“The impact of social cannot be overstated”

Jun 10 2010

Lance Weatherby

Lance Weatherby

Prepositions are meaningful. He believes in the Force For Good driven by “companies based on integrity and respect for the individual” and in the Force Of Good, which is “much better”. Lance Weatherby has proven record of achievement in defining strategic direction, motivating teams, and executing to exceed business objectives in the face of rapidly changing conditions. He is currently startup catalyst at at the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech and has kindly responded to HitBarcelona questions.

- As a startup catalyst you help launch and build customer-based technology companies. What do you value to get involved in a venture?

I am currently advising more than 40 startup companies. These companies are generally in the Internet and new media space. I look for a good concept in a potentially large market. There does not need to be a complete team in the startup but those that are there need to value the advice and input that I provide.

I value smart entrepreneurs that are coachable or willing to contribute in some way in what we are doing at the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech. Someone that thinks they know it all and do not listen are the worst. They are wasting my time and theirs.


- You founded the Enfuse Group, which specializes in strategic online marketing solutions. What is the real impact of social media?

The impact of social cannot be overstated. Its impact will be as profound and wide scale as the general use of the Internet. I make a distinction between social networking, social media, and social media marketing.

Social networking is what people do on applications such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. People are using social networks at a rapidly increasing pace. The time spent on social networks is growing at a 3X rate of the Internet in general and visiting social sites is the fourth most popular online activity.

Social media is user generated content. It includes some of the content created on social networks but extends beyond that to other highly scalable publishing tools that push down the creation of content to an increasing number of people. All this social networking and social media activity is creating great opportunities for companies to engage with users. To use social media marketing to help drive business objectives.

To give you an idea on how powerful this can be at the Advanced Technology Development Center we have ceased all forms of that are not social in some way while at the same time rapidly growing the interest that entrepreneurs have in our programs. We get inquiries from the other side of the world.

The Enfuse Group is an agency that helps companies that want incorporate social media into their marketing mix to do that. We have over fifty years of combined online marketing experience we know how to make such programs work. The Enfuse Group is the client services arm of Socialytics. Socialytics is a social media analytics web application that aims to provide marketers with the intelligence they need to optimize their social media marketing. We are currently in private beta.

- Why FoG (Force of Good)?

I took the name from the purpose of a company where I worked for about five years. Long before Google made their corporate motto “don’t be evil”, there was this company in Atlanta, USA called MindSpring. MindSpring’s purpose was to change the way the world does business by demonstrating that a company based on integrity and respect for the individual can do an outstanding job of serving its customers, providing meaningful work for its employees, delivering an exceptional return to its owners, and being a force for good in its community.

I spent some time a few years back working on my personal life mission, values, and goals. I came to realize that my personal vision and MindSpring’s mission had a lot in common. Unfortunately Volkswagen had a big ad campaign going on at the time. I confused force for good with force of good. When I realized my mistake it did not seem worth the effort to change. Besides FoG is much better than FfG.

- In your blog, you talk about Facebook’s privacy issues and what you get (or don’t) from Foursquare. What is the next step for social networks?

Both Facebook and Foursquare have built great services that have moved the adoption of social forward. The next step for social networks is to be much more respectful of users data ownership, privacy, and time.

-Do you think an event like HitBarcelona can help entrepreneurs to network and achieve some of their goals?

One of my strong beliefs is that the best way for entrepreneurs to learn is from each other. HitBarcelona seems like a great opportunity to network with a strong program to boot. Throw in some smart investors and the Global Entrepreneurship Competition and you have a winner. I wish I was going to be there!