Quick thoughts on Boston

I’ve run a marathon, and several half-marathons. I couldn’t dream of being fast enough to qualify for Boston, but I do know something about the amount of effort and heart these runners put into getting ready for a great race today. It’s early morning long runs, and breath-sucking speed workouts, and aches and pains and…

5 lessons your business can learn from the NFL

As we prepare for the most Harbaugh of all Super Bowls, it’s worth noting that every Super Bowl is a celebration for the NFL. Not only is it the most publicized annual event in America (and typically the most watched TV broadcast of the year), but each one also serves as the culmination of another…

You can’t make someone listen

There are a bucketful of different techniques to persuade people towards your point of view. You can appeal to their social needs – their desire to belong, to fit in, to be appreciated. You can appeal to their financial needs – make it worth their while to join you, or provide a disincentive for not…

College tuition vs. the stock market

Is college getting less affordable over time? That’s certainly conventional wisdom. A Pew Research Center survey in 2011 found that 75% of adults believe “college is too expensive for most Americans to afford”. That same study found that economics is the single biggest reason many young adults choose not to go to college at all….

Links: December 7

Gigabit broadband is becoming more readily available, and man does it sound awesome. Gigabit! But is it actually useful? Maybe not quite yet. Even streaming video has a hard time filling a broadband pipe that fat, thanks to high-quality compression. Attention marketers (or consumers suspicious of marketers): the 5 most persuasive words in the English…

Things are better now

Life is better now than it used to be. You might disagree with that statement, but well, I’m afraid you’d be unquestionably and almost comically wrong. Others have compiled lists of the ways in which things have improved, written books about it, and even conducted real, peer-reviewed research to back up that statement. So I’ll…

Quotes from Election Night

Some quotes – from the professionals and regular citizens – about the election. “President Obama was re-elected, relying on a coalition of voters that was broader than it was deep. Democrats maintained an edge in party identification, allowing Mr. Obama to win despite losing independent voters by several points. Forty-five percent of those who voted…

Freemium 101

Originally posted on TechCrunch:
Editor’s note: Jules Maltz is a general partner at IVP and focuses on later-stage venture investments in rapidly-growing Internet and software companies. Follow him on Twitter. Daniel Barney is a senior associate at IVP and focuses on later-stage venture investments in digital media and information technology. Follow him on Twitter. Over the last several months,…

A visual history of social media

From the busy, bold and brilliant folks at Copyblogger, a Visual History of Social Media. Whaddya know, the Internet has *always* been inherently social!  

Dear marketers: stop shouting at us

A couple of years ago, I co-created a marketing campaign for AccountantsWorld, which intended to spark debate (and hopefully some support) around the idea that our ginormous competitor was a negative force for professional accountants. Here’s an image from that campaign: All of our ads led to a landing page where we presented – at…

Marketing to people like you – but smarter

Here’s a banner ad I saw recently from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC (click it to see full-size): Huh. Now, I get the concept of exclusivity marketing – positioning your product or service as something that isn’t for everyone. When executed well, this strategy can help a brand differentiate itself in a crowded marketplace…

Why unemployment is still so high

You’ve heard a lot of reasons that unemployment is still above 8% right now, and there are probably hundreds of factors, large and small. The crisis in Europe is certainly a big one – American businesses are actually exporting less to Europe than they were 4 years ago. Consumer confidence is still relatively low –…