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After catching a bit of the TechCrunch Disrupt live stream this week, I was definitely interested to see the wide variety of startups gunning for the Cup. While I love the idea and design behind Uber Conference, I always have a visceral reaction anytime I hear a call-related startup show up with an amazing service that's free (although to be fair, the execs did mention freemium features). This dynamic is rooted in my two-years-ago curiosity around a widget I've used at various times during my startup adventures: FreeConferenceCall.com. I could never figure out how they offered as many lines as I could chew up for free – not like freemium-driven free, but just damn zero! And that's when I discovered a concept called traffic pumping.   The short version of the story goes like this: there is essentially a fat-ass loophole in the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that allows rural…
After the third time I saw Nick Bilton's weekend column fly across my tweet stream in a matter of 20 minutes, I clicked with much excitement. I've always enjoyed Nick's work, and think he's near the top of mainstream big-media writers focused on startups. By about the third paragraph, I was confused and literally scrolled up to check the byline. To me, the piece felt one-sided, starkly anti-startup and designed to maximize pageviews. My takeaway was to let it soak in a bit. But given i'm writing this post 24 hours later, I suppose it's fair to say I couldn't swallow the bitter pill. C'mon Nick, you're waaay better than that! Let me explain. Firstly, on the topic of bubbles I'll defer to the consistently brilliant Chris Dixon whose weekend post noted the fundamentals of most of the big valuations are more sane than the late 90s. I've not lived…
Saturday, 07 January 2012 04:29

What If Cringely is Right? How @Jack Could Run Apple

Written by Dave Walters
It's been a while since I've blogged here, which is mostly due to my new role as Product Evangelist at Silverpop. It's a company and team I’ve had incredible respect for since being their first corporate client ever in 1999 while at UPS. There were incredibly few full-time gigs I would have entertained, but it’s been awesome. So on to my (potentially) crazy theory for this post.   To begin, you have to be old enough to remember one of the true icons of tech media going back to the early 90s: one Robert X. Cringely. His InfoWorld column was center of all astrophysical prognostication for years, and it always seemed he knew just a little bit more than anybody on the block. If you're not a 20-year fan, you may also know Bob from his book ‘Accidental Empires: How the Boys of Silicon Valley Make Their Millions, Battle Foreign Competition,…
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 13:47

Thoughts from TEDxAtlanta: Balance

Written by Dave Walters
As most entrepreneurs will tell you, managing "balance" is in an ongoing (and sometimes not winnable) struggle during specific periods of building a business. It's an awesome concept, and I've learned over the years to manage toward balance in small ways. Eating dinner together with my entire family every night. Being active at my daughter's school. Reading to both my daughters. These are the things that make a real difference for me personally.   So I time-shift big chunks of my work until after the entire house is asleep. I often joke I get more done between 10p and 2a, than during 10a to 2p. Sure I get less rest, but I'm a night owl by nature so it works.   The pursuit of balance is just as important professionally. Starting multiple businesses concurrently, helping other entrepreneurs build their companies, and staying on top of market trends can be an…
  Or the alternate title: “Screw EHarmony, How I Met My Technical Co-Founder on LinkedIn”     This morning I got a reminder email from LinkedIn about my free $50 in ad credit. Being a new public company certainly ratchets up the pressure for recurring revenue, so here comes the AdWords-style promo code flinging! I really don’t have time right now to test another platform without a solid objective in mind, so I’d pretty much 86’ed it. And then my parallel entrepreneur disease kicked in…   Sure I’m neck-deep in spec’ing and working with my bad-ass technical co-founder to develop the core APIs for Mixee. And yes things have moved into warp drive in the last two weeks with a new licensing opportunity. But that’s the beauty of parallel processing – more oars equal a faster boat. At the same time, my other startup Garkd has been equally burning a…