Archive for April, 2008

28
Apr
08

Buzzd Raises A Round & Buying Drinks In NYC

Hats off to my friend Nihal Mehta for raising a recent round of financing for his hot mobile startup BUZZD. I wrote about Buzzd earlier and those who are close to me know I’m a fan of this company and Nihal. Mehta was in my Omnicom world before he sold his mobile agency IPSH! and headed back to lab to cook up BUZZD. He’s got a slim, yet highly talented staff who are working hard to integrate this mobile platform to all of those who are ready to step up their mobile offering. BUZZD’s VP of Marketing Polly Lieberman told me about an amazing program with Hornitos Sauza tequilla that enables you to buy your friend a drink w/ their mobile phone

If you haven’t tried Buzzd, try it here on your mobile or text “Join” to 96321

25
Apr
08

Carol’s Daughter Launches Community Site & Social Media

Steve Stoute never ceases to amaze me with the moves he makes. Today Carol’s Daughter, the company Stoute invested in 4 years ago launched a community and social media strategy with community site, myspace page and twitter profile. Stoute’s investment in the company founder Lisa Price built made a lot of noise as the $10m round included his friends Jay Z, Will & Jada Pinkett, Jimmy Iovine, Tommy Mottola. In 1999 after making the products in her kitchen, Price opened up a store in Brooklyn. Today the product can be found in Sephora Stores, several boutiques nationwide and in 7 flagship stores including Harlem, Los Angeles and Jersey City.

The community page launched with a Mother’s Day essay contest where selected entries will receive Carol’s Daughter baskets for a year. This is a timely move for the company as their e-commerce revenues are supposed to be “staggering” and record breaking. As an “old school” Carol’s Daughter fan, it is not a shock that they do well online, upon moving to Atlanta I searched all over the state for their hair products. In a space that is starving for content, it will be interesting to see how far Stoute takes the content offering online.

16
Apr
08

Will Smith & Overbrook Back PluggedIn.com

Will Smith and James “JL” Lassiter and their Overbrook Entertainment company have jumped into the online venture capital game with an investment in Santa Monica, CA based Pluggedin.com. Overbrook’s interactive media investments and business is being run by Guy Primus, formerly at Starbucks. I spent time with Primus during his days running P-Diddy’s Blue Flame Advertising/Marketing and always found him to be one of the “brighter lightbulbs” in the business.¬† Being called the “Hulu for Video” by some blogs the video music site will launch with 10,000 free, high-quality music videos licensed from Universal, Sony BMG and EMI. Plugedin’s founder is former X-Drive founder Brett O’Brien and the company is led by Jeff Somers who left Zillow for the sex and sizzle of the entertainment space. Pluggedin’s advantage is around their¬† high-definition media player that minimizes buffering, by streaming content in small bits and adjusting the flow depending on connection speeds. Having a chance to play around with the site, it does live up to the promise and it will be great to see how they fare in the space. Having some good ol’ South Philly money with power behind you is always a good addition.

15
Apr
08

Celebrating The Life Of George Butler

I happened to catch the news of the passing of a music industry legend, George Butler. I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Butler when I started working at Columbia Records in the 90’s. His name in the 550 Madison building was legendary and I remember him also for his dress. This was back in the day when your suit said it all. This guy was a legend so you can imagine the horror when I could barely find news on his departure. So I hit my digital network and connected with one of my “uncles” Vernon Slaughter who was kind enough to share this with us

My friend, James Andrews has graciously allowed me the space to share a few
words about the passing of a great man and a truly key influence in the
recording industry.

Dr. George Butler passed away on Wednesday, April 9, 2008. He had been long
suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia and his last few years were very
difficult. It’s sheer irony that a disease that literally makes you forget
who you are would take from us a man who accomplished so very many
unforgettable things. From signing and producing Wynton and Branford
Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr., Ronnie Laws, Bobbi Humphries, Marlena Shaw,
Ramsey Lewis, Nancy Wilson, Ronnie Foster, The Heath Brothers and so many
more while at Blue Note Records and Columbia Records. George lectured
extensively at many colleges and universities over the world. He was
totally unselfish about sharing his knowledge.

While at Columbia Records, George develop a reputation of being extremely
accessible (as well as being an extremely sharp dresser). He along with
Bruce Lundvall and myself formed the core of Jazz and Progressive Music
during the 70s and 80s while at Columbia. During that period, we dealt with
the cream of the crop including the above-referenced artists as well as
Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, George Duke, Return to Forever, Stanley
Clarke, Miles Davis, Hubert Laws and so many more.

During his final years, George was taken care of by his sister, Jacqueline
Butler Hairston. This wonderful woman deserves tremendous credit for the
sacrifices she made solely out of love for her brother. We must not
forget the many contributions on behalf of this art form made by Dr. George
Butler.

Vernon Slaughter

11
Apr
08

PINGG:The New EVITE

Found a very cool new toy I will definitely start playing with called PINGG which is a much sexier “evite-type” site filled with fancier, sexier and hipper designs and much more web 2.0. functionality. Allows you to use their SURROUND-SEND functionality which basically means one invite that goes to web, email, mobile and Facebook.

http://www.pingg.com




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