Posts from July 2006

VP Corporate Development Opening in NYC

TACODA (a Union Square Ventures portfolio company) is seeking a VP Corporate Development. TACODA is a rising star in the world of online advertising and a very interesting company to work for.

Here is a description of the position:

The Vice President for Corporate Development will be responsible for
o    understanding the competitive dynamics in the field of interactive advertising,
o    recognizing new opportunities and developing new business initiatives, and
o    implementing corporate and business level strategies for the company.

This position will report to the Chief Financial Officer and will work with senior management, directors and other stakeholders to build ventures that are successful and results-driven.   


•    Work with executive team to develop corporate and business level strategies and to communicate key positioning and performance metrics to financial and strategic constituencies
•    Serve as interface to development of international markets
•    Develop new market initiatives, assess new markets and analyze business opportunities
•    Conduct financial feasibility studies and develop proposals for new business opportunities
•    Negotiate corporate and business development transactions including partnerships, licenses and M&A
•    Monitor interactive advertising trends to drive company strategy, development and positioning
•    Establish relationships and partnerships within the interactive media industry
•    Develop financial forecasts and budgets for assigned areas of responsibility
•    Track and review actual results versus plan and forecast for monitoring business performance and compliance
•    Conduct due diligence on corporate capabilities, distribution/marketing channels, and strengths and weaknesses to provide strategic insights and recommendations
•    Build financial models to validate the costs/benefits of new initiatives, considering budget, organizational impact and financial reward
•    Synthesize and articulate key findings as appropriate for sales, operations, finance, product development and executive audiences
•    Use sound financial and market analysis to build a case and make a recommendation for taking a strategic position


•    B.A./B.S. (finance, economics), MBA or advanced degree preferred
•    8-10 years of experience in business development, financial analysis and strategic planning
•    Proven experience negotiating and closing strategic partnerships
•    Excellent applications experience (MS Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
•    Ability to negotiate contracts and work with attorneys to close contracts
•    Solid understanding of the internet media and advertising space
•    Strong quantitative and qualitative analytical abilities
•    Strong problem solving and communication skills

If you are interested in the position, please send your resume with a cover letter and salary requirements to [email protected] with the job title in the subject line.

#Listings#VC & Technology

What Is Online Identity?

  My creation 
  Originally uploaded by fredwilson.

Identity is a loaded word.

People think of security issues, identity theft, big brother stuff. And so it’s been a tricky place to build a business on the Internet.

On saturday, we did a podcast with my brother and his girfriend. Near the end, 29.25 into the podcast in case you want to listen, we had a very interesting conversation about social networks. It seems like anyone over the age of 15 and under the age of 25 has at least one place on the web where they maintain on online presence with a picture of them and a bunch of information about who they are. If you look at our generation, 40 to 50 year olds, its a vastly different picture, with maybe one out of five in our age group (at best) maintaining an active online presence.

But if you are a net native, you’ve surely got a place on the Internet where someone can go to learn about you. For me, it is this blog, although you could also go to my MySpace page, my LinkedIn page, my Flickr page, or the Union Square Ventures weblog.

If you want to know about anyone in the MySpace generation, all you have to do is check out their MySpace page or Facebook page and you’ll know as much as you need to know. You’ll know what they look like, where they are from, who their friends are, what they like, etc.

As this generation grows older and enters the work world, they aren’t going to give up their online identities. They may move them to a blog or some other social network, but they aren’t going to give up their place on the web. And so these places become their online identities.

So it makes a lot of sense to me that everyone should have a single URL that describes who they are, maintained by them, not some government organization. The URL will tell you a lot about me, maybe as much or more than my social security number. Together, they certainly form a very full picture. Yet no bank has ever asked for my URL when they are setting up an account. They should.

When we hire someone or invest in someone, we want to check them out. If they have a blog or some other form of online identity, it makes it a lot easier for us to figure the person out. Would you rather have an URL or a social security number and mailing address?  For anyone under the age of 25, I’ll take the URL for sure.

So it makes sense that people are working on an identity framework based on the URL. There are two very light frameworks (light like TCP/IP, RSS, etc) that have been developed for identity frameworks based on URLs. They are called OpenID (created by LiveJournal/SixApart) and LID (created by NetMesh). Early this year, they merged these frameworks with another framework called iNames to create the Yadis framework.

I’ve already used this framework to configure my blog URL to be a password that I can use to sign onto a number of web services. I’d like to be able to use it everywhere. It is me and I am it. So it makes sense that I should be able to use it all over the Internet to authenticate who I am.

I like this idea very much.

#VC & Technology

MP3 of the Week

I got an advance copy of the new Tom Petty record, Highway Companion, last week. The record comes out next week, on July 25th.

It’s a really solid record, in the vein of his last solo record, Wildflowers, which came out 12 years ago. I’ve only listened to it a few times, so I can’t yet say it’s as good as Wildflowers, but I will say that its really good. If you are a Tom Petty fan, you should get the record for sure. You can pre-order it on Amazon.

But if you aren’t sure, then maybe a song will help. This is the first track and possibly the single, called Saving Grace. I hope you like it.

Saving Grace – Tom Petty – Highway Companion

#My Music

The "Showerhead" Metaphor

  Cool Mist 
  Originally uploaded by allsop8184.

My friend Andy wrote a post last week that I just got around to reading. It struck a chord in me and many others (its gotten 27 comments so far).

It’s about one of the showers in his gym, but it’s really about life. Here’s the crux of the story.

Instead of fixing the other 7 showers, and bringing them up to par
with the best shower — and making all the showers WORK AS WELL AS THE
BEST, or #1 shower…..someone decided to……


From now on, when I see this kind of behavior, and we all see it everyday, I am going to shake my head and say, "it’s the showerhead thing again". Nicely done Andy.

The Showerhead Post

#VC & Technology

Rhapsody Web Services Contest


Longtime readers know that I love Rhapsody and use it all the time. I am a believer in subscription music services because you get to listen to whatever you want (with a few notable exceptions), whenever you want, for only $10/month.

But I have also been critical of Rhapsody for making it too hard to integrate the service into my blog and other places on the web where I’d like to see it. If I could share a song or a playlist with all of you and you could listen to the entire song legally without having to be a subscriber yourself, that would be a good thing.

Well we are getting closer with the announcement of Rhapsody Web Services last week. The Read/Write Web blog has a good summary of what Rhapsody Web Services means. Now anyone can build web services that integrate Rhapsody into other web services. If you are developing a social networking service, a blogging service, a music discovery service, or a host of other such things, you can now put Rhapsody right into what you offer.

And to get some interest flowing, Rhapsody has put together a contest to develop the best web service integration with Rhapsody. The winner gets a road trip for 2 to see your favorite band anywhere in the world. I have agreed to be one of the four judges of the event and am looking forward to seeing some great work.

#My Music#VC & Technology

Positively 10th Street

Positively_10th_street_logo_8 Ted (aka Jackson) and Deittra joined us for this show. This is a relatively long show (40ish minutes) because we had some fun conversations. We talked about social networking, global warming, Tom Petty, and the Scope art show.

Here is the song list:

  • Right In The Head – M Ward
  • When You Were Young  – The Killers
  • Breakdown – Tom Petty
  • Looking For A Leader – Neil Young
  • Who The F***k Are The Arctic Monkeys – Arctic Monkeys

7-16-06 Positively 10th Street

To listen in iTunes or on your iPod, get iTunes version 4.9 or above, then select Advanced, Subscribe to Podcast, and then enter this into the box:

#My Music

How To Be A Filmaker Circa 2006

I know I am late to this story, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth telling.

There’s a young woman named Lisa Nova (her handle not her real name) who wants to be a filmmaker. So what does she do? She doesn’t worry about the established hollywood system, she just starts making fims and putting them up on YouTube. And she’s good. And she’s got an audience.

This video, called LisaNova Takes The Bus, has had over 85,000 views to date.

I found her on Chartreuse, where I saw this video, called Lisa Nova On Competition, which cracked me up, particularly the last part.

Then I watched every one of her videos, which you can find on her YouTube page (she needs a blog of her own). And then I googled her and found this interview with her in TheBloggingTimes.

She’s made five videos, all shorts, and she’s the "superstar of YouTube" and she’s getting inquiries from TV and film companies.

That tells you all you need to know. If you are talented and want to get somewhere quickly, bypass the system, go right to the audience, and do your stuff. That’s how to be a filmmaker circa 2006.

Well done Lisa Nova.

#VC & Technology