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STEVE WODA'S BLOG

… Technology, Digital Family Safety and Security, Entrepreneurship, and Fatherhood

 

uKnowKids Epilogue and Announcement

Ten years ago, in partnership with Tim Woda and a group of amazing investors, advisors, employees, and family, I set out to make the digital world a safer place for kids and their families by founding the digital family safety company, uKnow.com and its flagship product, uKnowKids. The first company I founded after graduating from Wharton in 2001, buySAFE, focused on making e-commerce safer for consumers and more profitable for merchants. If you have ever seen the Norton Safe

Thank you buySAFE!

After almost nine years of building buySAFE, I am leaving the Company in very capable hands, with fresh funding, and the brightest future that the Company has ever had. It has been a deeply satisfying experience to create something valuable, and I want to sincerely thank our customers, our partners, my colleagues and the many investors who made buySAFE possible. I am obviously looking forward to my next adventure, but I am also very much looking forward to buySAFE’s continued

Dancing with First Round Capital

These guys are creative; they have been in the trenches themselves (multiple times!); they have been successful (multiple times!); and most of all, they like working with entrepreneurs because they are entrepreneurs. I have had the pleasure of working with and knowing lots of technology investors, and along the way, I have learned a thing or two about who you want to try and work with (and what you want to avoid).  These guys are good.  Period.  In addition, their holiday vid

How Do You Win a Business Plan Competition?

The short answer is that you need to be very, very good.  There are a lot of terrific, aspiring entrepreneurs out there, and so a bit of luck is useful too.  Having said that, winning isn't everything. buySAFE is actually a product of the 2002 Wharton Business Plan Competition, but the plan was not the winning plan.  PayMyBills.com has a similar story.  The founders and my good friends, Jeff Grass and John Tedesco, were finalists, but not winners, in the 1999 Wharton Business

Obama is More Famous, But Paris Has a Better Energy Policy

Okay.  I couldn't resist digressing a bit today. Paris might not be as famous as Obama, but she seems to have a better energy policy than he does.  She makes fun of the "white haired dude" as well.  This spoof is a classic. Nicely done Paris.  You're "so hot!"  🙂 See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die Also, while I have you here, please check out buySAFE's new safe shopping tool, Shopping Advisor.  This revolutionary application is something that my team has been worki

buySAFE on YouTube in Football video

I just came across this video on YouTube about buySAFE, and I wanted to share with you. I believe it was produced by a new employee on our team, and to be honest, I am pretty impressed with his creativity. Clearly, it is an amateur video, but again, you have to love it when young folks take the initiative to use their skills in a creative manner. Nice work. Your commentary on the video are welcomed so feel free to provide comments! #buySAFE #Football #YouTube

buySAFE on TechNow

Here is a quick news story on buySAFE featuring both Jeff Grass, buySAFE’s CEO, and Travis Brown, buySAFE’s GC. Nice work guys! #buySAFE #JeffGrass #TechNow #TravisBrown

Daily Roundup for 2008-03-31

How To Create Your Own Wikipedia Page – Search Engine Guide Blog Most savvy SEOs know that Google is placing an increased weight on links from “authority” websites. Wikipedia, a free internet encyclopedia that can be edited by any user, is certainly one of the top authority websites in the eyes of Google and I´m certainly not the first SEO to observe that an awful lot of Wikipedia pages are currently ranking quite highly in the SERPS. Many of you likely have tried to place y

Daily Roundup for 2008-02-27

A CEO Manning the Phones Each Day? When Alden Kellogg discovered a glitch on Wesabe, he went to the personal finance tracker’s home page, looking for a tech support number or e-mail. Instead, he found a link labeled "Talk to Jason, CEO of Wesabe." The page invites users to reach CEO Jason Knight by phone during a four-hour period seven days a week. Kellogg, a 35-year-old attorney in New Orleans, called the number in July, and Knight picked up. Amazon.com Tests Retailer Ads –

The eMarket for Lemons at The Wharton School

I had the opportunity to speak at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania last week about an article that Dr. Eric Clemons recently authored for the Journal of Management Information Systems, "An Empirical Investigation of Third-Party Seller Rating Systems in E-Commerce: The Case of buySAFE". My presentation was focused on marketplace economics and specifically about information asymmetry, signaling, the "Market for Lemons" concept, and buySAFE. In addition, I was ab

Daily Roundup for 2008-02-11

Would Microsoft-Yahoo! Mean More Competition? – eMarketer On the surface, Microsoft’s $44 billion offer to acquire Yahoo! seems to simplify the US search market share race. The combined firm would be second in online ad revenues to No.1 Google, and ahead of AOL. In 2007, Google rang up nearly $6 billion, while Yahoo! had about $3.4 billion and MSN had $1.4 billion net revenues. McAfee’s New Secure Web Platform Steers Millions of Consumers to the Secure Internet McAfee, Inc. t

Daily Roundup for 2008-01-18

Online shoppers worrying about privacy – baltimoresun.com Privacy concerns stemming from online shopping rose in 2007, a new study finds, as the loss or theft of credit Privacy concerns stemming from online shopping rose in 2007, a new study finds, as the loss or theft of credit card information and other personal data soared to unprecedented levels. Sixty-one percent of adult Americans said they were very or extremely concerned about the privacy of personal information when

buySAFE is Hiring Talented Software Developers and Sales Executives

As many of you know, 2007 was an amazing year for buySAFE as we accomplished more than 100% growth for each of the last four quarters. I expect buySAFE to continue to grow at a very fast pace in 2008, and so as you can imagine, that means we are looking to hire very talented people. Specifically, buySAFE is hiring exceptional software developers (see the position description below) and sales executives, but of course, we are always interested in meeting talent across the bo

The eMarket for Lemons and The University of Maryland

As always, it was a terrific experience for me. The students were extremely prepared, and they had definitely done their homework on buySAFE, information asymmetry, and the ecommerce marketplace in general. If you ever want to get an excellent sense of how well your marketing efforts are working or how well you are educating the market about your solution, I highly recommend inviting a couple hundred college students to study your product or service and let them give you fe

A Few Interesting, Recent eCommerce and Entrepreneurship Articles

Good morning everyone! If you know me well, you know that I am a voracious reader of anything and everything that I believe is interesting or useful either personally or professionally. My colleagues will attest to the fact that their Inbox usually has at least one article that I have recent found that might be useful for them or buySAFE. 🙂 Today, I have been catching-up on my reading list, and I thought I would share with you a few articles that I found interesting. Hope

Build Buyer Trust to Drive Holiday Revenue

How can you drive up your holiday revenue? Build trust with your buyers! That’s right. By simply spending a bit of time and energy thinking about how your consumers do their searching, shopping, and decision-making, you can increase your holiday revenues in a material fashion. On Wednesday, October 24, 2007 at 11:00-12:00 PM MDT, I will be giving an educational webinar sponsored by Infopia and buySAFE on the subject of building trust with your buyers to drive up your reve

buySAFE and ScanAlert (HACKER SAFE) Announce a Major Trust, Safety and Security Partnership

This week, buySAFE and ScanAlert, the provider of the Hacker Safe service, announced a huge partnership, and in my opinion, this is a great development for e-commerce. Under the terms of the deal, ScanAlert will provide buySAFE’s Certified Merchant solution for free to its merchants during the HACKER SAFE account activation process and from within the account management console. In addition, buySAFE will make ScanAlert’s PCI validation services available to its merchants for

Chicago Will Host eBay Live 2008

If you are an eBay fan (as I am), and you live in the Midwest, you will be very happy to learn that eBay Live 2008 will be held in Chicago. eBay has not yet announced the decision, but Ina Steiner, a very authoritative source on all things eBay, has broken the story in her "eBay Live 2008 to Be Hosted in Chicago" blog post. There are a number of major companies in the e-commerce ecosystem, both merchants and third-party service providers, that have decided to skip eBay Live

Scam of the Month – Judge Judy Punishes an Idiotic eBay Fraudster!

In this "scam of the month", Judge Judy takes on an eBay fraudster and ultimately hands out the maximum punishment. In spite of the fact that this scam seems audaciously ridiculous, it is actually quite common online. Bottom-line, there are a lot of folks out there that lack any semblance of a moral compass. My inspiration for starting buySAFE was a similar scam that I fell victim to on eBay during the summer of 2000. The only major differences that I can point to are that

The Wharton School and Entrepreneurship

The Wharton Business Plan Competition took place earlier this month, and NP Solutions was the big winner for 2007. The new venture took home the $20,000 grand prize for a business that provides a polymer based injectable hydrogel treatment for back pain. Obviously, I wish these folks a bunch of luck with their new business. As you may already know, I am a big fan of these collegiate competitions. buySAFE (formerly known as BondMyAuction) is a product of the Wharton Business

 

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