Service Providers in Angels Clothing

by Fred von Graf on May 3, 2014

I recently (or not so recently at this point) wrote a guest post for about my frustration with the service provider, consultants and vultures trying to exploit startups.  Basically these folks pray on the more innocent startups and try to associate or worse take equity in the startup while “investing” in them.  When realistically no hard money ever changes hands there’s no real investment.  The service provider will offer services for equity which is fine, but don’t claim to be an Angel investor when you don’t have any money invested..

You can read the original post here:

Have you run in to this as well?  Thoughts?

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Watching the Burning Man 2012 live stream

by Fred von Graf on September 1, 2012

Sitting here watching the Burning Man 2012 live stream wishing that my wife was here with me to share this moment.  We picked a great year NOT to attend – dust, dust and more dust!

Video streaming by Ustream

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SMAZ 5 Discount

by Fred von Graf on October 25, 2011

As a reader of this BLOG you can use the discount code “blogvongraf” for 30% off tickets.

Ticket link – The special early bird tickets and discount are only good until October 31st! Get yours today.

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Nuclear Power

by Fred von Graf on March 24, 2011

My son has to do a project each month for school.   Sometimes this involves creating statues, paintings, dioramas, but it always includes some form of report and often requires a presentation. This month he’s doing a report on nuclear power along with a display and a presentation. He got this topic before the disaster hit Japan, so it just turned out that the media would be covering his topic at length, which helped make his research easier.

Now I’ve learned quite a bit about power generation in general and nuclear power generation specifically along this journey. I ran across an interesting blog post by Seth Godin talking about Marketing Coal, and how one disaster will easily skew our perception of how safe a technology is. The fact is that 4000 people die from coal energy production for every 1 in nuclear power when producing the same amount of energy, yet the general (ignorant) population thinks that nuclear power is not safe.  What do you think?

Plus I learned about a technology called traveling wave reactors at SXSW, which I shared with Markus for his report.  The neat part about traveling wave reactors is that they are fueled by depleted uranium (the waste product from normal nuclear reactors) and they can power a city of 2.5 million homes for a year on 8 tons of fuel.  There is currently 770,000 tons of fuel available in the US, so we could power the entire world for some time using these reactors.  The best part is that they allow us to power our cities with the harmful waste and are able to run for decades.  Now if I could just have my Mr. Fussion for my DeLorean…


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SXSW Here I come

by Fred von Graf on March 3, 2011

I’m going to SXSW for the first time this year and with good reason, Hexxa is about to alpha release and LaunchSpot will be opening in Tempe in 2011.  Now I’ve been to plenty of conferences in my day but preparing for SXSW is more like preparing for a first time trip to Burningman than any other conference I’ve ever known.  Now I’ve had friends that have been going for something like 17 years and others that have a few under their belt, all of them have advice and all of them know how to do SXSW right.  Yeah it’s Burningman all over again…

Now the first year I went to Burningman I was a manager at Intel and went with another friend from Intel.  Needless to say we treated it like a normal work project and if you know anything about Intel, it’s a very data driven company.  We researched everything we could, interviewed stake holders (OK we talked to some friends), pulled together a project plan, had spreadsheets and charts.  We were camping with a very well established camp right off the esplanade with veteran burners.  Needless to say we were ridiculed for our organized, detailed planning and well stocked supplies, but by the end of the event the veterans had come by to ‘borrow’ this or that and our super cool shade structures, massage tent, extra glow sticks, extra water, etc. were all used.  Now we didn’t make it to 1/4 of the planned events on playa but we went with the flow, had the supplies to do so and have a great time.

Oh and the longer and more interesting story is how I met my wife that year as well and how I got to work for the man on the Pyro Team and blow up the man…

So now I find myself in a similar way planning out my SXSW adventure and realizing that I just need to make sure I have the right supplies, a basic plan that is very flexible, coordination with onsite friends, and the right attitude.  Got my SXSocial profile setup, got a downtown hotel setup, got transportation setup, got lots of invite only meetings scheduled, and am still working the public schedule some.  Very much looking forward to meeting new

Oh and in my research I’ve found some of the best advise in videos like this:

If you’re going to SXSW connect with me on SXSocial.

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Videos and Blogging

by Fred von Graf on November 20, 2010

I just came back from talking on the Video Genius Panel at PodCampAZ with the realization I have not done any videos for this BLOG in a while.  Now most of my recent video work has been in the digital marketing realm for Web3Mavens clients, so that’s what I talked about.  I do have a few jewels I’ll pull out of the editing station and share on this blog very soon but until then how about a recap of some of some of the most popular videos.

Like the time I had the tables turned on me and this time I ended up in front of the camera in an interview, where Arnie Kuenn from Vertical Measures. He was interviewing Internet Experts on their predictions for 2010.

So how did I do for my 2010 predictions?

Or when I sat down for a chat with Jay Baer (@JayBaer) about a year ago.  Jay will actually be in town on February 11th at SMAZ along with Amber Naslund (@ambercadabra)to kick off the release of their new book, The Now Revolution. Attendees of SMAZ will get a free copy of the book…

Scott & Chris from Terralever

[click to continue…]

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Word Cloud of

November 16, 2010

So this is a word cloud of this site thanks to Wordly

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7 Ways Games Reward the Brain

November 6, 2010

You will find that my current interests and therefore my blogging is most likely focused on the current ventures I have going.  These include a mobile game called Hexxa, a new tech incubator called LaunchSpot which includes a co-working space, more mobile and social development for clients at Web3Mavens, starting to pull together the next […]

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Why I Support the EFF

October 28, 2010

I Support Digital Freedom! In 1990, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) took an unprecedented stand for technology users’ civil liberties by suing the Secret Service for seizing and damaging Steve Jackson Games’ computers. Twenty years later, EFF remains passionately engaged in protecting civil liberties at the forefront of technology. In 2010, EFF rose to meet […]

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Hexxa – Here We Go!

October 20, 2010

I developed a mobile game a few years ago (2006-7) and have been waiting on the technology and mobile adoption to finally catch up.  With estimates by market research firm Parks Associates that the smartphone adoption rates worldwide will quadrupedal by 2014 reaching 1 billion users and recently Nielson reported that Android adoption outpaced  iOS (iPhone, Touch, iPad, etc). […]

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