Truemors, Tumors, Dribble

I was sent this email.

By the Numbers: How I built a Web 2.0, User-Generated Content, Citizen – Journalism, Long-Tail, Social Media Site for $12,107.09

I have had my flatmate talk about it a lot in the past day. So I checked it out. Here is my view.

My Review

I’ve heard the name “Guy Kawasaki” but never read his stuff, or followed him. My first impression was the 2007 MySQL Conference and I was suitably impressed. See MySQL Conference – The next keynote with Guy Kawasaki

So some of my comments following this site — Truemors.

$1,115.05. I spent $1,115.05 registering domains. I could have used GoDaddy and done it a lot cheaper, but I was too stupid and lazy.

55. I registered 55 domains (for example,, .de, .biz, truemours, etc, etc). I had no idea that one had to buy so many domains to truly “surround” the one you use. Yes, I could have registered fewer and spent less, but who cares about saving a few hundred bucks compared to the cost of legal action to get a domain away from a squatter if Truemors is successful?

Me: Your an idiot, and I don’t use the term lightly. I had great respect after one presentation, I even referred to his talk last night at a meeting for people to improve their presentations, but you paid 3 times the price for one domain, ok, but for 55, and then he hasn’t covered the name to well. A few quick typos and people have already registered names and stuck up google ads.

4. I learned four lessons launching Truemors:
There’s really no such thing as bad PR.
$12,000 goes a very long way these days.
You can work with a team that is thousands of miles away.
Life is good for entrepreneurs these days.

Me: There is such a thing as bad PR if your not “Guy Kawasaki” a name that draws a crowd.
$12,000 does go a long way if you spend it wisely. $399 for a logo, I could have done in 10 mins in Photoshop, and I’m an amateur. I’ve got better free logos on my sites. You have to get to being a successful entrepreneur before you can say “life is good for entrepreneurs these days”


I could make a comment on a number of his points.
My conclusion is he certainly polarized people. The responses are either completely for, or completely against.

If you want to read on, here are a few comments I’ve taken from his own blog comments which I found interesting. For those lazy and just like scanning.
Oh, and if you go to his site, the top reference on his own site is people bagging his site. Yeah that’s really good PR – Screen print at the end.

Poor Guy! I have a number for you: number of websites needed to destroy your reputation: 1.

Wait, a minute you’re an “expert” on startups, and you spent more than a $1000 on domain name registration? Hahaha! LMAO

To me, Truemors would have been better if you:

1) Spent some money to have some juicy content prepared for launch to be submitted by random people.
2) Focused the product to a specific topic. Digg started out with technology only. Truemors could do celebrity gossip?

OK, here’s a “truemor”: I just scanned the comments below and Ray’s Jun 4, 2007 12:33:34 AM posting was so LOL funny *I* damn near messed myself. :-)

$4,824.14 for legal fees… What did the lawyers do for you? Did they come up with your terms of use? Do you have a privacy statement? Do tell!

Interesting numbers – but totally irrelevant! The whole point of business is to make money, not how carefully you spend what money you have! It would seem to me that Web 2.0 is all about hype – getting cheap eyeballs and selling them! Could you repost in a month or so and let us know when you’ve started making money?

You’ve proven you can start a web2.0 site for under 15k? WTF. Are you serious or are you just in your 30’s and senile? Most “successful” web2.0 sites get off the ground with less than $1,000.00. Truemors will be a graveyard in a month… might as well throw in the towel now.

You paid $399 for that logo!?? You could have told me…I would have created something better than that for free… Honestly, most of the things look a huge waste of money..
Guy, I guess this might offend you, but lately it seems you’ve been investing in some bad ideas. The idea for your new site is “okay”, however the layout is so terrible that the first time I saw the site, it was so annoying I skipped the article that brought me there and closed my browser tab.

Want to hatch a great idea?

I attended The Hatchery tonight. A rather brilliant opportunity for you to pitch your present idea “The Gauntlet”, and get “The Panel” to provide expert advice your friends are not going to tell you. Ultimately you are also seeking money as well as expertise.

The panel tonight for June 6, 2007 was excellent. A great mix of experience and expertise. I was impressed with the level of knowledge and diversity of questions asked. They were all smart people!

  • Emcee – Yao-Hui Huang
  • Natalia Allen – Design Futurist, Schlossberg Flynn
  • Anne Andiorio – Digital media, services, technology guru
  • Stacy Robin – Managing Partner, The Degania Group
  • Pamela Robertson – Partner, Edwards, Angell Palmer & Dodge
  • Sarah Tavel – Analyst, Bessemer Ventures
  • Peggy Wallace – Co-Leader of NY Forum, Golden Seeds

So, “The Eggs” for the evening were four.

Smart Medical Consumer

We started with Dr. Banu Ozden and Smart Medical Consumer. The concept was “Web Services for consumers for their medical finances”. The mission is to help people besides being a profitable company. The target is the Consumer Health Care IT which is presently a hot topic, and the target audience was subscribers – people that use this site to hold medical expense data, and visitors for providing information.

There were a number of things that stood out for me. First, when presenting slides, use a larger font. A slide is a summary, not a resume on a page for example. Second, they are trying to base a revenue model on Internet advertising rather then a subscription model. This may be ok, when the advertising can be very selective, but as it was indicated they would be seeking their own advertising, a very time consuming task. For anybody that follows the Internet closely, you can’t solely based your revenue model on this and expect to predict accurately the results. While it appeared there were strong skills and experience in IT, there was a clear lack of Internet knowledge. The web site is very drab. While it’s serving a purpose and attracting generally a lower level of attendee, web sites get 3-5 seconds viewing time unless you have gone to the web site specifically. For this project the bulk of visitors are going to be people who stumble across the site.
A question raised by the panel, and discussed more with the people around me was security. The question was not answered satisfactory, infact it was not part of the presentation, it should have been. Security is critical, and the web is inherently insecure. This will be a hurdle I believe this site will not overcome.


FlyUpload – share your files, is a file sharing site. They offer nothing special, nothing new, nothing different. There was plenty of talk about being better, but in reality it was unclear. Combined with the founders being former founders of a previous startup, from which they purchased the IP, and is still in operation, an unclear advertising model, and unclear answers towards both the concerns of bandwidth and ultimate purpose. It appeared from the presentation, they were going to share your information as an advertising means, and also analyze your data for advertising opportunities. The presenter was unclear in a number of topics, and simply repeatably didn’t answer the questions posed by the panel.

Match My Pet

Prior to this presentation, there was a short break, however the slide for this site Match My Pet was put up. So, discussion was definitely more on this topic then the last. It lead to a number of jokes, like is this a dating site for pets etc.

The presentation of the idea was actually the best so far. The presenter gained the interest of the audience via some clever input, such as “P2P” (Pet-to-Pet), “B2B” (Breeder-to-Breeder) and P2B. They provided a one stop shop including GeoPet, PetStore, Recipet, Pricipet, Wikipet, and Vet911. It was clear from words of the presenter he was targeting “Breeding Services/Matching Services”, however a question from the panel was “Chapter 1 of the VC book – Focus” and it was clear there was not a clear focus. I also feel the presenter didn’t quite get the question in all dimensions. It also related to vertical. There was some talk about the horse breeding market, however it was also clear this was more as a by product rather then selectively researching and targeting this audience.

This project obviously started from having fun, and moving from there into a business. To be successful however, you need a plan, and to speak in front of potential VC’s you need a rock solid plan. This wasn’t that.

I think there is opportunity for the site “Pimp your Pet”. I also think, there is an opportunity for a “Hot on Not” for pets, obviously people love their pets.

License Sandbox

Augustine Fou of LicenseSandbox got it. I don’t know if HatchedBy seeded the presenters to a crescendo but they ended clearly on the best presentation.

His point was clear, his slides were minimalistic, yet portrayed his point clearly, also showing the fruit of this venture (i.e. photos), and he knew the VC talk. He used the right buzz words, and he knew his figures when asked by the panel. So what is.

“Find+License+Pay” An opportunity to target the non-professional content providers, what he calls “The Meaty Middle Opportunity” between the dollar bin and the expensive “getty type” service. While he quickly ran out of time (speakers get a 5 minute egg timer) there is clear potential, and they are targeting something unique, but clearly value adding. First by negotiating with the larger ad agencies, facilitating buyers and sellers and adding a layer of intelligence into the clear minefield of finding valuable content. In addition, for me he hit the spot. I am a serious photographer, everybody tells me I should sell my stuff, however I don’t want to have to be drawn away from what I enjoy, the taking photographs in order to market and sell my stuff. This could be a happy medium and I’m definitely going to try it out.

Augustine was also up on what’s hot, with his Moo Cards. I wonder however, how many people like me were able to know that immediately!

Closing Comments

I remember a TV show in Australia called The Dragons Den. A similar upmarket pitch your presentation for money, and the panel had money to burn.

The forum was excellent, but for me I’ve not got one idea at a stage. I actually need the help getting to the stage to being able to present to VC’s.

In addition, all presenters need to look closely at the presentations to learn how to present better, be better prepared, relate better, and also know how to answer questions. The personalities of the panel were different, you could interprete from the types of questions how the answers needed to be structured.

Top marks Yao, I think you are at the leading edge of a great concept here in NY.

Some ideas

Almost forgot to mention, here are some ideas.

  1. There was no opportunity for the audience to say anything, with the limited format this could be a disaster, however I propose two options.
    • There is a 5 minute breakout between each talk, allowing the audience to at least approach the speaker, give 15 seconds what they would like to contribute to, let the speaker hear them all, then decide to schedule more dialog. Interested parties get to hear all the 15 second inputs from the crowd.
    • More and more people will bring laptops (you will need more chair space), but savvy people can post comments very quickly and a moderator could collate, and say there is 5 minutes at the end of the moderator asking questions from the audience. This way it can be controlled via time. Very easy to leverage technology to do this. At a recent conference of 1500-1600 people, up to half the audience had laptops, in the smaller breakout rooms it would have been more then 50%
  2. I’d like to see more an ideas incubator, maybe more a town meeting type style. The problem is structure. It would need some consideration, the upcoming Hatch Match in August may be the place, will need to wait and see

Google Street View Camera

Google Maps Street View Camera
There has been plenty of news about Google Maps Street View that I blogged about recently.

I wanted to know how they do it, well here is how they do it.
Google Maps zoom: here’s the device and vehicle behind it.

There has been plenty of news this week, images of tunnels in New York, which is apparently a security risk, a guy attempting to climb over a fence in front of an apartment block, a guy leaving a known sex shop.

Some articles I found interesting were Google Zooms In Too Close for Some and All-seeing Google Street View prompts privacy fears.

Got the next great web thing!

I joined a new meetup group New York Dot Com Hatchery on advice from my friend Marc. Now only if my schedule keeps in NY for the event I’ll be very much looking forward to going.

I think this statement on the website sums up the opportunity for expert advice.

The payoff – Your friends won’t tell you the truth, we will. And we can make your billion-dollar dreams come true. Your odds for success? Better than buying a lottery ticket.

Cool Photo Printing Site

I just came across Moo as a link from Fotolog.

This site gives you the option to get a photo like card on the front, and text on the back. The interesting part is that you can do 100 different photos in the batch of 100, and it’s the size that grabs me. I’ve been looking for something different with my various sites including Admiring Creation and Heavy Horse Day and GeekErr. Just now trying to get all my photos ready for printing!

Website of the Day – Slideshare

I came across an interesting site while reading World’s Best Presentation Contest Winners Announced by Guy Kawasaki called SlideShare.

It’s a happy medium between the bulk of image sites like Flickr and Yahoo Photos and video sites like Revver and YouTube where you can easily add Text to what you are wanting to say in a Slide Show. Interestingly enough, like most Web 2.0 Communities people will come up with ideas you never considered, for example check out Evangeline Lilly where this is effectively a portfolio photo shoot of an actress. Clever.

Get behind a new exciting site

As I write this blog I have over 90 draft blog posts. That’s 9-0. Why do I have so many posts? The main reason is I want to say something, and I’ve either not completed it, or researched it sufficiently to consider the entry complete.

This frustrates me as sometimes I just want to get the word out on something, or of my opinion, or of something great I’ve discovered. I do it for me, I don’t really care if anybody actually reads my stuff, but I’m surprised sometimes when I get comments how people actually get to see my blog.

JotThat is a surprisingly simple yet brilliant idea. It’s quite simply a site for making Jots, making quick notes, making a passing comment, noting a thought, something you want to either remember or something you want to say in a simple Jot form.

What makes JotThat in my eyes? Well it’s simple, and I strive for simple. It’s extremely easy to use. It’s built on MySQL, so that gains my attention. It’s something just a little different from everything you see each day.

I especially like the new feature of being able to email your Jots to your account. I was at the train station tonight, then later at dinner with some great input from somebody. I wanted to write it down (I forget things a lot more these days), so instead of adding it to notes in my PDA, I simply emailed it to my JotThat account. Easy as!

The site is still in early stages, but please get behind a project. I always like to get referrals from people on everything from websites, products, even services like a good dentist. I recommend you check this one out, as well as supporting the MySQL open source community.

NY Tech Meetup

Tonight I headed to the NY Tech Meetup organized by the CEO of Meetup and co-founder of Fotolog, the company my friend Frank works for.

This forum provided for quick presentations by new NY high tech ventures and other interesting discussions, then enabling further networking between people.

A Perfect Thing

The first speaker was Steven Levy, mentioned on the site as Newsweek’s tech editor & all-around geek writer extraordinaire. He is the author of “The Perfect Thing”, a story of the Apple iPod. He shared a funny story of a dinner where he was seated with Bill Gates at a Microsoft XP launch in late 2001, in which he had just that week got his initial iPod following the launch. When he gave it to Bill Gates, he observed as he described this mind meld as a votex between Bill’s brain and the iPod while he checked it out, exploring all the menu options, buttons and options. 45 seconds later came the comment of something like, looks great, and it works with a Macintosh.


Our second speaker was Steve Spurgat from The blub. Urbis is a creative community with three types of users: creative people, those who love and support creative people, and those who have opportunities for creative people. It’s very creative.. Some of the interesting features of this site included:

  • Can pre-define the people that can review your submissions, by various criteria, meaning that your feedback can be restricted.
  • You can specify your specific goals for your submission.
  • You can select the present opportunities for your submission.
  • There is an economy system to see reviews of your own work you must review others

Presently only writing is available, but plans for Music, Art and Film will be available in the next few months. With some 12,000+ members and 13% active, it’s a good start.

There was also discussion of copyright, Urbis being a registered copyright agent complying with government guidelines, and of revenue models including the option for fees from publishers, and the potential of ad copy. A competitor site Trigger Street was also mentioned, started by Kevin Spacey.

One Web 2.0 thing I liked about this site, and the next was that the website was the presentation (no powerpoint), and while talking the home page of the website was displayed and the content was dynamically changing, in this case, reviews being submitted online. A good selling point.


Scott Kolber of LinkStorms was our next presenter. Described as the next generation of links for the web providing context specific fast links and specific navigation from a button, images, banner ad.

The revenue model is CPM plus a publishers setup, maintenance and support fee structure. Apparently up to 40% click thru rate, which is extraordinary compared to the current stats of < 1% for general banners.

When asked what was different with this model, the answer was "the results. It's a better user experience looking at ads".

You can see it in action at Premiere Magazine – The Departed.


Brent Halliburton and his approach to a wikipedia of Organization charts with CogMap certainly got the best response the crowd. A good comedian, Brent made the mistake with a slow Internet connection to demonstrate interactively with an example from the audience and not his own prepared content. It ended up not rendering, then crashing but he managed to turn it around into a plus and the best applause of the night.

His idea provoked a wide range of comment and feedback and when asked why? “Because if your an entrepreneur you do things”. “In the big scheme of things I don’t have all the answers. I just put it out there.”


David Fishman provided the last presentation of uPlayMe, a Windoze program that provides a slant on the community social networking via enternaintment, specifically when they are actually playing via Windows Media Player for example. It’s designed to help people discover other people with the same interests, or weird interests. Some other sites mentioned in the discussion included, Pandora and MOG.

2007 Predictions

We ended with an audience participated 2007 predications. The included:

  • No Predication – (The first person from the Board of Advisors I believe that was specifically asked)
  • IP TV market and integration with the TV
  • Will see a Billion $ organization from the NY community
  • The buzz of radios that can do multiple gigibits of transfer between neighours (yes it sounded weird)
  • Era of the connected home, Computer, TV, Stereo
  • Some political thing at
  • Another political thing, an organic style camp debrief
  • The Term 2.0 will cease being used in 2007
  • Skype will be a source of major innovation
  • NY will produce a billion dollar Internet company

Web Site – Speed Test

Want to know your Internet Connection speed in a real world test?
Want a fancy graphical presentation of your internet Speed?

SpeedTest.Net has you covered. As you can see that even provide graphics results to can use on your own site.

So just how much does my Bittorrent download of Stargate and StarGate Atlantis weekly epsiodes affect my link (Azureus states about 20kB/s down and 20kB/s up. Here is the results. Hmmm, seems if affects my link much more then it really states!

Web Sites – Squarespace


What is Squarespace?
Squarespace is a great way to publish and manage a web site online. We let you snap together a web site in a flash that will allow you to manage all of your unique content right in one place. It can be as professional or personal as you want.
Who’s Squarespace for?
Bloggers. Independent professionals. Small businesses. Anyone who needs to maintain a web presence, but wants exacting control over their site, and powerful publishing features that cover everything from blogs to files. No technical skill is required

Web Sites – Digg


Digg is a user driven social content website. Ok, so what the heck does that mean? Well, everything on digg is submitted by the digg user community (that would be you). After you submit content, other digg users read your submission and digg what they like best. If your story rocks and receives enough diggs, it is promoted to the front page for the millions of digg visitors to see.

What can you do as a digg user? Lots. Every digg user can digg (help promote), bury (help remove spam), and comment on stories… you can even digg and bury comments you like or dislike. Digg also allows you to track your friends’ activity throughout the site — want to share a video or news story with a friend? Digg it!

Web Sites – Zimbra


Zimbra is an open source server and client technology for next-generation messaging and collaboration. Zimbra delivers innovation for both the administrator and the end-user as well as compatibility with existing infrastructure and applications (both open source and proprietary).

Web Sites – Cacti


Cacti is a complete network graphing solution designed to harness the power of RRDTool’s data storage and graphing functionality. Cacti provides a fast poller, advanced graph templating, multiple data acquisition methods, and user management features out of the box. All of this is wrapped in an intuitive, easy to use interface that makes sense for LAN-sized installations up to complex networks with hundreds of devices.

Cacti is a complete frontend to RRDTool, it stores all of the necessary information to create graphs and populate them with data in a MySQL database. The frontend is completely PHP driven. Along with being able to maintain Graphs, Data Sources, and Round Robin Archives in a database, cacti handles the data gathering. There is also SNMP support for those used to creating traffic graphs with MRTG.

Web Sites – eyeOS


eyeOS is an Open Source Web Desktop Environment, commonly known as Web Operating System or Web Office. With eyeOS you can be organized, work and have fun anywhere, using your own personalized Web Desktop. For using eyeOS, you only have to go to your eyeOS server (or use the official eyeOS public server) and log in with your username and password. If you don’t have a username and password, you can create an account from there too.

Web Sites – RRDtool


The industry standard data logging and graphing application. Use it to write your custom monitoring shell scripts or create whole applications using its Perl, Python or PHP bindings.

RRD is the acronym for Round Robin Database. It is a system to store and display time-series data (i.e. network bandwidth, machine-room temperature, server load average).

Web Sites – Nagios


Nagios is a host and service monitor designed to inform you of network problems before your clients, end-users or managers do. It has been designed to run under the Linux operating system, but works fine under most *NIX variants as well. The monitoring daemon runs intermittent checks on hosts and services you specify using external “plugins” which return status information to Nagios. When problems are encountered, the daemon can send notifications out to administrative contacts in a variety of different ways (email, instant message, SMS, etc.). Current status information, historical logs, and reports can all be accessed via a web browser.

Web Sites – Thumbshots


This site enables you to embed a thumbnail image of a website. Rather cool, except there must be some level of caching for new website requests. This page at the time of saving doesn’t show the thumbshot of the official site.

Below is an example output from website that I got the idea from: