I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries on what is StartupHouse, a new business I will be unveiling to the world with the help of some of my friends. All will be revealed in due course, but in the interim, you might appreciate a video my good friend Al Faulkner produced on “StartupRocket”. Too many inside jokes to explain, but this parody done for our own private entertainment actually does a pretty good job explaining what’s to come 🙂
I’ve been in America now two years (wow!) and one of the best things that’s happened to me since moving here is being involved in the Aussie community of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley (which actually is filled with New Zealander’s as well!). I don’t know all the Aussies, but the ones I do know have entirely justified the life-changing decision I made to move to America: the combined economic impact this group have had and will have in the next decade on the Australian, Kiwi and US economy really is amazing.
So it’s exciting to see one of my good friends and upcoming entrepreneur’s in the group Brett Welch strike it out on his own with his startup Veokami. Chris Hartley and Brett have built this funky piece of technology that aggregates all the video taken from a concert. For example, hundreds of people will record a show with their camera phones now and some upload it to youtube. Veokami synthesises all these videos and puts them in a timeline, so that it not only will organise the songs in a timeseries order, but will put them parallel to the timeline with videos shown from a different perspective. It’s like watching a TV recording of the concert, with you being able to switch camera angles…except the difference is, all this video is automatically organised and the video comes from hundreds of amateur footage shared by the Internet.
Check the video below for a sneak peak. And please vote for them on the hacklolla challenge as I’d love to see this service get integrated into concerts around the world, which further enables the power of the Internet and computing to transform our lives. It’s tools like this that put more power in the hands of the consumer and that alone is a reason why we should be supporting startups like this.
The potential of this technology really is interesting when you consider any public organisation of people — from political rallies to conferences to parties — the ubiquity of mobile camera’s now is unleashing a new collective intelligence in our world and Veokami helps stitch that intelligence together in a curated way.
The Facebook homescreen is a remarkable thing. I just saw a video of a friend throwing food at birds; relatives taking pictures of themselves in a hot tub; a link to a mind-expanding article; and a status message that made me laugh. It made me think: the homescreen is the new magazine.
Sure, we can be simplistic with this and say lots of pictures and content makes thee a magazine. But what strikes me as fascinating is how much personal content is shared. People’s thoughts, insight into their lives, and the real-time autobiographical dictation by our “friends”. It makes me think of the fascination people have with celebrities, and how gossip magazines are some of the highest grossing of their kind. The same phenomenon is being exploited here — which is people want to know more about people they know. While with celebrities you could potentially say people do it due to a fixation on celebrity status and looks, I would argue the reason gossip magazines are so popular is due to the curiousity into the lives of people who are familiar. People would be equally fascinated with a magazine about celebrities as a magazine of their neighbours, if it was practical.
It’s almost like Facebook’s homescreen is the new media version of a publication. But of your friends. And like a glossy magazine. Of original content from otherwise hard-to-obtain situations.
Or more practically speaking, like a gossip magazine of your neighbours.
Hard to believe it’s been two months since the event. A lot’s happened since then which had me pause this blog series, but I’m now going to restart it and share the lessons during and after the experience.
Pollenizer is an agency that helps startup’s grow, run by my good friend Mick Liubinskas and his superstar business partner Phil Morle. They sponsored the bus, with the request an important lesson be shared, which was related to failure.
Below is a short video of Brandon Leonardo – a superstar that I think is going to go very far in his career. He however, had a very unfortunate incident that nearly threw off the entire operation of the bus. The incident revealed an important lesson for Brandon about how you deal with failure. Watch the video the find out what.
This blog post was done in honour of our proud sponsor Pollenizer. This post is part of a series on the Startup Bus, an event that occurred in March 2010 that was powered by Alassian, mentored by the eStrategy Group and supported by several other very generous sponsors.
With all the hype now on the iPad (and the proposed HP slate), I thought it was timely to mention the personal session with HP’s head of innovation a few weeks ago. As part of the Startup Bus, Phil McKinney gave us a one-hour session on innovation, which we are fortunate enough to have recorded and have permission to share to the world.
Hewlett Packard was the company that started Silicon Valley, and Phil is one of the three divisional CTO’s at the company, focused on personal systems (meaning a lot of the innovative things that we will see come out are under his watch). So it was a no-brainer to start our experience there. He shared secrets of innovation, including some insight into yet-to-be released products by HP, like it’s electronic-ink paper that kills anything else in its class and the proposed Slate device itself (an iPad competitor soon to be released).
You can watch the entire presentation as part of this playlist. Or, click on the videos below which are in ten minute blocks.
Part one: Introduction
Part two: The Rules of the Bus
Part three: The Challenge of Innovation
Part four: The Secret Sauce – FIRE
Part five: The Secret Sauce – PO
Part six: Show and Tell
Part seven: Q & A
Part eight: Q & A (continued)
Part nine: (continued)
This blog post is a series on the Startup Bus, an event that occurred in March 2010 that was powered by Alassian, mentored by the eStrategy Group and supported by several other very generous sponsors.
When Google made an offer for On2, I was dumbfounded. I wrote to a friend working at Google the following:
Phat. But I’m confused. How does Google benefit by making the codec free? I understand Google’s open culture, but for 100million, really? They help the world, but what’s the incentive for Google? (Other than of course, controlling it).
The reply: “incentive = greater adoption of HTML 5 = apps are written for HTML 5 = apps can be monetized using Adsense”.
Interesting perspective from a smart Googler who had no real insider information. But no cigar.
Google‚Äôs Open Source Programs Manager Chris DiBona had previously argued that Ogg Theora would need codec quality and encoding efficiency improvements before a site as big as YouTube could use it as its default video codec. The FSF now writes in its letter that it never agreed with these positions, but that Google must have faith in VP8 being a better codec if it invested its money in it (Google spent a total of about $133 million on ON2).
The open source advocacy group apparently realized that Google wouldn‚Äôt switch codecs from one day to another, which is why it suggests a number of smaller steps to make VP8 mainstream. ‚ÄúYou could interest users with HD videos in free formats, for example, or aggressively invite users to upgrade their browsers (instead of upgrading Flash),‚Äù the letter reads, adding that this would eventually lead to users not bothering to install Flash on their computers.
Think about that for a second: video on the web finally becomes free for real and open, becoming a core infrastructure to the online world – but the default is crappy. Don’t like crappy? Well Mr and Ms consumer, if you want High Definition, you need to pay for a subscription to a premium codec by the already dominate Adobe or another rising star. Assuming you get the whole word watching video and only 1% convert – holy crap, isn’t that a brilliant business model?
Bono, the lead singer of the band U2 wrote in an op-ed piece in the New York Times the following recently:
The only thing protecting the movie and TV industries from the fate that has befallen music and indeed the newspaper business is the size of the files”
Simple but profound insight from the famed entertainer. So with this fairly obvious logic, why isn’t the movie industry (backed by Google and Apple) innovating business models in this area? Value comes from scarcity – and quality is the best way of doing it. The reason why box office sales and Blu-ray broke a record in 2009, is because the quality is worth the premium for consumers.
What’s the incentive for Google, to answer my own question? The return on investment to be associated with a default open technology that you give the option to upgrade to users, is a billion dollar business waiting to happen. Doing no evil to the world and securing future growth at the same time sounds like a Google business in the making,
Today I attended Vibewire‘s e-festival of ideas, which was done in conjunction with the Australian Innovation Festival. Gavin Heaton had asked me to speak about one of the Cs of innovation, which was commercialisation (the others being creativity, collaboration, connections, and conversation).
I had some great discussions with people there and it’s great to see so many passionate people share ideas about building a better future. The video was streamed online – hit play on the video embedded below and enjoy. (I come in at the 17 minute mark.)
Mick just posted a video he has come across on net neutrality. At the very least, you should watch it because it’s an important issue. We take for granted that when we are connected to the net, we are given equal access; what the large Telco’s appear to be pushing, is to influence that actual content that flows over the internet. It’s a bit like a bunch of shops in a marketplace – the Telco’s want the consumers to pay for entering the marketplace (as they do) and now they want to charge the people who choose to host shops in the marketplace as well as allocating consumers a personal guide who depending on how much you tip them, will determine if you can visit a particular shop. The beauty of the internet, is that all you need is a connection and you are given equal like anyone else. In a world where space is finite, rent for a shop makes sense because it’s managing the demand; but in a virtual world there is no reason to inherit this age old concept as it will kill the core of what is what makes it the most amazing invention in history.
The first video is one I found that is more concise and to the point. The second one is the one on Mick’s blog which is certainly a lot more emotive.
In case you missed the news, the DataPortability Project received a cease and desist letter from Red Hat, because the logo is too similar to the Fedora logo. You can find out more on the coverage by Read/Write web and TechCrunch
As a result, we are launching a competition to design a new logo: read the announcement on Chris’s blog. Already we have received some generous corporate support, which includes an Apple iPhone, several hundred dollars worth of cash, credits, or other merchandise, free advertising on some of the leading technology blogs and other prizes and more to come. But there’s a few other things that people do not realise which I am going to detail here.
When Michael Pick created a video for the DataPortability Project last month, never did he expect such a reaction. I was talking to Michael about the reaction and he said: “I haven’t stopped for breath since about a week after the dp video went live”.
I asked him to elaborate so I could quote him on this post, and he says:
Working with the DataPortability project gave me the chance to not only support something I believe in, but has also been a huge success in generating new clients and some exciting projects as a direct consequence. Say something like that only less retarded. DataPortability design = $ + kudos + panties in the mail
And he’s not exaggerating. As I write this nearly 17,000 people have seen the video in the last month – and that’s just on Vimeo.
Aside from great prizes and guaranteed exposure, something else is at stake: you will be creating an icon that will be pushed to the world in a big way. I play a role with DataPortability trying to manage the hundreds of passionate people wanting to contribute, and I can assure you, there are plenty of conversations and plans on how we are going to be applying the DataPortability brand to the world. Remember, a core purpose of the DataPortability project is to synthesise existing efforts into one coherent framework. Just like when you see the RSS icon in browser status bar or on a website, so too will the DataPortability icon be used in the world to denote something about the service that holds the icon.
So you have until March 11 before we close the submission process. What are you waiting for – this is a chance to make a mark on the world!
– Competition for a new DataPortability logo
– Deadline 11 March 2008
– The logo should:
- Be distinct, unique and easily identifiable
- Remain clear and identifiable at small sizes (e.g. 16?ó16)
- Convey the concept of moving/owning/syncing data
- Aesthetically fit in with a broad range of site/application designs
- Provide a clear silhouette that can be rendered in multiple colors
– Submit your entry on the Flickr pool