Sep 15

I was lucky to be one of the people who got to speak at the first ever Ignite Phoenix a month ago. The night was a complete blast with 16 presenters each doing a 5min talk on something they’re passionate about. Topics ranged from OCD, to pinhole photography to firewalking to geese in a public library. I talked about music, education, becoming your own teacher and how to accelerate breakthroughs. Huge props to and Roger Williams for pulling off a fantastic event and Clintus McGintus for filming and producing all the videos from the night. You can watch my talk below and you can catch all the other ones here on And if you’re interested in presenting at the next one, they’re now recruiting speakers for that one on Oct 28th.

Aug 29

Headsup: if you haven’t voted for panel topics for South by Southwest yet they close the voting at 5pm today. I’ve put one together on the topic of how to grow successful online and offline communities (and as usual I’m merely the guy who gets the other villagers to come out and make stone soup). This panel has the co-founder of Reddit Steve Huffman, the community manager for Cambrian House Sarah Blue, the community manager for Vencorps Will Pate and the author of OKdork Noah Kagan. .

How would you like to hear from a guy who became the first Y Combinator success story after being initially rejected? He wrote the code for what became one of the most vibrant peer-rated news sites on the planet and then decided to open source his technology. Hear about the design decisions and philosophy that allowed them to create a massive online community that was popular enough to be acquired by Conde Nast.

What about hearing stories from one of the main people responsible for cultivating the community within the online community Cambrian House? With their philosophy of “intense candor” they relentlessly videotaped and exposed internal meetings with their community, shared conference calls, developed a voting system that made members feel relevant and held weekly “Idea Warz” contests to build one of the most loyal online communities (granted they are no longer in existence but that story in itself of their rise and fall should be an incredible one to hear from someone who was there from day one).

Or how about chatting with the community manager who has taken in the refugees from the defunct CH project and given them a new home in the VenCorps community? They’re trying to reshape the funding process by using “wisdom of the crowds” techniques to float the cream of the crop ideas to the top and give them seed funding.

And what about trading insights with blog author who has built a readership of thousands and consistently draws dozens of comments on each post. Learn how a humble writing style can and self-deprecating jokes can create a “Geneva” of neutrality that welcomes in readers and makes them writers.

If these sound like panelists you want to meet then…

Vote Now!

It takes all of 30 sec. And while you’re at it vote for these other Arizona SXSW candidates who have interesting talks of their own.

We had a unicorn last year. You can bet we’ve got something bigger than candy mountain this year.
But we need your help to make it happen so vote.

Aug 21

The topic of why relocate to the Bay Area if you’re doing a tech startup has been beaten to death by people like Michael Arrington and Paul Graham. In some situations it’s simply not possible. The answer we found to compensate for all the things we lack in terms of networking and visibility for our startup was simple:

Parachute into the scene in Silicon Valley and hit every possible local event to make connections that are deep enough that they will persist once you leave.

Below is a video (bigger version) from the talk I gave yesterday at the Gangplank Headquarters discussing the lessons learned from a 31 day road trip to San Francisco I did this past holiday season for our company. It discusses everything from tactical details like how to pack to strategic concepts of different ways you can network as a complete alien.

BTW, the Gangplank guys are doing some great things in Arizona to help jumpstart our tech community. Their podcast site just went live yesterday, if you like startup podcasts check it out.

Slide deck from the talk available here as PDF (1.5MB). All images other than the ones I took are Creative Commons share & share alike license.

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Apr 04

We recently launched a new subscription model for JumpBox that makes it essentially the Netflix of Open Source. JumpBox Open is a yearly subscription that gives the buyer access to every JumpBox in our Open Source collection for the next year. We’ve handpicked twenty-five of the most popular open source server apps including wikis, CRM systems, developer tools, bug trackers, CMS’s and made them super easy to use. They install in less than a minute on any OS and the experience is identical across all applications so it’s now trivial to try out five wiki’s back-to-back and use the one that’s most ideal for your situation.

I’ve been meaning to write more about what we’ve been up to but we’ve been wrapped up with this product launch and are finally coming up for air. We had the opportunity to announce JumpBox Open at the Under the Radar event in Mountain View, CA the other week. We were one of 32 startups that presented and it was great to meet a bunch of other founders. Julie from took a bunch of pictures and captured all the presos from the event. Here’s video of our five minutes of fame on stage:

I’m now digging into our google ads and landing pages and will have some thoughts to share shortly on what I’m learning from this process.

We’ve priced the JumpBox Open subscription at $199 introductory with the theory that the hours people save on just one application will justify purchasing access to the entire collection. We have some interesting infrastructure-type JumpBoxes in the pipeline that should make the collection make a lot of sense for people. Note: the pricing will be increasing as we build more value into the library, so if you like what’s in there now, lock in a subscription while it’s cheap.

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Mar 08

Wired picked it up as well as this guy’s blog. And my favorite, the audio interview with the unicorn afterwards. I’m peeing myself listening to this. “As a virtually extinct animal, what do you see the future of web 2.0- do you see it going the way of the unicorn?” Incredible. We’ve only been at SXSW for 12 hrs and this has been the best conference ever. Follow the unicorn on Twitter.

I’ll post more press links here as they filter in.

Feb 26

Just wanted to let folks know about three upcoming events at which I’ll be speaking:

  1. Leopard Server Event in Scottsdale: this Thursday Feb 26th the Apple-sponsored roadshow comes to Phx to show off the new featues available in Leopard Server. Our friends at MacMedia (the best apple reseller in Arizona) have graciously given us a speaking slot. And our other friends at Parallels have given us the green light to publicly demo the soon-to-be-released Parallels Server product. This will be an interactive talk that covers topics of virtualization on OSX, Parallels Server, and how you can virtualize an existing windows or linux server and run it alongside any of the twenty production JumpBox applications. This is a free event and they’re capping registrations at 200 attendees- it will sell out so grab your spot now if you’re in Phoenix.
  2. SXSW talks on Mar 7th & 8th: I’m doing two different talks at SXSW this year. Friday Mar 7th at 5pm I’m facilitating a Core Conversation (BoF) talk in Austin called “A Developer’s Cookbook to Leveraging Virtualization.” This will be a group brainstorm of all the various ways that v12n can be used to simplify a developer’s life- from testing to dev to a production deployment. The next day at 5pm I’m on a panel called “Bankrupt your startup in 5 easy steps.” This is a humor-infused look at some of the pitfalls that confront early-stage companies. Like learning via the “anti-pattern” in programming, we’ll show you what NOT to do, cover the common ways in which early companies fail and offer anecdotal advice on how to defend against these situations.
  3. Under the Radar event on Mar 20th: The good folks at UTR are putting on an event called “The Business of Web Apps” that will showcase emerging startups with have game-changing technologies. We’re honored to be one of the companies presenting. I’m doing a 6min talk and will unveil a new product of ours that will definitely change the game. They have a rockstar line-up of companies presenting and it should be an unforgettable day. Registrations are capped at 400 attendees – the event is in Mountain View, CA, get a seat today.

If I get video capture for any of these talks I’ll be sure to share here. In the meantime c’mon no laryngitis…

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