Showing posts from 2008

JackBe Lands $5 Million, Names Wayne Jackson as Chairman

My old alder mater has raised $5 Million is a tough market to say the least only proving to me the strength of JackBe's Enterprise Mashup Solution is recognized as the market leader in that space. I was with JackBe from early on when it was known for its leading Ajax toolkit and widget library and watched the transformation by the leading hands of three former principle Sun Microsystems engineers (John Crupi, Deepak Alur, and Danny Malks), into the worlds first Enterprise Mashup Platform. All this was happening the same time Oreily coined the term Web 2.0 and the world barely knew what a 'Mashup' was other than now folks could see ballons overlayed on Google Maps. How far we've come and I know that JackBe is still on the leading edge of this movement pushing these solutions into acceptance as a means to build situational applications that optimize business processes.

It was an experience watching all this unfold and I see the same thing happening at my current company D…

Product Marketing in Seattle

Its been a while since I've posted. I've settled in at my new opportunity as Director of Product Marketing at DocuSign. DocuSign is the market leader in Electronic Signature and Online Contract execution. Its going to be exciting. Like at JackBe, the company is poised to take a leadership position in what I see becoming a new enterprise software category. At JackBe it was Enterprise Mashups. DocuSign's solution has moved beyond a point solution of electronic signatures, and has been adding business process capabilities over the past year to integrate with other systems such as CRM and CMS and wrap documents in security, and processes management to facilitate legally binding contracts to move outside the corporate firewall and back again all while capturing the metadata of the transaction. In this sence Electronic Contract Execution extends systems capabilites outside the firewall like BPM manages processes internally among a trusted network. Its an exciting oppertunity and…

Social Media Strategy

I've been working for the past month with Visible Technologies, a company pioneering the path for companies to monitor, analyze and engage in the consumer generated media. I've also found that there are few straight forward explanations about the steps necessary to reach the last engagement phase and to do so in a manner that ensures success, eg proper preparation, strategy and the tools required to execute.

So I wanted to see if I could draw upon a real life analogy. I call it the "Cocktail Party Conversation". Enjoy

Analogy: Take for instance a cocktail party and group of people having a conversation you wish to enter without making a fool of yourself. When approaching the group, the likely and most appropriate first action, would be to Listen. Gain context on what is being said, who is saying what, and their respective opinions on said topic. This is the necessary first step that begins to build a relationship foundation but has borders and characteristics unto it…

Latest Seattle 2.0 Startup Ratings

Almost broke the 100 mark for applicant tracking and resume management system company Catch the Best. Maybe next month.

Applicant Tracking System Integrates Posting to

Applicant Tracking System Catch the Best integrates posting to

Applicant Tracking System Launches New Questionnaire Functionality

We here at Catch the Best are pleased to announce the addition of integrated questionnaires into the applicant tracking system. You can learn more about it and other hiring features back on our site.

Applicant Tracking System, Organize

Applicant Tracking System, Collaboration

Catch the Best Applicant Tracking System Demo

I put together a short 2min demo of the process of creating an open position that is easily tracked and search engine optimized.

Try the Applicant Tracking System and Resume Management yourself for free.

Seattle Mass Transit Blackhole

I am a Seattle newbie, via Washington DC for five years, from Wisconsin originally. Over the past two months I've both experience and received various opinions about the Seattle mass transit "system" or lack there of. I emphasize "system" for a reason. From wikipedia a system is "is a set of interacting or interdependent entities, real or abstract, forming an integrated whole." I have yet to see any indication of this in the greater Seattle area aside from buses; which I want to point out, I don't consider a viable mass transit system since:

1. Routes are limited and transferring is a timely pain.
2. They share and add to traffic congestion.
3. Have a limited capacity load much smaller than other mass transit systems

The Seattle Streetcar, SLUT as its known locally, around the South Union lake area isn't an suitable mass transit system as its confined to a relatively small area and if expanded would again add to street level congestion and headach…

Applicant Tracking Solution

I put together a crude demo of some of Catch the Best's on demand applicant tracking solution's features and functionalities. Applicant Tracking System and Resume Management

Applicant Tracking Tool for Hiring Managers

Problem: You're a hiring manager, not a professional recruiter, who needs hire the best candidate quickly while still doing your day job. Quickly, your email inbox fills with resumes, you forward them on to other decision team members for feedback. Some respond quickly, others more slowly. Meanwhile, you are trying to keep track of peoples thoughts on each candidate while still more resumes and follow-ups are filling your inbox. All you need is a thumbs up or thumbs down from your team on each candidate and some rational as to why. Now, some additional supporting documents have arrived from a number of candidates so you forward them on as well. These docs change some team member's opinions but you're beginning to lose track of who said what and about who, after all, this is not your day job but hiring the right person is critical to your teams future.

It was this problem the founder of CatchTheBest had as a development team lead trying to hire the best candidates for his te…

Docverse and Collaboration

There is always a need for greater collaboration within businesses. Today, that need is greater than ever as older standard software tools such as Microsoft Office meet the newer user-driven, social collaboration trends we've all experienced with the web 2.0 paradigm shift. Our jobs increasingly on this collaboration with others only now, the tools which have become standard in our lives weren't developed to meet the sharing ease experienced in newer social platforms in our personal lives.

There are a lot of good ideas in the world, but the ones that succeed in creating a business around solve real, practical problems. This is when I came across DocVerse and had a chance to speak with one of the founders Shan Sinha. DocVerse is in private beta but aims to solve these collaboration problems between Office products by enabling the storing and exchanging all types of documents painless and easy.

We can't keep clogging our email inboxes with version 1,2,3,4...... of a document. …

Ontela, The Last Mobile Mile?

I met Mike Arcuri, VP Product Management, of Ontela the other day which convinced me they are really on to something there. Take a use case from my own book. I have a Blackberry Pearl which I love. I bought it because I can do everything I need to do all wrapped up in little package I can fit in my pocket. My sister and I were taking a ferry ride the other day and she asked if I wanted a picture of me with the Seattle skyline in the background. I said sure and handed her my Blackberry which, with its decent camera, doubles as my only camera.

This is the world we live in. The only quirk I've found in the past is that I 'dislike' Blackberry's software. To transfer my pics to my pc I have to go through a variety of multiple steps. It is this "last mile" of photo transfer and organization where Ontela PicDeck technology comes in for me a consumer. There are a plethora of business opportunities for carries that opens up a world of new revenue generating opportuniti…

Forrester: Enterprise Mashups to Hit $700 Million by 2013

Even though I left JackBe awhile back, I still follow the Mashup space. I was pleased to read this report from Forrester on the state of the Enterprise Mashup market. This market is fundamentally different from the Google Map mashups many think of when they hear the term. At a basic level, Enterprise Mashups provide a new, more user-driven integration capabilities of enterprise services behind the firewall. From a business perspective, this has great potential to optimize internal processes and work flow while leveraging and realizing greater returns investments in SOA and other web services. They provide enterprise business units to create governed situational applications to react more quickly to changing needs without having to rely on IT to do the heavy lifting.

I still believe true enterprise adoption will take some time, but if this report is any validation, there is a bright future for enterprise mashups and companies like JackBe.

From ReadWriteWeb:
"A new report from Forres…


I met Ksenia, the CEO and founder of Lilipip, tonight at the DEMO Cocktail party in Seattle. I took some time to look through the beta site and have to say, I'm impressed. Lilipip sets out find the finest short kids videos from all over the planet to enjoy at home or out on-the-go. Think of it like a youtube tailored for various age bracketed kids. Its always great meeting passionate entrepreneurs and Ksenia is definitely one of them.

Interviewing Differences

I've noticed that I need to adjust my interviewing techniques to Seattle. I've been used to a more traditional interview format where a hard-nose, high-energy attitude or composure was looked on as a positive trait. Getting to know 'who you are' and whether the cultural fit is right comes later. First and foremost your ability to do the job and ability to articulate that comes first. Needless to say, I've found that to be more successful here in Seattle, I have to tone down dramatically as to not 'frighten' whoever is sitting across from me. The good part is, the result is not a fictional character but really who I am on a daily basis in and out of the work environment.

Dress: No tie, maybe a suit but a nice button-down shirt and pants are usually fine
Conversation: Relaxed, more about getting to know one another and assessing a cultural fit.

Dress: Suit, Tie
Conversation: High energy, down to business, sell yourself.

This type of information would ha…

Seattle Open Coffee

I was encouraged to go to a weekly networking/entrepreneur get together yesterday and glad I did. It was Seattle Open Coffee started by Andy Stack at Louisa's Coffee. As opposed to many networking events, this was smaller and over coffee which allowed myself and others to actually get to know each other and share ideas and thoughts.

It's every Tuesday of the week from 8:30AM till 10AM at Louisa's on 2379 Eastlake Ave E. You can read about it on upcoming here and here. Perhaps I'll see you there next Tues.

Speaking of the Semantic Web.....

How about the semantic OS? I saw a demo today of ActiveWords which made me think of exactly this. We have become accustomed to not being capable of executing the actions on our machines without flipping through through menus or hitting a series of shortcut keys (I personally know more shortcut combos than I ever cared too). ActiveWords bypasses this by allowing users to customize actions in Microsoft's product by creating key words typed whenever and wherever to execute specific actions. Example: you're in Excel and need to search google.... simply type the word you correlate with executing a browser and directing it to Google, press the space bar a couple of times and boom, you're in Google. This is just one example of how users can customize their work patterns so as to not have to waste time or thought in how to execute specific actions.

Check it out for free, and spread the word. Download

CHCG Update

A good breakdown of my trade pick of the year China 3C Group ticker CHCG.OB. Keep loading up at any price sub-$2 per share and hold on.

The company itself has been a money making machine over the past 2 years. The cash flow and earnings per employee is through the roof. At these levels it looks very very underpriced. If CHCG uses its cash for additional expansion, revenue/earnings could easily double. This makes it a growth story.
Shareholder Equity
Shares Outstanding 52.7 M
Institutional Ownership 7.77%
Number of Floating Shares 42.7 M
Short Interest as % of Float --

Valuation (MRQ)
Price/Earnings (TTM) 4.09x
Price/Sales 0.34x
Price/Book 1.63x
Price/Cash Flow 5.32x

CHCG's P/E Ratio is lower than 88% of other companies in the Audio & Video Equipment industry. This typically means that investors are willing to pay less for its level of earnings relative to future growth.Profitability (TTM)
Gross Margin 17.89%
Operating Margin 12.95%

Long Tail

There is a good post over at ZDNet about the Long Tail we've been hearing about the last few years. Definitely worth a read especially if new to the term.

"Commentary--The "Long Tail" moniker has been used extensively (some would say overused) in marketing and mass media over the last couple years. Now, as different use cases for SOA evolve, the metaphor seems appropriate to explain the growing use of services outside of the core domains of SOA, business process implementation and integration. First, let’s take a step back. The term “long tail,” coined....."

Update: China 3C "buy," target price reduced

Target price may be reduced - but not that much considering the level one could enter the stock now.
03/18/08 - Maxim GroupNEW YORK, March 18 ( - Analyst Albert Lee of Maxim Group maintains his "buy" rating on China 3C Group Inc (CHCG), while reducing his estimates for the company. The 12-month target price has been reduced from $7 to $5.

In a research note published this morning, the analyst mentions that the company has posted its EPS and sales for the previous year short of the estimates. China 3C’s guidance for 2008 indicates that the sales momentum in 2H08 would be offset by higher-than-previously-anticipated gross margin pressure, the analyst adds. There is low near-term visibility into the company’s internal unit expansion strategy, Maxim Group says. The EPS estimate for 2008 has been reduced from $0.62 to $0.44.

China 3C Group, (CHCG)

For those who know me know I have been investing since I was 15. Every once in awhile I divert from the usual web 2.0 topics to that of a investment I have taken a position in. Today is one of those days since China 3C Group, CHCG has gotten pummeled today as what I believe to be a over-reaction by speculators to FY2007 results today. I consider the consumer electronics retail sector in China as an opportunity to reap the history of one of the fastest growing staples of any growing economy. Mix that with $25 million in cash on the books and a solid, real (sometimes you just don't know with over the counter stocks). As always, do your own DD but as I see it the stock still looks extremely cheap on a valuation basis even after the guidance, and is building a base on which to spring higher. Not including cash and simply assigning an industry PE of 10 we should be at $4.50 on normal growth rates. Besides the speculators, & extremely volatile world markets, the company has st…

Differences in 2.0'S; Reborn

Sort of, during my search for new oppertunities I've been talking with many people and the conversation usually seems to settle on just this topic. So, I dug up an old post I wrote, while acting as Product Marketing Mgr at Enterprise Mashup software company JackBe, with a diagram created by JackBe's CTO, John Crupi.
Sunday, June 3, 2007A lot of people ask us here at JackBe about the definitions and or differences between Web 2.0, Enterprise Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0.So here are some of my thoughts simplified for a blog post.Web 2.0 – There are two parts to this one which will make sense when I get into the difference between Enterprise Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0.1. Web 2.0 – the user-driven paradigm shift.Youtube, blogs, wikis, RIAs with greater self-service capabilities…all of these are examples of a paradigm shift from older HTML static, mostly one way communication of ideas and information to a new User-Driven web model which enables you and me to more easily contribute co…

Heidi's midterm Sanity Check

New Product Marketing Oppertunities Sought

That's right, I ( ) am seeking a product marketing manager or similar opportunity with a fast paced, energetic, growing internet or software company where I can contribute to the success of and continue to grow my skills and career along with. Currently I am looking to relocate myself to either Seattle or Boston. Most recently I have served as the Product Marketing Manager at NAVTEQ, Map Network division (location-based marketing solutions), and JackBe (Web 2.0 Mashup server), where I developed strategic positioning and messaging for new, and repackaged products while translating market requirements and relaying to the development team. Regarding marketing, I drove the creation of all components of corporate & product marketing collateral, website vision and requirements, sales tools, training, and managed the marketing communications team and PR firm.I offer a combination of young and growing company/startup entrepreneurial experience with familiarity…