Jul 21 2009

Shinkaze.com -> AutoStream.com

So I was looking at the analytics today and was very surprised to see so many people coming to Shinkaze.com.  I’m very flattered, and want to let you know that I am changing things up a little bit.  I am moving all of my automotive blogging to my other website, AutoStream.com, and Shinkaze.com will focus more on my personal life and the trials and tribulations of start-up life.

I’m begining to surface again and will try to be a little better about providing updates moving forward, but please be sure to check out AutoStream for the latest stream of videos that I am either producing or happen to admire.


Feb 11 2009

Syndication fail, FrugalMechanic & Amazon’s exhaust fan


I quickly admit I have a massive chip on my shoulder about Techcrunch….which is why I read it every day of course..  Why the chip?  Hmmm, I launched a video sharing site 9 months ahead of YouTube who copied us screen by screen, and a white label video site 12 months ahead of Brightcove. Neither of which was worth reporting by his Royal highness Mike Arrington. When we exchanged emails about it in 2005 I think he said in an email to me “Oh, you’re in Georgia and who are you funded by?  No one?  Yup don’t care“  Sure we haven’t gone on to YouTube success (because we actually tried to respect people’s copyrights) But we didn’t exactly experience Revver failure either which has had massive amounts of exposure on Techcrunch. So I guess I should be at peace that Techcrunch actually doesn’t matter after all. Fuck’em I’ve got over 7Mmu anyways.

So why did I post an “exhaust fan” and go on a Techcrunch rant?  Because Techcrunch has finally reported on an automotive start-up! (gasp! those NorCal hippies know there is an automotive community afterall).  Well Congrats to the FrugalMechanic crew.  You’re about 12 months behind Digital Performance. But competition improves the breed so I wish them luck (PS I have no affiliation with DPI other than a shared snubbing by Techcrunch apparently)…..okay, calming down now, its not FrugalMechanic’s fault that Arrington is a snob and I do actually wish them well.


So I check out FM, cool looking design.  Super Nintendo logo might need some work, but I dig the big clear calls to action.  So I look for something to fit my 2009 Nissan GT-R….and there is nothing there.  Okay, maybe too specialized, so I’ll look for an old car I had, my ubiquitous 1998 LS1 Trans Am.  I enter in 1998 Firebird scan the results, instantly chuckle that they’re offering me distributor caps for a car that hasn’t sported a distributor since optispark killed it in 1993.  Okay, I’ll cut them some slack, try something easy like cat-back exhaust…..arguably one of the most basic modifications you can make, what do I get?

…Some amazon syndication fail…..Wow, Looks like Edelbrock is making a whole new cat-back based on radiator fans.  Now in FM’s defense, this is Amazon’s fault.  Crap in = Crap out.  Boy do I ever know that, you should see our video moderation que some time.  But this just illustrates the huge challenge that FM and DPI are both facing.  Forget millions of parts, you have millions of applications.  In 1992 there were 6, yes no-shit 6 V8 engines available in the Firebird.  Don’t believe me?

  • 5.0L TBI V8 M5/A4
  • 5.0L TPI V8 A4 (single cat)
  • 5.0L TPI V8 HO M5 (dual cat)
  • 5.7L TPI V8 A4 (dual cat)
  • 5.7L TPI V8 M6 – Firehawk
  • 5.7L TPI V8 M6 – Aluminum block Firehawk

And yes the two Firehawks were stock cars, not “tuner cars” as you could buy them under RPO B4U, just like you could get RPO 1LE or RPO WS6.  Now to make this even more of a PIA, those 6 V8s were only available under some, but not other trims.  for example you couldn’t get a manual 5.0L TPI V8 or 5.7L in a convertible Trans Am, but you could get a M5 5.0L TBI V8 in a convertible Firebird.  You really have to have an educated consumer to choose something as simple as a cat-back that is a proper application, and the multi-threaded hell of what parts fit on what makes, models and trims is a huge problem that some smart people are trying to figure out.

The good news is, I spend a fair amount of time with SEMA and their member companies and they recognize the problem and need to fix it, especially since it’s a $38B/year industry that can’t lead gen for this very reason despite the fact that most people are researching and buying their parts online.

I have a fairly janky solution to this whole mess that I think would work quite well, but I’ll wait till I have the patent cleared before I open up on that one 😉

PS, I am happy to see that Amazon and I agree that the best way to upgrade the computer in your car is to slap in a carbureted V8…..Got to love those Data entry interns,

Feb 5 2009

the Moddin’ Art channel on StreetFire

Grinner rocks, which is why we gave him a channel on StreetFire, we just got this “Station Identification” video from him that quite frankly makes me want to rewatch all his old stuff. Cool, stuff, check out his channel.

the Moddin’ Art channel- Video.

Jan 30 2009

I lost a friend, the world lost a star, RIP @Martin

I might be offline for a little while so my apologies if I don’t update the blog much over the weekend.

From Morten Lundxy.com blog

The recent crash of a Private plane on Wednesday has really struck home for me.  My friend Martin Schaedel was on the plane and I’m not going to see him again, he didn’t make it and the world has grown a little dimmer for me because of his absence.

It’s hard to describe Martin, a young man with more life under his belt than anyone I know.  I knew him only briefly, less than a year, but he really gave me a new perspective on how the world works and what “home” means.  My wife Carlisle questioned Martin for hours one night trying to understand how he could not have a home and live in once city for a few days, then another for a week at a time.  I think he enjoyed seeing Carlisle’s inability to come to terms with it.  I guess now I understand he wasn’t homeless at all.  He lived everywhere.  The whole world was his home.  If home is where the heart is, he brought his heart everywhere which might explain why he made friends so easily.

Last weekend I got a message (by Twitter of course) he was going to be in town.  We got together at Le Petit Four, a common hang out for me.  We had dinner, talked about work and life.  He flirted with the waitress as he always does, and was fascinated by the magic tricks the guy next to us was doing trying to pick up the girls.

Little Bar-Magic that Captivated Martin at Dinner

Little Bar-Magic that Captivated Martin at Dinner

We spent hours there talking about his recent flight into Malibu on Sunday and how he pulled 2.5 G’s.  I haven’t seen him this animated since we took my car up into Angeles Crest Highway to shoot some video.

Martin Driving my GT-R at Typical "Martin Velocity"

Martin Driving at typical "Martin Speed"

Another mountain cruise picture

Another mountain cruise picture

I didn’t know Martin well, but do I know anyone well?  I do know I feel sad right now because I am being selfish.  I was looking forward to a lifetime of friendship with Martin and now I only have this past year.  In life Martin taught me that you can do anything you set your mind to and to live life to the fullest.  In his absence I have screeched to a halt and realized I have to appreciate the people around me because I never know how fleeting our relationships with them may be.

Speed Safe Martin, you’ve impacted us all deeply.

Other people talking about Martin..

Martin’s Friends saying goodbye on Twitter
The Internet Says Goodbye to Martin Schaedel
@Martin RIP
Startup Advisor, Former VC Probable Plane Crash Victim
You Never Know
The Internet Says Farewell To A Friend, Martin Schaedel
Remembering Martin Schaedel
Goodbye Martin
The Internet Says Goodbye to Martin Schaedel by Peter Kafka

Nov 19 2008

The downside of starting a car company

Today is the LA auto show, and I had a blockbuster day lined up.  Through StreetFire I’ve met all sorts of great people from the designer of the new Camaro to the Product Manager on GT-R.  Today I had meetings lined up back to back and was going to be at all the great reveals.

Guess what?  Had to take a miss.  Started last night at 5:00 PM and 27 hours later I’m still at my desk, I literally just got back from having breakfast at 6:30PM.  Luckily I have great people working for me so we still got our coverage.  Alexis just rang me up and said he has a brilliant interview with the Product manager of the 370Z hot on the heals of the Mustang reveal I was supposed to be at last night, but I have to say i’ts just torture having to take a personal miss on this show.  Karan did a fantastic job lining up our partner coverage as well.  The Mustang footage from yesterday looks great too….

…it just sucks that yet again I’m stuck back at the desk getting deals done….*sigh*…..

Nov 18 2008

Best of Streetfire – Week of Nov 14, 2008- Video

Best of Streetfire – Week of Nov 14, 2008- Video.

Nov 14 2008

StreetFire’s Creative Director starts `em young!

Gasoline in the veins!

My son’s first drive in the Challenger- Video.

Nov 12 2008

RiceBoyTV, and CarJunkieTV Fall on Hard Times

RiceboyTVThis is a tough one for me.  On one hand it always worries me seeing new VC funded car web sites come into my sector, but on the other hand, each is a validation of the space StreetFire is in.  RiceboyTV was really exciting because we figured out a way for both StreetFire and RiceboyTV to be successful working together.  Well, word just came down that their investors have gotten spooked by the market and are not fulfilling their financial obligations.  A real shame, and I have to wonder if other recent Vertical start ups are going to fall victom as well.  Anyhow I’m pullin gfor these guys and gals, I think they’re on to a great concept and hope they pull it out at the last second.

CarJunkieTV, RiceBoyTV

Nov 11 2008

GT-R on Display at StreetFire Studio

GT-RR.com needed a place to store some SEMA cars for the week, so here is the view in the StreetFire office right now!

IMG_6277.jpg- Album.

Nov 10 2008

My GT-R against Emil’s GT3 at Willow Springs

Torque TV: Head2Head R35 vs GT3- Video.