Monday, February 9, 2009

Experts in the Industry: Marvin Chow (14 of 45)

I've known Marvin Chow, Marketing Director of Nike Japan, for almost 12 years now. When I was first introduced to Marvin through some mutual friends, he was described to me as a wunderkid (a billing he certainly lived up to in my mind).  Together, we served on the board of the Boston Interactive Media Association (BIMA). Over the years, I've drifted in and out of touch with Marvin but thanks to the SocNets (Plaxo and Facebook in particular), we're back in business.

Here are Marvin's answers to the five questions from the Experts in the Industry: 45 Interviews in 45 Days series:

In one sentence, please describe what you do and why you’re good at it.
chief propaganda director, cultural anthropologist, sport evangelist... aka, Nike Japan Marketing Director. I’m good at it because I love what I do.

How did you get into the world of online community, social media or social marketing?
I’ve always loved technology and people.  I worked in a crazy advanced media lab my senior year of Boston College and worked on projects with Quicktime compression, experienced the first Mosiac Browser in 1994 and wrote code in HTML 1.0.  From then, I was hooked and never let go of the keyboard.  In the 15 years that followed “online” has blurred the lines between work and life for me.  Connecting and Engaging with people through digital technology gets me off!!!!!

If you had $10 million to invest in one company and one company only based on their use of “social,” which company would it be and why?
Facebook at $5b valuation?  Twitter at $250m?  Ning at $500m?  They are all definitely players and though I’m partial to facebook and believe they have the best chance for success, if I really had the money, I’d invest it in, the chinese IM/SNS site.  It trades on the HK exchange at $47 and a crazy 54 P/E ratio but with 300m members, the opportunity for 1b more and $500m in revenue (only 13% from advertising), it’s my best bet for financial success.

Which business leader, politician or public figure do you most respect?
Obama is the too obvious answer, but for me, it might always be Michael Jordan.  He’s all heart.  He’s the guy you want next to you when it’s all on the line – and not just basketball.  He walks the walk.  Hungry, competitive, intelligent and focused.  

No.  Why would I?  Maybe I lack vision but anything they could possibly offer me would be off-brand/category.  I honestly don't even like brushing my teeth, why would I want to talk about it?  Maybe if their was an anti-toothpaste community, I’d think about it – but probably not.

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