Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New Web Publishing Experiments

Traditional publishing model with some interesting twists (targeting a literary crowd) - began in 1998.

Interesting site and design:

New iphone subscription ($5.99 for 6 months):

  • mini-subscription to a variety of McSweeney's content
  • access to the free stuff that the website posts every day
  • every week you get a "Small Chair" update. These will be articles from the print versions of McSweeney's or The Believer or a short video from Wolphin. This weekly content is not available on the website, just in the various hard-copy versions of their publications.
I like the blend of traditional paper-bound content, print subscriptions, free online content and newer tech mobile delivery. The key will be if they can find the right balance of price points.

(and for those who like design - here's the Danish designer - http://www.russellquinn.com/)

Monday, September 21, 2009

The 3 Most Important Things You Need for a Startup (and one of them is not money)

Having lived in the Bay Area for over a year, I've been exposed to more people who have been part of startups (mostly failed).

This article nicely summarized a Meebo founder's take on making it past early startup phase:

  • a great startup team (< 4 people)
  • just get your product out the door
  • get a good mentor
While I haven't taken the plunge on an early startup, I can say that some part of me resonated with:

"No office. No phone system. No hiring. No press. No legal muck. No raising money. No looking for partnerships (who’s going to partner with you anyway?). The success or failure of the adoption of your product is what will create 99% of the initial value of your company. If no one ever uses your product, you have no value"

Monday, September 14, 2009

MIT students photograph near space for $150

A group of M.I.T. students used a weather balloon, a digital camera, a pre-paid cell phone, a beer cooler and a couple of hand warmers to capture photographs of the blackness of space and the curvature of the Earth.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Techcrunch Follows My Lead

On Sep 11, 2009, at 6:36 AM, BoRyan wrote:

Yeah Ok, So Facebook Punk’d Us

This reminded me of the magic sword. It's good to know that even big tech companies still have a personalized sense of humor (and PR folks hold some sway with the tech geeks).