Posts from June 2004

OSX Tiger

Apple’s been paying attention. Two of the most interesting areas in technology are desktop search and RSS. And OSX Tiger has something to offer on both fronts.

Tiger comes with something called Spotlight that reminds me of X1. I had X1 on my Windows laptop for a while but it kept slowing me down at bootup and I canned it. Hopefully Spotlight won’t have that limitation.

Tiger also comes with a new improved Safari that supports RSS feeds like they were bookmarks. There’s a cool demo of how it works online at the Apple site.

#VC & Technology

Summer Camp

kids_before_camp_2004_resizedMy kids went to camp today. It was a bittersweet moment. They are excited as can be and if past summers are any indication, they are in for a great time. It was Josh’s first year and he couldn’t wait to get on the bus and go. It’s been like that for all of our kids. I doubt I would have been so adventurous at their age. That’s the sweet part.

The bitter part is two months without our kids this summer. That’s going to take some getting used to.

But the Gotham Gal, who blogged this too, and I are in for some fun this summer.

#Random Posts

Deja Vu

One of the things my partner Brad says is “we’ve seen this movie before”. It’s a cliche in a business full of cliches. I could go on and on on that subject, but I’ll blog that another day.

“We’ve seen this movie” before means we’ve lived through this issue before and are smarter because of it.

But it can also mean, “i don’t want to make that mistake again”. VCs are notorious about not wanting to get involved in something that didn’t work for them once before. It could be an industry, a technology, an entrepeneur, a geographic region, or any number of things.

It’s tricky business to figure out whether a bad investment should be a lesson that you learn and try to get it right the next time or whether it should be a stop sign, a line you don’t cross again.

I am thinking about this because I read my friend Ron’s comment on my Execution Matters post. Ron’s firm and a couple of other top tier VC firms lost money on an identical business to AuctionDrop.

The first company, called EZsale, did the exact same thing as AuctionDrop. They had a retail partner (MailBoxes Etc) just like AuctionDrop has in UPS. They had similar economics. But EZsale didn’t work as an investment. Ron wonders if AuctionDrop will meet with the same fate.

I wonder too. I sure hope the investors in AuctionDrop talked to Ron and his colleagues before they invested in AuctionDrop. That’s the best way I know to deal with stuff like this.

#VC & Technology

Digital Television

“I’ll be watching my TV and it will be watching you”

These words were sung by Neil Young on Speakin’ Out, a great bluesy number on Tonight’s The Night, one of my all time favorite albums.

Hearing it this morning on my iPod as I was riding my bike made me start thinking about digital televison.

Just like the Internet has all these ways of “watching you”, digital television isn’t far behind.

The fact is that a two-way pipe into the home is going to be as revolutionary to the world of marketing and media as the Internet has been. But this time, its an existing medium that’s going to be transformed and that probably means that the changes will be slower in coming. But they’ll come at some point because you just can’t stop this digital revolution we are living through.

#VC & Technology

The F Word

I don’t have the nicest of mouths but I’ve tried to clean up my act over the years, particularly around my kids.

I tend to agree with all of Jeff’s posts arguing in favor of Stern and Carlin and everyone else who uses foul language on radio, TV, and other forms of media.

Today I read Jackson’s post about Bloomberg and was cringing at his foul language. Jackson’s dead right about the Ice Cream man and the barking dogs. But his liberal use of the F word did give me pause.

But then I read that our Vice President told Pat Leahy, the venerable Democratic senator from Vermont, to fuck off on the Senate floor.

I am not sure what to make of all the F words flying around. One thing is for sure. Guys like Dick Cheney have a double standard.

#Politics#Random Posts

metacritic

The Internet is a great place to check out what people think of music, movies, books, DVDs, videogames, restaurants, hotels, etc.

The best place I’ve found to do this kind of work is metacritic. They take real reviews, apply a numerical value to them, and then aggregate them into a single score that they call a metascore. They also show a short summary of the reviews sorted by the metascores.

It’s brilliant. You want to see the worst review. Just go read the review with the lowest metascore.

I love it. I just wish they’d cover more than film, music, and videogames.

#My Music#Random Posts#VC & Technology

Quiet Period and Disclosure

Floyd Norris brings up an interesting issue in today’s NY Times.

He points out that companies that are going public are allowed to go on an extended “road show” promoting the deal to large investors but are also required to stop talking to the press. This is called the “quiet period”.

The quiet period is designed to stop companies from using the media to “condition the market” for the offering. But Floyd asks, “isn’t that what the road show does?”

I am not opposed to road shows. They are a useful way for companies to disclose information that investors need to determine if they want to buy stock.

I also am not opposed to the idea that companies shouldn’t be allowed to hype their offering in the press.

But I agree with Floyd that the quiet period can work against disclosure when it stops the business press from being able to properly cover an IPO that is coming to market soon. Floyd asks “why should it be OK for Salesforce.com’s CEO Mark Benioff to talk to big investors when he can’t talk to the readers of the NY Times?”

Good question Floyd.

#VC & Technology

Client vs. Server (Continued)

I think that Jeremy Zawodny just figured out how to build Jeff Jarvis’ “Place for my stuff” really inexpensively.

If you get as many Gmail, Hotmail, and YahooMail accounts as you can, then create a virtual OS for accessing the >10GB of storage you just got for free, you’d have a huge place for your stuff.

I still think that getting to it everywhere/anywhere isn’t fully solved yet.

But this is a very cool concept.

#VC & Technology