Category Archives: Darren Herman

Haystack

Looks like my friends over at Haystack Media are coming out of their shells… They added a blog to their teaser homepage called the Hayblog. I’m anxious to see what the service is like when it’s launched and how users will take to it.

MusicStrands and MySpace are some tough competition out there but I believe that where MySpace left off in regards the music world, Haystack Media could pick up. A consumer play within the music sharing business is not a simple or easy task (as well as cheap) so I’m assuming they have a super team lined up and some funding. I guess some of their announcements are to come soon… Stay tuned…

Check out Abby’s post about Filters and music.

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Toys For Tots – April 30, 2006

This past Sunday, my brother, Kenny Herman, helped arrange the Exotic Car Toys for Tots which had various members of FerrariChat.com and various other exotic car websites come to the NYU Medical Center on 34th and 1st and showcase their cars and donate toys for the sick children.  There was a great turnout- over 80 cars consisting of the Ferrari Enzo, new Ford GT, numerous Lamborghinis, Porsches, Ferraris, Vipers, Corvettes, Lotus, and even a beautiful classic Fiat.

The crowd was fantastic as everyone was willing to share about their cars.  The kids received toys ranging from toy cars to the famous and hot toy… Floam.  The SAS Group donated over 500 containers of Floam for the children of the hospital.

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Victorious! Dodgeball Winners

Last night, nextNY hosted a Dodgeball tournament down in the West Village/Soho area. There were roughly 40 people who came out separated amongst 6 teams. As the tournament was for nextNY members, we had the general mix of content, media, technology, venture capital and services companies represented.

I captained Team IGA and with the help of Andrew Gottlieb (Conducive Corp), Seth Bestmertnik (Link Experts), Christina Vidaic (IGA Worldwide), Brian Kelly +1 (IGA Worldwide), Brooke Wagner (Partnership for Drug Free America), Marc Lefton (Half Fiction), we beat Union Square Ventures in the finals.

We had a wonderful time playing with everyone and want to send a special thanks to Charlie who organized the event. Fantastic job to all the players and I look forward to the next event!

World Wide Web Dodgeball Tournament

I had the chance to lead/captain the IGA Worldwide/nextNY dodgeball team last week at Chelsea Piers. Our team, comprised of Brian, Noel, Andrew, Ashley, Christina, Kenny, and myself ended up in 3rd place which was a huge triumph! We fought off teams from AOL, MSN, Google, Happy Corp, Flavorpill, Yahoo, and Root.net and had an amazing time while doing it!

Special thanks to the Root.net folks who joined us in the later rounds as our team members had to leave. Looking forward to the next one! Congrats to MSN for winning the trophy!   Â

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PersonalDNA Test Results

I spent 30 minutes with PersonalDNA this morning.  One of my colleagues has taken a Myers-Briggs assessment and wanted me to do so as well, but I had heard of PersonalDNA thru another colleague and decided to try.  My results are pretty good- I agree with most of the things that they have assessed.

If you’d like to review my report, please click here.  Feel free to shoot me an email if you agree/disagree with the assessment.

The Fray: How To Save A Life Review

I normally do not review music on my blog, but there is a band that I can’t stop listening to, called The Fray. Their first release, on Epic Records (2005), titled “How To Save a Life” scored a 3/5 stars in Rollingstone. I wholeheartedly disagree.

The style of the band is: Keane meets Coldplay at a trendy lounge and the guys from the Counting Crows are standing in the near distance. The guitars have some fabulous “simple” riffs and the piano carries the band through their songs. I’m partial to the song, “Little House” as it reminds me of a classical music song (partial to Beethoven as I studied him).Â

I can see the band opening for O.A.R, Twin-A, Matt Nathanson, Ari Hest, the Clarks and obviously Keane (however, may be too similiar).

I am trying to score a ticket or two to the February 22, 2006 concert at the Bowery Ballroom here in NYC. Anyone have an extra?

Travel…Again….

Traveling again…was out of the NY office yesterday and visiting/working with our technology team in Connecticut…and today, heading up to Boston on a business trip but will be back in the office tomorrow morning. I’ll be working on a few postings whilst laying low for the 4.5 hour trip. Will post soon!Â

Future of Music

I’m currently reading The Future of Music by David Kusek and Gern Leonhard as I’m extremely fascinated by the digital music space. I dabbled in the digital music downloading space back in 2001 when Dynamify Records setup our own indie-distribution label and provided forth our own payment systems and DRM. After 6 months running Dynamify Records as a distribution only service, we shut it down due internal re-organization.

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So, I’m back taking a look at the space and see many applications for it. Growing up, we had Hotwire, Morpheus, Kazaa, eDonkey, EasyNews, and many other P2P and usenet programs that allowed the very simple downloading of whatever type of file you can imagine.

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Today, some of these services still exist, but organizations like the RIAA are going after users with lawsuits if they are illegally downloading owned IP. In the music industry, this is a very big deal as Britney Spears and Eminem have publicly said that illegal downloading is wrong – whereas, The Greatful Dead and Franz Ferdinand have publicly said it’s beneficial for the bands.

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One of the points the book brings up is that content is not king. Anyone has access to content. Kusek and Leonhard argue that the customer is King Kong and service is Godzilla. Interesting notion.Â

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ITunes is successful because it has the hardware and software that allows for the distribution of media efficiently. Services like Rhapsody and Napster don’t have the same simple process as Apple for downloading and storing on a portable media consumption device and thus are runners up to iTunes. When you own both the hardware (iPod) and software (iTunes), you can become a lot more effective in the distribution of your music than just owning one end of the value chain.

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It’s my belief that iTunes will convert to a hybrid payment model that will include subscription and pay-per-download to compete with Napster and all of the other subscription services. It is not cost beneficial to fill up your ipod with $10,000 worth of AAC files. Way too expensive. I’d be one of the first subscribers to their catalog if they would offer a subscription service…why not? It’s coming….

Major Press Day

Today was a major press day as I was featured as the spotlight interview on the release of Adotas.com. The interview can be found here. If you read the article, I dont know how much I look like Pete Sampras, but as a major tennis fan and coming from a tennis family, I highly respect it. Also, IGA Partners was written up in Crains New York Business Journal [subscription required] and Clickz.com. Lots of amazing press and a lot more to follow shortly.

I’ll be back in NYC on Friday and will be back to posting regularly then. Hang tight. (currently in Los Angeles and Santa Monica)

Brief Book Review: Madison & Vine (Scott Donovan)

A co-worker here at IGA Partners recommended I read Madison & Vine as he knows that I love business books. Madison & Vine is an Ad Age book so it gave it some extra credibility in my eyes. Going into this book, I had very high expectations for it due to the referral and the publisher.

I read about 10 pages a night *if that* due to my attention span, however, I was able to finish this ~180 page book within 4 days. The overall topics within the book are extremely interesting, but would I recommend this to a friend? Yes AND no. Yes- if they are not already in the entertainment/marketing industry and/or they are just starting out and have less than 3-5 years experience. i would NOT recommend this book to someone who is a thought leader in this space, as most of the text is very redundant and if you believe entertainment and marketing could work together, this book may seem pretty elementary.Â

There are some excellent interviews within the book however. The interviews aren’t in your typical Q&A fashion but they are written out within the text. I happened to like some of the quotes and case studies – and I’ll probably bring them up in different capacities (client meetings, internal meetings, conventions, etc).

I’d love to sit down with Scott Donovan (author) and pick his brands further, maybe a bit further for the folks involved within the industry since the start….