Archives for 2008

Outsell report: Social Media in Scientific, Technical and Medical Information Part 1: Social Networking

I enjoyed reading Outsell’s new report on Social Media in Scientific, Technical and Medical Information Part 1: Social Networking.

The most useful aspect of the report is that it includes the most extensive list I’ve seen of gated professional online networks. A trend I’ve been following for a long time (and worked on while running Circle of Experts) is gated online communities for professionals. If you want to know where scientists, businesspeople, doctors, etc., are congregating online, this report can give you guidance. For another (free) list and more information on this topic, see

The report does have some holes:
– It does not discuss the millions of small online communities on the Yahoo Groups, Google Groups, etc. platforms.
– It does not include Albourne Village, the leading online community for the hedge fund/private equity sector.
– It lists only a few expert network companies in which the client pays, but omits the largest ones: Gerson Lehrman, Vista Research, Evalueserve, etc. For a longer list of expert network companies (and also great advice if you’re seeking consulting opportunities/a job), see 8 Steps to Running a Diversified Job Search on the Web.

The most insightful point in the report is that it observes the very conspicuous lack of trade associations. You would think that the industry trade associations would be aggressively building online communities for their members, but there are surprisingly few examples. There is a business opportunity in helping associations to go on-line, before they become disintermediated.

(Disclosure: Outsell recently listed Evalueserve as the fastest-growing Market Research, Reports & Services (MRRS) company globally, in a separate report.)

How to Squeeze Maximum Value from Business School

A little while ago, I gave a speech at NYU Stern Business School on “How to Squeeze Maximum Value from Business School: Leverage Your Education to Accelerate Your Career”. How can you maximize the benefits of all the years and all the money that you invested in your business education?

I prepared the Powerpoint for my personal reference, for my friends starting school, and for any of my future children who may go to business school. My main focus is business students, but the principles I discuss are relevant regardless of the exact subject you are studying.

To prepare this paper I interviewed many of my MBA classmates on what were the most effective uses of their time during school. I also probed to learn about what were the least effective uses of their time.

I thought that you might find the slides, below, of interest.

My 3 (4?) Favorite URL Shorteners

With the growth of Twitter, it seems there’s been a surge in the use of URL shorteners. They’re also an essential for mailing lists, including Yahoo! Groups and Google Groups, as links over a certain length (40-50 characters) will break for people who use plain-text email. was the original, and is still widely used. But depending on your needs, there are probably some better solutions for you. Here are my three favorite URL shorteners, for various reasons: – It’s supposed to be a URL shortener, right? But because of its fairly long domain name and its widespread popularity, TinyURL now generates URLs that are 25 characters long (, while generates them 17 characters long ( Maybe not a big deal on a Yahoo! Group, but extremely important on Twitter. It’s also built in to Twhirl, my Twitter client of choice. – For serious marketers, this thing is pretty cool. It gives you extensive tracking reporting. Free for light use, reasonably priced for heavier use. (aka – TinyURL now lets you create custom aliases for links, but that’s a recent addition – snurl has been doing that all along. It also includes tracking capabilities – not quite as extensive as budurl, but ample to satisfy most people’s curiosity.

New addition 12/19/2008:

TwitPWR – Intended to be used only for Twitter, this cool tool ranks the top URL sharers and hot URLs, as well as showing recently posted URLs by TwitPWR users. It also shows a tiny bar at the top of the site showing who shared the link originally (follow my link to see it in action). Seems like a great way to get a little extra exposure for your Twitter link sharing. Hat tip to @joelcomm.

Do you have another favorite (or love one of these)? Leave a comment and tell us which one and why.

America Outdoors Presentation and Follow-Up

Thank you to those of you who attended my keynote at the America Outdoors annual conference last week. It was also a pleasure to meet and visit with so many of you after the session. I can tell social media is going to be a very hot topic in this industry in the coming year.

As promised, here are my presentation decks from both the keynote and the breakout session. As I mentioned, this whole thing happened on rather short notice, so I didn’t really have time to build out additional notes, but if you have any questions that the slides themselves don’t answer, feel free to email me (my email is in the presentation) or leave a comment below.

America Outdoors Keynote – How To Stand Out Online

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

America Outdoors Breakout – Using Social Media To Drive Customers To Your Website

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

A few more helpful resource links:

Dec. 16 Free Webinar: Best Practices in Private Equity Deal Origination

I hope you’ll join me for this Dec. 16 Free Webinar on ‘Where are the Deals?! Private Equity Funds’ Best Practices in Deal Origination’.
This is the sneak preview of the research I’ve been conducting with Evalueserve on this topic. My colleagues and I have interviewed over 90 private equity and VC professionals to learn their best practices.

UPDATE: The webinar is now posted on the AM&AA website: Where are the Deals?! Private Equity Funds’ Best Practices in Deal Origination

TIME: December 16 at 11am PST/2pm EST


Sponsored by: Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors

This event will be recorded for those who cannot make this time slot. Also, you can see the slides from this presentation here:, and below.

I will discuss:
-> In the current tough climate, how can you lower your deal origination costs?
-> How are you positioning yourself to become your target’s preferred investor?
-> What are the primary sources of deal flow for institutional investors?
-> How can you use online networks and other “Web 2.0” internet technologies to increase your pool of sources?
-> What are the earmarks of a potential investment opportunity?
-> What best practices from sales and executive recruiting can you apply to the deal origination process?
-> How do you increase your inflow of useful referrals?
-> What is the best way to make warm cold calls?

Seeking Consultant for Research on Deal Origination by Private Equity and Venture Capital Funds

We are seeking 1-3 volunteer consultants who would like to help do research and prepare some analytics for a series of articles and slide presentations on deal origination by private equity and venture capital firms, particularly their use of Web 2.0 technologies. This is an ideal project for someone interested in learning more about institutional investing and Web 2.0 technologies. The focus of this research is how private equity and venture capital firms create a steady incoming flow of relevant potential investments.

I am in the process of leading the first ever research project on deal origination.  We plan to publish the results of this study in the Journal of Private Equity and some other leading journals covering the private equity/venture capital industry.

In the past few months, I have presented to a range of industry conferences on this topic. You can see the slides from some of my presentations at . Chris Farmer, formerly a Principal with Bessemer Venture Partners, is working with me on this research.

+ Compensation: None
+ Hours/work location: Flexible. Work at your convenience and your preferred hours from home. Typically 3-10 hours per week, more depending on your availability and interest.
+ Class credit (if you have a professor who approves your participation, and/or if you can recycle this work for a class)
+ Interact with private equity and venture capital thought leaders.
+ Gain public visibility for your research on the private equity/venture capital industry. Potentially gain co-author credit.
+ Learn about blogs, social network sites, and other Web 2.0 technologies.
+ Significant creative input and flexibility.
+ Very positive references (if merited).
+ Access to the co-authors’ network of investors for future job oportunities.

+ Research background on the private equity/venture capital industry. Pull data from academic research and other sources.
+ Code 150 interviews we have conducted with institutional investors globally, and execute certain analytics based on this dataset. Create Excel graphs and slides based on this dataset.
+ Write portions of research papers on this topic, and pertinent blog posts.
+ Interview executives in the private equity/venture capital industry and at companies that interface with the industry (investment bankers, Web 2.0 companies, data providers, etc.)
+ Using your sales and marketing skills, win publication opportunities and speaking opportunities targeting the private equity/venture capital industry.

+ Strongly prefer someone with a current or recent MBA, JD, or other comparable advanced degree. Summer interns are welcome.
+ Strongly prefer experience in financial services: investment banking, investment research, private equity, and/or venture capital
+ Require strong writing experience. Particularly value a high GPA in writing-dependent courses.
+ Excitement about being part of the team understanding in depth a critical part of the institutional investment industry.
+ Highly motivated self-starter who has a track record of continuous self-improvement, high achievement, and aggressiveness.
+ Strong interpersonal communication skills.
+ Poised, professional demeanor.

Contact via e-mail only; do not call. Save your resume in Microsoft Word format with the name “Last Name-First Name-Year.doc”, e.g., “Clinton-Bill-2008.doc”.

Include with your detailed resume:
+ Dates/hours of availability during December 08-Fall 09.
+ Writing sample
+ Physical location. You can do all of the work on this project remotely. However, if you are in the New York or Boston area, that is preferable.

Please make sure that you include all of the information that we request above, or we will not be able to consider your application. Please send resume and cover letter to Careers @ with “Research Assistant” in the subject line.

Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors 2009 Winter Conference: Jan 20-22, Orlando, FL

I look forward to speaking at the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors’ 2009 Winter Conference, Jan. 20-22, in Orlando, FL. Some of the highlights of the event: a private equity forum, for private equity firms that want to showcase lower middle market companies. There is also a Deal Expo for discussing active buy/sell engagements. Some of the topics that will be discussed at the event: post-merger integration; corporate M&A; and my area of focus, deal origination. I’ll be speaking on how institutional investors and investment bankers are using a wide range of technology to raise capital, win more clients, and identify attractive investment opportunities. I hope that some of you can join us there!

Keyword optimizing your personal profile/resume

Last night, I participated in a panel with Columbia University’s Center for Career Education. One of the ideas that came up was keyword-optimizing your personal profile/resume. Most obviously, to do this, you should study the resumes of your peers. Theda Sandiford also observed, “Google Analytics has a tool to suggest keywords. Once you put in all the keywords you have already thought of, run the suggestion tool and add those additional keywords to your [profile].” She added that theoretically, you could also add and remove topical keywords regularly based on popular news stories related to your professional expertise.

Joe Rogan on Connecting Virtually

Over the past few days, I’ve gained a massive amount of respect for comedian and TV commentator (Fear Factor, UFC) Joe Rogan. One of the things that has impressed me most is his very raw, open, heart-felt blog. I was especially touched by this passage in this post commenting on the death of former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner:

Sometimes when I write, it’s like I’m reaching out to an old friend without a name or a face. I think of it as some new form of non-physical intimacy.

I’m trying to find my consciousness and merge it with yours, and as weird as it sounds I feel that connection with every myspace message and email I get.

We’re both alone and interfaced with a monitor in silence, and as I craft my sentences and express my ideas my intention is always for you to get an unfiltered view into my thoughts. I want you to take them with you.

I’m opening my head to merge my thoughts with you, and the only way that really works is if I’m 100% honest.

Well said. We don’t have to see people in person to connect at a deeper level. We just have to open ourselves to the possibility and, as Joe said, be completely honest with each other. Even the smallest little deceptions cause us to be more cautious and create barriers to building deep, meaningful relationships.

Joe’s blog and humor are pretty crude. Fear Factor is tame in comparison. If you’re easily offended, skip it. If not, then start reading his blog, look him up on YouTube, and enjoy.

The Complete Vision Board Kit

I first learned of vision boards a few years ago, but I never actually started using them myself until this year. They were discussed briefly in The Secret, and Oprah featured them in her follow-up show, The Secret Behind The Secret. She made headlines with her vision board on election day when she told an NYC radio station that she had been planning for Obama to be elected since February using vision boards:

I was speaking with Michelle [Obama] and Caroline Kennedy and Maria Shriver – we were all doing a big rally out in California. At the end of the rally Michelle Obama said something powerful: "and I want you to leave here and envision Barack Obama taking the oath of office." I created a vision board. I had never had a vision board before. I came home, I got me a board and put Barack Obama’s picture on it and I put a picture of my dress I want to wear to the inauguration.

I have to confess to being a closet skeptic. I believe in science, not magic. But I’ve also been confronted with so many experiences throughout my life that it’s impossible for me not to believe. I’ve seen Law of Attraction in action in my life, in extraordinary ways. But I still always had a disconnect between my left-brain, logical view and my right-brain reality.

Over the past two years, though, I’ve had the pleasure of becoming good friends with John Assaraf,  best-selling author of The Answer: Grow Any Business, Achieve Financial Freedom, and Live an Extraordinary Life (among others) and teacher from the movie The Secret. If you saw the film you’ll never forget the story of how John discovered the power of vision boards — and how it started him on a quest that continues to this day. Watch the clip at right as he retells the story to Larry King, or read John’s vision board story in more detail.

For the past 25 years, John has studied quantum physics and neuroscience, and then applied these findings to help people achieve their goals in everyday life. Drawing upon his unique knowledge, John has developed a process that helps people live the life of their dreams — and now he’s sharing it in his newest book, The Complete Vision Board Kit™.

Now anyone can cut out a bunch of pictures and paste them on a piece of posterboard, but will that actually help you manifest those visions in your life?

Yes, actually it will. Even just the act of creating the vision board helps focus your subconscious. Keeping it somewhere where you can see it on a regular basis helps even more.

There’s more to it than just pasting pictures up, however. You must understand how to activate the power of your unconscious brain to draw towards you everything you truly want.

The Complete Vision Board Kit fully explains this process. And it’s actually much more than a book: It comes with everything you need to create your own life-changing vision board: a book, a DVD, and a sample vision board. This kit will walk you step-by-step through exactly how to create a vision board AND retrain your brain to actually start believing that you can achieve all your goals and dreams.

John’s work has helped me bridge the gap between science and faith and allowed me to make quantum leaps in the results I’m getting from my personal development practices (I told him The Answer could have been subtitled "Law of Attraction for the Left Brain").

Want to see my vision board? Personally, I’m not a big fan of paper, and I work at my computer 90% of the time, so I’ve created a "virtual vision board", which I have available as a PowerPoint slideshow, and I’ve also set up as my screensaver, so it automatically kicks on after 3 minutes of inactivity, presenting me with these images throughout the day. I’ve saved it to SlideShare and embedded it below:

Do you use vision boards? Tell your vision board story in the comments
below. Feel free to include pictures if you’ve got ’em.