Tuesday, December 16, 2008
It was an experience watching all this unfold and I see the same thing happening at my current company DocuSign. As JackBe had market leading technology it didn't stop there and extended it providing more value. At DocuSign we're doing the same thing. Taking the leading Electronic Signature solution and by layering greater functionality around, have developed what we see as the market's first Electronic Contract Execution system. Able to wrap contract in security, workflow, and transaction execution capabilities, and provide a situational transaction network between existing systems such as CRM or CMS and the parties outside of the system needing to execute the transaction.
It will be an exciting year but the JackBe news rienforces to me that great solutions will thrive even in the most challanging of markets.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
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 the company is well positioned even in these economic times to do very well.
Friday, July 11, 2008
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 itself. For instance, listening is basically about gathering data. To do this requires the appropriate tools, eg. physical ear and a decent quality of hearing and memory. These tools at this stage are suited for this one task, listening, which has one objective, to gather.
To further advance towards one’s goal a being an active participant in the conversation there is another step that we take if even though it is often an unconscious one. It is that of interpretation and analysis. We take all the gathered data we heard and Learn from it. Learning implies an analysis of a set of data to extract information from it. One needs to learn who has opinions about what topics in the conversation. Learn the social dynamic of the group and who seems to exert the most influence?
By Listening one is able to gather data but this is the limit/only purpose of this phase. To further advance, or rather consider participating in intelligently, this data has to be interrupted before one can engage in the conversation. Just as with listening, learning has specific tools and characteristics that make it distinct from the other two phases. For instance, the mind captures, arranges and draws patterns from the data to extract actionable information. We contemplate about this data means; the meaning behind the words. This analyzing phase allows a person to target and form a plan of engagement. Again, this usually happens unconsciously, but this is what is happening. We use this step to plan when we are going to open our mouths, what are we going to say, what tone to use, and who to initially direct the message to.
The final phase is Leverage, and what I mean by this is leverage everything you’ve learned to now move forward and participate with this knowledge in the conversation. Here’s where we open our mouth and execute the strategy formalized in the last step. Here’s where we control our message and direct our attention to those in the group we deem most desirable to achieve our stated goal, usually message acceptance. In real time we gauge the groups reactions and adjust our speak where necessary. We our now truly engaged in an active conversation we wished to be apart of.
Now consider the group we wished to speak to is as larger hundreds of millions, growing everyday, and they are all speaking to each other about you whether you like it or not. They spread rumors or praise about you and others all while you stand there quietly. Now imagine you’re a large enterprise with an enormous amount invested in your offline brand image and reputation and you find that that doesn’t carry over to the consumer generated, world as well.
I guess its time to start this conversation process with the world. Its time to start managing your online reputation and engaging but as we know brand management and corporate marketing is a bit more complex than the analogy. All the more reason to entrust this valuable asset in a trusted partner to guide you through this process with solutions at each of these stages allowing you to scale and eventually engage successfully.
This is an analogy so please let me know what you think.
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
Monday, June 02, 2008
Friday, May 30, 2008
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 headaches.
What I'm talking about is suitable rail system similar to those in D.C., NY, and Boston among other large cities. The need here in Seattle is arguably even greater for such a rail system given the bottleneck bridges crossing Lake Washington and that growth is limited in the downtown area and will continue to spread to the other side of the lake.
Ideal solution: An underground metro rail from Seatac airport up through downtown Seattle with east/west routes popping up to cross Lake Washington along the 520 and I-90 briges and connecting again North to South on the Bellevue side. You'll see a crude white path here.
Seattle is not the only West Coast city facing this challenge. Recently, Steve Hymon of the Los Angles times wrote an article about similar traffic and transit problems there. He even cited Seattle resident, Edward Martin's Youtube video and commentary on the Seattle Transit's inability to time traffic lights correctly adding to increased congestion.
I'm not saying that planning and funding a project of this scale is easy or inexpensive but with oil hitting all time highs, congestion a constant problem for commuters, and the green environment movement taking center stage again, I was/am disappointed that the greater Seattle area has not taken real positive steps solving these problems for the generations who want to live and work here for decades to come not to downplay the environment as well.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Friday, May 16, 2008
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 team. Obviously not his primary responsibility but a critical component none the less. His solution was to develop an easy, one-stop web application where he and his team could share candidate information, documents, and feedback efficiently without filing up their inboxes. Essentially a lightweight, on demand applicant tracking system. They needed to go about their day jobs but feel confident they were communicating effectively about hiring the right person.
The value is time, the savings are immeasurable once you've found the right person. The lesson is don't let them slip through the cracks because of collaboration difficulties because now you don't need to. CatchTheBest has four subscription plans with a Free subscription as one of them so why not try it if you can relate.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
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. Hopefully DocVerse will change this.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
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 opportunities with its robust and reliable technology that seamlessly brings together a user’s mobile device, PC, and favorite online image services.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
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.
"A new report from Forrester Research predicts that mashups will be coming to the enterprise in a big way -- to the tune of a $700 million market by 2013. Mashup platforms that make it easier for consumer to create mashup applications, such as Yahoo! Pipes, Dapper, or Microsoft Popfly, are beginning to have analogues in the enterprise space. "Mashup platforms are in the pole position and ready to grab the lion's share of the market -- and an entire ecosystem of mashup technology and data providers is emerging to complement those platforms," says Forrester analyst G. Oliver Young.
Forrester defines mashups as "custom applications that combine multiple, disparate data sources into something new and unique." Starting in 2005, says the report, with the proliferation of free APIs, mashups came to the web in a big way, combining data and visualization tools from multiple services in meaningful and useful ways. More recently, mashup platforms have emerged that have allowed consumers with little or no development experience to create their own mashups......"
Friday, May 02, 2008
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 have been useful before the fact but I found that there wasn't a good resource to compare specifics like this between two entities. I did met the founders of a company who's vision is to change this though. Diffen is a wiki powered collection of comparisons that people all over the world help write and maintain. The underlying data is user-generated to please feel free to add your own comparisons and build a much needed information source.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
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.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Check it out for free, and spread the word. Download
Monday, April 28, 2008
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.
Shares Outstanding 52.7 M
Institutional Ownership 7.77%
Number of Floating Shares 42.7 M
Short Interest as % of Float --
Price/Earnings (TTM) 4.09x
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%
EBITDA Margin 12.97%
Profit Margin 8.30%
CHCG's Gross Margin is less than 73% of other companies in the Audio & Video Equipment industry, which means it has less cash to spend on business operations as compared to its peers. As indicated by the Operating Margin, CHCG controls its costs and expenses better than 92% of its peers.Financial Strength (MRQ)
Quick Ratio 6.22x
Current Ratio 7.38x
Management Effectiveness (TTM)
Return on Assets 44.43%
Return on Equity 51.90%
Return on Inves. Capital 51.90%
The Return on Equity for CHCG shows that it is able to reinvest its earnings more efficiently than 97% of its competitors in the Audio & Video Equipment industry. Typically, companies that have higher return on equity values are more attractive to investors.Growth Rate (TTM)
Earnings Per Share growth 82.3%
Sales growth 86.2%
Dividend (MRQ) --
CHCG's EPS Growth Rate is greater than 79% of its peers in the Audio & Video Equipment industry.Dividend (TTM)
Dividend Yield --
Payout Ratio 0.00%
Annual Dividend 0.00
CHCG does not pay a dividend. The average dividend yield for companies in the Audio & Video Equipment industry is 0.20% Operating Ratios (TTM)
Asset Turnover 5.35%
Inventory Turnover 47.69%
Receivables Turnover 34.31%
Effective Tax Rate 35.92%
"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....."
Friday, March 21, 2008
03/18/08 - Maxim GroupNEW YORK, March 18 (newratings.com) - 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.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Here is China OTC Player's take:
Monday, March 17, 2008
revenues and earnings were quite stellar. Sales increased by 86% to $276 million and EPS was $0.44, the high end of guidance. Yet, the stock has fallen to its 52-week low. Why is this the case?
Well, it looks like Q1 2008 is going to be pretty bad. We already know that the recent winter storm was devastating, and now CHCG is quantifying it for us:
The first quarter of 2008, which is seasonally the Company's strongest quarter, is expected to be negatively impacted by the heavy snow storms that paralyzed much of China during January and February of this year. The Company believes that 2008 first quarter revenue results could fall by as much as 15-20% compared to prior year results of $84.5 million.
Given this, CHCG is expecting overall FY2008 revenues to be flat in the best case scenario, and perhaps even be 5% less than 2007's figure, not accounting for acquisitions. There is an important implication in this, which is: same-store sales growth for the last three quarters of 2008 is expected to equal, at the most, $16.9 million, or looking at it another way, the implied growth rate is a paltry 8.8%, at best. Also note that CHCG closed about 27 non-performing stores in the last three months, and is looking to close another 100+ over the course of the year.
And there is worse news. Due to mandated employee benefits, CHCG's operational margins will be negatively impacted, by up to 5%. I'm now estimating a FY2008 EPS of $0.25 for the company, which would be a decline of over 40% from 2007. Having said that, China 3C has cash of approx. $25 million and is looking to make an acquisition, possibly in the second half of 2008. The company may also consider a share buy back.
I am long and added more today. If your not light-hearted and can take some turbulence, you might want to consider.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
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, 2007
A lot of people ask us here at JackBe about the definitions and or differences between Web 2.0, Enterprise Web 2.0 and
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
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 content, share information and collaborate with each other through the web.
2. Web 2.0 - technology enablers. This user-driven shift has been made possible in part by new or now accepted technologies and techniques which have gained greater penetration as web application tools. Such include:
Each of these could be expanded in much more detail but why make it more complicated as this? If you have any thoughts please feel free to share or contact me. That is after all the point.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
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 working for large public companies. Although my experience has primarily been in b2b, my approach to product marketing is persona-based (Pragmatic Marketing) which I believe extends to direct consumer business models as well. I view both as understanding your markets needs whether business or consumer, and then positioning products to those.
SUMMARY OF QUALIFICATIONS
- Product Marketing and Business Development professional with experience in creating and managing marketing, sales, and product strategies in both software and internet solution launches and partnerships. Driven, results oriented team player who is passionate about solving problems and introducing new solutions that change the way individuals work, collaborate, and socialize.
- Skills: Product Strategy, Product Positioning & Messaging, Product Marketing, Sales, Business Strategy and Planning, and Business Development
- Technical competency: Web 2.0 (Mashups, social collaborative networking, blogging, wikis),
applications, SOA, SaaS, Web Services, Location-based services. Enterprise
8/07-12-07 Product Marketing Manager
Managed product, and corporate marketing components for NAVTEQ’s Map Network brand; a location- based marketing solution aimed at large destination and event markets. Repackaged solution to align with new company vision and revenue goals.
· Repackaged core offering to align and scale to management’s revenue targets
· Aided in the rebuilding of the marketing department
· Lead the website redesign requirements and online social strategy.
Role & Responsibilities:
- Definition and implementation of product marketing strategy and programs
- Technology packaging
- Product strategy, branding, go-to-market launch plans
- Sales tools eg. product demonstrations, case studies, and collateral
- New product identification in response to changing market opportunities
11/05-8/07 Product Marketing Manager
Managed product and corporate marketing strategy and tactics for rapidly-growing venture-funded startup. Developed strategic positioning and messaging for JackBe’s Web 2.0 Mashup solution.
· 100% revenue growth from 2005 to 2006
· Managed go-to-market-strategy creation and execution for
· Positioned JackBe as a thought leader in Enterprise Web 2.0 space leading to 33% increase in qualified leads.
· Identified product partner opportunities which resulted in richer product offerings that more closely met the needs of the target markets leading to 25% more revenue generated through partner programs.
Role & Responsibilities:
- Product roadmap creation and maintenance
- Positioning, messaging, packaging, and pricing
- Demand generation strategies and execution
- Developed promotional collateral, sales training materials, and demonstrations
- Managed company-wide teams to ensure effective operations and product launches
- Developed and supported of client communications
- Win/loss analysis, competitive comparisons
- Managed conference and strategic presentations and media interviews
3/04-10/04 MBA – Executive Management Internship
· Responsible for assisting in executing the vision of a small, growing entrepreneurial technology company
· Reviewed/refined/defined company’s market position, and message; conducted strategic market research into competitors, prospects, products, and pricing
· Identified, targeted, tracked, and contacted potential sales prospects
· Lead in updating company business plan and strategic documents
· Project management – managed disparate project teams and resources
UCLID SOFTWARE, LLC
5/00-07/03 Western Regional Sales & Marketing Manager
Managed the marketing, sales, and partner efforts for the
· Increased revenues by 10% in 2001
· Continually lead Western Region as the top revenue source region for three years
· Drove programs in region that delivered >300 qualified leads, an increase of 150%
Role and Responsibilities:
· Sales Lifecycle: Responsible for entire sales cycle including quarterly forecasting, and marketing campaigns in Western United States resulting in the most profitable territory for four consecutive quarters.
· Product Marketing: Developed strategic positioning and messaging for existing and new GIS product; drove the creation of all components of marketing collateral, sales tools, training, custom and strategic presentations for the assigned region.
· Revenue Generation: Consistently the top sales representative meeting quarterly quotas through cold calling and lead generation follow-up.
· Product Management: Worked closely with engineering to ensure new products met market needs.
· Strong Communication Skills: Attended tradeshows and presented product at market seminars resulting in largest company sale to the Bureau of Land Management,
· Building Business Opportunities: Qualified new and managed existing resellers within territory creating a network of UCLID representatives and client training centers resulting in increased territory sales and company awareness.
PRAGMATIC MARKETING – Effective Product Marketing (EPM) Course, 07
Master of Business Administration, December 2005
Concentration: Management of Global Information Technology
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-EAU CLAIRE
Bachelors of Business Administration May 2000
PHI ETA SIGMA National Honor Society, President
Golden Key National Honor Society, Vice President
Concentration: Management-Entrepreneurship Program; Minor Finance