FAQ? Why? Because a lot of people have little idea how to interact with me.

ALL of this is stolen directly from the incredibly smart Volker Weber:

“Why do you publish this website?”

Because it pleases me.

“Doesn’t it take a lot of effort?”

Yes, it does. But it still pleases me.

“How do you find all this stuff?”

I read a lot. People send me links.

“I have this really cool video. Do you want it?”


“Why not?”

I probably have received it already a few dozen times.

“But it’s really cool. And it’s brand new. Never seen it before!”

If you received it by mail, so did I. If you found it on the net, send me a link. Do not send the file.

“I have this really funny Powerpoint file.”


“I would like to comment, but my english is terrible.”

Write a comment. I don’t care if your english is terrible. It will only get better if you use it. If you can better express yourself in French or Spanish, then use French or Spanish. I understand both. Don’t be concerned that others might not be able to understand French or Spanish. They can learn if they want.

“You deleted my comment.”

Hmmh. It may have been spam, but then you would not complain. Or your comment was just fine, but you failed to enter your full name or your email address. If it looks funky like junk@mail.com you may have triggered my nervous delete finger.

“You deleted my comment again.”

See above. I make no exceptions. No, “G.W.Bush” is not good enough. Save ourselves some work and don’t try to force your way through.

“You deleted my comment again.”

Maybe you just pissed me off. Hey, this is my site. I live here.

“This is censorship.”

No, it isn’t. Stop being a happy troll.

“I can’t get video chat to work between Mac and PC. Will you help me?”

No. Call AOL.

“It’s almost working. I can see the other person, but I can’t hear him/her.”

Call AOL.

“They won’t answer my call.”

Hire me. My rate would be onehundredandtwentyfive an hour. Plus VAT and expenses. Four hours minimum. Dollars for small problems, Euros for big problems. British Pounds for management problems.

“You don’t reply to my instant messages.”

Do I know you?

“I have this really cool product. Will you write about it?


“But it’s really great.”

Ok. Send one to my address.

“When do you send it back?”

That depends.

“Depends on what?”

If it is really crappy, you can have it back any time.

“But it isn’t. It’s really great.”

In that case it may have won the editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award. Consider yourself warned.

“Can I have one of the products you don’t need any more?”

No, you can’t. They are all returned eventually.

“I have really exciting news. Do you want to take a look?”


“I can, if you sign this non-disclosure agreement.”

Forget it. I don’t buy a cat in a bag.

“But I cannot show you, if you do not sign the agreement.”

How is that my problem?

“Our lawyers don’t trust you.”

That sounds like a mutual problem. I don’t trust them either.

“How can I trust you?”

Look at my track record. I have never revealed a source, never quoted anybody without asking first, and never broken a promise.

“But that’s not how it works.”

Maybe not for you. But certainly for me.

“Will you beta test my product?”


“Why not?”


“Why not?”

Which word is it, that you don’t understand?


To which I will add Rafe Needleman tips selected items picked out by Jennifer Leggio:

Tip #94: Free advice

Sure, I’ll give you free, off-the-record advice. But if I really knew how to build and market a technology product, you think I’d be doing this?

Tip #84: Dirty Secret

Every now and then, press releases work.

Tip #79: Be seen

A pretty girl alone at a bar shines like a beacon. But at a beauty contest she blends in to the scenery. So tell me again why you plan to launch at Demo?

Tip #64: As opposed to…?

Any pitch that starts, “In today’s tough economy…” gets ignored.

(Personal addition: any pitch shat starts: “XXX the leader in…” also gets the same treatment)

Tip #61: Do I look like a college student?

Don’t send me pitches in Facebook. You know my email.

Tip #46: Uh-huh

If we’re doing a demo via phone and Webex, at least 25% of the time that you’re talking, I’m reading my email.

Tip #39: Always

“Are you on deadline?” No, I’m filing my nails. Of course I’m on deadline. What do you want?

Tip #33: Guest list

People I want to hear a pitch from, in descending order: CEO, CTO, VP Product Development, Janitor, Brand Marketing Manager.

Tip #29: OMG

A-list bloggers are like angry, spoiled schoolgirls. Calibrate your pitches accordingly.

Tip #22: Don’t make me use LinkedIn

The CEO’s email address should be on the company’s site. Unless he or she is afraid of publicity. And customers.

No excuses! It’s 2008. They make spam filters that work now.

Tip #14: Not BFFs

Dear PR person,

We didn’t “work together” back in 1999. You pitched me. It was beautiful, but don’t make it more than it is.

Tip #1: Psych!

If you ask me what’s a good time to call, I will tell you a time when I know I am not available.

Why have I done it this way? Because they’re far smarter than me.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Jeff Wachner April 11, 2012 at 5:57 am

Hi Dennis,

As a currently shopping customer, I am have a very hard time buying ERP software right now, what matters to me a solution that works, that I can afford. I’m even a past president of the Los Angeles Macola user’s group.

As the president of a small start-up company. I’m having a major problem with ERP software right now. I signed a contract with a Vendor not listed in your article for “off the shelf” software. It’s supposed to very similar to Netsuite, but for small businesses. 9 months later, the software is so feature missing that they have offered my deposit back!

As we know Netsuite is not currently positioned for a small startup. I’m looking for a software package that has accounting, basic ERP (our BOMs are all less than 10 items, but can have 20 week lead times), CRM, Web store, credit card processing, shipping, and autoship / subscription features; that all use 1 common database. I would think that in 2012 this shouldn’t be too hard to find….I am keeping a spreadsheet of all the programs I have reviewed. I’m up to about 2 dozen so far.

I’m open to on premise solutions, SaaS, PaaS. I don’t care.


Jeff Wachner