The 2014 Disney Accelerator Info Session in New York Powered By Techstars @ WeWork Soho West

Disney Accelerator Info Session - New York Techstars WeWork

Yesterday I attended the info session for the new Disney Accelerator powered by Techstars. The place was packed with people interested in the accelerator program. From what I hear the Techstars programs are very intense. A very good intense. The knowledge you get and the people (mentors) you meet in the program meets the gold standard.

David Min, Vice President of Strategic Business Innovation at Disney, and Cody Simms, Managing Director at Techstars presented. They talked about the program. They presented the program well and answered everyone’s questions. I will not give details of the program because you can read that in their website.

To the folks that apply to the accelerator I wish you much luck.

Check it out. I have more pictures of the event below. Enjoy.

I Thought Facebook’s WhatsApp Deal Was Crazy. Then I Did Some Math. –


This article, I saw this morning, puts together a good argument why the cost Facebook paid for WhatsApp was justified.

There’s no disputing that Facebook paid a huge premium for an untested company in a hotly competitive communications sector. But it takes less than I thought to turn WhatsApp into a decent, if justifiable, business. And that doesn’t even count other benefits of scale, strategic defense and Google -rattling that are harder to quantify.

Turns out when you compare it to the wireless carriers such as Verizon’s purchase of their 45% stake in its Verizon Wireless joint venture the reasoning is clear.

At first, the numbers look as stark as you’d expect. We know that Facebook paid $42 for each of WhatsApp’s 450 million users. Verizon, by comparison, valued each of its roughly 97 million monthly contract connections at about $2,984.

Verizon collected about $669 for each of these post-paid connections last year, and made another $168 per subscriber from other sources.

What did WhatsApp collect for its service, which allows for unlimited and quick text messaging? What a pesky question. Basically zero. For math’s sake, let’s take the figure to 50 cents per user in 2014.

The analysis goes on from there. You can read the rest in the article. Looking to the future and WhatsApp’s recent announcement at Mobile World Congress about adding voice calls looks like it might have been worth it for Facebook to buy them now.

One last not about this. This could of been a defensive move by Facebook. Why let Google buy them.

via I Thought Facebook’s WhatsApp Deal Was Crazy. Then I Did Some Math. –

I Will Whisper a Secret to You


More fad apps? I asked myself this question when I heard the release of Secret and Whisper.  Are these apps the new text versions of Snapchat? Questions Questions and why? Why would I use these apps for?

Secret and Whisper are virtually similar mobile applications that enable you to anonymously post things out there. Why would someone want to post something and think it is totally anonymous, when posting something anywhere on the internet leaves Data Exhaust. Such as your location and tidbits about yourself. It only takes a minimal amount of knowledge to trace those clues to find the poster. Have you not seen CSI or 24? To be serious the Secret app asks for access to your contacts, email address and phone number while Whisper does not, but Whisper posts can be seen, searched for, and commented on by all users. After awhile you could guess or use social engineering who commented on your post.

Anonymous or secret narcism. It could be fun to read these things for a bit. I would get board quickly knowing after awhile these are not secret truths, but mostly lies. I would stop using the app. The purpose behind these apps, the app makers say, is to return some of that anonymity back to the internet. I am not sure if there ever was any. As soon as you log on someone knows.

What makes these apps interesting is that it is almost an analogous to how Facebook, Email, and Twitter work. You know who you are talking to on the receiving and sending end of the conversation more or less. With these apps you can play around with the notion of not know who said what or read what.

People will find a way to know who posted something. Just wait for the first hacker to figure out a flaw in their system and then it will be game over. No more secrets.

The Product Group March 2014

The Product Group March 2014

Last night I attended the March 2014 The Product Group Meetup run by Jeremy Horn. It was a packed house. They need another space to host this event. The theme of this month’s meetup was “Do you like your product person?”. There was the presentation of The Best Product Person of 2013 and then a lively discussion of the Featured Product, VenueBook.

The format of the event is organized well. Jeremy compares it to being home for Thanksgiving dinner. I can attest to that fact. Everyone just jumps in and the conversation goes around the room. Sometimes Jeremy pushes the discussion along so more people can participate. The discussions are always very active, informative and fun.

The format of the event is as follows:

First is the question of the evening. Everyone gets to introduce ourselves and say a simple answer to the question. This time it was “Do you like your product person?”, yes or no. My answer was a resounding yes!

The next part of the evening was announcing The Best Product Person of 2013. The winner was Adrian Jank. Congrats Adrian for winning this year.

The final part of the night was the discussion of the VenueBook product. VenueBook is an online SaaS System that venues and party planners use to effectively plan events and make reservations for the spaces. There is definitely more to it because VenueBook replaces the accounting systems and payment systems for the venues and planners. It is a great idea that time has come. From the looks of it, it makes planning an event very easy. Their database of venues is huge and of great quality. I have attended events at a lot of the venues listed. The discussion ranged from how they got into this business, what makes them unique in the market  to issues they would like the group to help them with. I will not get into details as I don’t want to reveal anything that could be released at a later time. Much to say is that they have some great people working with them on their team. I wish them the best of luck with their business.