Thursday, December 13, 2007

lifting my head back up and the Muhammad Ali Center

Wow, It has been a while since my last post. My apologizes for not keep up with my blog.

During the last month, I have had several speaking engagements, did a webinar ( on practical process improvement, traveled to about 9 cities, started and finished a few big projects, and launched a software product (The Acceleration Agency :: DataMatrix...more on that later).

Time to bring my head back into reality.

What I wanted to share today regards one of the speaking engagements. It was Athletes for Hope's Executive Director/CEO summit at the Muhammad Ali Center. The Ali center (The Center is not about the boxer but more of the his Hopes and Dreams for the world.) is one of those powerful places that everyone must visit sometime in their lifetime. Here is a link to their visitor experience page. ( There really are no words to describe the interactive, hands-on, and immersive experience. As Tom Peters would say WOW!

Friday, November 2, 2007

OpenSocial :: A google video

The programmatic fabric of the internet :: OpenSocial

As I and almost everyone else mentioned yesterday, Google along with others (NING, Hi5, announced OpenSocial (Googled here).

While I think this is a huge step forward for those hosting and developing social networks, I think the true value of OpenSocial is to start the process of creating a programmatic layer on the Web and thus setting the standards and environment for the Web 3.0 evolution/revolution. Web 3.0 (or Semantic Web as some have called it) is a representation of users transactions, interactions, and relationships in a virtual Web database (or persistent user activity and relationship data) that allows for the querying by artificial intelligence systems or neural networks.

How cool would that be.

I won't go into the details as to why and how Web 3.0 could be used because Wikipedia and others will do a much better job at that. I will only say that up to now, there have been some limitations with the actual implementation details. OpenSocial goes along way to solving or at least creating an approach for the details to be solved.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

OpenSocial :: The next phase of a social networking framework

Tomorrow should be an interesting day as Google and others (, NING, LinkedIn) are set to announce a set of API's to build private labeled and water cooler social networks.

It looks like (from TechCrunch) OpenSocial is a set of three common APIs, defined by Google with input from partners, that allow developers to access core functions and information at social networks:

* Profile Information (user data)
* Friends Information (social graph)
* Activities (things that happen, News Feed type stuff)

Partners are in two categories: hosts and developers. Hosts are the participating social networks, and include Orkut, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Ning, Hi5, Plaxo, Friendster, Viadeo and Oracle.

The details can be found at when they go live? Which should be in a few hours? Let's hope.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Webinar on practical process improvement

I will be giving a free business process improvement webinar on October 30th sponsored by Lombardi Software and Athens Group Retail. Here is a summary of what will be covered:

CIOs and technical teams are increasingly asked to take a leadership role in driving process improvement. Are you an IT executive or manager tasked with supporting process improvement? Join us to learn how one CIO, Rodney White formerly of the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF), developed and implemented a set of best practices for enabling process improvement as demand for “LIVESTRONG” bracelets exploded.

- Enabled decision making using the OODA Loop concept
- Integrated BPM technology with existing legacy systems to better control processes
- Adopted a “Start Small”, incremental approach to improvement
- Won a CIO 100 Award for creating new business value through IT-enabled innovation

I hope you can attend.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Battle of the non profit eCRM vendors

The last two days have been very interesting for the non-profit eCRM space. On Friday, Kintera announced the release of their open platform. Today, Convio announced the release of their open platform. Now let's look at what was "released":

- Sphere and Constituent Management SOAP API's

- Constituent Management API's
- Database Connectors
- Extensions

For me, one of the hidden gems of the Convio announcement is the integration with Facebook. (In my previous blog post, I thought Kintera would be the first to the market but I guess Convio beat them to it.) Also somewhat hidden in the release of Convio's open initiative, is the database connector to That is really interesting (see my blog post a few weeks back...I guess they were working on it).

In the end, I think that competition between the leading eCRM vendors will only help non-profits achieve success with whichever platform they choose. Both Convio and Kintera have strengths and both have weaknesses. Can they work on their weaknesses while increasing their strengths. I think the key to success is to really study the market (using both SWOT and STEEP methods) and learn from the customers and then executing perfectly to their, the customers vision.

I think the key to winning this duel is to learn from Sun Tzu in the Art of War: Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted. [6:1]

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Google checkout for non-profits = 100% of donations to non-profits

Today Google announced that until the end of 2008 donations to qualified 501c3 organizations processed through the Google checkout system (see my previous post on the Google checkout donate button) will be free. By free, they mean 0% credit card fees (Google is underwriting the credit card fees) and zero per transaction authorization fee.

This is huge news for non-profits.

How about this vendor stack for a kick ass enterprise architecture (for small non-profits with less than 10 employees):

Google Apps for Infrastructure (free)
Google Grants for search engine marketing (free)
Google Checkout for donation processing (free)
Saleforce CRM for back end donor management (free for first 10 licenses)
NING for website and social network. (less than $50 per month)

This is also exciting times for The Acceleration Agency because we are positioned to provide real-time integrations with a soon to be announced integration environment.

Official google checkout donate button

While doing my normal netvibes scanning the headlines this morning, I ran across a post talking about YouTube's Free Channels for Non-Profits. What I found really interesting is that there is now an official "donate" button for google checkout for these channels.

Up to this point, the only way to get a donate button within the Google checkout system was to hack the generated HTML form code with your own donate button. Strictly speaking, changing the button to non-Google branded buttons goes against Google checkout policies. Checkout the YouTube channel and their donate button.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I am one, are you

I am reminded how powerful one person can be. Please visit

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kintera Sphere + Facebook = win for charities

As many in the non-profit world know, Kintera has opened their platform up to outside partners via the Kintera Connect platform. At the same time Facebook, the current winner at the for-the-masses-social-networking platform with millions and millions of users, has recently opened their platform up to developers. Also, NING, a social networking platform allow developers full access to source code for white-label/private-label social networks (such as

Given these facts, a partner can create a Kintera connector which is a Facebook application or social networking widget that allows their constituents to leverage their social network to raise awareness and money for their causes. With the currently available connectors, Kintera has the potential to own non-profit fundraising and awareness space on Facebook and other social networking platforms such as NING.

In the final stages of development at my acceleration agency, is a Facebook and social networking fundraising widget leveraging the Kintera Connect platform. If any charity out there with software engineering resources wants know how to do this, I will be more than happy to share the architecture. For those that just want the widget/application (customized for your charity), please contact me to discuss the details.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Convio + Salesforce

During my due-diligence process for a client, I realized that one Convio's strengths is their newly created elegant content management system (CMS) and that has a complete lack of an integrated CMS. (Salesforce Foundation even gave a $25k grant to Plone to integrate Plone with Salesforce.) has been gaining market share in the non-profit space due to the flexibility, extensibility, and pricing (free for the first 10 users) of the Salesforce environment. Self admittedly, one of Convio's week points is their lack of a complete back-end-database-of-record system, which is a strength of

Now if Convio decided to leverage the strengths and momentum of, Convio could use the coat-tails of to gain even more market share and provide a complete and scalable hosted/SaaS solution for non-profits that is both elegant and scalable. I also think that a formal partnership at this level would help increase Convio's expected IPO stock price.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Brilliant, yet so simple is one of those ideas that is so simple yet some powerful. Gives the power of personal customization to the people and Groovie make a few bucks in the process.

Seth Godin talking about Web 2.0 and Social Networking with Gerhard

Here is a link to Seth's blog and this topic. For the social networking newbies, this is a good start to understanding why digital and analog social networks work. We all have social networks (not digital) which is about friendships, relationships, and shared goals/meaning/experiences. Once the shared goals/meaning/experiences is lost, you can never get it back.

Look at will die as fast as it grew because there are too many people to have shared goals/meaning/experiences.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Is productivity contagious? by Kelly Forrister

Kelly Forrister made an interesting observation regarding productivity and a New England Journal of Medicine article. Here is Kelly's blog post...very stimulating thinking about personal productivity and organizational productivity. Both positive and negative. Is the productivity virus in your life or office constructive or destructive to others? rocks

For those of you out there that are friends with the GTD (Getting things done) management method, may be your best friend. Now you can leave yourself a message on the Jott voicemail system for things you need to do. How it works: You call a number, tell Jott to whom you want to send the message, leave a message, they record the message in MP3 format, then transcribe the message, and then email to whom you want to send the message (I like to send myself the message as the voice-to-text transcriber is not 100% perfect...more like 98% accurate)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Art of Demotivation: "Principles of Storytelling"

Truth or Fiction? Memories of a few executives I have known.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mal Warwick answers your fundraising questions a question about charitable fundraising. Mal Warwick is attempts to answer your questions. Here he answers over 500 questions on fundraising from Direct Mail to online to anonymous recognition.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Non-profit 2.0 :: A reality

I have been thinking a lot about how to make the whole Web 2.0 (or is it 3.0 now) a reality for Non-profits (I call it non-profit 2.0). My technology recommendations for non profits with less than 20ish million in revenue is:

Google Apps for Non-profit enterprise email/contacts/calendars
NING for Social networking (with Joomia or Drupal CMS installed on their platform)
SalesForce CRM
for a CRM (and has a very open platform for integrations. I think Kintera is a very close second if their connect platform rivals SalesForce.)

Now the question is how can we take donations online with this setup? Well, Salesforce has integrations with 3rd party (via AppExchange) credit card processors that can take money online. And, I also recommend that Google Checkout be used as a donation engine due to easy of integration and the low over head of processing/credit card fees (2%...and 0% until Jan 1, 2008).

So adding everything up, the total costs for small non profits is less than a few hundred a month. (For example, is using this stack. As Athletes for Hope is using my recommended technology stack. I will report back on their success.)

Flash Video in High Def

Yesterday, Adobe announced that the new version of the flash plugin will support the H.264 video format with high-performance AAC audio (same as HD-DVD and Blue-ray disks). Here is a link to their press release. To use it, you will need to manually uninstall the current version of flash and install this version.

Here are a few examples: (The official demo) (The video is produced by BBC) (I know it is an ad for still look great for Web based video)

p.s. Apologies the lack of postings. I have been heads down on building a social network for one of my clients. Checkout

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Business strategy as a fighter pilot

The F-16 fighter jet is, as supersonic military aircraft go, a modest machine. It measures just 49 feet long and 31 feet wide from wingtip to missile-capped wingtip, and it weighs about half as much as its U.S. Air Force predecessor, the F-15. With a top speed of 1,350 MPH, it lags the F-15 and other big planes. It can't fly as high or as far. But in battle, the F-16 defies physics. Its design allows extreme maneuvers, even at low speeds. It dumps and regains energy in an instant, and despite its light weight, it can withstand nine times the force of gravity -- which enables some serious twisting and rolling. Pilots jag and flip with subtle nudges to a sensitive electronic flight-control system. The plane is unthinkably agile.

Now think of your company: Is it an F-16 or an Aeroflot turboprop?

(credit to FastCompany)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

platform as a service

In doing some due diligence for one of my non-profit clients, I am discovering a newly coined term: "Platform as a Service". is the leading CRM vendor using this phrase regarding their APEX Code platform. They host the code in an on-demand SaaS way enabling users to build custom apps and deploy them in a hosted environment. Other companies enabling the platform as a service is NING, a private label social networking company and Kintera, a non-profit CRM/CMS company. NING is built from the ground up to be a platform and Kintera has revved their code to enable a platform as a service with their Kintera Connect program

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Google Webmaster tools

Yet again, Google has impressed me a specific set of tools for managing a Website (They call is "Webmaster Central") within the Google database. Webmasters will first need to verify ownership of the domain (which is a good security measure.) Once you have verified ownership, webmasters get access to all kinds of useful data on their website. Here is just a few of the features I think are useful.

- Add a Sitemap file. Very useful for those in need of some eCommerce SEO help.
- Robots.txt analysis
- Crawl stats (including page rankings)
- Check internal and external links (and who links to your site.)

Here is a link to the official Google announcement back in Febuary.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Non-profits + google apps = Powerful solution

A few days ago, Google and NTEN hosted a social mixer to discuss success stories with Google Apps within the non-profit sector. What this means is that Google is extending the education edition of Google Apps to registered 501(c)(3) organizations. The headline for the site says it all: Google innovation. Powerful solutions. Zero investment.

Here is a link to the official google post

What does this really mean for non-profits? Well, they will get industry leading hosted infrastructure for a fraction of the costs of maintaining internal operations. Now with the support of also giving away their product (first 10 seats) to non profits, the world is changing fast for NPO's technology solutions. I wonder how Microsoft, Yahoo, Kintera, Blackbaud, and Convio will react.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


What else will Google think of next. This is possibly one of the coolest and most innovative products from Google in a while (and they make a lot of cool products.)

Check out:

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Safari + Windows

Well as part of Apple World Wide Developer's conference, Apple announced a new browser for Windows. While I think this is a good idea in theory (more competition), it will mean that Web (AJAX…) based apps will now have to undergo additional testing and I am sure it will lead to many headaches for the front-end engineers out there. A public beta can be downloaded at

Monday, June 11, 2007

death and taxes budget visualization

Cool visualization of the national budget.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Surface computing from Microsoft, I guess they are thinking ahead

link to the video

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cradle to Cradle

This is one of the best videos I have seen in a long time and provides a lot of brain candy.

Google GWT = WOW

I highly recommend that any Web developer out there check out the
Google GWT ( as it will change the
way online (front-end engineered) applications are written forever.
This has changed the javascript application and code-gen market
forever! OK, Google claims this in "beta" but if you look at the
version history, they are currently at 1.3 which is several versions
past the initial RC. Google typically eats their own dog food so, I
bet it is fairly stable by now.

Here are a few demos from the Google code site.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bill Clinton on ideology v. philosophy

"We believe in a politics...dominated by evidence and argument. There is a big difference between a philosophy and an ideology on the right or the left. If you have a philosophy, it generally pushes you in a certain direction or another. But like all philosophers, you want to engage in discussion and argument. You are open to evidence, to new learning. And you are certainly open to debate the practical applications of your philosophy."

"The problem with ideology is if you got an ideology, you already got your mind made up, you know all the answers, and that makes evidence irrelevant and argument a waste of time, so you tend to govern by assertion and attack. The problem with that is that discourages thinking and gives you bad results."

— Bill Clinton

This was taken from a speech at his alma mater Georgetown University in 2006

OODA loop and employees

Some thoughts of a recent conversation with a close friend of mine relating to employees and business strategies.
- Dismissal of dissenting opinions causes disgruntle employees which then implies engaging in conversations (truly engaging in conversations and debates not just placating conversations) with dissenting employees enables a healthy employee and workplace.
- Now for the interesting part, using the OODA (Boyd's Circle) Loop, the more iterations (conversations, personal observations, actions...) performed empowers employees and managers at all levels to be successful. (I will discuss using OODA and the Art of War as it relates to strategic business planning later.)
- It is the job of the board, management team, leadership teams, and managers to enable the OODA loop within your organization.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Kintera presentation (5/20/2007)

I will be giving a presentation to the Kintera sales, marketing, and product team on the use of their product within the LAF for enterprise (donations) automation and a few engaging user experiences that we created using Web 2.0 techniques and their CMS. Here is a link to the presentation. Please let me know your thoughts. 

NING 2.0

In doing research into private label social networks, I ran across a company called NING. It looks like version 1 was a roll-your-own social network using PHP hacking skills and their PHP libs. Now they seem to have figured out Web 2.0 and created an open platform/SaaS/Application Service Provider version (they call is NING 2.0). I personally think this has a lot of potential with niche markets. Not everyone wants to be MySpaced or FaceBooked.

It also looks like there are two versions 1) Free ( with advertising) or 2) Premium ( as a social network without their advertising...)

Check them out, their blog, and the architecture

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

the future of interactions

Thursday, May 3, 2007

the official statement

I have recently left the Lance Armstrong Foundation to pursue new opportunities as a result of the change in the strategic direction at the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The rescued, re-engineered, automated business systems and infrastructure processes that I implemented at LAF are now in maintenance mode; I am now exploring other opportunities to apply my talents and experiences to another socially responsible organization that has more pressing needs.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

One more thing, I now have time to train for the next racing season.

start of next chapter in my life

Well, today, It was an interesting day as I am no longer the CIO of the Lance Armstrong Foundation due to a restructuring of the org. This is both good news for me and bad news for the foundation as they are continuing to struggle to find their revenue footing after the revenue for the wristbands dropped. I will be consulting until I find the next gig or continuing to consult. Not sure what life has in order for me. Now it is time to research the practical things in life like health insurance...more on that later.

Friday, April 27, 2007


the back yard needs mowing!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 16, 2007

brand discussion

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Monday, February 26, 2007

Regina Spektor “Fidelity”

The latest song that is stuck in my head.

This Russian-born, Bronx-bred singer-songwriter-pianist broadens her palette with electric guitar, drum machines and seductive electronic loops, finding new canvases for her provocative vocal style. Hope for pop has arrived with Regina Spektor.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

ORG 2.0

a presenation I made on org2.0 + web2.0 (after attending a seth godin seminar for non-profits.) thoughts?


Saturday, January 20, 2007

snow days

Friday, January 5, 2007

cool links of the day :: Jan 5, 2007

Tom Peters :: XAlways Women—The Whole Picture

Seth Godin ::
The difference between strategy and tactics

Jim Collins ::
Confront the Brutal Facts

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


hello world, jan 1

hello world. it is a new year; there are lots of things to do. finish the floor, start training for the cycling season, redo the kitchen, take care of the kids...