New Years Resolutions for the Interactive Advertising World

December 29, 2008

It’s that time of year again, when you make promises you can’t keep, over commit to Gym time, work hours, and time spent on that novel you started Freshman year in College.   After setting to work on my own list of New Years Resolutions, I thought it may be valuable to scour the Internet and aggregate a few of my favorite lists from the on line advertising world.  Take a look:

resolutions Click this link to check out MediaTwo – Interactive Ad Agency‘s resolutions.

Media Post did something different this year, and offer New Year’s Resolutions for Hispanic Marketers; HERE

Adotas is always insightful.   Take a look at their resolutions.  All of which I agree with. If I were to put them in order of importance, I’d list

Better Engage Users Through Social Interaction as my number one

Kudos to the team at Adotas. I believe their list is one of the most comprehensive I could find.

Here are my 5 Resolutions for 2009:

1. Listen to our users more. The brand is a phenomenal product.  We need to break down walls and allow our users to give us feedback about the product.  This will allow for champions for the brand, and provide a forum for us to share information.

2. Continue to be the “white hat” provider of downloadable toolbars.  We have a strong relationship with Google, Truste Certification, and will continue to develop and cultivate strong working relationships.

3. Test, test test.   Our team has so many great ideas that will enhance our users experiences that it behooves us to test everything.

4. Continue to pay attention to ROI.  It’s easy to get caught up in big deals attached to big dollar signs.  If there’s no attention to ROI, we’re shooting ourselves in the foot.

5. Stay focused.  As we grow and continue to generate revenue, it’s easy to rest on your laurels.  We need to stay focused and push each other (especially in such a volatile economic environment.


December 29, 2008

The basic methodology consists of the following five steps:

  • Define process improvement goals that are consistent with customer demands and the enterprise strategy.
  • Measure key aspects of the current process and collect relevant data.
  • Analyze the data to verify cause-and-effect relationships. Determine what the relationships are, and attempt to ensure that all factors have been considered.
  • Improve or optimize the process based upon data analysis using techniques like Design of experiments.
  • Control to ensure that any deviations from target are corrected before they result in defects. Set up pilot runs to establish process capability, move on to production, set up control mechanisms and continuously monitor the process


December 29, 2008

This thanksgiving was the first time my wife Laura and I have hosted.  It was also a pretty special Thanksgiving for us because it’s our daughter Talia’s first.  We had 14 family members over the house in Chappaqua and it was a huge success.

This year I did something a bit different.  When it was time to give a toast, I took a moment for everyone at the table to really think about giving thanks and what that meant to them.  I acknowledged members of our family that are no longer with us, and I then handed out hand written letters to each person at the table telling them why I’m grateful to have them in my life.   This was a great way to start the dinner, and I was thrilled to see everyone really get into the holiday spirit.

I hope everyone had as much fun this Thanksgiving as my family.

Top 10 Events of 2008

December 29, 2008

After reviewing my rather stuffy list of predictions for 2009 (albeit laser accurate, I guarantee it)… something was missing.  So, after no demand whatsoever – here’s a list of things that only effected me and my family.  I’m going to make you sit through it because I think some of these things could effect your life too (seriously)

Drum role please – here are the top 10 events of 2008 – from my perspective, regardless their bearing on personal, or business events:

10.  Moving into our Townhouse.  Scary as hell, but well worth it.  Chappaqua rocks, and my baby girl has her own bedroom.  Cool, very cool


9.  A New job! Miva Direct, – After learning more at Azoogle than I think I can truly comprehend this early in my career (special thanks to Don Mathis, Alex Zhardanovsky, Joe Speiser and Brett Lofgren), and then experiencing on of the most intense roller coaster rides of my career at zanox, I’ve very happily landed at Miva Direct (a division of Miva Inc), and parent to our flagship brand I’m revisiting my direct marketing roots, and I’m fired up to come into work again…priceless.

8. A new business – (should be ready to rumble late Q1, 2009)dadzilla-mockup

7. Web 2.0 Expo –  This is where I learned about Gary Vaynerchuk, and,, mzinga and the the concept of “We are greater than Me”

6. Techcrunch50 – the conference was broadcast live on  I watched every minute, and loved every minute.  Some favorites –, and stand out.

5.   The Secret – It may be psycho-babble to some people, but the road to self help began with watching the Secret.  It was a defining wake up call for a guy that was fine with being mediocre.  Since viewing, I’ve become a Vice President, made more money in the past three years than the previous 5 of my career, bought a townhouse in a phenomenal town (see number 10), and started meditating.  Suffice to say mediocrity is no longer on the agenda.

4.  A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (Oprah’s Book Club, Selection 61)
This brilliant book has changed the way I perceive the world.  If reading and seeing the Secret was the appetizer, A New Earth was the main course.  I highly recommend it.  The concepts are at times a bit obtuse, but it will always have you thinking.

3.  UFC – Ultimate Fighter Season 5
– Although it seems like an odd one, I’m hooked.  I’m impressed with the athletes, and at the same time intrigued by Dana White and his business acumen.  I’m a huge fan.

2. John and Kate Plus 8 – Let’s take a look at the total antithesis of Ultimate Fighting – John and Kate Plus 8.  A reality show about a family that (although they already had twins), decided to try for another, and ended up with sextuplets.  If you ever feel that you’re overwhelmed at work, with family etc.  Watch the show, and admire the manner in which these two sleep deprived parents can communicate and parent without killing each other.   A must watch for any parent. Plus the kids are adorable.  This show will certainly put you in a good mood.

1. Talia Ann Dessi – Magic, just magic.  From being there when she was born, to watching her notice her hands for the first time, my perfect daughter has taught me how to see the world through a whole new set of eyes, and for that I’m forever in her debt.  She’s pure joy, pure light, and the best thing I’ve ever done in my life.t

Happy New Year everyone!

Gary Vaynerchuk – Online Man of the Year 2008?

December 24, 2008

Question:  Who inspired you this year?

My answer:  Gary Vaynerchuk

I’m a wine neophite, yet I find myself watching Gary’s online reviews obessesively.  I like to think of myself as a positive, motivated, focused guy yet Gary’s online activity (endless tweets on twitter), and non stop production of killer content makes me question my own  work ethic (this is a good thing).  When everyone in our industry is freaking out about layoffs, and who they’re going to point the finger at Gary’s message never wanes  “love, hustle, family”….

This guy is what the online industry should all aspire to be.   How can you not love a guy that decided to proclaim a “Good People Day”.…awesomegary-masthead

When I saw Gary deliver this keynote at Web 2.0Expo it changed my life.  Seriously.  Watch it.  Then watch it again.  I even made my parents watch it.  I made my colleagues watch it.

I nominate Gary Vaynerchuk as Online Man of the Year 2008

An Open Letter to Papa

December 23, 2008


Today I really miss you.

I think it’s because I’m a father now and I’d give anything to for you to meet Talia. Although this time of year is always difficult without you, missing you hasn’t gotten easier.  There is no easing of that pain, only perhaps a greater understanding of the man you were and why you did the things you did. As I get older I can see what a truly great man you were.

This Thanksgiving I showed everyone the letter you’d written to me after I received the Coach’s Award in High School. As an 18 year old I appreciated the letter for sure, but not nearly as much as now at 33. A few months ago when I found the letter in Mom and Dad’s basement I felt like I’d been hit in my chest with a sledge hammer. It shook me to my core. So I gingerly unfolded it, framed it and put it at my bedside. Now I read it often, and I hear you. You wrote letters to others in the family. You made everyone feel special. Thank you. You’ll never know the magnitude of those gestures.

When confronted with the grief of losing you, I find myself feeling it even deeper as more and more blessings are bestowed upon our family.  I wish you were here to enjoy these moments.  There’s certainly a part of me that feels you are participating in my life every day.  There’s also that other part of me that feels you’re gone.  I suppose writing this letter addresses the latter sentiment, in a hope to connect myself to you as much as possible.

I recall Christmas’s past. I can close my eyes and smell you, feel your cheek on mine when you’d hug me.  I can hear you saying Merry Christmas to all of us.  I can hear you offering a toast to family – always making it clear that you were the “richest man in the world” because of all of the love surrounding you. We all love you so much.

Today I really miss you.

I wish you were able to sit in a chair and have Sophia, Julia and Talia crawl on your lap. I bet your face would get red, and you’d laugh your laugh. I can still hear it. I wish you were able to offer another family toast. I tried this Thanksgiving. I hope I made you proud. I think I did.

Mark and I used to sit with you and talk about what your life was like growing up with your siblings in Brooklyn. If you were still here we’d talk to you about our daughters, our lovely wives, our homes, and the town we both live in. We’d tell you how you taught us the importance of family. We’d tell you that we’ve grown closer as adults. We know you worried about that when we fought as children. You taught us how to be men.

Mom misses you. I can tell that this time of year is the worst for her. She misses your kind words. She misses your unconditional love and your ability to convey that you loved her for being her. You’ll never know how much she loves you.

I feel better now. I know you’re here. Thanks for listening Papa.

Merry Christmas buddy.


Santa on Twitter

December 22, 2008

Mashable reported today that users can track good ole’ Santa via Twitter this year – just what I wanted for Christmas!

Britney and Shaq are on Twitter, so why not Santa Claus? Expanding on NORAD’s tradition, this year you’ll be able to track Santa using Twitter, via the @noradsanta account. The account is being maintained by “Bitz the Twittering Elf,” and compliments NORAD’s official site – – which includes options to track Santa in 3D in Google Earth, a countdown, and an interactive North pole.

santaThis seems like a pretty fun/cool add on for Twitter.  But then reality sets in (well sort of).  I see a huge opportunity here for retailers during future holidays.  Think about it.  This coming Easter – Hallmark’s Twitter account can track the Easter Bunny – offering discounts, or tips for purchasing cool Easter gifts along the way.  Maybe Retailers can even create fictional characters to be tracked via Twitter to get certain “twitter only” discounts?

What do you guys think? Is this an idea “fail”?