Congratulations to Ted Rheingold and the folks at Dogster for putting on a great event last night. Their “300,000 Dogs and Cats” party was so much fun although there were more humans than dogs (no cats though). It was an opportunity for me to see my Bay Area friends again: Molly Ditmore, Scott Rafer, Mary Hodder, Sean Savage, Paul Bragiel, Carol Singh and many others.
I met Ted Rheingold at South by Southwest Interactive in March 2004 just after he had started Dogster. Back then, Muniwireless.com was only 10 months old, and like Ted, I did not know whether it was going to be a viable business. It was just something I felt I had to do.
I remember having lunch with Ted at a North Beach cafe in mid-2004 where we both laughed at one VC’s interest in Dogster. Ted thought at that time, that Dogster was not really a business that a VC should even consider. We laughed over coffee about how the VC keep pestering him for a business plan (“what BUSINESS plan? ha ha”).
But times have changed and both of us have real running companies. Dogster will have 14 employees by November 2006 and the company has taken in angel funding. Muniwireless has partnered with Microcast Communications to bring conferences, webinars, seminars, research reports and a magazine to a worldwide audience interesting in municipal wireless broadband. Ted’s great work at Dogster has always inspired me to do better at Muniwireless, especially through the tough times when I did not think my hard work would amount to anything. You simply cannot do what he has done unless you love your work and care about your customers.
A group of Dogster’s customers created a photo album (each page had photos of their dogs) and sent it to Dogster as a gift. I saw the album yesterday at the party. How many companies generate this level of passion and kindness among their customers?
Check out the photos taken at the Dogster party.