Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blog Rally: Brainstorming About the Globe's Future

I'm really encouraged that so many people are willing to share their ideas about the future of the Boston Globe: what can be done to ensure the paper keeps publishing (in some form), strengthens its connection with readers, and continually improves its reporting.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

From the Globe 100 Breakfast

I'm off coffee these days, so it was especially challenging to get over to the Westin Waterfront hotel early this morning for the annual Globe 100 Breakfast, honoring the best-performing public companies in Massachusetts. On the way in, ran into Emily Green from Yankee Group, Michael Gilman from Stromedix, John Lacey from Sirtris, and Scott Griffith from Zipcar. I sat next to William Leighton, CEO of Soapstone Networks (formerly Avici), whose company was #3 on this year's list.

Some notes from the proceedings:

- Five companies have been on the list each year for two decades: Eaton Vance, Raytheon, State Street, TJX, and UniFirst.

- The original list, in 1989, included no biotech companies.

- The morning's keynote speaker was Christoph Westphal, CEO of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals. This was something of a victory lap for Christoph ( as he's universally known in biotech circles ), and he was in fine promotional form. The three major events of the past year in biotech, he said, were the annual BIO trade show coming to Boston last May.... Takeda's purchase of Millennium...and Glaxo's recent purchase of Sirtris for $720 million. He mentioned the companies he'd previously helped found -- Alnylam and Momenta...and also noted that his two biggest investors at Sirtris were John Henry (of the Red Sox) and Peter Lynch. He told a charming story about asking John Henry for $50 million, and Henry offering $20 million. Henry's version of the story is that he showed up wanting to invest $100 million, but after he met Christoph, he decided on $20 mil. Both Henry and Lynch did pretty well after the Glaxo purchase...

- Globe business editor Shirley Leung showed a great video of a visit to the marshmallow Fluff factory in Lynn.

- You can find all of the other videos, stories, and interactive charts relatd to today's Globe 100 section here. I contributed two pieces .... a roundtable conversation with CEOs Henri Termeer (Genzyme), Paul Sagan (Akamai) and Emily Nagle Green (Yankee Group), and a look at five emerging sectors that could drive the Massachuetts economy over the next two decades.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Westphal to Keynote Globe 100 Breakfast

This year's Globe 100 Breakfast, on May 20th, seems like it has become quite the hot ticket. Keynoting is Christoph Westphal, CEO of Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, who started his company, took it public and sold it for $720 million in just four years.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the Globe 100, which honors the best-performing Massachusetts companies.

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Friday, November 2, 2007

Breakfast Next Wednesday at the Globe

The Globe is holding a breakfast next Wednesday, November 7th, titled "Building a Successful Small Business." It's a fun group of speakers, and you're invited:

    - Joe Burkett, CFO of Cafco Construction Management will give a short talk (Cafco was the Boston Chamber of Commerce's Small Business of the Year for 2007)

    Then we'll have a panel with Joe, plus:

    - Ian Lane Davis, CEO of the video game company Mad Doc Software (the Chamber's Entrepreneur of the Year), and

    - Rich Doyle, CEO of Harpoon Brewery

I'll be moderating the panel. We'll talk about some of the challenges each of these companies have confronted as they've grown.

Event starts at 8 AM and will wrap up by 9:45. To RSVP, just e-mail events@globe.com.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Globe's new biotech reporter

Steve Heuser, who I thought picked up the biotech beat amazingly quickly at the Globe, is moving over to the paper's Sunday Ideas section.

Taking over biotech duties, as of August 20th, will be Todd Wallack.

I've known Todd since he was a business reporter for the Boston Herald in the late 90s. He then moved West to work for the San Francisco Chronicle, where he worked on an important series of stories about high pay and secret perks being doled out to the University of California's Board of Regents, as tuition costs were skyrocketing at the universities they governed. At the Chronicle, he developed into one of the country's foremost "computer-assisted reporters," using databases to uncover stories no one else was telling.

Todd came back to Boston last year, and has been covering tech for the Boston Business Journal. He also has a blog. I'm really glad the Globe got him to cover one of the most active business sectors in the region...a sector with national and global relevance.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

Back in 02140

I moved back last weekend from San Francisco to Cambridge after a two-year sojourn. (I still expect to be making about a half-dozen trips a year to California, and blogging about the convergence of technology and the entertainment industry at CinemaTech.)

But I'm switching gears at the Globe once again, starting a new column this Sunday called "Innovation Economy," which will focus on start-ups, venture capitalists, research labs, inventors, and big companies here in New England.

It's a patch of ground that I haven't been roaming much since my @large column ended in November 2005...but one that I've really loved exploring in the past. Some ancient history:

    From 1995 to 1997, I was part of the founding team of Boston.com. At Boston.com, we also worked with the first generation of Internet companies in Boston (a few I remember were net.Genesis, Net Daemons Associates, Firefly Networks, and VirtuFlex.) Occasionally, I contributed to a Globe column called Boston.comment that ran Thursdays on what was then called the "Plugged In" page. (Frank Hertz and Chuck Chow were my co-conspirators who, luckily, knew how to write.)

    In 1997, I started covering New England-related stories for Wired Magazine and Wired News. (Here's one of my first pieces for Wired, about Forrester Research, and a piece of similar vintage from Wired News, about Cambridge's annual IgNobel Prize ceremony.)

    In 1998 and 1999, I started a monthly column called "Tech Talk" for Boston Magazine and wrote a series of features for the monthly about local Internet celebs like CMGI chairman David Wetherell. (That job was where I met my wife, Amy -- who just this week began working at Boston Magazine once again.)

    From 2000 to 2005, I wrote the weekly @large column on Mondays, which covered tech, biotech, medical devices, and venture capital throughout New England. We also ran a series of panel discussions at the Globe's auditorium called ".COMversations," which were excerpted in the Globe. (Here are the first and last columns in that string.)

My goals for the Innovation Economy column are to tell the most interesting and important stories about what's new in New England -- and to provide some added context here.

I'm eager to hear about the stories *you* think ought to be told. (My e-mail is scott - at - innoeco.com.) My bias, as always, is toward stories that haven't already been told elsewhere.

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