Thursday, March 13, 2008

My Friend Jared Kim: A Real Whiz Kid (vs. Yours Truly, now an just a Big Kid)

My good friend Jared (19 year old serial entreprenur... a true "whiz kid") just announced publicly that he's raised $3M for his Series-A financing round in San Francisco, lead by True Ventures today.

So, why doesn't this happen in Canada?

The article, about Canada's "Venture Gap" in this month's Canadian Business magazine (which coincidentally just came online today) may shed some light on the situation (hint: one of many things would be: further support university/youth entrepreneurship, and take bolder risks in business to consumer venture opportunities.)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Cisco: The New King of Web2.0 Spammers

This has got to be one of the dumbest things I've ever seen pull off by a marketing team.

The new management at (now owned by Cisco) -- not to be confused with the founding team (the Definitely-Non-Dumb founders: Chris Law and Mark Pincus) -- had the infinite wisdom of spamming their entire user base and violating their trust knowingly. 

Within the first sentence of their mass mailing, they acknowledge that I SPECIFICALLY told them NOT TO email me, and this is what I get:

Dear alai2001 ---$at$, (gee, thats personal)
We hope you excuse this mass mailing
(I would if I permitted you to mail me!, which i didn't). Some of you getting this email specifically have told us that you don't want email from (uh... yeah) and we generally don't send out emails to the entire userbase. We wanted to let you know about the big changes that have happened here at (look, if i cared, I would have asked), and if you haven't checked in with us in a while we encourage you to do so. (uh... yeah, maybe you haven't heard of this thing called "facebook?")

Now if that wasn't enough, they had the NERVE TO ATTACH A 3rd PARTY BANNER AD to the end of the email that sends me to some random (unrelated) classifieds web site that I've never heard of?! ("This email sponsord by our friends at....")


This is clearly not the way I would go about stepping into the web2.0 world.  I don't know about your hardware/router/enterprise customers, but us regular web folk don't like having stuff sent to them that they SPECIFICALLY ask not to get spammed with.

You SUCK Cisco (new owners of  


PS: Here's a clue Cisco, if you're going to spam my ass: don't go and piss me off some more and remind me that I SPECIFICALLY TOLD YOU not to email me in the first sentence of your email.  Then have the nerve to try to make money off the mailing with some stupid banner ad at the bottom to piss off your entire (and likely vocal and blogging) user-base.  That's just straight dumb.