Archive for the ‘business’ Category

Sad sign of the times – SDNB has left the building

Saw a sad thing as I was rolling down Kettner Boulevard this morning – they’re taking the San Diego National Bank sign off its headquarters building.

San Diego National Bank was known for the Wyland mural of whales on the side of its main building and its “whale” logo. Its parent company, FBOP Inc., failed in October, making SDNB the largest local bank to fail during the recent financial crisis.

Let’s hope whoever occupies the building next will be a marine-mammal-loving organization inclined to keep and maintain this landmark mural.

Proper use of Twitter, and its beneficiaries

Everyone and their mother is getting on Twitter. In droves. People are writing code which creates thousands of fake users which follow them, and serve only to artificially inflate their follower count. In this gigantic, ever-growing ocean of Twitter who are examples of folks who are NOT DOING IT WRONG? I have a couple shoutouts to give – because these organizations are doing GOOD and not just sponging up popularity. These are places to do business with – because they behave honorably.


Qualcomm innovates with Crocodeagle

Today, April 1 2009, Qualcomm’s R&D group revealed some of its most exciting and promising projects: the Wolfpigeon, Sharkfalcon and Crocodeagle. How exciting that San Diego should be the birthplace of such innovative wireless technology:



Qualcomm CEO cuts his pay 25%

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs replaced Irwin Jacobs as company chairman  March 3 and also told shareholders he’d be taking a 25 percent reduction in salary for fiscal 2009.

Qualcomm President Steve Altman is taking the reduction too. The Fortune 500 San Diego company’s senior execs say it’s their way of showing solidarity with the rest of the employees who were asked to take a wage freeze.

The Associated Press reports that Paul Jacobs made $18.6 million last year. His base salary was about $1 million. And the company  reported net income of $341 million in its first fiscal quarter, so it’s doing relatively well despite the economy. So very good news for San Diego.

While the company is not expanding, it is planning “significant” R&D spending.

If you work at Qualcomm, what do you think?

AtenLabs vs Brady, Chair of O’Reilly Emerging Technologies Conference

AtenLabs was able to corral Brady for a quick interview. He was kind enough to indulge us. Read on for some squishy hacker-friendly goodness about Etech this year!

Aten: How much of your life does Etech consume?

Brady: it consumes… I start working 10 months in advance. In some ways 14 months in advance. 10 months is the theme for the following year, its my first conference of the year, so it gets my attention. I’d like to have as many worthwhile things as possible crammed into into that time – the conference is only four days. Every facet of the conference has to be interesting. There is tech/art in the halls, events in the evenings. Its broad.


San Diego is a giant place!

Whenever I hear anybody talk about San Diego the only thing I ever hear about is downtown. Its interesting to me that the people who choose to visit our city mostly end up in the gaslamp quarter. I thought it would be wise to illustrate how easy it is to find awesome places to hangout, eat and enjoy ones self in San Diego when one doesn’t find themselves downtown.

‘Hang in there Jack’ could have been so much more…

See my Superbowl post if you missed the ad that Jack in the Box ran during the big game. Or my ‘morning after’ post tracking the ad campaign’s social media — or more accurately, lack of a true social media — component.

Jack in the Box is one of San Diego’s Fortune 500s (along with SAIC, Qualcomm, Sempra…). So Jack is a hometown hero and many locals, me included, when we saw him get hit by a bus during a Superbowl ad, immediately went to the url advertised,, which couldn’t handle the traffic. It wasn’t until the next day that I could see all of its great multimedia content.

However, there was no RSS feed! WTH? How am I supposed to stay on top of changes and updates to this site? Oh, I guess people are supposed to subscribe to email alerts instead. No thanks. Get enough of that already!  (more…)

San Diego’s Astroglide Enjoying Economic Slide

I had the chance to chat with the inventor of Astroglide this morning at the San Diego North Economic Development Council’s monthly meeting. Yes, the famous personal lubricant is made right here in Vista and greases the proverbial skids of our local economy. The formulation was discovered by Dan Wray back in 1979–I think it was for some kind of aerospace application since he was a NASA chemist. Seriously. Hence the ‘Astro.’ Somehow–and we’ll skip over this part of the narrative–its value as a personal lubricant was discovered.

Well, it turns out, after chatting to him this a.m., that sex is recession-proof. Probably not news to Metblog readers. And with more people staying home, Astroglide sales are climaxing swelling — gosh, can’t find the right word — anyhow, sales are good.

And this product is global. Astroglide has distributors from Saudi Arabia to Iceland. Wow. So, despite these tough economic times, doesn’t it just make you warm all over to know that Astroglide is one of our region’s red-hot exports. And if that isn’t enough to make you feel really, really good, then how about the fact that Astroglide is non-toxic and water based. Oh yeah….Someone cue the Barry White.

San Diego toy company takes on toxic toys

I always like meeting inspiring entrepreneurs and San Diego is full of them–thank goodness. I met one yesterday, Daniel Monahan, who started a designer toy company called DANO2 based in Carlsbad. His company’s first product came on the market in the fall and it’s a non-toxic teething ring that’s all US-made from medical-grade plastic and pediatrician approved. While safe and functional, so teething kids can give them a good and gummy workout, each design is also fun with a circus theme that parents like.   

Safe teething rings from San Diego

Safe teething rings from San Diego

Daniel and company have more products like the teething ring in the works for parents who want safe choices for their kids. Everything they make is far above the standards set by Congress to try to prevent shoddy toy products from making it into playpens and playrooms around the country. Daniel explained that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has much higher standards and says any lead content above 40 ppm is unsafe, but our Congress set the limit on lead content at 600 parts per million (ppm).  Anyhow, the teething ring was tested, of course, and showed no detectable levels of lead, so chew on that.

Daniel is a dad, sculptor and entrepreneur. Before starting DANO2, he had graduated with a business degree from UCLA and was creating toy art for art collectors.  After their daughter was born, his wife asked “why aren’t you making toys that your daughter can enjoy?” And, the next thing you know, they were bringing a new company into the world.

The children’s toys Daniel and team have come up with so far include the teethers, the “DANO Ducki,” and a stylized baby doll named “Tum.” And all are tested to verify compliance with local and international safety regulations and are free of lead, phthalates, and bisphenol A (BPA). Very cool.

The full DANO2 product line is available online at and in select specialty stores. Check them out and tell them the San Diego metblog sent you!

DANO2 Circus Rings

DANO2 Circus Rings

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