Posts from November 2006

BitTorrent

I don’t like to comment on other VC firm’s deals and I am not going to comment on this one either.

But as a long time BitTorrent user, I found this analysis spot on.

Engadget Meets Wallstrip

Cool Wallstrip show today. First they talk about the risks and rewards of investing in component suppliers. Flatiron was a venture investor in Portal Player and fortunately got out before the stock blew up so I know all about that one.

But even better, they went down to see Peter Rojas and got his take on the new Apple iTV and more. Great stuff.

Goodybe Shake Shack

The Shake Shack closes today for the winter. In honor of the closing, I am taking down my ShackCam widget (it wasn’t fitting in the right sidebar anyway with my thinner look). But I’ll run it in this post so everyone can check out the line before getting their last shack burger of the year today.

Blogs and SEO

I never fail to marvel at the power of blogs in the SEO equation. I was looking at my google analytics screen tonight. And I noticed that I was getting a bunch of traffic off the keywords "sacha baron cohen" and "Sacha Baron Cohen". So naturally, I went and typed that into Google. Here are the top seven links.

Sacha_baron_cohen

IMDB, Wikipedia, Bullzeye, Yahoo!, Answers.com, Rolling Stone, and me.

Go figure.

Authenticity

We’ve always thought that authenticity was a key attribute of a successful web service. We define authenticity as that intangible feeling you get when you come across a service that does exactly what it is supposed to do, is novel, true to itself, etc. Digg, Delicious, Flickr, and Craigslist are all authentic services and have remained so.

Last night I wondered whether you can fake authenticity. I think not, but certainly many have tried. What do you think?

Lame

From Matt Richtel’s story about YouTube’s deal with Verizon:

YouTube’s phone-based version
will require a $15-a-month subscription to a Verizon Wireless service
called VCast.

and

And instead of choosing what to watch from a vast library
of clips, VCast users will be limited to an unspecified number of
videos selected and approved by the companies.

and

Verizon
would have the exclusive rights to distribute YouTube videos on mobile
phones “for a limited period of time.”

and

YouTube said
its editors would select short videos from its library for the Verizon
Wireless service. Verizon Wireless said it would vet the videos to make
sure they met the company’s editorial and taste guidelines.

and

“We’ll select content that has the broadest appeal and the highest entertainment value,” Ms. Liang said.

This deal violates the entire ethos of YouTube, not free, not open, exclusive, no community, limited, censorship, etc, etc.

Why tarnish the YouTube brand with a deal like this? 

I know that you can’t put the entire YouTube service on a mobile phone (yet, flash lite enabled mobile browsers should fix that).

But this just is sooo lame.

Long TM

When Emily sat down with us and decided how to invest her bat mitzvah money (some to charity, some to t-bills, and some to stocks), she had two stocks she wanted to own, Apple Computer and Toyota Motor. Apple was obvious. She had watched Jessica make 5x on her money in two years and wanted to join that party. Toyota (TM) was less obvious. A car company?

Yes, but not just any car company. The car company that is eating Detroit’s lunch. The car company that has the best hybrid engine platform in the world. The car company that makes the Prius for people like me and the Scion for people like Emily.

We liked her choice and went for it. She bought Toyota at the end of the summer at just over $100/share.

Since then the stock is up >15% to its closing price of $117/share. Emily’s off to a good start.

So back at the start of the month, when I read Bob Lefsetz’ post on Scion and why their marketing is so brilliant, I took it home for Emily to read. She liked it.

And then I sent it on to Wallstrip. Lindsay liked it so much she turned it into a show. Check it out: