My daily readings 07/11/2009

  • tags: Education

  • tags: Entrepreneurship, Startups, lesson

    • The most interesting part of the interview was when Mark described how his first startup took off very quickly, once he arrived at a solid concept.  Mark created ONEList and it took off overnight because it solved a fundamental pain many people were experiencing.  Making mailing lists at the time was a painful process, and ONEList made it easy.  Bloglines was another good idea because it solved a problem Mark personally was experiencing, how to keep up with the many blogs he read.  Furthermore, Mark leveraged the marketing and PR relationships he had built at ONEList to get press for Bloglines which spurred their growth.
  • tags: HTML5

    • The current working spec for the HTML5 standard has a lot of exciting features we would eventually like to implement in WebKit. One feature we felt was exciting enough to tackle now even though the spec is still in flux is client-side database storage. So for the last few weeks andersca, xenon, and I have been cooking up an implementation!
  • tags: psychology

  • tags: Entrepreneurship, startups

  • tags: psychology, productivity, motivation

  • tags: entrepreneurship, startups

    • One thing really stands out to me today. I wasted a lot of energy, time, and passion on trend-spotting and trying to compare my success with others. Is it really worthwhile spending time and money trying to impress each other with our supposed successes, especially in a business where real feedback can take five or ten years? We go to mixers, buy fancy offices, focus on PR, and try to one-up each other. I think it’s wasteful. Instead, let’s focus on building companies that matter, on creating real value for customers, and learning. In time, success will come. And if it doesn’t, at least you’ll have spent your time doing something intrinsically worthwhile.
    • In the meantime, don’t worry if you can’t spot the trends. Neither can the rest of us (well, except for Matt Cohler).
  • tags: google, chrome, os

  • tags: Chrome, WebApp

    • Both users and app developers are still hungry for so-called
      “native” applications — that is, software designed for a particular
      operating system. A prime example? The iPhone. At the 2007
      Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple discussed a “pretty sweet”
      way of developing apps for the iPhone: Web apps. While the Apple
      executives onstage spoke of the potential and power of Web apps,
      many developers and users groaned. They didn’t just want Web apps,
      they wanted real apps—apps that could take full advantage of the
      technology the iPhone offered.
    • Mediati was right that not just developers but users wanted native third party apps for the iPhone. The difference from what Google is promising with Chrome, however, is that web apps will be the native apps on the system.
    • Apple’s own iPhone apps set a high bar for user experience — a height that could not (and still can’t) be reached with web apps running in MobileSafari.
    • Chrome OS sounds a lot more like Palm’s WebOS than it does the iPhone. Palm isn’t just telling third-party developers to write apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, they’re doing it themselves with the WebOS’s built-in apps. In fact, considering how web-app centric Google is and always has been, Palm’s WebOS is fundamentally more Google-y than Android, a platform where native apps are written in Java.
    • The runtime exposes additional JavaScript APIs specific to the WebOS environment. Regular web apps — ones you “run” by telling a regular web browser to load via a URL — can’t do things like access the hardware camera or post one of those cool WebOS system-wide notifications at the bottom of the screen. Or, taking the flip side, you couldn’t just take a WebOS app and run it in a web browser on any other platform. There’s a big potential difference between “web apps” and “apps written using web technologies”.
    • I presume that there will be similar Chrome OS-specific APIs for web apps optimized to run on Chrome. But who knows? From the description in the announcement, it sounds like Chrome OS “apps” really could just be web pages. Will it support things like importing photos and videos from a camera? Again, I presume so. But then what gets stored locally and what gets stored remotely, on Google-managed servers in the quote-unquote “cloud”? Something would have to be stored locally, because uploading video (and even just full-size photos) over the Internet can be slow and expensive.
    • At a glance it looks like Windows with a different theme. The idea being that if you want Windows users to switch to Gnome or KDE, you’ve got to make it feel familiar. But that’s not how you get people to switch to a new product. People won’t switch to something that’s just a little bit better than what they’re used to. People switch when the see something that is way better, holy shit better, wow, this is like ten times better.
    • Everything from TiVo to Palm’s WebOS uses Linux as the kernel for their operating system — using the commodity underlying operating system (in the comp-sci sense of the term) and ignoring the commodity user interface systems. Here’s the telling line from Google’s announcement:

      The software architecture is simple — Google Chrome running within
      a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel.

      From a user-level perspective, Chrome isn’t going to look, act, or work anything like Windows. And that’s why Google has a chance to make something that might actually prove popular in a way that Ubuntu hasn’t.

    • But there’s a big difference. The Chrome OS model isn’t about thin clients connecting to a server. It’s about thin clients connecting to many and any servers. One of the few sure things about Chrome OS is that it’s going to work well with Google’s own web apps, but the web is open, and Google is a strong proponent of open web standards. Everyone will have the opportunity to write web apps that run just as well in Chrome OS as Google’s own.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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