Wednesday, November 24, 1999

The Cyber Scene in LA ~ by Suzanne Hornwood

At the old Victorian manor on Main Street, in the heart of the Digital Coast, the Monthly VIC@Victorian event was much a buzz on November 18th. As I made my way around the crowd, the faces of new members drowned out the old gang. Of course Brad Nye, the man of the house, greeted the arriving guests with usual charm. With NAPTE coming up in New Orleans at the end of January, Nina Steiner spoke with developers and other good fits to take booth space in the new media pavilion on the show floor, the likes of which has quadrupled in space since last year.

Bill Rini, of eToys, held court on the front porch in matching black leather jackets with Mark Jeffrey, who finally got a day of sleep after 5 days awake in pre-launch craziness. His new technology found at sounds just like one of the next success stories to hit the SAR/DCR front

If you comb the social scene like I do, you will be happy to hear there's a new trade group in town. The Zone's Jean Oh passed out the first issue of The Zone News, featuring Dayton and Winebaum on the front cover. Focused toward the VC community, the Zone will also print a directory and hold several events in the coming months.

The award for best greeting of the night goes to Tony Winders (iAgency), who graced the halls toward the end of the evening to hang out on the upstairs balcony with Tino Magnatta from, Lev Chapelsky from, and Catherine Park, currently the most sought after C level brain. Also on the balcony were Dave Kendall and Seth Seaburg from Raygun, David Conlan from CTP, and Jill Holtzman who recently returned from working for the Mayor of Jerusalem to find a post at East West Capital here in LA. Not to be missed was Josh Avedon, long time industry consultant, in a suit and tie, signifying his new post at Arc Interactive, a strategic consulting firm and the new kids on the block at the Water Garden.

AppNet Los Angeles had the highest turnout with division President Chris Paine, a VIC faithful, yours truly, Shona Gupta ("Gupta- it's like Smith in India"), Jill Spelbring, Carl Brinkman, Mark Berger and Les Wong shaking digits with the best of them.

If you haven't heard about iFuse, then you must have missed the Forbes article two weeks ago. The generation Y venture's Benjamin Nemo was on hand in the entry hall hoping to plug into real entrepreneurship in LA. With him was Juan from Goldman Sachs, who must have just unrolled his shirt sleeves from working on the Disney/Infoseek business.

Leslie Berliant, who runs the LA office of eTalent Agency, and her new Account Executive, Josh Weichbrodt, worked the floor in search of talent and their future homes. Leslie and Josh place creative talent in many of the best shops in town and represent hundreds of artists.We've all been focusing on innovative technology, but the most inventive solution for my cold toes due to really sassy sandals worn in the Winter goes to Paul Mauriello from Next Generation Network. His partner at, Scott Pummill, from New Jersey but also fluent in Korean, wowed me with a recitation of poetry at the close of the event. Gees, I wonder if they learn those talents at NGN sales training!

It was another successful event for Darren Eng, of VIC fame, who, at the end of the evening, escorted the conversation-induced stragglers, locked up and turned out the lights. The next events are the VIC Breakfast on 11/30 and the Holiday party on 12/6. Check out their site at , mark your pilots and see you there.

Marc Brown's Birthday Celebration in Venice, CA 11/19/99
Marc Brown's party invitation has truly demonstrated the rumors I have been hearing. Orange is the new black. And if anyone knows design, it would be Marc Brown, the Creative Director at XCeed, formerly Troon. Though not attended by the usual crowd or even a majority crowd of the tech community,
the gathering was certainly highlighted by people in entertainment like Tony Hoffer who just coproduced the new Beck album, Heather Waterman, Director of Development at Dustin Hoffman's film company, Scott from the CAA engineering department (who argued semantics with me over his very tactile cashmere mock turtleneck), Andrea Rose from Shelter Management and a group from Digital

Digital Coast people included social scene senior, Betsy Rowbottom, VP of Page One, a financial consulting company, Xceed members Darek 'DRock' Senkow, tech lead, and Tara Wildnauer, producer. Also roaming the scene were Boris Shimonofsky, the CTO of XAP Inc., and Natasha Shapiro from Computer Age Dentist. (And yes, Boris and Natasha are together.)

When asked about his business, Boris had a few things to say. You might just relate. He remarked that XAP was experiencing "growth at the speed of light, just like everyone else," and that he's "frustrated on a daily basis but it's still pretty dam cool." Spoken like a true CTO. Perhaps a little yoga meditation class from Goli Gabbay would be just the trick for technology tension...

The DJ was spinning discs all night for people dancing in the living room, or standing around in Marc's roommate's very Japanese style living quarters. Those of us in the backyard enjoyed the fresh air and the fresher beverages. MB30, as it was called, graced by the man of the evening in hyper fashion,
felt like a really good place to be, a swirling lava lamp of technologists and artists. For more pics see the Web site: