Saturday, March 31, 2007

A powerful thought when creating something new

Here's an interesting thought to ponder when trying to create something new, oh like maybe a creative community of extraordinarily talented people.

It is only when marketing theory offers a plausible statement of causality, and is built upon circumstance-based categorization (segmentation) schemes that managers can confidently assert what features, functions and positioning will cause customers to buy a product.

Companies that target their products at the circumstances in which customers find themselves, rather than at the customers themselves, are those that can launch predictably successful products. Put another way, the critical unit of analysis is the circumstance and not the customer.

Clayton Christensen, The Innovator's Solution: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth

Longtail of relationships

We've talked here before about the concept of the longtail. If we access markets physically, say in a retail store, generally our options are limited to the fewest items that have the highest volume - the best sellers. But through technology we can considerably extend our reach deeper into the market to access a much greater variety of items that have much lower volume. Think what does with books.

Josh Fraser of Curio Solutions, who helped us create the online registration system for InnoVenture, realized through technology members of the Swamp Fox Community are access the longtail of relationships. Over 700 people came to InnoVenture. None of us has time to follow-up with each of them individually. But the technology behind the Swamp Fox Community will allow members to efficiently search for, and in the future keep up with, other members with the expertise and resousrces they need to be successful.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Exclusivity and control somehow means freedom.

Facebook started two years ago. Today it has some 16 million users, half of whom use it everyday.

The secret: Exclusivity and control somehow means freedom. Hmmm... interesting.

The problem with patents

I had an investment for several years in Specialty Electronics in Landrum, which had a patent on a electronic connector we were pretty excited about. Almost before Specialty could bring it to market, Chinese competitors were selling the parts. Specialty alleged that Motorola, one of its largest customers, had ripped off their intellectual property to drive down the cost. In deciding what to do, a veteran partner of mine said, "Son, Motorola will airlift an battalion of attorneys into the fight. Best you rack this one up to experience and live to fight another day." He was right, but remembering back on the experience still makes my blood pressure rise.

Here's another patent war story. Jeez, what a mess!

Affinity Announces Court’s Grant of Federated’s Summary Judgment Motion

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Even more of the 639 extraordinary people in the Swamp Fox Community you want to know

Immediately upon registering to attend InnoVenture 2007, you'll be able to see everyone else that is registered. As of today, there are 639 extraordinarily talented people you'll want to know in the Swamp Fox Community, which is growing daily.

Bert Stuck
GE Energy

Greenville, SC
I have 25 years with GE in both the Aviation and Energy businesses. I have held a variety of engineering design and management positions primarily related to the development of new products and services. Currently I manage Engineering Operations for GE Energy's Engineering Division and am helping lead GE's participation at InnoVenture 2007.
Steve Swanson
Automated Trading Desk

Mount Pleasant, SC
President and Chief Executive Officer , is also one of the founding members of Automated Trading Desk, LLC (ATD), the pioneer of automated limit-order technology. Focuses on leading operations and developing and maintaining groundbreaking trading models and services. His extensive programming and financial knowledge complements ATD's unique and innovative corporate culture.
Rik Vandevenne
River Cities Capital Funds

Raleigh, NC
River Cities Capital Funds is a $350MM venture fund focused on the Southeast and Midwest. We invest in high growth companies in the Healthcare and IT sectors. I am a Vanderbilt engineering grad with a Duke MBA. I worked in consulting for 6 years before entering the venture capital world.
Ron Fulbright
University of South Carolina Upstate

Spartanburg, SC
Ron Fulbright has over 25 years experience in software engineering and information technology. As the first Chair of the Department of Informatics, Dr. Fulbright is leading the development of a unique multi-disciplinary program in information technology. Dr. Fulbright's research interests include: computer aided innovation, emergence in complex adaptive systems, and organizational informatics.
Wolfgang Schmittinger
Clemson University

Clemson, SC
I am a German citizen. Since August 2005, I am a Clemson University student pursuing a MS degree in Mechanical Engineering. I obtained my undergraduate degree “Dipl.-Ing. Maschinenbau (FH)” with an emphasis on Automotive Engineering at the FH Trier. I am working on the field of PEM fuel cells, focusing on durability. My goal is to work for a car manufacturer on alternative power plants.
Ralph Heredia

Greenville, SC
A highly energetic leader with strong technical skills, creativity, business and sales experience. Highly effective at developing and strengthening relationships with technology suppliers, manufacturers, and customers. Inventor of the Zipit Wireless Messenger and several other key technologies. A strong technical contributor that holds a number of patents.
Frank Skinner
UNC Charlotte

Charlotte, NC
Frank Skinner has a BSME from Georgia Institute of Technology and his MSME from the University of Massachusetts. He has accumulated 12 patents while working for Whirlpool Corporation, General Electric and others. Frank is currently the Director of Industrial Solutions at UNC Charlotte where he created the course “Mechanical Innovations” and the UNC Charlotte Inventors Council.
Selester Bennett
Nature Diagnostics

Blacksburg, VA
Selester Bennett is the President and Business Development Officer of Nature Diagnostics, Inc. Nature Diagnostics is focused on the development and commercialization of diagnostic systems for the raw and prepared food markets. Mr. Bennett has a Masters in Molecular Biology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) and has over 15 years of experience.
Tim Mousseau
University of SC

Columbia, SC
Professor of Biological Sciences, USC - Associate Dean for Research, College of Arts and Sciences - Former NSF Program Officer.
Craig O'Neal

Greenville, SC
As the co-founder of VantagePoint, Craig is responsible for the vision and strategic direction of the company. Under his leadership, VantagePoint has become well-recognized for its forward thinking and pragmatic approach. Craig brings nearly 30 years of management experience to his position.
If that's not enough, here's 7 more... and 6 more... and 7 more... and 6 more... and 1 more... and 8 more.

Sparks will fly!

250 organizations with people registered to attend InnoVenture 2007 as of March 17th

As of March 25, 2007, here are the 288 organizations represented by the individuals registered to attend InnoVenture 2007.

AceEngine, Inc.
Adena Ventures
AFL Telecommunications
Agfa HealthCare
Align HR
A-Metrics LLC
Argolyn Bioscience
Argus Recruitment Solutions
ATD, LLC/ SC Venture Capital Investment Authority
Atlantic Capital Partners LLC
Azalea Capital, LLC
BB&T Capital Partners
Blue Cross Blue Shield South Carolina
Blue Ridge Entrepreneurial Council
BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC
BoroScience International, Inc
BroadSource Inc
Brushy Creek Capital, LLC
Business Innovation & Growth (BIG)
Byrum Innovation Group, Inc.
Capital Business Funding
Carlton Fields
carolina first bank
Carolinas MicroOptics Triangle
Cedar Ventures
Center For Global Strategies
Champion Communications
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
Charleston Regional Development Alliance
Charlotte Research Institute at UNC Charlotte
Chubb & Son
Chubb Insurance Group
City Meter, Inc.
City of Clemson
City of Greenville
City of Johnson City
Clemson University
Clemson University - Spiro Institute
Clemson University Research Foundation
Clockwork CFO & Controller Services
Computer Software Innovations, Inc.
Cotesworth & Company LLC
CRE Capital
CreatiVasc Medical LLC
Curio Solutions Inc.
Data Network Solutions
DigitalDerm, Inc.
Dixon hughes PLLC
Edward Jones - Tony Peters
Edward Jones & Co.
Elliott Davis Capital Partners
Elliott Davis, LLC
Entrepreneurial Resources, LLC
ERC Broadband
ETSU Innovation Lab
F360 Photo+Design
FastFetch Corporation
Ferncreek Creative
First Sun Management Corporation
FirstString Research, Inc.
Fluor Corporation
Frontier Capital Investments
FUJIFILM Manufacturing U.S.A., Inc.
Fulcrum Ventures
Furman University
Gallivan, White & Boyd, P.A.
GE Aviation
GE Energy
GE Infrastructure
GE Large Gas Turbines, LLC
Gen Cap America, Inc.
Gnoso Inc.
Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce
Greater Greenville Chamber of Commerce
Greenville Area Development Corporation
Greenville Convention & Visitors Bureau
Greenville County Council
greenville county human relations
GSA Technology Council
Hamrick Mills
Heraeus Tenevo LLC
In Any Event
InfoChex, LLC
Information Dynamics
Innovative Odor Solutions
InsituTec Inc
Invista Performance Materials
ISO Poly Films, Inc.
Johnson Management, LLC
Juno Investors
Kentucky Innovation & Commercialization Center
Kiawah Capital, LLC
Kilpatrick Stockton LLP
Lab Escape, Inc.
Laser Pharmaceuticals
Leatherwood Walker Todd & Mann, PC
Liquid Highway
LiveCargo, Inc.
Lockheed martin
LSIngram, LLC
Mace Marketing Group
Margin Holdings
Marketplace Staffing Services, Inc.
Materials Innovation Technologies, LLC
McNair Law Firm, P.A.
Meakem Becker Venture Capital
Medical University of South Carolina
Meritus Ventures, L.P.
Metromont Corporation
MFC Technologies, LLC
Michelin Americas Research & Development Corp.
Michelin North America
Midlands Technical College
Miller & Company
Milliken & Company
Milliken Chemical
Milliken Research Corporation
Morphogenix, LLC.
Multicast Media
Multicast Media Networks
MUSC Foundation for Research Development
Nature Diagnostics
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP
Netriplex, LLC
Nexsen Pruet, LLC
Nexus Medical Partners
Nol-Tec Southeast
Noro-Moseley Partners
North Carolina Biotechnology Center
north gate labs
nuBridges LLC
Nuts & Such
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Office of U.S. Senator Jim DeMint
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak and Stewart
On the Go
Oracle Corp.
Outdoor Interactive, Inc.
Paladin and Associates
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
Peachtree Equity Partners
Peak 10
Personal Pathways to Success
Piedmont Angel Network
Powell Goldstein LLP
ProActive Technology
PropertyBoss Solutions
Q Tires, Inc.
radii llc
Ralston Payne Enterprises LLC
Resource Partners Referral Network
Revolution D, Inc.
River Cities Capital Funds
Roche Carolina, Inc.
Rounsville Business Development, Inc.
Sabal Medical
Savannah River National Laboratory
SC Business Review - ETV Radio
SC Chamber of Commerce
SC Council on Competitiveness
SC Department of Commerce
SC Department of Revenue
SC Governor's School for Science and Mathematics Foundation
SC Launch!
SC Office of Research and Statistics
SC State Ports Authority
SC Technical College System
SC Venture Capital Investment Authority
SC's Council on Competitiveness
SCANA Corporation
SCBIZ Magazine -- freelance writer
Selah Technologies, LLC
Semaphore, Inc.
Sensory Analytics, LLC
Sequence Investment Partners
Servosity On Demand Backup
Setcom Media
SJF Ventures
Small Business Loan Source, LLC
Smart Work | Network, Inc.
Smith Premier Services
Smith Premier Services/JM Smith Corporation
South Carolina Business One Stop - SC Dept of Revenue
South Carolina Department of Commerce
South Carolina Interactive
Southeastern Institute of Manufacturing & Technology
Specialty & Custom Fibers, LLC
St. Jude Medical, CRMD
State of North Carolina
Stipkala LLC
SwaimBrown PA
Swamp Fox LLC
Tate Center for Entrepreneurship
Tatum LLC
Team IV Automotive Performance
TETRAD Technologies Group & Cyclone Technologies
The Capital Corporation
The Capital Corporation / SCP
The Creative Coast Initiaitive
The Firm Answer
The Greenville News
The Mariner Group, LLC
The Richards Group, LLC
The Timken Company
TiBA Solutions LLC
TIP Strategies
Tobin Solitario Investment Banking Group LLC
Traction, Inc.
Trevelino/Keller Communications Group
Twining Enterprises
U.S. Senator Jim DeMint
UBS Financial Services
UCI Communications, LLC
UK Trade & Investment
UNC Charlotte
UNC Charlotte/CMOT
University of South Carolina
Upstate SC Alliance
UT-Battelle/Oak Ridge National Lab
Vigilix, LLC
Vivid2&Co. LLC
Washington Savannah River Company
Watermark Advisors
Widget Works, LLC
Wyche Burgess Freeman & Parham P.A.
ZDD, Inc.
Zeus Industrial Products, Inc.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Darla Moore on Being Competitive - A New Carolina Manifesto #1

Below is an interesting new project from New Carolina to stimulate discussion on important topics.
This is a special delivery to you from New Carolina: Our first Manifesto – one in a series of writings and conversations from South Carolina's thought leaders.

The first one is from Darla Moore on "Being Competitive."

Help us get a conversation started around change that will create new energy, new ideas, new action, and new jobs in South Carolina.

Visit us at

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

What happens when everything becomes available to everyone?

“The story of the Long Tail is really about the economics of abundance – what happens when the bottlenecks that stand between supply and demand in our culture start to disappear and everything becomes available to everyone.”

This is an interesting thought provoking article. THE ELONGATING TAIL OF BRAND COMMUNICATION

Sunday, March 11, 2007

One of the 50 most interesting people on the planet - and he's ours

There are not many people in my life that are blow the doors off smart, but Wofford President Bernie Dunlop is one of them. I got to know Bernie when he moderated my Liberty Fellowship class. He's a true Renaissance man.

Now some of the most influential people in the world at the TED Conference have figured out that he is one of the 50 most interesting people on the planet.

Did they ever get that right!

One giant leap for the University of South Carolina...

Contragulations to everyone with the vision and tenacity to make Innovista a reality!

Innovista Announces First Major Private Sector Tenant
The addition of Duck Creek Technologies to Columbia further positions the area to become the new headquarters for insurance technology firms. With other insurance software companies already located in Columbia, including CSC and Fiserv — two companies that are divisions of Fortune 500 companies — the addition of Duck Creek Technologies helps Columbia build on its strong insurance market and existing capabilities.

Last 500 years of wealth creation

Where to from here?

Wealth in the year 1500
World travel

Wealth in the year 2002
World travel

© Maps Copyright 2006 SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan).

Still more of the 303 extraordinary people in the Swamp Fox Community you want to know

Immediately upon registering to attend InnoVenture 2007, you'll be able to see everyone else that is registered. As of today, there are 183 incredible people you'll want to know in the Swamp Fox Community, which is growing daily.

William Gartner
Clemson University

Clemson, SC
William B. Gartner is the Arthur M. Spiro Professor of Entrepreneurial Leadership at Clemson University. He is one of the co-founders of the Entrepreneurship Research Consortium, which initiated, developed and managed the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED). He was the lead editor of The Handbook of Entrepreneurial Dynamics, which provides an overview of the PSED research project.
Gregory Zaic
Nexus Medical Partners

Boston, MA
Gregory F. Zaic is a general partner with Nexus Medical Partners. Mr. Zaic has over 20 years of venture capital investment experience, focused on companies in the medical technology/life science area. Prior to Nexus, he had a role in the management of six venture capital funds (general partner of four of them).
Jeff Doose
Adena Ventures

Athens, OH
Jeff Doose is a Partner of Adena Ventures and a member of the fund's investment committee. He serves on the Boards of Directors of BestTransport,Visum, and Mersive Technologies.
Mark Boxer
AFL Telecommunications

Duncan, SC
I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering, and have worked in the fiber optics industry for close to 20 years. I currently work with municipalities, residential home developers, internet service providers, and telephone companies to develop fiber to the home telecommunications systems.
Sean Ryan
Traction, Inc.

Mt. Pleasant, SC
Mr. Ryan is a technology entrepreneur and investor. He spent his early career as a Senior Manager with Accenture Consulting. He was then offered an opportunity to join DigitalRiver (NASDAQ:DRIV) where he was the Senior Director of Software Engineering. Later, he became the Chief Technology Officer for ExactTarget, a highly successful VC funded startup.
Mike Fiddy
UNC Charlotte/CMOT

Charlotte, NC
Michael Fiddy received his Ph.D from the University of London in 1977, and was a post-doc in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London before becoming a faculty member at Kings College, London University in 1979. Dr. Fiddy moved to the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 1987 where he was ECE Department Head from 1994 until 2001.
Russell Cook
SC Launch!
Columbia, SC
Russell Cook, SCCED, is the Program Director for SC Launch!, a South Carolina Research Authority collaboration. SCRA leads the Knowledge Economy in South Carolina and the nation by successfully advancing applied research and technology through collaboration.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

A few more of the 254 extraordinary people in the Swamp Fox Community you want to know

Immediately upon registering to attend InnoVenture 2007, you'll be able to see everyone else that is registered. As of today, there are 183 incredible people you'll want to know in the Swamp Fox Community, which is growing daily.

Juan Pablo Hinestrosa
Clemson University

Clemson, SC
I am a Ph.D. student in the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Clemson University. Since I was doing my B.S. in my home country I have been very interested in the development of new business, in fact, in my undergradute thesis I found a new use for a residue from an aluminum plant. This idea is now in process to become a separate plant.
Dave Lawrence
ETSU Innovation Lab

Johnson City, TN
Director of the ETSU Innovation Lab since 2004. Prior experience as a small business counselor and adjunct instructor of Management and Marketing. Retired from Eastman Chemical Company after 31 yrs service in a variety of areas: chemistry research, chemicals sales, product management, director of fine chemicals business organization, director of corporate strategy, mergers and acquisitions.
Hagen Rogers
Watermark Advisors

Greenville, SC
Watermark Advisors, a boutique investment banking firm located in Greenville, focuses its I-banking practice on Southeast-based, mid-market companies that are facing growth and/or liquidity issues. Watermark's advisors are highly knowledeable veterans of the finance world with more than 30 years of combined investment banking experience.
Chuck Cooper

Charlotte, NC
After owning privately held businesses for 14 years I have been a consultant specializing in working with small to medium size business owners on a national scope.
Jonathan Moreno
Center For Global Strategies

Columbia, SC
Jonathan Moreno is the Chief Operating Officer of The Center for Global Strategies. The Center for Global strategies exists to connect emerging and isolated societies to the global economy/community primarily through private sector initiatives.
Gregory Holmes
Sequence Investment Partners

Charleston, SC
Greg is a managing director with Sequence Investment Partners, LLC. He has more than 20 years of investment banking experience specializing in institutional sales and trading. Prior to Sequence, Greg was head of trading at Investec, a South African Investment Bank focusing on growth companies. Greg was also a managing director at Robertson Stephens for 12 years working in SF and NY.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I am registered for Innoventure 2007, and it feels pretty darn good.

Olivier Blanchard at The Brand Builder Blog is a gentleman and a scholar.

I am registered for Innoventure 2007, and it feels pretty darn good.

Why aren't African-Americans achieving all that they could?

Wow! This is a powerful article examining cultural issues both among African-Americans themselves and employers that keep African-Americans from achieving all they can. Overcoming invisible cultural barriers is a very tough nut to crack.

We can generalize the issue even beyond African-Americans. Across the board, the best in South Carolina are not performing at the level of our peers across the country.

An activist friend asked me one evening, "Do you think our culture is broken and we're just wasting out time?" The answer is no. We can be globally competitive if we get our act together. But I spent awhile on the phone today commiserating with another friend that changing our culture is a very tough nut to crack.

Friday, March 02, 2007

If you'd had this professor you'd understand economics!

This fellow is a hoot!

South Carolina Aims To Do Something Cool By Becoming The First "Hot" State

We've made tremendous progress in recent years, but I'm very concerned that the best in the world are accelerating faster than we are and the gap is widening.

We need a game changer, and I agree with Evan at OrangeCoat that this can be it: , South Carolina Aims To Do Something Cool By Becoming The First “Hot” State

By the way, I told my friend Senator Ritchie several years ago that I am the first volunteer for Ritchie For Governor! If you see him, encourage him to run. South Carolina need his vision and his leadership.