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Friday, October 06, 2006

Standing on the shoulders of giants...

A year after leaving Intuit, I have been doing some reflection about the last 12 months. In summary, it was a great year! I love the saying "standing on the shoulders of giants" and that's how I feel about my friends and advisers. Here's a sample (not comprehensive) of some of the people I'm thankful for:

  • Gary Angel, founder/CTO of SEMPhonic, a super Web analytics advisor
  • Adam Bornstein, Ymer Ventures, and partner on UAA fundraising
  • Murray Brozinsky, founder/President of Cambrian Ventures
  • Jeff Camp, leader of Full Circle Fund's Education Impact
  • Eva Camp, Full Circle Fund Board member
  • William Chang, founder, Affini, a person search startup
  • Michael Fassnacht, now CMO at Draft Worldwide in Chicago, and former co-founder of Loyalty Matrix
  • Sandeep Giri, CEO of Loyalty Matrix, whom I wish would join me on my next adventure
  • Min Guo, my intrepid Ng Ventures team member based in Shanghai
  • Amy Haugen, independent designer
  • Jack Herrick, founder WikiHow
  • Auren Hoffman, CEO/founder of RapLeaf, a reputation company
  • Doug Hoover, Director/founder of Just Do Good
  • Wei Jiang, founder/CEO of 2duNet, automotive classifeds startup in China
  • Sheila Salvucci, VP Marketing of Presto, a photo printing device startup
  • Faith Sedlin, co-founder of Oodle, a classifieds search company
  • Eric Tilenius, fellow adventurer many times over, who introduced me to China deals
  • Noah Tratt, former Microsoft collegue, now VP/GM within Expedia
  • Chelsea Tu, Chinese Tutor
  • Diane Wang, CEO of DHGate, a Beijing based wholesale merchandising startup
  • Scott Wilder, QuickBooks community guy
  • Howard Wolk, Co-President of Cross Country Group
  • Jean Wu, CEO, China Help Line, and partner on UAA and NgVentures projects
  • Mike Zhang, CEO of, and a great Christian brother and friend
Thanks again, and look forward to working together some more!


A said...

Elliott: I'll make the first "blogosphere" contact for us! :)

This is a very impressive list of advisors to have.

I look forward to catching up with you.

Occam's Razor @

elliott said...

Thanks for visiting Avinash! I will be taking to heart your "advice from (and to) a novice blogger"


Michael Fassnacht said...

Hi Elliott,

Just checked your blog again, I am honored to be on your list of trusted advisers. We really have to meet soon again in person, I miss your thoughts and ideas.

I might got to Shanghai in a couple of weeks, Draft FCB has four offices in China and they need help in setting up a better Customer Intelligence pratice. Would love to hear your thoughts on current stade of the marketing discipline in China.

Best, MIchael

elliott said...


Thanks for dropping by! Yes we need to catch up right away. I think there are lots of opportunities opening up for agencies, service providers, and start-ups in China. Its important to segment the market as follows: (a) Multinationals (MNCs), (b) visionary local companies and state owned enterprises (SOEs) that compete with MNCs, (c) Small/Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and (d) non-competitive and/or non-visionary SOEs and local companies. The sweet spot for most vendors are MNCs and the companies that compete with them. Good news is that most of those MNCs "think" the same way as your global/US clients, or if they don't now, they will in the future. I think the state of database marketing is pretty rudimentary. I've heard some people question the reliability of mail delivery at all points, especially for large apartment complexes where mail may be shared. But I don't understand this issue fully. In general, I think most companies are totally focused on acquisition and advertising, and not as much focused on retention/loyalty/attrition issues. This may affect the way you enter the market. Also, there are limited quality of 3rd party data sources for credit FICO score. So people will underwrite credit based on where people work...e.g. a Class A office means the company is good, which means the employees have good credit! Anyway, these are just some thoughts from a new observer to the China scene, and certainly there are many people more expert than I! Lets talk offline some more.

Sandeep Giri said...

My 2 conditions for joining your next venture:

1. Hire at least half the people on this list


2. I get to be in-charge of your Sotheast Asia Headquarters based out of Kathmandu


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