Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Data, Data, Data

 The recent TC post of Foxmarks just confirmed my point of view: There are only two computer-based service which are data generation and data presentation. Foxmark is clearly a data-presenting service since everyone's bookmark is just there before Foxmark but Foxmark is obviously doing something cool with those data they collected through the Foxmark firefox plugin.

So who is doing data generation service? blogware like Typad and blog service providers like blogger.com. Because without them, I won't be here writing this post for you. But more are in the generation/presentation mixture. MS Excel is such one. It allows us to type data in a cell farm then generating new graph based on that.

The sub-point of data generation is digitalize data. For example, do you know the average driving speed at 9:10am in Mass Pike inbound? That data is there because the car is there but the data is just not digitalized into computer. So if you can place series of sensors along the Mass Pike then you are generating/digitalizing a huge amount of data. how to do with it?

I am very fascinating about this idea. What else I can discover?

The other thing I am thinking now is that how to improve my experience when there is no Internet connection? So now I am using my Dell Axim PDA to access a weak but non-secured wifi network called Apple Network to :
1) read email via pop3
2) use IE 4.0 to access Gmail, yahoo Mobile mail and Google Map
3) pRssReader to download RSS feeds such as TC and VB.

I tried to connect my PDA via USB to my laptop then write email in outlook then sync to PDA then send it but failed.hmmmmm...

Thank you, the owner of Apply Network.
And sorry this is off topic:)

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Trends bring new opportunity for entrepreneur

1. I see the world business environment will have some
significant change in the near future, let's say the
next 10-20 years. Now and before, corporate provids
almost all services we may need, left few for
individuals like prostitution/tutor/coach etc. Banks,
pharma etc covers all what we need. The reason I
believe is very simple: trust-worth or credibility,
from individual's perspective as well as from
goverment's (though I am not a history expert) .Along
the time, those corporations growing bigger and
bigger. Today, they are Mega companies so suddently it
doesn't make much sense for them to serve needs below
certain level. A new drug with $1M annual sales may
not be attractive for Pfizer to acquire. That's why we
need eBay, Craigslit and why they are so successful.
Then comes those Peer-to-Peer bank like Zembra.
Because of Internet, the cost for individuals to
offfer services for peers had been significantly
lowered. I see more and more service platform will
emerge to help individuals to offer services for
individuals... This is one trend.

2. the expanded definition of resource. Human is just
as iron/oil. Offshore Outsourcing is clear an example following this trend.
but what else can we done? Social tagging is one in this trend. I always believe
that human brain has advantages computer brain will never in par with. Americans are
obsessed with technology drive model since human resource is just too expensive there.
This theory should not be blindly adopted in developing countries like India,China, Brazil etc
with enough human brain to leverage.

3. An alternate P/E fund as the vehicle. Acquire Tier
2 or 3 websites with reasonable traffic or cash flow.
Consolidate hardware/network to save large cost. Cross
linking/promoting each other to benefit. To offer a
vest plan for the founders to exit that tied with the
performance of their website after acquired by the
fund. What does P/E like blackstone do? find
undervalued asset then refine/adjust/polish to
increase value. Same thing here. Same philosophy but
for web industry. We do acquisition. We also do
investment/incubation directly. For example, Highland
invested in a start-up called Clubmom.com in US. why
not we do the same in China? or IndianMom.com for
indian immigration in US? With existing/acquired
website, the time to build early traffic/user base is
much short. The investment on server/bandwidth is much
less by sharing with others. The backoffice cost like
HR/Accounting is much less too. MINT sucks because
their shared HR/Accounting has very limited
investment, no hardware share between portfolios

Again, back to Bazaarvoice.com. Every commordity
should/could be monetized by a hosting service. For
web venture, everything except the idea is a commodity.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Boston Startup Meetup

Finally had a chance to join one of the most famous startup meeting in Boston, The boston Startup Meetup. It's started by a british working in Cambridge area, Simon Clay Michael. He has his own job related startup called http://www.isabont.com that provide value added service for job hunters.

This event is also very informal. It's always in a restaurant called Smile Thai at 16 Eliot Street, cambridge. Once a month meeting. people just come in and sit down along the side of a long table and start talking immediately with others sitting beside you. It's something similar to Open Coffee with an unintended focus on technology. I guess that's because it's in Cambridge and so many people are from school or in harvard/MIT right now.

But because of sitting along the long table, it's not easy to move around to chat with others far from you once you sit down in the middle. So better come in ealier or you have to find a seat at the end of the table.

You can join their mailing list at http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/boston-startup-meetup/
and here is their recent annoucement

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Sunday, June 03, 2007

Entrepreneur/Start-up related event in Boston

I had attended two start-up related events recently. And here is a summary for your reference.
The first one is http://entrepreneur.meetup.com/674/ which is organized by a lawyer at Exemplar Law firm who had been CFO of a high-tech start-up before. It's very like our weekly gathering. People come from all different background with no particular focus. The agend is:
6pm-6:30pm -- Open Networking over wine and snacks
6:30-6:45pm -- Attendee introduction
6:45pm-8pm -- Will discuss up to three member proposed start-up related topics. The three we had yesterday are: account receivable issue, growth options for a boutique chocolate store in Coplay Square and pricing strategy.
8pm-9:pm -- Networking
It's a biweekly gathering and limited to 30 ppl each time. And you must RSVP to attend as the guard in the first floor will check your name. If you are not in the web/internet/software business, this is a good one to broad your connection with others from various industries.
The second one is http://www.opencoffeeclub.org/ which is a casual gathering without any host. Rather, it's a weekly meeting at every Thursday started at 9:30am usually at Andala Coffee shop in Cambridge. No RSVP, no agenda and you won't know who will be there in advance. I had been there this morning and met 6 ppl there. One of the high-profile attendee is Michael Feinstein. A retired investor/entrepreneur now enjoy being advisor for start-ups. He is an advisor for Geezmo, the personal financial service start-up Pakpoom posted before. The other guy is working on a new start-up doing Craigslist + LinkedIn.

FYI, I am quite familar with those events website as my Rilik biz plan is also quite event related. Websites you can check for related events:

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