My daily readings 12/12/2011

    • The most important distinction in Silicon Valley is this: Is it a product or a feature?
    • But now it’s transitioning from a product to a feature — of cellphones. Mainstream smartphones like the iPhone 4S and the HTC Evo 4G have 8-megapixel cameras, quality optics and HD video capability. People who have smartphones already have decent cameras. That’s why sales of point-and-shoot digital cameras are plateauing and will inevitably decline over the next few years.
    • But in 1998, Microsoft made zip support a feature of Windows. And in 2004, Apple made zip a feature of Mac OS X.


      Zip compression has been marginalized as a product. You don’t see a lot of startups wanting to get into the zip racket.


    • People used to seek out and download instant messaging applications like PowWow, ICQ and AOL Instant Messenger. IM was a serious product category.


      Today, chat has become a feature of Facebook, Gmail, Android and the iPhone. IM has been marginalized as a discrete product category.

    • From the beginning, Google+ had already integrated features that were available elsewhere as products. Hangouts, for example, offers most of the functionality of Skype. Google+ also came integrated with Picasa, a photo management service that Google acquired in 2004. Google+ also incorporated, to some degree, Google’s Gmail application, as well as chat. The Sparks feature represented a partial integration of Google News.
    • small amount of money (average $18k) in a large number of startups (most recently 63). The startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 months, during which we work intensively with them to get the company into the

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

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