HTC & DMEC Alumni Mixer @ Abobe SF

Lastnight 60 HTC & DMEC members and alumni from a wide variety of companies around the Bay Area descended on Adobe’s San Francisco office for an informal mixer.

Adobe generously sponsored the event, providing delicious food and an abundance of beer and wine in a very cool venue, while Diageo hosted a Don Julio tasting station where attendees could learn about tequila and taste 4 varieties of Don Julio!

Everyone had an excellent evening of eating, drinking, tequila tasting and meeting new people and networking (perhaps the tequila helped ;-) )! The evening was a huge success!

Berkeley Digital Media & Entertainment Club

Hello everyone! We are the newly elected co-presidents of the Digital Media & Entertainment Club. We’d like to tell you a little bit about our club, our objectives, and how you can get involved!

Digital media is a fast evolving industry that represents a huge business opportunity. The digital world is gradually becoming more open, more connected, and more social. The goal of DMEC is to connect people who are interested in pursuing careers in digital media and entertainment and empower them via education and networking opportunities.

It goes without saying that DMEC is our favorite club at Haas. It combines our nerdy passions for digital media and entertainment with good times and good friends. We have selected an outstanding Executive Committee that will be working hard to organize career treks, pub-crawls with start-ups, gaming competitions, tech talks, and much more in the coming year.

If you have an interest in technology, we encourage you to reach out to us with your questions. Additionally, be sure to visit our website to learn more about how you can be more involved!

Last but not least, you can connect with DMEC on Twitter (@berkeleydmec) and Google+!

– Katie and Teresa

ABOVE: DMEC visits Twitter

Are You Ready To >play?

Last Saturday was the 7th annual >play Digital Media Conference, a student run conference hosted at Haas that brings together over 500 business professionals, industry leaders and graduate students to discuss the most important trends in digital media and cast predictions for the future.

Let me step back to last Thursday, when >play actually kicked off with an amazing event at the headquarters of Couchsurfing in San Francisco – a great space with couches (obviously), but also swings, and cool murals on the wall. It was a great night with about 150 attendees – a mix of student volunteers, >play vips and friends of Couchsurfing – who all enjoyed the sushi, sake, tea, beer and wine.

Back to the conference on Saturday. I was blown away by how professionally run the conference was. There was definitely no indication that this was a purely student run event. My day began with a breakfast hosted by Groupon which was really informative and interesting given their upcoming IPO. After breakfast it was time for opening remarks from the Dean, Richard Lyons, followed by the morning keynote – Jeff Jordan who is a partner at Andreesen Horowitz, and a real Bay Area identity, sitting on a huge array of Boards, as well as being Chairman of the Board for Open Table.

The keynote took the form of an interview from Kara Swisher, and they both played off each other for a really enjoyable hour, in which they discussed topics from Steve Jobs (Jordan said: “He made science fiction a reality”), to how VCs make investment decisions (Swisher joked:”to me it’s like a bunch of teenage girls chasing Justin Bieber”).

After the keynote there were rocket-pitches from the companies showcasing their products in the expo including Kno, Yelp, Yahoo!, TubeMogul, Rakoko, Pulse,, Sifteo, Wallit, Snapette, OnLive and more. Other companies at >play were Sony Computer Entertainment, Microsoft, Rexly, localmind and many more. Between the rocket pitches and exploring the expo during the day I was fascinated with all of the exciting products and trends … although one of the more fun was playing with the XBox and the Kinect that Microsoft had set up.

Other highlights of the day included talks from Sony Computer Entertainment, and Kno, who are fundamentally shifting the textbook market, to a panel on Search vs. Discovery in which we heard about the need to balance tailored results with the problems of overpersonalization.

The day closed with a final keynote from Geoffrey Moore, a best selling author and chairman emeritus at TCG Advisors, who spoke about Crossing the Chasm vs Spinning Up The Web – the different strategies needed for B2B and B2C success in digital media, which was fascinating to hear.

All in all, it was an excellent day – I had a great time, and also learned a huge amount!

DMEC’s 1st Pre >play VIP Kickoff Event!

The following post was originally authored by David Breger (MBA 2011) and is cross-posted on the Berkeley Digital Media & Entertainment Club blog.
DMEC’s 6th annual >play Conference ( is coming up in only 4 days, and the Bay is buzzing with excitement.  Fantastic speakers, an amazing Expo, exciting Rocket Pitches, and a great Career Fair to come!
However, this year we thought it would be great if >play attendees would have a chance to meet each other before the Conference.  So this year for the first time, we decided to hold a pre >play VIP Kickoff Event to allow for this opportunity.
Yesterday evening, over 150 >play volunteers, DMEC alums, panelists, and Conference attendees descended upon KickLabs, a San Francisco-based technology and online media incubator, to host a one-of-a-kind event to kickoff >play 2010 with a bang.  Product managers, venture capitalists, and CEOs of top digital media firms from around the Bay, along with several Berkeley Haas MBAs, had the chance to interact with one another before the Conference – to eat, drink, and of course talk about the hottest topics in the world of digital media!
This was a first-time event for us, but we really enjoyed ourselves and the chance to talk with many of the >play attendees before the big day on Saturday…and we hope you did too!
Thank you to KickLabs, our >play sponsors, and of course everyone who came out on Saturday!  Only 4 days ‘til it’s time to >play!
David Breger and Vince Huang, DMEC Co-Presidents
Gina Strayer and Dan Parker, >play Conference Co-Chairs


SF Music Tech: The Bits in the Beats

The San Francisco Bay Area is fast becoming the hot-bed of music and technology. Both Pandora and Mog are in Berkeley’s backyard (Oakland and Berkeley, respectively).  The MBA experience at Haas is more than just the curriculum and the community in Haas, but being an MBA provides tons of opportunities to network and make new connections. Brian Zisk, who was a former panelist for the >play conference, organizes a semi-annual conference.

Having attended the SF Music Tech Summit in December, I was thoroughly surprised that a mere six months later, 700+ people would be filling the Kabuki Hotel in Japantown for another pow-wow.

The underlying theme was to recognize the power of proper data analytics and management to empower the music ecosystem.

As the music industry adapts to the digital age, the attendees were stress that there will always be music.  As the industry seeks new business models, it was made clear that many of the companies aren’t re-inventing the way people interact with content and music, but looking towards data analytics as a guiding light to new monetization models.

From Cisco’s Eos’ technology enabling both front-end and more importantly, back-end management Saas solution for enterprises to Pandora conscientiously tracking its users to pair growth with capital investments the tone to both artists and businesses was that in order to succeed, one needs to see the numbers in music.

Know who your audience is and where there are
There is no silver bullet. Gone are the days where listeners flock to the artist. Gone are the days of mono-channel distribution.  While artists and their promoters are in search for a general recommendation, figure out where your listeners are and go to them.

Susan Boyle
Case in Point: Susan Boyle’s CD Sales

Case in Point: Susan Boyle
Simon Cowell saw $$ when she got up on that stage and cleared her windpipes.  The label was clearly shocked when her CD went on sale—91% of recorded sales were from physical DVDs.  Thinking that digital sales were not being accounted for, the label soon learned that Boyle’s audience watched on YouTube, but still purchased plastic CDs.

There were also some great quotes:

  • Monetization through Hypersyndication: Get your data out there, actively send out your info. It’s about distribution, give them the data so that it’s clean, so it doesn’t rely on user submissions. Hypersyndication will enable artists to find new ways to get paid.” Darryl Ballantyne, LyricFind
  • Understanding Your Point on a Growth Curve: “We’ve always been vigorous with our analytics. However, it can be surprising. For the first couple of years, our growth over time was surprisingly linear. When you’re in the early part of the exponential growth curve, it looks very linear.” Tom Conrad, Pandora
  • Comparing Android v. iPhone OS: “You can push faster and iterate to learn with Android. Android is good for acquisition.  For the iPhone, its the opposite. We’ve received pushback from user registration, often a week to two weeks.  But with the iPhone, we get more paid conversions.” Warren Wan, Dada Entertainment
  • On Multitasking Functionality for the Phone: ” When you can run things in the background, companies will be able to use background information to trigger events or discovery.” Reno Marioni, Nokia

It was great to dive into the conference. The greatest value from attending the conference isn’t just the download from the panels, but from the conversations in between the panel.  I was able to meet some amazing minds! From learning about JamLegends, meeting A&R managers, and networking with entrepreneurs to exploring a partnership with the SF Chapter of the Grammy’s I was grateful that the conference was in Japantown—I walked down the block to carbo load at my favorite ramen shop.

Pictures from Flickr:

A variation of the post was taken from the DMEC blog.


Bringing Alums and MBA Students together for a night of Scotch

Guest Post: David Breger, Co-President of the Berkeley Digital Media and Entertainment Club (DMEC) gives us a peek into the different events hosted by clubs at Haas. This recap is cross posted on the DMEC Blog.

One of the best things about DMEC is our extremely passionate and fun alumni base.  Because the Club is less than a decade old, DMEC alums are recent alums that are awesome to hang out with and are always working on the most interesting things.

Case in point: a couple weeks ago was our First Annual DMEC Past & Present Scotch Tasting.  Sponsored by Johnny Walker, we held the event at the Yardbarker offices in San Francisco, started by two DMEC co-founders, Pete Vlastelica and Jack Kloster.

The night began with appetizers and cocktails, where dozens of DMEC members and alums alike had the chance to talk and catch up with one another.  Then began the scotch tasting.  The Master of Scotch explained to us the differences between the five types of Johnny Walker scotch we tasted that night: Red, Gold, Black, Green, and Blue.  It was a great chance to interact with DMEC students and alums working in the digital media and entertainment industries over some fantastic scotch!