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Apple just smacked the ball very hard and straight up the fairway with excellent devices that are going to be hard to beat. Yes, this is more "improvement" than "radical innovation" sure - but you actually have to do both. They set the catch up bar pretty far forward. In the meantime, they do need the next radical innovation, but executing well on these advances gives them a lot of time to do that. 

I'm still an Android user and don't plan to switch, but I doubt Apples game plan revolves around having their OS on every single mobile device out there. 

Plus Nokia/MS now has to do better than yellow plastic to gain ground...

1 year, 1 month ago on When excellence simply isn’t good enough for Apple

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@miketatum - ok so you're basically saying "PandoDaily will happily pass you a means to get an audience segment to voluntarily peruse its stories of the day", on the basis that "those same people will 'probably' see those stories on twitter anyway and then come" and "if there is no feed, perhaps they'll make more effort and come to the site of their own accord on the off chance there'll be an interesting article". 

1 year, 5 months ago on Let’s retire RSS when they retire Google Reader

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@miketatum @davewiner - sorry @mikedatum, normally I find the opinion pieces on PandoDaily insightful, but this article could be more wrong. Websites *don't to push* which means organised polling is the best you can do -> that's RSS. The email mailing list as an alternative is an even poorer form of push. 

Yes, the best articles get onto twitter, and that drives views. But who systematically finds the best articles, by scanning the sites they care about item by item quickly to get those initial tweets out? Power-users using RSS I'd bet.

Also the argument "I looked at Pando's logs and there's not much RSS, hence the Internet doesn't need it" is pretty poor in terms of thinking. What about other sites? are all those readers equal? Even if they are 5% why would you want to annoy 5% of your readers? Especially if, which is probably the case, they are amongst the most influencial.

The "crowd curration" of twitter / etc. is way different to structured consumption of everything a single news source produces. 

lastly, that RSS stops people going to some of the sites - that may be the case - well if that's a problem, publishers still have the option of feeding out only partial content.



1 year, 5 months ago on Let’s retire RSS when they retire Google Reader

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Everybody who works in a startup is an entrepreneur - they are making a conscious choice of risk, of trying to build something new in a team. Sure it's mainly the the CEOs/founders that get press - but everybody counts. Not everybody at Oracle gets interviewed either. Anybody who joins a startup is not much less of a risk taker than the founders -> they have less control over the outcome, they may be working for someone who hasn't run a company before, they have to buy into a dream etc. In fact often people make companies work in spite of the founders! meeting someone who works for Twitter / Uber / heroku - whatever, whatever their role - it's still meaningfully different to meeting someone who works at a bank. 

I don't disagree that the press skews things too far in favor of covering founders - but I suspect that most people working in tech startups feel like they are part of the risk-taking dream and rightly so. If not, the company is probably doing it wrong - and the founders are failing at the one thing they are supposed to do right which is build a great team. Employee #5 at google "made less" than the founders - but they still contributed massively to something extraordinary.

So I guess I'm saying that I agree everybody should be included in the Kudos which goes with working for startups and agreeing that it would be nice if the press recognized that a bit more - but in practice the divide between a founder and employee in a startup is much less stark than in appears: hopefully if your company is doing it right everybody is fighting the fight and being recognized for it!



1 year, 7 months ago on Does anybody care about non-entrepreneurs?

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@Francisco Dao @njyx - Yep, I appreciate that, my point was just that under what seems simple (e.g. dropbox) there is plenty of hard -never been done before- stuff. Plus it's even more true in some of the other areas I mentioned.

Sorry if my comment came across as too harsh - I think you're right that in many areas we're now into areas (medicine, space, AI etc.) that need deep domain knowledge + that to count as innovation there really needs to be some "hard" problem being solved.

It just might be quite hard to tell which companies are involved in some of those breakthroughs - for example Paypal on the surface is a pretty simple service (and had 10s of competitors early on) - but what was crucial to their survival was deep tech on fraud detection. The inability to deal with that fraud killed almost everybody else in the space.

1 year, 9 months ago on Why Silicon Valley innovation has stalled

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I think this is a little narrow in its view - granted a lot of startups need primarily to nail marketing and sales to succeed and the tech heavy lifting isn't a differentiator - but that's not true across the board. Dropbox/Box have to meet epic scaling challenges, the big data wave there are computationally very hard problems being solved, in the API space (where we are) we're continuously pushing the envelope on scalability, speed, response times across the globe. There is stuff there that couldn't have been done 24-36 months ago. 

It's true that the software wave means disruption is now getting deeper into application sectors so sometimes it appears the tech element is not as hard - but it's not true across the board and even if you take tech systems which look simple on the surface, operating them at scale is a huge challenge.

1 year, 9 months ago on Why Silicon Valley innovation has stalled

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@bgoldberg - I think it's way too simplistic to separate things in this way - a city needs a transport "system" which consists of a bunch of different modalities. Obviously if you do what London does (a high cost toll zone) to raise revenue you need to deliberate invest to make the public transport great to fill the gap. I'd argue though that makes much more sense then killing the share mass transport. A well running bus service that touches all parts of the city without more than a 10min walk on either end is massively more efficient than 100's of thousands of cars.

Looking at what you say in this comment the article should have been titled "Muni is broken, expensive and sucks -> lets fix it". You say how about raising fares - no problem, how about rerouting some of these suboptimal routes - no problem, etc. - they might all be the right thing to do. How much you subsidise the shared system is a decision much like how much to spend on medicare. 

One might argue that San Francisco is intrinsically badly suited to shared/communal transport options (earthquakes and subways are not a great mix) - but I think that's fairly obviously not true - the city is actually perfect in size: everything could easily be 25mins away by public transport if it was well organised. Going to cars is an exercise in playing one of those tile moving games where you only have one space and have to re-assmble the picture.

Love your articles generally - but I think you're off base on this one: but then I am a European living in SF so any kind of transport system feels like home! 

1 year, 9 months ago on Muni is 100 years old. Too bad it won’t die like a human that age

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Walking may be better some of the time - but often you have to cross the city, sometimes it rains, some people cannot walk that far/that fast -- so they will drive instead. Muni democratizes getting around the city. If it sucks, sure - improve. If you really want change go the opposite way: leavy a $20/day fee for driving in the city - use that money to ramp up transport, open more streets to bikes (or make them bike only).

Your assumption is based on an individual view - collectively surely its better to get rid of cars in the city, not remove one of the things that stop there being more.


1 year, 9 months ago on Muni is 100 years old. Too bad it won’t die like a human that age

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@benkepes @njyx - oh you're missing out. I learnt all my CEOing skills from Duck Dynasty!

1 year, 10 months ago on Well, I for one like the Bravo “Silicon Valley” show

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@benkepes - definite benefit from the exposure for them for sure - and the show sucked. I just find it a bit disingenuous when the "valley" faults them for taking an opportunity and seeing if they can make it work. The answer was no but probably got plenty out of it anyway. Anyway, now we can go back to real housewives of LA!

1 year, 10 months ago on Well, I for one like the Bravo “Silicon Valley” show

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I think Hermonie Way probably does know how to build a great company - she's already done plenty with NewsPeper + she probably knows that what was potrayed on the show wasn't it. No doubt the show will end up having a net positive effect - even it didn't pan out ideally, you have to give these things a shot - being willing to fail is startup 101.

1 year, 10 months ago on Well, I for one like the Bravo “Silicon Valley” show

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Congrats Apigee - we've always believed that having API infrastructure available for free is an important driver for APIs on the Web and had a free version of the product from day one - http://www.3scale.net/2012/08/why-api-infrastructure-should-start-at-free/

Our services hopefully will help many more APIs go live and keep pushing the limits of what the web can do!

 

2 years, 1 month ago on Apigee Brings Powerful Apps to Small Companies with a New Free Self-Serve API Platform

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 @trevoragilbert  @DJSundog - anyway, it's daltonc's baby so I guess he'll follow the path which works!

2 years, 2 months ago on App.net Is Like a Cool Glass of Water in a Desert of Ad-Supported Social Networks

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 @trevoragilbert  @DJSundog - both (in my view) - allowing some free usage to people to experiment with the product is hugely valuable to grow user base, increase tooling available and provide the leads to go up to paid tiers. 

 

It would (in my view) be especially stark if the two networks were in the market place at the same time - one would be paid only and (presumably) spend on marketing to reach customers, spend on trying to build tools, the other would spend likely have to spend less (not saying zero) less on those and instead support the usage of free users. There is no reason for the "paid" tiers to be much different in the product which has free.

 

I wasn't comparing "twitter" and app.net - I agree with daltonc that the ad model is highly problematic (because you have to do strange things to get pixel real-estate to monetize). But I'm saying there is another alternative to making "everybody" pay on day one - which is to allow a certain amount of free usage but paying if you want more volume. This method is (in my view) in a position to grow much faster and bring many more people into the funnel for paid. 

2 years, 2 months ago on App.net Is Like a Cool Glass of Water in a Desert of Ad-Supported Social Networks

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 @DJSundog  - I think that sounds attractive - but don't think it's a reality. If the network became valuable enough people would just pay the gateway fee and spam. You'd have their billing data so easier to kick them off it would be very hard to know where to put the threshold (you could make it free but hold CC details).

 

The problem with non-free is it's much much more difficult to gain critical mass and the utility of the network depends quite strongly on critical mass.

 

I'm not saying "only pay" will definitely not succeed. Just that A) there are more options than ONLY "ads" and or "all in paying" and B) i'd be willing to bet that if you started two networks at the same time which were competing where one was freemium but optional paid tiers for volume and one was "only paid" the former would win by a country mile.

2 years, 2 months ago on App.net Is Like a Cool Glass of Water in a Desert of Ad-Supported Social Networks

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Everywhere I see app.net commentary it stuns me that people seemingly think there are only two business models in the world: ad-supported or completely "for-pay". This just isn't true - freemium works extremely well especially for B2B applications (we use it at @3 scale) and that's what app.net could be. Communication mechanisms are about scale and inclusion - the more people on it, the more valuable it is. Seems to be a classic case for a freemium model - allow people to use it for free up to a certain (low) limit which has almost no impact on your servers and then pay beyond that.

 

One of the reasons for twitter success was that anything and anybody could connect - the famous tweeting plans and coke machines etc. would never have connected - and although some people may say "good-riddance", this diversity and experimentation made twitter compelling early on.

 

Obviously there is a risk that you don't "convert" enough people to paying to support the free users - but I'm sure that model could be gotten right. The bigger danger is simply asphyxiating because there are no users.

 

By all means keep the ads off but Make it freemium and this could work - all for pay, I really don't believe it will. 

2 years, 2 months ago on App.net Is Like a Cool Glass of Water in a Desert of Ad-Supported Social Networks

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Very generous thing to do - definitely giving forward - and the randomness... makes total sense to me. Helping people close by makes sense - but sometimes the ones that need most aren't the most connected. Randomness helps even out the good fortune. Tried to contribute on the site but two different cards gt rejected - either my credit dropped off a cliff or something's not quite right - will give it another shot later.

 

2 years, 5 months ago on Random Acts of Kindness — Marathon Fundraising

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