Category Archives: Darren Herman

Some Brief Updates – Jobs, Events, Thoughts, and My Son

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AdClub / ContextWeb Event
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I’m heading to the AdClub/ContextWeb event tomorrow at the NY Times building.  Should be a great event but not sure why they are only highlighting IPG, WPP, Omnicom, and Publicis.  MDC Partners (our holding company) and Havas are also doing some really interesting things in the Agency Demand Platforms space and are not participating.  We will be in the audience though and I’ll probably be taking some notes and tweeting (@dherman76).

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Posterous
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With many people talking about Posterous, I thought I’d give it a try.  Check out darrenherman.posterous.com.  I haven’t figured out where this fits in my thought stream, but I do like how easy it is to use.  I still have my Tumblr page which I used frequently for about six months, but have not updated it in a while.

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Varick Media Management
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We’re currently hiring at Varick Media Management.  For those who are interested in learning more about what we do, reference the NY Times article that came out about a month ago.

  • New Business Director – looking for someone mid-level to senior-level who wants to take the reigns on new business and own the revenue targets.  Looking for someone with experience with ad networks and exchanges, but not sell against an ad network model.  We’ve learned that this is a consultative sale with some ad operations knowledge a major plus.
  • Platform Manager – we are currently in the process of specing out our platform and are looking for someone who wants to strategically and tactically contribute.  Involves working with over a dozen data partners, multiple optimization organizations and design/development shops to build out our vision.

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My Man – David Matthew Herman (8 Months)
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David and Darren

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Secondary Markets (e.g. purchase shares of private companies)
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I’m personally fascinated with secondary markets but do not know much about them.  I’ve been playing around with SharesPost for the past few hours but would love to dive deep into it and other platforms like it.   If you know this space well or are building out interesting platforms, feel free to reach out.

Want National Promotion?

I’m being shot for an upcoming newspaper article (probably will be digitized as well) and am offering ANY designer the ability to send me a blazer (preferably navy blue, but will consider many options) and I’ll wear it in the photos.   Designers blazer will get national exposure in the top newspaper by appearing in the photograph.

Please contact me ASAP as I need it in my hands by 1:30pm today.  Will need two sizes to try:  40/42.  I’m located in Soho, NY – so that makes it easy to messenger down.

April Speaking Engagements

I have just returned from speaking at the OMMA Global conference with friends & industry luminaries John Battelle, Jason Calacanis, and Paul Kedrosky which was all about the intersection of advertising with technology.  If you missed the talk, Max Kalehoff, our panel moderator (and VP of Marketing @ Clickable) penned a nice piece in MediaPost.

I haven’t been out speaking much (nor updating this blog as often) as things have been extremely hectic back in the NYC office and with the birth of my son (now almost 5 months old!).  I was supposed to be speaking at the Web 2.0 Expo in SF this coming week but had a client conflict come up and had to back out at the last possible second which I absolutely hate doing because it hinders the flow of the conference.  Apologies again to both the conference organizers and all who I was supposed to meet with.

Currently, the following speaking engagements are on my schedule for April 2009:

  • Bootstrapper Summit, billed as “the most intimate venture capital conference.”  I’ll be talking on Wednesday, April 1 at 9:30AM on a panel with some friends about investing and executing in digital media.   If you would like to attend, I have 1 FREE pass to give away.  Please contact me thru this form and the first who reaches out will get the pass.
  • NYC Entrepreneurship Week.  I’ll be speaking on April 21 at 5:00PM on an evening panel about media.   Some of the topics include emerging trends in media and the current and future media landscape.

Looking forward to speaking at these events.

Digital Ramblings: LONG Post Warning

As I write this, I’m sitting in a Starbucks on 24th and 6th Ave and have been trying to collect my digital media thoughts over the past few weeks.  Apologies up front as they are eclectic.

•    Techmeme needs to launch an iPhone app as this would be my news source, displacing NY Times and WSJ.  I’d gladly pay for this.

•    I downloaded and played Zynga Poker on my iPhone 3G this weekend and loved it.  BTW, I am more of a fan of blackjack than Poker but the thought of social gaming was fantastic.  Nicely executed, Zynga.

•    The more screens there are in our society, the more they need to be cleaned.  I’ve spoken at length about starting an iPhone wipes company, but haven’t been able to get a supply source with enough margin to make it worthwhile.  My iPhone is filthy and I’m sure yours is too.  How do you clean yours?

•    I used to run the darrenSalon’s – they have been dead for the past year or so.  I’m thinking of doing a day up at a remote location about an hour north of the city.  We would focus on a specific topic – would this be of interest?

•    The way we learn and play instruments are changing.  Nintendo Wii is going to revolutionize the music space.  Yes, Rockband exists on Xbox 360 and PS3, but kids start with Wii prior to graduating to the more “intense” systems.  I’m curious to see how this is going to play out.

•    My friend Noelle took a job over at Indaba Music.  Congrats Noelle!

•    Boxee is really interesting for many reasons, but the first of which is getting digital content onto my living room TV.  I can watch everything from Fast Lane Daily to TED Talks, Hulu to Netflix.  Genius.  I want to see Boxee expand to the desktop as well in terms of a content distribution system inside of widgets.  Think PointCast model.  I’d be very interested in talking further about this.

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Thanks on Thanksgiving: Social Graph Style

I decided to be part of the status quo and write a “thanks” post as it’s Thanksgiving.  Other than being extremely thankful for my amazing wife and our newborn son, I’m extremely thankful for my health and all of the opportunities that have crossed my path.

Technology has allowed me to keep in touch with dozens of people I’d not normally speak to on a daily basis.  Because of the connections (both direct and indirect) created, many opportunities have come my way for investment, friendship, consulting, networking, mentorship, and otherwise that I wouldn’t normally have.

The image on the left is a screenshot of my facebook social graph, as produced by the TouchGraph application.  The top 50 relationships I have by Touchgraph’s algorithm’s are listed.  While you can’t really see much in this very small image, I’ve linked to the larger one here.

I’d like to personally thank the following people for pushing my intellectual curiosity further this year (2008) and for providing some sort of opportunity (that’s probably too confidential to post).  If you haven’t met these folks before, you probably want to get on their radar screen:

Charlie O’Donnell, Andrew Sispoidis, Joe Zawadzki, Brian O’Kelley, Nat Turner, Zach Weinberg, Barry Lowenthal, Brandon Berger, Nat Westheimer, Michael Galpert, Howard Lindzon, Roger Ehrenberg, Morty White, Thatcher Bell, Fred Wilson, Chris Fralic, Bijan Sabet, Steve Thibodeau, Jon Bond, Aaron Reitkopf, Erich Wasserman, John Battelle, Omar Tawakol, Satya Patel, Noelle Weaver, Andrew Parker, Brad Burnham, Josh Stylman, Greg Verdino, Joseph Jaffe, and Grant Lyons.

Besides my family and health, the most important thing to me is being intellectually stimulated and my friends above are doing amazing things and I’m thankful for knowing them.  Please note that I did not mean to leave anyone off the list, I may have overlooked a few people!

Inspirational: A New Look and Feel

Every year and a half or so, I’ve released a new look and feel for this blog.  I’m not a web designer (those were my early days) ]so it’s not like I want to show off some new skills that I have just learned.  I release a new theme purely for inspiration and to keep the blog fresh.  For those who want to see what this blog looked like over the past few years, check out Archive.org’s history.

I hope you enjoy the theme as it was designed by my friend Cristian Neagu of CandesProjects.  For those of you who have talked to or met Cristian, you know he’s one talented designer/developer who can handle many tasks.  I’ve known Cristian for a few years now and even opened my home to him when he came to America to work on an in-depth project with me.  He’s one heck of a guy and his skills are fantastic as well.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the new redesign – and happy early Turkey Day.

A Big Change…

This is not an Obama post.  I promise.  It’s far from it.

It’s about David Matthew Herman, born into the world on November 5, 2008.  Sherri and I have welcomed him with open arms (and a lot of pushing on behalf of Sherri) but he’s here now and I couldn’t be happier.  The 9 months of waiting were well worth it.  Blogging is going to be light over the next few weeks as my spare time is going to be “David” time… hang tight, I’ll be back soon.

David Matthew Herman

More photos continuously updated here.  I’m sure Sherri will be posting quite a bit on HermanWeb.

Big Week Coming Up… Web2.0 and @ShakeShack

Lots of exciting events in the next few weeks including Web2.0, @ShakeShack and the following week, Advertising Week.  I try to be extremely selective about which events I chose to attend as I learned early in my career that it’s extremely costly and most of the time, extremely redundant to attend two of similar events within a short time period as most of the people there are the same.

The first event next week is @ShakeShack, an event that nextNY is hosting on Tuesday the 16th.  I’ve been a member of nextNY from the beginning and have participated in a few of their gatherings such as Dodgeball (we managed to have a losing record).  We’ve got about 300 folks from the scene coming out on Tuesday night and will be a lot of familiar faces that I haven’t seen in a while as well, as, some new people who I consistantely hear about but have never met.  I’m excited that Sherri, my wife and up and coming blogger, will be joining me to meet many of the people I talk about and to hear some pitches of upcoming companies.  She/we currently an investor in Path101 and is always keeping her ears open for any opportunities.

Following ShakeShack, on September 18th, I’m going to be leading a session at Web2Open at the Web2.0 Expo along with Chris Cunningham of AppSavvy about how emerging digital media companies and startups should approach advertising agencies for ad dollars.  You would be shocked about how many times people come thru our door here at the agency and don’t know how to talk about their startup or digital media company.  Hopefully, Chris and I can shed some light so entrepreneuers can walk away from the session to better prepare themselves.

If you’re attending either and would like to meet up, certainly let me know.

Everyday

Lefsetz said this extremely well. Everyone should read the full posting.

Jump in the mud, mud
Get your hands filthy, love
Give it up, love
Everyday

Get up from that couch! Go out into the bright sunshine. Dial your crush and ask her for a date. It may be messy, but maybe not. Don’t be somnambulant, get out of your own way, don’t only embrace life, but eat it up. Everyday.