Category: Personal

Please take a moment to help my kids with their science fair project on #mindfulness @themindfulnessapp

—- On behalf of Chloe (12) and Parker (9)—-

Deadline : Tuesday January 23, 2018

We live in a busy world with emails and texts, social media, work, trying to get the family fed, homework done you probably feel stressed out on a daily basis. The idea of becoming addicted to technology and in particular social media has become an issue in the news that even early Facebook creators are now publicly talking about.

Did you know there is a simple habit you can use to naturally calm yourself down and appreciate life a bit more.

It’s called mindfulness.

As our elementary school science experiment, we developed the following question and hypothesis:Does more or less mindfulness make you feel better? Hypothesis: Parker and I think practicing mindfulness for longer periods of time will help people’s overall health.

Mindfulness is the practice of purposefully focusing all of your attention on the current moment, and accepting it without judgment. This is a great place to start if you are looking for the key element in happiness.

Done correctly, mindfulness will allow you to decrease your stress and anxiety, minimize the amount of time that you spend feeling overwhelmed, and help you appreciate each small moment as it happens.

—- My Brother and I could use your help—-

We are going to track participants over a two week period and we’d like to hear how practicing mindfulness at different levels (3, 5 and 15 minutes) affects how you feel.

If you agree to help with our project, we’d ask you to download and use the FREE app MINDFULNESS (Google and Apple).

We will email you reminders to log how you feel on our website 8 times over 2 weeks from January 24 th to February.

If you are interested in signing up for our experiment, please enter your information below and we will send you the instructions. Deadline is end of day, January 23rd.

For questions, please email our Dad at

@ces with the team talking connected content

Today, The Buddy Group officially announced the evolution of DOTLOT- the first content company engineered for products that evolve.

I look forward to seeing my team thrive this week as they talk to current and future clients about the refined and innovative approach to educational and marketing content creation, distribution and measurement.

Spinning out DOTLOT allows the Buddy Group to stay focused on helping Brands “Be the Exception” while DOTLOT focuses on addressing the major challenges products face in today’s connected customer/ product relationship. Look for big announcements this week at CES and over the coming months.

If you are a product owner, manager or marketer, please visit and contact for more details.

Excited to see this grow!


Fine dining, with a side of tech

A study published in 2016 in the Journal of Consumer Marketing shows that we mere mortals are highly suggestible. The line between our appreciation of how food looks and enjoyment of how it tastes can become blurred. Researchers discovered that our enjoyment of indulgent foods increases significantly when we take a picture before eating it, and can even boost our experience of consuming “less pleasurable” (by which it means healthy) foods.

I’d suggest that you read this article you if you fancy your tech and a good meal.

SpeedGolf in SoCal

About 7 years ago, I weighed about 270 lbs.

Today, I am closer to 200.

I attribute this loss to running. Running certainly helps to burn calories but for me it helps to clear my head and focus on food as fuel.

I have now done Ragnar relay 5 times and run several family fun runs with the kids.

Those who know me also know I love golf. Like business, I like the personal challenge golf presents.

Thanks to Garlin Smith , a friend from the media space, I tried Speed Golf a few weeks back.

I am hooked.

Your Speed Golf score is comprised of TIME + SCORE for 18 holes.

I will be running 18 holes once a week at the crack of dawn and welcome you to join me.

If you have any interest, please fill-out this form.

I will email out a schedule once I get a few folks together. Off to my home course Tuesday morning to try it out.



An entrepreneur’s biggest opportunity: stop and think about this, please

This is by far the most difficult post I have ever written for several reasons. First, it is the first time I am publicly writing (outside my personal network) about the loss of my father-in-law. Second, I write with humility that there is something wrong with me (and others like me) who think the future is only a product of how we handle today.

90 days ago my father-in-law was killed in a car accident on Ortega Highway, a poorly planned, dangerous and over-crowded road connecting South Orange County and Riverside county. Through this I have learned the definition of “tragic”, a word I had used flippantly until now.

Saying Mike was my father-in-law doesn’t really do our relationship justice, as he and I have known each other since I was 17. By all accounts, Mike was my Dad.


Mike provided guidance throughout his life with his actions. He was an entrepreneur from an early age and hustled his way through life by creating opportunities in the present and finding his way to provide for his family day to day.

Mike and I were (are) wired the same. We know the importance of planning ahead, but for some reason we value our own ability to put out the present fires over the ability to invest in those building blocks that lead to protection of the future; building blocks such as life insurance, succession planning, estate planning or long-term retirement goals.

Over the last several days I have spoken with several friends about this topic with the hopes of alerting them to the importance of stopping the grind for one moment and thinking about the future, about tomorrow.

“As Entrepreneurs we believe how well we do in the NOW determines how we will do in the FUTURE.” Thus, we fail to plan for the what-ifs and view that level of investment (time and money) as a luxury.

One friend agreed and added, “Its tough to worry about the future when the now includes rent, payroll, cash flow and taxes.”

Another, who interestingly is now advising and leading venture backed businesses added, “Entrepreneurs DO plan for the future but take irrational steps to get there”.

I tend to agree with the both of them. Somehow we rationalize a prioritization of just getting through the next 90 days over planning for the unknowns as it feels like something we can better control. But the reality is that we can control the unknown if we only stop to think about it.

And that is the point of this note….stop and think about it.

I am missing Mike a lot today. I miss my friend, father, and entrepreneurial kindred spirit. I learned a ton from Mike over the years and will do my best to continue his legacy for the next generation. It is his passion for life and giving back to others that fuels my newly found interest in planning for the future and becoming an advocate for entrepreneurs to stop and think about it.

Ironically, Dave Hanley, a high-school friend of mine (whom I have known since the same time as my father-in-law) just launched a new app today called Tomorrow, on the anniversary of my father-in-law’s untimely death. I know that if Mike had seen the app he would have signed up and sent Dave a personal note of thanks and congratulations. And I want Dave to know that had he used the app, it would have changed things greatly for his family today. I encourage all of you to stop, think about the future, and plan for whatever tomorrow brings.

Tomorrow Overview from Tomorrow on Vimeo.

Missing my favorite event of the year assembled by @dherman76 

As I sit here thinking about the week ahead, I find myself truly disappointed to not be joining my friends and colleagues at this year’s Silicon Alley Sports event. On one hand, I’m appreciative of the opportunity to be busy with amazing client growth plans. On the other, I am sorry that I won’t see Darren’s vision take form in what will no doubt be another great year. 

From performance to brand building and several tech offerings in between, Darren’s event is one of the best places to meet up with those who make moves in the media and connected marketing landscape. 

Those of you interested in attending next year, let me know via DM. It’s an invite only event but I will be happy to bring a plus one next year if the fit is right 😉

I’ll be looking for photos and recaps from those of you going.

BREAKING— I have returned from CES 2017 without a cold!

BREAKING— I have returned from CES 2017 without a cold! Each year CES typically leaves its attendees with a version of the funk that typically takes you down upon returning home. Here is to a healthy, funk free, 2017!

This year marks my 16th year attending CES, the default event for those who create, sell and market the technology in our personal lives. Each year I write up a post on the best things I have seen. This year, I am going to shake it up because times, they are changing…

Over the last decade, I have made it a point to drive to Vegas for the event. It proves to be a great plan as the meeting rooms, dinners and meet-ups tend to be spread out in multiple hotels or restaurants. It also serves as a great tool for reflection as the 4-5 hours is often plagued with poor cell service and true quiet time.

So, on my drive home I asked the question (to myself)…

Where is it all going?

To best answer this, I thought about the evolution of the CE (Consumer Electronics) industry over the last 17 years.

Since 2010, CES has been mostly about displays, plastic, hard drives and processors. From ultra flat monitors to tablets, innovation was best observed in the physical products on the floor. Booths were constructed with items spinning under spotlight and demonstrations meant people picked them up or watched their 4k brilliance.

If you follow the trades (and mainstream media) you heard that Amazon stole the show this year with Alexa. You also likely heard people say that they didn’t see anything that wowed them. Well, both are correct. However, I think this is not the full story…

The next 5 years or so will feel like nobody is innovating because innovation has always been measured in physical product. More and more “things” are being connected and as a result, the physical is becoming software enabled. As things become connected, it will be hard for them to be MORE connected. Thus, the innovation we are going to see and need to be better at managing will be in the ability for companies to understand customer needs and create a personalized experience IN or AROUND the products for which they produce.  This will appear more as incremental innovation to outsiders but it truly is the holy grail of innovation.


We are in for an era of innovation where consumers buy and recommend based on a product or services ability to “fit them” or “adapt to their needs”. How and where they find out that these features fit them is more important that going to see a product on a shelf at Best Buy. These experiences will carry the innovation banner forward for the years to come.- my 2017 prediction


I saw this first hand this year in several instances. Most impressive was the demonstration of Comcast’s Xfinity network customer experience. The super smart, customer focused team at Comcast welcomed me into their suite at Venetian and offered a tour of what will be rolling out to all their customers in just a few months. Sure there was a box on table but the presentation was nearly 100% about the experience and the ability for the customer to control what mattered to them most. For example, Xfinity customers will soon be able to create profiles for their family members on their network allowing them to monitor, report and establish boundaries. This is great for families with kids who have personal devices but also the avid streamer who may be looking for better performance in their streaming.




They have streamlined the onboarding process too, demonstrating that innovation doesn’t have to be wrapped in hard plastic. The new experience will be automatically enabled in the first half of 2017 for the approximately 10 million existing Xfinity Internet customers who have a compatible Xfinity Wireless Gateway. That number is expected to grow to more than 15 million by the end of the year as Comcast’s new Advanced Wireless Gateway becomes available to customers. This Advanced Gateway is capable of delivering up to nine gigabits per second over Wi-Fi within the home, supports voice, home monitoring and automation applications and will be the device Comcast uses to make one gigabit per second Internet speeds available across its entire service area.

My hat is tipped to the Comcast team for the fortitude and courage to show up at CES with commitment to the customer experience. Your investment there will win over those markets where you compete against outdated providers. Now, if only you offered your services in Orange County, California!

The number of connected devices is expected to rise from 10 to 50 devices by 2020. However, we are in for a period of time where “The Bigs” and “Start-Ups” alike will compete for your spare change via features that enable a more relevant, useful and personalized experience rather than push more product. Sure we will see people replacing physical items (Dishwashers, Cars, Toasters, etc.) with a new connected version but the idea that we will have tons of new devices in our home in addition to currently non-connected devices is likely a fallacy with the exception of companies like SEVEN HUGS.

  • The Bigs: Will compete with a value proposition of an Ecosystem of products that work together. Their typically closed system (think Apple) will begin to turn people away as consumers are more and more wanting things to work together regardless of the platform.
  • The Start-Ups: Will deliver against niche experiences and gain market share because they deliver amazing experiences that serve a specific persona’s needs. They will of course be gobbled up by a Big in the future but until then, they will blaze trails at a pace only a smaller, nimble company can and a pace that consumers have grown to expect.

Stop looking for the new plastic on the shelf and start looking for the features that make it all “work for you”.

Personalization is going to change consumer expectations, security, user interface design and content delivery. As it pertains to the working world, Intel’s Brian McCarson calls this- Phase Two of the Internet of Things. The use of data to create a more optimized, personalized and relevant experience.

One size fits all will never work again- thankfully. We are in for an era will brands and manufacturers are going to be looking to consumers to help shape (real-time) the features, functions and experience with preference, data and feedback. 

I am excited for a great 2017 filled with innovation, personalization and better customer experiences.








Featuring a Unique Performance by Flock of 80’s


ORANGE COUNTY, CA — OCTOBER 5, 2016 —The Buddy Group, Inc. and Project Hope Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to ending the cycle of homelessness for kids in Orange County, today announced details for the Fourth Annual Buddy Group Invitational to be held on Monday, November 7, at the Aliso Viejo Country Club in Aliso Viejo, California.


From wacky argyle socks to rock music blasting the greens, The Buddy Group Invitational is one of the most unique and fastest growing un-golf golf events in Orange County. For the first time, this year’s event will be capped off with an outdoor concert under the stars by Orange County’s most beloved band, Flock of 80’s.


The format for the Invitational is a four-player best-ball with unique activities and challenges peppered across the 18-hole course. Following the tournament, players, sponsors and non-golfing invited guests will partake in a special 80’s-themed party hosted by the presenting partners and the generous sponsors (see below), as well as silent auction donors. Flock of 80’s will perform at sunset to cap off the night. While the golf event and concert are invite only, interested parties can request more information via the website. But just like past years, this event will sell out.


“Our events bring together brand builders, investors, inventors, and entrepreneurs who seek to Be The Exception(™) in their respective fields,” said Pete Deutschman, CEO of The Buddy Group. “By uniting our employees, clients, and partners, we will once again come together to raise awareness and funds to help Project Hope Alliance end the cycle of homelessness in Orange County. Project Hope Alliance is an amazing non-profit organization with an entrepreneurial spirit that authentically speaks to our guests and sponsors.”


“This is hands down one of our favorite events of the year,” said Jenny Dinnen of MacKenzie Corporation. “We always talk about wanting to work with industries and companies that we are passionate about. I would be hard pressed to find two more passionate leaders than Pete and Jennifer for moving their companies/organizations forward. We are proud to be sponsors again and look forward to this amazing event.”


“We’re proud to support The Buddy Group and Project Hope Alliance in their mission to end youth homelessness in Orange County, a community where our company has very deep roots,” said Ten-X CEO Tim Morse. “Ten-X is committed to investing in America’s youth and to helping preserve the American Dream, and there’s no better place to start making an impact than in our own backyard.”

“There are more than 26,000 homeless kids in Orange County,” said Jennifer Friend, CEO of Project Hope Alliance. “It is inspiring to see leaders of business, marketing, and technology come together on behalf of such an important cause.”


For more information about the tournament, including online registration and donations, visit


The Buddy Group Invitational 2016 Partners include:

Presenting Partners: The Buddy Group, OCTANe OC, MacKenzie Corporation and TEN-X.


Sponsors: Google, Signature Analytics, Top-End Motorwerks, Adorn Premiums, Pentel of America, Prosum, SpaGirl Cocktails, LootCrate and Lynx Grills.



About The Buddy Group

The Buddy Group is evolving what it means to be an agency by focusing on the experience of an ever-evolving connected consumer. Driven by forethought, The Buddy Group shapes how audiences or segments think about brands and products by creating for the future. The Buddy Group offers strategic research, user-experience planning, and award-winning creative and development execution services to brands including Dell, Zodiac Aerospace, Edwards Lifesciences, Stacked, Ladera Ranch, Mozilla, and Pentel of America. Founded in 2005, The Buddy Group’s team of experts are located in Irvine, California, where they leverage their in-house experiential and content soundstages — DotLot™. For more information, visit

About Octane

OCTANe drives technology industry growth and innovation in Orange County by connecting ideas and people with resources and capital. Its members represent Orange County technology executive leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, academicians, and strategic advisors, all working together to fuel innovation in the OC. The organization has helped more than 800 companies via the LaunchPad™ SBDC accelerator. LaunchPad™-certified companies have received more than $1.7 billion in investment and equity exits. OCTANe annually welcomes more than 7,000 people to its programs and events. More than 2,000 business leaders throughout the Orange County region are OCTANe members. For more information, visit


About Ten-X

Ten-X is the nation’s leading online real estate transaction marketplace and the parent to Ten-X Homes, Ten-X Commercial, and To date, the company has sold 244,000+ residential and commercial properties totaling more than $41 billion. Leveraging desktop and mobile technology, Ten-X allows people to safely and easily complete real estate transactions online. Ten-X is headquartered in Irvine and Silicon Valley, California, and has offices in key markets nationwide. Investors in the company include Google Capital and Stone Point Capital. For more information, visit


About MacKenzie Corporation

MacKenzie Corp. is a family-run firm with over 30 years of experience in partnering with clients to make them stronger and more profitable by strategically and creatively using data analytics and research. Success is achieved by uncovering detailed stories within data sets, making analytic results palatable, relevant, and useful to decision makers. At our core we are Curious, Creative, and Customer-Centric in our approach to all matters. Curiosity drives us to ask questions others do not. Creativity reveals trends, opportunities, and threats that others do not see. In being customer-centric, we always put the customer first because we truly care about their success. The only way we achieve success is through the success of our partners. For more information, visit


About Project Hope Alliance

Founded in 1989, Project Hope Alliance is ending the cycle of homelessness in Orange County, one child at a time. The nonprofit organization supports homeless students and their families, meeting the unique academic and psychosocial needs of these children via a two-generational approach targeting innovative rapid rehousing and education programs. Since 2012, Project Hope Alliance’s Family Stability Program has worked with over 150 families to end homelessness by moving more than 700 parents and children into permanent housing with financial independence. Project Hope Alliance is located at 1954 Placentia Avenue, Suite 202, Costa Mesa, CA 92627. For more information, contact Suzy Gardner at or 949-791-2714, or visit


Nest: more than a thermostat

Nest has several new products in development that together could help form a smart home security system, according to a report last week from The Information. The four products reportedly in Nest’s pipeline are:

Flintstone: a wireless gateway device that will connect all of the devices in a user’s home using Nest’s Thread wireless networking protocol. The device would also wirelessly connect those devices to the home Wi-Fi router and translate commands sent between the Thread and Wi-Fi networks. The thread networking protocol uses less battery power than Wi-Fi, making it a better option for connecting small, low-power devices like sensors and smart locks.
Pinna: a set of security sensors that send alerts to the Flintstone hub whenever a homeowner’s doors or windows are opened.
Keshi: a Thread-connected sensor that could be used for a variety of purposes. For instance, the sensor could be placed in a key fob and used to unlock a smart lock when the user gets home.
Voice-recognition device: Google is working on its own voice-recognition device that will compete with Amazon’s Echo, and Nest is part of the project, according to The Information. Google already has its own voice-recognition technology that is installed in the Android mobile operating system. The device Google is working on would bring that technology into the home and allow users to control their smart home devices by voice command.
Nest isn’t the only company that has struggled to make successful smart home products. There are many major barriers in the market that providers have yet to address including the high cost of smart home devices, the vulnerability of these devices to hackers, and the lack of standards that would allow different devices from different manufacturers to communicate with each other. Despite these overarching issues, improved home security is one of the biggest benefits that consumers want from their smart home devices. So Nest’s potential move into the home security market would be a logical one