June 4, 2007

Google en Fuego

Google en Fuego Google announced on Friday the acquisition of RSS publishing powerhouse FeedBurner (media coverage  here and here).  I was fortunate enough to be a member of FeedBurner’s Board of Directors for the past year and had a good window into the successes of the business as well as the deal with Google.  It was all very interesting and good learnings for me as an entrepreneur as well as a first time outside director.  My original post (the “fortunate enough” link above) contained all the things I love about FeedBurner in it, so I won’t rehash those here, but I will try to distill my top 3 learnings from my experience with the company: Creating value through focus is key in the early stages of a company. The FeedBurner team had a relentless focus on publishers.  That’s what produced the value in the company that Google acquired in the end — massive publisher distribution and great brand and technology behind it all.  Had the company gone on to do a couple more years independently, the team would have had to split focus between publishers and advertisers.  I have no doubt that they would have been able to do the […]


January 29, 2007

ROI Radio Interview

ROI Radio Interview Greg Cangialosi, CEO of Blue Sky Factory and a client of ours, runs a podcast series on his blog called ROI Radio.  Last week, he interviewed me.  It’s a bit long, but feel free to listen or download here.  We mostly cover things related to Return Path — our products and how we do things — but we also talk a bit about the growth and development RSS/feed technology and FeedBurner.


October 31, 2006

The Good, The Board, and The Ugly, Part II

The Good, The Board, and The Ugly, Part II Much has been written of late on various VC and entrepreneur blogs on effective management of a Board of Directors, Board materials, running good Board meetings, and the like.  A couple years ago, I even wrote out a few tips for those things myself. But here’s one critical ingredient of a good Board you won’t find in all those posts:  have fun!  This picture was from today’s Halloween Board meeting at Feedburner…as one of Dick’s colleagues labeled it, The Dawn of the Living Costolos. Happy Halloween!


July 20, 2006

Feedburner…They’re Real AND They’re Spectacular

Feedburner…They’re Real AND They’re Spectacular Sometime in early 2004, I met Dick Costolo, the CEO of Feedburner.   We met about at the same time he also met Fred and Brad (I can’t remember who met who first), both of whom subsequently invested in the company.  We hit it off and had a number of informal and formal conversations over the past two and a half years about online media, the interplay of RSS and email and blogs, and entrepreneurship.  Feedburner and Return Path have developed a still-somewhat nascent partnership as well to bring ads in feeds and ads on blogs […]


September 15, 2005

RSS Advertising

RSS Advertising This is two-day-old news by now, but in case you missed it, we just announced than we – Return Path – are partnering with Feedburner to take RSS advertising to the next level (coverage here, here, and here). As you probably know if you receive my feed or other ones, Feedburner has been doing some experimenting with ad units at the bottom of feeds for months now, first using Amazon and more recently Google AdSense to serve up ads.  And as you may know if you look at ads closely, neither of those services has done a great […]


September 9, 2005

It’s Easy to Feel Like a Luddite These Days, Part II

It’s Easy to Feel Like a Luddite These Days, Part II In Part I, I talked about tagging and podcasting and how I felt pretty lame for someone who considers himself to be somewhat of an early adopter for not understanding them.  So now, 10 weeks later, I understand tagging and have a del.icio.us account, although I don’t use it all that often (quite frankly, I don’t have tons of surfing time to discover cool new content).  And I’ve even figured out how to integrate del.icio.us with Feedburner and with Typepad. I’m still out of luck with Podcasting, mainly because […]


August 11, 2005

My RSS Feed

My RSS Feed In an effort to manage my blog and RSS feed a little better, I’d like to request that anyone who gets my RSS feed NOT via Feedburner — that is, via the default Typepad feed — resubscribe to the Feedburner feed at http://feeds.feedburner.com/Onlyonce.  Thanks!


August 8, 2005

A Ball Bearing in the Wheels of E-Commerce

A Ball Bearing in the Wheels of E-Commerce As an online marketing professional, I’ve long understood intellectually how e-commerce works, how affiliate networks function, and why the internet is such a powerful selling tool.  But I got an email the other day that drove this home more directly. When I started my blog about a year and a half ago, I set myself up as an Amazon affiliate, meaning that any time someone clicks on a link to Amazon from one of my postings or on the blog sidebar, I get paid a roughly 4% commission on anything that person […]


June 20, 2005

It’s Easy to Feel Like a Luddite These Days

It’s Easy to Feel Like a Luddite These Days You know, I feel like I’m a pretty progressive, early adapter kind of guy.  I’m a technology entrepreneur.  We got the iPod for Windows the minute it came out.  TiVo Series I.  One of the very first wireless hubs to create our own wireless LAN at home.  I blog.  I have an RSS feed.  But it’s hard to stand still these days, even for a few months. So here’s my big admission — I still don’t entirely “get” tagging or podcasting.  But I’m making a big push to try them out […]


June 2, 2004

Prepping RSS for Prime Time

With all the hype in the world of blogs in the past few months about RSS taking over the world, I’ve been getting myself up to speed on the space by meeting with some of the companies in it and by publishing my own blog here. Two of the CEO’s I’ve met with in the RSS business are super smart and are doing everything they can to get the technology ready for prime time. What do I mean by that? I mean: Critical Mass: 10 million or more end users using RSS, not just the tech/finance/journalist axis that dominates usership […]