Monday, April 23, 2012

The BOOT live in Sydney May 2 as part of FED networking event

If you are in Sydney on May 2, then join me at a  Fourth Estate (FED) networking event at the City Hotel, 347 Kent Street Sydney from 6pm. Journalist Brad Howarth will be interviewing me and leading a Q&A as we talk through online travel, the daily deal sector, social media, search and more.  Here is the official speil

"The Australian retail sector is crashing down around our ears but travel and deals are booming.  Offline and On – Australian's cannot get enough of buying travel and especially travel deals.  Can it last and what can other sectors learn from the explosion in growth in online travel?  Tim Hughes of the BOOT and Getaway Lounge will discuss on May 2"

The event is free to attend.  Register here

The Fed was conceived by Mike Walsh and Sally Mills.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BOOT Moderating panel on Social Media at 2011 WebInTravelConference

Above is video of the BOOT moderating a panel at the 2011 WebInTravel conference on Social Media. Panel members included:
  •  Kristof Roemer, EVP Sales, TrustYou, Germany;
  • Danny Oei Wirianto, CEO, Mindtalk, Indonesia; and
  • Margery Lynn, Dachis Group South-east Asia
WIT has an upcoming event in Thailand on April 27 with 23 very interesting presenters - all Women.  Check out the program here and registrations here.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hyatt Concierge Twitter Feed Hacked

Bad day over the weekend for the Hyatt Concierge Twitter feed. They were hacked by some weight loss spammers. Top marks to Hyatt on spotting it quickly and dealing with it appropriately. Two screen shots below. Firstly the hack and then the response. A quick google search for the text of the tweet shows that a lot of people were hacked around the same time (April 14).

The Hack

The Response

Monday, April 16, 2012

Re-reading the Groupon IPO filing - some of my favourite moments

The Groupon IPO has been a "mixed bag" to put it nicely. They floated at $20 and are currently sitting at around the $13 mark (lastest GRPN quote here). The recent earnings re-statement by Groupon prompted me to go back to Groupon's original IPO filing and read through some of the risks highlighted in that document.

This list of risks highlighted by Groupon start on page 11 and go until page 31. Here are some of my favourites. I have highlighted the best bits.
"Our management team has a limited history of working together and may not be able to execute our business plan.

Our management team has worked together for only a limited period of time and has a limited track record of executing our business plan as a team. We have recently filled a number of positions in our senior management and finance and accounting staff. Accordingly, certain key personnel have only recently assumed the duties and responsibilities they are now performing. In addition, certain of our executives have limited experience managing a large global business operation. Accordingly, it is difficult to predict whether our management team, individually and collectively, will be effective in operating our business."

"Our management team has limited experience managing a public company, and regulatory compliance may divert its attention from the day-to-day management of our business.

The individuals who now constitute our management team have limited experience managing a publicly-traded company and limited experience complying with the increasingly complex laws pertaining to public companies. Our management team may not successfully or efficiently manage our transition to being a public company that will be subject to significant regulatory oversight and reporting obligations under the federal securities laws. In particular, these new obligations will require substantial attention from our senior management and could divert their attention away from the day-to-day management of our business, which could materially and adversely impact our business operations."

"We cannot assure you that we will be able to manage the growth of our organization effectively.

We have experienced rapid growth in demand for our services since our inception. Our employee headcount and number of subscribers have increased significantly since our inception, and we expect this growth to continue for the foreseeable future. The growth and expansion of our business and service offerings places significant demands on our management and our operational and financial resources. We are required to manage multiple relations with various merchants, subscribers, technology licensors and other third parties. In the event of further growth of our operations or in the number of our third-party relationships, our information technology systems or our internal controls and procedures may not be adequate to support our operations. To effectively manage our growth, we must continue to implement operational plans and strategies, improve and expand our infrastructure of people and information systems, and train and manage our employee base."
and last but not least
"We will have broad discretion in using our net proceeds from this offering, and the benefits from our use of the proceeds may not meet investors' expectations.

Our management will have broad discretion over the allocation of our net proceeds from this offering as well as over the timing of their use without stockholder approval. We have not yet determined how the net proceeds of this offering to be received by us that will be used, other than for working capital and other general corporate purposes. As a result, investors will be relying upon management's judgment with only limited information about our specific intentions for the use of our net proceeds from this offering. Our failure to apply these proceeds effectively could cause our business to suffer"

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Revenge, attacks and possible gaol time: just another day in the life of a start up

Have you ever used YouSendIt? I use AirDropper but have used YouSendIt in the past. Did you know that one of the founders of YouSendIt has just been convicted of computer fraud for attacking YouSendIt's servers and is facing possible gaol time? You didn't? Well, you have to check out the full story over at Inc magazine titled "A Silicon Valley Tale of Humiliation and Revenge". Finally Game of Thrones comes to life in Silicon Valley.