Digital Estate

my lasting imprint online

Posts Tagged ‘WDYTYA’

Investor Early Stages: UK vs. NA

Posted by Paul on April 16, 2009

Since returning to the UK to begin arcalife’s 3rd round of funding, I’ve had a number of investor meetings through contacts and friends of friends. There is a definite difference in attitude on this side of the pond as far as VC’s, angels and also investors more generally are concerned.

Clearly the particularly bad state of the economy doesn’t help the situation, but it’s more than that. My observations, (not original I am sure) are that the UK generally seems more risk averse when it comes to tech investment, especially in the early stage. It makes sense to me now that almost none of the worlds large social networks started here. This matches with some of the early experience we have had with PR in the UK market. While we have had plenty of traction and then some since our UK launch at Who Do You Think You Are Live, it’s certainly more challenging to make your voice heard here.

It seems, in general, that more groundwork needs to be laid here, as a matter of course, in both the investment and PR spaces – there is not much shooting from the hip going on by these people. I don’t necessarily think that it’s a lack of innovative spirit that drives this. I’d put it down to greater caution; on account of the complexity/density of the market and the competition here in the UK. Still, from my perspective as a now self dubbed ‘North American Entrepreneur’ the approach seems over-cautious, perhaps even a little ‘nay saying’.

It definitely seems a bit strange to come all the way back to the UK to leverage the extensive network I have here… only to end up with many of the follow-ups being on the west coast of North America. Why does North America have a different risk reward tolerance? How has the UK ended up in a position where its’ banks will invest in unsound liabilities and yet it’s early stage investors are few and far between ?

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Posted in Ancestry, arcalife, Digital Estate, Digital Legacy, Family History, family tree, Genealogy, Investors, Startups | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Interview On Roots TV

Posted by Paul on March 17, 2009

One of the best things about our UK launch was actually meeting many of the people who support and lead the genealogy space. We have been following them over the last few months, but there is no substitute for actually meeting people face to face. We had many nice compliments from fellow members of the competitive community. This, coupled with a warm reception from many well established and well known Genealogists, made the “Who Do You Think You Are Live” show a very pleasurable experience for myself and the arcalife team.

The best thing of all was the recognition that arcalife is genuinely bringing something new to people. Now that I have watched it back, my interview with Dick Eastman and Megan Smolenyak for Roots TV reminded me how nice the welcome was.

Watch the full Roots TV interview here.

Posted in Ancestry, arcalife, arcalife.com, Conference, Digital Estate, Event, Family History, family tree, Genealogy, Media, Memories, WDYTYA, Who Do You Think You Are | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wrap-Up From The UK:Who Do You Think You Are Live 09

Posted by Paul on March 4, 2009

arcalife At Genealogy Event Who Do You Think You Are Live 09
The UK genealogy show “Who Do You Think You Are” is over for another year. Talking to Dick Eastman and Megan Smolenyak I was surprised to hear that there is nothing like this In North America. Perhaps it’s the geography that prevents hundreds of thousands or even millions of Family historians from getting together to share their passion for the ‘artform’.

Attendance at the UK show was probably around 10 thousand this year, although official figures aren’t out yet. The next largest shows in the US, are less than a fifth of this size: Genealogy Jamboree, FGS in Little Rock and NGS in North Carolina.

How is it that when family history is so important to so many people that the world’s biggest market does not have any major celebration for this?

Clearly one answer is cost; the other seems to be that there are quite a few people thinking about putting on a show, but no one has quite got there yet. My hope is that the airing of the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are” in the US, with celebs like Sarah Jessica Parker and others, will provide the platform for the live show to be spun into action in the same way that it did in the UK.
With arcalife attending the show for the first time for its UK launch, we definitely took away the feeling that we had joined a community of companies (albeit competitive).

Thank-you to those who made us feel welcome, especially Megan Smolenyak, Dick Eastman, Nick Barratt, Olivier Van Calster, Charlotte Campion, Charlotte Wiberg and Chris Paton.

In all the show was highly successful and enjoyable for us. Here are some of our favourite moments: check out our YouTube Channel – you might just find yourself in there… We snapped a few photos as well. Would be great to reconnect with those we met and meet more of you out there – post a comment and let us know what you think!

Posted in Ancestry, arcalife, arcalife.com, Conference, Digital Estate, Event, Family History, family tree, Genealogy, Memories, NBC, Social Networks, Television Series, WDYTYA, Who Do You Think You Are | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Day One: Who Do You Think You Are Live 09

Posted by Paul on February 27, 2009

It’s been a great if a little tiring day at “Who do you think you are live 09”.

The day started well … with a few technical issues. Luckily, my brother AKA super Dave, was able to run the 3 miles to the store to buy the new cable we needed. It’s kind of hard to show your website with no demonstration screen!

The reception to our site has been extremely positive and it has been a good validation of our vision. We have probably had a couple of hundred people through the stand today and we are hoping for more tomorrow. Even with the hardcore genealogist set, there is a strong understanding of our messages – that their memories, as well as their research needs to live on. We are the only site out there that is doing this, I hope that they take the opportunity to take their research to new place and turn it into a true Digital Estate.

The show itself looks great. No tanks this year, but plenty of other great stuff to see and do. I have been really impressed with the organization of the event, although not sure exactly how many people have attended today, but the educated guess seems to be around the 3 thousand mark.

Tomorrow is another day, as they say. I am looking forward to hearing more great stories and memories from our guests on stand. If you are in the neighborhood please drop by and see us at stand 701.

If you happen to be on twitter, follow my random thoughts of the day.

And I’ve created a YouTube Channel as well and posting the event for you to get an intimate sense of all that’s happening…the man with a plan:

Posted in Ancestry, arcalife, arcalife.com, Conference, Digital Estate, Event, Family History, family tree, Genealogy, Memories, Social Networks, WDYTYA, Who Do You Think You Are | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Set Up Day At Who Do You Think You Are Live 09

Posted by Paul on February 26, 2009

Posted in Ancestry, arcalife, arcalife.com, Conference, Digital Estate, Event, Family History, family tree, Genealogy, Memories, Social Networks, WDYTYA, Who Do You Think You Are | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Your Digital Estate: arcalife Heading to Who Do You Think You Are in the UK

Posted by Paul on February 24, 2009

wdytyaThe coming week is an exciting prospect for arcalife.com. After months of work we finally get to air our wares to a large group of genealogists at Who Do You Think You Are in Olympia, London. The title of the show got me to thinking about just that exact thing.

Who do we think we are as a company, heading into a market that’s is very well established with some ostensibly successful companies ?

At least two clear messages keep coming back at me from the conversations I am having online and face to face, with those engaged in this space:

  • The first goes along the lines of the conversation I had this week with Tamura Jones; while the more established companies are doing well, there is significant room for improvement. It’s not always clear to those immersed in this world what those improvements should be, but as a company and as relative outsiders, I believe that we have an objective to feel as to what those gaps are.
  • The second is derived more from the grass roots or amateur family historian; no-one seems to have yet combined the social aspects of family, with the content richness of life and the ability to do research all in one spot.

arcalife-logo-betaI know that we have the tools, offerings and ideas to become highly successful in this space. Our intention is to build a community that is truly invested in immortalizing its memories and experiences on line, and bring together the idea of family in the past, the present and the future.

It remains to be seen how well, and how quickly our potential members will take to what we have done, and indeed the extent to which we can raise our voices above the cacophony. The opportunity to test our vision with the people that matter, is what makes this such an exciting coming week in the UK. Outside pundits and tech commentators, on shows like Spark, Digital Planet, Click and Get Connected seem to be aligned with the vision of a lasting Digital Estate, to immortalize your memories online, and consequently we are receiving attention from that community.

Hopefully that means that the timing is right for wider support. On a personal level, I cannot think of much that would be more rewarding than realizing this vision ……. and the things I can think of, are all to do with family and friends.

Posted in Ancestry, arcalife, arcalife.com, Conference, Digital Estate, Digital Legacy, Event, Family History, family tree, Genealogy, Media, Memories, Social Networks, WDYTYA, Who Do You Think You Are | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »