Sunday, March 30, 2008

Want an invite to the medioh! closed beta?

Well, look no further.

medioh! is bringing in a few folks for a limited time to play with our system and give us feedback.

If you'd like an invite, send me an email ( I'll blast one off to you. Just put the word invite in the title so I find it fast.

What is it? Think: Long tail video aggregator.
Another way to put it is a guide to all the video on the internet across thousands of sites with 10's of millions of videos.

We've created some API's for developers that allows you to integrate medioh! video services into your site (and we're adding more capabilities each week).

In the near future, we'll be adding the tools needed to fine tune your 'view' of the internet video world and the ability to integrate it into your website, onto your cell phone or beamed onto your TV screen.

Heard of those internet video capable and RSS enabled TV's, Blu-ray players, set top boxes and wifi enabled hand held devices coming later this year and early next year? Yea... in addition to your business or organizations website, that's where we plan to be.

Later this year, look for medioh!studio, a set of tools that make it simple to publish your own video content. Use it with the filtering tools to get just the right mix of content for your audience, mix them together and you've got your very own television network! (or more accurately, your own custom video network tweaked specifically for your audience that any internet linked device can access). Cool stuff.

Get a peek at the future early... ask me for an invite and check out the medioh! internet video guide today.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Are you a startup personality? (SE+NS+C)*CD*(n)BSC

I've been trying to figure this one out for awhile now: What are the personality traits that make a startup guy?

Why me? Why am I attracted to this life? Is it a disease, a curse or a gift? Frankly, at different times, it's all three.

I've decided that it's really a a specifically balanced combinations of personality traits and genetic makeup; it's this particular 'entrapenuer' combination that seems to attract people long term to starting companies. Usually over and over. I'm also reasonably sure it's not all that complex.

I see it being 5 main components:

Smart Enough (SE): Startup guys need to be smart, intelligence is important, but it's not the deciding factor. This is a weird balance thing. I'm not dumb, but I'm no genius either. I like to think I'm this special intellect, but I know I'm just above average (on a good day). I'll bet you know some pretty successful people that aren't entirely brilliant. I do. I also know some incredibly brilliant people that would make truly pitiful startup guys. There's a sweet spot here that's 'just right'. Usually not a rocket scientist, but not a career dish washer either. Smart enough.

New Stuff (NS): You're the guy with the new car, the new Mac Air (or whatever's hot of late) and you've been to the newest restaurant in town. You're just like that. Ahh.. something NEW.. gotta check that out. This, I think, is a genetic defect that worked against us through most of human history but now works in our favor. It's likely people who liked new stuff were killed off very early in life when we poked that new animal we found sleeping in the shade under that rock and it turned out to be a migrating saber tooth tiger. End of that genetic line. Now? People who are always up on the NS are likely to be the 'go to' guy about something new at work, at home or among our friends. Society morphs and negative traits become, well, useful. It's also why there are, likely, less of us (startup types) than everyone else. These traits were repressed for eons by the environment and are only recently proving valuable.

Curiosity (C): You've got to be curious about things that, frankly, you have no business screwing around with. (see above: Saber Tooth Tiger). This is similar to New Stuff, but 'in addition too'. They don't necessarily go together and you need them both to be a startup guy. I think curiosity tends toward grokking concepts and ideas more than 'stuff', but it's a closely related trait to NS.

Connecting Dots (CD): Very important trait. This is taking the three things above and making sense of stuff, ideas, concepts and the environment in ways other people don't think of. You synthesize ALL the time. Constantly. You can see how, for instance, a 100 million video's on the web scattered across thousands of sites could be aggregated into a video guide that captures the long tail of internet video. Build some filtering tools and viola!, you can now see that you've got something content owners can use to disintermediate the old school distribution channels like cable and satellite TV, or how a commodity hardware manufacturer can add a little cheap processing power (like an RSS reader) into their TV, Cellphone or gamebox and they can disintermediate the old distribution channels. Hell, you could even see how the old distribution channels out of panic and fear would buy your service to keep from being eaten alive by those uppity content and device makers (bastards!). Or maybe you're just noticing that going 23.5 MPH along 20th street in Denver let's you hit all the green lights, all the time. You do it all the time though, and you can't seem to stop it.

Bull Shiting/Charisma (BSC). Yep. Got it, Gotta Have It. Gotta Embrace it. The ability to Bullshit is pretty key to being a startup guy. Most importantly, the ability to BS yourself. You've got to be able to BS yourself into believing something no one else believes, first. Then, you need the ability to do that with people around you, unless you're planning on doing it alone, which isn't a good idea...and potentially down the road a bit with people you're trying to get investment from. Some call this being "Charismatic". There's some of that involved,but it's different... I think it's 60/70% ability to BS, 30/40% being charismatic.

In short: (SE+NS+C)*CD*(n)BSC where (n) is the level of BS and Charisma you can effectively muster.

Of course, I'm no expert and I'm just a indulging in bit of navel gazing here more than anything.

Hell, most likely this is just a bunch of bullshit.

Monday, March 03, 2008

How "Free" Permeates Everything, Even Art

Chris Anderson of "The Long Tail" fame has a new (old?) Meme: Free.

You can read it here. If you haven't already, you really should.

And if you don't buy the Free Meme (pun intended), look around. Music, Opensource software, even the world of street art you can see how giving away your art can create real financial gains.

Banksy, a UK based graffiti artist, has been creating clever street art for years. Effectively, giving away his art on the walls of buildings (among other things) all over the world. He's garnered so much adulation in the art world that his 'free' art is now worth 6 figures.

From Wikipedia:

On 7 February 2007, Sotheby's auction house in London auctioned three Banksy works, reaching the highest ever price for a Banksy work at auction: over £102,000 for his Bombing Middle England. Two of his other graffiti works, Balloon Girl and Bomb Hugger, sold for £37,200 and £31,200 respectively, which were well above their estimated prices.[15] The following day's auction saw a further three Banksy works reach soaring prices. Ballerina With Action Man Parts reached £96,000; Glory sold for £72,000; Untitled (2004) sold for £33,600 - all prices being significantly above estimated values.[16] To coincide with the second day of auctions, Banksy updated his website with a new image of an auction house scene showing people bidding on a picture that said, "I Can't Believe You Morons Actually Buy This Shit."[17]
It get's better. Less than a year ago, this work (below) sold for over half a million dollars.

On April 27, 2007, a new record high for the sale of Banksy's work was set with the auction of the work 'Space Girl & Bird' fetching £288,000 ($576,000), around 20 times the estimate at Bonhams of London.[20] On 21 May 2007 Banksy gained the award for Art's Greatest living Briton. Banksy, as expected, did not turn up to collect his award, and continued with his notoriously anonymous status.
If you create value, even when you're not trying to and you give it away for free, society will find a way to create value around it. Even if, in Banksy's opinion, your a moron for doing so.

An excellent read from an ex-evangelical.

  As you know, I once was an evangelical megachurch pastor and my pastoral career stretched over many years. Eventually, I could no longer t...