Monthly Archives: January 2007


I wasn’t planning to write anything today until I saw Howard Lindzon’s visit to the dentist on Wallstrip. You MUST see it. There’s nothing funnier out there today in the entire universe.

It’s just unbelievable how you can know somebody (Howard spoke to my FastTrac class) and not know the half of what they’re into.

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Bill Gates as a Celebrity on The Daily Show

I stayed up last night to watch Bill Gates on “The Daily Show.” I was stunned at the change in the world that 1) makes Bill Gates a celebrity worthy of being interviewed by Jon Stewart, and 2) makes the launch of the new Microsoft Vista operating system an event as important as the publication of a book or a movie. And I wanted to see it for myself, in real time. (Yes, I have DVR).

But there was Gates, who was clearly the kind of child schools would put on Ritalin today and have diagnosed with some social disorder, trying to joke with one of the nimblest mouths in the universe. It was worth waiting for.

Gates has clearly had (and absorbed) a ton of media training. He knows what to do with his hands and how to get his points across no matter what actual question he’s asked. He was articulate and non-technical, answering questions like “What does the F12 key do?” with quips like “Leave the F12 key alone; start with F1 and work your way up.” He told Stewart he was going from the show to London, and then to four countries in Europe for the European launch of Vista, before going home. He also told Stewart he didn’t have a pet (yet), although he was under a lot of pressure from the kids.

But Bill Gates, despite the wealth and the media training, is not a “normal guy.” He’s clearly still a person who lives inside his own remarkable head. Do you know how I know this? At the end of the interview, Stewart thanked him, and Gates just got up and walked off! No other guest does that. Everyone else stays there while the music comes up and the camera moves back, going into the commercial break. The guests usually chat with Stewart, or hug him, or something, until they are off camera. Not Gates. He got up, turned on his heel and left! It’s like he had done a demo at CES and it was over. No connection to the host whatsoever. It was very interesting.

Now if you are reading this via my blog, you will notice there are some links above you can follow: one to Gates’ bio, and one to the Vista product page, and one to The Daily Show. If you are receiving this via my email list, however, those links are probably not there.

There was a big dustup in the blogosphere recently about these links. Because I didn’t start as a blogger, but as the writer of an e-zine, I am not as sensitive to this as many of the A-list bloggers whose posts I read, like Calcanis and Scoble. As a result, I may have inadvertantly not linked (for a while I didn’t even know HOW to link) to information I found over the Internet.

Now I realize something really important that I have to share with everybody who is not an experienced blogger: most blogs are like research papers. If you write a blog, you are often using information that comes from somewhere else that you are sharing. Or you know something your readers don’t know about (like Vista) and you want to send them somewhere to find out.

So you link in your blog to your sources. It’s the polite and thoughtful thing to do, and if you got the information from elsewhere, it’s also the LEGAL thing to do in the old tradition of plagiarism. As a writer, I’m not happy when someone uses what I write without attribution, and neither is any other writer, photographer, artist, musician, etc. But the Internet is making big changes in these conventions, and there is a big fight over these issues –grouped under the broad rubric of intellectual property–on the Internet.

I’m not sure how this will all turn out, but if you want to see the Bill Gates interview on the Daily Show, you can go to:

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10 Stupid Ways to Hinder Market Adoption

Guy Kawasaki has done it again: written something I wish I had written, but couldn’t. His stupid ways to hinder market adoption are always the ones the chase me off a website. I especially like the one where he talks about having to register and give information the first time you visit the site.

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Revolution in Marketing Conference Gets Press

Andrew Johnson wrote a great article in the Arizona Republic about the Revolution in Marketing Conference we are holding on March 1.

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How dilutive is venture capital?

Everyone’s always asking me this, and I’ve always been saying that the rule of thumb is 40-40-20, but I’ve never been able to back that up with data. Now the data has manifested. Cooley Godward published a report in 2006, and you can read it here. The should know; they do a lot of the deals.

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Why is Genarlow Wilson in Prison

Answer: because he had consensual oral sex with a fifteen year old girl when he was seventeen. And of course he lives in the South and he’s black. I don’t care how many people say we are a Christian nation. We aren’t when we imprison a kid for something many kids do, and no kid knows is illegal. When you were a kid, how often did YOU think of what the law was when you were having experimental sex?

Wilson was arrested, taken out of high school, and sentenced to twelve years in prison and a future where he always has to declare as a sex offender. The blogosphere has decided to get on board the issue and try to find justice for this poor kid. Mark Cuban, for example, (he owns the Dallas Mavericks and HDNet) has refused to do business in Atlanta or anywhere else in Georgia until the kid is pardoned. But Jason Calcanis has the best idea: use citizen journalism to draw attention to what has happened to the kid and get him some justice.

I’m writing about this because I think this discriminates against black, young males. What happened to the girl? She was there, too. I was a girl. I have daughters.

I know how to keep away from those situations, and how to provoke them. I know how mothers can teach their daughters not to give BJs at age fifteen, and certainly not to accuse the guy of rape if you choose to put yourself in the position to give one.

Daughters, however, often don’t listen. From my distant vantage point, I remember doing the same things as a teenager that these teenagers did. That’s because oral sex, as Clinton reminded us, isn’t really sex.

Let’s not discuss what my mother told me: I grew up in the fifties and my mother told me I would be struck by lightning if I had sex before marriage. I did it anyway; I had a crush on the boy, and when he paid attention to me, I would do anything for him. Until I did it once and found out what “it” entailed. That was the end of that for a very, very long time. But Peter M., the boy I did it with, didn’t go to prison. And he was no more a sex offender than the man in the Moon.


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ROI of blogging

There definitely is one. Charlene Li of Forrester Research has studied this and shows how to measure it.

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