### Cogitations n. 1. an act of reflection or meditation; contemplation. 2. the facility of thinking. 3. a thought, scheme, or plan. (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, 1999) ### In a Nutshell I create to live. Over the past 40 years, I have built several software technology companies and products in the consulting, education, and marketing spaces. I continue to create and learn every day, with a current focus on giving back to technologists, entrepreneurs, and makers (in the old days, we called makers DIYers). ### Guide to This Site Navigate the site via the mobile hamburger menu and the desktop's left sidebar. Blog posts and articles are in the "Thoughts and Blog" section, and advice for Startups and Entrepreneurs is in the "Startup Advice" section. ### Featured Posts [[A Little About Me]] [[Models Application is Shutting Down]] [[Purple Cow Focus The Microsoft Lesson for Startups]] ### Irv Shapiro I have been involved with computer technology since the days of the dinosaurs, graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a BS in Computer Science after spending hundreds of hours punching cards, mounting tapes, and waiting for printouts. Over the years, I have worked with hundreds of talented engineers and business leaders while building five companies. In this blog, I share some things I learned along the way. All comments in this blog are my own and do not represent the views of my investors, partners, or colleagues. ### Current Projects I built tech companies for a living and retired about four years ago from the corporate world of venture capital firms and companies with hundreds of employees. As a retirement hobby, I started a YouTube channel, and to my surprise, it grew to over 79,000 subscribers with millions of views, which led to another hobby. I built a website that helps people find 3D models to customize and print on their 3D printers. With about 6,000 subscribers to this currently free site, it looked like I had found another business. Unfortunately, the models.makewithtech.com application did not meet my goals for converting free subscribers to paid members and is scheduled to shut down at the end of 2024. This is an important lesson. Always start every business with a written plan, at least a set of financial goals based on cash-focused projections. Models.makewithtech.com failed to meet my cash projections, so I shut it down instead of throwing good money after bad. Today, MakeWithTech consists of a blog, a discussion forum, and a YouTube channel. ### Last Corporate Position As the first employee, I founded and created the concept, early prototypes, and business plans for DialogTech while sitting in a Starbucks on a vacation to Florida with my family. Under my direction, DialogTech approached $40M in revenue and was cash flow positive. After my tenure at DialogTech, it was led by a CEO put in place by the board of directors with a goal of accelerated growth. Unfortunately, the growth turned negative. DialogTech was acquired by Invoca for $100M in May of 2021. https://techcrunch.com/2021/05/24/invoca-acquires-dialogtech-for-100m-to-expand-its-conversational-intelligence-tools/ DialogTech enabled businesses to optimize their customer journey from first touch to close by providing marketing technology solutions focused on companies that value inbound phone calls from prospects. - DT was the industry leader and marketplace driver in the evolving market for solutions integrating voice engagement into customer journey mapping from first click to close. - Dialogtech provided data-driven analytics for companies with centralized marketing and distributed sales. By tracking, routing, and analyzing the calls into an organization, we can help our customers optimize ad spend and increase conversions. The Dialogtech suite is equally effective for companies with call centers or distributed office and remote employees. - The DialogTech All-in-one SaaS application suite enables enterprises and SMBs to manage, measure, and optimize voice-based customer engagements across the customer sales journey. - The Suite includes marketing attribution, conversation personalization, marketing and sales analytics, activations, and integrations. - “Over-the-top” solution, compatible with any telco solution. - Marketers and sales teams use DT to generate, track, and close leads faster, optimally deliver calls, refine marketing spending, and drive sales efficiency. ### The Intersection of Marketing and Technology At Dialogtech, I worked in Martech, where marketing, advertising, and technology intersect. The marketing technology section of this blog provides a rich introduction to crucial marketing technology concepts. We were one of the first companies in 2019 to introduce AI into the call intelligence space. [[Resume]]