Thank Your Supporting Cast

I’ve heard a story that, after he is done filming, Clint Eastwood has a thank you party for his supporting cast & crew at his private club, Tehama, in Carmel Valley. What an awesome thing to do for people that, aside from a split second credit at the end of the film, probably don’t get much credit for the work that they do.I’ve always thought that this was a really cool thing to do.By most accounts, especially in a down economy, I’ve had a pretty good year and have had the opportunity to do some really fun things. I celebrated my 10-year wedding anniversary with Holly, watched my kids evolve into little people, closed some big deals, got a bunch of case studies, consulted / advised two companies, taught a class, sat on two panels, did a couple of guest blog posts and learned a ton from all of the people that I met with throughout the course of the year.Success is not an individual sport.  There are a lot of people that have helped me out. For that, I’m very grateful and I’d like to recognize them.  Think of this as a Follow Friday, Subscribe Saturday or what you want to call it.  These people rock.

  • My amazing wife and family – beyond them, this list is in no particular order
  • The awesome people at Socialtext for all of their help – Kris, Eugene, Ross, Michael, Alan, Shawn Devlin, Chris Lynch, Michael Kieran, Adina Levin, Phyllis Ball and the entire development staff here at Socialtext. You guys have built an amazing product that is really fun to sell.  Thank you.
  • All of my customers that actually bought stuff from me.  You have no idea how much it means to me that you see me as someone you trust enough to do business with.  Thank you, thank you, thank you. A million times over, thank you.
  • Eric Grafstrom, Jim Weil, Mukund Mohan, Peter Marquez & Greg Brown for being good friends that I can bounce crazy ass ideas off of and being willing to tell me if they are crazy or not. I am always so impressed by you guys and learn so much in our conversations.
  • Terri Griffith for letting me teach her class at Santa Clara University – I can’t wait to do it again this winter!
  • Too many friends to name – I’m insanely lucky in that department
  • Jennifer Leggio, Dat To and Fernando Labistida for having me guest blog on their sites. PLUG – I love doing this if you need a sales guest blogger, hit me up.
  • Sameer Patel, Oliver Marks & Gerhard Gschwandtner for letting me sit on panels at their respective trade shows. I love that you guys invite me to these and I learn so much when I do these events.
  • Bloggers and writers like Jim Keenan, Doyle Slayton, Jill KonrathPaul Castain – I learn so much from you guys every time you post.
  • You – I’m shocked sometimes when people read this blog.  Thank you for doing so.

As the clock turns over to Thanksgiving day here on the west coast, I’m reminded how lucky I am, but how many people have helped me to be in this position. I know I’ve missed people on this list, but thank you very, very much to each and everyone of you.Image by me.

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Social Media Will Make (is making) the World a Better Place

I come from a pessimistic family.  Most of the conversations that I have with them, I leave feeling like the world is going to end in any minute. Whether it is the government, the economy, their health, there are only a few minutes left.The pessimism gene somehow managed to skip me.  I’m lucky.  I see everything as the glass being half-full.  More than half-full actually.  No matter how bleak and dark things are, there is always a silver lining.

Dow dumps 1,200 points in a couple of days – Buying OpportunityMcCain / Palin getting good numbers – Election is 4 weeks offHead of Lehman gets $480M – Well, even I have my limits

Part of that, I’m sure, is living and working in the heart of Silicon Valley.  When I moved here 13 years ago, I was confident that this would be the place that would change the world for the better.  I still have that same level of confidence.  This is an awesome place to live and everyday, I hear a new, world changing idea on the train, in the office, at Starbucks.  Everywhere. Like scripts in Hollywood and music in Nashville, everyone here has an idea that will change the world.This place is an idea mecca, but more importantly, people here have the drive and know how to implement these ideas.  People don’t care if they fail.  In fact, they anticipate it.  Who cares? They will come up with another world changing idea in a few more days, implement it and it may or may not succeed.Want some specific examples: Tesla Motors, Google Clean Energy, Twitter, Socialtext (;-P), Solyndra, TED, Pixelated, Facebook, Kiva, StockTwits, BetterPlace and Gnip, just to name a few that have received press in the last couple of days.  It is hard not to be overtly optimistic about the future when this is going on around you all the time.Truth be told, it has been hard to be optimistic the last couple of days.  One of my closest friends passed away, Sarah Palin scares the hell out of me and the stock market has gone into the toilet, yet when I spend any amount of time on Twitter, Facebook or Friendfeed, I’m filled with a tremendous sense of optimism.  The future is very, very bright.If you are a pessimist, you probably hate social media. I can only imagine that the average pessimist makes doom and gloom comments that aren’t productive and aren’t helpful on Twitter.  Eventually, like with any tribe, that person will be kicked out.  No more followers.  Who wants to hear that shit all day?What results is that optimism attracts optimism.  It always has and will as it is human nature.  What is exciting to me, in an optimistic way, is that we now live in a time, in which thousands of optimists, with great ideas and the ability to execute on them can have a conversation with thousands of other optimists and put these ideas into action almost immediately.That is how, no matter what happens in the short term, the world will become a better place.How have you seen social media used for good?  Send me comments.