Author Archives: admin

Between Times

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A friend’s startup started layoffs this week. He was working on the servers until 3:00am the day before his Last Big Meeting. It got me thinking.

We worry a lot when things crash. When I took this picture, my thought was “Whew! I’m out of that dangerous dotcom phase of my career.” In retrospect, this would have been the perfect time to start a scrappy Web 2.0 business with a couple of my buddies.

We’re in one of those between-times now. In a few years, I suspect we’ll either be doing the new-new thing that’s germinating right now, or wishing that we had. There’s at least 1500 web-savvy folks about to come on the job market this year. Who knows what they’ll cook up?

The last time I drove by this building, the sign had been replaced, but the www and .com remained. There was something new going on between them, though.

Pay Attention Everybody!

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A lot of wise people are blogging about the political conventions,  who said what about what when and why, how this person or another is lying and distorting the truths that should be self-evident and so on.

A friend just sent me a link to the film below. I LOVE a good crazy conspiracy theory. But… pay attention. Watch it through the closing credits.

Watch it here: Dark Side of the Moon

And remember to do your own thinking in the months ahead.

I Love Information without Understanding

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I was just double-checking for my own Googlegänger, and found that I had a “game credit” on Uru, but my fave is my Hollywood Credits at the New York Times.

I especially like that I’ve “worked with” Bruce Willis, et. al.

The information is all “true” but doesn’t promote a lot of understanding about who I am. (I did update my profile on MobyGames, though.)

I Never Meta Meta I Didn’t Like

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In The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution,Clayton Christensen talks about how disruption in a market can come from a low-quality, low cost provider nibbling away at the lowest margin business of an established company. That company is almost happy to lose some of this business, as it can focus on its more profitable higher-end offerings. Goodness knows it’s not going to squander its potential profits in a race to the bottom. Often a company won’t consider the techniques and technologies of its downmarket competitor until time is running out, and its competitors are gobbling up ever higher-end bits of what it considers its prime domain.

Today’s meta-market question: What’s at the low end of this, the value-creation market?

Let’s take a look at some data points along the curve…

  • Netscape, founded with 1994 with money from well-known VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, blazingly fast to market with a beta product release in 7 months and an IPO less than a year and a half after being founded.
  • Idealab!, which began incubating Bill Gross’s brainchild startups in 1996. The idea was to create economies of (infrastructure) scale so that starting companies, particularly web and software companies, could be launched in a few months for a couple hundred grand.
  • YCombinator, Paul Graham’s 2005 angel group, which mini-funds mini-teams of just a few people to build earliest stage companies in a summer.
  • and, this year:, which turns a weekend and a roomful of people into a launched web company (sometimes). It’s like the web startup version of National Novel Writing Month, but can the single-person, spare-time, 1-month startup be far behind? Sometimes, one person with an an idea and some time can create a lot of value.

So here’s the ultimate disruption, aided by the open web, open source, open exchange of ideas: you’re the link at the start of the value chain, innovating with leverage in a loose affiliation with other folks doing the same thing, enabled by technology that nobody owns enough to take away from you.

What are you going to do now?