My friend Carolyn feels compelled to run against this woman for obvious reasons.
I hope she wins!
Monthly Archives: July 2008
I’m gearing up for our fall FastTrac Growth Venture programs, so I’m thinking consecutive thoughts again about the issues confronting entrepreneurs and startups.
When I get back to Phoenix in a month I know I will be asked to sit down with people who have great ideas, and some who have products. However, few of them will actually have a viable business, much less a company.
So it’s time to go over those differences again, this time using a Phoenix company, Cartfly, as an example. Cartfly is going through some big changes (most of which are still in stealth mode and can’t yet be talked about), so I will probably have to roll around to them again in a month or so to give an update. But it has been around for two years, so let’s just "use" them.
The company started as UStrive, which was (and is) an application development lab. It quickly developed one application it really liked, a simple online store for merchants.
So the guys, Josh and Bob, had an idea. And the idea became a product. The product is easy to use and free, so a lot of small merchants have adopted it. And because there’s also a business model, which means a way to get paid and make money, Cartfly.com is a business.
Social networking is getting bigger, so Cartfly developed a "widget" that allows its merchants to share their stores on MySpace and Facebook. This is good for bands, and many bands use it. But social shopping is a quickly-changing space. People are trying to decide how to monetize social networks, and how to sell to all the people on them. Going forward, Cartfly will change.
That’s the part now in stealth mode. Cartfly has had a new idea, which they have developed into a new product, that has the potential of taking the company into a bigger (much bigger) business.
And this is how they become a real company. A company doesn’t have just one idea or one product, or even one business if it wants to compete and survive. It’s the old example of the railroads, who didn’t realize they were in the transportation business.
To grow, a company also takes on people beyond the founders. In fact, for a company to have long-term potential, it has to grow past the founders, as Intel has, or Microsoft. And as Apple and Yahoo are on the way to either doing or not doing:-)
Cartfly, in the next couple of months, will morph in one fell swoop from a small business into a bigger company. Stay tuned. ??I will let you know when I can talk about it in more detail. 🙂
Taking a trip overseas to meet world leaders may not look like it helps workers in swing states at home, but Barack Obama’s confident attitude toward talking to the world has already changed everything. For everybody.
This morning on ‘The Today Show" I watched Brian Williams
interview Iran’s snarky President Ahmadenijad. What a difference in the man’s attitude. The interview is live, from the presidential grounds on Teheran. And he comes to it willing to talk. "If the American approach changes, Iran will have a positive response." Why has this changed? I think it’s because the world thinks Obama will be elected and willing to take a more collaborative stance toward countries that used to be called "The axis of evil."
American statesmen have confronted Iranians for 50 years, says Ahmadenijad. Iranians have learned to work around it. But nuclear weapons are so 20th century. His country is not trying to make a bomb. He said it several times. And after all, America is moving back to nuclear power, so why shouldn’t Iran? Shouldn’t we believe them? Our lack of trust in others has already cost us dearly.
I believe the Bush administration’s change in attitude signals even our own response to Obama’s comments during the primaries. Watching the attitude of the American people toward Obama must have influenced Bush’s willingness to sit down with Iran again and work toward a diplomatic solution.
I think everyone in the world is waiting for Obama to be elected, and depending on us, the citizens, to get it done.
I stood in the line for five hours. I signed a two-year contract. And I traded a perfectly useful (and almost new, because Apple had just replaced it) iPhone for the new iPhone 2.0 just to be a geek. Or maybe a jerk.
I’m not unhappy with the 3G iPhone. But I wasn’t unhappy with the other one either. On balance, I probably would have been fine with not upgrading, but I cannot resist a new toy. I singlehandedly power the consumer economy.
Here’s the good and bad news: 3G is not that much faster than 2G. When I send photos, the best way to send them is wi-fi. I don’t think my new phone is that much faster. Does it put my life in my pocket? No. I will still take a laptop to conferences to live blog, and when I edit someone’s book, you can be sure it will be on a big screen:-) (Yes, I do that.)
The battery life has already been commented on ad nauseum. I suppose if you turn off the GPS and wi-fi it lasts longer, but then what’s the point? I actually do turn them both off through most of the day, and I carry the charger with me as well.
The form factor is almost the same, except my new phone has a white plastic back, which will soon be obscured by the case I ordered, because I’m sure it will scratch. It’s spiffy, though. The new phone’s a little thinner, but you wouldn’t notice it unless you weighed them with one in one hand and one in the other. Who cares about the small improvement?
The App Store is the best part of the new launch, and I could have had that on my old phone. But I forgive Apple the whole Saturday experience because I love the App store. I have downloaded Typepad, iZenGarden, SmugMug, Brightkite, and Kyte.tv. I’m not really a gamer, so I don’t have any of those games yet. I will try them, but they’re not first on my list.
The Brightkite app doesn’t work well, and neither does SmugMug. That’s disappointing. Typepad, which is the software I use for this blog is awesome. And IZen Garden is beautiful.
I must admit that I also really like the GPS services, because I can type in an address on Google Maps and it will draw me a purple line from where I am to where I need to go. I’ve never had that before.
Am I satified? Yes. Am I blown away? No. If you don’t have an iPhone, get one. If you have a first generation iPhone and you want to spend money on something else, keep it.
Barack Obama has finally said "there is little doubt the United States is in a recession." After Phil Gramm told us we were in a "mental recession," and John McCain allowed as how specific people might be in a recession. Jesus Christ, as my father would have yelled, what does it take for a politician to admit we are in trouble? I’ve been screaming that we’re in a Depression for a few months now on Newsgang Live and elsewhere, and people on TV say it’s not a Depression unless there’s a run on the bank.
All right, have some data points with your martini: Bear Stearns had a run on the bank a couple of months ago, and got bailed out by some backroom deal between the Fed and Jamie Dimon. The stock of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the buyers of all our mortgages, has sunk to about 28 cents. It’s only not zero because the government has promised to bail it out. And this weekend IndyMac Bank was taken over by the FDIC because — you guessed it — there was a run on the bank.
How does that affect ordinary people who do not have subprime mortgages and weren’t greedy speculators?
Well, the new person who is running IndyMac Bank after the takeover, who used to be a high exec in the FDIC, warned everyone to make sure they had no more than $100,000 in any single bank, because $100k is all that the FDIC insures. Unless it’s in an IRA, in which you can have $250k insured.
So you are not even safe in cash. I’ve warned my kids to watch their bank accounts. Myself, I never keep money in a bank if I can help it.
A month ago, Citibank lowered my HELOC to the amount I had left outstanding (I had slowly been paying it off, which was stupid in retrospect.) They said it had nothing to do with my payment history, but happened because the value of my home had almost certainly declined. And yesterday I signed on to my Wells Fargo account, which I have had for fifteen years and use for both business and personal use, and found that my line of credit there, too, had been frozen. No late payment, no indication of problems on my end. The banks are just scared shitless and in a state of paralysis. This affects EVERYBODY.
That takes me back to my friend in Arizona who committed suicide at the beginning of June. I knew then that things were tough, because he wasn’t a lightweight thinker, an unresourceful person, or a crook. He just saw it coming.
What will happen now? As I’ve said before, the government will come in and try to do something. Whatever it does may or may not work. Worst case scenario, the FDIC fails, and we all lose everything we have in American banks. Or the government starts printing money, in which case the value of the dollar falls even lower than it is now, and we become like Russia in the 90s or Argentina, with double digit inflation.
Or maybe I’ve got the scenarios reversed, and the best case is the failure of the FDIC…
Have another martini with your data?
Oh: you want a solution? Buy gold. Practice non-attachment. Take your dogs to the beach:-)
These were the people ahead of me in the Apple Store line in Burlingame this morning–a Saturday. I got there at 9 and left at 2 PM with my 3G iPhone, sore feet, and fatigue. What was I doing there? Why did I bother? I still can’t answer those questions after chilling at home for eight hours.
3G isn’t that much faster. The apps from the App Store ran fine on my previous iPhone ( I can hardly call it old because Apple replaced it for me a month ago when my screen froze). I had enough trouble with battery life without adding 3G and GPS to the mix. And the extra money…
Ah, but the lure of Steve Jobs, as explained in 1997 by Doc Searls, via Dave Winer.
I have always had a soft spot for those fast talking, good looking men in black.
So much fun to be an early adopter:-( I tried to upgrade to the iPhone 2.0 firmware yesterday, but couldn’t get the file to download properly to my computer from the link a rumors blog gave me. And then Apple made the blog remove the link, so I didn’t get it done until this morning, when I woke up, attached my iPhone to the iTunes stores, and it started updating.
While that was happening, I was watching Arrington in Palo Alto and Scoble in San Francisco, and thinking about how I was going to go to Burlingame with the dogs to show them off at 8. I thought they’d add to the drama of the first day of the new phone.
Those plans evaporated slowly as I realized my old phone was not re-activating, and I couldn’t call out.
After half an hour of trying, I posted to Friendfeed and Twitter to try to stop anyone else from having the same problem, ran the dogs for a while to tire them out, and dropped them at my daughter’s. I figured they wouldn’t be useful in a fight with the Burlingame Apple store.
I stopped in the Pacifica Starbucks to try again, and I am now sitting here watching everyone else online talk about the same experience. Dave Winer has a brick and has uploaded a photo of it to Flickr.
Apple and AT&T will get a boatload of bad publicity for this. Don’t they know by now that marketing and de-marketing happen simultaneously? Or is this like Twitter, where the service goes down again and again and no one cares and everyone forgives?
Update: Phone just came back on! Now I will go to Burlingame:-)