New York, New York

Time Square Cab

So Michael (one of my co-workers at ThinkCash)  and I just got back from NY where we attended AdTech. AdTech is the biggest conference in the online advertising business and has literally grown to ridiculous proportions over the years. One of the traditions of AdTech are companies (mostly run by young CEOs/Founders and flush with cash) throwing very extravagant parties. This isn’t a bad thing. I enjoy attending the parties and seeing old friends; however, it seems like every year they become more and more decadent/strange. This years winner for strangest party took place at Pacha (a very hip NY club). The party was hosted by no-less than 10 different companies and featured performances by Rob Base (of “It Takes Two” fame) and Turbo from the movie Breakin (an 80’s classic). But this wasn’t the strange part. The strange part were the people walking around the party in mascot outfits. There was a Chuck E. Cheese, a Paddington Bear, etc. It was a little surreal to see Paddington Bear dancing to Rob Bass.

The big news at the show was Facebook announcing it will offer new advertising options. The “social ads” will take several forms on the site, propelled by an ad system that, according to the company, “enables people to provide trusted referrals to their friends and helps businesses to spread information.” For example, Movie Clique is a new Blockbuster application built on the Facebook Platform that enables Facebook users to search thousands of movie titles and create lists of movies they want to see, movies they’ve already seen and all-time favorites — along with ratings and reviews — to share with their friends. Users who subscribe to Blockbuster’s online rental service can also rent movies directly from Blockbuster without leaving the Facebook website. I think this platform will work well for a handful of advertisers, but it just isn’t relevant for 90% of the products and services out there.

It was a productive conference because Michael and I got to visit with about 10 of our biggest partners, which is much easier and cheaper than flying all over the country to visit the same partners. However, my favorite part of the trip was on Monday night when I took Michael to my favorite pizza place in the world – Lombardi’s in Little Italy

Lombardi’s was the first pizzeria to open in the US (in 1905).

The pizza is Neapolitan-style, cooked in the original oven (over 100 years old), and is amazing. It used to only seat 25-30 (so there were often long waits) but they recently expanded so we had no problem getting a table. I requested that we be seated on the “old side” so Michael could get the full experience. So the waitress sat us at a table next to none other than John Mayer. It’s always fun to go to NY or LA and have a “star-sighting”.

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