They say all entrepreneurs have two key attributes:
- Something to prove
Sticky messages have six things in common:
I've been told I'm sticky.
Why you need to be willing to learn.
A great read for every Entrepreneur and why you should be really careful who you take money from. I think the analysis is good except that Will indicates that the probability of success is 40% which I think is a little high.
Time for a few laughs... (warning Adult language). This has nothing to do with being an entrepreneur, except maybe video #2 - enjoy
First the Auctioneer.
Followed by Harden the F*** up
And finally - how to get through that really tough interview process
Wait 90 days and you'll get something faster and it includes GPS. All that remains now is to figure the price. And 90 days after the intro that will change as well... Mobile is alive and well and will be the basis for Web 3.0
Guy keeps rattlesnakes at home, Guy has a few beers, Guy puts rattlesnake in his mouth.
Not hard to guess what comes next... Guy gets bitten - and lives to tell the tale. Almost made the Darwin awards.
Some seriously good music from three of the greats!
Put aside 8 minutes and listen
Big news. Voice and GPS enabled local search and all you need is a data plan and a phone.
Directory assistance is about to feel the pain.
Yawn... yet another mobile social network (YAMSW). This model is simply not sustainable. The only way it can generate revenue is with advertising - and the jury is still out on how to deliver contextual advertising on a tiny screen without upsetting the consumer.
Wonder if this one will be around in 7 years?
Does Yahoo really want to go head to head with Google in online apps? The business model hasn't been proven yet and Yahoo are still struggling with their current set of problems.
I wonder if they will make the current 6 million paid mailboxes free?
Maybe we are coming to the end of Web 2.0 - I sure hope so. The definition up until now has been - 2 founders, no revenue, and advertising is the business model.
Just like the collapse of Web 1.0 sooner or later people are going to need to focus on real business models that solve real problems. My bet is that the smart money has already left the table and this is good news. Because those companies who've been ignored up until now i.e. the ones doing boring meat and potatoes work (VMware) will now have a chance to get heard.
There is still a record amount of money out there - the good news is that it's moving to new rivers of opportunity.
Welcome to Web 3.0 - where contact meets content - in other words it's going to be all about Mobile.
This is a great read. Here's my favorite part
Another lesson is that venture investors often experience inability to unstick their paradigm when they come across a deal like VMWare that isn’t about sex appeal, consumer flash, and in-the-tornado founder charisma. Invariably, venture investors look at something like VMWare and try to fit it into a predefined bucket based on other investments they have made or things they have looked at. It takes a company like VMWare to remind everyone that meat-and-potatoes technology may be boring but it is really lucrative.
Meat and potatoes is boring, however if you're good at it you can own the dinner plate.
Good blog on Google's latest foray into Mobile advertising.
Here's the key part (which goes to how the advertiser closes the Marketing loop)
I challenge you to purchase something or fill out a 5 page form on one of their transcoded pages.
The answer is simple - don't go there. No one is going to fill out a form on a mobile device. What's required is a solution that fills it out for them every time. Think about something like a Google plug-in for Mobile browsers. Here's a sample screen shot of what it could look like.This is the control panel where Google widgets are stored. The Me widget holds my personal information that I'm willing to share, and I don't want to have to type in each time. I have full privacy control by enabling a simple check box next to each item. The Google widget is all of my online service preferences.
One word.... WANT
This is a great article and worth a read by any entrepreneur. Here's the paragraph...
Venture investments by their very nature require a leap of faith (none more than ours) that only comes when an investor becomes aspirational – when he or she wants the investment to make sense (even though statistically deals never do make sense). I believe that shift happens when three things come together for the investor: They personally believe in the entrepreneur; they have a sense (and it’s often just a gut feeling) that the idea could be very big; and finally they have a personal interest or background in the industry that gives them a leg up the diligence curve. Put these together and an investor will start bending their investment criteria.
All investments boil down to one thing - do you want to do it. 9 times out of 10 they don't. And that's ok, as long as they say so. The problem is that most investors want to stay in the "loop" just in case. Of course by that time you probably won't need or want them.
$25m in funding so the carriers can know where you are (they already do) and share that information with the advertisers.
Amazing... we've been able to do this for over a year, all without proprietary hardware, just a simple browser plug-in and server side module.
The upside of our solution is that it leaves the privacy controls in the hands of the consumers and not the carriers.
Great article... Some favorite parts...
"It's incredibly challenging to create a desktop experience on a 2.5-inch screen,"
No kidding! Then why bother? The solution is simple - don't go there. Come up with new mobile web services that adapt automatically to the target device.
"We have to take into account that the computing power of a smartphone today is approximate to a PC in 1995"
I started on the web in 1996 with Windows 95. It was awful. Not a lot has changed since.
"While the competition in the space is fierce, mobile browser vendors still have to adhere to device manufacturers' specifications as well as carrier's constraints,"
And that's what is stifling innovation.
"In order to reduce development time and cost of mobile sites, browsers need to be standardized and improved,"
Good luck. Opera is the most standards compliant browser on the market today and has no share of the desktop (to speak of) and still has a long way to go on the mobile device
"This would mean limiting the changes both carriers and device manufacturers can make to the browser itself."
First of all build a plug-in to the browser and hook in everything you need. Secondly - and this is worth paying attention to.... the Internet is a client server environment. What's missing are the "tools" on the server side. There are 65 million Apache servers out there. There is no module that makes it Mobile aware.
People really forget that you need to solve both sides of the coin. They focus all there efforts on the browser never once thinking about the Enterprise at the other end who has to communicate with the device. They think it happens like magic. What's missing are the "tools" to enable new mobile web services.
Customers will start voting with their pocketbooks. And switch to contact only devices and ignore the whole Internet on a mobile device idea.
Fascinating blog... remember just a few years ago when Yahoo could do no wrong.
How fast things change. It should also make you stop and wonder about the other high fliers.
Great article... couple of quotes:
"I think the fund model is very broken for a variety of reasons," said Simpson. "One, there is just too much money out there... As a result, valuations are getting bid up. Number two, you are seeing a huge number of 'me too' companies being formed... Thirdly, the exits, quite frankly, just aren't there.
"Right now, my same crystal ball is telling me: 'you know what? This market environment is way over saturated.' There is way too much money chasing the exact same things."
Indeed - exactly how many more social networks do we need. Most of the current Web 2.0 ecosystem is simply not sustainable.
Time to get back to some real inventing!
An interesting read about Mobile... (warning, it's technical). The Author makes a mistake though where he says... "there isn't in fact, a technology that lets a web server know the full capabilities of a mobile device."
Yes there is because we've invented one (link). The problem with mobile has always been what are the device and terminal capabilities (in real time). The current HTTP protocol (the communication layer that the Internet runs on) doesn't support real time device information. That's the reason web servers and content providers have to guess at what's going on and invariably fail, which results in a poor customer experience.
So the answer to the question "is it good to hide the user-agent in mobile" is no, OR, it doesn't really matter because the problem still exists - what's going on in real time?
And that problem has been solved.
Whether you an investor or entrepreneur this post is well worth a read. I would also urge you to download the pd file (here).
Here's the conclusion. The highlights are mine.
Turtles in Omaha
There will be no turtles in Omaha. But the themes that surface in Buffett’s candidate description and Faith’s description of what worked and didn’t work with the turtles are shared. Like a diet, the challenge is not in the ability to grasp the concepts but rather in the willpower to execute the plan. The attributes of successful traders or investors are not limited to those realms. In fact, we argue that there is an approach that distances the best performers in all probabilistic fields from the average participant.
The approach has three central elements:
1. A focus on process versus outcome.
2. A constant search for favorable odds, including a recognition of risk.
3. An understanding of the role of time.
These concepts still appear robust. Yet the ability to stick with these elements in the face of the market’s vicissitudes and the crowd’s tugs is very difficult—and ultimately all about temperament.
As an entrepreneur I got tested on my ability to stick to the plan back in 2000. I failed (partly because I didn't have a plan), however there was one very positive outcome which I will detail in another post.
As my grandfather used to say to me, "don't let your wants get ahead of your needs". Guess that applies to the iPhone. From Paul's conclusion (and I agree with him)
The iPhone is awesome. There's just one problem: You don't need it.
Well here's some more validation for Contextual Mobile Web services.
Here’s the best parts…
We’ve already had this available for over a year. Imagine if Google could extend the Gphone footprint to every other phone on the planet with nothing more than a little piece of software (200k).
The possibilities are endless.
Here is a graphic example that showcases how mobile Web services infrastructure is heading down a similar disruptive technology path as Web services infrastructure faced in the first half of the decade. This disruption is being driven by the market, where IT is faced with the added costs and complexities of supporting mobile customers and workforces, and is searching for operational efficiencies to address the mobile population.2000 – Web Services Optimization:
The start of the decade ushered in Web services. Everyone was launching Web sites and services, and buying Web-edge content acceleration appliances to optimize transaction processing and the user experience. These appliances were chock full of features that everyone assumed the IT customer wanted and were billed as “plug and play” so as to not disrupt the existing network infrastructure. This was somewhat misleading, as each appliance required support and provided a new point of network access that required security. Now fast forward to 2007 and it’s almost impossible to buy a content acceleration appliance anymore.
In October 2000 my partner and I released Mod_gzip. It changed the content acceleration business. IT customers could now download a simple module that attached to their current Apache Web server, giving them all the operational efficiencies of those older and more expensive Web-edge appliances without the hardware and maintenance costs. Over a period of seven years Mod_gzip has become the de facto standard for content acceleration on the Internet. Acceleration appliances became obsolete within five years. IT reaped the cost and support savings benefits of software-enabled content acceleration by incorporating Mod_gzip into their existing Web infrastructure without the need for additional hardware. These benefits were so great that nearly all current browsers and commercial Web servers incorporate the technology today.2007 – Mobile Web Services Optimization
It’s now 2007 and we’re on the cusp of a similar transition in mobile. The market is rife with mobile application development platforms that promise reduced development time and simplified deployment. The problem is that IT must still re-create functionality for mobile users that already exists within their current Web services – and they must do this for every device. So while these solutions may improve the situation over the status quo, they do not solve the root problem. Companies such as Google and Oracle are still reduced to developing applications that replicate their services that are currently delivered via a Web server and browser.
As if the IT challenges aren’t enough, for Mobile computing, where the users are concerned, context is everything. Mobile Web usage is constrained without it. Human constraints include simultaneous activities, single hand use, information overload and competing user goals. Device constraints include text input, small screens, slow connections, and short battery life.
The following diagrams clearly show the potential disruption in the marketplace. Mobile platform providers, such as Dexterra, have focused on moving the processing once again to the Web edge which involves costly infrastructure well out of the reach of most of the marketplace. While our approach has been to build on the established Web infrastructure – this time adding on to both the Web server and the Web browser. As you can see, Web infrastructure is dramatically simplified and we address the core problem of context.
Current Mobile Web Edge - Mobile Application servers
Without context, the user experience will always be sub-optimal. Our thin client interacts with the browser and transmits the context to the web server without the need for costly client-side applications to be built, tested and distributed. The user interface on the device remains the browser – something the mobile user already knows. On the server side the network admin, who is already familiar with Mod_gzip works in exactly the same fashion. Again there are no behavioral changes required for IT and at only 80,000 bytes there is actually less load on the servers than the current version of Mod_gzip.
The Web-edge is always the starting point for new Internet technologies mainly because of performance issues. Over time new technologies which operate more efficiently can be introduced directly onto the server, which removes the need for costly infrastructure. Ultimately customers buy benefits not features. The benefit of our solution hinges around the core problem facing mobile – context. We solved this problem by making the Internet contextually aware and allowing that information to be cost-effectively shared with any back end Web service application.
One of the lessons I learned years ago from some former Board members was about "waiters". I always observe how people treat them. If it's badly then more than likely that's how they are going to end up treating you.
There's a story about Steve Odland, CEO of Office Depot, who remembered a life lesson he learned while working as a waiter in his teenage years. He accidentally stained a white expensive gown of a very rich and important woman with purple sorbet. As he watched her dress get ruined, he cringed because he knew he would probably get shot on site for it.
The woman was caught off guard but regained her composure and said to him:
"It's OK. It wasn't your fault."
The lesson he learned?
You can tell a lot by the way somebody treats a waiter.