Thursday, May 31, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Some juggler friends of Islando were performing at the Bellingham Juggler's Festival. The opening act was just terrific. It was mad Bruce Lee style action fighting, followed by slow motion facial contortions, followed by more fighting, and then, what else, lots of juggling! What could be a better combo then Kung fu and juggling for a 5 year old?
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I ran across an interesting article on ZDNet called Experts say Microsoft's patent quest won't go far. In the article, the author describes how many companies instruct their engineers to not perform any active searches. This is definitely true. I have spent many hours with my patent lawyer, and this is an emphatic point she makes to me repeatedly. Here is Linus's response:
"There are several reasons why engineers should not read other people's patents, only their own. And it's not a 'hide your head in the sand' issue, it's a very practical issue of it being a waste of time," Torvalds said.
For one thing, developing technology without looking at patents lets a person honestly say they developed that technology independently, which helps show that the patent in question doesn't meet the requirement of a technology not being obvious, he said. And engineers aren't likely to comprehend patents in the first place: "Unless you have a patent attorney at your side, patent language usually makes no sense."
He derided Microsoft for spreading FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) rather than tackling the issue forthrightly. "If Microsoft were to actually tell people what patents they claim we violate, we could either laugh in their face and show prior art, or just show them to be obvious, or we could do things differently," he said.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I think people believe that coming up with ideas for startups is very hard-- that it must be very hard-- and so they don't try do to it. They assume ideas are like miracles: they either pop into your head or they don't.
I also have a theory about why people think this. They overvalue ideas. They think creating a startup is just a matter of implementing some fabulous initial idea. And since a successful startup is worth millions of dollars, a good idea is therefore a million dollar idea.
If coming up with an idea for a startup equals coming up with a million dollar idea, then of course it's going to seem hard. Too hard to bother trying. Our instincts tell us something so valuable would not be just lying around for anyone to discover.
Actually, startup ideas are not million dollar ideas, and here's an experiment you can try to prove it: just try to sell one. Nothing evolves faster than markets. The fact that there's no market for startup ideas suggests there's no demand. Which means, in the narrow sense of the word, that startup ideas are worthless.
This is so great. In the back of every entrepreneurs mind is this fear that if they openly discuss their latest great idea, it will instantly get stolen by someone. I now feel motivated to write up my last 30 startup ideas. We'll see if I actually do.
Friday, May 04, 2007
There are actually very few song scenes in the movie. Here is a snippet from the film when Kareena Kapoor "sings" Bhaage Re Mann.
And here is a snippet from AishFan, an IMDB user:
This movie is definitely a breakthrough in Bollywood cinema in terms of the story and the approach to telling it. The entire movie takes place in just one night. It is interesting to see how a family values, extremely wealthy man spends a night with a prostitute. Beginning with his prejudice, he slowly grows to accept, protect, and, one can even say, love her. It took an entire movie summed up in an extremely brief "climax" to perfectly convince and portray the theme that 'It doesn't matter what the backgrounds, gender, etc. are; there should just be love.'
It seems to me, a smarter thing to do would be to leave the two companies separate, and create an alliance on the advertising side which is where they are both really suffering. Perhaps it makes sense to merge the Panama and MSN equivalent folks into a new organization where they would focus on providing a service comparable in quality to Ad Sense and Ad Words. This would allow them to pool their respect advertising networks as well.
On a related note, perhaps someone can explain this to me, but for every site I run, and of the handful of folks I have spoken to about this, we are all in agreement that almost all, in my case >99% , of our search traffic comes from Google. I should expect about 70%. Why is this? It is true that Google attracts a different type of user than the other engines, but I still can't understand the massive discrepancy. In addition, one of my advertising friends (this is someone who runs online ad campaigns for a living) says his company has virtually abandoned taking out ads for their campaigns on anyone other than Google. When I asked him why, his answer is they simply can't get the quality of click throughs for the same cost as they get on Google.
Here's an interesting snippet from a Forbes article titled Why Yahoo! Can't Fix Microsoft:
So why wouldn't buying Yahoo! help Microsoft? For starters, Microsoft is too slow and too cautious to keep up. While Microsoft howled after Google snapped up online advertising specialist DoubleClick last month for $3.1 billion, that's just the latest opportunity Microsoft has missed. In 2005, Google beat out Microsoft to buy a stake in AOL. And while Microsoft carped after the DoubleClick deal, Yahoo! rolled up its sleeves and snapped up the 80% of Right Media it didn't already own.
Of course, Microsoft often moves slow for a very good reason: It doesn't want to cannibalize its cash cows. While Google can launch online spreadsheet and word processing applications, Microsoft can't respond without damaging its powerful Office business. Elsewhere, it's more of the same. Everywhere Microsoft makes money, the Web poses almost intractable dilemmas.
Those kinds of dilemmas would make integrating Yahoo! into Microsoft's corporate culture a nightmare. And Yahoo!'s insiders have too much faith in Panama, the newly installed program designed to boost ad revenues, to give up.