The Problem: Sexting and Predators

It is hard for me to believe, but today is the nine year anniversary of buySAFE’s birthdate.  Time sure does fly by when you are having a good time. 

When I left buySAFE a few months ago, I promised to keep you up to date on my next entrepreneurial adventure.  In the spirit of start-up birthdays, I thought I would share with you a few interesting details about my next venture.

Sexting is rampant. Predators are everywhere. Obviously, buySAFE was founded to make the Internet safer for online shoppers, and we did that for tens of millions of consumers.  This time around, we want to make technology safer for our kids (Fatherhood has a way of inspiring you to do such things).  Our new start-up is tackling two serious, prevalent and complex problems: Sexting and Predators.  The market simply hasn’t provided any effective solutions for parents yet, and we intend to fill that gap.

The business was inspired by my brother, Tim Woda, who as the parent of older children, has had to confront these difficult issues directly.  It seems like every time I speak with a parent of tweens or teens, they express the same frustrations and fear about allowing their kids to use digital technologies.  Since there are more than 37 million kids in the U.S. and more than 1.2 billion kids globally between the ages of 9 and 17, I believe there is an interesting business opportunity here.

The following is a short video overview of the Sexting and Predator problems that parents face today.  If you have any feedback or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment.  I welcome your assistance.  Also, please share this video with your friends and family.  I believe it is important that we educate parents to make sure they are fully aware of the digital dangers they must manage on behalf of their kids. 

I recognize that I haven’t told you how we are going to attack these scary problems, but I will over the coming months.  I wanted to tease you first!  🙂  Before telling you everything, we have to finish building out our product and raise a bit of capital to finance our public launch.  Both of these activities are ongoing (and going well), and I will share more as we make additional progress.

I will continue to provide you with regular updates here on this blog, but if you want to get more frequent updates, feel free to become a fan on my Facebook Fan Page.  I am using it to share my daily thoughts on this start-up adventure.  Thanks, and stay tuned!

Daily Roundup for 2008-04-16

  • It’s a question marketers are still grappling with years after the first waves of corporate blogging flooded the web. But for better or worse, it seems corporate blogging — and the title of chief blogger — is beginning to hit its stride. Companies such as Coca-Cola, Marriott and Kodak all have recently recruited chief bloggers, with or without the actual title, to tell their stories and engage consumers.
  • These days, online consumers and companies are collaborating on a range of activities, including R&D, marketing and after-sales support.  Here are a few examples of how brands and consumers are working together online.

Continue reading “Daily Roundup for 2008-04-16”

Daily Roundup for 2008-04-14

  • Yahoo’s resistance to a takeover by Microsoft looks foolhardy to some investors and Wall Street analysts. But the push-back may prove effective in the end—at least by forcing the suitor to cough up a few more bucks a share.  Executives from Yahoo (YHOO) on Apr. 7 reiterated the reasons for their opposition. The $31-a-share offer, made public Feb. 1, "substantially undervalues" Yahoo, and its stock component is even less attractive in light of Microsoft’s (MSFT) slumping share price. "We have continued to launch new products and to take actions which leverage our scale, technology, people, and platforms as we execute on the strategy we publicly articulated," Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang and Chairman Roy Bostock wrote.
  • Microsoft (MSFT) just dropped the bomb on Yahoo (YHOO). Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Apr. 5 sent a letter giving Yahoo’s board three weeks before it initiates a proxy fight, including nomination of a new slate of directors likely to approve the deal.

Continue reading “Daily Roundup for 2008-04-14”

Daily Roundup for 2008-03-13

  • US direct marketers may reduce their media budgets this year, judging by Target Marketing’s "Media Usage Forecast" report. Nearly one-quarter of respondents surveyed in January 2008 said they would reduce their media budgets compared with last year. The n
  • Yahoo Inc, still fending off a $41 billion takeover bid by Microsoft Corp, unveiled a cell phone tool on Tuesday that lets users keep up with their favorite topics using dynamic bookmarks. OnePlace, to be launched in the second quarter, allows users to ma

Continue reading “Daily Roundup for 2008-03-13”

Daily Roundup for 2008-03-07

  • When a small padlock appears in the corner of your Web browser’s address bar or the entire bar turns green, it seems like a powerful signal you’re safe to proceed.  But experts say the SSL certificates those green lights signify — digital stamps of approval that Web sites buy to prove they’re running a legitimate business and can send and receive encrypted data safely — don’t provide the safety they seem to.  "They instill some sense of security, but that could be a dangerously false sense of security," said Paul Mutton, a researcher with UK-based security firm Netcraft Ltd.  The site itself could still be riddled with security holes for hackers to exploit. And the certificate could simply be bogus: Criminals have been forging them to get the padlock icon and dress up fraudulent sites.
  • During the Web’s heyday, a profitable Internet company nearing $100 million in annual sales while luring a million new customers a month would have found itself on the IPO fast track. But that’s hardly the case for LinkedIn, a professional networking site that has cleared those hurdles and then some.  Instead, LinkedIn is hewing closely to the Web economy’s new motto on initial public offerings: Easy does it. Founded in 2003, LinkedIn may not sell shares until some time next year. Likewise, social networking site Facebook, worth $15 billion on paper, may not go public until 2010,

Continue reading “Daily Roundup for 2008-03-07”

Facebook, Executives, College Students and Love

Facebook I was recently invited to join a professional colleague’s Facebook network.  Up until then, I had strictly used LinkedIn as my only social network primarily because a) I have always found LinkedIn to be very useful for business, and b) I perceived Facebook as a playground for college kids.

Well I was wrong.  Facebook is awesome, and many of my professional colleagues were way ahead of me in discovering the network’s value. Its utility becomes very powerful as your network multiplies and matures.  To be quite honest, I now view LinkedIn as a great place to view a professional profile or resume, but that is about it. Facebook provides a scalable method for communicating with your professional network.  The bottom-line is that I am learning to love Facebook. 

Since we are talking about Facebook, I thought you might also enjoy this article about the Facebook phenomenon.

"For college students, if it’s Facebook, it’s love | Reuters

For the Facebook generation, love now comes with a drop-down menu.

With profiles on the Facebook social networking site (www.facebook.com/) almost de rigueur on college campuses, students can define their relationship status with menu choices ranging from "married" to that perennial favorite, "It’s complicated."

"It’s complicated" could also describe the emotional calculations people in their late teens and early 20s make as they decide whether their relationships are what they call "Facebook-worthy." MORE >>

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