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DukeGEN Angel Pitch Event @ Dogpatch Labs Tomorrow Night

I am very excited to be part of a great evening at Dogpatch Labs tomorrow evening for the Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network ("DukeGEN") Angel Pitch Night. We have eight companies backed by Duke graduates and founders who are pitching to a judges panel.... also comprised of fellow Duke alums: - Jim Scheinman ’88, Bebo - Josh Felser ’86, B ’90, Freestyle Capital - Aaron Patzer '02, Mint - and myself ’03, Polaris Ventures

The event will be held on Wednesday, May 12th from 6-8:30pm in San Francisco at Dogpatch Labs (Pier 38, The Embarcadero). RSVP for this event on LinkedIn HERE. Space is limited. Attendees will be allowed into the venue on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Numerous companies applied and eight were named as finalists:

- BizeeBee - Small business messaging and scheduling. Founder and CEO Poornima Vijayashanker E '04. - Canvert - Pay per ring lead generation. Founder and CEO Scott Thomas T '96. - CoverHound - Better way to find insurance. Founder and CEO Basil Enan T '03. - FitNet - Empowering healthy living. Founder and CEO Dr. Jason Langheier M '09. - RefYo - Referrals on the social Internet. Co-founder and CEO Ed Spiegel E '99 and co-founder and Director of Technology Kevin Lochner E '99. - Social Stir - Dating for social media interactions. Founder and CEO Allen Vance B '07. - Stinky Teddy - Search engine optimized for now. Founder and CEO David Hardtke T '94. - YouRock - Sponsorship of events and individuals. Founder and CEO Jeremy Cotter T '02.

Starts: Wednesday May 12, 2010, 06:00PM Ends: Wednesday May 12, 2010, 08:30PM Location: Dogpatch Labs 38 The Embarcadero (Pier 38) San Francisco, CA 94111 US

Website: Industry: information technology and services

Intended For: Duke students, Duke alumni, Duke staff, Duke parents, founders, entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists, CEOs

Organization: The Duke Global Entrepreneurship Network ("DukeGEN")

DukeGEN is hosting an event for the entire Duke community during which Duke founders of non-enterprise Internet businesses or consumer mobile application services, platforms, or applications will present their business concepts to a distinguished panel of Duke angel investors and early stage venture capitalists. Our panelists include Jim Scheinman T ’88, Josh Felser T ’86, B ’90, Aaron Patzer T '02, and Ryan Spoon T ’03

15 Websites / Services I'd Actually Pay For

One measure of a service’s utility and stickiness is its ability to charge for usage. Consequently, I regularly find myself asking, “Is this important enough to me that I’d pay for it?”

Here are some of the services / sites where that answer is yes… And what I’d be willing to pay: Gmail: I’d pay to keep my Gmail account more because the switching cost is high than because of the functionality. That switching cost is painful enough that I’d spend $75 to prevent it. I will likely end up paying for increased storage too.

Google Maps: Love Google Maps for my Blackberry. Telenav is $9.99 / mo and offers greater functionality – I’d likely pay $10 to download Google Maps or some nominal monthly fee. If Google Maps added navigational directions, I would pay $10 / month. The benefit of blogging with WP is so significant (SEO, functionality, flexibility) that it’s well worth paying for. I’d probably pay a $200 for an installation… which makes me realize how much I rely on the product.

Google Analytics: If Google analytics weren’t free, I would unhappily pay a monthly fee to install it ($10) because, despite my disdain for the interface and lack of real-time metrics, it really is a necessity.

Google Analytics w/ Real Time Data: I would certainly pay extra for real-time Google Analytics.

Slimstat: Slimstat is a free Wordpress plugin that delivers real-time analytics. I would pay $40 to install it.

Slimstat “Premium”: … And I’d pay a lot more if Slimstat offered a model with unlimited data capturing / storage (the basic one shows the last ‘n’ records). I would pay $100 / domain.

Mint Analytics: I gladly paid $40 to install Mint on my domains. Great data and great interface.

Craigslist: I would pay for premium listings on Craigslist (if they introduced some sort of featured ads format) and I’ve paid the jobs listing fees before (many times).

Amazon Prime: I spend enough on Amazon that they gave me Amazon Prime for free when it first launched. Considering that I buy my groceries, toiletries, electronics, dog food, etc on it – I’d pay for Prime if Amazon forced me to.

iStockPhoto Premium: I love iStockPhoto – but it’s a pain to purchase credits. I’d pay for a premium account that enables power-usage. MLB is the only major sport that has truly adopted the web and their radio and video streaming is fantastic. I already pay for the service (estimates: $14.99 for radio broadcast of all games,$99-$179 for video)

Podcasts / On-demand Radio: There are certain podcasts and radio shows that I would pay to be able to download in entirety. For instance, I love The Thundering Herd on ESPN Radio but it streams too early on the west coast for me to catch it – and the Podcast only captures 30 minutes of the broadcast. I would pay $5-$10 a month to listen to it on-demand, in its entirety (price depends on whether or not ads are in the broadcast). The same can be said for Tony Bruno and JT the Brick.

eLance: I love eLance. Use it all the time. They choose to charge the service provider – but if they reversed it, I would pay on a per-listing basis. The price depends on the project, but a nominal amount ($5?).

ESPN360: It’s the only way that I can catch Duke games without leaving work at 3pm pst... I’d pay either per game or per month ($5-10) for the service. I’d pay a whole lot more if they could include MLB, NFL and NBA (would start to challenge my Comcast bill).

People Search for the Strangest Things...

I've written before how much I love SlimStat and Mint before. They provide real-time insight's to how users interact with your website... and user behaviors in general. I can watch and refresh the logs for minutes on end. It's fascinating (especially for bigger sites with large amounts of content). How else would I know that the last visitor to this site searched on Google for: "spoon barack obama"?

Measuring Web Analytics - Comparing Mint, SlimStat, Google Analytics & Quantcast

Last night, I installed Mint ( on and am wildly impressed. It got me thinking about web analytics and my usage of various (and numerous) applications:

1) I use Google Analytics on every website... but I always find myself mildly unimpressed. The UI is pretty, but is too busy and complicated. Most importantly, it isn't real-time. And in the world of search traffic, linking, etc - real-time is critical. Analytics is unique, however, in two important capacities: being able to set activity goals and being able to integrate with AdSense. Unless you are using expensive systems like Mediaplex or Omniture - action-based tracking is quite valuable.

2) I install the wordpress plugin SlimStat on all of my wordpress-based sites (which is more than traditional blogs). SlimStat is terrific because it is shows every incoming click, referral, domain, etc. It is fascinating. I can press refresh and entertain myself for hours. It also is immensely helpful (particularly for SEO experts and/or serious bloggers). SlimStat has some serious problems though: it doesn't scale well at all. Under 25,000 pageviews a day and it hums... Anything more and it is a memory suck that takes seconds to load (suddenly making real-time not so real-time). SlimStat also doesn't archive data. So it's a great snapshot of what's happening now - but not what's happened overtime.

3) I turn Quantcast on for all of my sites. In terms of basic traffic statistics, Quantcast makes things remarkably simple, enables easy comparisons between sites, and gives an accurate third-party / public representation of your data (which can be quite important).

I've never personally paid for an analytics application because I haven't had a need to. Between Analytics, SlimStat and Quantcast - all of my needs have been served.

But for some reason I paid $30 for Mint last night and am thankful I did. Although I'm not going to turn off those three other accounts, I will be checking Google and SlimStat with far less regularity. Mint does 95% of the total job - but it does that portion extremely well. And the best part - it's customizable, lightweight and the code is flexible enough to enable third-party apps and plugins.

I'm addicted. Already encouraged numerous people to give it a try.