in the entertainment arena.

Scott Lange, Senior Vice President of Strategic Business Development, Centra Marketing & Communications, LLC.
Scott Lange is presently Senior Vice President, Strategic Business Development at Centra Marketing & Communications, LLC. Centra is an integrated marketing service agency serving clients such as Bosch, E&J Gallo Winery, Pinnacle Foods, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, JetBlue and Volvo Cars of North America. Scott’s role at Centra is to spearhead the agency’s efforts in winning new accounts and expanding its capabilities.Prior to Centra, Scott served as VP, Sr. Account Director for Euro RSCG Impact on new business development and client account management. He won assignments from Charles Schwab, Chase Bank, The Economist Magazine and National Beverage Corporation. As an independent marketing consultant, Scott worked with clients such as Ford Motor, Tommy Fragrances/Estée Lauder, Kodak and The Gates Project for Central Park by Christo and Jeanne ClaudeTM a spectacular work of art for public viewing in February 2005.

Earlier in his career, Scott co-founded the first entertainment programming service targeting the college students, Campus Network, National College Television (NCTV). He began his career in the advertising agency business working on Pan Am, Dunlop Sports, US Shoe, Citibank, and Jeep.

Kevin Leversee, Founder & CEO, DesireMesh
Kevin Leversee is a passionate entrepreneur, lifelong student and Cluetrain Evangelist. From a telecommunication engineering root in the United States Army Signal Corp, to a career focusing on sales and marketing Kevin has always sought to understand communication flow. Prior to DesireMesh (Manila/San Francisco) he founded PandoraSquared (Sydney, Australia) and Zed Tycho (Sydney, Australia) a social software company. PandoraSquared at one time was voted No. 39 out of Australia’s Top Web 2.0 companies. He has worked as an Interactive Consultant for; TMP Worldwide in San Francisco, where he was in an infomercial for Monster.com – so somewhere in the world, late at night you’re going to be seeing Kevin wearing a BRIGHT ORANGE SWEATER telling people how Internet Technology is going to change their lives. Kevin accomplished eBusiness projects under budget and on time for $2 million in annual sales for Thomas Kinkade (then NSYE: MDA)Kevin has a son Parker, Kevin resides in Manila Philippines, cooks Mexican Food, struggles with Spanish, Tagalog and of course as a geek he reads avidly.

Bruce Livingstone is the chief executive officer of iStockphoto, which he founded in 1998 and where he introduced the $1 user-generated image and the concept of micropayment stock imagery. As Getty Images’ senior vice president of the consumer market, Livingstone leads the upcoming consumer offering, a brand new growth opportunity for the company. Getty Images was the first to recognize micropayment as the next evolution in the industry and acquired iStockphoto in February 2006.Livingstone is a former graphic designer and lifelong entrepreneur who has started several businesses including, Evolvs Media, a design firm; PaperThinWalls.com, an independent music website; and Webcore Labs, which offers professional Linux Web hosting. PaperThinWalls.com and Evolvs Media were purchased by Getty Images in 2007.

Recently named as one of Inc. Magazine’s “America’s Coolest Entrepreneurs: 30 Under 30,” Marc Lotenberg founded 944 Media in 2001 at the age of 22 on eight credit cards with no outside funding or angel investors. Despite no real world career experience or knowledge of the publishing industry, Lotenberg took a degree in supply chain management and set out to create a magazine for the entertainment and nightlife scene in Phoenix, where he felt a strong resource was lacking for the young college crowd. Now, that vision has culminated into a multimillion-dollar lifestyle marketing company that calls seven of the country’s leading entertainment hubs home: Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, San Diego, Phoenix, Orange County and San Francisco. The company is driven by the success of its brainchild, 944 Magazine — a cutting-edge fashion, lifestyle and entertainment-based magazine that has quickly become the must-read for the hip, 21-to-38-year-old audience.

Aaron Lubin, Partner, Marlboro Road Gang Productions
Aaron Lubin has been working as Edward Burns’ producing partner at Marlboro Road Gang Productions for the past nine years, recently producing PURPLE VIOLETS written and directed by Burns and starring Selma Blair, Patrick Wilson, Debra Messing alongside Burns. That film gained notoriety when it became the first feature film to premiere exclusively on iTunes, in November of 2007.Lubin produced the ensemble comedy THE GROOMSMEN, which was released in 2006, starring Burns, Brittany Murphy, John Leguizamo, Jay Mohr, Matthew Lillard and Donal Logue, and written and directed by Burns.

Lubin and Burns also partnered with THINKfilm to distribute Burns’ digital feature LOOKING FOR KITTY starring Burns and David Krumhotlz which was shot on a miniscule budget of just more than $200 thousand. The film was released in 2006 to favorable reviews including “Two Thumbs Up” from Ebert and Roeper.

Lubin also served as a producer on Burns’ films ASH WEDNESDAY starring Elijah Wood, Rosario Dawson, Oliver Platt and Burns, as well as SIDEWALKS OF NEW YORK, starring Brittany Murphy, Rosario Dawson, Heather Graham, David Krumhotlz, Stanley Tucci and Burns.

Additionally, Lubin worked on the NBC television show THE FIGHTING FITZGERALDS starring Brian Dennehy, as well as several Saturn commercials, in producing capacities.

Prior to Marlboro Road Gang, Lubin was a creative executive at Kopelson Entertainment, where he worked on such films as THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE and US MARSHALS.

Lubin is a graduate of The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Loyola Law School. He recently became a member of the Board of Advisors for www.scripped.com, a new website, which hosts a blog co-authored by Lubin and Burns.



Thaine Lyman, Vice President of Production Management, Activision Publishing
Thaine Lyman is Vice President of Production Management at Activision Publishing and has been responsible for overseeing production of videogames across a variety of genres and themes, most recently including Kung Fu Panda, James Bond: Quantum of Solace, and Call of Duty: World at War. Thaine has been at Activision for over 11 years, originally joining as an attorney. Prior to that, he served in the Business Affairs department at Capitol Records. Thaine holds a JD from the UCLA School of Law and BA from Grinnell College, and is a hardcore gamer and avid Chicago Cubs fan.

Troy Marshall, Vice President of Rap Promotion, Interscope Records
Troy Marshall is currently the Vice President of Rap Promotion for Interscope Geffen and A&M Records (IGA).Prior to his arrival at IGA, Mr. Marshall served in the same capacity at the Universal Motown Records Group. Before Universal Motown, Mr. Marshall served at Warner Bros. Records in Los Angeles, where he helped develop artists. He held a ten year stint at MCA Records (before the company was absorbed into Geffen Records) from 1994 to 2004 in the promotion arena. Mr. Marshall’s began his career in the music business in 1994 at MCA as a music coordinator.

“The music industry continues to evolve and I’ve watched it transition from 12inch singles, cassettes and CDs, to social networks, digital downloads, MP3s and Ipods. Regardless of the mode in which we deliver music, it always comes back to having a great song, coupled with expert promotion, marketing and branding. I hope to continue with that philosophy as I continue down my career path.”

Rachel Masters, Vice President of Strategic Relationships, Ning, Inc.
Rachel Masters is Vice President of Strategic Relationships for Ning, Inc., social networking service with a twist – it empowers people to create their own social websites and social networks. Previously Rachel was the Associate Director of Strategic Relationship and Business Development at Warner Music Group. In this role, she launched new relationships with innovative digital media companies such as YouTube. Rachel also oversaw WMG’s investments in digital media companies including Emotive, a next-generation ring tone provider and advised Warner Music Group International on new companies and strategic relationships. Prior to Warner Music Group, she was an Associate at StarVest Partner, L.P. a New York-based venture capital fund whose portfolio companies include NetSuite and iCrossing. Rachel was also a television producer at Cablevision, Fox and MTV Networks. She holds a B.A. from Brandies University, where she was named a University Scholar and graduated cum laude and with High Honors. Rachel also received a MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Outside of the office she likes to ski down fresh powder, see live music and travel.

Phil Miano, National Director, Platform-A
Phil Miano is the National Director for Platform-A Mobile Advertising which includes the AOL mobile properties, Third Screen Media network, and mobile carriers Verizon Wireless and Virgin Mobile. In this role Phil leads a team of talented mobile specialists who teach brands how to be successful in their mobile advertising endeavors.Prior to joining Platform-A, Phil was the first mobile advertising specialist in the US for Microsoft where he had previously helped launch the sales efforts for adCenter, Microsoft’s paid search platform.

Phil has been involved with digital media since 1997. He has held senior sales positions with: Time Inc. New Media, The i-Turf Network, 360hiphop/Bet.com, and PRIMEDIA.

Phil is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and the US Army’s, John F Kennedy Center for special warfare.

Oren Michels, Co-Founder & CEO, Mashery
Mashery’s co-founder and CEO has a record of success in a variety of executive positions spanning multiple industries. Oren co-founded and managed WiFinder, an international provider of directory services for public access wi-fi hotspots. He has served as president for two companies: Colt HR, a leading provider of mid-market benefits administration software and services; and Winebid.com, a leading online wine auction service. He also served as president and CEO of The Groundlings, a Hollywood-based entertainment production company, and has held COO positions at manufacturing companies. Prior to joining Mashery, Oren worked as vice president of business development at Feedster, where he managed the company’s activities in China and negotiated partnerships with AOL, Real Networks, and Mitsui.Oren began his career as a software designer for Hughes Aircraft. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA in finance and entrepreneurial studies from UCLA’s Anderson School.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Neu has been involved in a wide range of leading companies and organizations, both technology and non-technology related. He was a founding member a development firm in Sydney, Australia focusing on Mobile Technology and Wireless Content Delivery. He also worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the Legal Protection unit, working with Asian Pacific Governments to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems.In 2004, Mr. Neu became a founding member of CharityHelp International, where he currently serves as Vice-President and is on the Board of Directors. CHI is a leading non-profit organization in use and deployment of technology in developing nations, fostering the growth and establishment of grass roots projects.

In 2007, Jeffrey Neu founded J. C. Neu and Associates, a law firm which specializes on the needs of technology companies and their related concerns including Intellectual Property, emerging technologies, and virtual exchanges. The firm works with companies of all sizes and shapes from basement start-ups to multinational corporations and Fortune 500 companies.

Craig is customer service rep and founder of craigslist.org. In 1995 while Craig was working at Schwab, he started craigslist as an email list for friends and co-workers about events going on in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1999, Craig retired from IT consulting to work full-time on craigslist. What started as a fun side project in Craig’s living room has since grown into one of the busiest sites on the internet, helping people with basic day-to-day needs such as finding a job, an apartment, and a date, all within a culture of trust.

Mr. Norlin is the CEO of Pixsy Corporation, the leading distributor of video and image search. Mr. Norlin has spent the last 15 years in the Internet and digital media industries. Prior to Pixsy, Mr. Norlin served as a senior executive at ValueClick (NASDAQ:VCLK) where he managed publisher distribution and emerging technologies for the ValueClick display ad network, paid search, and comparison shopping divisions.Prior to ValueClick, Mr. Norlin held the position of Senior Business Development Consultant to InfoSpace (NASDAQ:INSP) charged with publisher distribution and emerging applications for the paid search division. Previously, Mr. Norlin developed Sony’s first online photo sharing venture and founded the web’s first video sharing company ShareYourWorld. Mr. Norlin also served as an EIR at Boeing Ventures in launching Boeing’s (NYSE:BA) online photo and video licensing division.

Mr. Norlin has served on the advisory board of CampusPoint and currently serves on the advisory boards of AdBid Central, VideoThang, Platform264, PickupPal and Adgregate. He received his BA from UC Berkeley and MA from The University of Chicago and is a regular speaker on digital media, online advertising, and search. Recent speaking engagements include the Goldman Sachs 9th Annual Global Media Conference, Goldman Sachs 17th Annual Communacopia Conference, Bear Stearns Annual Media Conference, OMMA, NATPE, iMediaConnection, Monaco Media Forum, AlwaysOn, TheDeal, Gnomedex, PubCon, and Digital Hollywood.

Joe Oh, General Manager, Hub Strategy
Joe joined Hub Strategy near the end of 2005 with the goal of helping the growing agency achieve its full potential. As the General Manager, Joe is in charge of account management and brand strategy for all Hub clients as well as Hub internal operations.Before he joined Hub, Joe was the Account Director at Duncan Channon Advertising, where he oversaw most of the agency’s accounts including Hard Rock (Cafes, Hotels and Casinos), Heavenly Ski Resort, Konami Digital Entertainment, Eidos Interactive, Sega of America, Listen.com, Sammy Studios, Glu Mobile, Working Assets Long Distance, AltaVista and Sony Metreon.

Previous to this, Joe started his advertising career at two large multi-national advertising agencies: Lowe & Partners and Foote, Cone and Belding, both in San Francisco. At Lowe, Joe supervised the Eddie Bauer and Autoweb.com accounts and at FCB, Joe worked on a variety of accounts including Dockers, Goldwin Golf, Teledyne Water Pik, Keds Shoes and Armor All.

Joe has a B.S. in Biology and Human Development from the University of California at Davis. He loves to ski, rock climb, travel and eat. A lot.

Ryan Okum, President, StreetWise
Okum, a recognized industry leader in social marketing, is responsible for overseeing marketing, strategic planning and overall business development for StreetWise. Okum is also responsible for managing bottom-line financial performance and pursuing growth opportunities. Okum joined the company in 2003, and has worked with a myriad of StreetWise’s leading brands, including Coca-Cola, Nokia, EB Games, Activision, Warner Brothers, Live Nation and FUEL TV. In his former role as vice-president interactive entertainment, Okum was responsible for leading the company’s video game division, which has an impressive roster of leading brands such as Activision, Atari, Capcom, Namco, NCsoft and Ubisoft.Prior to joining Streetwise, Okum was the co-founder of Shine.com, Inc., a leading venture funded technology company that assisted non-profit organizations with online fundraising and corporate clients with the automation of workplace giving systems. In 1999, he lead Shine.com through its’ acquisition by Charity Online, Inc. Okum grew up in Encino, CA and is a graduate of The Buckley School.

Okum attended the University of Southern California where he studied Marketing and Religion.

Tyler Olson is the owner / moderator of MicrostockGroup.com – the most active microstock focused forum on the web. Tyler got involved in microstock photography at the beginning of 2004, and after seeing the need for an unbiased central microstock community, started MicrostockGroup.com in January 2006. Tyler has a formal education in Photography, with a B.F.A. from the University of Saskatchewan and currently works as a full time microstock photographer in Norway.

Ben Pashman, VP of Sales & Business Development, Gigya, Inc.
Ben has 15 years of media marketing experience, including 10 years focused on Internet advertising sales and business development. Positions include Sales and Product Management roles at Doubleclick, Advertising Director at Condenet and Director of Advertising Sales at Travelzoo where Ben helped the company go from $15M to $70M in advertising revenue in three years and saw the company through a successful IPO on NASDAQ.

Rahul Pathak, CEO & Founder, LookStat
Rahul Pathak is the CEO & Founder of LookStat – a web platform for microstock contributors that allows them to track their earnings, analyze their performance and ultimately, automate their work flow. Before founding LookStat, he was the VP of Product Management at Judy’s Book, a user generated local reviews and savings site. Prior to working at Judy’s Book, Rahul was a co-founder at Quova and worked in private equity at Advent and was a strategy consultant at Monitor Company. He holds a degree in Computer Science & Engineering from MIT and currently resides in Seattle.

Justin Ramers, Director of Social Media, The Active Network
Justin Ramers oversees social media initiatives for The Active Network’s family of online properties including Active.com, eteamz.com, CoolRunning.com, LaxPower.com and the SportsPower franchise. In addition, Ramers is responsible for leveraging social media to promote Active’s consumer products and online properties throughout the Internet.Prior to joining The Active Network, Ramers was the founder and President of Axia Golf Solutions which was acquired by The Active Network in March 2006. Axia published the widely popular website FreeGolfInfo.com which grew to the largest online community and social network for golf lovers.

Sunil Rajaraman is the President and CEO of Scripped Inc. As CEO of the web-based screenwriting software company, Sunil guided the growth of the site to over 11,000 users. Prior to his role at Scripped, Sunil was a Senior Strategy Consultant at Navigant Consulting Inc., where he worked on the King Drew Medical Center project. Sunil is a 2008 graduate of the UCLA Anderson School of Management where he was the 2008 winner of the Young President’s Organization Scholarship, and Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA Anderson Exchange. Sunil graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2001 with a degree in Economics and Accounting, where he was Class President and Captain of the NCAA 11th ranked Division III tennis team.

Portrait photograper, writer and image inspector with iStockphoto, Rasmus has been involved with microstock since 2000 and written an e-book about it, “The Microstock Photographer’s Guide”. Originally from Denmark, he now lives in Seattle with his wife and fellow photographer, Kelly Cline. Rasmus does not refer to himself as a professional microstock photographer, but claims to know what it takes to become one. He offers portfolio consultations, tips and ideas through his writing for Zoom In Online and on his personal blog, rasmusrasmussen.com.

Melissa Reeder, Development Manager, Creative Commons
As the Development Manager, Melissa is responsible for managing all fundraising activities for Creative Commons organization-wide. Outside of Creative Commons, Melissa volunteers for First Exposures, a youth mentoring program, where she teaches black and white photography. Melissa holds an MA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Art and Design Education and a BFA in Studio Art / Photography from Texas State University. She has been active in photography for over 14 years.

J.C. Ricks, CEO, Earful Music Publishing, J. Christian Entertainment
Jason Christian Ricks (aka J.C. Ricks) got his start in the music industry during the early 1990s doing street marketing with his colleague Brian Samson to form Blueprint Promotions. J.C.’s first record company job was with Steve Rifkind’s Loud Records where he was Head of Promotions (working with the Wu-Tang Clan and Twista). He would segue to Capitol Records, as Head of Street Marketing & Promotions. This was followed by Noo Trybe/Virgin Records, working with Hip-Hop luminaries the Luniz, DJ Premier, Gangstarr, Scarface, the Geto Boys, and more. During the mid-1900s, J.C. landed at Arista Records as Co-Head of Rap Promotions. J.C. would eventually go to work for L.A. Reid at a restructured LaFace Records, as Senior Director of Promotions–working with the label’s premier artists: Outkast, Toni Braxton, TLC, and Usher.In 2000, J.C. started his own indie promotion company, J. Christian Entertainment, and in 2006, launched Earful Music Publishing with business partner Airron McCoy. Together they work with a hungry group of young songwriters and producers out of Los Angeles’ Inglewood area called Woodworks. Comprised of brothers Daniel & Davion Farris, and Tiffany Gouche, Earful Music formed a non-exclusive venture with Warner Chappell Music Publishing, placing songs with Jaheim, Lloyd f/Ludacris, JOE, Missy Elliott, the Pussycat Dolls, and a host of others. Woodworks has collaborated with producers the Co-Stars, Ro & Sauce (Something for the People), the Stereotypes and Grammy winners Bryan Michael Cox and Raphael Saadiq.

Danae Ringelmann, Founder & Chief of Finance & Customer Development, IndieGoGo
Danae Ringelmann is a founder of IndieGoGo, an online social marketplace connecting filmmakers and fans to make independent film happen. The platform provides filmmakers the tools for project funding, recruiting, and promotion, while enabling the audience to discover and connect directly with filmmakers and the causes they support.Danae founded IndieGoGo to democratize the film funding process, and often speaks on DIWO (Do-It-With-Others) Filmmaking. Recent speaking engagements include LA Film Festival, Producer’s Guild of America, Int’l Doc. Assn, Women in Film & TV, IFP Labs, and UC Berkeley.

Danae brings entertainment industry and film finance expertise. Prior to IndieGoGo, Danae was a securities analyst at Cowen & Co. where she covered entertainment companies including Pixar, Lions Gate, Disney, and Electronic Arts. Danae also focused on cable network, NFL, newspaper and hedge fund clientele while at JPMorgan’s Investment Bank and Private Bank. In the wake of 9/11, Danae co-produced a concert reading of Incident at Vichy, an Arthur Miller play addressing the politically charged topic of racial profiling.

Danae is a CFA charterholder and holds an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Danae was also a Morehead Scholar and Varsity Rower at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Andres Rodriguez is a London based photographer specializing in shooting models. Meticulously researching his shoots has helped him become one of the world’s top selling microstock photographers.Andres is Colombian born but based in the UK. Educated at Oxford, he started his career as a web designer which led him to microstock. He started contributing in December 2004, turned pro in May 2006, and then quickly rose to the top of the contributor rankings.

Andres has a portfolio of over 12,000 images and sells more than 500,000 licenses per year. He finds his photos in use in books, brochures, online and on billboards all over the world and his clients include, Dell, Yahoo!, HP, Microsoft, IBM, Forbes, National Geographic among others.

Slava Rubin, Founder & Chief of Strategy and Marketing, IndieGoGo
Slava Rubin co-founded IndieGoGo to help independent filmmakers overcome their fundraising challenges. Focused on bringing Filmocracy to the people, Slava frequently speaks at conferences and writes on the disruptive technologies impacting the media industry; from finance to distribution. Recent speaking engagements include Sundance, SXSW, Slamdance, Silver Docs and Internet Week NY, IFP Filmmaker, Power to the Pixel, The Conversation, Making Media Now & >Play Conferences. Recent projects include producing the short, Wonder of Seasaws.Slava also serves as an Advisor to the IFP Film Market and Film Labs. Prior to IndieGoGo, Slava was a strategy consultant working on projects from start-up go-to-market strategies to corporate execution plans. He offers expertise in audience building, marketing, and DIWO (Do-It-With-Others). Beyond his passion for film, Slava started Music Against Myeloma, an annual charity event raising funds and awareness to fight this rare form of cancer.

Iain Scholnick, Chief Executive Officer and President, ImageSpan Inc
A visionary and veteran of the Internet and wireless industries, Iain brings more than 18 years of technical and operations experience drive ImageSpan towards its mission of leading the market in automated digital content licensing and royalty settlement. Under Iain’s leadership, ImageSpan has filed multiple patents, secured significant funding in financing led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments and Alan Patricof and his venture fund, Greycroft Partners, and forged strategic partnerships with Adobe, Omnicom, and Bertelsmann. His experience in entrepreneurial settings and vertical markets includes his role at ERUCES, a data security company, where as VP, Business Solutions, he focused on deploying a high volume of data encryption and key management platform into the wireless, healthcare, finance, government and media industries. Previously, as CTO of Livemind, a wireless commerce and technology services company, Iain secured tier 1 venture capital through institutional investors. The architect of Livemind’s product platform, Iain scaled the company infrastructure and engineering operations to service global telecommunications clients. Previous to Livemind, Iain was a member of the ClickAction Company (NASDAQ: CLAC) executive team, building an Enterprise Marketing Automation platform.

Craig Sherman, Chief Executive Officer, Gaia Online
During business hours, Craig Sherman lives in gaiaonline.com, the leading teen hangout on the web. Craig leads the company’s strategic planning, management, and technology development. Prior to joining Gaia Online, Craig served as Entrepreneur in Residence at Benchmark Capital. Craig was also COO of MyFamily.com (ancestry.com), where he helped grow the company from $23 million to $150 million in sales and transform it from an advertising-based site to a highly profitable consumer subscription business. Before this, Craig held senior positions at American International Group, where he ran all marketing and internet sites for AIG in Japan and Korea. Previous to AIG, Craig was CEO of Cendant Japan, a joint venture founded by Cendant and Mitsubishi Corporation. Craig currently holds director or advisor positions on the boards of Homestead, Myheritage, Netquote and Singlefeed. Previously, Craig also held board positions with Photobucket, prior to its sale to the Fox network, and Logoworks, prior to its sale to Hewlett Packard. Craig has a BA from Princeton University.

Matthew Siegel, Co-CEO & Co-Founder, Indaba Music
Matt co-founded Indaba Music in 2007 to help artists take advantage of radical changes happening in technology and in the music industry. As Co-CEO Matt is responsible for overall vision and strategy, as well as the management of Indaba’s website and operations. Since early 2007 Indaba has grown into a community of over 100,000 musicians from over 175 countries around the world, and has attracted artists like Mariah Carey, The Roots, Yo-Yo Ma, and Third Eye Blind to the platform for innovative user generated content-based marketing campaigns. Prior to starting Indaba Matt worked as a management consultant with Katzenbach Partners, LLC in New York, and in 2003 he co-founded Harvard University’s student record label Veritas Records with future Indaba business partner Dan Zaccagnino. His greatest accomplishment came many years earlier when, as a child actor, he invented the Jell-O Jiggler lips.

Andrew Snyder, VP, Ad Sales and Business Development, Associated Content
Andrew guides all revenue generation efforts at Associated Content including advertising and sponsorship sales, content syndication, and custom content and distribution partnerships. Prior to joining Associated Content, Andrew served as VP, Digital Media Advertising Sales at Discovery Networks, where he managed all aspects of the company’s US digital advertising sales and strategy, including online, mobile, broadband, and video on demand. During his tenure, Discovery Digital Media established new cross-platform marketing platforms, forged new relationships with brands including Amgen, Ford, GE, Merck, and Toyota, and acquired Petfinder.com, and Treehugger.com. Before Discovery Networks, Andrew was Director, Midwest & East Coast Sales for ESPN.com, with responsibility for driving online, mobile, fantasy game, and broadband sales. Andrew’s career in interactive media sales began in 1995 at Seattle-based Starwave. Andrew is a graduate of Whitman College and resides in Montclair, NJ.

Brian Solis, Principle of FutureWorks, Blogger, PR 2.0, Author
Brian Solis is globally recognized for his views and insights on the convergence of PR, Traditional Media and Social Media. He contributes his thoughts and experiences through speaking appearances, books, articles and essays to help the marketing industry understand and embrace the evolving dynamics of new communications, marketing, and content creation.Solis is Principal of FutureWorks, an award-winning PR agency in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. He blogs at PR2.0, bub.blicio.us, TechCrunch, and BrandWeek.

With Geoff Livingston, Solis released “Now is Gone” an award-winning book that helps businesses learn how to embrace Social Media. His next book, “Putting the Public back in Public Relations,” with co-author Deirdre Breakenridge, will be released in Q1 2009. He has also written several ebooks on the subjects of Social Media, New PR, Customer Service, and Blogger Relations.

PR 2.0, www.briansolis.com, is a top 2,500 Technorati blog and is ranked in the top third of Ad Age’s Power 150 index of leading marketing bloggers.

Reuben Steiger is the CEO of Millions of Us, a company dedicated to helping businesses understand and harness the power of virtual worlds and online communities.Prior to founding Millions of Us, Steiger was the Evangelist for Linden Lab, creators of the 3-D virtual world Second Life. In that role, he was responsible for business development efforts and bringing the first wave of corporations and commercial developers into Second Life.

Until 2002, he was Chief Development Officer at OVEN Digital, where he helped build that company into the world’s largest privately-owned Internet consultancy with 11 offices and 350 employees worldwide.

Steiger holds a BA in English Literature from Brown University and lives in Marin County with his wife and two young children.

Jeff Straughn, SVP of Strategic Marketing, Island Def Jam Music Group
Jeff Straughn is the Senior Vice President, Strategic Marketing, Island Def Jam Music Group. While at IDJ, Mr. Straughn has been responsible for building year-long relationships with many consumer and auto and electronic brands where both partners feed off each others assets and develop fully integrated and sound partnerships. Mr. Straughn was also instrumental in creating and launching Tag Records with IDJ and Procter & Gamble.Straughn came to IDJ after nine years at Octagon Sports and Entertainment (a member of Interpublic group), where he was Vice President of Music & Entertainment. He began his career in advertising in 1989, as Assistant Account Executive at API Advertising (a subsidiary of Saatchi/Saatchi). In 1992, he moved to Bozell Advertising, where he was Senior Account Executive for three and a half years. He joined ADV Marketing in 1996, as Account Director. Mr. Straughn graduated from Bradley University in Illinois, with the Bachelor Of Science Degree in Advertising & Public Relations. He received his Associates degree in Communications from Keystone College in Pennsylvania.

Philip J. Strina, Senior Vice President of Business Affairs, Inferno Entertainment
Philip J. Strina. Mr. Strina is an entertainment attorney who serves as the Senior Vice President of Business Affairs at Inferno Entertainment, a film production and sales company located in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Strina’s primary duties include negotiating and drafting rights, finance, sales agency, co-production, and talent agreements, and managing the company’s corporate affairs. Prior to joining Inferno, Mr. Strina worked as Counsel in the Business & Legal Affairs department at New Line Cinema where he was primarily responsible for New Line’s film acquisitions, co-productions, and negative pick-up transactions.

Ian Swanson, Founder & CE, Sometrics
Ian Swanson is founder and CEO of Sometrics, the first analytics company to focus on social networking platforms. He and his team created a way to provide detailed analytics of millions of daily users of social platforms like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and others. The Sometrics solution helps developers and advertisers better understand how people are using social media, so developers can monetize their applications and advertisers can more effectively reach their target audiences.Before launching Sometrics, Swanson was business development manager for Userplane, an AOL company that provides social media apps to hundreds of thousands of online communities, supporting millions of users daily. Swanson was instrumental in helping the company extend the reach of its hosted chat, IM and other communications apps, and in building the company’s ad network. Before Userplane, he was an executive with Sprint and helped launch two mobile web startups.

As a social media insider, Swanson has been invited to speak on many social media topics relating to platform apps, social marketing and performance-based analytics. Swanson actively advises several successful social networking applications, Fortune 500 companies and startups with their brand and marketing strategies within the social media ecosystem.

Swanson earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Yuval Tal is CEO and founder of Payoneer, the online mass payout solution that pays directly to universally accepted Prepaid MasterCard® cards. He has over 20 years of experience in Internet commerce-related technology startups, with in-depth expertise in prepaid card applications, currency exchange and security technologies.Before founding Payoneer in the spring of 2005, Yuval co-founded E4X, a provider of services that expedite cross-border payments on the Internet. The company was one of the first in the industry to provide an efficient infrastructure for global e-commerce. He grew the company to over $500 million in processing volume and achieved profitability in record time by winning numerous blue-chip accounts. Yuval also served as vice president of business development for RADWARE (NASDAQ: RDWR) and in an elite combat unit of the Israel Defense Forces.

Thompson is the chief operating officer of iStockphoto, the world’s leading community-powered marketplace for stock photography, illustrations, and most recently, stock video clips. iStockphoto was one of the first online communities to actually make anyone money (in some cases, a whole lot of it), by monetizing contributor content. Image prices still start as low as $1.Thompson has helped grow the company from a small social network for a few thousand graphic designers with digital cameras, to the world’s busiest image market, which sold 18.25 million royalty-free stock images and videos in 2007. He led the marketing strategy behind iStock’s expansion into member-contributed video clips for as little as $15.

Thompson holds a computer science degree from the University of Calgary. Prior to iStockphoto he was senior brand manager at the enterprise search company Verity, Inc.

Michael Tippett, Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, NowPublic
A successful entrepreneur for almost two decades, Tippett is recognized an as international expert on emerging news models. In 2005, Tippett co-founded NowPublic. The company has been named one of the top five most useful new sites on the web by The Guardian and Time magazine named it one of the Top 50 Websites for 2007.In 1995, Tippett founded the WebPool Syndicate, one of Canada’s first Internet companies. After the success of the WebPool venture, Tippett travelled to the United States and worked for some of the largest web companies in North America, including TheGlobe.com and Register.com.Outside of his role at NowPublic, Tippett is a member of the University of British Columbia’s School of Journalism Advisory Board and is also a board member of CABINET, a Vancouver-based arts organization.Tippett graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in Philosophy.

Lee Torrens is the author of Microstock Diaries where he blogs about his experiences as a microstock photographer and reports on the microstock market. He started the blog in early 2007 to share what he was learning about the industry and it has since grown into an entrepreneurial venture and a passion for Lee. Milking this wild ride for all he can, Lee has taken opportunities to present at conferences and mingle with some of the world’s top stock photographers and industry notables. Until he can sell enough of his own stock photos to earn a living, he’s not unhappy writing about those who do so instead.

Laurel Touby, Founder & Cyberhostess, mediabistro.com
The original idea for mediabistro.com was cooked up in 1994, when Laurel-then a freelance business writer and Glamour magazine contributor-and a friend decided to host a mixer for media people. About 20 editors, writers, and other content creators came to that original cocktail party at Jules Bistro in the East Village. Attendees bought their own drinks and enjoyed casual after-work bonding in the company of like-minded people. The parties quickly grew, and soon Laurel had 4,000 of New York’s top media talent on her email list. After creating a website in 1996 and adding features such as job listings, bulletin boards, classes, e-classes, media and a freelance marketplace, Touby’s business began to take off. Today, the site also includes news, events and “learn” emails, as well as media industry blogs. More than 850,000 media professionals have registered for various mediabistro.com services around the world.Laurel started her career at Young & Rubicam/NY in the media planning department. She left Y&R to become an editorial assistant at Working Woman, moved on to Business Week as a staff editor, and in 1993 began editing and writing a column on workplace issues for Glamour. She has covered everything from travel to business to breast cancer for a variety of publications, including New York, Travel + Leisure, Self, Redbook, McCall’s, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Working Mother, and the New York Daily News. Born in Oahu, Hawaii, Laurel grew up in Miami (before South Beach existed) and graduated from Smith College with a degree in economics.

Ms. Tune is Counsel at Pillsbury’s San Francisco office, and leads the firm’s Copyrights practice and Media & Entertainment industry teams. Her practice includes a wide variety of intellectual property issues, including copyrights and trademarks, as well as a broad array of entertainment, licensing and E-Commerce matters. Ms. Tune represents a variety of clients in connection with music, video, multi-media and other entertainment projects and has extensive experience enforcing rights in entertainment-related intellectual property. Most recently, Ms. Tune was named one of 2008’s Top 10 Copyright Lawyers in California by The Daily Journal.

Rod Underhill, Co-Founder, mp3.com
Rod Underhill made his initial splash in the technology sector when he co-founded MP3.com, an Internet business that became worth more than six billion dollars. He is the author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Millions on the Internet” and other technology books. In 2008 he received a Webby Award, honoring his work in mobile technology relating to Podlinez.com. Attorney, law professor and technologist, Professor Underhill serves as an advisor to technology start ups.He works with software companies and web based businesses as well as providing pro-bono advisory services to noted cancer research scientists and medical research driven universities. His help spans venture capital expertise to technology development as well as legal issues and business modeling and has two significant patents pending before the US Patent Office. Recently, the New York Times praised his Podlinez.com project by making it a “Tech Tip of the Week.” Underhill is currently assisting several new start ups to reach their goals. He has appeared on the Geraldo Show and NPR and was profiled in Rolling Stone Magazine.

Rod has served as an adjunct professor of law at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, where he has taught technology/internet law and music law. He resides in the remote mountain village of Julian, California with his wife and two children.

Christina Vaughan, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Image Source
Image Source is world’s leading independent producer of high end royalty free stock photography with offices in London, New York and Cologne. Image Source has an exceptional reputation in working with professional photographers to deliver outstanding creative and commercial excellence.Image Source employs over 70 people across its three offices as well as a large team of freelance photographers, producers and stylists worldwide, organising photo shoots in places as wide apart as CapeTown, Tokyo, Shanghai, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Miami and New York.

During her career, Christina has worked in several sectors of the stock photography industry, in senior creative and business development roles in the United States, Germany and France as well as in the UK. She has won several awards for entrepreneurial ship, innovation and service to industry.

Christina graduated from the University of London with a BA Honours in European Studies. She speaks French and Spanish and her interests include foreign culture and travel, sports and the outdoors as well as good food and good friends.

Image Source holds the Queens Award for International Enterprise, has been shortlisted by The Sunday Times Best Employers 2008 as One to Watch and is in The Guardian’s 2008 Book of Top Employers.

Matt Warburton, Ex Director of Community Management, Yahoo!
Matt is the Ex Director of Community Management for Yahoo. As the Director of Community Management, Matt developed and executed the Community strategy for products such as Groups, Messenger, Profiles, and Mail. Matt’s team was responsible for community input/advisory panels, product blogs, community events, and engagement programs. Prior to joining Yahoo!, Matt spent 8 years working for eBay. While at eBay, Matt managed several components of eBay’s Community Management team, including input programs, events, and forums.

Andrew Warner is an ambitious internet entrepreneur. In 1998 he used credit card debt to launch Bradford & Reed, an online greeting card company which reached annual revenues of over $38 million. After selling the company in 2003, he launched Mixergy.com, where ambitious startups learn from experienced entrepreneurs.

Brooke Wentz is a seasoned intellectual property rights executive who founded The Rights Workshop, a consulting and mediation business, in 2002. Author of Hey, That’s My Music! Music Supervision, Licensing and Content Acquisition (Hal Leonard, 2007), Wentz brings twenty-five years of experience in music licensing and publishing, record production and performing rights organization administration to clients of The Rights Workshop.Prior to founding The Rights Workshop, Ms. Wentz spent six years as Music Director for ESPN, the largest US cable network, administering legal policy and overseeing all music rights including music for the X Games, World Cup and Sports Century telecasts. She initiated the company’s publishing efforts, spearheading relationships with foreign sub-publishers and was responsible for original scores, commercial music clearance, and production music libraries. Ms. Wentz exercised options for all 50 Greatest Athletes programs that continued for two years after the Millennium. Earlier in her career Wentz worked for Arista Records and the Reich Music Foundation.

An accomplished producer, Ms. Wentz has released over 25 critically-acclaimed recordings. She received recognition from Hillary Clinton for Global Divas, an album produced for the 1996 Third World Conference on Women held in Beijing. Ms. Wentz won a Billboard Award for Global Meditation, a 4CD box set of international music.

Ms. Wentz is a frequent guest speaker and educator on content acquisition, digital rights and the future of media. She has been hired as an expert witness for copyright infringement cases and is a TASA-registered expert witness. Ms. Wentz has served on the faculty of San Francisco State University and Baruch College, and currently teaches the Business of Music at Pyramind: The Institute for Digital Audio Training. She is an active governor on the NARAS board.

Ms. Wentz holds a B.A. magna cum laude from Barnard College and a MBA from Columbia University.

James West, Co-Founder & CEO, Alamy
James West, 35, is the co-founder and CEO of Alamy, the world’s largest online stock photography library. He started the business in 1999, pioneering the concept of establishing an unedited collection of images and returning the majority share of each sale to the photographer.Alamy has grown rapidly to build the largest and most comprehensive collection of commercial photography on the web with more than 14 million images from thousands of photographers and hundreds of agencies worldwide.

James, a graduate of Edinburgh University, UK, is a keen diver and sailor who also pursues interests in climate change and other projects. Alamy provides around $1.5 million a year to a number of medical research projects and operates a programme to reduce its impact on the environment.

Rebekah Wu founded Right-Hand Partners based on her own experiences as an entrepreneur seeking start-up capital. During those years, she attended and presented at venture conferences, built out a team, developed the products, and hired consultants. Even after spending thousands of dollars and hours, she was often unsatisfied with the results for her money and time. She found very few providers that produced deliverables that proved they could see through the eyes of the entrepreneur and the venture capitalist.Therefore, Rebekah decided to be THE “solution” for entrepreneurs… someone that could be counted upon as a “right-hand partner”: to often make the first move on behalf of her clients, to facilitate critical introductions, and to catalyze business transactions that will catapult them to the next level. Right-Hand Partners has done just that, working selectively with cutting-edge startup companies and leading venture capital and angel groups throughout the SF Bay Area.

Since founding RHP in 2001, Rebekah has coached 28 companies raise over $160M of venture capital. 6 of those companies have been acquired. She has produced hundreds of events bringing together active VCs and quality entrepreneurs.

Rebekah was not only an experienced Founder of a software startup, but she was previously the E-Commerce Strategy Mgr. at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, and a Regional Mgr. of Internet Solutions at AT&T. Rebekah’s #1 passion is singing sacred early music (music from the renaissance and baroque period) and is currently the soprano soloist at St. Francis Lutheran in San Francisco.

Peter Yared, Founder & CEO, iWidgets
Peter Yared is the Founder & CEO at iWidgets, and has 15 years of experience helping companies to adapt new technology platforms. Peter was most recently the Founder and CEO at ActiveGrid, a commercial open source company delivering the LAMP stack to the enterprise. Previously, he was CTO of Sun Microsystems’ Liberty Network Identity initiative. Peter was also CTO of Sun Microsystems’ Application Server Division. Before its acquisition by Sun, Peter served as CTO of NetDynamics, which pioneered the then-leading J2EE application server. Earlier, he was Founder and CEO of JRad Technologies, an enterprise Java company acquired by NetDynamics. Peter holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Maryland.

As chief executive officer, David is responsible for Gigya’s overall business strategy and day-to-day operations. Most recently, David served as chief operating officer of U.S. media for ValueClick, Inc., one of the industry’s largest and most diversified online advertising networks. Over more than eight years of building ValueClick’s media businesses, David held a number of positions; including, general manager, executive vice president of sales and marketing and vice president of sales. Prior to ValueClick, David served as a lieutenant and chief information officer in the United States Navy for a naval hospital in the Pacific Northwest. He also held project management roles in the corporate information technology division of St. Joseph Health System in Southern California. David has served on the board of directors for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Daniel Zaccagnino, Co-CEO & Co-Founder, Indaba Music
Dan co-founded Indaba Music in 2007 to help artists take advantage of radical changes happening in technology and in the music industry. As Co-CEO, Dan is responsible for overall vision and strategy, as well as the management of Indaba’s website and operations. Since early 2007 Indaba has grown into a community of over 100,000 musicians from over 175 countries around the world, and has attracted artists like Mariah Carey, The Roots, Yo-Yo Ma, and Third Eye Blind to the platform for innovative user generated content-based marketing campaigns. Dan has been a recording and performing musician since his childhood and has worked at major record labels. He is a member of the Steering Committee for Education Through Music, a NY-based non-profit that offers music education to disadvantaged schools in order to enhance students’ academic performance and general development, and is also a member of the Recording Academy. In 2003 he co-founded Harvard University’s student record label Veritas Records with future Indaba business partner Matt Siegel.