Thubten Comerford – CEO of Social Potency, Avid Idea Igniter

Thubten grew up in Malibu, California in the 1970s surrounded by 
celebrities. His classmates included Charlie Sheen, Chris Penn, Rob
Lowe, Dean Cain, Robert Downy, Jr., Holly Robinson Peete and Griffin 
O’Neal.  He once wanted to become a movie star, just as his classmates 
were, but eventually decided to leave LA “at the top of his career,”
following his appearance in a scene with Ken Olin on the TV show
 Thirty Something in May of 1990. Thubten knew that Silicon Valley held
 the keys to his future.

After arriving in the promised land, Thubten worked in marketing at 
Apple Computer and later at Mac World Magazine. After catching the 
internet wave in 1995 Thubten supported Macintosh users for Netcom (an 
early ISP), then moved on to serve as a postmaster for AOL. In 1998
 Thubten founded a network engineering firm in San Jose, Samaya Inc., 
and after securing a contract with the Thai government, opened an
 office in Bangkok.

Following a disagreement with the board, Thubten
 left Samaya, and California, swearing off technology, (at least for a
while). In 2000, Thubten founded Denver-based White Hat Technologies,
a network security firm, which garnered a great deal of industry 
attention. White Hat made it onto the cover of Computer World two 
years in a row (2001 & 2002).
 Thubten realized that what he loved about being an entrepreneur, (he’s
 been starting businesses since he was in elementary school), was the 
marketing, communicating the value of the product or service so that
 the sale virtually makes itself. Armed with this realization he 
ventured into the world of consulting. To build his consulting 
business he began to explore online methods that would leverage his
One of the early adopters on LinkedIn, Thubten began to attract 
attention as a super-networker. His direct connections on LinkedIn
 have reached nearly 20,000, and he has remained in the top 100 
best-connected people for several years. Thubten also caught the
 Twitter wave early, learning everything there was to know about how 
the new micro-blogging service could best be used to reach out to
 others. Thubten has continued to demonstrate his mastery of Twitter as
 he approaches 60,000 followers.

Thubten moved to Oregon last summer and has been enjoying getting
 settled into Southeast Portland. Since moving to Oregon Thubten has 
continued his work with entrepreneurs, mentoring them in 
entrepreneurship and social media, and assisting them with 
bootstrapping their companies and with attracting investment capital. 
Thubten is active with the Angel Capital Summit as well as Startup
 Weekend. In addition to managing his own social media consultancy,
 Thubten serves as CMO for two social media startup companies, Business
3.0 and CluePad. 
As if there were any spare moments in his week, Thubten Comerford enjoys the 
local Portland cafe culture, as well as the raw/vegan food scene. He 
writes for his own blogs, and is presently putting together a blog focused on Portland startups. Find his profile on LinkedIn.

What are you working on right now?

I’m building my social media consultancy, Social Potency, which has 
been my full-time “job” since moving to Portland. I’ve also been 
contributing my social media and marketing expertise to two technology  startup
 companies, Business 3.0 and CluePad. Keeping up with my blogging can 
be a challenge, too, but I love it. I have two Meetup groups in 
Portland, one for entrepreneurs called Startup Founders, and a Twitter
 group called PDX TUG (Portland Twitter Users Group). I also volunteer
 as a facilitator and mentor for @StartupWeekend events around the

3 Trends that excite you?

1) People are starting to understand the power of social media, of 
authentic communication,

2) The trend toward entrepreneurial business
continues to grow,

3) Portland gets weirder by the day. 😉

How do you bring ideas to life?

I am someone who can’t let a good idea just sit around. If I hear a
good idea, my mind takes it to the nth degree in every possible 
direction. I do the same with my own ideas. I share the ideas with 
others over coffee, skype, email, etc. until they land with people who 
can and will run with them.

What is one mistake that you made, and what did you learn from it?

I once took a consulting client who was not a close fit for my skill
 set because I felt for the client’s situation and wanted to be 
helpful. Although I explained at the outset that the project was not
 my forte, the client expected perfection, and ended up becoming a 
nightmare, and now former client. The lesson that I learned is that 
regardless of how much you want to help, if the project is not a fit, 
don’t take the job.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I give this business model away all the time: take something that you 
love to do; create a DVD that shows others how to do it; market the
 DVD on a blog site. I once met someone at a networking event who was a 
house painter. It was winter, and he was not painting any houses 
at the time. He asked me what I would suggest for him to do to make 
some money in his off season. I suggested this exact model, as it 
would provide income throughout the year, and it wouldn’t cost him 
much to shoot the video and produce and mail the DVDs. He no longer 
has to paint houses for a living. 🙂

What’s most important to remember when marketing through social media?

1) Be yourself,

2) Update often,

3) Provide value, up front, for 

4) Build an audience,

5) Communicate WITH (not at) your

6) Entice them to engage you on and through your blog/web

What’s the most important aspect of your life?

What’s most important 
to me is that I make a positive difference in the world, that the 
profits from any of my business endeavors go to heal the sick, feed
 the hungry, house the homeless, and make the world a better place for
 all of us to live. Continuing to give that idea away brings about a
world that works for everyone, with no one left out, sooner and sooner 
every time it’s shared.


Thubten Comerford on Linked In – Blog

Thubten Comerford on Twitter