December 2010

On the eve of the last day of 2010, I’m thinking about the future and what it will hold.  If you’re intrigued about the prospects of social gaming in 2011, here’s a panel that I recommend, co-hosted by Peanut Labs and Google.

“The Future of Social Gaming” panel will be moderated by Noman Ali, CEO of Peanut Labs, and will include heavyweights from social games companies who will be offering up their predictions in the new year.

Panelists confirmed so far include:
– Alex St. John – President at Hi5
– Kai Huang – CEO & Founder of RedOctane, creator of Guitar Hero
– Mike Sego – CEO at Gaia Interactive
– Owais Farooqui – GM at King.com
– Tim Chang – Partner at Norwest Venture Partners

You can RSVP for the panel at their Facebook page here.

Posted via email from Consort Partners

Along with the print and online media coverage that surrounded RelayRides’ launch in San Francisco, CEO and founder Shelby Clark, was also featured on both the local and national news, including NBC and Fox.  You can check out his national appearance here “Riding Off With RelayRides.”

Posted via email from Kathy’s posterous

Congratulations to CEO and founder of RelayRides, Shelby Clark, and his team for launching the neighbor-to-neighbor carsharing service to San Francisco, and counting Google Ventures and August Capital as backers.  Here’s a snapshot of the story:

The trend:
There’s a massive shift in society from ownership to access. For example, people are happy renting DVDs from Netflix vs. buying DVDs, AirBNB allows members to rent other member’s houses, and Chegg lets students rent textbooks. There’s even a movement and book “What’s mine is yours. The rise of collaborative consumption.”  How about applying this to cars?

The situation:
The combined cost of owning a car – fuel, maintenance, financing and insurance – amounts to an average of over $600 a month/$20 a day, according to AAA. Meanwhile, most cars sit idle for 23 hours a day.

The opportunity:
Carsharing helps the environment: the average shared car takes 14 vehicles off the road, plus it reduces miles traveled, congestion, pollution, and lowers the carbon footprint to build new cars. Carsharing is a $12.5 billion global market and rapidly gaining popularity.

The solution:
RelayRides brings this global carsharing trend to the hyperlocal level allowing neighbor-to-neighbor carsharing. Car owners feel good because they are helping their neighbor get around. Car borrowers feel good because they know they are helping their neighbor make money. It’s like they are supporting their local small business.

Good company:
Google Ventures and August Capital funded RelayRides.

Wheels of Fortune:
RelayRides provides car owners a platform to safely lend their cars to their neighbors for a fee, while providing convenient, affordable access to neighbors who need the occasional use of vehicles. They make it possible by providing the insurance (a $1 million supplemental insurance policy covers the rental period) and technology for a safe, convenient, hassle-free transaction. Car owners make an average of $200/month.

Sharing is Caring:
Rather than putting new cars on the road like other carsharing services, the company goes the eco-friendly route by leveraging existing cars that are often idle. This allows neighbors to help each other as car owners can recover some of the costs of owning an expensive asset, while also providing a new transportation option for those in need of a car.

What users are saying:
Anthony Burdi, a 2009 Prius owner in Boston:
“It’s the perfect thing for me. It’s a good way to earn revenue from my car when I’m not using it, which helps me pay for gas, insurance and other running costs. At the same time, I’m helping a neighbor by providing them access to a car. I never thought of it and kind of wish I had, because it’s a great business to be in.”

Caterina Rindi, owner of a Toyota Prius, of San Francisco’s Potrero Hill neighborhood:
“Car sharing between neighbors is great for San Francisco, as it will lead to fewer new cars on the road, which will help decrease congestion and pollution. That’s why I’m delighted to make my Prius available via RelayRides – it’s good for me, for my neighbors, and for my city.”

Everybody knows something about Shakespeare but nobody seems to know much about his day-to-day life in London, like which pub, house or theater he frequented, aside from the reconstructed Globe.

What was Shakespeare up to at the Elephant and Castle? Why is the only place we know for certain he lived is buried under a car park with not so much as a plaque to remind us? Where are the local taverns whose names he subversively inserted into his texts even when the play was located in another country?

A new app for the iPhone – called Shakespeare’s London – uses geo-location to conjure back the buried memories of the Bard in the capital.

The creator of this app is none other than Victor Keegan, a former Guardian journalist who now specializes in creative uses of new technology in partnership with developer Keith Moon of Data Ninjitsu. Their previous apps include City Poems, linking classic poems about London to the streets and buildings that inspired them, and Geo Poems which contains all three of Victor Keegan’s books of poems geo-tagged to the places that triggered them. Victor is also co-founder of the world famous and highly regarded online painting community, Deadline Painting Group 😉

Posted via email from Kathy’s posterous

I thought this was a great chart illustrating the evolving nature of social CRM, as it also identifies the importance and growing prominence of PR as touchpoint and means to establish a two-way communication with the consumer.

Last month, I attended the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco and heard Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and author of this book, Delivering Happiness, speak.  I was quite interested to hear what he had to say, since I’m such a loyal (and too frequent) customer (let’s just say, I made their VIP list within 2 purchases, much to my hubbie’s dismay…).  Anyway, Tony spoke about the rise of Zappos and his passion for customer service and branding.  He also told the audience that we would all get a free copy of his book (I felt like it was the closest I’d ever get to feeling like I was on the Oprah or Ellen Show).

I just completed reading the book and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised!  Tony himself wrote the book without a ghost writer thus it seems like you’re simply listening to him casually talk, which is great since he is very amusing and has a great, dry wit.  He describes the path to building Zappos into the huge success it is today – and the refreshing thing about this journey is it isn’t littered with corporate greed, envy and a relentless pursuit of the almighty dollar (although, he didn’t do too bad by selling to company to Amazon for over $1 billion).

The conclusion of the book talks more about what makes us happy.  There are essentially four key points:

  • Perceived Control
  • Perceived Progress
  • Connectedness (to others)
  • Vision/Meaning (being a part of something greater than yourself)

If you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, I highly recommend this book.  It’s great for anyone who is interested in entrepreneurism, brand building, e-commerce, or happiness… 🙂