…but we got em anyway.
1st 25 Likes on Facebook get one!!
I had some time to kill before the TechAssure conference started last night, so I took advantage of the beautiful weather (and the fact that I was awake at 4:30am, still on NY time…) and did a self-guided walking tour:
- Fishermans Wharf (breakfast at In n Out Burger, pictures of Alcatraz)
- Nob Hill
- Giants Game at AT&T Park
With an assist from this website, I started this day with an uphill walk to the corner of Taylor & Clay…..it was here where the fictional character, Frank Bullitt, lived in the 1968 classic movie Bullitt. I’m a big fan of Steve McQueen and this was one of his most popular movies, one which is often credited with having the best car chase scene ever filmed (it was, without question, was at that time). The house used in the film 40+ years ago still looks the same as does the market across the street where McQueen’s character is seen getting a newspaper.
Home of Frank Bullitt from 1968 McQueen film. Market on left in foreground.
McQueen walks by market at Taylor & Clay in 1968
Market at Taylor & Clay 2010
While I was here on Sunday morning all these years later, for ten minutes taking these pictures – I noticed that three other people walked by and did the same thing. They also took pics of the house, and the market. I am guessing this must go on throughout the day, every weekend – maybe every day. A guy, whom I presumed owned this market, was setting up flowers on the sidewalk out front and didn’t seem to notice or care. I looked in the window of the store and noticed that he had a few old, tattered posters on the wall….Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Titanic. But no Steve McQueen. WTF? Does he know what went on here 40 years ago? That his little shop is part of Hollywood history? Why the other random movie posters in a convenience store? Doesn’t he wonder why people keep taking pictures of his storefront? Does he even notice?? And if he notices, and realizes why people show up here regularly with cameras – then how can he not try and capitalize on it???? Why no Bullitt movie stills and posters for sale? There is certainly no shortage of McQueen memorabilia available to sell. What other tiny market – maybe in all of San Francisco – has a regular flow of new visitors and potential buyers? How can they not take advantage of that??? At least lose the Titanic poster and get the Bullitt poster on the wall. A small investment in his business could yield hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars. I hate lost opportunities!! Am I crazy?
“The West is the Best…” Those wereMr Mojo Risin’s words, not mine. Personally, I’ll take the East coast every day of the week. And now with NY heating up, there is no better place to be if you work in or with the Innovation community. A couple of quick updates:
- As noted above NY Tech is hot – this recent article from NY Magazine highlights the NY Tech explosion http://nymag.com/news/media/65494/
- iGuard hits the road as next week is the semi-annual TechAssure conference, which is being held in San Francisco. I highlighted TechAssure in a previous blog post. Look for Twitter updates and some interesting takeaways in future posts. I’ll also have the FlipCam and hope to come back with footage of me with the guy from the GoToMeeting commercials ….I’ll explain later.
- The Business Insider has picked up on InnovationGuard and has republished a couple of posts. I always enjoy the pictures they select to accompany their articles. Their War Room provides a lot of good info for Startups
Last week I attended the annual PLUS (Professional Liability Underwriting Society – yes, insurance and acronyms go hand in hand) D&O Symposium. People from the legal and insurance industry, from all over the world, attend this conference to discuss current trends in litigation and Directors and Officers Liability insurance. Much of the content revolves around securities litigation and corresponding D&O insurance coverage for public companies (a couple of quick observations from leading legal minds in public company securities litigation: settlement values are on the rise, insurers are fighting harder to get policy holders to contribute to claims, multi-layered programs are creating increased legal expenses and insurer in-fighting, as much as $6-$7MIL is being spent on legal before a motion to dismiss is even made…). However, there are always some good nuggets on D&O for Private companies as well. What I have found interesting at this event over the past few years is that all of the speakers (underwriters, brokers, company executives, lawyers) continue to be confounded by the fact that the D&O market has been so soft for so long. The insurer’s claims experience simply does not justify it – leaving just a competitive marketplace as the reason for the continuation of level or declining premiums (over 50 insurers competing for D&O premiums). While this is great news for insurance buyers for now, a couple of the “blue chip” long-term players expressed their interest in walking away from accounts, not wishing to participate in a commoditized purchase. It would be a bummer to have to choose between Thunderbird Mutual and Big Bob’s Discount Insurance Co as your D&O insurer. **SHAMLESS PLUG: If you want a quote for D&O from an A rated insurer click here to apply in an online, secure environment.**
The conference opened with a video called Who Watches Over Your Money? that was made to promote the book Money for Nothing by John Gillespie and David Zweig. I have not read the book, but it apparently deals with corporate excesses and mismanagement which resulted in the economic collapse. The short video has some interesting factoids – check it out:
So the first decade of the millennium is almost dead. I was thinking back to ten years ago today when there was much anticipation and anxiety about the potential for a Y2K bug wreaking havoc on computer systems. Most specifically, one of our large clients was heavily involved in Y2K remediation – and this was to be the day of reckoning.
In Fall of 2008 I rec’d a call from the President of the Information Technology Association of America (The ITAA was then the most well known national trade association for info tech companies). He explained that one of their members, whom was also on their board, was a NY business that was experiencing difficulty with their insurance. Their insurer of 10 years was about to pull the plug on their program based on their Y2K work, and the looming potential for a big claim in just over 15 months. And this company could find no other insurer who was willing to take on this seemingly inevitable potential claim. The company would either have to immediately stop all Y2K work, or “self-insure” against a risk that was virtually unquantifiable.
OK, so this wouldn’t be a story worth retelling if we didn’t save the day – we did. With the help of one of our strong insurance partners, St. Paul at the time – now Travelers, we secured an insurance program that would take them through the year 2000. St. Paul looked closely at this company, spoke to their management team to better understand the operational precautions and QC they employed – and decided it was worth the risk. They stepped up and provided $20MIL of Errors and Omissions (more on that another time) insurance at a time when no one else would. And they did it at the same cost as the previous insurer charged them in the prior year. The company could continue its work, take on new contracts, hire more employees and build their business. It was a pretty cool moment – it wasn’t my $20MIL!
On January 1 2000, nothing happened. The Y2K bug proved to be a minor inconvenience at best. Most systems made the change with zero issues. And our client’s work was successful, none of their clients had problems, no insurance claims occurred.
So the moral of the story….anyone can sell you their insurance policy when they know there is little likelihood of a claim. The true test of an insurer is when they are asked to stand by you when there is a good possibility that there will be a claim. Mad props go out to The St. Paul for doing the right thing. Happy New Year.