Showing posts from July, 2007

Don’t die with your music still in you

I don't generally link to a blog entry as a blog post, but this post, in my book, is a must read for anyone, really, but especially entrepreneurs. There's a good chance you've already read it in which case, it's worth revisiting. If not, it's a potential life changer.

It's from Steve Pavlina and you can find it here.

It clarifies why guys like me leave behind the Big Job at the Big Company and forgo the Lofty Titles and Cushy Perks to work our asses off and, if we're lucky, get a 1 in 5 chance of succeeding at creating a company from scratch.

I read it whenever I'm having one of those inevitable down days on the roller coaster ride.

It's especially relevant if you're thinking about taking the plunge and doing your own thing, but haven't figured out how to do it yet.

Medical Patents and Software Patents...Close Relatives?

You may not be aware of it, but you can patent a surgery or other medical method. As noted in this article from
A surge in patents that protect surgeries and other medical methods has triggered numerous lawsuits in recent years, with inventors fighting more vigorously than ever to protect their intellectual property rights. Patent lawyers say doctors and scientists are suing to protect everything from laser eye surgery techniques to stent procedures to methods for declawing a cat. This is no small time trend. It's a big deal. From the same article: "Many physicians are constantly coming up with new techniques and devices. They have started to see some of their colleagues strike it big with patents, so they have tried to do the same," said Dragseth of the Minneapolis office of Fish & Richardson. Dragseth cited the recent case of Dr. Gary Michelson, who in 2005 received a $1.35 billion settlement after suing a medical device company over his patented spi…

The End of the Wireless Gatekeepers?

The New York Times has a thought provoking article on what Google announcing they'll bid on the 700mhz spectrum and it's proposed rules for use of that spectrum recently submitted to the FCC means.

Effectively, they want to decouple the cellphone (or any similar device that can do a lot more, like, say, an iPhone?) from the network.

Isn't Google's CEO on Apple's board of directors? hmmmm...

Their point is a simple one. You don't have to choose a cable or sat. provider when you buy a TV, or an ISP when you buy a computer. Why require your phone/device be tied to a specific cellular carrier?

I recently signed up for Google's GrandCentral. It assigns you a phone number and gives you excellent control of who can reach you and how they reach you; for detail see my post here. What it does is put Google between the customer and the phone companies knocking them out as gatekeepers. Of course, it has the effect of making Google the gatekeeper instead (they supply…

How Do You Monitize Facebook?

I had dinner with my friend David Henderson, VP of bizdev at SocialMedia this week and I asked him the question: how the hell do you make money doing apps on Facebook???

He actually has an answer. Several actually. I found myself nodding and going.. huh.. yea. Why didn't I think of that.

Would being able to target the MySpace or Facebook demographic with a specific set of questions in a survey, and getting, say, 50,000 people to answer your survey in a few hours be useful? Yea... I think so. Valuable? You bet. Could they charge for that? Yep, big bucks.

They know how. And.. it's really simple. I'd suggest you check out their site or that you get with David directly if you want to know more. (and no, I'm not spelling it out and no, he didn't pimp me to do this. He has no idea I'm even writing this up).

He and Seth Goldstein had a grand slam with DoubleClick back in the late 90's and I think they might be moving along the same track again. Here's…

Simplifying Life Through Your Relationship With Socks

Katherine McIntyre, whom I have never met but who's blog I subscribe to and enjoy reading has a great post on socks.

Yes, socks. It's not really about socks of course, but it's a great metaphor. It seems her husband Ryan (disclosure: Ryan is an investor in my company ClickCaster) is really into cool and funky socks, has a big collection and loves em.

Katherine, however, doesn't do overly well at matching them up. So, he went with black socks. Nothing else. Throw the rest away. And this brings me to a theme I'm noticing in my own life. Actually a couple of them.

Simplicity & Dematerialization.

I want a simpler life. I just do. I'm down to one low maintenance high milage car.. a Toyota (fill it up less! simpler.. smaller carbon footprint and all that hippie stuff).

I've been doing the black socks only for years now. I even do just one brand (Wilson).. so they ALWAYs match. Same with cloths. I have winter (all black, just pick a top/bottom and go) a…

GrandCentral from Google quickreview

A freind of mine asked me for my thoughts on Google's latest acquisition: GrandCentral, so, here's my take on GrandCentral. Kind of a quick brain dump.

Bottom line: I really like it. It's not quite ready for primetime, but it's damn close. It's a game changer for the voice business.

A bit-o-detail:

It works as advertised. I won't go through the full feature list (you can see it here). Amazingly, it's all actually there. No coming soon teasers. And, it's all pretty well thought out from a usability perspective. Without much work at all I was able to use (and easily remember how to use) pretty much all the features across the entire system.

It's a small step toward my friend Brad's cognitive web where things computers should be able to do for you, actually get done for you.

Some things I liked: The Webcall button; put it on your blog.. user puts in their phone. GC calls you, asks if you want to talk, if yes, calls them/connects. Smooth.


Corporate vs. Startup behaviors

Over dinner this week, I had an interesting conversation that highlighted for me the different types of behaviors required in a big company corporate environment vs. a startup environment.

One really big one is passive/aggressive behavior. Oddly, in a corporate environment, this is a a positive survival trait, especially for executives. You nod and smile at your boss a lot. You may not agree, but you know you damn well better appear to be agreeing. If you don't, you get shut down right there and the opportunity to go ahead and do what you believe is the right thing anyway, and then sell it later (without getting shot in the head first) goes away.

To start something up inside of a BigCo, you need to have the trust of your immediate bosses, and enough leeway to do things under the radar. After a few successes on your part, the nodding and agreeing is done with a lot of nudge nudge wink wink kind of nonverbal communication from your bosses (you go do it anyway, just don't get…

Four Frakkin Cores = Oh My Quad

Holy Burning CPUs Batman! FOUR CORES for $1100!!!! Not just that, but an entire media center system. I picked up an HP Media Center PC m8120n at Best Buy today. It's standard config was 3GB of RAM (yea.. 3); 620GB 7200 SATA Drive; Built in TV Tuner with controls/remote; wireless keyboard and mouse, nice high end video card, Tons of USB and FireWire connections, removable media bay and four frakkin cores.

Did I mention it has 4 cores? And it was $1100? Yea... that...

Here's the task manager screen shot for proof:

This means that the power behind the tools for things like heavy duty encoding at home are now affordable for almost anyone. The age of the professional amateur for audio and especially video creation of content really is only now as far away as the tools we create to make it easy for them. The brain melting costs of SGI's and quad core Mac G5s are a thing of a the past.

This is the kind of power, and the kind of price that any semi motivated aspiring film mak…

Illegal to read the Patriot Act


I read this and was BELIEVING IT until 1/2 way in I thought.. hmmm.. looked a the url (The Onion!) and knew it was BS.
Revised Patriot Act Will Make It Illegal To Read Patriot Act
WASHINGTON, DC—President Bush spoke out Monday in support of a revised version of the 2001 USA Patriot Act that would make it illegal to read the USA Patriot Act. "Under current federal law, there are unreasonable obstacles to investigating and prosecuting acts of terrorism, including the public's access to information about how the federal police will investigate and prosecute acts of terrorism," Bush said at a press conference Monday. "For the sake of the American people, I call on Congress to pass this important law prohibiting access to itself." Bush also proposed extending the rights of states to impose the death penalty "in the wake of Sept. 11 and stuff."But I thought it was real for a few seconds! I can't believe I thought that. But... …

The New Old Media

And so it begins. Google starts acting like a traditional TV network with it's (sort of) attack on Sicko. from The Inquirer:
Here's the recap. Michael Moore's new film, Sicko, goes on general release this week and has been widely applauded by critics, pundits and bloggers - across party lines, interestingly enough - as a well-made and powerful document of the flaws in the American health care system and the providers of that care. Consequently, the health care industry is taking something of a beating in the popular press, and many would argue deservedly so. Not, however, Lauren Turner of the Google Advertising team - she suggested in a recent blog post to the Google Health Advertising Blog (yes, such a thing exists) that the movie was deeply flawed, and failed to show the health industry in its best light. The answer, she suggested, was for healthcare monopolies to buy ads on Google against the keywords "Michael Moore" and "Sicko", thus promoting …