Slowly, But Surely Getting More Validations

If you wonder who else besides Steve Jobs can predict the technology trends real well, it’s Craig Newmark, the founder of Craig’s List and now the founder of craigconnects.

I met Craig last year during the FedTalks 2010 event in downtown DC around  the time I was thinking of  building my next gig,  I managed to take 10 minutes of his time during the break to yap about  startup and the business model for the company. One minute after my yapping, like a good doctor, he gave me the good news and the bad news.

The bad news was that my idea of creating a directory of influential people was not quite original. He told me that there were other sites like Klout that have been working on a similar concept, but that they were all doing it using analytical methods. Then he gave me the good news.

The good news was that none of these sites have emerged as a winner in this space, and in fact he had doubts if any of them could survive. He especially liked the fact was trying to get the user engagement to rate other users as opposed to doing it analytically, as he felt that this model would work if we implement the right rating algorithm.

Then he gave me a dose of reality (more bad news?). He warned me that the major challenge with would be getting users to register on another social media site.

His advice triggered me to use the experience I had gained with my first startup, during the Web 1.0 era, and move forward in implementing the model for the enterprise. This way companies would certainly get their clients to register and rate their companies,  products and services on the platform. The decision allowed companies to create their page on attracted a decent number of companies to sign up  – about 1,500 of them including heavyweights such as AT&THPDellCentruyLink, Honda, and The Huffington Post.

Well, Craig’s prediction about identifying the influential people  the way leveraging the real votes from the the community vs others like Klout that does it analytically was right.  The tweet below from Cute Culture Chick blog is one out of thousands that I’ve been spotting on the social media sites.

Thank you Craig for the wise tip! Thank you Nicole and others for your awesome Tweets about us!

Feel free to connect with me via

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About Elias Shams
I have been a serial entrepreneur in telecom and social media space for past 12 years or so. I hold a M.S. degree in Telecommunication Engineering from the George Washington University and a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland. I’ve lived and worked in many countries and cities including London England, Tehran Iran, Bonn Germany, Paris France, Alicante Spain, Delhi India, and my favorite of all Washington, DC of great US of A. Two of the greatest Washington, DC based companies I worked for and very proud of are Yurie Systems which was sold to Lucent in 1998 for $1.23 B and that I founded in 1999. I am currently the founder and awesomizer @

8 Responses to Slowly, But Surely Getting More Validations

  1. Thanks for mentioning me in your blog post! I see a lot of great potential with, and I think that you’ll do well with your service. People are very interested in social scoring/influence metrics. Good luck!

    • Elias Shams says:

      Nicole, Thanks Tweeting about us 🙂 I wish I was a chick so I could check out your blog on daily basis. Well, I hope my blog and brings more chicks to your blog 🙂

      • Hahaha! You don’t have to be a chick to love my blog! Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help promote your cause. I’ll even come out to DC if you want 😉

        • Elias Shams says:

          Thanks Nicole. Let me know next time you are in DC. I will send you a FB invite shortly. Meanwhile, it would be awesome if you’d kindly share our two minutes video with your network


        • Elias Shams says:

          So, when are you going to have in your menu bar on your blog? 😉

          • All you had to do is ask! It’s up now.

            I actually have never been to DC, but it’s on my wishlist. I’ve just needed an excuse to visit. I’m fortunate to be able to fly for free (since my husband is a pilot) so let me know when there’s a cool party or event going on.

            • Elias Shams says:

              What do you mean when? There is always something happening in DC. This is my hang out literally every weekend. It’s called Lima located at 14 & K only 3 blocks from the white house. Next time you plan to come to DC, give me a few weeks notice and I take you and your husband there. It’s awesome

            • Elias Shams says:

              FYI, you can also embed your page to your blog. This way, you might get more votes from your own visitors. You can pick up the embedded code form the left hand side of your page

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