Invitation to explore the Future of the Conversational Web…

Invitation to explore the Future of the Conversational Web

I believe Spring 2017 MoNage, taking place March 21-23 in San Jose, CA has the making of being a LANDMARK Event.

MoNage is going to explore the FUTURE of the Conversational Web; the CONVERGENCEof Computing, AI, Communications, and the underlying ecosystems. This conference is ideal for Investors, Entreprenuers, Strategists, Thinkers, and ANYONE who is interested in what will be the NEXT BIG THING.

This video describes what I have been working on. Please watch and if you can think of someone, who can benefit from joining this conversation, please share this message.

For more information, please visit the Spring 2017 MoNage website, Our “early bird” pricing ends on February 24th and available space is limited.


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Data Gathering.

First, they need to rethink the metrics they’re tracking. There’s this assumption that the more data you have, the better your marketing will be. But you have to ask: Is your data measuring the things that drive growth? – Merkle’s Chief Growth Officer, Adam Lavelle,
Not looking specifically at marketing, but rather business data gathering in general, Lavelle’s observation is spot on. How many businesses collect data simply for data’s sake and because the boss or business owner said to do it that way. How many monthly business reports are created simply as busy work for employees? How many of those reports are read and acted upon? How many of those reports are simply filed away with the appropriate check box marked, that the report was completed and filed.
While on active duty in the U.S. Navy there were always a plethora of monthly reports due. Some critical and others, not so much. We would complete all the reports and send off the ones, historically known for being critical, while keeping the other reports filed in the office. More often than not many of the reports were never followed up upon by the requestor. If the report was followed up on, we’d acknowledge the request and send off the report. It was a clear and determined way to designate just how important or not requests were from those higher up the food chain.
Business owners who can’t, don’t or won’t, enroll their employees in the basics and background of data gathering, alienate those employees from the business and the data gathering becomes only busy work.

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Blockchain: “It’s Going to Radically Transform Our Society’s Institutions”

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Marketing Department FAIL.

Marketing Department FAIL

Marketing Department FAIL.


While I’m honored that foursquare thinks so highly of my financial status, it is readily apparent the they’ve not done their homework. As I don’t have nor have ever had an American Express Card, it would seem that someone didn’t do their due diligence prior to the purchase of the database.

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Initial podcast.

Initial podcast.

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Wedgie issue?

So this is our tax dollars at work for the pending ACA.

Wedgie issue? Wash. ad suggests not enrolling in state exchange could be painful [pic]

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5 Inbound Marketing Strategies that worked for our Enterprise SaaS Product

5 Inbound Marketing Strategies that worked for our Enterprise SaaS Product


Fedena (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When we started the company in 2009 and launched the first version of our SAAS product in 2010, we started selling ERP to schools with feet on street sales team. It was hard with no results. Some principals even said “I will pay you for not selling this to me, please disappear!” It was tough selling ERP which is a known fact to any seller in the education industry. The sales cycle can get as long as 6 ­ 8 months.

Since being a startup we couldn’t increase our expenses, so we started looking for a better model for selling ERP. And as they say ‘Necessity is the mother of all inventions’, we found that using inbound marketing model, we could make the schools and re­sellers approach us for the product. This also reduced the sales cycle to 1 ­ 2 months. We even started closing deals within a days time.
Introduction to inbound marketing (For those who are new to this term)
When we go and sell a product/service to customers they feel that they are being sold
something which they don’t actually require and they don’t want to buy. The institutions were working efficiently without implementing any ERP and this made them reluctant to implement an ERP software all of a sudden. But there will be few, who would be looking out for a solution, and when you approach these institutes, you can provide them with the best out of your least value. Thus degrading your product value; and if you have committed any services then you are doomed. Now with inbound marketing the same customer will pay a higher amount visiting our store/website which costs him more (Total cost ­ cost of visiting our physical office or hiring us to give them demo).
As Steve Jobs said “You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new.” This is very true for any ERP solution.
In Inbound marketing strategy people visit your site (come to your website/store) when they are really looking out for solution/business and they find you, therefore make sure that the website and your online presence are so strong that they turn into leads prospects. Such customers then don’t bargain (but you can’t stop the Indian customers! ­ Beware). But the demerit is that you will lose the customers who don’t fit in your product model. You will have to say ‘NO’ to some customers in order to have a scalable model. It means that, only those customers will purchase your product who are a perfect fit to your product model and hence less churn out. Thus the Life Time Value (LTV) of the customer will increase and a solid revenue model evolves. To say, this strategy has got its own merit and demerit but for a startup if this works then it’s great.


Inbound Strategy 1: Giving the basic product as free & open source
For us the inbound marketing has worked so well that, our open source version of the product gets around 150­200 downloads per day. Our product has amassed more than 65,000 downloads over period of 3 years. For an ERP this is a huge achievement. The opensource version is marketed by the eminent personalities in opensource community. To add to this prestigious institutes in India, IIM and IIT (one each) is now powered by Fedena. This wouldn’t have happened if we were to go and sell to the premier institutes. A specific percentage of these free downloads got converted as paid customers.
Inbound Strategy 2: Interviewing happy customers and publishing in blog.
We constantly interviewed our happy customers and published the interviews in official product blog. The new prospects reading these interviews got convinced about the product quality and converted as paying customers.
Inbound Strategy 3: Applying to various award competitions and winning the awards
increased credibility & conversion Never leave a startup competition un­participated. When we hear of an award winning product we come to value the product’s credibility. This really is a strong point in making the sale.

Inbound Strategy 4: Free demo with full documentation.
Our competitors were hiding demo of the product. You might have felt that once you are in a website and if you don’t find the demo of the product to test the product instantly and freely you are not going to try that product. But on the same time if you provide the access for a free demo, people try the product instantly and once he enters data into the trial version and if he likes the system he signs up and gets converted.
Inbound Strategy 5: Celebrating even small success in social media
We were never shy to celebrate even the small success in Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Now internet marketing is all about content driven marketing. The likes, comments, shares are valued more than other normal content marketing. Because here the users are rating the relevance of the content you posted and the web spiders rank those highly which get better ranking for your website. Implies the domain authority of your website increase when people talks about your product. Also it enables to spread your product information to all your fans and related ecosystem easily and effectively.
Abdulla Hisham
Abdulla Hisham is the cofounder and MD of Foradian technologies. Hisham drives the marketing and business development initiatives of Foradian. Foradian’s product Fedena was one of the winner of Edustars 2012. Checkout their product at www.fedena.comPhoto ­


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Vail Valley Partnership Announces New Member Benefit

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Leadership Organization Offers One-Year Membership to Partnership Members

(Vail, CO) – Vail Valley Partnership (VVP) today announced the implementation of a new membership benefit in collaboration with local nonprofit, Vail Leadership Institute (VLI).

VLI, a leadership development organization based in the Vail Valley, will offer all VVP members a free one-year “Seeker” membership to the Institute. The Seeker membership is an introductory level, designed to familiarize people with the Institute’s leadership development and programming. The Seeker membership will provide all participating Partnership members access to the quarterly Leadership Insights Forum and connect them with other local leaders who are committed to the future of the Vail Valley.

Together, Buck Elliott, Art Currier and John Horan-Kates launched Vail Leadership Institute in 1997 as a nonprofit educational organization. Since it’s inception, VLI has continued to offer programs, retreats and courses to help people apply Inside First ™ leadership. The Inside First™ philosophy is a process that, ‘starts within, clarifying purpose, values and beliefs that differentiate our character, and then emanates outward, advanced by the skills of visioning and planning to guide our actions and relationships.’ Vail Leadership Institute has been a member of the Partnership since 2009.

“Vail Leadership Institute, much like the Partnership, plays a role in economic development and the nurturing of the local business community. The Institute is proud to be working with the Partnership to help connect people to resources they will need to build enduring businesses that are lead by character-driven executives and entrepreneurs. Like any business resource, it is the connection of the people that really makes the magic happen,” said Ross Iverson, general manager for the Institute’s Entrepreneurs BaseCamp program.

Vail Valley Partnership, in collaboration with the Economic Council of Eagle County and groups like VLI, works to provide local businesses with the resources to succeed, whether a current business in Eagle County or prospective. The synthesis of historical data and small business tools on VVP’s online Economic Development section with VLI’s applicable business lessons in the areas of ethics and guiding principles is a natural collaboration.

“Extending the VLI membership to our member businesses provides a great opportunity for reflection on ethics, normally an area of business that most entrepreneurs do not have the time to examine. We’re getting a business community that is not only better connected, but one that will lead conscientiously with thoughtfulness,” said Jeremy Rietmann, program manager at Vail Valley Partnership.

To activate your Seeker Membership, VVP members will first need to contact Ross Iverson at to receive their promo code and second, visit http:// to initiate their one-year membership.

For more information on Vail Leadership Institute, please visit

To learn more about additional VVP member savings and programming benefits, please contact Jeremy Rietmann at or call 970-477-4012.

About Vail Valley Partnership:

Vail Valley Partnership is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit organization that serves as the chamber and destination marketing organization for Eagle County, Colorado and the Vail Valley. Vail Valley Partnership (VVP) is a regional leader in sustaining and enhancing the Vail Valley as a tourism destination. Through group and leisure sales efforts, the VVP takes on a leadership role to bring groups, meetings, events and visitors to the Vail Valley for both the economic benefit of the member businesses we serve and the overall economic vitality of the community. In 2012, the Partnership’s destination sales and marketing efforts resulted in $69,000,000 of direct spending in the Eagle River Valley. For more information on the Vail Valley Partnership, please visit

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Vail Valley Partnership Introduces New Group Sales Manager

Vail Valley area...

Vail Valley area… (Photo credit: MyEyeSees)

Vail Valley Partnership Introduces New Group Sales Manager

Tina Schwab Joins the Team with a Focus on Colorado, International

(Vail, CO) – Vail Valley Partnership (VVP) announces that Tina Schwab has joined the team

as a Group Sales Manager. Tina will focus specifically on bringing Colorado and international

group and meeting business to the Vail Valley. Schwab comes to the Partnership with over 20

years of sales and marketing experience with previous employment including; Universal Access,

Level 3 Communications and Global Capacity. Schwab joins a team of four other group sales

managers including; Kim Brussow, John Carter, Heather Kerstiens and Sandra Perrig-Holst.

At the Partnership, Tina will focus her efforts on bringing group and meeting programs of all

sizes to the Vail Valley. Tina’s position will entail prospecting, locating and securing group

& meeting business through regular attendance at regional, state & national tradeshows,

conferences and meeting planner events. The Colorado market makes up over 50% of the

Partnership’s group business. With an extensive background in communication, sales, marketing

& promotion, Tina will be a great resource to returning and prospective new clients.

“It is such a privilege to live and work in the Vail Valley. I feel so fortunate to have the

opportunity to showcase our amazing lodging partners, community and friends to the Colorado

group and international markets. I look forward to being an advocate for the Vail Valley at

future industry events, conventions and trade shows,” said Tina Schwab.

Recruiting groups, meetings and weddings to the Vail Valley is something the Partnership places

a large and year-round emphasis on. Last year, VVP destination sales and marketing efforts

resulted in $69,000,000 of direct spending in the Eagle River Valley.

“We are pleased to have Tina join the Partnership’s sales team to build on our momentum in

groups & meetings from Colorado, as well as work with our international guests,” said Chris

Romer, president and CEO of Vail Valley Partnership.

For more information on group sales efforts at the Partnership, please visit http:// or call 970-476-1000.

About Vail Valley Partnership:

Vail Valley Partnership is a 501(c) (6) non-profit organization that serves as the chamber and

destination marketing organization for Eagle County, Colorado and the Vail Valley. Vail Valley

Partnership (VVP) is a regional leader in sustaining and enhancing the Vail Valley as a tourism

destination. Through group and leisure sales efforts, the VVP takes on a leadership role to bring

groups, meetings, events and visitors to the Vail Valley for both the economic benefit of the

member businesses we serve and the overall economic vitality of the community. In 2012, the

Partnership’s destination sales and marketing efforts resulted in $69,000,000 of direct spending

in the Eagle River Valley. For more information on the Vail Valley Partnership, please visit

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Vail Valley Partnership Welcomes New Members

English: Gore Creek Drive, Vail, CO

English: Gore Creek Drive, Vail, CO (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Vail Valley Partnership Welcomes New Members

18 Local Businesses and Organizations Join the Chamber


(Vail, CO) –Vail Valley Partnership is happy to welcome 18 new members in the last quarter

(April – June). Vail Valley Partnership is the official resource and advocate for business and

tourism in the Vail Valley with over 800 member businesses. Dedicated to ensuring local

business success, the Partnership creates regional economic vitality by partnering with local

businesses, collaborating with key stakeholders and through its extensive partnership base.

The Partnership serves three purposes in the Eagle River Valley as the Chamber of Commerce,

Destination Marketing Organization and Economic Development organization. The Partnership

strives to sustain and enhance the Vail Valley as a tourism destination and as a place to do

business by contributing to the identity and economic well being of the community.

Members of Vail Valley Partnership have access to a number of marketing benefits, educational

programs, cost-savings opportunities and networking events throughout the year as well as onetime media discounts with local partners.

New members include:

Advanced Exercise Equipment

Allegory Studios

Branching Out

Club at Cordillera

Diabetes Dynamics

Drift Innovation

Elevation Media Group

Fine Signs of Colorado

Fraser Construction

Freestyle Partners

Just Company

Law Office of Burton H. Levin

Oxi Fresh of the Rockies

Pettit Photography

Rocky Mountain Insurance & Financial

Travel Vail Baby

Weston Snowboards

“The Partnership welcomes our new members; we are working hard to continuously ensure

a strong membership program of marketing benefits, networking events and educational

opportunities to prospective businesses. The VVP is happy to welcome these new members and

look forward to helping them further their involvement in the community,” said Chris Romer,

president and CEO of Vail Valley Partnership.

As the regional Chamber, the Partnership keeps its pulse on local, regional and national leisure

travel & business trends to assure local businesses have a voice in the various areas that affect

business and tourism in Eagle County.

Please contact Jennifer Weintraub, Events & Membership Manager at (970) 477-4001 or by

email at with any questions regarding Vail Valley Partnership.

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