Monday, February 14, 2011

New White Paper: Is 2011 the "Year of the Mobile Privacy Lawsuit?"

My new white paper discusses recent litigation in the Mobile Privacy area and steps to reduce the risk associated with a mobile marketing campaign.

If you're interested, check it out at the Remodista/Bricks +Mobile website.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chicago Needs More Angels (or Recognition of Them)

I attended midventuresLaunch this week.  The conference organizers designed the content to be informative and a rallying cry for entrepreneurship in Chicago and the Midwest.  I'm glad to see Chicago entrepreneurs gaining confidence unlike the situation in 2008 when I wrote this blog post.

Several initiatives came out of the conference.  Brendan Mulligan, founder of Artist Data, which was recently purchased by SonicBids, challenged 40 Chicago angel investors to sign up for Angelist by November 1st.  Chicago currently has only 8 angels on the list compared to Silicon Valley's 201 angels. 

Also, the members of the Keynote Panel entitled "The 3 Stages of Not Being Silicon Valley" started a blog to discuss the panel topic before the panel presented.  They had over 12,000 participants from all over the world participate in the discussion.

I'm going to add a suggestion to the mix.  Why not have a blog with a list of companies from Chicago/Midwest that get Angel/VC funding?  Freshwater Venture was a good start, but it hasn't been updated.  I'm thinking something simpler - just a list with Company/Angel/Fund names and amounts.  Maybe Chicago Tech Scene or the ITA could add a page to their current sites?  A comprehensive list really shows that Chicago firms are getting funded and highlights angels and funds that are active in the Midwest.

A page with listing exits would be great, too.  According to Matt McCall in a Fast Company article about start ups in Chicago:
I don't want to misspeak here, but for the last five years, there were I think $23 billion worth of exits out of Chicago and in this region in general.
Publishing a list or chart highlighting the successful exits could be a great boost to entrepreneurs here.

Maybe something like this already exists?  If so, comment!

Off to Potbelly (oh yes, another successful Chicago start up) to grab a sandwich for lunch.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Total Ban on Tattoo Parlors Unconstitutional

The 9th Circuit recently held that a total ban on Tattoo Parlors by the city of Hermosa Beach is a violation of the 1st Amendment.  "We hold that tattooing is purely expressive activity fully protected by the First Amendment," wrote Ninth Circuit Judge Jay Bybee.  "And that a total ban on such activity is not a reasonable `time, place, or manner' restriction." 

Hmmmmm, I wonder if Judge Bybee is sporting a tattoo or two himself?

Friday, March 5, 2010

Nominate an Outstanding Technology Student Today: 50 For the Future

The Illinois Technology Foundation, a Chicago-based non-profit organization dedicated to fueling the technology talent and human capital pipeline through facilitated collaboration between academia and industry, has begun accepting nominations for 50 for the Future, an event honoring Illinois’ most promising technology students.

The event, now in its fourth year, is designed to provide students using technology in innovative ways a means to excel by connecting them with business leaders early in their academic careers. The program is open to candidates enrolled in institutions of higher learning throughout Illinois.

Over 30 of the region’s top technology companies, supporting organizations, and institutions of higher learning have become involved in the competition, offering their C-level executives as judges.

Students who win the award will receive recognition at an April event attended by the competition’s judges and nominators, have access to prospective employers via round tables, web seminars and mentoring programs through the Illinois Technology Foundation, and will have preferred status for limited-capacity activities.

To find out more information or to nominate an outstanding technology student, visit

Monday, January 11, 2010

Does the First Amendment trump the Right of Publicity in Advertising? - Part 2 and 3

Last year, American Apparel used the First Amendment as a defense in Woody Allen's suit against the company for the unauthorized use of his image in an ad campaign. The case settled on the eve of the trial with Woody Allen receiving $5 million.

Now, PETA has publicly stated that the First Amendment protects its right to use Michelle Obama's image without the First Lady's permission in a recent ad advocating a "Fur Free" livestyle.

Finally, Weatherproof agreed to remove its ads containing a picture of President Obama from its billboards after speaking to White House representatives who voiced displeasure at the use of his image in an ad. WSJ's Law Blog comments that it would have made an interesting case if Weatherproof didn't relent and the Obama White House had decided to file a law suit.

I wonder what the FTC position on the ads given its new guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials? Are the advertisers misleading consumers when they use celebrities images without permission? Are the ads deceptive?