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Signature Event San Francisco:
Unprecedented access to the world’s hottest brands and business opportunities.
On March 29th, Eric Kuhn and his team at Founders Card returned to the West Coast to celebrate the Web 2.0 Expo and toast to a successful 2011. With more than 250 entrepreneurs, executives and venture capitalists in attendance at the W Hotel in San Francisco, the feeling in the air was electric. Anytime I’m in the Bay Area, I’m reminded of its unique entrepreneurial buzz—and this event took it to the next level. Practically everyone in attendance had a successful exit or two under their belts, which they were rolling into their next big venture. From niche services like Lael Sturm’s Unseat.me (a company he started to get his unused Giants tickets out to his social network more easily) to OpenTable, a restaurant reservation system Chuck Templeton turned the industry 180 degrees with, controlling over 70% of all bookings at some of the country’s “foodie” spots.
I was fortunate to spend time and “talk Maverick” with Scott Raskin, CEO of Mindjet, a visual productivity technology I’ve grown to love over the years—as well as Arjun Dev Arora, CEO of ReTargeter, an Underground7 sponsor, and Virgin America’s new CIO Dean Cookson. I also ran into a few of the new Twitter sales team members, fresh out of new hire training and ready to jump into their territories the next morning. My question to them was: “What exactly is Twitter selling?” Their answer: Marketing through paid placement. The tweets, trends and accounts on top are not bubbling up organically; many are in truth the result of paid placement.
With so many fascinating conversations and such a down-to-earth group of truly maverick entrepreneurs, I look forward to the next FoundersCard signature event—and I hope to see you there.
For now: Keep your eyes peeled for a killer deal on your own FoundersCard membership, currently in the works for M1000 members.
FIELD UPDATE: Covert Ops in Action
A quick note to all of my fellow CovertOps 2010 alumni, and a call to action for M1000 members to be sure to grab your spot on the next Maverick CovertOps trip:
The tactical evasive driving techniques really work!
On April 15th, I was heading north on Interstate 5 outside Portland, Oregon, on a particularly rainy and foggy afternoon (imagine that—rainy and foggy in the Northwest?), when traffic suddenly came to a screeching stop. I had a split second to make the right choice. A solid slamming of the brakes, combined with a purposeful veer to the left shoulder, narrowly avoided being rear-ended…and I was safe—but only for a few seconds. The next moments slowed to a near freeze-frame speed. First came the terrible sound of crunching metal behind me, and then a quick glance in the rear view to see cars literally piling up on one another. I feathered the accelerator and weaved between cars, while everyone around me knocked together like dominoes. Thanks to a few tactical moves and staying snake-eyed, I managed to weave my way out of a 15-car pile-up, incluidng a fully loaded tractor-trailer at the rear. The cars in front and behind me were all completely smashed, but I somehow came out unscathed.
This was truly one of those moments when just a minute or two later, you find yourself cruising along wondering, “Did that really just happen?!?!?” Thanks to Maverick, our evasive driving instructors, and my CovertOps partner, M1000 Member #101 Jon Butt, for giving me the practice that eventually steered me out of harm’s way!
Alive and unscathed,
The Jake, M1000 Biz Dev and Community Commando