Tracking Innovation at TechCrunch Disrupt

May 24, 2010 – 12:10 pm

TechCrunch Disrupt

I’m at TechCrunch Disrupt the next couple days. I was able to bundle the event with some other meetings in New York, so it worked out well.

Summary so far: the next wave of innovation is about social, mobile & building relationships through engagement across channels – something that we, at Barkley, are attacking head on (and why I’m here at the event).

There are representatives from the majority of technology related companies, including Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Foursquare, Blippy – you name it, they’re probably here.

I’m not sure of the exact number of attendees, but it’s standing room only. There’s a huge venture capital presence, in addition to startups, press, technologists & executives from around the world.

Will the next Facebook be funded at the event? I haven’t had a chance to walk through Startup Alley, but I think there’s some good potential here to get some ideas off the ground.

More than 1,000 innovators from Silicon Valley, Silicon Alley and abroad convene in New York City to gain market insight and develop new business at Disrupt.

Executives from high-tech and media sectors attend Disrupt to stay abreast of the latest thinking, network in a unique atmosphere of concentrated innovators, and develop new business ideas.

Technologists attend to see what the competition is up to, hear from leaders in the field, and team up with other geeks to go all-out developing during Hack Day or create something new at the Builder Bar.

Startups attend to gain exposure leading venture and angel funders from both coasts and bring their product to market. Our early-stage-only Startup Alley offers your team entrance to the event for less than the cost of two tickets, and it’s front and center in our floorplan. All because we want Disrupt to support your innovation. If you’re already a big fish, look into exhibiting with us — and join sponsors such as Google and Zoosk.

Investors attend to see upcoming trends and products before the competition does and develop new business.

Press, bloggers and policy influencers attend Disrupt to gain crucial insight into market developments. This can’t-miss event will pull back the curtain from typical tech-conference platitudes for real content –and real relationships.

Sponsors ally with us to make an amazing event, integrating their services and gaining access to the creative crowd packed with early adopters and active investors, as well as developing small business, tech titans, and everything in between.

Disrupt is for the disruptors — And everyone else who doesn’t have time to lament broken business models. There’s too much new business to get done.

iPad, iPhone, Location-Aware Apps: April 2010 KCUR Up to Date Summary

April 19, 2010 – 12:17 pm

KCUR Up to Date

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Steve Kraske sits down with “Tech-sperts” Dustin Jacobsen, Director of Social Media and Technology at Barkley, and Justin Parlette, Support Systems Administrator at University of Missouri, Kansas City.

They review Apple’s newest gadget, the iPad, cover news of iPhone 4.0 OS multitasking capabilities, and location-aware apps.

A few highlights:

  • iPad: trying to find a place to live (3 min)
  • People believe in Steve Jobs & the magic he brings to Apple products (5 min)
  • Closed platforms: good or bad (10 min)
  • Basic computer usage with instant internet access (12 min)
  • Apple won’t allow Flash on the iPhone, iPad (17 min)
  • HTML 5 (20 min)
  • iPad apps: more than just eBooks, but interactive ebooks are great (24 min)
  • An iPad isn’t a phone replacement (28 min)
  • Google Android & other tablet computers (34 min)
  • iPhone 4.0 (38 min)
  • Location-aware apps (40 min)
  • Even people that bought an iPad aren’t sure how they’ll use it (43 min)
  • 20 years from now (48 min)

Listen & download

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow KCUR Up to Date on Twitter and check out the KCUR site for a list of upcoming shows and links to subscribe to the podcast.

I had a few people comment back to me after the show that the iPad does have GPS (I said it doesn’t on the show). To clarify, the model I have (Wi-Fi only) does not a built-in GPS chip.

Apple’s New $499 – $829 iPad: GPS, Map, Navigation Features
Apple states: “iPad with Wi-Fi finds your location using known Wi-Fi hotspots, and Wi-Fi + 3G models use Wi-Fi, GPS, and cellular towers.”

Apple iPad: Does it have ‘real’ GPS? (updated: yes and no)

I also had a lot of interesting comments about Flash on Apple devices (Apple will not allow Adobe’s Flash on the iPhone or iPad). Apple wants to be able to change the OS without breaking Flash apps. It’s a lot more complicated than that, but that is the stance that Apple is taking. And banning Flash isn’t going to slow Apple down. One comment I got was: “Absence of Flash isn’t keeping anyone away with content that people want.”

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Lunch, Learn, Lenexa: Using Social Media in your Business

April 15, 2010 – 3:43 pm

Lunch Learn Lenexa Social Media

Andy Huckaba & I presented on social media for Lenexa Chamber of Commerce members today. We had a great turnout and there’s a large amount of interest about social media for small businesses. Thanks to everyone that attended and to the Lenexa Chamber of Commerce for organizing & hosting the event.

Andy Huckaba is the President of the management consulting firm Huckaba & Associates. Andy works as a facilitator, speaker, social media expert, and strategic consultant for companies and organizations in telecommunications, architecture, finance, banking, manufacturing, publishing, Internet development, advertising, healthcare and government. Past clients include Sprint, Hallmark, Yellow Freight, H&R Block, First USA and Bank of America. In his role as a City Councilman for the City of Lenexa, Kansas, Andy serves as the Vice-Chair of the National League of Cities, Information Technology & Communications Committee dealing with national technology policies that affect cities.

Dustin Jacobsen, Director of Social Media & Technology at Barkley, leads the agency on interactive, mobile, social and emerging technology projects. He works on a variety of clients including Sonic Drive-In, Build-A-Bear Workshop, 24 Hour Fitness and Blue Bunny Ice Cream. Barkley is one of the top-ten independent advertising agencies in the US.

Before Barkley, Dustin worked at several start-up technology and marketing companies, leading cross-functional business, software engineering and marketing teams.

Dustin holds a BS from Iowa State University and an MBA, magna cum laude, from Baker University. He blogs about all things marketing and technology at and is on Twitter at

Technorati Tags: , ,

Apple iPad: Worth the Hype?

April 5, 2010 – 9:32 am
Apple iPad   

As someone that works on mobile and emerging technology projects, I had to pick up one of the latest hyped up Apple products and spend some time getting to know it and write my own review.

For those that aren’t familiar with the Apple iPad, it’s the latest shiny object from Apple. You can read all of the details about the Apple iPad online.

The short answer to the question about the Apple iPad being worth the hype? Not right now, but I think it will be in the next 12 months as new applications are developed and new features added.

Everyone seems to love it, although most can’t really explain why. Game changing? I don’t know of any product that’s game changing with the 1st generation launch, but it sets the stage for the 2nd generation, which I think will have a much bigger impact.

There are some interesting entertainment uses of the iPad, like the Yahoo Entertainment app on the iPad, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NPR, etc.

For me, the iPad doesn’t do anything well enough to replace one of my existing devices. I already have an iPhone, iPod, Apple TV & MacBook Pro. I could see using the device in addition to my iPhone and MacBook Pro, but not replacing either one. Why? Multitasking for one, which the iPad and iPhone don’t allow (currently). And it doesn’t have all of the programs that I need, like Microsoft Office and others. HTML 5 may decrease the reliance on Flash, but no Flash support is a downer. The battery life, which at 10+hours is impressive considering the size of the screen and a big bonus in my book.

I don’t really need another device hanging around when my MacBook Pro already has great multimedia capabilities, including USB ports with built-in video capabilities. Other items missing include drag & drop file management, HD support (no HDMI out, 1080p playback or native widescreen support) and no full GPS support (via).

The best article was So, When Do You Plan To Use the iPad? which I think highlights my point.

It’s going to be very hard to find enough time to use the iPad. When you’re at home or at work, you’re going to use your computer. When you’re on the go, you have your smartphone. If you’re on a train or a plane and need to do some work, you can use a laptop. When you’re doing something else, such as running, well, then your attention is focused on that. When, exactly, are you going to use the iPad?

Yes, you may want it, but do you need it? If Apple wants to turn that want into need, it needs to sell content, not the device, because we don’t have the time for another device.

According to a few sources such as PC Magazine, Hulu, which is where I watch most of my regular TV programming, will be rolling out an iPad app in the next few months. If I could stream content to the iPad from my DVR, that could be huge. If I could download content to the device to watch TV programming on the go, that would be even better, even with embedded commercials.

The ABC Player is nice and a good start. According to Mashable (10 Great Sites for Watching Video on Your iPad), there are already a lot of sites that will support the device, including YouTube, Netflix, Vimeo, NBC, CBS and others.

Google is rumored to be building a tablet like device, as well as many others. Everyone is watching to see if Apple can make it as successful as the iPod & iPhone.

If you have an iPad, I’d like to hear how you plan to use it and if you feel it’s a game changer.

A few other articles of interest:

Technorati Tags: , ,

SXSW Interactive 2010 Recap

March 30, 2010 – 9:57 am
SXSW 2010    

I’ve been trying to make it to South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) for several years, but the planets just never aligned.. That is, until this year.

SXSW, for those unfamiliar with the event, is held each Spring in Austin, TX and includes Interactive, Film & Music sessions spread across 1 1/2 weeks. I attended the Interactive sessions, which ran for five days, Friday-Tuesday, March 12th-16th and is referred to by some as “Spring Break for Nerds.”

I’ve been following the event for several years, so I somewhat knew what to expect going into it. According to several sources, interactive registration was up 40% over 2009, to somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 total. I’m not sure what the final count was, but there will need to be some changes next year to accommodate the growth.

There have been several great summary posts, which I’ll include below. Overall, at least for me, it was a very successful use of time and resources.

Attending events isn’t cheap, but there’s something to be said about attending events in person and meeting people in real life. It just isn’t the same to watch the videos, monitor Twitter and blog content. You have to be there in person to really experience the event.

Steve Hall had a few great points that summarize my perspective (see his article below on Adrants):

  • “But where else can you physically hang with so many people in the marketing/interactive/advertising/social/geek space all at once.”
  • “SXSW is about the people. Sure, panels and content are important but it’s the people you want to connect with. It’s people you will do business with. It’s people who will become part of your professional (and personal) life.”

Highlights for me:

  • Attending Gary Vaynerchuk’s keynote (the guy has passion!)
  • Experiencing the hype around geo-location checkin services – everyone was checking in using Foursquare, Gowalla, etc. The panels such as Time+ Social + Location: What’s Next in Mobile Experiences were packed.
  • Overemphasis around all that’s cool about iPhones, even though I don’t think they’ll rise above 15% market share
  • The lameness of several of the keynotes and sessions (crowdsourcing doesn’t always work)
  • Validation of the large opportunities in mobile, social and location-based services
  • Pleasantly surprised that the AT&T network held up under the network strain and the WiFi at the event was great, which helped make up for the horrible internet service at my hotel
  • Meet and greet in real life at Allhat II, a meetup organized by David Armano & Richard Binhammer
  • Hearing both sides discussing the Yelp effect
  • Having a Twitter hashtag, such as #contentrelevanttome for each panel or event was very helpful for tracking discussions via Twitter
  • The brainpower on stage for “Making Content Relevant to Me, Here and Now” and several other sessions was mind-blowing
  • Good discussions around the future of context, information overload and the difference between information and being informed
  • Learned about some cool new location apps like at Seek ‘n Spell and scvngr, a geo-gaming platform at “Playing with Place: Location-Based Games and Services”
  • While I don’t always agree with Jason Fried from 37signals, I’m glad I was able to catch part of his session and learn a bit about his new book, REWORK.
  • Many people have seen the Socialnomics videos from Erik Qualman, but it was good to hear him speak and I’m looking forward to an updated round of stats on social media
SXSW Allhat 2

photo via David Alston from #Allhat2 Tweetup


Other great SXSWi 2010 posts:

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Location-based Marketing Continues to Grow

March 26, 2010 – 1:34 pm

I predicted earlier this year that location-based marketing & advertising was going to explode in 2010. Well, here’s some validation of that prediction, with literally multiple updates coming out daily of new location-based services, companies getting funding, being featured in the New York Times and other mainstream press, etc.

There’s a huge list of companies in this space right now, but I thought I’d call out updates of three from the last three days: MyTown, Foursquare and Placecast.


MyTown Hits 1.5 Million Location-Based Gamers; Ups The Social With Version 3.0
“…users on MyTown are averaging around 70 minutes of playtime a day, we’re told. Equally impressive: MyTown is opened 850,000 times a day. “

About Booyah:
Booyah, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., is dedicated to creating new forms of entertainment to the masses by bringing together elements of the real world and the digital world. The entire development team draws its creativity not only from highly respected studios, including Blizzard Entertainment, Activision, EA, and Insomniac Games, but also from a vast array of industries, such as Semi-Conductor, Consumer Web, and the Social Gaming space. The Company is financed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers’ iFund.


Four VC Firms Battle For Foursquare, Valuation Goes Stratospheric

About foursquare:
foursquare is a cross between a friend-finder, a social city-guide and a game that rewards you for doing interesting things. We aim to build things to not only help you keep up with the places your friends go, but that encourage you to discover new places and challenge you to explore your neighborhood in new ways.


Placecast Raises $3 Million For Location-Based Mobile Marketing Technology

About Placecast:
Placecast is a location-based digital advertising service from 1020 Inc.. Placecast provides an opt-in advertising service via mobile devices designed to drive customers to specific physical spaces. Users input lists of their interests (bars, restaurants, types of shops) and receive direct-mail-type text messages from places of interest around them. 1020 was founded in 2005 and is based in San Francisco and New York. The company is funded by Voyager Capital and Onset Ventures.

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Will I See You at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit?

March 19, 2010 – 12:59 pm

iMedia Breakthrough Summit

On Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010, Alistair Goodman, CEO, 1020 Placecast & I are presenting a Master Class at the iMedia Breakthrough Summit.

Our session is called Connecting the Web to the Physical World: The Promise of Location-based Marketing and I included a summary of the session below. If you’re going, it would be great to connect. Not going? I’m interested in hearing your thoughts and will report back next week after the event.

The explosive growth in connected devices, GPS-enabled mobile phones, e-books, location aware browsers, apps that use location, augmented reality, and a wave of acquisitions in mobile are some of the many indicators that location is driving the next wave of innovation in digital marketing. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, RIM, Vodafone, and a new generation of technology and media firms specializing in location are creating the tools and platforms to deliver and consume content and advertising based on location across any device. The gap between the digital and physical worlds is quickly disappearing.

New opportunities are emerging to use location-aware marketing to drive consumers to physical experiences. For marketers, this means developing a new breed of marketing strategies, generating more efficient customer communication tools, and developing next-generation measurement models. This session is designed to showcase some of the emerging location-based technologies with real case studies, and offer early insights into the potential for marketers. Topics that will be addressed include key concepts and trends, different location-based technologies, an overview of companies working in the space and their offerings, new analytics, and how to “sell-in” location-based programs.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , ,

Summary: KCUR Up to Date with Steve Kraske: Smart Phone Revolution

March 18, 2010 – 11:32 am

KCUR Up to Date with Steve Kraske

Since many people have asked, I thought I’d post a link to the summary & audio files from the Thursday March 11, 2010 show on KCUR Up to Date with Steve Kraske: Smart Phone Revolution. I had a great time and look forward to upcoming technology shows.

Steve Kraske sits down with Dustin Jacobsen, Director of Social Media and Technology at Barkley and Justin Parlette, Support System Administrator at the University of Missouri-Kansas City to examine smart phone applications.

We look at who makes apps… why we choose a certain phone based on their apps… and how the apps we see as games retailers see as dollar signs.

A few highlights:

  • Mobile stats: What devices are popular (4 min)
  • App usage: Favorite apps & usage (8 min)
  • Where we’re headed: Mobile social networking, navigation, augmented reality (11 min)
  • Mobile & retail: How purchases are influenced in store (14 min)
  • Plethora of apps available (18 min)
  • Texting & driving: There isn’t an app for personal responsibility (21 min)
  • Cat translator / cat speak (there’s an app for that) (26 min)
  • Health care apps (30 min)
  • Disney World apps (34 min)

Listen / download here

If you haven’t already, be sure to follow KCUR Up to Date on Twitter and check out the KCUR site for a list of upcoming shows and links to subscribe to the podcast.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Who Will Become the Location-based Leader?

March 10, 2010 – 3:51 pm

If you’re active in the social media space, you are probably being flooded with South by Southwest content: who’s going, what’s going to emerge from the event, etc.

One of the hot topics is location-based services and social networks.

I’m attempting to finalize the content for my upcoming presentation Connecting the Web to the Physical World: The Promise of Location-based Marketing for the iMedia Breakthrough Summit and I’m finding it difficult to keep up as news and announcements are coming out every day.

The latest news (New York Times) is that Facebook is rumored to be rolling out location-based services to their 400 million users in the next month or so.

Another good article on the topic at Inside Facebook discusses the idea around Facebook not trying to take out Foursquare, but instead focus on competing with Google.

Facebook updated their privacy policy last year and from what it sounds like, just waiting for the right moment to launch. With the huge amount of press around Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, and the launch of Google Buzz, the timing is probably right.

One key stat from the article as it relates to mobile and location:
Of Facebook’s more than 400 million users, about 50 percent log in to the site at least once a day, and 100 million people access the service from mobile devices. That makes the location feature an area of strong focus for the company.

Twitter, Google & Microsoft are all going to be putting a lot more resources behind their location-based services in the next few months.

I’ll be posting more details around location-based services after SXSW, so stay tuned.

Technorati Tags: , ,

KCUR Up to Date with Steve Kraske: Smart Phone Revolution

March 9, 2010 – 1:31 pm

Join me Thursday March 11, 2010 on KCUR Up to Date with Steve Kraske to talk about mobile. Have questions you want to hear answered? Topics you’d like for us to discuss? Don’t be shy. Post a comment on the blog below or send me a message on Twitter (dustinj).

The smart phone revolution has changed how American views wireless communications. Now more than just a phone, cellular devices have determined how we search for information, how we store information, and how we are entertained.

Today Steve Kraske sits down with Dustin Jacobsen, Director of Social Media and Technology at Barkley and others to examine smart phone applications.

We’ll look at who makes apps… why we choose a certain phone based on their apps… and how the apps we see as games retailers see as dollar signs.

Technorati Tags: , , ,