2007 Crunchies Award Ceremony

Last Friday was the 2007 Crunchies award ceremony at the Herbst Theatre in San Francisco. This was my first time attending the award ceremony, and I had a great time. The Crunchies is an annual competition and award ceremony to recognize and celebrate the most compelling startups, internet and technology innovations of the year. It was hosted by TechCrunch, GigaOm, Read/WriteWeb, and VentureBeat.

Some of the award categories were ‘Best new gadget’, ‘Best business model’, ‘Most likely to succeed’ and ‘Best start-up founder’. Congrats to all the winners.

One of my highlights of the night was seeing the Richter Scales perform ‘Here Comes Another Bubble‘. I didn’t shoot the below video, but I found it funny that you can see me running around in the beginning trying to get better photo angles.

My other highlight was when the ‘Best new gadget’ was announced. The winner was the Apple iphone, but nobody from Apple showed up to receive the award. So who filled their spot? The fake Steve Jobs of course with hilarious commentary.

My pictures of the event can be found on flickr here, all tagged with “2007crunchies“.

Update: Sarah Meyers posted links to the video clips from the ceremony, and has a good post on the after party.

2008 Macworld Keynote

Here we go again… today Steve Jobs got on stage and talked about four new things apple users must have. Ars Technica, Engadget, and Tom’s Guide all provided good live keynote coverage, so I wont go into everything Steve talked about.

The new great product that he unveiled was the manila envelope … erm. MacBook Air! It certainly looks sexy as its very slim and sleek, but how would one use it? The only network connection it has is 802.11n. There is no EVDO or ethernet port, but there is usb; so one could say buy a dongle. But still, who is the target for this device? I think it could be a nice companion computer for apple shops. But for a main computer, I am not so sure. What do you think? How would you use this device if you were to obtain one?

The rest of my pictures can be found on flickr.

Update: The keynote can now be viewed at here.

SVASE Guerrilla PR

A few days ago I was at a SVASE meeting and the topic was on guerrilla PR. This was my first SVASE meeting, so I didn’t really know what to expect. I felt like I was the only bootstrap startup, as everyone I talked to were funded by angels or VCs.

Here are my notes from the meeting:

  • Show expertise in the field that you are in
  • Start a blog, write articles
  • Post comments on other blogs
  • Be helpful, solve problems
  • Conversational marketing
  • Press releases
    • Usually a formality; not worth it
    • Has anyone gotten calls from one? Nobody said anything
    • Use google business and yahoo business
  • Blogger / Media embargo
    • Print only at x date
    • Line up all sources to release in mass
    • How to get their attention in the first place?
    • digg their stories
    • add links to their delicious account
    • email them several times
    • figure out what they like to do and buy them a present
    • in-and-out gift card example
  • Don’t launch at a conference
    • Expensive
    • Competitive
  • Cluetrain Manifesto
  • Personal branding initiative
    • Be available, be useful, be a resource
  • Perfect your elevator pitch
  • It’s not all about techcrunch
    • Find the magic middle
    • technorati numbers to find niche bloggers
    • smaller numbers, but more passionate
    • users will return
  • Hire a community manager to find niche groups
  • Costs for PR firm
    • Going rate is 10k per month plus costs
    • Doesn’t give you much
    • Lots of spam emails
    • Useless reports
  • Identify PR goals
    • How much traffic per month
    • How much registrations per month
    • How many external blog posts per month

    Overall, the topics discussed was more about online PR, and not guerrilla PR. The presenter gave some decent information bits, but because I wanted guerrilla PR tactics, so I came out a bit disappointed. And as I was leaving, another person mentioned the disappointment on structure and overall topics. Hopefully the next meeting I attend will be more structured and more on topic. 

    Update: I took a few pictures at the meeting. They can be viewed at flickr.

    CES Highlights

    This year I am trying something different. I want to experiment whether I can learn everything I wanted to by relying on others and the coverage they provide. And being the information addict that I am, I read over 500 posts related to this years’ CES. Here are my notes.

    • On Sunday, Bill Gates held his last Microsoft keynote. Before talking about products, he showed a video about what his last day might be like. It was quite funny, and had tons of celebrity power. The video can be found here.
    • This was the first year that separated press from bloggers. Each had their own areas, the main difference being location. Valleywag has a good post about it here.
    • Warner backs Blu-ray, leaving only Universal and Paramount as the major supporters of HD-DVD.



    • On the UMPC front, Samsung announced their Ultra Premium Q1. There is video stating that this new model will be able to render video files greater than 720p.
    • The new 8″ and 8.9″ Asus Eee models were missing at CES. But someone in japan was able to get a hold of the 8″ model, and took a comparison picture against the 7″ one. I’m anxious to see the new models in person, as I really want one for a kitchen computer.


    • Alienware and NEC had two amazing looking curved displays running at 2880×900 resolution. While I love the idea of additional real estate, I like having dedicated computers and displays for certain functions. But for gaming, the display is pretty sweet.


    • A Gizmodo reporter ran around with a TV-B-Gone and remotely shutting down TVs. They even posted a video about their work. CEA didn’t find the prank amusing, and that person is now banned.

    Overall, I think the experiment went well. While I didn’t get hands on experience with the various devices, the pictures, videos, and write-ups were great. The bloggers and press really did a great job covering the huge event.

    My Year-End Report Card: B-

    As the year end, I like to reflect on what I accomplished this year. 2007 was a great year for me, and I would like to give a big thanks to all that supported me in my ventures.

    Here are some of my highlights of the year:

    • Covered 21 events – Many of them as press.
    • Launched another startup.
    • Several pictures I took were used in 2 magazines.
    • Traveled to different 13 places – 12 in the United States and 1 in Canada.
    • Utilized an index card system for achievable tasks list, and daily to-dos.
    • Created several 0day exploits.

    And for the next year, I hope to post more on information addiction / overload and my security research findings.