The greatest ideas can oftentimes come from a complaint or a problem to solve. For Rick Chapman, the idea for DiiDit came out of the frustration when he could not get a response to his survey requests. It was the genesis of a discussion about building a software platform that would allow people to log in and find things that other people want done and compensate them for doing it. Rick is the managing editor of Softletter also the author of several books covering high tech for the last twenty years, including In Search of Stupidity: Over 20 Years of High-Tech Marketing Disasters and Selling Steve Jobs’ Liver: A Story of Startups, Innovation, and Connectivity in the Clouds. He talks about his interesting high tech background, how he got started in the whole business, and his up and coming SaaS startup of which he happens to be the COO.

Rick Chapman: Why Social Media For Business is Broken and How to Fix It.

Our guest is the Cofounder of a SaaS startup who also publishes the software industry’s most respected periodical. He’s also the author of several books covering high-tech. Before that, he consulted with industry pioneers such as MicroPro the publishers of WordStar, Ashton-Tate, IBM and Microsoft. For full disclosure, I am also his partner in this new SaaS venture that you’re going to hear about. Welcome, Rick Chapman to the show.

Thanks very much, Mitch. It’s a pleasure to be here.

It’s fun to have you on the show since we talk about every other day or so and we’re involved in this big project together. I thought that our audience would love to know what I’m doing, what you’re doing, and how we’re going to change the world. Why don’t we start with you and your background? You have a very interesting background because you come from a high-tech world, the same world that I come from, but from a little bit different angle. Tell us how you got started in this whole business.

I started in the industry as a self-taught programmer working in a language called Vulcan, which later evolved to become dBase II. My specialty was writing inventory management and control systems for beer and soda distributors in Brooklyn. I’m from New York, I’m a native New Yorker. My motto was, “If there’s a can of coke in your warehouse, I’ll find it.” I then went to work in ‘83 for a company called MicroPro, which at the time was the largest desktop software company in the world, bigger than Microsoft, bigger than VisiCorp, which was the publisher of VisiCalc, bigger than everyone. I went to work for them as a software sales engineer and later transitioned into product management and became the product manager at one time of WordStar and WordStar 2000.

For those of our audience who have never heard of WordStar, we’re going back 30 years. WordStar was by far the most popular word processing program ever released at the time. It was released on several platforms. One of them, the most popular was the IBM PC. Anybody who worked for WordStar had a little bit of a swagger in their walk because they were a rock star. Tell us what you did after you’ve finished up with WordStar.

George Martin, the author of Game of Thrones, wrote and is writing all of the episodes in WordStar to this day. Click To Tweet

For those of you who are making fun of poor old WordStar, which has vanished from the industry a long time ago, I want you all to know that George Martin, the author of Game of Thrones, wrote and is writing all of the episodes in WordStar to this day. After I left MicroPro and therein lies a tale, I went to work for Ashton-Tate, which was the publisher of dBase. Then I went to work for a variety of software companies, some startups, some more established and began to write and consult with a wide variety of companies in the industry. That’s what I’ve been doing for many years.

What about this industry periodical that you write called Softletter? Tell us how you’ve got involved with that?

Softletter was founded in 1983 or ‘84 by Jeff Tarter and by 2004, he wanted to move onto different endeavors in his life. I took over the managing editor and publishing of the newsletter from 2004 to 2005. Softletter from its inception has been aimed at analyzing how to successfully run and measure the operations of a software company.

It’s interesting because Jeff Tarter and I were friends for decades. In fact, Jeff featured me on his Top 100 Industry Lists throughout the years when I had Time Slips Corporation. I appeared in that publication when Jeff was the editor at least half a dozen times. I was very familiar with the Softletter and it’s how you and I met. If you remember, I reached out to you because I thought you might be interested in writing about the project that I was involved in, which is building certification programs and how it applies to the software industry. You thought it was quite interesting. You did a two-part series on my entire process, if I remember correctly.

I am the author of SaaS Entrepreneur. We’re at work on a third edition and your article will appear as a new section in the book because I thought it was very timely and relevant to companies that were involved in channels and developing professional channels.

I want to tell you something else about Rick that is fun. Rick is a fiction writer and I have a stack of books, I probably have two years’ worth of books to read that’s on my Kindle or sitting in my office. People send me books out of nowhere all the time for nothing. If I even attempted to read them, I would be spending eight hours a day reading books, which wouldn’t be a bad idea sometimes. The reason I bring this up is that when Rick told me about this crazy book he wrote, I dropped everything else. I took it on a plane. I started reading it on a flight. Here I was sitting with my headphones on, listening to music, laughing out loud. People were turning around, staring at me wondering what’s so funny. Why don’t you tell us about the book, Rick?

FTC 115 | DiiDit
Selling Steve Jobs’ Liver: A Story of Startups, Innovation, and Connectivity in the Clouds

The book you’re referring to is my triumphant novel, Selling Steve Jobs’ Liver: A Story of Startups, Innovation, and Connectivity in the Clouds. It’s about two serial wantrepreneurs who got their hands on the late Steve Jobs liver, the 1.0 version, the one that was removed from his body in 2009. I won’t go through the machinations of how that takes place, but they got their hands on the liver and decided that they’re going to monetize it. I don’t think I’ll go into the exact details of how they monetize it, but they used a methodology to extract the DNA from the liver, put it into a device called the uLivv, which is designed to disrupt and overthrow the current way in which we bury and immortalize people. That’s the basic plot.

At first when Rick told me about the book I said, “That’s disgusting. I don’t know why I’d be interested in reading about that.” To our readers, if you have anything to do with the software business, if you’ve been in the business for any amount of time and you understand who some of these people are, you understand the types of people that exist in our world, you are going to laugh your ass off. It’s such a great book. I have to say I didn’t expect it to be written as well as it was. Rick, you’re an excellent writer and a true comic. I thought it should have gotten a lot more exposure than it did and that’s probably your fault. You should have done a better job of marketing it.

One of the reasons that happened, Mitch, is it’s your fault. I’ve been working so much on DiiDit that I have not had a lot of time to market Steve Jobs’ liver.

I will happily take the blame for that and it’s a great segue into what the heck is this thing called DiiDit. Readers, I know this is going to sound a little bit like self-promotion, but truly this is a journey I would love to take you on because it’s instrumental in understanding the startup world and even the startup mindset. I’m going to start the story and then you can finish it, Rick. The story starts with me meeting Rick through our connection, through his Softletter publication. As we became friends, as we talked about this article, Rick told me about this idea that he had, and the idea was a complaint. It was one of those blood spurting problems, a real problem that people have. His frustration was he could not get a response to his survey requests.

In frustration, he says, “What do I got to do? Do I got to pay people to answer my survey for heaven’s sake?” That’s how this idea came. It was the genesis of our discussions about building a software platform that would allow people to log in, find things that other people want done, and compensate them for doing it. At first you might think, “That sounds a lot like Fiverr or oDesk or any of these other types of platforms,” but it’s not. It’s so different. It has far-reaching implications beyond getting stuff done. Rick, why don’t you pick it up from here and talk a little bit more about it?

The entire idea came from a problem that I had to face at Softletter and it was getting increasingly difficult to get people to respond to our surveys about different aspects of what’s taking place in the industry. We’ve done over the year’s extensive surveys on the growth of the SaaS business model, executive compensation, sales compensation. Whereas in the early 2000s up through maybe 2011 to 2012, it was not hard to get responses. Over the years, it became increasingly difficult. One of the platforms that I did rely on over those years was LinkedIn. LinkedIn, in theory, segmented and corralled people of different interests and different professional goals in their group’s system. In 2011 or 2012, LinkedIn introduced what was called Site-Wide Auto Moderation.

I’m going to write about it in the third edition of, In Search of Stupidity. The effective outcome of that technology was to destroy the LinkedIn groups system. LinkedIn groups, which was once a very vibrant and growing part of the platform and a place where millions of people were interacting with other end focus groups have vanished. It was destroyed. The same thing has occurred with Facebook. I’m sure if you’re a Facebook user, you’ve heard of their shutting down the organic reach. If you spend a lot of time building a Facebook community or a group of followers, that has all gone away, unless you want to pay to reach your network. Mark Zuckerberg managed to take your network and turn it into his network.

People say all the time that you’ve got to be super careful about building a business on Amazon, on eBay or you’re relying on Facebook because it’s not your platform. All the effort and work you’ve put into building that business at any moment can be taken away from you by the owners of these networks. For many, this is exactly what has happened. For many, people relied on their LinkedIn network to monetize their work. I know people still do this in terms of prospecting and looking to find new clients. These groups were much more significant than they are now. This is more of a statement about social media. Let’s get back to talking a little bit more about what DiiDit is.

I had this problem and I started saying, “Is there some place I can go to where I can say to someone, ‘You take my survey. I need you to be a software industry person. I need you to be interested in these different issues and I’ll pay you to take the survey, but please take the survey.’” I found that it was very difficult to do. There wasn’t any place to go. Even when I went to groups such as LinkedIn because they had been destroyed and as Facebook’s organic reach began to shrink, it became increasingly difficult to be able to reach out to the type of people I needed to reach.

The first generation of social networks have turned out to be a very barren place to be. Click To Tweet

I came up with the idea. I said, “Let me think about what I would want to do. I want to have a platform and here’s what I would like you to do. I would like you to be focused on action.” I’m looking to ask people to take a survey and in return, I’m willing to give them something. I’d give them a full copy of the report on which the survey was based on. What I would also like to have happened is as I located people who had the same business interests and goals that I had, I would want to create a network of these people. I would want to maintain it and maintain ownership of it so that I could use it to drive further interest in our activities and create a highly qualified database or community that I knew because they had acted.

Let’s make a distinction here. You could go on LinkedIn and you can search for people. You can find them, connect with them, but all you know is you’re connecting with somebody’s résumé. You’re connecting with people who say one thing. For the most part, I trust that most people are honest, but you don’t know exactly what it is that they’re up to. You don’t even know exactly what it is they do because after all, it’s just a résumé. There is certainly an experience and there are some testimonials for some people as well. What you’re talking about is much different, explain the difference.

In LinkedIn, most of the people who I am connected to on LinkedIn through their connection system, I don’t have that much in common with at many levels. The other problem is LinkedIn does not encourage you to reach out to your network at all. They limit what you could do. They limit how many times you can do it. That’s not a very effective mechanism, nor do they want it to be. What they want you to do is buy names. They want to be a list broker and sell your names. You’re involved with the issue of how you qualify those names, how you know they’re qualifying. It’s a very cumbersome and inaccurate process.

FTC 115 | DiiDit
DiiDit: LinkedIn does not encourage you to reach out to your network at all. They limit what you could do and how many times you can do it.


For some clarification, I’m sure you know that you could download the names and email addresses of everybody in your network, so you’ll have to clarify for us what you mean by when you say that they’re a list broker?

There are two things. Your LinkedIn connections, you can download that list right now. One day, I suspect they’ll turn that off. Most of the people who are connected with on LinkedIn who are constantly saying, I want to connect with you have nothing to do with me. It’s very hard to find people who are exactly what I need to find. The mechanisms for staying in touch with them require that I put things into an email list and send out email blasts. We all know how many people are responding to an email request for anything these days. Especially surveys, it’s like one-tenth of a percent is considered good.

You’re always dealing with the situation of locating people and then being able to interact with them in a way that lets you develop a true reciprocal action relationship in which I’m going to ask you to do something. I’m not asking you to do it for free. I’m going to give you something that you find a reciprocal value. Once that relationship is established, it’s very powerful because your list may not be 100,000 people who are barely interested in anything that you’re doing. It might be only 10,000 or 1,000 but those are going to be people who are truly highly qualified and interested in your activities because they acted on that interest.

Furthermore, you now know who they are by not what they say, but what they have done. That’s very powerful. In my mind, that’s quite compelling.

That’s why the name of the company eventually became DiiDit because it’s an earworm, but it also expresses the idea that you know that this person has done it and did it for you.

As far as comparison to other systems like LinkedIn or Facebook, I could post a link on Facebook and I could pay for people to be sent that link and ask them to fill out a survey. Just because I paid for that advertising doesn’t necessarily mean that the action that you requested will ever get done. It means that Facebook is going to guarantee that you paid to reach 600 people, so you’ll reach 600 people. What happens after that is meaningless. The difference that I’m hearing and the difference that I know you’re describing is that with a system like DiiDit, you don’t pay unless the action is completed. Unless somebody actually does something for you, it’s of no cost at all to you. Tell us a little bit about the cost. When I talk about cost, it’s usually thought of as money or as dollars, but it’s not that at all, is it?

No, the way DiiDit works is it uses an internal token called The DiiDit. What happens is that if you wish to have someone participate in what we call a request for action, it could be an invite to take a survey, to participate in a promo, to view a YouTube video, there are many activities that you can ask people to do, it costs you a DiiDit if someone does it. How do you earn DiiDits? There are one of two ways. The first way is by participating in other people’s request for action. Every time you do that, you receive at least one DiiDit and the person who posts the request for action can choose to offer more if they feel that’s what’s needed to drive participation in their activity. You can, in theory, use DiiDit for free. If you decide that you don’t want to spend time participating in other people’s activities, you can purchase DiiDits. The current cost of a DiiDit is $1 a DiiDit.

DiiDit potential as a cryptocurrency is very high. Click To Tweet

With the idea that if you had to find a way to pay people to do what you’re asking, answer a survey, fill out a form, read a short piece of a copy and then respond. If you did have to pay for that, it would cost much more than $1. That would be the assumption.

DiiDit is a bargain because there’s another aspect to the system and that is we’re not going to disintermediate you from your network. We want you to grow that network. We want you to use it. We want you to communicate with it. The monetization model of the DiiDit allows us to make money in a reasonable fashion, but it also allows you to create an incredibly, highly qualified database of people at a very low cost. If you participate in other people’s activities, you can in theory, do it for free.

Let’s say I have a fairly big project and I don’t have a lot of time. I don’t feel like doing a lot of things for other people. DiiDits are $1, that’s what you call the cost. Do you have to award a DiiDit for everything that everybody does? Tell us about that.

It’s a very simple mechanism. Once you have participated in an activity, the system will verify that. There are two ways of verification. One through using codes that are embedded in the online activity in which you’re asked to participate in, the other way through embedded URLs. Once the participation has been confirmed, the DiiDit exchange takes place automatically. A DiiDit is transferred from your account to the RFA participant’s account and vice versa.

That’s pretty cool. The reason I say it that way is that if you think about the dynamics of this, it’s like posting an ad in a public place and say, “Please do this for me and if you do it, I’ll pay you.” The cool part about it is if they do it and if you pay them, you now know who they are. You now know what you’re capable of and you now have them as part of your network that will never be taken away from you. As your network grows and as you add more and more of these jobs to the system, you start developing pockets of expertise around your core mission.

Pretty soon you could ask this network to do just about anything. As long as you’re willing to reward them with DiiDits, you’re going to get a lot more done than just about any other way that I know of. That’s the part that’s so exciting to me. It’s cool to think that if you need something reviewed, if you want a survey answered, if you have a book or a chapter that you would like someone to read and then comment on, you could get it done with DiiDits. Give us some more examples of things you could do with DiiDits.

I want to point out that there are two things that you can offer when you ask someone to participate. They always get at least one DiiDit and you can offer more DiiDits, but you can also offer what we call our special rewards. You might say to someone, “I would like you to view a white paper. If you view that white paper, I’ll give you one DiiDit, but now I’ll also send you an eBook which expands on the topics that are contained in that white paper.” “I’d like you to view a YouTube video. I’ll send you five DiiDits.” I may also say, “In return for you reviewing that video, I’ll give you access to an online course which discusses that video in greater detail.” The classic example, the one I keep coming back to because it’s how I came up with the entire concept was, “If you take my survey, I’ll give you DiiDits but I’ll also send you a report or the complete analysis of the survey results.” You can reward people the DiiDit and special rewards and the combination together is very powerful.

FTC 115 | DiiDit
DiiDit: There are two things that you can offer when you ask someone to participate – DiiDits and special rewards.


In some ways, the way I see it, particularly using your description, DiiDit could potentially be a very powerful marketing platform as well. If you asked somebody to view a YouTube video and it’s an introduction to your services and they confirmed that they viewed it and we have a confirmation cycle that we could take people through in the software itself, then you know that they are a potential client to target for your services or products. There’s another cool way to do it. We got to have this conversation around the time of the election and you came up with some pretty far-reaching but very cool ideas about how to use DiiDit if you are running for office. Explain a little bit about that.

In the election cycle, one of the things that people are finding increasingly difficult to do is conduct accurate polling. The polls in many cases are inaccurate because it’s getting very hard yet people to participate in polls. The landline system which used to be used is disappearing. It’s difficult increasingly to get through to people on their smartphones. They don’t want to be bothered. It’s hard to get people to go to a website and indicate to take a poll. With DiiDit, we’re in discussion with certain political groups. They use DiiDit to offer incentives to not only take polls but to participate in other political activities, which enables your party or your group to build up a cadre of highly interested people who have acted on your behalf.

Tell me something about privacy. I could tell you, I never post any political or religious views on Facebook because Facebook is selling all of that information to other people. Tell me about how DiiDit treats that information and what people can expect if they take a poll. Will they then be labeled as a Liberal or a Republican or anything for that matter? Give me a feel for that.

We’re not data mining participants at that level or in that way. We will be able to know how many RFAs are out there. We’ll be able to know the numbers of participants, but in terms of the participant data itself, that’s under the control of you. This is your network. We’re not going to cut you off from your people. We’re going to encourage you to learn about them and qualify them, but we’re not going to shove our big noses under your tent.

I do believe that over the course of the growth of this company, there will be data mining activities that the company itself can participate in to earn additional funds. If we were to do that, they would have to conform to our own privacy policy, which is never to identify any information with a single individual. What type of social data do you think would be available if you were to pie in the sky and think about five years down the road, would DiiDit be able to show the world that it can’t see now?

This goes out to so many levels because you would be able to know what people are willing to do. For instance, you would have a very strong feeling for what type of promotions people are willing to actively participate in because you’ve offered the right level of incentive. With political parties, you would be able to know what type of people are more likely to become actively involved in your activities.

Action is the most powerful qualifying mechanism you can have. Click To Tweet

DiiDit has built into it the capability to allow you to contact different people in different types of trade organizations. It supports North American Industry Classification System codes. It even lists out religion. If you wish to interact with people of different religion and do activities on behalf of your religious operations and faith, you would know who’s willing to act in a wide variety of ways, in a wide variety of industries and organizations. That is incredibly valuable because the action is the most powerful qualifying mechanism you can have.

I’m going to paint the worst-case scenario and you explain to me why it’s not a worst case at all. One of the things that we had in early discussions was this whole idea of the world we live in right now. We live in a world where active terrorists are using social platforms to locate other members or potentially even locate targets. How would DiiDit prevent that from happening and what would people need to understand about the information that they put inside a system like this?

That level of transparency in this system makes a lot of the things that are going on, such as in Twitter, almost impossible to execute. Click To Tweet

We’re not going to allow Al-Qaeda or ISIS to establish DiiDit accounts. There are systems in place that will help us identify upfront when strange things start to happen in the system. Remember, DiiDit is all about transparency as well. You can’t sign up with phony accounts, we strip those out. We can see what the RFAs are. If you are trying to put up RFAs that are recruiting people for bombing runs, we can identify those quickly. You have to tell people what you wish them to do in DiiDit. You have to describe the action and it’s not hard for us to see that and it’s not hard for other people to see it. That level of transparency in this system makes a lot of the things that are going on such as on Twitter, almost impossible to execute.

The other thing is that people have choices. If you don’t want to state your particular religion, you don’t have to.

No, that is all optional.

The only thing that you need to do with your profile is to explain what your qualifications are for the particular task or the request for action that you’re applying to potentially be involved in. Is that right?

That’s right. DiiDit supports trade organizations, so if you’re a member of the AFL-CIO, you can reach out to other people, a political party. If you’re a Democrat or a Republican and want to communicate with those type of people and build your DiiDit network based upon those shared interests. It also works with the fraternal organizations, fraternities and sororities. If you’re a Phi Beta Kappa and want to identify other Phi Beta Kappas, you can do that. This is all optional. The ultimate idea behind DiiDit is to allow you to create this highly qualified network of people who you know, have shared professional interests and goals.

They did something to prove it. We have the request for action, the RFA that says so. I’m going to take you to a different place here a little esoteric. We live in a world now of cryptocurrency. Here we are talking about DiiDit as a token and this token can be converted to many forms of rewards including other human effort and work. How do you see DiiDit interacting as a cryptocurrency in the future?

The possibility certainly exists. One of the interesting things about DiiDit is if you’ve looked at Bitcoin, the underlying value of Bitcoin is that you’re supposed to buy a whole bunch of graphics cards. You’re supposed to use algorithms to mine virtual gold from the Bitcoin mountain. I don’t know what you think, but that’s a little vague. With DiiDit, the specie, the underlying unit of value which gives a DiiDit value is something that’s measurable and something that’s tangible. Action and repeated action, that has real value and you can see it and measure it. DiiDit’s potential as a cryptocurrency is very high.

FTC 115 | DiiDit
DiiDit: The underlying unit of value which gives a DiiDit value is something that’s measurable and something that’s tangible.


To our readers, if you know how to help people create ICOs, ICO stands for Initial Coin Offerings, get a hold of Rick or I and let us know because that is a direction I’m sure is going to be in our future. Rick, this has been incredibly interesting. It’s so much fun to talk about this finally after all the years that we’ve spent in development. For our readers, why don’t we talk about how it’s built, what we did, how we got it done and what the current status is? Do you want to start with that?

I don’t want to get into too many technical details, but DiiDit is built on the Microsoft Stack. We participated in the BizSpark startup program. It’s a blend of Java, an underlying database system. It’s an NTR application with the data, business logic and front-end separated from one another. It is a SaaS application but highly responsive so that it functions very well on a phone. The first release will not have an app, but we are working on that of course. That’s pretty much the technical underlying architecture.

There was a commercial some years ago, it was for IBM where a couple of kids were sitting around a computer. They just launched their new website and they were selling a widget or something and all of a sudden, the first sale comes in and everyone claps. Then the second, third and fourth come in and everyone was clapping. All of a sudden, it was like an avalanche of sales coming in and now everybody was all worried because they were obviously afraid that their server is going to crash. Do you remember that commercial?

I certainly do.

There's nothing that Jane Austen wrote that isn’t worth reading. Click To Tweet

One of the things that all of us these days are doing is we’re building platforms like DiiDit and like Results Breakthrough Network on highly expandable infrastructures. That infrastructure can be within minutes scaled to an almost infinite size. What we’ve done here and what Rick talked about is the fact that this whole thing is built on AWS and it stands for Amazon Web Services. While Amazon Web Services is very reasonable at the level that we’re using it right now, once you get to be the size of a company like Slack, you can be spending $400 or $500 million a year on Amazon Web Services. The reason they keep doing it is that the comparison of building your own backend data center, it’s still worth it. What do you think about Amazon Web Services and particularly as it applies to DiiDit?

DiiDit is highly scalable. That was built into it from the beginning because we knew that if we faced an IBM situation, we wouldn’t want to be brought to our knees within fifteen minutes or twenty minutes the way they showed in that old commercial. One of the interesting things that’s happening in AWS and as a matter of fact, I’m writing an article for an upcoming issue of a Softletter on exactly this issue of how you can use SaaS based services to precisely monitor and throttle and up throttle your AWS usage. There’s the idea of what they are called serverless technologies. They’re not serverless, but new systems that allow you to have micro bursts of activity only on an as-needed basis in which you’re running your server operations at a very granular level. When you get that type of control over your backend, your servers or your virtual servers as the case maybe, you can drive costs down considerably.

Another important point to understand is that no SaaS application should be built on anything but an infinitely expandable scalable system that in a few minutes can be expanded rapidly to accommodate many more people. Here we are at this stage in the company, Rick and I have put some considerable cash into getting it to this stage. There’s a lot of sweat equity. We have a development team who is a combination of sweat equity and cash as well. What we’re doing now is we’re looking to build this out and find what I would call quality beta testers, people who have teams of people or networks that they would like the idea of testing this out on. At the same time, the general public, anybody who would like the idea of what we’ve described to jump in and get this started.

FTC 115 | DiiDit
DiiDit: DiiDit literally has the opportunity to change the world.


We have a special offer here. As anybody who goes to and sets up a profile, will get 500 free DiiDits just for joining. If this is the next Bitcoin, why not grab your 500 DiiDits? You never know, it could be worth $5 billion in some fantasy future. Rick, it’s been fun chatting about this with you here on the show. I do have two questions for you. This is the question I like to ask, which helps me understand and helps our readers understand a little bit about what you care about and who you are. Here’s the question. Who, in all of space and time, would you like to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?

I know everyone’s going to ask and expect me to say something like Steve Wozniak or Steve Jobs or something like that. My pick would be Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice is my favorite novel. I’ve probably read it 50 to 100 times over the course of my life. I read it first when I was in seventh grade and was enchanted. Jane Austen died comparatively young, unmarried. That’s always been someone who I would love to have met in real life and real time. She was a marvelous writer, a marvelous wit and there’s nothing that she wrote that isn’t worth reading.

That’s quite an endorsement and unfortunately, I’ve never read any of her work, so that gives me a reason to dig in, add it to my two-year stack of books to read some day.

Pride and Prejudice is worth every minute.

Thank you for recommending that. The grand finale question, the change the world question, what is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?

On this one, I’m going to be self-serving because I do think that DiiDit literally has the opportunity to change the world. The first generation of social networks has turned out to be a very barren place to be. If you’ve been reading about the problems that Facebook has faced with the privacy and the data mining issues, with the fact that LinkedIn destroyed a vibrant community of groups of people who were communicating with each other on shared interests, that’s all going away. If you’re interested in cat videos and telling people what restaurants you’re visiting, that’s fine and dandy. The opportunity to use social networking for practical business purposes and to make people in the social network environment not just participants, not just bodies to be mined but stakeholders and to give them a real equity position in the social network is a concept and an idea who has come and it’s long overdue.

I certainly agree or else I wouldn’t be involved. Thank you, Rick. It was a pleasure chatting with you. Thanks again, Rick, and I look forward to our next conversation.

Thanks. It was a pleasure, Mitch.

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