The Cluetrain Manifesto

The best of Andy Sernovitz's Damn I Wish I'd Thought of That!

I'm frequently asked what blogs I follow. The truth is: not many. But if I had a new business I would most certainly be reading Andy Sernovitz's blog, Damn I Wish I'd Thought of That!, every week.

I've been lucky to work with Andy since the beginning of Bazaarvoice and he's been a great Advisory Board member for us over the years. He founded WOMMA, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association a few months before Brant Barton and I founded Bazaarvoice. The founding of WOMMA and reading The Cluetrain Manifesto led me to think of the name "Bazaarvoice", which I explain in this Lucky7 post on naming your company. We gave away his brilliant book, Word of Mouth Marketing, at our first two Bazaarvoice client Summits. You can see our first two Summit t-shirts in this Lucky7 post. Andy helped us educate our clients on word of mouth marketing and was part of the inspiration around our "School of C2C Marketing".

Time is money, money is time, or something different?

It has been awhile since I've posted as I've had three conferences back to back, including the main TED conference in Long Beach, our own Bazaarvoice Summit in Austin, and then SXSWi. So it is perhaps ironic that I write this philosophical post about time.

Benjamin Franklin was famous for saying many things and one of them was "remember that time is money" (you can read his full quote here). In my new journey as an angel and VC investor and entrepreneurial coach, I've been having many conversations with those that have been in these fields for longer than I have. In the first half of my life, I've been singularly focused on changing the world through technology - as the entrepreneur myself versus through others. One of the more stirring conversations I had recently was with a successful investor that said, "what use is money with no time". He was frustrated in that he had a lot of money but that it had chained him to have little time and he was vigorously trying to change that.

What's in a name?

Yesterday's post on why I named my blog Lucky7 in honor of my mom and my resulting Twitter batter on our company's name with Sam Decker reminded me of a few stories about how I came up with the name Bazaarvoice.

I remember the day I came up with the name Bazaarvoice like it was yesterday. Rachel was just six months old and we were in Cabo San Lucas in April 2005 using our last few weeks of vacation at Coremetrics before I left to take the plunge to start Bazaarvoice with Brant Barton. I was reading Chapter 4 of The Cluetrain Manifestoand it hit me - big time. That chapter moved me more than almost anything I had ever read. The "voice of the marketplace" - it was perfect. Like the name Coremetrics, it described exactly what the company did. It was a bit of an irreverant name, likely to be confused with Bizarrevoice but that was actually a good thing in this case. There was meaning in that - the voice of customers would indeed sound "bizarre" to all of the corporate types that had been locked away in their towers instead of walking their store aisles like Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, used to do to "keep it real" and then taught his children in his book Made In America.

My first blog post (Feb. 3, 2006)

Looking back the beginning of Bazaarvoice, I remember my first blog post like it was yesterday. I remember how odd it was to blog back then. Sam Decker had joined me, Brant, Paul Rogers, Jacob Salamon, Jason Amacker, and a few others as our founding CMO. He had joined us from Dell where he was the first blogger in their company's history, I believe, and had his own blog site at DeckerMarketing (which is still live today and Sam is now a successful CEO at Mass Relevance). Sam wasted no time convincing me and Brant that we must blog for our company launch out of "stealth mode".