February 08, 2007
New York's VC Outlook
NY's annual VC Outlook will be held on February 13th, 2007 at Heller Ehrman LLP at New York's Times Square Tower between between 41st and 42nd Streets. Who attends? Leading Corporate VCs, Investment Bankers, Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors, and chief executives of emerging companies.
Panelists will include:
Stephen Brotman, Managing Director, Greenhill SAVP
Joseph Gitto, Managing Director, Emerging Business Group, Geller & Company
Andrew Lipsher, Partner, Greycroft LLC
Ned Carlson, Managing Director, Dawntreader Ventures
Maria G. Gotsch, Co-CEO and Co-President, New York City Investment Fund
Todd Pietri, General Partner, Milestone Venture Partners
You can register here.
January 29, 2007
New Tech Reporter at WNBC
Sreenath Sreenivasan recently joined WNBC-TV, the local NBC affiliate in New York City, as a technology reporter. In his new role, Sreenivasan will contribute segments on technology trends, new gadgets and online issues. He had been with WABC-TV and 7online.com since December 2001.
January 16, 2007
Google's Unbound & NYU's Free Culture
Google's Unbound event is in New York on January 18th at the New York Public Library from 8 am to 5 pm. This is Google's conference on the state of the publishing industry and what's going on with the Internet and publishing. Cory Doctorow will be speaking alongside Tim O'Reilly, Chris Anderson, Stephen "Freakonomics" Dubner, and several other publishing gurus.
On January 19th at 5 pm, there's the FreeCulture NYU event. They'll have a discussion around the "State of the Copyfight 2007: Looking up, not out of the woods yet."
December 28, 2006
On Majora Carter
I met Majora Carter at the TED Conference last year, or was it the year before? I'm pretty sure it was last year since Al Gore was the big draw and he stood up before the end of the conference to praise her publicly in front of the entire room and then some.
She is being honored this month by Newsweek for her work in New York's Bronx. I saw her presentation before meeting her and thought - "My God, a woman with such passion, such...that Je ne sais quoi, but you knew she has what it takes....."
Apparently the world at large thinks so too. From MSNBC via Newsweek, "Growing up in the South Bronx," said Majora Carter, "it didn't occur to me that what I had here was an environment." More from the piece and what this honor is about:
"Her neighborhood was surrounded by waste treatment plants, garbage dumps and power stations, and she glimpsed nature only when visiting the blueberry patch in her aunt's backyard in New Jersey. Since then, Carter, 40, has been making up for lost time.
An artist and urban planner, she created Sustainable South Bronx (SSBX), an organization dedicated to the idea, says Carter, that 'poor communities of color are just as deserving of clean air, clean water and open space as wealthier ones.' This meant "rallying residents to oppose even more dumping and waste treatment, while bringing nature to urban neighborhoods."
Majora: a special presence, a special gift, a special woman. I hope to get to know her a bit better in the future.
October 25, 2006
I am recently reminded of Vivian Gornick again. I’m not really in love with her or her writing but I am in love with her ability to bring you to a place so sacred and real that it could have been you behind the pen or keyboard. South African Andre Brink has that effect on me, so does Hemingway, Oscar Wilde and so many other greats. Is she of that callibre? No, but from behind my lenses, I can’t stop thinking about her short story “The Street,” where she captures the culture of urban energy, urban living.
I wrote about it a few weeks ago knowing I would be in New York soon. After re-reading the story, not only did I resonate with every encounter, but longed for The Street’s energy.
New York isn’t new to me, nor is The Street. This trip, I needed The Street more than I normally do and for the first time, was forced to explain it to not just one person, but two. It should have been four, but I had a hard time admitting that I needed to not only understand it – out loud to myself - but articulate it to another.
On The Street, I realized how important it was to be alone – with it, with myself. Normally I try to organize a networking group dinner of some kind, but this time it simply didn't happen. Client activity was back-to-back, but there’s always time for a three hour gathering that brings like-minds together with like-minds. Yet, in the time I had to myself, I longed to be alone with The Street.
Usually it takes me a day or two to settle into New York’s energy before I carry The Street with me and it carries me back. Within ten minutes of checking into my Times Square hotel, I needed to feel its presence.
I love people and the energy and color they carry with them. Without them, life would be gray, placid, limp and without meaning. Yet the peace attainable from walking The Street in a culturally dynamic, colorfully rich city like New York is without question, a ritual that fills me up. I look forward to the exchange of multiple languages, some of which I don’t recognize – quick, without explanation and for the purpose of a necessary exchange, or not.
Alone, I can take it all in. In someone else's presence, a connection is lost, as if The Street is its own person eager for my undivided attention.
I quietly take in the broken down and bandaid patched corner shops, windows that scream of vintage, art galleries, churches of all denominations, sparse coffee bars all with cappuccino machines, the even more desolate but authentic streets of Brooklyn in the late afternoon…..the list goes on.
Thank you Street. Your vibe, your color, the life you give off when others don’t make an effort to.
October 21, 2006
New York Films & Festivals
I caught up with old industry pals in New York recently and re-discovered and re-remembered The New York Film Festival as a result. When you travel to New York on business more often than pleasure, its often hit or miss to catch one of your favorite unseen (or seen) delights. I always try to do both, hence a new tradition to head to Avenue A Sushi in the East Village.
It reminded me of the days when film was such an integrated part of my life (i.e., in London), the Bugs Bunny Film Festival at the Brattle in Cambridge, which became an annual ritual when I lived in Boston, alas no more.
October 19, 2006
Starfish and the Spider
I attended a book launch party in New York recently to celebrate the launch of The Starfish and the Spider, held interestingly enough at the British consulate's house on the Upper East Side. While I know both authors personally and could probably have received an early version, my now autographed copy sits on my bedside waiting to be read. I'm a little late to the game however, as major media outlets have already begun to sing its praises and more are coming I'm told.
Funny name for a business book you may be thinking? It's really a book about life in a changing world - organizations, worldwide political networks and people. Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom have taken a very creative approach to looking at centralized vs decentralized -- the growing grassroots explosion from a world of new media and individual voices.....says Steve Jurvetson, 'it provides a powerful prism for understanding the patterns and potential of self-organizing systems."
The creation of Starfish and the Spider came right after 9/11 when they set forth on a journey. In addition to the creative force in the book, both Ori and Rod have a passion for making the world a better place and adding more joy to people's lives around them.
Essentially in this paradigm, organizations fall into two categories: traditional 'spiders,' which have rigid hierarchy and top-down leadership, and revolutionary 'starfish' which rely on the power of peer relationships. Know a few in each category?
The book takes a look at what happens when starfish take on spiders (Napster) versus more established players like IBM and the even the U.S. government who must now integrate starfish to attain sustainable success. More after I have a chance to read it. Guys, it's on the bedside table :-) not the bookshelf.
Below is Jon Benjamin, the British Deputy Consul-General giving a word of thanks. I had an opportunity to chat with him - not only is he engaging, diplomatic and smart as you would expect a British consul-general to be, but he is funny, incredibly generous and remarkably down-to-earth.
October 15, 2006
Napstser's presence at a digital tech event this past week. They were showing private burlesque shows inside the booth.
There was a skinny frog walking around as well as a green Santa Claus.
iMeem had an old fashioned photo booth that offered fun black and white or color images, just like the kind you got for a sitting when you were ten. (Okay, when I was ten). It may appear that I was pretending to be so for this sitting. And yeah, there's also my shameless plug in a client t-shirt.
October 14, 2006
Irish Energy in New York
You forget just how many Irish live in New York until you end up watching a band you have never heard of but everyone around you knows their pulse. Irish-born Saw Doctors played at the Nokia Theater in Times Square and the place was jammed as thousands made their way through the venue doors, each of us opening our bags for the security guards to check, scan and approve or not.
They all seemed to know the drill, every word to every song and even matched the lead singer's gestures as he swayed to more melodramatic tunes, that blended a dash of Housemartins with Irish folky rock.
Then there's the infamous Connollys a couple of blocks away, where Black 47 plays weekly. They have appeared on Jay Leno and write touching but powerful songs, including references to growing up in the Bronx, home to some of the band members.
Upper East Side Plane Crash
I often stay in the lower east side, the village or Chelsea when I 'hang' in New York although lately I've been mixing it up. I usually start in mid-town and then it depends on my mood, which friend is in town and what I plan on doing. A few of these friends now live in the upper East Side, which is where the plane crashed into an apartment building this week.
I was in a meeting at the New York Times near Times Square when it happened, so our colleagues learned about it at the same time we did... those I spoke to didn't jump to conclusions as I had expected and were more likely to think it an accident, which limited aviation experience can easily lead to.....this week's crash sadly killed Yankee baseball pitcher Cory Lidle and his flight instructor. I have several friends with their pilot's license and often think about 'the chances.' The mayor who apparently also flies, is adding his own personal experience to the investigations.