Friday, April 14, 2000

The Cyber Scene in Dallas ~ by Gregg Wetterman

Back on a team
Back in August, Sabre (Parent of offered me an early out, so I cashed in my chips and walked. My dad always taught me to take the cash when someone offers because they may be broke tomorrow. So for the last few months I have spent every day meeting as many new faces as I could in the Net sector, working on a couple of deals, and seeing if I could find a new home. Not just a job but a home a place where I could grow and help build something. Last week I found that home with It must say something that I would give up my life of leisure to hook up with a start-up that is moving somewhere between Warp and Net speed. But the lure of being part of a team at a Start-Up is more than this mere mortal could resist. Well that's enough of my shameless self-promotion, so it is time to pack my lunch and get back to work.

The weekly "High Tech Happy Hour" started with a storm and ended with lots of laughs. As I was sitting at a stoplight watching traffic barriers being blown across the street I thought that I might be the only person crazy enough to be driving across town for a "Happy Hour" in the middle of a storm. I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in the door of SOHO to find a small crowd had arrived early for this week's festivities, that was sponsored by the VC firm of Sevin Rosen. Tim Hoffman of the DPC Group was even brave enough to make the trip over from Fort Worth. Between the tornado that hit Fort Worth a few days ago and then wrecking his Lotus on Friday night I would have locked myself in the house on this stormy night. We could have called it Media Night since the local press was out in force. I met Jennifer Files, a tech writer for the Dallas Morning news, and I would have hunted her down earlier if I had only known she was so much fun. Jeff Bounds the tech writer for the Dallas Business Journal made a rare appearance since the Happy Hours usually conflict with his weekly deadline. Lizz Eldridge of was one of many new faces I had a chance to meet. Catherine McEachern and Rob Brull of the SMU MBA program stopped by to say hello. Marianne Radwan of Sevin Rosen was busy enlisting people in the scuba certification course and weekend dive trip's that she and I are putting together for this summer. If anyone would like information about the trip go to

Then we headed for Café Gecko
After SOHO cleared out a motley crew of the regulars and I headed over to the Gecko for a less refined get-together. Tom Howard of appears to have gotten over his fear of traveling into the edges of suburbia since this is the second week that he has driven into the heart of Volvo country to make a "Happy Hour." The guys from appeared to be right at home. I am still trying to figure out who the entertaining guy was that made all the new friends at Gecko.

Elf bowling and offices in hotel rooms
The Dallas Fort Worth Interactive Marketing Association ( meeting was the usual Who's Who of the North Texas Internet marketing world. and did presentations on viral marketing. You may know Vectrix as the company that did the Elf Bowling online game last Christmas and that has had over 50 million hits since it started. Carl T. Anderson, one of the cofounders of Alladvantage, discussed how they started and launched in just a few weeks time. They actually had two offices in hotel rooms, in the very beginning. That's the type of story that you love to tell after you are king of the hill.

"Having the time of my life"