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Yahoo’s manifesto for change

If you are a big company getting your butt kicked, it seems like the thing to do is issue a memo.  Bill Gates did it after Microsoft lost out on the first wave of the Internet.  Ray Ozzie wrote one for Microsoft about the importance of software as a service last year (see an earlier […]

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Consumers want instant gratification

Greg Linden has a great post summarizing a talk that Marissa Mayer of Google gave at the recent Web 2.0 conference.  I encourage you to read it because Marissa talks about how Google ran a user test where users wanted more search results.  Surprisingly, traffic and revenue dropped by 20% and what Marissa discovered was […]

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When competitors are acquired…Socialtext and Jotspot

In an earlier post titled "When Competitors are acquired" I discussed that rather than sulk and wish it were you who was bought, smart companies will go out and capitalize on the opportunity as their competition is temporarily distracted and inwardly focused on creating synergies.  Rather than comment on the whys of the Google Jotspot […]

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Techdirt Insight Community -Gerson Lehrman for the information age?

Mike Masnick of Techdirt has launched a new service called the "Techdirt Insight Community."  Mike is an active blogger but also has run a corporate intelligence service for awhile mining the web for customized news and insight tailored for your company (think competitive analysis, updates, reviews on your products, etc. – check out Jeff Nolan’s […]

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Microsoft acquires portfolio company Colloquis

It is always great to see hard work rewarded.  Congratulations to Steve Klein, Pierre Berkaloff, and the rest of the Colloquis team (my partner Ned Carlson is on the board) for building the company over the last few years and making this happen.  For any startup there are always a few missteps along the way […]

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Social shopping

I must admit that I have seen way too many social networking related plays that want to be the next MySpace of some niche market.  When asked about monetization the standard answer is they have a much more focused audience than MySpace with highly targeted CPMs.  Guess what, if MySpace is only monetizing a fraction […]

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Live homework help for your kids

Congratulations to George Cigale and his (full disclosure – portfolio company and my partner Dan DeWolf is on the board) team for the launch of their direct-to consumer service which offers live homework help and online tutoring.  This is the culmination of a mission that George set out to realize over 8 years ago.  […]

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Facebook and product development

While reading the Wall Street Journal this morning, the Facebook story caught my eye.  Facebook has clearly built a huge community and is one of the leading social networks on the web.  However, I was mystified about the backlash the company received about its new service allowing users to better keep track of their friends […]

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How long is the Long Tail?

We all know about the groundbreaking work from Chris Anderson from Wired about the Long Tail. In theory it makes a ton of sense – on the web, companies have no inventory costs and can stock as many titles or products as possible and that over time the one-offs or misses can generate as much […]

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I hate shitty software – webroot spysweeper v5

Having invested in a couple of security companies, I am pretty adamant about security when it comes to my personal computers.  Until now, I have been using Norton Antivirus, ZoneLabs ZoneAlarm Security Suite, and Webroot’s SpySweeper.  Things were going great until a few days ago when I upgraded my Webroot Spysweeper from v4.5.9 to v5 […]

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