Sunday, November 12, 2006

Blogger Confidential: a conversation with Tom Foremski

If you missed my CXO Leadership Forum on Nov. 7th, you missed a great episode. You are reading this blog so no doubt you understand the influence of bloggers on opinions, trends and company stock prices. At my forum I had none other than Tom Foremski -- the *original* blogger, as my guest.

If you don't know about Foremski's history, it's pretty fascinating. He was the U.S. Technology reporter for the Financial Times and was the first major newspaper journalist to start covering Silicon Valley way back in 1984. Then, two years ago, Tom left the FT to become the first journalist to leave a major newspaper and make a living as a full-time blogger -- starting the popular "Silicon Valley Watcher" blog. It was a pivotal event that made both Silicon Valley companies and the media suddenly take notice and start to treat bloggers seriously. Foremski now writes for his own blog as well as ZDnet and some other major outlets. He's a very influential guy!

During the discussions I was expecting to get a lot of questions about how to get Tom's attention and adoration and coverage of XYZ company on his blog site. Instead, most of the people who attended were more interested in publishing their own blogs, and were asking questions about the business model of blogging. I should have known... this is an entrepreneurial Valley, after all.

In addition to blog business models (which are still being shaped, we learned), we talked about CEO bloggers like Jonathan Schwartz at Sun, the pros and cons of "citizen journalists" with no editorial supervision, the conflicts of interest potential with advertiser-supported blogs, how blogs can promote books and other nifty topics. It was truly excellent.

if you missed it, don't dispair. I have other CXO Forum topics coming up including: Confessions of a Marketing Rock Star – part II (March), Migration Strategies for Web 2.0 Business Models (May) and Sex, Lies & Internet Marketing (November).

All will be held at Fenwick & West's awesome offices in Mountain View (Fenwick is our very excellent sponsor of the CXO Leadership Forum series -- please consider them for your corporate legal services). Hopefully I'll see you there. -Mark

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Web 2 Mobile business plan competition

This Valley is awash in business plan competitions, but this one is different for two reasons: 1) it has a prize unlike any others; 2) I conceived & organized it ;-) Read on...


Web 2 Mobile: A Business Plan Competition for the New Mobile Ecosystem

Web 2 Mobile business plan competition is sponsored by FinNode, Red Herring and Nokia. The competition goal is to seek out entrepreneurs who are creating new services and business models for mobile workforces and the mobile lifestyle. The Web-2-Mobile competition is unique because it offers entrepreneurs more than money: the winning entrepreneurs will be invited to visit Nokia Research Center’s test laboratories to further develop and test their innovation and receive guidance and support from Nokia’s R&D and business development professionals.

The competition is open to all qualified entrepreneurs; more details and the official entry form can be downloaded at Key dates are:

1. Call for entries opens November 1st and will close December 10th, 2006
2. All entries must follow a standard Word document format in order to facilitate fair comparisons
3. All entries will be reviewed by a screening panel which will select up to 10 companies as finalists (decisions made by December 22nd)

Finalists will be announced on January 2nd 2007. The 10 finalists will be required to present their business concepts in person in Santa Clara to a live judging panel that will convene on January 24th, and winners will be chosen at the conclusion of the presentations and showcased in the FinNode offices in Santa Clara

So... tell all your friends! I'll be at the Mobile 2.0 conference in San Francisco next week talking up this competition and meeting with companies. Ping me at if you are going to be there and want to meet. -Mark