Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Samuel Scott, Greg O'Connor, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Java IoT, IoT User Interface

Agile Computing: Article

"Hard Work Pays Off" – Exclusive Q&A with Alan Meckler, Chairman and CEO, Jupitermedia Corporation

Jeremy Geelan Talks with the Man Behind Internet.com, the Internet World Trade Show, and Now Jupitermedia

(March 23, 2006 - 10:30 AM) - Jupitermedia, Jupiterweb, Jupiterresearch, Jupiterimagesin the seven brief years since selling Mecklermedia, the Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia, Alan Meckler (pictured), has crammed in what most business leaders would happily have accepted as their entire lifetime's achievement. SYS-CON Media group publisher and editorial director Jeremy Geelan caught up with him to celebrate the new i-technology year, and here's what he had to say...
JEREMY GEELAN: Thanks for taking the time to speak with SYS-CON Media. Your industry reputation naturally precedes you, but for anyone reading this who has been living in a cave for the past decade, can you just summarize what's been happening with you since selling Mecklermedia to Penton in November 1998?

ALAN MECKLER: The same old stuff. Building a public company. Of course there have been twists along the way. We became Internet.com Corporation and went public in June 1999. The model was original content spread over a network of tech web sites. Things were great until the bottom fell out of the Internet ad market in the Spring of 2000. By 2001 we had to change the model. We kept the content but started to evolve. We created a trade show group in 2001, bought great and undervalued Web assets such as the Earthweb assets and Jupiter Research (2002). Also we had 9/11—[which] hurt all of us. We changed our name to Jupitermedia in the Fall of 2002. By 2003 we started to make money and moved into selling images. (That is a whole [separate] essay, on why and how we did this.)


GEELAN: In other words, in the seven brief years since selling Mecklermedia you appear to have crammed in what most business leaders would happily have accepted as their entire lifetime's achievement. Is that a function primarily of the Internet, or primarily of Alan M. Meckler?

MECKLER: Hard work pays off. The harder you work the luckier you get (they say!). But it is better to be luckier than good.

More seriously, I have surrounded myself with terrific colleagues. 55 people from Mecklermedia came over with me to form the present company and most are still with me. I might have a bit of vision, but [it] sure helps to have some great workers!
GEELAN: You predicted back in the September 2000 issue of Business 2.0—in a piece entitled "I Want My N/TV!"—that it was only a matter of time before trade print magazine would go the way of the dinosaur and that the future of B2B publishing was 100% online. What was it precisely made you so certain so early on of the exact course of events that we have all of course seen unfold since?

MECKLER: Glad you mentioned this. I am proud of that prediction and glad it was in print for the record. I made a lot of predictions in 1994 through 1996 that have been on the mark, but I have no written or Web proof.

More specifically, our own experience at Mecklermedia with converting print titles to Web sites in’96 and ’97 got me to thinking about the death of print (for Tech)—which was a sure shot by 2000. Another point: I am a trained historian (Ph.D. in American history) and have had the advantage of observing and working and then making strategic decision based on what I have witnessed and trends that are appearing.


GEELAN:
When you created the Internet World trade show did you ever think it would grow to the size it did?

MECKLER: I had an inkling that it would be big, but never dreamt about what actually took place. I literally used to pinch myself in the years 1994-1997 to believe my good fortune. 
GEELAN: You once compared Fred Rosen, CEO of COMDEX producer Key3Media, to the captain of the Titanic. Nonetheless, your own rival cdXpo didn't thrive—was it a question of not being able to re-heat a souffle?

MECKLER:
Taking on Rosen was a cakewalk. I knew that COMDEX was dead when we embarked on our cdXpo. I gambled that we could unseat COMDEX, have a solid first show, and then have our event become a small but focused event for that week in Las vegas every November. We almost pulled it off, and in fact if I had not turned to images in late 2003, we would have made it because as we know COMDEX folded. All in all I am glad how it turned out.


GEELAN:
I got myself into all sorts of hot water recently by asking "Are We Blogging Each Other To Death?" Does your own experience with corporate blogging--in which you were one of the pioneers, having started your "Internet Media Commentary" blog in February 2003, lead you to believe that in the future there will be more CEO blogs being launched...or fewer? Why?

MECKLER:
I doubt you will see CEOs blog the way I do. Being the largest stockholder as well as Chairman gives me some leeway that the average CEO would never have. No hired gun is going to take the chance of being frank—particularly if he has to report to a Board of Directors.

Writing a blog has its burdens—one, I have to worry about public information—that cramps my style. Also it is a lot f pressure to write three or more times a week. But now I have a following so I feel I need to keep it going.


GEELAN: Blogspotters will be struck by the difference between your blog, written as you say with the safety net of being the largest stockholder in Jupitermedia Corp, and the COO blog of say Sun's Jonathan Schwartz, where he possibly has to look over his shoulder a bit more carefully. Yet neither of you permit feedback. Isn't a blog where the feedback functionality is permanently disabled a little like a refrigerator with no icebox; what's to come for?

MECKLER:
I had feedback for about 6 months, but the [feedback] spam overwhelmed me. When we unplugged comments about 5 months ago I was getting 20 spam comments a day—a real pain, I enjoyed the comments.


GEELAN:
Are there also SoX implications, given that Jupiter's a public company?

MECKLER: SOX stinks. I do not think it prevents fraud. It is a waste of stockholders’ money. There is a movement to cut back some SOX reporting for companies with market caps below $750M—“Amen.” It costs us about $2M a year to be SOX-compliant.


GEELAN:
Seth Godin has written that blogs work when they are based on six things: Candor, Urgency, Timeliness, Pithiness, Controversy, and Utility; if a blogger can't deliver on at least four of the six, he says, they shouldn’t bother to blog at all.

MECKLER: Probably true, but I never take Seth Godin too seriously…


GEELAN:
You have turned JupiterImages into one of the leading images companies in the world, with over seven million images online, and turned the division into such a powerhouse that you're now I notice describing Jupitermedia itself as "a leading global provider of original images, information and research for creative, information technology and business professionals." When did you first realize that images represented such a huge market opportunity for you?

MECKLER:
October 2003, about 6 months after our first image purchase. I could not believe the profit margins—I was hooked and saw several openings that Getty and Corbis had missed. We are now executing on those openings.


GEELAN:
So what you're saying is that the Internet's role for you, for JupiterImages, is as a distribution channel—with no promotion cost and no inventory cost. Does that mean that there are other business opportunities this big that may still lie ahead for Jupitermedia? Might we see Jupitermusic, for example? Or even Jupitersoft?

MECKLER:
Correct to a point—however we still need to direct mail and place spot ads for the image division. But this will change in about 5 years. We just made our first music deal—BBM.net, very small but very interesting. Many more chapters to come for sure.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (5) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
SYS-CON Australia News Desk 06/03/06 11:16:09 AM EDT

In the seven brief years since selling Mecklermedia, the Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia - Alan Meckler - appears to have packed in what most business leaders would happily have accepted as their lifetime's achievement. SYS-CON Media group publisher and editorial director Jeremy Geelan caught up with him to celebrate the new technology year, and here's what he had to say...

SYS-CON Belgium News Desk 06/03/06 10:31:19 AM EDT

In the seven brief years since selling Mecklermedia, the Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia - Alan Meckler - appears to have packed in what most business leaders would happily have accepted as their lifetime's achievement. SYS-CON Media group publisher and editorial director Jeremy Geelan caught up with him to celebrate the new technology year, and here's what he had to say...

SYS-CON Italy News Desk 06/03/06 09:44:25 AM EDT

In the seven brief years since selling Mecklermedia, the Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia - Alan Meckler - appears to have packed in what most business leaders would happily have accepted as their lifetime's achievement. SYS-CON Media group publisher and editorial director Jeremy Geelan caught up with him to celebrate the new technology year, and here's what he had to say...

Enterprise Open Source News Desk 06/03/06 09:35:09 AM EDT

In the seven brief years since selling Mecklermedia, the Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia - Alan Meckler - appears to have packed in what most business leaders would happily have accepted as their lifetime's achievement. SYS-CON Media group publisher and editorial director Jeremy Geelan caught up with him to celebrate the new technology year, and here's what he had to say...

SYS-CON Italy News Desk 03/23/06 10:15:56 AM EST

In the seven brief years since selling Mecklermedia, the Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia - Alan Meckler - appears to have packed in what most business leaders would happily have accepted as their lifetime's achievement. SYS-CON Media group publisher and editorial director Jeremy Geelan caught up with him to celebrate the new technology year, and here's what he had to say...

@ThingsExpo Stories
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
Containers are not new, but renewed commitments to performance, flexibility, and agility have propelled them to the top of the agenda today. By working without the need for virtualization and its overhead, containers are seen as the perfect way to deploy apps and services across multiple clouds. Containers can handle anything from file types to operating systems and services, including microservices. What are microservices? Unlike what the name implies, microservices are not necessarily small, but are focused on specific tasks. The ability for developers to deploy multiple containers – thous...
Contrary to mainstream media attention, the multiple possibilities of how consumer IoT will transform our everyday lives aren’t the only angle of this headline-gaining trend. There’s a huge opportunity for “industrial IoT” and “Smart Cities” to impact the world in the same capacity – especially during critical situations. For example, a community water dam that needs to release water can leverage embedded critical communications logic to alert the appropriate individuals, on the right device, as soon as they are needed to take action.
The Internet of Things is in the early stages of mainstream deployment but it promises to unlock value and rapidly transform how organizations manage, operationalize, and monetize their assets. IoT is a complex structure of hardware, sensors, applications, analytics and devices that need to be able to communicate geographically and across all functions. Once the data is collected from numerous endpoints, the challenge then becomes converting it into actionable insight.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, will discuss how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the data to create additional revenue streams, such as improved warranties or premium features. Or slash...
While many app developers are comfortable building apps for the smartphone, there is a whole new world out there. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Narayan Sainaney, Co-founder and CTO of Mojio, will discuss how the business case for connected car apps is growing and, with open platform companies having already done the heavy lifting, there really is no barrier to entry.
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Treloar, President and COO of Bebaio, will explore examples of brands transforming their businesses by t...
The 3rd International WebRTC Summit, to be held Nov. 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 15th International Cloud Expo, 6th International Big Data Expo, 3rd International DevOps Summit and 2nd Internet of @ThingsExpo. WebRTC (Web-based Real-Time Communication) is an open source project supported by Google, Mozilla and Opera that aims to enable bro...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on demos and comprehensive walkthroughs.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts, GM of Platform at FinancialForce.com, will discuss the value of business applications on wearable ...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lee Williams, a producer of the first smartphones and tablets, will talk about how he is now applying his experience in mobile technology to the design and development of the next generation of Environmental and Sustainability Services at ETwater. He will explain how M2M controllers work through wirelessly connected remote controls; and specifically delve into a retrofit option that reverse-engineers control codes of existing conventional controller systems so they don't have to be replaced and are instantly converted to become smart, connected devices.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevOps to advance innovation and increase agility. Specializing in designing, imple...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and analyzed? As an area of investment, how might a retail company move towards an innovation methodolo...