My daily readings 11/30/2009

  • tags: fring, SIP, VoIP

    • With fring, users can make free VoIP calls over Skype, MSN, Google Talk and via hundreds of SIP providers. The app also supports live chatting through ICQ, Yahoo, and more, and also boasts support for Twitter.
  • tags: search, realtime

  • tags: Customer, Development

  • tags: Startups

    • Well done post. You could find a reason not to do anything. Google? Check out the search engines that already exist and own the space. Apple? No one wants a computer for personal use. Dropbox? File storage has been done and no margins. Twitter? 140 characters is worthless. Vizio? Enough TVs exist. YCombinator? WTF are you going to do with $15k.
      I could go on and on and on. Seriously, just fucking build it. If for some odd reason NOTHING at all exists like what you’re doing, a competitor will come along that does. There is nothing and I mean nothing that a smart team of 20 somethings can’t build nowadays. At worst, you’ll have something that you, yourself love. That’s the key to all of this: Build something YOU want, then adapt it so it works for a broader range of people if need be. If the tshirt for getting accepted to ycombinator is: build something people want and the tshirt for getting acquired is: i built something people want, the tshirt for getting asked to interview/demo should be: i built something I wanted.
  • tags: dropbox

    • Pretend I have a machine where you insert a quarter and, a year later, a dollar pops out. Do you a) insert the quarter you have in your pocket, wait a year, and then put all four quarters back in or b) go to the bank, borrow as much money as they’ll give you, get it changed into quarters, and start stuffing the machine?

      A freemium startup which has a good idea of what customer lifetime value is and what customer acquisition costs are is, essentially, a quarter-into-dollar machine.

      This factor becomes particularly acute when the ultimate goal of the startup is to sell their quarter-into-dollar machine for some multiple of the number of dollars it has produced in the most recent year.

      [Edited in response to the above post going grey: Please do not downvote the post above me. He isn’t being malicious. The big picture strategic view is non-obvious and many smart people need to have it explained a few times for it to sink in. If you wish to correct the misconception, either explain it or upvote an explanation.]

      [Edited to add: P.S. The expert on “(LTV > COCA) + source of capital => blow the doors off” is Dharmesh Shah. He has been banging the drum for a few years now. Example:

  • tags: HTM5

  • tags: HR, programmers

  • tags: twitter, search, mashup

  • tags: android

  • tags: Twitter, Client

    • This is a pivotal moment for Seesmic because the startup is now conquering all the mediums—web, desktop and mobile. I sat down with Seesmic’s co-founder, Loic Le Meur, to test out the apps.
    • While Twitter rolled out the geolocation API yesterday, Seesmic hasn’t integrated its API into the app. But the app still features a geolocation tool that lets you embed your location in a Tweet via the Android’s GPS, which will show your location on Google Maps.
    • Le Meur says the Windows clients had 10,000 downloads within 12 hours. I fully expect the the Android and BlackBerry apps to receive the same response. As the startup continues to develop new and innovative products, it is slowly encroaching on rival Tweetdeck’s market share and attracting a whole new set of followers as well. But a little friendly competition is never a bad thing between technology companies.
  • tags: foursquare, loopt

  • tags: Extension, share, web, history

  • tags: firefox, sidebar, Extension, recommendation, discovery

  • tags: education, Charity, donations, school

  • The latest hot stuff.

    tags: foursquare, LBS

  • tags: wave

    • While developing Gmail, we implemented a lot of features that were either not released, or not released until much later. Some of the most interesting ideas (such as automatic email prioritization) never made it out because we couldn’t find simple enough interfaces. Other ideas sounded good, but in practice weren’t useful enough to justify the added complexity (such as multiple stars). Other features, such as integrated IM, simply needed more time to get right and were added later. Our approach was somewhat minimal: only include features that had proven to be highly useful, such as the conversation view and search. It’s my impression that Wave was released at an earlier stage of development — they included all of the features, and will likely winnow and refine them as Wave approaches a full launch. The Wave approach can be a little confusing, but it allows for greater public feedback and testing.
  • tags: Twitter, LBS, shopping

    • So if you stumble on what looks to be a good deal today, inform you friends and have them help you decide using the website or the accompanying free iPhone app (iTunes link), if you’re into the whole social shopping thing.

      Do you have an Android-powered phone? Check out the startup’s augmented reality application, which shows you what others have purchased in the stores you visit. is an initiative from Adarsh Pallian, who has in the past started other projects related to Twitter such as Tweetizen and It was first launched a couple of months ago, but just recently relaunched with a new design and some additional features.

  • tags: classifield

    • What does do? One thing, very well and at scale. takes a piece of content, or grabs the content from a URL, and analyzes it. It does this very fast and it outputs some key data. tells you the language of the content, categorizes it (topics, keywords), and additional metadata. This metadata payload is exactly what Robert Scoble is talking about with his SuperTweet idea.
    • There are a couple of other services sniffing around the same space as Factery, which we wrote about earlier this week, looks at shared URLs and pulls out key facts. And Thompson Reuters has OpenCalais, which has 18,000 customers.
  • tags: LBS

    • Participating in the panel were:
      Matt Galligan, co-Founder of SimpleGeo
      Ryan Sarver, Director of Platform at Twitter
      Tristan Walker, VP of Business Development at Foursquare
      Steve Lee, Group Product Manager Google Maps for Mobile and Google Latitude
      Justin Shaffer, Founder of Hot Potato
      Elad Gil, CEO of Mixer Labs
      Moderators were our own Erick Schonfeld and MG Siegler.
  • tags: no_tag

    • Now that we’ve all actually seen Chrome OS, the immediate reaction that most are jumping to is that it won’t be killing Windows anytime soon. Obviously. But that doesn’t mean it won’t hurt Microsoft, and apply long-term pressure to the dominant OS. In fact, Google’s positioning for Chrome OS reads like a page out of Apple’s playbook, only from the opposite direction.
    • Microsoft, of course, is also in the netbook space with Windows XP and now Windows 7. But after being a sector on fire for much of the year, signs point to a slowdown in sales. While you might think that would be bad news for both Microsoft and Google, Google’s ChromeBooks are really a new category altogether. As Google said during its event, they’re working with specific hardware manufacturers to make machines set to a certain standard. This means that they’ll have larger keyboards and trackpads than most netbooks, among other things. In other words, they’ll be better, from a hardware perspective, than most netbooks.
    • And that’s what a lot of critics are missing (but we’ve been saying since July). Google isn’t trying to compete with a standard OS, they’re trying to help users realize that for the majority of computing they do, they don’t need one in the first place. Maybe you have a desktop computer at home for those few tasks that need dedicated native applications, and maybe that runs Windows or maybe that runs OS X. But maybe the machine that you use most of the time is your cheap, fast ChromeBook.
    • The point is that consumer computing is shifting to a place where speed and mobility are paramount. The reason people are so excited about products like the CrunchPad and Apple’s tablet isn’t because they can run Photoshop — they can’t — it’s because they offer an easy way to use the Internet. Same thing with the iPhone. Same thing with Android phones. And it will be the same thing with Chrome OS and the ChromeBooks.
  • tags: iPhone, Android, Stats

  • tags: Collaboration, Startup

    • The challenge of groups of people working together effectively is
      fundamental to human endeavor, but the state of the art falls far
      short of real efficiency. Despite advances like email and wikis, the
      friction and overhead of communication remain acutely painful to
      organizations large and small. Group leaders spend an enormous portion
      of their time trying to keep everyone on the same page, and knowledge
      workers struggle daily with inadequate, disparate tools to wrangle the
      information they need to do their jobs.
  • tags: Linkedin

    • You can now add LinkedIn as an autopost site on Posterous. So when you update to Posterous, you’ll be able to update directly to your Status Message on LinkedIn. It doesn’t appear that it works the other way around.
    • While co-founder and CEO Aaron Levie is not yet sure of eventual scope of the integration, it will enable users to take content from and share it with LinkedIn contacts and on their LinkedIn profiles. is doing this via its OpenBox platform. The long-term approach is to include LinkedIn data and details on our own users’ profiles (on to make a richer experience.
  • tags: Chrome, Extension

    • If you are a developer working on an extension, you can simply agree to Google’s terms and upload your extension to the gallery right now. One of those terms is that Google has the right to review your extension before it’s published, but they are saying they will only do that if it includes “include an NPAPI component and all content scripts that affect “file://” URLs.” Google goes on to note that “For security reasons, developers of these types of extensions will need to provide some additional information before they can post them in the gallery.” Fair enough.

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

One Response to “My daily readings 11/30/2009”

  1. Shyam Kapur Says:

    It is great to see that you have interests similar to mine. Have you had a chance to review TipTop search engine at I think you will find it pretty interesting.

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