My new gig

17 06 2010

As most of you know, I’ve been working with several companies over the past few years helping them with their marketing, communications, business development, and so on. I enjoyed the freedom that came with freelancing – but over the past year was becoming increasingly itchy for a change. I had debated starting another venture, but it felt terribly daunting and I had nothing I was sufficiently excited about to spend the 80 hours a week building it and trying to raise money.

Something I have long been very excited about was one of my clients – EdgeCast. The company is a content delivery network (CDN) competing with Akamai and Limelight (to name a couple.) In a nutshell, EdgeCast does for bits what FedEx does for packages – delivers them quickly, accurately, and intact. [OK, it's a little bit more complicated, but that's for another conversation.] The incredible explosion of demand for digital content – and the equally huge explosion in the supply of it – is combining to create a staggering market opportunity in the shuttling and stewardship of those bits. The public internet just wasn’t built for this.

Anyway, the company was founded in 2006 by friends – some very smart guys I admire a lot – and so I have been lucky enough to be involved since the idea stage and to see it mature into a serious contender.

Long story short – I’m really excited to announce that I joined the EdgeCast management team as their VP of Communications and Marketing. It’s actually been a couple of months now, but I haven’t had the chance to formally let the world know.

Everything was right about this opportunity – the timing, the team, the work I’m getting to do, the incredible market potential. I love that I’m applying my creative and technical mind in equal doses – and the company is at a very exciting stage. Perhaps best of all, I’m having a lot of fun.

So there you have it.



Gauging TechCrunch’s Moral Fiber In One Sentence

15 07 2009

The study of microexpressions has long been fascinating to me.  If you’re really paying attention, you can learn a great deal about a person in fleeting, unguarded moments.  I think this is true about language as well.  In written and spoken conversation, passing remarks – let’s call them “microprose” – can often give a far more realistic depiction of what’s really going on than what is presented as the main course.  This is, of course, because they are less thought out – and thus less guarded – than the rest of it.

When Arrington posted his rant back in December about how TechCrunch was no longer going to honor embargoes, I stayed out of that fray.  I did that for many reasons: mostly because I think they have every right to refuse to honor embargoes, partially because I didn’t really care enough, and also because the issue was already getting a lot more treatment than it deserved.  But at the time, one little piece of it stood out to me:

“We’ll happily agree to whatever you ask of us, and then we’ll just do whatever we feel like right after that.”

I remember being troubled by that.  It’s one thing to say you won’t honor embargoes and NDAs.  It’s quite another to say you will agree to them and then break them.  The former describes someone doing what they feel is best for their business in an increasingly competitive space; the latter describes someone running a serious ethical deficit.

Last night the news broke that Arrington is in receipt of several hundred confidential Twitter documents forwarded to him by a hacker who broke into some of the company’s email accounts.  I won’t get into it all here; it’s being covered ad nauseam by the usual suspects.  Last night, Arrington publicly feigned moral contemplation about an “ethical line” he didn’t want to cross, then closed the same article with “more posts coming soon.”  Bring me the vomit bag.

I would conservatively estimate that the feedback loop of mutual-Web2.0-masturbation that goes on with Arrington and the toadys immediately around him might evacuate 40% of the oxygen from the social media ecosphere.  And that’s fine; jerk each other off all you want – it’s America.  But when you decide to participate on the buy side of a market for the fruits of criminal labor, I object – and I hope your readers do, too.



Business Venture Teaser

10 02 2008

Stay tuned for more about Zeno Media.