Wow ... it has been a while since my last post. When I start getting emails from people sounding worried about the lack of posts lately, it is probably time to get back at it. Things have been crazy since my last post about 3GSM in Barcelona. I was running around on start-up stuff as well as some new consulting work helping CLECs with some FCC petitions ... interesting new work, and then a quick trip to Disney World with the family. Yikes!! Good times on all fronts.
First a couple of quick words on the land of Mickey Mouse. I've been so busy lately, my wife wisely figured it was time to get away with the kids for some R&R. We stayed on the Disney property at a hotel called the Beach Club. Other than the sucking sound of an industrial vacuum on our wallets, it was fantastic. The bar made an excellent Pina Colava and the pool actually had sand in it, including a sand bar for the kids to play in, a small lazy river and a waterfall. Someone accidentally turned up the heat and the entire pool was hovering near 90 degrees Fahrenheit by our last day! I'm sure I saw dollar bills floating up in the air where someone had written JESUS in the sky with an airplane ... I'm not kidding ... about the Jesus part.
An entrepreneur can never flip the switch to off .... the hamster is always running though I managed to get him into a steady jog rather than the mad sprint he is usually in. Actually, I usually have three hamsters running at the same time ... two of them work hard to bring in money so that the third one can live his dreams. Anyway, Disney is a great place to observe American society at work. One thing is for sure ... American's sure know how to entertain. They nearly get you crying at the "Believe" killer whale show at Sea World with the whole "young kid sitting on the beach carving a whale tale out of wood reaches his dreams of becoming a trainer at Sea World". It is not just a "killer whale jumps out of the water" trick show, it is a full dramatic production with huge rotating screens and all. Another amazing show is the new car stunt show at MGM ... absolutely incredible and very well done.
Ok ... as usual, you're wondering what the hell this has to do with start-up stuff. As I said, an entrepreneur is always "on", even if the hamster is in a slow jog sipping on a pina colava so there is a connection.
I have been on a major deep dive recently to investigate "the power of the crowds". There have been many huge successes in the last number of years that really highlight the extremely social nature of human beings. Some excellent examples you may have heard of include MySpace, YouTube, WikiPedia, Digg, eBay, CraigList, SecondLife, Blogs, LinkedIn .... I could go on and on and on. Not only are people interested in connecting with others but many of them spend an insane number of hours creating, posting and rating content. It is true that fewer than 10% of the people actually contribute ... probably closer to 1% actually ... but when you consider the entire wired world that 1% ends up being a very big number.
While on the way to Orlando, I picked up a great new book called "Wikinomics, How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything". I highly recommend it ... a very well written book by a couple of guys from Toronto of all places (Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams of New Paradigm). I'll definitely try to hook up with the authors next time I'm in Toronto as this is a critical component of our start up.
I'll share some more about this in future posts as this is a major trend that will impact all of us. Speaking of social, I'm announcing a big party at the Isfan residence in mid April. It is mostly a social affair but I will pull together a bit of an "open kimono" session at the beginning and share with all in attendance a bit of what we are up to. If you are interested in attending and are not on my evite list, please shoot me an email and make your case ... I'll take it to the judges to earn you a fastpass (don't tell anyone).
Allan "back to reality" Isfan
Entrepreneur In Residence, Skypoint Capital