An FTC investigation into nine big data brokers shows how the companies use inferences to create categories like “Urban Scramble” and “Expectant Parent.”
A cadre of DevOps experts will gather later this week at an undisclosed location in Northern California. The goal: To hash out issues they see in their own shops, to compare notes on problems and talk in a way that they cannot in vendor-driven conferences.
Israeli startup Personyze is linking with one of the web’s most controversial data collection companies, Rapleaf, to provide new tools for website owners. Can its attempt to help ordinary website owners turn information into actions really solve the big data puzzle?
Amidst reports that it was having trouble unloading $1 billion worth of shares at a very rich valuation, Facebook last week started testing its first home-grown social commerce product, Facebook Deals. Already facing stiff competition from Groupon and LivingSocial, will Deals be Facebook’s next billion-dollar business? Competitors, marketers and developers hoping to leverage the Facebook platform need to figure out how Facebook will continue to grow.
Because the Kerry-McCain online privacy bill is watered down relative to prior proposals, it will face less industry resistance, and is more likely to be passed this year. That has far-reaching implications for online advertising and targeting.
ETacts, one of the many social CRM companies, is shutting down, according to an email sent out to its users. ETacts competes with the likes of Rapportive and Gist. The company, which was incubated by YCombinator had raised $650,000 from angel investors earlier this year.
Pingg, About.com, picture service TwitPic, Flixster, Plixi.com are some of the dozens of startups that are using San Francisco-based Rapleaf and inadvertently helping the company build accurate dossiers on many of us. The Wall Street Journal investigation shows Rapleaf knows a whole lot about you.
With nearly 400 million consumer profiles, Rapleaf is a key data provider to everyone from banks, retailers, anti-fraud firms and a whole lot of startups. Whichever way you look at it, Rapleaf is part of any Internet privacy conversation that affects you.
In the analog world of J.Crew catalogs and credit card purchases, credit bureaus like Experian built profiles on most of us. In the digital world, a new kind of digital data aggregator is spreading its tentacles on the web. Rapleaf is one of them.
Editor’s Note: This is the latest installment in Larry Chiang’s series on “What They Don’t Teach You At Stanford Business School.” (He’s turning it into a book.) What could founders do with “Man-Charm,” you ask? Answers Larry: “Founders can use man-to-man charm to grow their good ol’ boy network because every path can be made easier if you’ve charmed a mentor to pave your way — just ask Johnny Drama.” (Yes, Entourage. Larry recommends Episode 26.) A few readers have bristled at Larry’s admitted male-focus, but take no offense ladies, it’s only because most brokers in “the power network” are still men that Larry focuses on charming them — and, we suspect, that he’s better at this anyway. Larry’s earlier posts in this series include: 9 Things Stanford B-School Won’t Teach You; 9 VCs You’re Gonna Want to Avoid; How to Work the Room; How to Work the Room 3.0: Cyber-schmoozing; Hack Your Startup Credit Rating. By the time Larry’s done here, he will have boiled
down a marquee MBA into 12-post crib sheet.
1) Territorialize but don’t Monopolize the limited resource at the
event — the fairer sex. Tease, but do not “hotbox.”
2) Be a Vacation. (I’ve used this one before, but it’s worth repeating.) Humor and a snipett of self deprecating humor go a long way in building charm. Don’t just be a pleasure to work with, be their vacation. I attended a comedy showcase Rapleaf CEO Auren Hoffman, did and it helps him be a vacation for people when he uses humor.
3) Rebrand Yourself. I’d get nowhere in life if I were Lawrence. But goofy friendly ‘Larry’ is approachable. Larry-licous is over the top but Fergilicious is, cha-chiang!, cash money.
4) Never ask point-blank Yes/No pre-qual questions. It shows a lack of profiling ability. Don’ts: “So are you a member?” or “Did you study at HBS?”
Dos: “Have I seen you @ similar industry events” or “Did you go to school in the boston area?”
5) DDSS. The “DD” stands for “dumb it down.” “SS” is “sandbagging for success.” Sandbag your elevator pitch and sell. Again, incorporate humor. My rule of thumb is that I want to make the message on what I do easy enough for a multi-tasking, C-level ‘hitter’ to recite it back to me, even after he’s had 6 vodka tonics. If you can’t do this, your message stinks.
6) No broken branch friends. Some people you know won’t or can’t introduce you. A broken branch is a person who doesn’t introduce you (ever). I stole this from my side project, theDatingReport.com where some relationships get in a year and you still don’t know who their friends are.
7) Be a Weed. Weeds grow and foster entire impromptu communities. Friendship with you is like a gateway drug. Be the one that gets added via Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Orkut, Friendster, MySpace, Ryze. (I say MySpace twice cuz its the biggest.)
8) Work the Room’s Fringes. a) Wallflowers can be broken branches but could be an “amiable ambush”- another dude looking to charm you.
9) Anoint an Alpha Male. Better than being one, pick out a gamma male, a rising star, and make him alpha. Defer to him when the pack is trying to choose, listen when he’s on a soapbox, let him have first pick and make positive fun of his sandbagging whenever possible.
10) Run the Point. Point guards don’t score (plus who wants to score
in a room full of dudes). Good point guards pass, meaning they set aside
their own agenda (shy, sausage-ing, turtling) and make intros.
11) Invite People to a Post Party. Do the math. The event goes from 7pm to 9pm and they had passed apps. Translation: People are still hungry. Get your host, the VIPs and or your crew to a nearby eatery. Key tip: hosts and organizer won’t eat until 30-40 min after event ends. Or be a Larry Chiang and order Chicago Deep Dish from Patxi’s and just hand it out to keep the night going.
12) Encourage fake thinking. Get a person to think they’re thinking and they love you. Get them to really think and they’ll hate you.
* BONUS MAN CHARM TIP
13) Pin-The-Tail-on-the-Donkey. Nothing rallies a crew of men better than an alpha of the night who IDs a donkey. A donkey is party dufus that is borderline malicious. For example, at last fall’s TechCrunch 40, a VC said to me after I ddss duck9, “How dumb, that will never work”. I pointed three fingers up in the air (entrepreneur gang symbol/ signal) and emoted daggers toward ‘donkey’. Fast forward 20 minutes and there’s a full business card stomp, circle
dance. It was native. Next week I post a Yelp review of said donkey’s VC firm and buy $3,000 of inbound links. Sha-zam! Google search result #3 for firm name is my yelp poke in the eye. Donkey-ify for fun and community building.