Thursday, April 30, 2009

Building a Successful Start-up is About Context

I read a couple of interesting articles today on tips from a failed entrepreneur and how to bootstrap a company by a venture guy - which seems a bit of an oxymoron. Or is it moron?

Either way, they got me thinking. Both are right and yet they lack something. And I think that something is context. You see entrepreneurs today all too often fail because they lack context. They either lack domain expertise or a broad understanding of the process by which to build a particular company at a specific point in time.

What are the exact steps required, what are the do's and don'ts, which tools are required and how do you know which is the right decision at any one point in time. Check Innov@te's blog. They seem to have some ideas. And remember it's all about context. Surround yourself with those that can provide context and you stand a chance.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

blur Group Launching Online Start-up System for Entrepreneurs

blur Group, a crowdsourcing group out of London, is about to launch an online innovation and start-up service for entrepreneurs and Innovation Officers around the world. They call it Innov@te Online and it is based on a 48 phase business build methodology and system which takes users step by step from concept through to exit.

They spread the 48 phases across six core start-up stages including @ha idea, concept, market entry, market development, market dominance and exit. With some neat tips and tricks along the way.

They even have a system called CREATE-IVITY which helps folks generate innovative ideas. If it works, this could be quite a breakthrough for innovators and entrepreneurs alike. Venture Investors should sit up and take notice too. For launch details and more check Innov@te's blog.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Online Video Goes to the Next, Next Phase

Online Video is changing. Two guerilla's in the space, Comcast and Youtube are taking some nifty steps that could shift the landscape. The latter today announced that they will be adding social features to - enabling real-time communicate amongst friends while watching a Youtube movie. This way it should feel a bit less like you're all alone watching videos while hunched in front of your laptop. Youtube are tapping into a growing trend in which all manner of sites are lifting a page out of Facebook's playbook and bolting on social features.

In the mean time Comcast, the cable dinosaur, might just be yanking itself up a decade or two. They're close to launching a free Web based movie service for their existing cable customers allowing them to watch certain prime movies on their TV, PC, Laptop and one day even phone. They are apparently also taking the Web and an associated app store to the TV thanks to Adobe and Flash. The online video revolution has just begun - really.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kindle to iPhone

I have been reading a bunch of blogs and opinion pieces on the Kindle 2 recently. There seems to be a growing body of consensus that believe Amazon have come up with Gutenberg Press 2.0. For the Kindle 2 is about to usher in a new digital dawn for writers, readers and books. Well, actually, the folks to thank for that may be Google more then Amazon, but let's set that aside for a moment.

For it struck me that the Kindle may not prove to be the runaway hit that everyone imagines - or at least not medium term. Because the Kindle is starting to feel a little like the iPod a few years back. After all the iPod introduced us to Music 2.0 and its digital dawn. But, you see, the iPod just proved a transitionary device leading us all to the iPhone. So what's the future of the Kindle? I guess iPhone 3.0.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Etendi Does Distance Parenting Online

Here's a neat Web 2.0 start-up for parents who do not live with their children but want to keep regularly in touch. Do it online with Etendi. They provide distant parents with cool online tools to stay in touch. And there is no need for their kid(s) to provide an email address - just the parent. Then they can video call with their kids, share pictures, create albums together, chat, do homework and even share gifts online.

As a kid I went to boarding school from the age of 12 and would have appreciated something like this. So, for all those parents with kids away at boarding school, on travels, or otherwise this ones for you. Add up the number of parents that are divorced or on military duty and Etendi could find quite a market for their application.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Twitzap Does Live Twitter Ticker

For those of you Twitter nuts who don't think its instant enough for you then Twitzap could be the answer. It's (according to them) the first real-time Twitter client and you don't even have to instal anything. Just log in with your Twitter username and password and get Twitzapping.

It is a handy way to watch live Twitters scrolling down the screen as they happen, meet other Twitter folks and create Twitter channels. It's like a universal, live ticker for Twitter. Cool for those brokers who still have a job. We'll keep a watching brief. If Twitzap works out - no guesses who's gonna buy them.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Google's Schmidt on Paid for Internet News

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, spoke today at a convention of leading newspaper bosses (sounds like an AA get together) and stated that '... many publishers were increasingly thinking about charging for their content, and he said he expected the newspaper industry to eventually resemble television, where some content was free, some was purchased by subscription and some was paid for every time it was viewed. But he said he expected that advertising would remain the leading revenue model in online media.'

I think he's missing a trick. And its called the blogging universe. TV has no competition from blogs - just Youtube amateurs as yet. But citizen journalism via blogs is a powerful global force which probably means that simple, commoditized news will be hard to charge for online. Hi value added info yes, straight news no. Luckily for Google its advertising that's gonna keep news groups alive on the Web. Tricking themselves that they can get away with charging subscriptions online is a little head up their...

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Lifestream at Storytlr

Lifestreaming's the new base jumping for Web 2.0 digital nomads. Sites like Storytlr could prove the next self promotion rage. They bring together all your Web 2.0 communications from favorite hang outs such as Flickr, Twitter, Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr etc into one aggregated page.

Yep, yap away at each of your favorite, disparate services and send your previously confused mates to just one space. Nifty. Could aggregation plays such as Storytlr be central to Web 3.0? Maybe.

You can also post blogs and photos directly to storytlr which means they have aspirations beyond just aggregating your feeds - they wanna have their Web 2.0 cake and eat it. Will you let them?

Friday, April 03, 2009

Google Buys Twitter

The word creeping through the blogosphere is that Google is about to buy Twitter - making Evan Williams, Twitter's co-founder, a rare breed - a second timer Google acquisition dude. After all, he flogged Blogger to Google just a decade ago.

Twitter has become so much the rage that someone had to grab them. And if Google do see it through they could prove as canny a buyer of cool tech as they are search kings. And they haven't exactly done badly with Youtube.

Next on the Google wish list - surely a social network platform or innovator.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Netbook Sales Soar

Netbook sales are due to surge by 60% this year - with laptop sales sluggish at 3%. It looks like the mini-Internet devices have finally hit mass acceptance and should account for over 20% of total laptop sales in 2009.

Expect Netbook volumes to match those of their bigger brethren by 2015 - but by then the next, next portable device will be the 7 inch hand held a la Kindle. And no doubt Microsoft and Apple will focus hard on this segment starting later this year. Cheap portable computers are hear to stay - and so too my shoulder!