Featured Thought Leaders | Internet Summit 2011

by Holly Bazemore on November 16, 2011

in Social Media

Day 2 at the Internet Summit 2011 and the 8am session begins with Featured Thought Leader Marc Cendella.

Marc began by sharing his story and discussing how he loves jobs.  He worked for Hot Jobs before they were sold out to Yahoo.  He got started with his company through doing Google job searches for his cousins.  Marc says that waiting for perfection when it comes to design was not important.  His push was getting the site live and in his case he learned how to make his own site in 3 weeks with just over $300 in books he purchased on the subject.  He said, “If you get live, you can get better.”

He gave an example from when he was writing a check for the first office space that his company was getting.  He said that the signature line of that check was what separated the doers from the sayers.

There were also examples from the email updates that he sent to the donors that he had helping them out financially.  He said that the key to what he sent was the honesty and transparency.  He discussed their successes and progress no matter how small, as well as the challenges and bad days.  He said it was imperative to focus on the good days and to make it through the bad days.

Creation = Risk Taking

To start a new venture passion must be specific, and there has to be a desire to do something.  He also said it was important to stay ahead of the product life cycle and to think about the customers problem tomorrow not yesterday.


The second Featured Thought Leader was Marshall Brain.  Soon after he began, he gave a pizza parlor example.  He did a demonstration that showed someone coming into a pizza parlor, ordering a pizza, and taking it home, only to discover that the box was empty.  Then the customer returned to the pizza parlor to complain and was carried away by the cops (because they liked the parlor owner, who gives them free pizza).  His point was this would never happen on the internet.  He said that in most cases that design doesn’t matter, in the case of the pizza, a cardboard box was sufficient.  In addition he also pointed that that even though design doesn’t matter in most cases, no one makes any money from no design.

Some of the sites that he mentioned that had no design were: Google, Wikipedia, Craigslist, Reddit.

His point was that content is what brings visitors to websites, not design.  Marshall said that all that matters is traffic, having a functional site with excellent conversion.  He said that investors won’t even look at design because they want the numbers (but they will mention if your site looks really bad)! In Marshall’s opinion, neutral is the way to go! He said that the problems with design are that it is expensive, time consuming, never really finished, and browser compatibility issues. He said the focus should be on content, speed, and navigation.

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