Congrats to the @badgeville team #tcdisrupt


Congratulations to my friend Kris Duggan and the rest of the team at Badgeville for their outstanding effort this week at TechCrunch Disrupt.  For those that don’t know, Badgeville won the Audience Choice Award.

I’ve known Kris for a few years, worked for him at Socialtext and have been watching Badgeville (disclaimer: I do some advisory work for Badgeville) evolve since he got the idea earlier this year.  I think that he is terrific and it has been a great ride for him. I really think that this win at TechCrunch is just the beginning of an amazing future for Badgeville.

Kris sums it up nicely in this video, but if you’re a publisher of content, in the coming years, you will need to figure out how to get your audience more engaged.  Twitter and Facebook have turned the web in to a linking economy where users go to a site once, browse an article and never come back to it.  Badgeville helps to build instant loyalty. 

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Outstanding job by Kris and team!


Disrupt 2010: The Big Picture: Tectonic Shifts in Technology, Special Series with Charlie Rose on Techcrunch Disrupt – live streaming video powered by Livestream

Great interview between Charlie Rose & John Doerr via Venture Hacks.

Watch live streaming video from disrupt at


5 Reasons That Google ChromeOS Should Focus on SMB, not the Enterprise (at first)

As always, Sameer Patel has a great post on Enterprise 2.0 and the impact that Google’s announced, but still vaporous, operating system.  He even paints a fantastic picture of what having Google Chrome OS would / could look like in the enterprise:

Google packages up a Netbook  with ChromeOS, Google Apps, Umbrella Analytics, Google Gears and and Wave-enabled Enterprise 2.0 capabilities. The full enchilada along with a developer platform to enable customization for specific use cases in the enterprise. Now that’s a software distribution model that in theory can give SharePoint bundled with Exchange, a serious run for its money. And that also speeds up commoditization of Enterprise 2.0 solutions.

Which would be awesome! But again, Google is talking about 2010.  We know that Google apps stay in beta for about a millennium, so assume that Chrome OS is actually ready for prime-time in mid-2011. Sprinkle some Google Wave on that, which also won’t be ready until 2010ish, and all of a sudden we are talking about stuff that is 2 years out.  Cool stuff, but so are flying cars.  No enterprise is investing in Google Chrome OS or Wave until late 2011.Flip the equation on it’s head though and rather than focus on enterprises, focus on absolutely owning SMB.  If you have less than 50 employees, Chrome OS, with the apps package that Sameer laid out, is a no-brainer.

  1. With self-service, SMB is a much easier market to penetrate. Small businesses don’t have large IT departments if they have any IT department at all. Really small businesses are just a few folks trying to deliver a service that they are good at and don’t want to have to deal with hiring some guy at $100 an hour to ensure that the drivers on their XP system work with the new color printer that they just got.  Small businesses don’t care if a service is in the endless Google beta cycle.  They want to know if it works? Is it always available? Is it relatively secure? Can I afford it?
  2. Google Checkout and Payment Systems are already there. Google has the payment system figured out. Buying this stuff will be insanely easy.  While at the same time being able to provide Checkout to a wide number of small businesses to help modify their payment system out of the box. This could be a huge thorn in the side of PayPal.
  3. Open Source will create an abundance of apps. While it will take forever for the enterprise to bring ChromeOS on board, because it is open source, there will be a ton of applications for SMB right out the gate. Think about Google Forms, Google SFM, Google Finance, Google Tax, the list goes on and on.  Companies like DreamFactory will make a bunch of easily ported applications and development tools.  Think of iPhone apps, but with more power.  Go into the Chrome Store (like, find your apps, order them and pay via Google Checkout and they are already running.  Again, keep it simple for the small business owner.
  4. SMB doesn’t care about beta – I mentioned it above, but most people recognize that Google beta and other beta aren’t the same thing.  SMB owners want their machines to boot up, they want to be able to access their apps, they want their data to be there.  If GMail’s beta period is any indication to the performance of ChromeOS in beta, there won’t be any issues at all.
  5. Google can connect SMB’s together via Wave or Orkut. It’s been amazing that MSFT hasn’t figured it out yet.  If you own the OS, you should own the social network.  Xobni recognizes that the best social network is in your inbox, but imagine being able to easily connect to other like businesses.  How powerful would it be if auto body repair shops were able to connect to other auto body repair shops to share ideas, trade parts, develop joint marketing plans or make referrals?

It’s a long way out, but it was a big announcement this morning.  I don’t know if it was a nuclear bomb, as TechCrunch called it, is quite right, but it certainly was big and will be a thorn in Redmond’s side for the next 18 months.

Socialtext Adds Signals / AIR Client; Totally Changes The Way I Use Our Platform

It is really exciting to be part of the team announcing Socialtext Signals this morning. When we launched Socialtext Dashboard back in the fall, it was a cool product, but taking a lot of that content and adding it to an AIR client has transformed the way that I use our platform. Dashboard is really cool and there was a lot of helpful information in there. If you don’t use Socialtext, Dashboard is a customized home page that you create based on on content that is important to you and your company. A customized intranet home page, if you will, with just the information that is important to me. The most important element of Dashboard has been being able to keep track of the changes to content that I’m explicitly interested in and being able to Signal, Socialtext’s microblogging platform. Like Twitter, Signals is only so useful as a browser based service. To see your updates, you have to keep toggling back to the window where you have it open. This is a bit disruptive. So it was 10 pounds of awesomeness in a 5 pound bag when our engineers developed an AIR client for Signals. Like Twhirl, Signals AIR is a persistent desktop client that not only provides updates from your colleagues, but it also has extremely tight integration with the entire platform. So a.) I’m alerted when people I work with share thoughts, ideas, questions, etc (like Twitter) b.) I’m able to see updates to content that I have an explicit (someone commented on your page) or implicit (someone you follow made this change) interest in followingc.) If someone I don’t know says something interesting, I’m able to drill down into that persons profile to see their contact info, what they’ve been working on, and learn more about their areas of expertise.Over the past month or so of using the client, I’ve found that it makes me significantly more productive and, even more important, I feel like I’m more in touch with people who aren’t in the office. It truly delivers on the promise of having team members share ideas and get questions resolved more effectively.Of course, I’m biased, but take a look at what others are saying:TechCrunch – The activity stream which Socialtext makes visible is very particular to its products, and in fact is designed to keep employees engaged with those products. Any time someone changes a page that you’ve created or edited in the past, it shows up as an activity. So constant updates from Ralph in engineering about the progress of a project serves as a reminder for everyone else to do their part as well.Mashable – Rather than market Signals as a standalone enterprise microblogging tool – of which there are already many – it’s integrated into Socailtext’s broader social networking and wiki platform, which already includes features like activity streams so you know when colleagues edit wikis, make a blog post, or upload a document, for example.PC World – those involved in tasks like product development who manage sensitive and confidential information, are better served by Signals, which lets them microblog in a secure, controlled environment, he said. “With Signals, you can ‘tweet’ without giving out a secret to the Twitter public,” Aparicio said.