Monday, March 31, 2008


Finally got on board Twitter; curious to see if I get hooked on this. Very cool that I snagged my name at this late stage ...

I Hate The Fact That I Bothered To Research I Hate Sarah Marshall!

I've seen a lot of posters on the back of Toronto buses proclaiming, "I hate Sarah Marshall!"

I smelled a viral, so I visited the website: -- it looks like a blog, cool, someone really does hate Sarah Marshall, and bothered to tell the world.

I then went to IMDB and found this, so I suspect it's just a promotion for a new film: Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Interesting enough to get me to learn more about it, so it's done its job.

Friday, March 28, 2008 Seems To Have Gone A Bit Flat

The relaunch took place a few days ago, and as the site’s former managing editor, I’d like to give my opinion on the new redesign. Unfortunately, I think they have missed a great opportunity to make it one of the best sites on the Net.

For starters, just the domain name itself is one of the most sought-after URLs out there. People search for it, link it, type it in their browser, stumble upon it. It’s worth millions in itself, and all you get now when you go there is very annoying scrolling percentage numbers of who likes what out of 10.

“The most exciting features we introduced with the new are the abilities to comment and rate the content, so we encourage you to do that.” You mean, like Digg has been doing for years? I don’t see that as exciting.

The word I got is that six people were locked in a room with a plentiful supply of beer and snacks and told: “Revamp the site in a month.” That sounds like pressure to me, and not a very conducive way to plan, design and relaunch a major website. I wonder what the parent company -- dthree Inc. -- were thinking in setting such a deadline?

The fact that there’s three “Place Your Ad Here” boxes on the home page is not a good sign. Might have been cool to get some sponsors in place first.

My previous boss left the company a few months ago, and now I understand a former intern called Chris Balon is in charge of -- that’s a swift promotion, and I wish him luck.

One suggestion I have for him is to bring back Virtual Bartender, the smash hit viral sensation that made famous. For the life of me I can’t find it on the site; I might have missed it, but some of the comments from users reflect that omission too: “Please tell me that you guys didn’t do the STUPIDEST thing possible and got rid of the Virtual Bartenders? Please tell me that you aren’t that brain dead.”

A message from the team says that they have a lot more planned for the future. I sincerely hope so, because it’s a shame what the site has turned into.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Chance To Get Free Face Time With A Top Canadian VC

Rick Segal is a Canadian VC, very smart, and -- best of all -- very accessible. He doesn't sit in an Ivory Tower behind a fortress of minions. I got to know him when he wrote a column for me a few years ago at Silicon Valley NORTH about how to get funded, what start-ups should look out for, term sheets, that sort of thing.

He has just announced a series of FREE VC Roundtables across Canadian cities starting April 14, and asked me to help spread the word. I'm happy to do so. [I'm not getting paid with any kind of commission, by the way. I just think it is a golden opportunity for start-ups to pick Rick's brain for a few hours. As they say, space is limited!]

Here's details snipped from the site, with a registration link at the end:

Something's missing in Canada's tech community -- the chance to informally interact with VCs, learn about what it is exactly that they do and how the funding process works.

The VC Roundtable series aims to fill this gap, by hosting small (free!) get togethers across Canada's major cities where Rick Segal, JLA Ventures Partner and VC blogger ( will walk through what getting involved with VCs is all about.

What To Expect:
25 attendee limit
About 2 - 3 hours in length
Information on VC/Angels and the process
Sample Term sheets, documents, business plans, PowerPoints
Example Pitch or Pitches to show what's interesting/good/bad
Lots of time for questions

What A VC Roundtable Isn't:
VCs trashing your ideas
You trashing somebody else's ideas
Hours of PowerPoint slides

What You Will Leave With:
An understanding of the VC world as I see it (and I am a user group of one!)
A good set of reference documents/examples/materials
Some of your top of mind questions answered
A better feel for the VC industry and if raising third party capital is right for you

Click here to register.