Yesterday we held an all-hands meeting for Provo Labs where our team all met each other for the first time. It turned into a three hour meeting, which is too long for me, but I think it was useful. We talked about our business model and each of our portfolio companies briefly.
I just got this email from one of our Provo Labs employees:
Although it clearly needs some CSS work, http://planet.provolabs.com is now up and aggregating personal blogs from the following Provo Labs folks: * Amy Rhoads * Blake Snow * Brock Blake * Darla Seamons * Gary Thornock * Jeff Jordan * Jimmy Zimmerman * Judd Bagley * Kory Hoopes * Michael Eager * Mike Smullen * Paul Allen * Phil Burns * Trent Miskin * Tyler Jensen * Yvette Arts
At Provo Labs, we believe in investing in employees. That means budgeting for technology they need (including blackberries), for subscriptions and online services that will make them productive, and for travel and conferences they need to attend.
Former Franklin Covey CEO Hyrum Smith gave a great presentation today at the Big Business Show in Orem. He discussed the Reality Model that is taught by his new company, the Galileo Initiative. Very empowering stuff.
I was asked Tuesday at the Corporate Alliance summit why most companies fail. My guess is that most companies fail primarily because they don't have the right team of people. The CEO might not be right, or the CEO hasn't chosen the right people in the right positions, because most CEOs don't know the talent level required at each position and the teamwork needed to build a successful company. This is especially true of young CEOs, who haven't been around the block, who haven't seen great talent in action, in all the roles necessary to build a successful company.
Yesterday was busy and productive. In the morning we held an LDSMedia.com meeting with Deseret Book. We have a great partnership with them. The new LDSMedia.com web site is coming along nicely. By next week it will be nearly ready for prime time. We've added some free clip art and are making it possible for our content acquisition team to identify and index great LDS audio and video content anywhere on the web and easily include it in our search results. Our goal here is to launch the "LDS Google," with instant access to all content (and all content types) of interest to Latter-Day Saints. (There are about 12 million LDS/Mormons in the world.) Actually, it's won't really be the LDS Google because we aren't planning to index tons of web sites, just the ones that have the best and richest LDS content.
Brock Blake, CEO of FundingUniverse.com (a Provo Labs portfolio company) just made it on the list of Utah's Top 40 Under 40. At age 25, he was the youngest person on the list. So he can stay on this list for the next 14 years! Way to go, Brock.
Amazon to sell branded mp3 players pre-loaded with content? Now this could be very interesting...a low-cost subscription model for a player with pre-loaded content. That is exactly where I've wanted to go with LDSAudio.com and mp3books.com. If Amazon does it first for the mass market, hopefully it will pave the way for us to do this in smaller, niche markets where we like to play.