January 26, 2009

5 Things I’m grateful for

January 26, 2009

1. My wife Laura – I paid her $50 if she could last 1/2 hour without talking last night (seriously, she won and I was a happy man to pay up)…but I love that woman.  Plus we laugh together….all the time..


2. My daughter Talia

– Feel the touch of a 9 month olds open hand on your cheek and feel the hand of God.


3. My home – I worked my buns off to provide a home for my family, and although it’s no palace, it’s a great place, and I feel like I enter the “no stress zone” every time I come home at night.

4. My family – I actually CHOSE to live in the same town as my brother.  Crazy right? Wrong.  He and his gorgeous family rule.  We all dig spending our Sundays together, and we even invite my PARENTS! For my Mother’s 60th Birthday we’re sending my parents to Sciacca, Sicily – the town of origin for my Mother’s family.  Family is EVERYTHING. We surprised her.  Priceless..


5. My job – I work with some of the smartest people in the online world, and they’re nice to me.  Not sure what I did to deserve that?   

Life is good people.  take a minute to list your top 5…I promise, you’ll feel great afteward!

Recession? What Recession?

January 26, 2009

Recently I saw an interview with Rush Limbaugh.  I know, I know but hear me out.  Throughout the course of the interview Rush was his normal cuddly, narrow minded fool blabbering on about some gibberish that I was just about to turn off when he made a statement that got me.  He said (now I’m paraphrasing here)_….”I know there’s a recession, I just don’t choose to participate”…..and I have to say that this may be the first time I can ever say  – I AGREE WITH OUR BOY RUSH.  Amen!  Let’s not participate. 


I’m sure Rush didn’t mean it the way I’m going to interpret here – but I don’t really care.  I choose not to participate in the gloom and doom.  I choose to see the silver lining. I choose to be happy.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  I’m grateful for my lovely wife Laura, my perfect baby girl Talia, for my friends, my family and my job.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I don’t chose to participate.  

You shouldn’t either.  Smile, you’ll live longer.  I promise.

2 Tips for Running an Offsite

January 26, 2009

Recently the executive team here at Miva Direct had a phenomenal offsite meeting.  We were disciplined, focused and produced a comprehensive agenda for Q1 that thus far has been a huge success.  I’m really proud of the team, and I thought I’d share some of the outline I presented prior to the meeting to help keep us on point. 








  1. Define 4 Key Elements
  2. Define roles and responsibilities

1. Define 4 key elements

  • Defining and organizing the project
    • Define the projects objectives as clearly as possible.
    • Organize the right people and all necessary resources around the objectives
  • Planning the project ie, given our objective.  What set of tasks must we complete?  -GHANT chart etc
  • Managing project execution – should we name a project manager to oversee all execution/timelines etc?
  • Closing down the project – What went well – what went badly – should we do this quarterly etc.

2 .Define roles and responsibilities

Project sponsor

  • Championing the project at the highest level
  • Clearing away organizational obstructions
  • Providing the resources required for success
  • Communicating effectively with CEO about our progress

Project Manager

  • Recruit effective participants
  • Provide framework for the projects activities – timelines
  • Keep vision clear
  • ID resources
  • Mediate conflicts
  • Manage budget
  • Ensure everyone contributes and benefits
  • Keep work on track
  • Assure goals are delivered on time and on budget

Project Leader (s) –

  • Emphasize the higher-level goals of Miva Direct and how successful team action will contribute to them.
  • Emphasize how the other party will benefit by helping the project – ie, product team will benefit if each of our ideas generate revenue
  • Regularly communicate progress and problems with Project Manager
  • Periodically assess team progress, the outlook of members (morale) and how each member views his or her contribution (we need to be aware of how product feels)
  • Do a share of the work
  • Resist the urge to act like a “boss”

 Our offsite while arduous proved to be one of the most effective things our team has done to date.

I’ll keep you posted on our execution of  proposed tactics.

Cool App of the day

January 26, 2009

Just reading my new Wired Magazine, and came across a pretty cool App that combines GPS technology with a practical need for the weary commuter like myself. iNap, is a travel alarm that keeps you from sleeping through your stop. As long as your iphone can get a GPS signal, the program will track your location and alert you when your stop is on the way. Cool. Very Cool.

Nap away commuters!