entrepreneurship – Stay N Alive

Entrepreneurship With a Family is for Crazy People

I am frequently asked how I was able to go out on my own with a family of a wife and 6 kids. The truth is I’m crazy – completely crazy. If you want to see how crazy entrepreneurship actually is go follow my friend Dave McClure and listen to a few of his presentations (warning – lots of language). Entrepreneurship, without a family, isn’t for the faint of heart. This is my story.

Entrepreneurship alone is tough – really tough. Your chances of going completely broke are 9 out of 10. People call that failing, but the truth is most entrepreneurs don’t just fail – they lose all their money, and their credit cards in the process. It’s tough – it’s really tough.

I used to think that every entrepreneur out there had a lot of money – they were able to go out on their own after all and support themselves. How do they do that? The truth is most of them are just like that commercial of the neighbor with the nice house, nice lawn, and everything you ever wanted, culminating with the neighbor saying, “I’m in debt up to my eyeballs!” That’s the truth for most entrepreneurs. Without a family, that’s a risk many can take.

Add to that a family – a family of 6 kids nonetheless – and you can see how crazy it actually is. Not only am I risking my own finances. I’m risking my ability to keep a roof over my family’s head, the ability to keep food on the table, pay for braces for my teenagers, and give them a good life. Babies become more expensive (if you want more). Health problems are more expensive. It’s not easy at all.

If you’ve gotten this far after being scared out of your mind you’re ready for entrepreneurship with a family. There are rewards as well. On top of it all, you get the freedom to set your own schedule. You get the freedom to be with your family whenever you want. The last time I was out on my own I spent an entire month on a road trip with my family going to Boston to see my family. I managed clients all while on the road. A day job would not have allowed that.

So if you’re still interested in starting your own business and going out on your own with a family, here are some tips, and a few warnings. I’m not perfect at it yet. In fact there are times I’m still desperate and trying to find the one thing that “sticks”. However, this is what I do and remember again – I’m crazy. I’m going to address this to the men and husbands of a wife, because that’s the only perspective I’m familiar with – I’d love to see the perspective of a wife some time though. Here are some tips to get you going:

  • Health insurance – there will be expensive options that come about as a result of Obamacare (whether you like it or not). I find that those work well if you have a pre-existing condition. You’re even crazier to be an entrepreneur with a family if you have a pre-existing condition.

    What I do is I get a healthcare plan with a $5k-10k deductible. There are many companies and options out there that offer this – Google it. This usually covers catastrophic issues like cancer and surgery and other things like that, but for anything else, better start saving your money. You can also negotiate better with Doctors if you don’t have insurance because it reduces their cost of having to deal with and wait for insurance companies to pay them. Remember – they’re crazy entrepreneurs too!

    Whatever you do DON’T GO WITHOUT INSURANCE – that’s not only crazy – it’s stupid. Get something with a high deductible and everyone will be happy.

  • Focus – This is a huge problem for me. I have so many things I like to try out and play with and hopefully make money out of. Figuring out which one to focus on is always the hardest part. Focus on the things that make you the most money NOW. Don’t do things that don’t have monetary value. If there’s a royalty vs. an advance I always take the advance because you can never guarantee the royalty. Only add other things to your workflow after the things that are making money are actually supporting you. Some times this involves working a full time job as that main means of revenue.

    I like to close down Facebook and email and put my phone in another room when I need to focus. That’s really tough to do, but it does wonders at making you focus on what you need (even writing this post is a distraction for me, but I feel I need to document it).

  • Investment – take it if you can. I tried to bootstrap my first business. I had no idea what I was doing. As a developer and marketer, I can build things and build audiences, but building those things into a true business that is sustainable is not my strong suite. Seeking investment up front from someone that could help with the business side of things would have been a huge advantage. I’ll add to that partnering with someone with such expertise would have really helped.
  • Dealing with the family – your wife is going to hate you for putting your family through this. I don’t know an entrepreneur with a wife and kids who has not had a few arguments with their spouse on why they should still be doing this. Be prepared for that.

    It’s important that you give your wife and children the time they need – maybe spend a day a week to just them. Another option is to make sure you’re having family dinners every night and that you’re a major part of that. Or perhaps you have a family night once a week. Go camping with them once a month – I find that really builds the family and gets you away from technology and the distractions as you do it.

    You’re also going to need to fulfill your duties as a husband and father – that means supporting the family. ALWAYS HAVE A BACKUP PLAN. If you run out of money don’t put your family into debt. Give yourself enough runway that you can get a job if you have to. DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET A JOB! You’ve got to find ways to put food on the table and make your house payment/rent.

    My Uncle, who founded Freeservers.com, Unitus, and several other successful ventures, always tells me to have a date you and your wife set where if you’re not profitable by that point you will get a job. Do that and stick to it and your entire family will be happy.

    Your wife is going to need to trust you – build her trust and she will. That means she has to feel secure and safe in what you are providing for the family. Include your wife in the business, and make her a partner as much as she is willing. Don’t do it if she’s not in it with you – that’s stupid too.

Being an entrepreneur with a family is nuts. You are nuts for trying it. However, if this is what you do like I do and this is what keeps you going, go for it. Go all out. Change the world. Make things that the world has never seen before.
Entrepreneurship is the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. It’s the most successful I’ve ever been. But it’s also been the scariest time of my life and a place where I’ve also seen the greatest failures.
I hope these tips have helped at least some of you – if anything it should be a voice of warning before you try anything. I don’t mean to scare anyone away from entrepreneurship. I do mean for you to be completely aware of what you’re getting yourself into before you start. These are waters that you will drown in if you’re not careful. Tread carefully, and you’ll have one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Swim on my crazy friends!

The Power of Starting Something Stupid [Book Review]

In my life, I have a rich dad and a poor dad (see Robert Kiyosaki). My poor dad is always keen to tell me that going out on my own and running my own business is “stupid”, risky, and a bad decision. My rich dad tells me it’s the most secure and rewarding decision I can make. Which one is it? The book, “The Power of Starting Something Stupid: How to Crush Fear, Make Dreams Happen, and Live Without Regret” attempts to answer that with a pep-talk, showing how “stupid” is the new smart.

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur that has a rich dad and a poor dad like me, there’s a good chance you’re going through the very same debates I did before going out on my own. While I must say there are definitely risks and a lot of work that goes into it, going out on my own was one of the best decisions I made in my life. The book, “The Power of Starting Something Stupid“, by Richie Norton goes into these rewards in deep detail, and has lots of motivation to push you towards taking that leap and going out on your own.

It is not a howto book per-se. However, I found the principles taught in the book were a perfect “pep-talk” for reminding me why making decisions others call stupid isn’t worth listing to those distracting me from my goals. In the book, it shows how some of the best ideas and businesses were called “stupid” before they became multi-million (and some times billion) dollar businesses.

If you’re looking for some inspiration to get off your rear and go out on your own, this book shows you why stupid is the new smart. It’s the perfect pep-talk for any aspiring entrepreneur. Go pre-order it now, and check out my GoodReads review! It is scheduled to come out in March.

Here are 10 Utah Entrepreneurs You Need to Know

Every year vSpring Capital releases the Utah v|100 list, a list of 100 aspiring entrepreneurs and tech professionals who are likely to have success in the next 5 years within the technology industry. I’ve been on the list twice as a winner, and I’ve been nominated again this year. While this is a very humbling experience, I want to be sure others have the opportunity to also be on the list. I decided this year I want to come up with and vote for 10 people that have never been on the list before.

The task of finding others who have not previously been on the list has proven to be a much harder task than I thought. However, I think I found 10 that I can really stand behind – my hope is that, if you’ve been nominated, you can consider these (I won’t be offended if you do not choose me this year), and if you haven’t, hopefully this will give you a list of a few new sites, services, and people to look out for in the coming years, whether you’re in Utah or out. Despite never having been on the list before, these are some of Utah’s finest tech professionals and entrepreneurs (in no particular order) – chances are most of these never even asked to be on this list (and some have never even met me):

  1. Allan Carroll, CTO, Piick.com – Allan is former CTO of FamilyLink and helped them get to one of the top positions in the Facebook Application directory. He’s one of the top Facebook application developers I know, and he even helped do the technical editing for my new book, Facebook Application Development For Dummies.

    Allan is now in his own startup, I believe as co-founder, this time starting a new, up-and-coming social commerce company called Piick. I’ve seen a preview and I admit it’s pretty cool. In or out of Piick, I expect to see big things for Allan in the future. I’m a sucker for entrepreneur developers and Allan’s one of the best.

    He is @allanca on Twitter.

  2. Joel Dehlin, CIO, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – I don’t just say this because Joel’s my boss. Joel’s a long-time friend for several years before I started working for the LDS Church. I’ve been following his efforts for years now and was quite surprised he had not yet been nominated for the v|100 list.

    Not to discredit the hard work of many others before him and that have worked with him, but Joel has practically revolutionized much of the technology and web efforts of the Church in his time there. Some results of his leadership include the new LDS.org design, the new Mormon.org, and he is the reason for me working for the Church and some of the Church’s turn towards social (not to discredit others that have also been involved in that effort, of course).

    Joel has also been a strong leader in a huge new volunteer effort within the IT talent of the Church at tech.lds.org, resulting in a yearly conference of hundreds of volunteers that collaborate to work on the Church’s IT projects. As a result of that, the majority of the Church’s mobile apps have been developed by volunteers, and many other technologies have also resulted from this volunteer effort. Oh, did I mention he was on both the PocketPC and Surface teams at Microsoft?

    Joel is @joeldehlin on Twitter.

  3. Tyler Bye, Owner, Protoven – I became familiar with Protoven with some of their mobile work that they’ve done at a few places I’ve worked. I admit I don’t know Tyler personally, but I certainly know his company. If any of you have ever downloaded the ABC app for iPad or iPhone, you have downloaded their work. They make beautiful iOS and mobile apps, and Tyler deserves a lot of credit for what his company has done in this area. This company deserves much more attention.

    Follow Tyler at @tbye on Twitter.

  4. Ed Orcutt, Principal, Los Lobos LLC – I’ve been extremely impressed with Ed Orcutt’s talent and creativity in developing browser extensions that complement your experience viewing the web. I know Ed most from the amazing browser extensions he’s created on the Kynetx platform.

    Many of you know I’m a sucker for Kynetx and my vision for “The Web With No Log In Button“. Ed is making a lot of this possible with what he’s created.  Some example extensions of his include HoverMe, which enables a HoverCard that appears over all your social network profiles and friends’ profiles and shows the other networks they belong to. He also wrote LikePlus, an extension that shows like buttons next to Tweets and companies on LinkedIn. The same extension also shows Facebook Like buttons next to Google search results, along with the list of people that shared those items amongst your friends on Facebook (even better than Google’s +1!).  He wrote TwiKlout, an extension that shows a person’s Klout score next to their profile on Twitter.com. Ed’s got creative juices flowing through his veins, and he really gets the future of the web.

    Ed can be found at @edorcutt on Twitter.

  5. Brad Hintze, VP, Kynetx, Inc. – Brad’s an old friend of mine, and that friendship goes all the way back to the 2 years I served in Thailand as a missionary. However, we met again recently, previously when he was working for Bungee Labs, one of the very first Platform as a Service companies (even before Google App Engine). Most recently though, Brad has started with the developer community outreach at Kynetx, and he’s doing an amazing job there.

    Brad’s not just a marketer or typical community guy though. I’ve actually caught him coding a few times. Brad gets down and works in the trenches with the best of them. Brad will continue to work with successful companies in the future and he will play a big part in the reason those companies are successful.

    Brad is @bradhintze on Twitter.

  6. Melanie Day, www.Sugardoodle.net – Melanie doesn’t know me, but I certainly know her site. Melanie’s site is a wealth of downloadable content (clipart, music, and other useful items) for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Melanie’s site is known by members of the LDS Church worldwide and she deserves some credit for that.
  7. Rob McMillen, VP of Sales, Rhomobile – Among the mobile frameworks out there, Rhomobile is one of the best. Their mobile platform allows developers to write in simple Ruby code and generate native iOS and Android SDK apps under just one code base.

    I don’t know Rob well, but I do know their company. If the caliber and reach of what their company has been able to provide is any reflection on their VP of Sales, Rob McMillen should be a safe vote for the v|100.

    Rob is @rhobmobile on Twitter.

  8. Brad Cahoon, Kalood.com – I admit I know little about Kalood, but curiosity got the best of me. Their site calls themselves “The Social Deal Platform”. It requires a Facebook login. It’s in private beta so I can’t try it out though. Based on their about page they look to be similar to Groupon.com or LivingSocial, but my guess is they have a bit more social twist on how you are delivered your daily deals. Having been one of the main developers on SteepAndCheap.com, also a Utah site, I’m very familiar with these types of sites, and a more social focus could be an interesting twist to what has already been shown to be a successful business model. I’ll be watching this one.

    Brad is @kalooding on Twitter.

  9. Ryan Elkins, iActionable.com – I first saw iActionable and Ryan at a Utah Launchup event. iActionable is building a service model around gameification. Gameification is the process for apps and websites to keep customers and users engaged by casually rewarding them and encouraging them along the way. iActionable provides Foursquare-like reward badges and other items that you can integrate into your own platforms to engage and entice users to stick around. Gameification is a budding new industry that I think has a lot of future, and I think it’s great that Utah has a company that is thinking about how to monetize this industry.

    Follow Ryan at @ryane on Twitter.

  10. Robert Nay, Nay Games (Creator of Bubble Ball) – I’ve never met Robert (although I have met his older brother) – this is one entrepreneur I really, really want to meet some time. If I could teach my kids to be anything like him I would consider myself a successful father.

    Robert is the 14 year old creator of Bubble Ball, which was once the number one application in the iTunes app store. Yes, he was the man, er, kid, who took out Angry Birds. He’s not finished though. He has his own Game company, and plans to build more apps for the iPhone and other mobile devices. This is one smart kid, and I admit I’m a bit jealous of him in that I didn’t have mobile devices and app stores to write for when I was his age. I’m very impressed by this young man – can’t wait to see what he’s done in 5 years.

    Robert can be found at @naygamesllc on Twitter.

Of course, there are many more Utah entrepreneurs and techies I wish I could add that weren’t even nominated. Unfortunately I missed the nomination email for some reason or I would have been able to nominate a few more of my favorites. Maybe I’ll save that for another post.  I hope you’ll check out these guys and the companies and organizations they work for and have started. Most of all, I hope you follow each of them into what they do in the future.

Come Learn About SocialToo At LaunchUp

SocialToo.com - Your Companion to the Social WebI’m opening the books tonight on my company, SocialToo.  I’ll be presenting tonight at Launchup, an event compared to be a “community barn raising for entrepreneurs”.  The event happens every couple months and has featured such Utah companies as TodaysMama (whom I am an Advisor) and Entice Labs.  The idea is to allow each company a short time to present (I have 7 minutes), expose themselves in as transparent a manner as possible, then let the community ask questions and provide advice and help in helping that business grow.

Tonight I’ll be sharing all the details most businesses won’t share about themselves with SocialToo – yes, it’s a risk, but I am a big believer in transparency. You’ll hear about how many users we have, how much revenue we’re bringing in per month, where I see our weaknesses and strengths to be, etc.  I’ll show you a demo about how you can get set up with a SocialToo account and DM spam filters for Twitter in under 2 minutes with just the click of a button.

This week Launchup will also start bringing these entrepreneur features to the world with Ustream.  You can watch anywhere in the world on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/launchup or on the main website at http://www.launchup.org/live.  The event starts at 6pm, and will also feature presentations by MuseBuzz and PageMass (which I got a demo of yesterday – I think bloggers are going to like this one).  Launchup is organized by Jeremy Hanks, CEO and founder of Doba.com, another Guy Kawasaki Advisorship company (as is SocialToo).  Come join and say hi!

You can read a brief Q&A I did for them at http://www.launchup.org/2009/11/09/socialtoo-qa/.

It’s About Technology That Creates Community

Plug and Socket - building relationships with technologyI’ve been rambling on Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook tonight about the differences in how Facebook, Twitter, and FriendFeed’s founders participate in each community.  Look at Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook Fan Page.  Notice how he basically talks at the community?  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a comment by him with his followers (perhaps part of the reason why it’s so difficult to manage Fan Pages right now).  Now look at Ev Williams and Biz Stone’s Twitter profiles.  You’ll notice a little more participation, but mostly with their inner circles and occasional outreaches to the community.  Now go read Paul Buchheit and Bret Taylor’s FriendFeed profiles.  Notice that they’re very actively involved in the conversation, responding in their own threads to people they barely know, participating in others’ conversations, etc.  I think if you look at the profiles of other employees in each of the three organizations you’ll see a similar trend.  Why is it that the community where the founders and employees participate the most is the smallest community with the lowest growth rate?

I’ve been contemplating this tonight.  FriendFeed, as a whole has one of the tightest communities of all.  For those that participate actively in the site, we quickly come to know each other – it’s the place where everybody knows your name.  That’s why Scoble, and Louis Gray, and myself are so passionate about it.  It is a great place to go meet new people, find more information, and grow with a community that cares and knows you.  I asked the question why Facebook and even Twitter don’t see this as an opportunity to win a new audience, much of which feels a bit betrayed by the sale of FriendFeed to Facebook, and many who have never done much venturing outside the network to new places. It seems like an opportunity to me – after all, when Facebook bought FriendFeed, they bought the technology, not the community.  The community is something that has to be earned, not bought.

Yet, at the same time I wonder if it really matters.  With Facebook and Twitter’s immense growth, do they really need to be paying attention to the small FriendFeed community?  FriendFeed has great technology, and great talent that built that technology, now working for Facebook (one who just left).  Can the community be won in other ways?  I think it can, and it goes back to the first paragraph above – look at the numbers compared to participation.  I argue a community’s growth is not relative to the participation of its founders, but rather the technology’s capability to build community even further.  It’s the technology that trumps community any day because it creates and enables that community.  Technology that empowers individuals to create their own communities wins any day, and trumps founder participation hands down.

Gasp!  You say – you mean I don’t have to participate to build a community?  No, that’s not what I’m saying.  If you’re a user of the tools, you definitely must be participating, nurturing, and sharing for your community to grow.  What I’m saying though is that no matter who the founders are and whether they participate in your personal community or not, you’re going to take your community to the places that enable you to nurter, build, and grow a community the best.  That’s why Facebook grew the fastest.  That’s why people use Twitter.  It’s also why FriendFeed was the smallest, yet had a great acquisition of some very talented individuals who know how to build this type of technology.

Let’s look at the technologies:


Facebook not only enables you to share status updates with your friends, but enables you to share photos, videos, notes, links, and more, all in an integrated environment.  You have privacy controls to which you can control how public the information you share with your friends is.  This encourages a native environment where family and close friends can communicate and share with each other, focusing on each individual’s roots to build community out of.  You have lists that you can organize these individuals and filter their updates in your news stream.

At the same time Facebook provides Fan Pages, indexable by Google, for which you can subscribe, or “fan”, similar to the way you would do on the other networks.  This is your public, more anonymous persona, something I think each individual needs as well.  This enables you to share with the rest of the world what you’re doing, and build community and share through that means.

Then you have the API.  Not only as an entrepreneur, developer, or community builder do I have access to create applications that create and nurture community within the Facebook environment, but Facebook has also given me the technology and tools to do that on my own website, all with the community I’m working to build on Facebook itself.  It enables me to do that with my own community, and enable them to bring their communities into my own.

The richness of that experience is what makes Facebook so big, and is the reason for its growth.  That has nothing to do with its founders or their participation.  I’m not sure they need to participate so long as they keep building technology that further enables individual communities on the network.


Twitter baffles me at times, but I think I understand it.  Twitter’s openness and focus on such a simple thing, status updates, is what has made it grow so big.  Users can do whatever they want with the network.  They can use it to update their friends with what they’re doing, respond, and grow a community through open communication.

Twitter also encourages the initiation of conversation.  You post something on Twitter, link to somewhere else, and the communication continues elsewhere.  Some times that filters back to Twitter.  Some times the entire communication happens on Twitter.

Twitter’s API is as open as it can be.  It’s fairly limited as compared to Facebook’s, but has enabled many people to bring their communities on Twitter back to their own brand and vice-versa to further grow community.

The problem with Twitter as compared to Facebook is that it is only status updates.  You can respond, reply, and even retweet items you read, but it all centers around those status updates.  There’s not much more depth than that, limiting the type and size of community one can build on the network.  Yet at the same time the openness and lack of rules around users and its developer platform has enabled people to do things they would not normally be able to do with a community on Facebook.  That’s why they’ve continued to grow and are the size (and hype) they are right now.

At the same time because they’re not quite the enablers of community in regards to their technology which Facebook is, I think their Founders and employees need to participate and get involved a little more.  The technology still doesn’t quite sustain the building of community the way Facebook’s does.


I could probably argue FriendFeed has better technology that encourages and enables community building better than Twitter’s.  The problem with FriendFeed is that almost all the technology found in FriendFeed keeps getting gobbled up by Twitter and Facebook.  There’s not much new to it, and now that they’ve been bought by Facebook, that doesn’t appear to need to fully compete – it would just be an additional complement to the community-building offerings Facebook offers.

Beforehand FriendFeed was doing a good job keeping up, and perhaps could have even caught up to at least Twitter.  Its growth was even starting to show that before they were acquired.  Yet their founders still participated, as did the other employees of the company.  Why is this?  It was possible because the community was smaller – the founders were simply growing with the community, and the community was and is still a tight-knit community of people that knew each other.

I think as FriendFeed continued to build technology that enabled others to build community and relationships, that participation would have slowly evolved to each of the founders’ own close communities.  They would not have needed to participate for the community to grow.


So what do we make of all this?  I think the moral here is that entrepreneurs need to focus more on building technologies that encourage and enable community.  When you’re writing code or having others write it is it enabling people to build relationships?  Is it enabling people to share with others?  How much so?

The Facebook/Twitter or even Google or Microsoft or Apple battle isn’t over yet – in the end it will be the one that best enables their users through technology to build their own communities and communicate better with each other.  The better competitors will master this.  There will be other entrants.  It’s not the participation of a community’s founders that determines its success.  It’s the technology of the company which creates community that does.  In that regard, technology trumps community, hands down.

Participate in the First Community Barn-Raising for Modern Entrepreneurs

thumbphpAwhile back I was Tweeting to Jeremy Hanks, local business owner and CEO of Doba.com, a direct-ship solution for small businesses, suggesting the idea of doing monthly entrepreneur/bootstrappers breakfasts here in Salt Lake and Surrounding areas. It was an idea I took from some out in San Francisco intended for entrepreneurs to meet and share ideas with each other, and build community and help with each other. Jeremy, who bootstrapped the very successful and profitable Doba.com himself, mentioned he had a better idea, and soon after announced a really neat concept that I think could really encourage the local entrepreneur scene here in Utah to take off.

The concept is called “Launchup“. When I spoke with Jeremy, he compared the idea of Launchup to a “community barn-raising for entrepreneurs.” Jeremy, a very down-home, outdoorsy guy himself, shared the story of how in olden times communities would hold “barn-raising” events where the entire community would get together and help out the one Farmer who needed a barn built. They would often have the entire barn, with the help of every member of the community, built within a day. Those not involved would often be outcast – it was simply a responsibility of everyone in the community to help out that one businessman/farmer. This fits right in line with my “Small Community” concept I often talk about in my presentations.

Jeremy also talked about his inspiration from President Obama, who he quoted, saying in his Inaugural address, “…it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things…who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity….a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.” It was from this that Jeremy’s concept, Launchup.org was begun.

The idea of Launchup is simple. Get a whole bunch of entrepreneurs in a room together. Have 2 or 3 entrepreneurs present their companies to the group. Get free feedback, ideas, and suggestions from the other entrepreneurs. Jeremy calls each of the entrepreneur sessions, “Barns”, and he’s really embracing Social Media to try and promote this. All sessions will be broadcast live to the entire world via Doba’s own live broadcasting equipment (I expect this should be good – Jeremy just spent a couple weeks in India while running his company), and all can participate, whether you live in Utah or not. In this case the community raising the barn is not only Utah, but the entire Social Mediasphere itself.

On Twitter, you can chat about it with the hashtag, #launchup. I’ve talked to them about Ustream, and I think we’re working on solutions around that as well as Facebook and other platforms to ensure all can participate and share with friends. As a real-life community event, this is the essence of what Social Media is about.

The next Launchup, Wednesday (today), will be very interesting. There are 2 local startups that will be presenting. TweetBooty will be talking about “a new way to access amazing discounts and giveaways from qualified local retailers.” Entice Labs will be talking about a technology that connects employers with these “passive candidates” by placing relevant and enticing career opportunities directly in front of them. The event will kick off with an “Amp Session” with a quick presentation by Ben Peterson, who founded MingleMatch.com, and sold it in a matter of years to Spark Networks for millions. Each presenter only has 15 minutes to make their case for the audience.

This should be an interesting event for all, and knowing Jeremy (and myself being somewhat involved as well), I fully expect the most interesting startups to all be part of these. If you’re a local, I expect to see you in person there. If you’re a blogger, early adopter, entrepreneur, or just like to see cool new and interesting projects, and want to participate in helping other entrepreneurs do better (Scoble and Louis, we’d love to see you in the chat and live stream!), come join us this evening.

The Launchup event starts at 6pm MST, March 25th. You can come in person to the Doba offices at 1530 N Technology Way, Orem, UT 84097 – Canyon Park Technology Center Building D, or participate online by going to http://doba.acrobat.com/launchup1/. Be sure, especially if you will be there in person, to Tweet “I’m going to #LaunchUp, are you?” in order to RSVP for the event. If there is a Ustream for the event I’ll Tweet that out tomorrow as well. Come join us!

I’m Changing Gears

Picture 1.pngI mentioned earlier I was going to announce a big change this week. I’m “on the move“, as Jeremiah Owyang would put it. Today was my first day working full time at a new Silicon Valley startup with offices here in Utah, where I will be leading their Social Product strategy moving forward. I am phasing off my regular consulting, and moving to this new Entrepreneurial effort in helping them grow.

At the moment, I can’t reveal much more, other than the fact that we’re building the next era in Interactive Entertainment on the iPhone. The company I’m working with right now started out as a client of mine, and I liked their product so much I decided it would be worth helping them out full time. I believe fully that we are going to change much of the way you watch TV today. We will be launching most likely next week, and you can follow the Twitter account @MediaMyWay to catch our launch announcement and follow our updates (I’ll also point you there from my Twitter account when we launch – we’ll announce it there first!). Other Twitter accounts you can follow for updates and “clues” are @JustintheWhitt, @Romay, and our CEO, @BradPelo.

How will this affect the other stuff I do? In reality, not much is changing, other than what I do full time. I have received permission to keep SocialToo.com going part-time, as it has, unless it takes off. Expect some very cool things to come from SocialToo in the near future – we’re working on a completely new design and a really cool new feature that will be released in the next couple weeks.

As far as my blogging and book-writing is concerned, I see nothing changing, and I intend fully to continue blogging regular, unbiased articles that I feel inspire and educate. I will disclose where necessary if I feel my current employment has any influence in what I am writing. I still hope to continue writing in other capacities as well, as long as speak as I’m asked to do (I’m speaking in Dallas next week to the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, in fact – come see me speak!).

So, keep watching the @MediaMyWay Twitter account, and you can also follow this blog and I’ll be sure you’re aware of the latest of our happenings (we’ll have a company blog here shortly, which I’ll let you know about). In the meantime I’ll keep posting regular, educational, and original content as I always have and always will. “Stay” Tuned!