The Beginning of the End, How I Can Help You, and You Can Help Me


In 5 weeks I stop blogging. It's time to talk about who bought this site, what you can expect in the future, and to recap some things from the last 5 years that most of you will have missed unless you have followed this blog from the beginning. This blog became what it is in part because I almost never wrote about personal stuff. In the early days of blogging, that was a great way to distinguish it from the "personal journals" that were so popular and so negatively portrayed in the media. But now, with blogs becoming more like professional resumes, I think has worked against me, and people like Charlie have suggested that part of the problem I have with fundraising stems from the fact that "Rob May" and "Businesspundit" are not equivalent in the minds of most people, and thus doesn't help me when I attach my name to a business plan. The next few weeks may be a little more personal.

First things first. The blog was bought by Ryan Caldwell who is building his own very nice and very powerful blog network. He runs, College Startup, and Popcrunch, to name just a few that have high traffic. It's been interesting to get to know Ryan because he is a smart guy and we share some common interests that are relatively esoteric, like philosophy of mind. He has some very good ideas for this site that I think can take it to the next level of traffic and influence. Knowing Ryan has also led to other business relationships, like the fact that my company now produces a Celebrity Web Show for Popcrunch, which just reaffirms my belief that relationships matter so much in business.

The primary writer, as far as I know, will be Lila Rajiva, a professional writer and thinker. We met after I reviewed the book "Mobs, Messiahs, and Markets", of which she was a co-author. We struck up a conversation and she was looking to do more business writing. I think she will bring the same skepticism, occasional irreverent attitude, and analytic mindset that I've shown in some of my more famous posts, but in general she's a much better writer, so the quality of posts on this site should go way up.

I have enjoyed meeting so many people, both through the web and in person, because of this blog. I've rarely asked for anything, and neither have you, but while I still have a little time left, I want to throw out the idea that if you need something, contact me if you think I can help. After that, I will list a few things that maybe you can do to help me out, if you feel so inclined.

What I Can Help You With

If you need a web show produced, you are in luck. My business partner is a web video guru, and can help you with that. I wouldn't suggest you produce one just to sell ads across it, but if you want to use it as linkbait, or a differentiator for your site, or to sell stuff on an ecommerce site, it may be a good investment.

If you need a Facebook app developed, I've worked with several different programmers, and can refer you to them.

If you need investors, I know several, and have successfully passed several business plans on that have resulted in both parties entering serious discussions. These people don't invest in my ideas, for reasons I haven't fully figured out yet, but they may like yours, and I want to see entrepreneurs be as successful as possible, because you drive so much economic growth.

How To Start a Business When You’re Still Employed

If you need any consulting around web/media/marketing, I know quite a bit, and I have a bit of free time for the next few months that I could help you out. I was blogging in 2003, podcasting in 2004, exploring the "wisdom of crowds" in 2005, building something like Yedda in 2006, experimenting with online video and facebook apps in 2007, and am now focused on the local web as the next thing. So I've been involved in a lot of stuff and can help you avoid many of the mistakes I have made.

If you just need contacts, I have a few really good ones, and a lot of decent ones, so let me know if you need to reach somebody and I can help. Feel free to connect to me on LinkedIn, or follow me on Twitter.

If you are looking for someone to fulfill a specific job, I have good contacts in the Web industry, hardware engineering, and content generation. Send me a note and maybe I can help you find someone.

If you need help finding and working with good offshore programmers, I have done this a lot, been burned a lot, but found a few gems as well.

There are a few things I know a lot about that may surprise you, including exercise physiology, artificial intelligence, value investing, neuroscience, hardware design (particularly digital logic, FPGAs, etc), photovoltaics, and wireless technologies. If you have questions about things in these fields, I can probably answer many of them, or point you in the direction of good resources.

What You Can Do To Help Me

For starters, Daily Idea will be looking for a new advertiser soon. December uniques were 187,000. Make an offer.

If you know anyone who wants to invest in ideas around geotargeted web services, we have a real product, real revenues, real customers, lots of good ideas, a history of execution, and are starting development on our second product. We need money to hire a CTO. And of course, it would be nice to take a salary and focus on this full-time instead of being scattered among a dozen projects trying to make ends meet and keep development going on the side. Seriously. I'm going to make someone a hell of a lot of money one day. It might as well be you, or someone you know.

If you have a copy of Seth Klarman's "Margin of Safety", I would love to borrow it and read it. I promise to return it and not sell it on Ebay. I read really fast, so you can have it back in just a few days.

If you know anyone who runs a value investing fund and needs an analyst, it's probably the only job I would ever enjoy more than entrepreneur, so send them my way.

I am fascinated with economic history at the moment, so if you have good book recommendations along those lines, let me know.

I would love to talk with someone in the investment arm of RH Donnelly, or some other company with a large local presence that could take a stake in our software.

VoiceXML has become a very interesting technology to me. Is it worth looking into further? Let me know.

If you come to Louisville, look me up and let's chat over coffee.

If you know how I can grow palm trees in my yard in this climate, please tell me.

Send email to rob -at- businesspundit -dot- com

Stay tuned for some interesting summary posts, things you may have missed, or things you may have forgotten about.

  • Rob,

    Thanks for everything and best of luck. I’m not much help to you right now, but on that palm tree thing: 1) Build greenhouse, 2) plant palm tree, 3) fertilize!


  • The answer is banana trees. Apparently you are supposed to dig them up, cut off the leaves, and store them for the winter … replant when the frost breaks. It’s a lot of work, but that’s how you get tropical trees into your growing zone. Do you have storage under the house or in a crawlspace? Stick your trees there. And you can be the coolest guy on the block, growing your own bananas!

  • Regarding VoiceXML, I had a six-month affair with it a couple years back, and ran away screaming. Whoever decided to use XML syntax for a language which describes a simple procedural script (voice is one-dimensional, so you always have one procedure running) should be locked in the asylum or somewhere. IMO it was the worst engineering idea I have even ran into, and it makes a programmer’s life a nightmare.

    It is especially difficult to build a VoiceXML script dynamically, as it never occurred to the designers that someone might want to do that. Of course, you can put all your logic inside the script itself (there is ECMAScript built in), but this is another kind of nightmare altogether.