Last night, I got a small group of geek friends together to grab a bite at a good San Francisco Thai restaurant (Koh Samui and the Monkey) in the city’s SOMA district. The agenda? Well, no real agenda, just a bunch of folks who could talk and debate about gadgets, products, Web 2.0, and the ever-important question of “what exactly does it take to become United Global Services anyway?”
Our gang (it’s a gang because one of our guys, who shall remain anonymous for his own safety and, well, credibility, can easily do the “blood” thing with his fingers, but he’s not really a gang member, so nobody come stab him with some prison shiv, ok? thanks.), from left-to-right:
- Ron Hirson (runs product management at Ingenio, the company behind Ether)
- Noah Wintroub (VP of digital media for JP Morgan)
- Brad Dietrich (CTO and cofounder of Mediabolic)
- Isao Yagi (Lead Engineer at Adteractive)
- Jason Whitt (Vice President at VantagePoint Venture Partners)
- Ben Walter (Director – Relationship Marketing at Banana Republic) – Ben is the litmus test for good/bad ideas if you want to reach out to real consumers
- Jeremy Toeman (VP of market development for Sling Media, and writer of this blog, in case you missed that little detail)
- Nicholas Menaker (consumer technology expert and consultant)
- Dave Mathews (“Forward Thinker” for Sling Media, also known as Dave Mathews Gadget Guy)
Was a great time, we had excellent food and talked about an interesting variety of topics. We had a great debate about Zoom Shop (which I still just don’t get – who needs an empty iPod for a flight?) and how many doritos they sell per month. We talked about Facebook, and whether or not they could get into more of a lifestyle brand, as opposed to 4 years of drunken commenting (assuming all the recent troubles don’t cause a massive desertion).
Long chats about traveling, as we had a couple of frequent fliers at the table. Good discussion on why Boeing’s in-flight service is a failure (my two reasons: 1- way too expensive precluded non-business travelers, and 2- much of the primary market was asleep when they’d be using the service. Nicholas also pointed out that at $500K per plane, there was quite the uphill battle).
Thanks for coming everyone, feel free to chime in on things I forgot to write about.
Oh, and in 364 days Dave Mathews will owe a few people $100 each.