Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Is Anyone Else Concerned About Owing $9.5 Trillion?

I don't usually write about client stuff, but I must admit that I'm a little miffed. I'm not sure how we've let this happen, but the U.S. government now owes a LOT of money. About $9.5 trillion dollars. And there are TENS of trillions more that we owe people in promised Medicare, Social Security, etc.

There's a new movie coming out on Thursday, called I.O.U.S.A. It's a documentary, being compared to SuperSize Me for the financial world. Here's the trailer.

I'll keep it short, but it doesn't matter if you're a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green Party, Apathy Party, Ignorance Party, whatever. At some point, we've got to pay this money back, and we've got to stop spending money we don't have.

This Thursday, August 21, in theatres nationwide, I.O.U.S.A is going to be shown, followed by (and this is pretty cool), a live panel, featuring Warren Buffett (the world's richest man), Pete Peterson (chairman of the Blackstone Group) and Dave Walker (who resigned as U.S. Comptroller General because of the debt).

Yes, the people putting on this show are an Ignite Social Media client, but what really matters in this case is that people stop asking candidates to spend more, and start asking candidates to figure out how to stop spending money we don't have. Ok, I'm going to get off my soapbox now, but I'm genuinely concerned about this and hope that after this movie, others will be too. (If you are, you can grab the trailer, podcasts or badges on the I.O.U.S.A MySpace page.)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Spot Runner: Now it's likely the investors who are running

UPDATE: I just hung up the phone with Rosabel Tao, who contacted me after she read this post. She's the VP of Corporate Communications with Spot Runner and wanted to let me know that the ValleyWag posting is largely inaccurate.

According to Rosabel, the company actually laid off 50 people, not 100. They are still committed 100% to the local market that they were built to serve, but as they are getting into other platforms, they found they needed people with different types of skills.

I have no way of knowing the whole story clearly, but I was impressed that Rosabel found this post and reached out, so I wanted to get her side of the story included. I'm sure there's more to come...


I have to admit. I thought SpotRunner was on to something. Offer small biz easy access to decent looking TV spots. Most local TV advertising is fairly affordable (you can buy a 30 second spot on Judge Judy in Raleigh for around $100), but getting decent creative is expensive. (The average 30-second spot in the U.S. cost $303,000 to make...)

Here's their CEO explaining how it should work.

SpotRunner has raised $111 MILLION to get rolling.

But now ValleyWag is reporting that SpotRunner is laying off 100 employees. Not just because business is slow (not sure if it is), but apparently because they are going to try to compete in a new space, involving search engine marketing.

I thought this was going to be transformative. Apparently, it's really hard to do what they were trying to do...