Tuesday, September 21, 1999

Cheese steaks in a stretch limo

There are a few rare moments in one's life where you relish and wonder at the situations you're in. Take Tuesday, September 21st, for instance. Josh Harris, president of Pseudo; Lara Stein, former president of iXL's New York office and now consulting; Heidi Messer, president of Linkshare, myself and Jason Calacanis, president of Silicon Alley Reporter all spread out in a white stretch limo, provided by Bob Robinson of 4MP.com noshing on Phillie Cheese Steaks and guzzling water. We'd just come from the panel we spoke on for the Entrepreneurs Forum of Greater Philadelphia at the Federal Reserve Bank on the life and times of Silicon Alley.

We were sent out to impart our wisdom and woes to the Silicon Phillie folks about starting out and up in the Internet biz. The 250 people who came to mingle and schmooze, and then listen to us, were of a very different cyber sort. This wasn't the "hey-have-you-graduated-from-High-School-yet" cyber punk, urban street crowd. This was a more seasoned entreprenuer of the non-Internet sort, who was interested in getting in where the action is. Lots of interesting people came--including some Silicon Alley-ers like Isabel Walcott of SmartGirl and Lauren Giglio of Intellispace--and came up to us afterwards, like Vijay Chattha of Philly2nite.com, a directory site similar to ClubNYC and Sidewalk combined. Irving Safra of Fax.com and director of the Entrepreneurs Club and Patrick McMichael of Storm Solutions were chatty fellows, and Dee Eckstein of Dee Co. Advertising and I shared some stories on owning our businesses. Connie Jackson of East Coast Entertainment commented that she was impressed with the panel having three women on it. True, tis a rare site for some odd reason! Gretchen Roede of the Garfield Group told me how there is lots of activity going on in the outer lying cites as well as Philadelphia, and maybe each town should take a turn to host the events.

Steven Mullin, director of commerce for the city, was direct with his honest interest in helping companies succeed in the online arena and Frank Morrocco of Icon Broadcasting was interested in helping me succeed in Philadelphia by offering to webcast my upcoming cocktail party there.

All in all, Mr. Robinson and Joshua Slavitt, are owed much credit for bringing together a wiley group from New York and getting us to the fair historic town of Philadelphia. As much as we wanted to stay and live it up in "the city that loves you back," (http://www.gophila.com/) we had to get back to the "greatest city in the world" and get ready for our busy week. Of course we didn’t leave without stopping in Jim's Steaks and getting a classic Phillie Cheese Steak (with Cheese Whiz! -- but I opted for Provolone.) Our conversations transformed from the early days to cool apartments, what kind of car we want, and what kind of dog Josh should get.

No bones about it, though, the folks from Phillie are serious about doing stuff, and don't be surprised if you see them out in NY more too.