A Busy Day–Provo Labs Update

Yesterday was busy and productive.

In the morning we held an LDSMedia.com meeting with Deseret Book. We have a great partnership with them. The new LDSMedia.com web site is coming along nicely. By next week it will be nearly ready for prime time. We\’ve added some free clip art and are making it possible for our content acquisition team to identify and index great LDS audio and video content anywhere on the web and easily include it in our search results. Our goal here is to launch the "LDS Google," with instant access to all content (and all content types) of interest to Latter-Day Saints. (There are about 12 million LDS/Mormons in the world.) Actually, it\’s won\’t really be the LDS Google because we aren\’t planning to index tons of web sites, just the ones that have the best and richest LDS content.

Later in the morning, I had a great phone call with Wendy Bird, a Utah entrepreneuress (I\’m not the only person to use this word) who runs My Princess Pearls with a passion. I gave her some advice about term sheets and valuations. In fact, I recommended the book "Term Sheets and Valuations", a must have for entrepreneurs.

Then I spoke for about an hour and a half with the Daily Herald Business editor Grace Leong about Provo Labs, my experience as the co-founder of Ancestry.com and MyFamily.com, and my general outlook on the high tech industry and global competition. She had just interviewed Stephen Covey and at one point flattered me by saying I had answered one of her questions in the same way that he did. That felt good! He apparently feels, as I do, that the United States has become somewhat complacent because of our 20th century economic prosperity and our general feeling of superiority, but the reality is that the world, particularly India and China, are increasing their productivity and skills at such an extraordinary pace that we will find ourselves in second place in many areas in the coming years. (In fact, in many areas, we already are in second place, or in education, way down in the rankings.) A recent Wired magazine article showed a chart on the number of scientific papers published each year in major languages. Mandarin is quickly catching up to English.

Our workforce need to be humble enough to learn best practices from leading companies from all over the world. I recommend "India Unbound", "China, Inc.", "The World is Flat", and "The Only Sustainable Edge." I also have the biography of the leader of Singapore, but haven\’t read that yet.

I\’m *very hopeful* that Provo Labs and DevUtah can sponsor a mixer in the next month or two and invite Amy Lewis (runs a 350 person business process outsourcing company in Delhi, India), Jayson Ahlstrom (Update Now, Inc.), and Nathan Gwilliam from Arizona (helps companies with what he calls insourcing) and Danny Sullivan (not the search engine watch guy), who helps companies in the U.S. hire workers in the Philippines. I\’d like to see 50-100 attendees to learn from these folks (or perhaps others) about the best way to do offshoring.

Our Provo Labs content acquisition team met with our attorney where we discussed the need for a system for generating license agreements. We will soon have 4 full time content acquisition team members. And we hope to be entering into hundreds of license agreements in the coming years. So we are building a system for generating and managing those contracts. We also have an engineer who will help us build an automated royalty payments system.

Two of us have experienced the nightmare of manually processing web log files and generating hundreds of royalty checks at the end of each quarter: me at Ancestry.com and Mark Elder at Infospace. So we are designing a system that will make royalty and ad-sharing calculations every day. This has to be easy to manage.

In the afternoon, I had a board meeting with one of the non-profits that am helping.

In the late afternoon FundingUniverse.com held a call with a potential strategic partner (whom I got to know pretty well at the Corporate Alliance summit last fall.)

So it was a pretty packed day. Today I\’m in Salt Lake most of the day (for a meeting at the U of U and also a meeting with Jim Wall, publisher of the Deseret News) and tomorrow I\’ll be a preliminary judge at the BYU business plan competition.

One thought on “A Busy Day–Provo Labs Update

Leave a Reply

Share:

More Posts

Soar.com Logo Design

Some of you know that my partners and I are launching a new company that aims to help a billion or more people soar with

Cold Showers Can Benefit Your Health

I hated what I read in the Harvard Business Review last Friday: Cold showers have health benefits. I’ve always ignored people who advocate taking cold

People Like Me Need People Like You

“People Like Me Need People Like You” Someday I’ll write a book about Ancestry.com. I’ll highlight the people who built Ancestry from the ground up–unsung

The Team Coaching Zone Podcast

To listen to this podcast, click HERE. Announcer: Welcome to the Team Coaching Zone podcast. Join your host Dr. Krister Lowe and today’s leading organizational

My Favorite Artist

Artists, poets, and prophets can help us make sense of the craziness that we experience in the world. My favorite artist is Regina Spektor. When

The Coach You Need

When you need a helping hand in life or at work you might decide to hire a coach. There are many amazing executive, career, leadership,

Beware of Taking Advice

Next Friday I get to deliver a keynote at Phoenix’s biggest startup event. But beware of taking advice from me–or anyone else. Startup events are

An Entrepreneurial Superpower

One of my entrepreneurial superpowers is asking questions at scale. Before I started Ancestry I went to libraries and conferences and asked questions. I learned

Paul hopes to bring the strengths message to all 50 states and to 50 countries by 2025.
Contact him so he can help you spark a strengths movement in your area, company, or industry.