Lately a number of my friends seem to be having great wins and making their mark on the industry in awesome ways. When I first moved out to Silicon Valley (starting with a short trip in 2006) I already knew (by reputation) many of the names and personalities that made up the ecosystem. I read them on blogs, listened to them on podcasts and generally admired their work and learned from their ideas.
Once coming out here, I got to know many of them personally. Some let me down, others surprised me with their generosity and still others became wonderful friends.
I'd like to highlight just a couple of those today because they've been on my mind.
Jeremiah Owyang (and his new partners Deb Schultz & Charlene Li) has/have always struck me as one of the hardest working and smartest people in the valley.
Most recently I've had the pleasure to get to know Jeremiah on a personal level but had never actually worked with him 1:1 on anything serious before.
That changed last week when we sat down for a real 'business meeting'. He blew my mind. That doesn't happen often. His blog posts only show a fraction of the mans thinking. Not only does he think 5 steps ahead, he manages to find a way to package it on his blog in a way that even laymen can understand.
I am so happy for his collaboration at Altimeter. Jeremiah, Debs and Charlene are the nicest people and are all wicked smart.
Those that have been around me in the last 12 months have probably heard me talk about the need for an Altimeter group style firm and I'm glad that they are the ones to pull it off. They've done it with grace, style and stunning execution.
Can't wait to see what they do next.
Stephanie Agresta is another of the people that I got to know as a friend once moving out here. For some reason and on some level we connected as kindred spirits who love to smile.
I've always felt like she had an undeserved level of faith and affection for me - but I accepted it gladly because it meant she wanted to hang out!
She too has recently made a move that not only befits her stature as a connector and thinker, but also rewards her kind spirit and positive attitude.
She gave me her new card at her birthday the other day - it says EVP of Social Media, Global - Porter Novelli (or something like that hah). EVP, Global, Porter Novelli. Are you serious!?
This is such wonderful news for our community because it means that someone who not only gets it, but loves it and is one of us, is in a position to help the brands we all know and love.
These are just two of my friends who have gotten what they deserve lately - in the best meaning of the phrase possible.
If I can help any of you reading this to achieve your goals, please let me know. This whole ecosystem, worldwide, is built on pay-it-forward. And I have a lot to pay forward.