Tony is a lover of life, idea architect and technology innovator & founder. Follow Tony on Twitter: @Siress
Thanks for taking to time to answer some questions, Tony. As an experienced advisor, what do you think are the two top mistakes a startup/entrepreneur can make in the first year of a company?
In your opinion, what are the three key elements of success for a startup in Silicon Valley?
People (your team is crucial), Market (know what you are solving for) and Technology (be really good at what you do) — FOCUS!
Which company are you keeping a close eye on for 2013 and why?
Twitter. In the beginning, I did not really get it, but now I see it as the most accurate and immediate source of global news. In addition, it has become the go-to platform for advertising & analytics.
Which industry do you expect to see the most growth in this year?
I believe NFC will get real traction when Apple releases their next iPhone with NFC chip support, this will give global scale to end-point devices and allow real movement to support true wallet replacement via the mobile device.
Which industry could benefit from growth this year?
Can I have two? I think solving TV (remove cable box nightmare) — think TIVO you can talk too, and automotive INFOTAINMENT. Again, bringing together your iPhone/Android or Windows mobile phone into an integrated environment that really allows you to drive and not look at your handset (verbal texting, readback text, etc.).
Ok, enough work talk, we noticed you’re a big traveler. Where has been your favorite place to visit and why?
Four Seasons Bora Bora: Everywhere you looked was like a postcard. I have never seen a more beautiful place; the water was 100 shades of blue. It was amazing!
If you could go anywhere in the world to spend 24 hours, where would you go? What would be on your list of things to do?
24 hours! Oh put me on Air Force One to spend 24 hours with the President… I think the list of things to do would be pretty interesting, don’t you think?
Nice, would love to be a fly on the wall for that convo! Describe a day in the life of Tony – how do you start and end your day?
8:30am: Starbucks for my skinny mocha and an egg white feta wrap (of course reading Zite while waiting in
10am: About 30-45 minutes reading Zite and sending articles
11am: I start checking email and working on my plan
Noon: Take a break for lunch
1:30pm: Walk my dogs (Lilly my Frenchie and Star my Rottweiler)
2:30pm: Back to working on my plan, calls, emails and meetings if necessary
6pm: Try and grab a bite to eat, sometimes with friends
7:30pm: Reset, break, breather… (Zite)
9:30/10:30pm: Watch my shows
11pm: Use Zite or a Kindle or Audible
Glad to see someone actually take breaks during the day…
How did you first encounter Zite? Do you remember your first experiences with Zite?
I was a BETA user of Zite and I remember loading it onto my iPad and thinking, ‘OMG this is like Pandora for news.’ I probably spent 2 or 3 hours reading through all of the topics, using the thumbs up and thumbs down. I told the world that a game changing application was coming.
Why do you use Zite?
Zite has become my morning and evening ritual. I use Zite (actually replaced WSJ, Bloomberg and NY Times’ apps with Zite) because I find the quality and breadth of articles and sources is far greater than I could have ever imagined.
What other apps do you use daily and why?
Other than Zite, I use email of course, iMessage (unified messaging on the iOS and OSX), Amazon, Kindle, Calendar and the browser.
If you could add one category – anything – what would it be?
“Craftsman Homes” or “Arts & Crafts Homes.”
What are you working on now? Anything coming up in the next few months that’s got you excited?
I like being a catalyst. I love investing in people. I recently opened a restaurant in Oakland (Duende) and invested in a hip wine bar in SF called Tank18, but the project that has got me most excited right now is solving the age old problem of inaccurate contact information for your address book on your mobile phone. Today we are administrators of everyone’s information on our phones. Without copying everything to a server, we want to allow people to own their personal contact and share it with people in their lives, controlling who gets what, so you never have to update anyone’s information again. Imagine.
YOU are only responsible for YOU…you change something. It should update everywhere you have shared it automatically based on the relationships you defined.