June 2006
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Tools and resources from the Nitron Advisors team. We tend to blog about investing, leadership, management, career acceleration, personal productivity, securities research, and online networks.

June 28, 2006

Multisided Markets–HBS Professor Andrei Hagiu

HBS Professor Andrei Hagiu is an expert on multi-sided markets, and recently interviewed me on that topic: Market Platform Dynamics–Catalyst Conversation: Conversation with David Teten. His site requires that you submit an email address to read the article (but I should note that he doesn’t actually test if the email address is functional.)

June 27, 2006

How to cancel a service

Posted in General, Personal Productivity
by David Teten @ 10:58 am —

After reading posts about people who have had to beg to be disconnected from AOL, J2, and Sky TV, I saw the following advice:

I’ve worked for a telecommunications company that I would prefer to go unnamed, and I’d like to offer some tips to anyone trying to disconnect a service they no longer want. The biggest tip is to call well outside of normal business hours — in my company, customer service was open 24/7, but the retention department closed in the evening. If you call, say, before bed, or during the middle of the night, you’ll just be talking to a regular CS rep who has no incentive whatsoever to keep you as a customer. It can turn a twenty minute phone call into a two minute phone call.

Second, if you get a rude rep, hang up and call right back. Some reps, especially in commission driven departments like sales and retention, are especially pushy, where as if you call back you might get someone who is right at the end of his shift and just wants to get you off of his phone.

Third, there is one reason for disconnection that will work for almost every service–moving. Tell them you’re moving out of the service area, or moving in with someone who already has the same service, and they should be required to cancel everything for you.

Also, it would be helpful to remember that the representatives in retention are paid to retain you as customers–threatening to record the call, asking for their name or ID, or asking for a supervisor will not do anything. All calls are recorded and the representatives have responses they are required to give for every customer question or complaint. The rep who actually gets in trouble will be the one who disconnects you immediately without trying to retain you, not the one who spends twenty minutes using every tactic in the book the company wrote for him.

via BoingBoing

June 23, 2006

Shawn Gold, SVP, MySpace: Marketing in a Networked Culture

Posted in General, Social Software, Public Markets Investing
by David Teten @ 4:11 pm —

Following up on my draft post on ‘Business Models for User-Generated Media‘, I wrote some notes on this morning’s iBreakfast.

Shawn Gold, SVP, MySpace: Marketing in a Networked Culture

MySpace has 100m users projected by july

84m registered users, 2m new registered users per week (size of Houston), 48m unique visitors per month in US

2nd most popular site for content consumption on the Internet, as defined by page views. 29000 indie film profiles. 1.8m music profiles.

#1 video viewing site

#1 referrer to Google—8.19% of Google’s traffic

42% of YouTube viewing is happening on MySpace.


MySpace will become THE full service community portal

Introduce innovative advertising solutions while being at forefront of pop culture

DNA of Myspace Generation : MySpace is their place. Where youth culture gathers to express themselves, connect with friends, and discover popular culture.

Big differentiator from competition is the way MySpace is used to discover popular culture, i.e., bands/TV shows.

All the growth is viral—they market to influencers not to audience members.

Nielsen: Myspace reaches 51% of 13-17 year olds online (which is 85% of all 13-17 year olds).

79% of the site is 18+, and 25M users who are 30+.

Why so successful:

-A user’s profile is a metaphor for their room or apt.

- The Internet generation has grown up sharing their lives

- The profile is a characterization of who they are

- They want to express themselves creatively.

Children lack a ‘their space’. 7-11 doesn’t let them hang out in front; the mall security guards kick them out. They’re used to being in public. MySpace is a form of identity production.

Everyone takes pride in their medium. It’s ‘vested media’ because they created it.

When people say the pages are unwieldy, just think of a teenager’s room.

Social networks/blogs serve as a publishing platform for early adopters. Word of Mouth has turned into ‘citizen journalism’, which people trust more than traditional media.

MySpace allows brands to become living, breathing entities that consumers can interact with.

Best brand programs tie into self-expression, facilitate connections between people, or is centered around the discovery of popular culture.

87m stories in the database, and a lot of that content is professional. Every nightclub, every major Christian band, every celebrity brand, is in the database. They’re now slicing the database by professional type, e.g., if you want to reach all the comedians.

Basic idea of marketing: "Tell a Friend"

Average page is visited 30 times a day. If you’re in the top 8, your exposure is exponential. XMen has 3.2m friends. If you friend them, you can have top 16 friends, instead of top 8.

Core: identification and individuality. Don’t separate them—that’s Geocities. Understand core needs (identification and individuality), and address their core needs: recognition, knowledge, self-expression, belonging, access, discovery, appreciation, and confidence.

We facilitate this on a social networking platform.

Next speaker—-Shelly Palmer, author, Television Disrupted

Five buzzwords you can use right now. You will sound like a genius if you use these.

- Mobile video: clipcasts or streamcasts. He dislikes the term ‘cellphone video’, because not all mobile video (e.g., ipod video) is via a cell tower. Why does ESPN Mobile have only 2400 subscribers—because it’s $30-$400/month. It’s a MVNO—they own the handset and customer experience. They’re $30M in the hole. All the vanity cell services will meet the same fate. ESPN invested a lot of money into the technology. Behaviors change glacially. In the last century, fastest time to market for an electronic tool was Xerox machine. It killed carbon paper extremely quickly. Instantly successful. Normally new tools take 5-100 years—fax machine took 100 years.

- IPTV—Internet Protocol Television

- Broadband Video—call it ‘IP Video’. ‘Streaming Video’ is a silly term.

- Podcasting—he hates this word. A use of the RSS spec—it has nothing to do with IPods or broadcasting. Coined by Adam Curry. Based on XML spec. Blogging is the most popular use of RSS.

- Mesh Networks—each node connects or two or more nodes. No central server. Self-healing. Hard to shut down. Napster was a file-sharing network, therefore easy to shut down. If they’re wireless they’re a swarm. BitTorrent is best example of a mesh network. Cant be used in real-time streaming.

Oct. 12, 2005: the date that Steve Jobs and Eiger unilaterally decided to put TV shows on ipod—Desperate HouseWives. Very controversial with affiliates. The day the TV world changed.

"Contact is King!"

Different words for all of you in the audience:

Cable companies call customers ’subscribers’

Phone companies call them ‘access lines’

TV cos. Call them ‘Viewers’

Computer cos. Call them ‘users’

2/17/2009: all analog TV spectrum will go digital. Your old analog TV won’t work. The good news: all the old analog frequencies will be reclaimed by the gov’t and auctioned off. Most likely it will be used to create a large broadband cloud—WiMAX? No longer will you use a little local wifi network—you’ll use the large broadband cloud. Hermistown, OR has largest broadband cloud in America: 700 sq miles, 5 megabits. It’s like living in Star Trek. Cant handle lots of streaming video/VOIP, but it’s enough for email. Intel is banking heavily on WiMAX.

Every cell phone call ends with ‘hello’, instead of ‘goodbye’, because of connectivity problems


Shawn: They review every photo/video uploaded to myspace

Any member can report objectionable content

25000 volunteers police school site

Algorithms that search for underage kids—e.g., mentioning 12 candles on a birthday cake. They kick off 5000 underage kids/day.

Myspace is the size of two Californias—and the crime on the site is equivalent to 5 blocks in NYC

June 22, 2006

Business Models in User Generated Media

Posted in General, Social Software
by David Teten @ 2:48 pm —

Tomorrow morning I’ll be speaking at on Business Models in User Generated Media. I have attached a DRAFT of my talk below. I’d be grateful for any feedback readers might have. In particular, I’m trying to get rough revenue estimates for each of the categories below.

Business Models for User Generated Media (UGM)

June 21, 2006

Accolo acquires Teten Executive Recruiting

Posted in Social Software
by David Teten @ 11:06 pm —

I’m happy to report that, after two years of successful partnership, I have sold Teten Executive Recruiting to Accolo. I’ll be continuing in my current role running Nitron Advisors, which is a separate company. Here’s the press release:

Press Release
For Immediate Release
June 21, 2006

Accolo acquires Teten Executive Recruiting; combined firm is innovator in using social software and online networks for recruiting.

Larkspur, CA – June 22, 2006 – Accolo, Inc. today announced the acquisition of Teten Executive Recruiting, a retained executive search firm that specializes in using online networks to reach and recruit the most qualified candidates. The firm focuses on the hedge fund, private equity, and strategy consulting industries. Founder and author David Teten joins Accolo’s Advisory Board.

David Teten said, "I first discovered Accolo ( in my research for my book about social software and online networks, became a client, and then created a partnership with them. When I learned how they had re-engineered the recruiting process to incorporate the power of online networks, I thought: this is the way recruiting should be. I think that the traditional recruiting model is broken and painfully inefficient, and I am excited to have the privilege of working with a team that understands the logical way that companies should manage the process of finding great people."

In this cash and stock deal, Accolo gains access to Teten Executive Recruiting ( clients such as American Real Estate Partners, Net2Phone, OfficeTiger, The Trium Group, Zacks Investment Research, and IDT Entertainment. Teten Executive Recruiting is known as a thought leader in using blogs, listservs, online communities, social network software, relationship capital management software, and biography analysis software for recruiting. Accolo has acquired the proprietary tools that Teten Executive Recruiting has developed.

John Younger, CEO of Accolo, commented, "We were excited about Teten Executive Recruiting’s list of lighthouse clients and its deep expertise in social software and online networks. This acquisition is the logical culmination of a mutually beneficial relationship. The company is providing us with new strategies to continue raising the bar, as well as new clients to take advantage of our growing senior executive search capabilities. Just in the past year, we have recruited CIOs, CEOs, CFOs, and Vice Presidents for companies with revenues of $5 million to $1.5 billion."

Jon Weber, President of American Real Estate Partners (NYSE: ACP), commented, "Finding top talent quickly and efficiently is a high priority for us. We’ve been pleased with the way Teten Executive Recruiting and Accolo combine their talents to save us time and money to hire the best people. Their solution has worked well for several of our companies”

Martin Babinec, CEO of TriNet ( ), emphasized, “TriNet’s long association with Accolo has been borne out of a deep faith and confidence in the company’s innovative approach to sourcing and recruiting. The fact that Accolo’s team continues to seek out partners that will expand and deepen its already impressive service delivery is proof that the company won’t rest on its laurels. TriNet is enthusiastic about Accolo’s latest milestone and looks forward to its future successes.”

David Teten, founder of Teten Executive Recruiting, is coauthor of the first business book on these strategies and technologies, The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals Online. He runs a business resource guide and blog about social software and online networks at . David also co-writes a monthly column about online networks for, and was recently honored as a "Future HR Leader" by Human Capital magazine for his innovative use of online networks. David is a member of the Advisory Board of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (, which is also an Accolo client.

David Teten will continue in his current role as CEO of Nitron Advisors, LLC ( ). Nitron Advisors provides hedge funds, venture capitalists, other institutional investors, and law firms with direct insight from a broad network of senior industry experts, located at

About Accolo

Accolo has built proprietary, patented software and processes that automate roughly 80% of the recruiting process. Accolo leverages this toolkit to provide Recruitment Process Outsourcing services, becoming part of a company’s internal recruitment function. Accolo’s unique application of the “art” of recruiting within a highly automated framework, along with a network of over 300,000 past and present candidates, delivers quantifiable improvements in recruiting quality, efficiency and cost. Our clients meet the top performer they will hire in an average of 13 days. The average company spends 15.9% of an employee’s salary on recruiting; Accolo clients spend less than 9%.

Accolo is profitable and revenues more than doubled last year. The company is the HRO World 2005 Recruitment Process Outsourcer of the Year and a founding member of the Recruitment Process Outsourcing Association ( The Company was founded in 2000 and its investors include Vedior (Amsterdam: VDR, ) and TriNet ( ). Accolo works with such leading customers as JDS Uniphase, Blue Shield of California, Starmine, CMP United Business Media, ValueClick, Verity, and PRNewsWire. For more information, visit

Diane Hassett
dhassett at
1-415-785-7833 x220

David Teten
press at

June 19, 2006

TieCON East: Trends in Investment Research and Due Diligence.

My colleague Scott Lichtman took some detailed notes on the TieCONEast panel last week on “Trends in Investment Research and Due Diligence”.


Graham Field, Managing Director, AQ Research (Moderator)
Graham is the Managing Director of AQ Research, which provides quantitative global analysis of the accuracy of sell-side research. Graham established AQ Research in 1998, having worked as a financial journalist since 1987. He was editor of Asiamoney and of the International Tax Review, as well as presenting business programmes on BBC radio and television. Graham’s books include Economic Growth and Political Change in Asia (1995), Japan’s Financial System: Restoration and Reform (1998) and Euroland: The Future of Europe’s Capital Markets (2000). He is a graduate of Cambridge and London Universities in the UK

Susan Oh, Director & Senior Analyst, Merrill Lynch
Susan’s responsibilities include manager research and the analysis of hedge funds. She is also the portfolio manager of the Merrill Lynch Event Driven Fund. Her focus is on invested managers as well as identifying new funds. Prior to joining MLIM, Susan was a Senior Analyst at Tremont Capital Management. At Tremont, she conducted due diligence on hedge funds and strategies to make strategic recommendations to the Investment Committee. Her other experience includes Citco Group Ltd. and Smith Barney, Inc. Susan was a hedge fund analyst for Citco and an Institutional Sales Assistant at Smith Barney in the hedge fund group.

Dave Furneaux, Founder & Managing General Partner, Kodiak Venture Partners
Prior to Kodiak, in 1996, he co-founded Furneaux & Company, LLC, a seed stage high technology venture investment company. He was the founding investor and active Chairman of the Board of Extreme Packet Devices (acquired by PMC-Sierra) and Philsar (acquired by Conexant). He also was a founding investor, Vice President of Business Development, and member of the board of Skystone Systems (acquired by Cisco Systems), a founding investor in Solidum Systems (acquired by IDT) and an early investor in Telica Systems (acquired by Lucent). At Kodiak, he was an active early investor in AuroraNetics (acquired by Cisco Systems), Watchfire and Raza Microelectronics.

Gregory Locraft, Vice President, MFS Investment Management
Gregory Locraft is the Vice President of MFS Investment Management and a Portfolio Manager of the $2billion MFS Capital Opportunities Fund and related portfolios. Mr. Locraft joined MFS in 1998 as a research analyst. He became a member of the Large Cap Growth Portfolio Management team in October 2003 and was named Portfolio Manager of MFS Capital Opportunities Fund in December 2005. Previously, he was a Senior Consultant for Kaiser Associates, Inc. Prior to that, he was a Financial Consultant for Smith, Barney, Inc. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Williams College and an M.B.A. from Harvard University.

David Teten, CEO, Nitron Advisors


Scott Lichtman’s notes:

Furneaux: $700M under management. 8 partners. investing throughout the northeast, and also some emerging markets. 50% of investments are with people we invested in before.

As a Private Equity firm, we are constantly communicating to our managers to find depth in companies. The average time from startup to IPO is 8 years, from IPO to acquisition is 6 years. To pick the right companies, combine analyst inteligence (awareness and insight) with due diligence.

Locraft: Good researchers are leaving sell-side and traditional buy-side & going where there’s a piece of the action.

Teten: Gave overview of Nitron Advisors’ business model. Quoted prominent industry CEO, who said, “If you’ve been in research > 5 years, you’re not a good stock picker.”

Locraft has 45 analysts. Average hold on a stock in the market is 11 months. 40% of trading volume is from proprietary desks. They compensate staff to think long-term, which they define as 3 years. They usually only invest in companies with >$500M in assets. MFS is a $170B firm with $2B in Greg’s fund. “The level of scrutiny we’ve undergone at MFS has made us take a whiteboard approach to the P&L.” MFS is concerned about raw trading costs.

Susan Oh: Our area invests in all major strategies: long-short equity, relative value driven, CTAs, global macro. She focuses on event-driven. Due diligence starts with an on-site visit. We look at management, firm, infrastructure, risk management, operations. red flag: concentrated investor base. Such investors may have preferential rights…which could hurt smaller investors.

What is the quality of sellside analysis information? Do you compare internal analysts with sell-side?

Locraft: Yes – analyst compensation is based on stock picking results vs. sell-side recommendations. We use AQ’s competitor, Starmine.

Field: What if your analysts aren’t that good?

Locraft says there are certainly cases where some analysts are better than others, and therefore some of our analysts by definition aren’t top of field. MFS will pay accordingly for specific sell-side analysis in these cases. But we recognize the disadvantage of information being disseminated to all parties at the same time via FD.

David Teten: How do you measure ROI of research?

Oh: One hedge trader I knowwill only buy research when it’s contrarian to the general street consensus.

Locraft: ROI on a good analyst’s picks is enormous – so massive it’s not worth measuring.

Dave Furneaux: the early stage challenge for PE/VC investors these days is that there is more money than opportunities. This means for any evident investing opportunity the returns are lower due to increased competition for investment dollars. So the key is to find an investment idea others don’t know about or appreciate.

TieCON East: Trends in Online Networks and Social Software

Posted in General, Social Software
by David Teten @ 11:43 am —

My colleague Scott Lichtman took some detailed notes on the TieCONEast panel last week on Trends in Online Networks and Social Software.


Angela Biever

Angela Biever is Managing Director for the Consumer Internet sector within Intel Capital, Intel’s corporate venturing organization. She assumed this role in early 2006. Angela’s team recently invested in online blogging company SixApart and is interested in new computing models being generated by Web2.0. Prior to this, Angela was General Manager of Intel’s New Business Initiatives (NBI), a center for new business creation that also resides within Intel Capital.

Prior to joining Intel in 1999, Angela was a senior executive at First Data Corporation. She was President of one of its operating subsidiaries and also served on the Company’s Senior Management Committee, a group providing policy and direction for the then $2 billion information and transaction processor. During her tenure at First Data Corporation, Angela held positions as the Chief Administrative Officer of the Company, played a key role in its IPO, and was SVP of Finance and Business Development.

Angela has also held senior management positions at American Express Company and Time Inc, and was a consultant at McKinsey & Co.

Angela has been a member of the Board of Directors of Raymond James Financial since 1997 and is currently Chairman of its Audit Committee. She has an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a degree in business from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.

Tim DeMello

Tim is founder, Chairman and CEO of Ziggs, Inc., his fourth start-up venture. In addition, Tim is the founder and creator of iGuess Games LLC. iGuess Games has created the first board game powered by Internet. The game, Favorite 4, will be introduced for Christmas 2006.

Prior to founding Ziggs, Tim founded, one of the pioneering companies in ecommerce in 1993, and took the company public in June of 1999. Prior to Streamline, Tim founded his first start-up company, Replica Corporation, an interactive educational and entertainment company. Tim sold his interest in Replica in 1993.

Tim began his career as a stockbroker in 1981 and was employed by Kidder, Peabody & Co., becoming a Vice President in 1984, and then he joined the investment firm L.F. Rothschild, Unterberg, Towbin as a Vice President in 1985. He received his bachelor of science degree in Finance from Babson College where he also lettered in baseball and hockey. In addition, Tim started the Babson College rugby team. He has served on Babson’s Board of Trustees.

Tim has made numerous speaking appearances at the MIT Enterprise Forum, Fast Company Magazine and Inc. Magazine conferences, as well as regular speeches on entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, Boston University, MIT Sloan School, FW Olin Graduate School of Business, Bentley College and his alma mata, Babson College. He has also been featured in stories in Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, USA TODAY and The Wall Street Journal. Tim has been a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards and was recognized as one of Boston Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40. Tim was selected by Inc. Magazine as a top entrepreneur in their “Birthing of Giants” program and his first company was honored with a cover story in the magazine and listed as one of the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies.

He is an active competitor in the sport of triathlon and is an Ironman finisher. He is the father of two children and lives in Boston…where his dream about the day when the Red Sox finally win the World Series came true!

Torsten Jacobi
Torsten Jacobi or ‘TJ’ is a serial entrepreneur and investor with experience in software and media. Torsten currently serves Creative Weblogging Ltd as its CEO and director. Prior to Creative Weblogging, Torsten started SRM company newtron and the local chapter of First Tuesday in Saxony, Germany. TJ also co-founded Euro Venture Partners, a network of pan-European network of business angels.

John Younger

John is President, CEO and Founder, Accolo. For over 16 years, John has successfully identified and incorporated major trends and technologies affecting the recruitment landscape.

In January 2000 John founded Accolo, an innovator in networking-based Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). John’s passion to dramatically improve how people and jobs find each other is rooted in his deep understanding of technology, the recruitment process, and a core belief that everyone deserves courtesy and respect. This idea is central to Accolo’s vision, methods, and communications.

John’s vision for a completely outsourced staffing solution led him to found y/net in January 1996. After a successful launch of y/net, TriNet acquired John and his company in November 1996 where he remained until December 1999. TriNet was one of Inc. Magazine’s 500 fastest growing companies in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.

From 1987 to 1994, John was the Vice President of Human Resources for Bank of America where he led technical recruitment for an organization of 16,000 people.

John has successfully identified, incorporated and advanced recruitment solutions for over 16 years. He was Resumix user #2 in 1988 and established the first Vendor on Premises for both Bank of America and Olsten Corporation in 1992. He was an early adopter of Internet recruiting with the On-Line Career Center (to later become Monster) in 1993, and was user #4 while running his Venture Talent recruitment Agency in 1998.

John earned a degree from Notre Dame in Mathematics and Computer Science and is a former member of the United States National (Olympic) Rowing Team.

David Teten


Scott Lichtman’s Notes

Biever: Intel Capital largest investor in IT startups in the worldup. 100 investment professionals. Portfolio of 300 companies. Recently decided to focus on consumer internet, but have touched on it in the past. Invested in Six-Apart.

Even Web 1.0, e.g eBay, was community-based, based on common interests or objectives. Now, you’re seeing changing social customs. People spend more time on the internet than on broadcast TV.

Wonders about: looking on MySpace and see people with “800,000 friends.” What business model will allow them to sustain themselves. Ads, transactions are possible, subscription/premium type services. These will be increasingly targeted.

John Younger:
First, i’m happy to announce the acquisition by Accolo of Teten Executive Recruiting. (Editor: Details coming shortly on that topic.)

Recruitment Process Outsourcer – become your company’s internal recruiting function.
Working the same problem for 19 years – finding the perfect person for a job, eliminating all obstacles between hirer and the best candidate.

Four trends:
Social networking. Accolo’s Career Network is over 300,000 people.
Business Process Outsourcing – reruiting is the fastest growing segment
Software as a service
Candidate Scarcity – over 9,000 documented personal referrals

The productive of a recruiter’s pace of placing someone hasn’t changed since 1963.

Top 3 reasons candidates and members love accolo:
Real jobs verified directly with the hiring manager
Respect, confidentiality and follow-up
Easy for the two people who matter

94% of people who apply for jobs never hear back from anyone, ever.

Uses Google paradigm for ease of use. Any firm that can put only two buttons on the interface – ’search’ and ‘I’m feeling lucky’ – is a genius.

Their cost comes in routinely under 9% of first year compensation, sometimes under 4-5%, vs. 20-30% for the average recruiter.

Social Networking implies public visibility. If Metcalfe’s law means the value of a network is proprtional to the square of the number of users of the system, what does that do to your personal and corporate risk equation?


There will be a separation of personal and business social networks online. Some people are attempting to post multiple personalities, but they are all searchable.

Younger people don’t realize the consequences of posting semi-scandalous information and images about themselves on personal sites.
Story: they had interns working last summer for them. DeMello heard one intern hadn’t been working as hard. He was referred to MySpace/Facebook. Intern actually posted on MySpace where he said he spends the day screwing around at work. Intern said “I guess this is the part where I leave.” => Young people can be screened via FaceBook.

Ziggs allows people to post their own identity for free. Your professional identity on the web can be consciously framed. This is a “flight to quality.” Where you post your identify affects people’s perception of you.

57m times a day proper names will be searched on the internet.

Growing a business like this is about the first 1,000 profiles. The firms need to vet the first 1,000 profiles, which sets the guideposts for what other people post.

Torsten Jacobi– Creative Weblogging:

They hire some of the most influential and well-read bloggers on specialty topics.
They also work with more than 1500 citizen reporters. They contribute additional stories while building their reputation.

Teten: number one reason people come to TIECon East is for networking. Do online networks make face to face networking less important?

Tim doesn’t think online networks doesn’t weaken the need for in-person. It’s an “add” rather than a replacement.

John – has anyone read Bowling Alone? Bowling fills a social need. Online connectivity is replacing the lack of in-person connectivity.

Angela – complexity of the world we live in requires more tools. More cross-border deals, multi-party solutions. Online tools help manage this complexity.

Teten: Torsten is getting a lot of content from citizen reporters. How do you screen their content for validity/liability (eg stock recommendations, spam)?

Torsten – Our filtering mechanism is based on keywords, clicks and track record. Finds out what are the most interesting stories for the community. We also use this filters on spam and useless, mundane contributions.

Teten: Story: A friend “John” sent in for a job, the letter said check out my web site. Some readers thought this was self-aggrandizing to have your own web site.

Tim: People are getting smarter about this trend. People will think about how they want to be represented online. Years ago, people would buy the website and build their own. Now people want a template to populate content but not worry about layout or hosting. There will still be a creative flair but the effort and extremes will be tailed back.

Teten: John, how do you overcome barriers to sale in an outsourced business?
John – not easily. Any disruptive outsourcing play has to be sold at high enough level in the business to overcome the lower-level managers (HR) who want things to remain the same. They encounter
-Ignorance at manager level
-Complacency - at sourcing manager who things an applicant tracking system bandaid will solve the whole problem.
-Fear – recruiter will blanch at the metrics that Accolo can produce.

They focus on companies from 300 to 1,000 employees. The problem Accolo solves includes eliminating time to hire multiple recruiting agencies. The business process gets better after the first hiring – this is better than just getting one good hire.

Teten – How can people best use your service?

Torsten – people find good blogs by entering a normal keyword in google and add the word “blog”. There are some blog search engines like Technorati, AskJeeves has come up with a good one, Google and Yahoo have come up with their own. They are “good enough.” His best tool is to evaluate how many google backlinks go into a blog. He checks and (check spelling).

DeMello: Ziggs vs. LinkedIn – both free. LinkedIn is closed, Ziggs is open, we don’t gate around you. Ziggs is Pagerank 6-7 in google. Search engines come to Ziggs looking for profiles on people. If you can post a profile that makes sense for free, it makes sense. They have 3-4m profiles. All words in a profile are saved because they may be relevant by search engines. He believes there will be 3-4 major professional networks online.

Younger: Accolo treats your informationally as confidentially as a credit card company if not better. They want to build career-long relationships. Some people take a fulltime job and stay four years, or a contract job and also stay for four years. It’s simple to get started – 90 seconds – then Accolo will reach out to you 1-2x per year about jobs


What are trends for consumer Internet and convergence with education?

Biever: recalls interest in this space 5 years ago. Hasn’t focused on this recently but hears there are things going on.

Julian Borne from (PoxPro). Good article on internet/social networks going mobile. With wireless/proximity social networking, it brings people face to face when they’re nearby each other. What’s progress in this space?

Torsten – are people with online social networks really looking for face to face interaction? Online allows for quick, informal interactions. You only go forward if you really want to. Torsten is already delivering their content on cell phone screens. Bandwidth issues (including typing on phones) makes rich interaction hard. He expects 50% of relevant content on the Internet to be on mobile phones in a few years.

Teten: The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed. Look at countries that are heavily wireless. And kids in high school today will take their tools to the corporate world.

Younger – personal view on the mobile side. The form factor is too small for many things. But as a business person, it can solve many problems. What if Plaxo could (link with the database of people at this event) and tell me who I should be meeting.

June 15, 2006

Are You Googling Your Privacy Away?

Posted in General, Social Software, Personal Productivity
by David Teten @ 7:04 pm —

Eric Shahinian wrote some detailed notes on last night’s panel on “Are You Googling Your Privacy Away?” for the New York County Lawyers’ Association / Cyberspace Law Committee.

Mark Grossman, Partner, Dewitt Grossman, P.L.

(To stay current with tech law issues, ask Mark Grossman to add you to his mailing newsletter. His email is mgrossman (at) )

To discuss recent news, let’s look at the new Sprint Family Locator. Who is concerned? Doubtful. Many of you probably feel that it’s a sign of relief, that now I will know where my spouse or kid is in an instant. But it’s more serious. Think divorce litigation. You claimed to be at work, but your phone says you were at the Holiday Inn. Curious. I wonder what you could’ve been doing. Many issues come up as to: is my provider allowed to disclose information if I don’t want them to? Is there any way to stop them? This is only the beginning.

To add on to the discussion of the actual cost to store this information, we are talking a tremendous amount of space. This information therefore must be worth it, and it is. It is worth an incredible amount.

The EU operates differently than the U.S. In Spain, this isn’t an issue. We are in a different culture, people easily spread their information. is a great example. 75 million users and growing, all of which have given out readily accessible information, that can deduce other information that can say so very much.

There are tons of things to improve in the industry, but we need to focus on one thing in particular, and politics has a great deal to do with it. I am a moderate Democrat, and my views reflect that position. This is truly a debate on choice. Yes, some people prefer to have their information known in order for companies not to waste their time by trying to sell a consumer things that person does not want. That is fine. As I will say again, the question is, if you didn’t want your information shared, could you stop it? No. If the information was lost or stolen, would you want to know? Yes. Could you? Probably not.

I recommend Webwasher and as useful tools to combat the concerns.

I would love it if the bookstore owner knew what I wanted and would pick out books for me. It is the same thing now. But it isn’t one piece of data, they are compiling vast amounts of information.

Harry Valetk, Director, Privacy Online, Entertainment Software Rating Board

Everything can be tracked. This isn’t just web pages here. This concerns call records, email records, search queries. It is all saved, it is never really deleted. Google doesn’t delete a thing. They have compiled detailed profiles of every imaginable characteristic.

What has emerged as the controversy over internet cache is truly, how can they sell this to someone? This is private information. But now think back 20 years. Often times a business’ greatest asset was their mailing list. Especially for a marketer. It is the crux of their modern marketing business.

Raj Goel, CTO, Brainlink International, Inc.

What I find most fascinating, something that most people don’t catch on to, is who would want this information from people, aside from marketers and thief’s? Easy to answer: the government. Surprising how most people never realize they provide the demand for most of this information.

A good analogy of this industry and discussion is to the automotive industry. We are at the equivalent right now of having just got a new Cadillac (picture this 40 years ago), driving 90 mph, and this was years and years before seatbelts and airbags. What a dangerous situation indeed.

What is most frightening about Google is not their basic search, it is Gmail. Does anyone have Google? Who got an invitation? It is invitation only. But wait, look at this, if you provide your cell phone number, they will send you an invitation? Ever realize they could easily just give you an invitation on the website? They want your number. Google doesn’t want to be a search engine. It wants to be the largest database in the world. They already know more about you than you may know. Under legislation email must be kept private, under legal documentation, Gmail isn’t an email account, it is a database. Notice how the top link in Gmail happens to work very nicely with your tastes. Something in your email revealed that. Check the fine print.

So what’s worse than Gmail? Google Desktop. Yeah it’s great, and efficient. But it gives Google “the keys to your life”. You make yourself so vulnerable to issues. Ever realize how you can view deleted emails from a long time ago, or find web pages you may have view briefly? All which has been “deleted” truly was not. It is saved for many, many years.

Remember the litigation facing Google, in which they refused to give over user data? Don’t feel safe, it is because it is too valuable to them, not you. But what is not discussed is the National Security Letter they likely received, forcing them to give over the information, and forcing them not to discuss the situation.

To hit home, I know most people have medical information they don’t want disclosed. I did work for a healthcare provider, and trust me, your information, minus any psych evaluation, is in at least 5 countries.

June 14, 2006

Was Earning That Harvard M.B.A. Worth It?

Posted in General, Personal Productivity, Career Acceleration
by David Teten @ 10:27 am —

ABOUT a year before Adam Richman was to graduate from the Harvard Business School in 1996, he took on an extracurricular project. It was long before the Internet bubble inflated and burst, and well before one of the school’s graduates landed in the White House. Mr. Richman wondered: What was the real-world value of a master’s in business administration, especially one from the iviest of Ivies? Was it, as widely perceived, an ace in the hole, a get-out-of-jail-free card, a ticket to the good life?

more from the NY Times…

Senior Media Entrepreneurs/ Executives Manhattan Lunch, 6/27

Posted in General, Events, Personal Productivity, Career Acceleration
by David Teten @ 10:26 am —

Senior Media Entrepreneurs/ Executives Manhattan Lunch

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

If you are investigating new businesses to grow; have sold your business and are looking for your next move; or perhaps have just exited a senior level executive position; please join us at our lunch for Media Entrepreneurs and Senior Executives Seeking New Business Growth. Participants typically had C-level responsibility for at least a $50M budget in the media industry (broadly defined).

Due to the overwhelming interest in our topic and limited space, we can only accommodate individuals whom the event is addressing directly. We welcome referrals.

1345 Avenue of the Americas, 49th Floor
(Between 54th and 55th Streets)
Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2006, Noon sharp until 2pm
Cost: complimentary

Your Hosts:

+ David Teten, CEO, Nitron Advisors
+ John Adelman, CIMA and Paul Lewis, CFM, Wittenstein Adelman Group
+ Allan Grafman, President, All Media Ventures; Operating Partner, Mercury Capital (formerly President, Archie Comics Entertainment; CFO, Hallmark Entertainment; Tribune; Cap Cities/ABC)
+ Claire Delong, Accolo

Please RSVP with your one-page text biography to Avi Mally, AMally(at) , 1-212-682-5874 . Pre-registration is required; we will distribute your one-page biography to all the attendees. Please make sure to include your contact information on your biography, and ideally, your photo. Also, please indicate any dietary preferences (vegetarian, kosher, halal, etc.)

(Our thanks to Jeff Meshel of Mercury Capital for inspiring this event.)