Is this Really News Or Is Business Insider Just Getting For Page Views Using ‘Sex’

Hey Business Insider, is this really appropriate on a tech media site?  I know it’s in reference to a predominant and storied Silicon Valley VC firm, but I would imagine these people have lives as well and probably want to be left alone.

This is something I would expect from the magazines at the checkout counter at the grocery store, not a well respected resource for technology news.  Being a contributor to Business Insider, this disappoints me.

So I guess sex sells in tech as well??

In The Midst Of It All, Sometimes You Gotta Stop. Chill. And Take In The World.

Life is going so fast I am finding myself doing things I normally don’t do.  I am starting to forget random things like the power cord to my laptop, keys to my car and other stuff that is actually very important at specific times.  I am normally not like this, but at this juncture – starting a company, raising money and talking with early customers – everything just seems to blur together.

It’s time to chill.

Those who know me best have come to understand I will never let a good sunset pass me by.  I feel it is so important to take the time to stop, chill and observe the natural beauty around us.

Today, we spend to much damn time with our head down staring at a screen, searching for the next tweet of information to consume.  Don’t forget there is a beautiful world out there, waiting for you to appreciate.  Above is an image of the sunset from Monday, the end of a great day in Seattle.  When I noticed it was going to be a picture perfect evening I left the office a bit early, grabbed a few cold ones and went down to the beach to chill, think and take it all in.

Life comes at you pretty fast and beautiful scenery like this doesn’t happen very often so we must enjoy when we can.

I will ride a Virgin whenever I can

Airplane.  Airlines.  Virgin America.  If you clicked on this for any other reason than hearing about how cool Virgin America is , you are out of luck.  For the rest of you here is my Virgin America experience.

Back in March I took a long weekend trip to Las Vegas for a good friend’s Bachelor party.  Now I know what you are thinking.  It wasn’t really like that… well not exactly like it, but I will leave that for another post.  After a long Vegas weekend of NCAA march madness games, late night poker, a few too many cold beverages and the like, it was time to go home.  For any Vegas veteran out there, you know a Sunday morning 9 am flight out of Las Vegas is a catastrophe, to say the least.   Most people at the airport or on your flight have not slept, reek of booze and are not in the best of moods.  “This is going to be interesting.”

Having booked my return flight weeks earlier by just picking the cheapest one, I was now blessed with the realization I was going to be flying Virgin America.  For those unaware,  The Virgin brand was founded 40 some years ago by British Entrepreneur Richard Branson.  I have always looked up to him and felt he really understood how to grow a business and build a brand.   As a budding entrepreneur, this was exciting to me.  I had never flown Virgin before, and even though no brand is perfect, after reading various blog posts, articles and a few books praising Branson and the Virgin Brand, now was my opportunity to experience it first had.  Boy was I not disappointed.

I was greeted by this (at left) upon stepping aboard the plane, ahh…  When was the last time you actually looked forward to boarding a plane? I don’t look forward to fighting others in the crowded center isle as I place my bags above my seat and try to get settled in.  This was pure bliss 8:30 am on a Sunday in Vegas.  When you are building a brand, it’s the little things that matter.  But it gets better.

Look closer at all those seats, you can see little personal screens on the back of each seat.  To my amazement, once I sat down I realized not only can we watch whatever we want, Virgin offers satellite TV and wireless internet – FOR FREE.  As coincidence would have it, the University of Washington men’s basketball team had just tipped off against the University of North Carolina and was currently being shown on CBS.  Yes!  I plugged in my headphones, dialed into the game and watched 2 hours of great college hoops while as we flew to our stop off in San Fransisco.  It’s the little things.  I have to say it was the best flight I have ever had.  I remember feeling like I wasn’t even on a plane.

To top it off, the flight crew is young, hip, professional and above all else very happy and positive.  You get the feeling their entire purpose is to make you – the customer – at ease and extremely comfortable.  Little things, as it should be.  After a brief layover in SF, we boarded another Virgin aircraft and flew on to Seattle, where I live.  Again with the ease of technology I was able to plug in and enjoy another college basketball game, without the irritation of crying babies, arguing couples or a blabbing college freshman girl.  Pure bliss.

Why I like Virgin America so much

  • Virgin actually cares about their customers
  • Virgin is ahead of the curve (notice their twitter account)
  • Virgin has embraced their founder’s personality
  • The Virgin brand is hip, cool and innovative
  • They provide a service that just so happens to be a business (not the other way around)
  • I just like the name

You heard it here, from now on I will ride a Virgin whenever I can.  You should too.

Disclosure:  Virgin America has no idea I am writing this.  I wrote this purely because of a great customer experience. 

Mobile Commerce Will Be HUGE

Mobile commerce is starting to show its legs.  Groupon just announced it will be seeing half of revenue coming from mobile devices sometime in the next two years.  This coincides with what Mary Meeker has been saying for so many years – the mobile web will be HUGE.  Look at the chart below, you can see it is predicted global mobile users will overtake desktop users within the next 5 years.  Think about that for a second.

According to Mary Meeker:

“the world is currently in the midst of the fifth major technology cycle of the past half a century. The previous four were the mainframe era of the 1950s and 60s, the mini-computer era of the 1970s and the desktop Internet era of the 80s. The current cycle is the era of the mobile Internet, she says — predicting that within the next five years “more users will connect to the Internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs.”

This shift has major implications for consumers as well a businesses.  Shopkick, a mobile app initially created for in-store shopping experiences, now allows users to create a custom area for their favorite retailers.  Remember how you throw away most of the advertisements and mailers you receive each day.  This is the opposite.  It’s all the best deals right in front of your face.

If you are a local business, your customers are theoretically always connected to you and your products or services.  Think: how can you add value to them on a daily basis.  If you are a consumer, odds are you carry a device in which pretty much anything (or anyone) in the world is just a few taps away.  Think: what new place/thing can I discover in my city today.

As a consumer, in what ways do you use your mobile to interact with your local community?  And what do you wish you could do?  In today’s world, you might just get what you ask for…