Myspace: please, Robin, pleaaasse come back.

Kinda pathetic.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Myspace <>
Date: Sat, Jan 29, 2011 at 4:47 AM
Subject: Where have you been?

Hey Robin,
We've missed you at Myspace lately. Plain and simple, we think you should come back. And here's why.
The new Myspace provides the best social entertainment experience on Earth. For serious.
You can now follow your favorite topics in music, movies, celebs, and TV and get instant updates from around the web.
The new Myspace gives you custom recommendations so you can discover more of what you love and connect with new like-minded friends.
?? ??
To stop receiving information about Myspace features, unsubscribe

from future emails like this (Product Updates). Have questions? Visit our help page. Myspace, 8391 Beverly Blvd, #349, Los Angeles, CA 90048. ?? Myspace Inc. All Rights Reserved.


My very first appearance in a Lip Dub Video (DLD 2011)

I always wanted to do this. I actually posted about this on TechCrunch, but it needs to be on here too, of course:

From the blog post:

I’ve been too a lot of tech and media conference in my day, but this week marked the first time I attended the annual Digital – Life – Design (DLD) Conference in Munich, Germany.

Not only was it a great opportunity to listen to, meet with, and hijack the Twitter and Facebook accounts of many a tech luminary, but it was also outright fun to be there.

A few faces you might recognize:

Robin Wauters (ha!), famous angel investors Esther Dyson and Yossi Vardi, Googlers Marissa Mayer, Anil Hansjee and Lior Ron, Scobleizer, physician and writer Deepak Chopra, rock star venture capitalist Howard Morgan from First Round Capital, digital technology historian George Dyson, and last but not least TechCrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher.



Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind.


For shame. I just read this column by my TechCrunch colleague Paul Carr, entitled “Dear Michael: An Open Letter From The Present About The Future Of Your Past”.

As with all Paul’s writing, worth a read or two. 

At the end of the blog post, Paul links to a 1997 column by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich. Odd, I think, until I started reading it. Entitled “Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young”, here’s an excerpt:

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Wait a minute, I know those words from somewhere. Wasn’t that a song or something?

Yes, Robin, it was, and how could you not know that song (Baz Luhrmann’s “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” – see video below) was based on a column? 

Whenever stuff like this happens, I kick myself for not knowing things like that, and then afterwards I feel really happy for having learned something new again (like I do every day, or at least try really hard to do).

Thank you, Paul. And Mary. And Baz.

Another excerpt from the column:

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.

Beautiful, strong words. Nice song. I was frickin’ 18 when this came out:

A visit to the ‘Autosalon’ – observing the differences in sales techniques

So yesterday I visited the annual ‘Autosalon’, or the 89th edition of the European Motorshow Brussels to be exact, at Brussels Expo. I went alone, because it’s simply the fastest and most efficient way if you go there to actually shop for a new car, rather than get to know different brands and models across the car, motorcycle and truck categories and gaze at vehicles you’ll never own anyway (which can be quite entertaining too, of course).

I wasn’t planning to, but I had a lot of fun observing the differences in sales techniques applied by the plethora of car salesmen (and women) at their respective stands at the show.

This is just anecdotal, of course, as I didn’t visit every booth, and it’s hard to draw comparisons between brands based on the person you interact with. That said, I always asked the same questions and tried to raise the same expectations, with different results.

Best experience I had was with Ford.

My conversation with the female advisor went something like this:

“Hi my name is Brenda, can I help you? I see, so you’re looking to replace your car with a new one because you and your wife are expecting a baby. Is it your first? Wonderful, I have kids too, so I can tell you what to look for, and what to be mindful of. Let’s take a look at this one, if that’s what you’re looking for? Great, this is the basic configuration, but I believe you could use these options as well, right? Right. 

These are our catalog prices, but I’ll have a dealer near your home contact you tomorrow to talk pricing, as I’m sure he can give you much better information regarding pricing and financing than I can. I’ll just whip out my iPad so I can quickly note your contact details and add any remarks you just made in our conversation.

Would this dealer suit you? Wonderful. Thanks for your visit, mr. Wauters, and best of luck with the newborn.”

Ten minutes later, I got a text message from Ford thanking me for my visit.

I also visited Opel, as I was charmed by the new Insignia, although it’s not really a family car per se. The salesguy I talked to for half an hour was nice and helpful, but clearly didn’t respond to my needs and ended up preparing me a quote which went a grand total of 10,000 euros over my budget, so I felt my time was wasted. I.e. not a horrible experience, but not one that would in any way make me want to make a purchase.

Evidently, I visited a bunch more car maker booths, but most of the conversations I had there weren’t worthy of mentioning here. They mostly came down to them getting my contact details as fast as possible, and then being able to move on, the both of us.

Hint: the Autosalon isn’t about selling or buying cars, it’s a trade show – which means the end goal is to get potential customers to their local dealerships as fast as possible, not convince people to buy a car or motorcycle on the spot.

Worst experience I had was with Seat. First of all, I had to seriously look for someone to answer my questions, and when I finally found someone the guy asked what type of Seat I would want to buy. I said I didn’t know the different models all that well and that he had to explain to me which one I’d be most interested in based on my apparent needs. He then showed me a car, talked about some stuff and options I clearly wasn’t interested in and handed me a brochure after 2 minutes or so. 

Didn’t note my contact details, didn’t ask after my budget, didn’t seem to care if I’d buy a Seat in any way. In fact, when I asked if the brochure also had a list of local dealers, he said no and instead handed me a huge map of Belgium, indicating where I could find dealerships.

Yeah, but no.

I still haven’t made up my mind about which car I’m buying, but Ford just shot up the list, and Seat and Opel just fell off. That’s the way it goes.