Monthly Archives: January 2011

Network 4 Net Worth: You Are The Brand

I’ve recently joined a Linkedin group started by my younger brother, called Network 4 Net-Worth. BTW – this group has a great name!

Using social media properly can help you achieve success.

In a few weeks, I’ll be speaking to the group about the importance of personal branding, and using the internet and social media to help achieve one’s professional objectives.

I’m putting together a wicked presentation, and I’m excited.

I’m using my own personal branding journey as the case study, and bringing along my man Sergio, founder of WeHarlem, to provide another case study of professional branding on a different level.

I’m going to post it up here when it’s done, and walk you through my presentation.

Hopefully, you’ll find it as elucidating as (I hope) it will be for the group members and attendees.

I’m opening up here people! Pay attention!

Anyway, I’m also promoting it, because I’m going to be shooting a documentary film I’m producing, so I am really looking for support.

The event is Thursday, February 10, 2011, at The Hill, 416 3rd Avenue, at East 29th Street. It starts at 7:00 and my presentation begins promptly at 8:00 pm.

A word to the wise: fashionably late=you missed it.

If you can’t make it, please be sure to follow me @stephenchukumba or friend me on Facebook, as I’ll also be posting the presentation there as well.

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10 Billion App Downloads and You DON’T Need One?

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard the recent announcement by Apple that they’ve just eclipsed 10 billion app downloads in the Apple App Store.

Starting from the release of the iPhone in 2007, the Apple App Store passed the 1 billion download mark in April of 2009, after opening in July of 2008. That’s a ridiculous pace by any standard.

Tap Tap Revenge is one of the more popular iTunes Apps

Even though much of this traffic was driven by highly popular titles like Tap Tap Revenge and Angry Birds, the reality is that apps have captivated much of the public’s attention, and are as common as the devices upon which they are deployed.

If you’re not an Apple-o-phile, you’ll still be impressed by the estimated 2.8 billion Android apps that have been downloaded to date.

Android is making a strong showing in the app space as well.

What does this all mean?

It means that people find great utility in their mobile devices and much of that utility has been driven by apps.

It also means that apps are a useful tool for brands interested in providing utility to their audiences, in what is becoming an increasingly traditional methodology.

Own a brick-and-mortar establishment? You should have an app that at a minimum, provides turn-by-turn directions to your door. Sure, they can go to GoogleMaps and find you, but why give Google those metrics? Why force your potential customer to take that extra step?

Are you an artist? Your app should stream your music (or at least snippets), provide access to your music video, pictures, show dates and special event, like listening parties or release dates. If you’re interested in making money, your app should direct users to your mobile-based store front allowing purchases downloaded directly to their device.

Maybe you’ve got a service-based business. Your app can simply be an abridged version of your website, providing one-click access to your phone, email or full mobile site. You can also use push notifications to send out blog posts, where you showcase your service-specific knowledge and expertise.

Five years ago, when I was working with The Marksmen and we were introducing DOT.TUNES, the first iPhone app which allowed users to remote access their entire iTunes library from any device capable of an internet connections, we realized that we had an uphill battle, as smart phones (and the concept of ‘apps’) were still very niche.

I acknowledge that we were ahead of our time (DT was released prior to the availability of Apple’s software developer’s kit) and were definitely on the leading edge of the entire app movement, but even then we realized that apps were how mobile users would access and consume content.

Mobile phones, including smart phones, would invariably have memory and processing constraints, and apps offered a simple way of providing one-click access to great utility, without compromising memory or processing speeds.

Fast forward five years, and Google, Nokia, Samsung, Blackberry, Palm, Windows all have their own apps, and are all seeking to replicate Apple’s success.

Big brands like Hyundai, Pepsi, Old Navy, Walmart, all have apps. And smaller brands are starting to embrace apps as well. WeHarlem’s app, provides a social media app developed specifically for Harlemites. There’s even a Dutch municipality which allows users to file complaints via an iPhone app.

IMO, if you’re a brand looking to forge deeper connections with your core audience, penetrate the market, provide greater utility to your current customers, or simply take advantage of the numerous opportunities that mobile applications provide, developing an app for your brand is a wise investment.

If you’re interested in learning more about mobile applications, and how they can help your brand, feel free to shoot me an email or give me a call.

I’d love to hear from you!

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Derric Rossy talks Chambers, Adamek and bringing the Heavyweight Championship back to the USA

Note: I wrote this post for Bang! Boxing, and will appear in their blog, The Weigh In, on their soon-to-be-launched website. But no use wasting good copy!

Derric Rossy is looking for another belt - Adamek's.

I just got off the phone with Derric Rossy, who is fighting Eddie Chambers for the second time on February 11th in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

This was my first time speaking to Derric, and I’ve got to admit, I thought I was going to be talking to a punch-drunk meat-head.

Imagine my surprise when the guy on the other end of the phone was articulate, engaging and (dare I say) funny!

The conversation was so good that at one point I forgot that I was conducting an interview, and stopped taking notes.

But I’ve managed to cobble together much of what we discussed and (with a little bit of paraphrasing and perhaps a mis-quote or two) here is our call.

B!         So I hear you’ve got a fight coming up. Who are you fighting?

DR       I’m fighting Eddie Chambers on February 11th in Atlantic City.

B!         What are your thoughts about the fight?

DR       Its going to be a great fight. I’m a different fighter from the last time we met.

B!         So you fought him already? What happened?

DR       Last time I fought him, I was more of a brawler, using my weight, trying to punch to win. I was an athletic kid, but Eddie was already a really experienced fighter. I was young and just trying to land big blows. He was more experienced and he beat me. I’m not trying to take anything away from him, but I wasn’t really prepared for that fight. He was more experienced than I was at the time.

B!         Do you think his extra 10 bouts make a difference for your upcoming fight?

DR       I believe I’ve caught up to him. As far as experience he’s still got more. But I feel comfortable.

B!         So what’s different between then and now?

DR       Well I’m more experienced. I know what to expect. I’m not just going to come out swinging because I know more about myself and my opponent. Eddie’s been in a championship fight before, so he’s definitely got experience, but in the time since our last fight, I’ve grown considerably, and I won’t underestimate him.

B!         In your opinion, who’s the toughest guy he’s fought against?

DR       It’s kinda of tough, because we’re all big guys, but his championship fight was probably the toughest. Vladimir was probably the toughest from a tactical perspective.

B!         How do you prepare for this fight?

DR       Since I’m fighting a tactician, this is going to be a chess match. I’m going to stay the game plan and do it methodically. When you’re fighting someone who is tactical, you have to be tough-minded enough to do what you’re doing. Don’t get caught up in the trash talking and get away from your game plan.

B!         I don’t mean to change the subject so abruptly, but I’ve got to talk about this. We see you’ve called out Tomask Adamek, what’s up with that?

DR       (Laughs) Yeah, I called him out. I think it’s a fight that people want to see.

B!         You said more than that, and I quote (so we can be clear): “I’ve been trying to get a fight with you since you asked me to not come back to your training camp after we sparred; I’d love to show the world exactly why you asked me not to come back.” What did you learn when you sparred him?

DR       I felt like I was putting it on him a little bit. Sometimes ego get involved. I’m not a sparring partner. I’m a guy here to make sure we both get better. I’m not just going to give you the upper hand. Not like some of the other guys who let him get over on them. It’s an ego thing sometimes. I think they thought that “this guys not worth having here.” Basically, I feel like I was giving him more work than he wanted.

B!         When you sparred with him, what did you see? What did you learn about yourself?

DR       The fact that I’m in there with a guy that’s as experienced as Adamek, means that I can stay in there with him. I have confidence in myself. I felt that literally, I’m my own man and I can fight with anyone. I was holding my own.

B!         How many rounds did you spar with him?

DR       Maybe sparred 8-10 rounds.I helped him out when he was going against Golotta, but when he was training for Vargas I didn’t get called back. Three weeks to the fight he didn’t ask me to come back.

B!         Did you feel that sparring with you helped him prepare for those fights?

DR       He was definitely in shape for both of those fights. He definitely has a great work ethic. Got him in great shape.

B!         Have you heard anything from him or his people?

DR       Nothing official yet, but we’re reaching out to them.

B!         What do u think about your chances for fighting Adamek?

DR       Don’t get me wrong, I have respect for him and what he’s done. But getting a fight with him is not far fetched. He wants to prove where he is. And a fight with me would allow him to do that. A fight between us would mean non-stop action, not a bunch of big guys just plodding and moving along. It would be an exciting fight.

B!         If you were to take Peter’s spot in April would you be ready?

DR       If things go the way that I want them with Eddie, then I’ll definitely be prepared to fight in April.

B!         Let’s just say you defeat Eddie, you get passed Adamek, what’s next?

DR       The Klitchko’s of course! And the sky’s the limit. We want to bring the heavyweight championship back to the USA. I feel like the USA is starving for a heavyweight champion. Boxing was run by the US heavyweight for the longest time. Every US heavyweight’s object is to go bring those belts back.

B!         If you were to fight in Poland, that would give Adamek a real advantage, fighting for a home crowd. How would you over come that?

DR       It all comes down to what you do in the ring. It’s all in the mind. You get over that home court advantage by taking his will, which would take away any advantage of where the fight is fought.

B!         What are Adamek’s weaknesses (if any)? How would you exploit them?

DR       I can’t give that away, because overall he’s a good tactician. But I think I can be a little quicker than him and get a little advantage in that area. It won’t be an obliteration. But I feel like I have a few advantages in a few areas that I can use until I can’t anymore (laughs)  He’s got the experience. He knows how to maneuver and adjust, and you just keep adjusting.

B!         How do you plan to combat the fact that you’re not well known? Shameless plug for B!’s PR services!

DR       I’m under the radar, but I’ll combat that by beating Eddie Chambers and taking on Adamek. It comes down to winning and winning decisively. You’ve got to beat the people that are going to catapult yourself ahead. Everyone loves a winner. You’ve got to go out there and beta the people that are in the spotlight, there is no way around it. That’s where you get the proverbial overnight success.

B!         Eddie Chambers prediction for the fight? KO? Going the distance?

DR       That’s going to be a tough one. I’d love to say first round knockout, but I respect the guy and I know he’s going to come into the ring ready. But we’re going to win – definitely a ‘W’.

B!         Best of luck to you on Feb 11.

DR       Thanks.


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Michael Havaien. The Bad (or Bang!) Boy of Boxing


The Two Iron Mikes

If you’ve been paying attention to my blog, you might have caught a post I did a few months ago about NJ quietly becoming a boxing mecca.

At the time, I was talking about a little-known gym in North Bergen, and one of the people making moves to put the gym on the map.

Fast forward a few months, and it’s a whole new world.

My friend is now in talks with a group of investors, opening his own gym.

He’s also building a stable of world-class amateur and professional boxers, MMA fighters and athletes from different sports.

Oh, he’s got a pretty serious technology play in the works as well.

Did I mention the film/television productions currently in development?

The ‘friend’ is Michael Havaien.

A Hampton University graduate, Michael (‘Face’ to his friends) is a force to be reckoned with.

Never one to toot his own horn, he’s been taking meetings and talking to some of the most influential people and brands in the fight business.

With friends in high places at virtually every major promotions and matchmaking house in boxing, Michael knows the importance of making friends.

Main Events, Mike Tyson, and Golden Boy, are just of few of the people and brands on speed dial.

With bouts lined up for main events and undercards in Atlantic City, the Prudential Center and Bally’s, you’re likely to see Michael ringside the next time you watch a fight on HBO or Showtime.

If you’re a true aficionado, you might have caught one of his by-lines in BoxingCommunity.org8CountNews or

Soon, though, you’ll be able to tune into Michael’s own branded web channel, where you can catch his by-lines, videos and other exclusive content.

We can’t let the cat out of the bag quite yet, but Michael is about to drop a major bomb (we’re talking Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined – serious mushroom clouds).

If you’re familiar with the way Sean ‘Puff Daddy’ Combs established Bad Boy Records, and took over the music industry, you’ve got a hint about what Michael is about to do – hence the title to this post.

With a keen eye for business, an intimate understanding of the fight industry, a bird’s eye view of fight promotions, management and match-making, and a hustler’s mentality, cat’s are surely not ready for this mogul-in-the-making.

And like Puff, Michael has a uncanny ability to recognize talent most people overlook.

He’s cultivating a stable of up-and-coming (and undiscovered) athletes in multiple sports, and banking on one of them (if not all) making a splash in their respective sports.

Currently, he’s talking with B-Hop‘s business partner to provide PR services for upcoming fights in DC, working with the NJ Golden Gloves, and deals in the works with some of the most widely recognized promoters and fighters in the game today.

Stay tuned for additional posts about ‘The Bad Boy of Boxing’ and the projects he’s working on.

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Verdict: 2010 was a good year for

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how my blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 43 new posts, growing the total posts I’ve written to 125.

The busiest day of the year was June 24th with 724 views. The most popular post that day was Going to jail messes with your money..

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for tattoos, lil wayne, futsal, mike tyson tattoo, and scalpel. I don’t know why folks were searching for scalpels or why they were referred to my site – but I’ll take it!

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Going to jail messes with your money. February 2010
People must be trying to avoid jail.


Got tattoos? Will hug. November 2009
Wookin’ po nub!


Attack! Attack! Attack! Lessons of a Futsal Coach. January 2010
I think the Wolrd Cup must have given me a bump.


Stephen Chukumba says: “I know how Homer Simpson feels” September 2009


Chris Anokute: The Making of A Music Mogul June 2010
With Katy Perry up for six Grammy Nominations, people ought to be peepin’ this cat!


All-in-all 2010 was a good year.

In 2011, you can expect more good things.

For one, you can reach me at (and drop the .wordpress piece).

I’m also planning on blogging at least once a week, focusing on all that you deem important (tats, jail, scalpels – you know – the usual).

So please continue to read, and share!



Filed under branding, Smack talking