Friday, November 19, 2010

This blog is now two!

Gentle reader

We have now separated this blog into two blogs - each with different personalities.

Market Mine - about FirstRain, our company, our technology, our fun and our culture will now be hosted on MarketMine and you'll see more authors writing with me about what's going on with us. Market Mine shows up on the front of so you can always find it there.

Our goal is still to be entertaining and interesting though - no corporate drone blogging for us! And you can also find FirstRain on Facebook and Twitter @firstrain of course.

This URL (that's will morph into my personal blog of my observations and stories. Being a silicon valley CEO, new ideas, obviously including my FirstRain journey and the funny things that happen in my life (on the way to the Forum so to speak).

This split will make it possible for me to write on a wider set of topics - but still for your entertainment and interest as well as my fun in the writing. And if you want to get a sense of how nutty my life can get you can also follow me on Twitter @pennyherscher

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kevin Bailey of Symantec talking about FirstRain at the CMO Club

There is nothing like hearing about how customers use a product from the customer himself. Here are two short videos about how Symantec has integrated FirstRain into their market intelligence process and platform.

First: Clips from Kevin Bailey's overview talk (4 mins)

Second: Q&A between Kevin and me (7 mins) - describing how FirstRain is used in the intelligence flow and what it does for the user's knowledge of their customers and market.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Silicon Valley: a concept not a place

Interview with my counsel (and friend) Larry Sonsini on the globalization of Silicon Valley. Courtesy of The Deal.

Larry Sonsini on the globalization of Silicon Valley from TheDeal TV on Vimeo.

Friday, November 5, 2010

On stage twice in one day: CMO Club and Astia

Yesterday I had two opportunities up on stage - but talking about very different subject matters in the two.

First was on stage with our customer - Kevin Bailey from Symantec - talking about how Symantec uses real-time intelligence and FirstRain monitors to provide unique, instant customer intelligence to their sales force - and how FirstRain is integrated into their SymBrain portal. Great fun - and I get a huge kick out of customers talking about FirstRain. More to follow on this - we'll put up some video from his talk shortly.

Kevin Bailey, Snr Director Global Market Analytics and Strategies, Symantec
One example: FirstRain powering the competitive matrix pages in SymBrain

Second was on a panel at Astia in San Francisco - speaking to a group of young women entrepreneurs about leadership. It is always both humbling and energizing to be asked to talk about my experiences and views on leadership. This panel was part of week long event for 43 women to help them get their businesses started and connect them with people who can help them raise money.

Three terrific women on the panel with me:
  • Robin Edwards who is a partner at SNR Denton,
  • Renee Knee who is WW VP/GM Commercial Sales and Growth Initiatives at HP,
  • Karen Riley who is a member of the Angels' Forum
  • Greg Ketchum of Talent Planet (Panel Moderator)

It was fun and inspiring to talk about leadership with a hungry, smart group of young women - although as usual I was the most controversial. I do enjoy being provocative -- but I was also the token CEO on the panel so I had some fun with that.

I really enjoyed listening to Robin, Renee and Karen's perspectives. All such different backgrounds and yet we had many shared opinions on how to grow into being a leader. We talked about the importance of being confident, of setting boundaries and acceptable behaviors, of not needing to know it all yourself, how to manage stress (my input: work out and great red wine) and how to build executive teams who compliment your skills.

The most helpful for me was hearing Karen talk about how she took two years to care for both her parents as they fell ill - she cared for them herself in her house for the last 6 months of their lives - and she applied all her leadership and operational skills to make the end of their lives as comfortable as possible. As I navigate my way through the murky waters of ill parents it is comforting to realize I have skills and resources I can bring in to help make their lives easier.

Renee, Karen, Robin, me and Greg

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bleeding edge creativity - Redu on education

At a marketing conference - and the last session is about social responsibility - and this time it's a focus on education. It's a tough marketing problem. 1 million teachers are about to retire and we simply do not have enough math and science teachers in the U.S. The decline in education is a huge threat to our prosperity and way of life.

Bing's behind finding a solution. The US department of education is all over it funding especially how to get more African American young men to teach. The team is appealing to a room of CMOs for help to crack the marketing problem.

Several very moving videos but this one struck me as just brilliant:

LET'S REDU from Redu on Vimeo.

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