Archive for the ‘technology’
I’m helping to organise Product Camp Sydney this saturday (4 June 2011).
What is ProductCamp?
In the spirit of BarCamp (www.barcamp.org), ProductCamp Sydney is a collaborative, user-organised professional conference that focuses on Product Management and Marketing topics. At ProductCamp Sydney everyone participates in some manner: presenting, leading a discussion, showcasing a best practice, or sharing their experiences. Others help with logistics, securing sponsorships, organising sessions, setting up or cleaning up. This is a self-organising collaborative event that is designed to be fun, rewarding and a unique experience.
ProductCamp Sydney is a great opportunity for participants to learn from, teach to, and network with professionals involved in the Product Management, Marketing, and Development processes from all industries around Australia.
We’ve listed the topics on Uservoice, so you can view the currently submitted topics and vote on them. Vote for my talk here.
Wow. Sometimes you watch a video and you are blown away. I’m in the startup space now and everything I’ve read about Y Combinator suggest that they are leading the way for startups and innovation. Watch this video.
Paul Graham, one of the founders of Y Combinator has a candid 6 minute session with 5 startups randomly chosen from a pool at Techcrunch Disrupt. Here he assesses and evaluates startups on the fly, based on his years of experience and intuition.
Any startup or business will get valuable advice from this video. Here he defines the product, the target market, when to monetise (now!), if they should pivot, etc.. The most valuable advice I got was to focus on a niche customer group, that hardcore group that will use your service the most and leverage that.
Here is the blurb from Y Combinator’s blog.
“In 2005, Y Combinator developed a new model of startup funding. Twice a year we invest a small amount of money (average $18k) in a large number of startups (currently 60). The startups move to Silicon Valley for 3 months, during which we work intensively with them to get the company into the best possible shape and refine their pitch to investors…
Since 2005 we’ve funded over 300 startups, including Loopt, Reddit, Clustrix, Wufoo, Scribd, Xobni, Weebly, Songkick, Disqus, Dropbox, ZumoDrive, Justin.tv, Heroku, Posterous, Airbnb, Heyzap, Cloudkick, DailyBooth, WePay, and Bump.”
Y Combinator also funded Adioso.com, an Australian startup. It was the first Aussie startup to get through the program. In fact, I’m using them now to buy a flight!
I’m out like Office Hours,
I noticed that a few of the startups I’ve been talking to at SXSW and in Silicon Valley were using signup pages powered by LaunchRock.
I was sharing a co-working space with Josh, the co founder of FlyByMiles. He was a finalist in the StartupBus challenge on the Silicon Valley Bus, and was working on his new website. He had a Launchrock page.
The day before, I met Zombies In Real Life, a Sydney based startup that won the Startmate Challenge. They also had a Launchrock page for beta invites.
If you have a business idea, usually the first thing that most people will do is buy the URL. Well, the next thing you need to do is sign up to a LaunchRock page! So rather than have a domain registrar holding page like a boring godaddy page with affiliate links, or a holding page with “come back here later”, you should create a launchrock page and start signing people up for beta invites. It only take a couple of minutes to create a page and it appears that you can customise it as well.
Its a very simple idea but killer. So many new websites need it. I’ve noticed that you don’t need to have a very complex idea to be successful. Create something simple and intuitive to use – look at Dropbox. The technology stack might be complex in the backend, but for the user its so convenient to use. The LaunchRock or Dropbox idea is not new, its been around for a while. But they seem to make the experience easy to use and possibly do it better than anyone else. More on this later.
As more startups launch using LaunchRock, they’ll probably have the inside running on new companies and goss on what’s new! For now, check out the Discover LaunchRock page for what was hot at SXSW 2011. I’m sure they’ll soon have their own discovery page made up of new startups on LaunchRock.
For more on LaunchRock, check out their blog on how it works.
I’m out like GoDaddy pages,
$41 million. Pre-product. Wow.
Listen to this interview from Robert Scoble talking to Bill Nguyen (founder of Lala.com) and Peter Pham (founder of Bill Shrink).
Its very interesting. It discusses the future of mobile and their plan to build a new social graph known as the elastic network. I think its clear that Sequoia invested in the team and not so much the idea – though the idea is ambitious. Photos is only one part of the app. Also, check out this post from GigaOm.
I realised I haven’t updated this blog in a while. Just wanted to provide a short update on something I’m trying. Some of you may be aware that I’ve been learning Mandarin (Chinese). I’ve previously done 3 semesters at MEGA in the Sydney CBD. Typical lesson was 2 hours on a monday night after work, in a class with 3 – 5 people. I was learning Mandarin for Cantonese speakers.
I’m now learning online via video skype. My friend Anthony recommended echineselearning. It a website that hooks you up with teachers in China. I’ve got a teacher in Xi’an, China and the lessons are done via video chat. During the lesson, we’re both online and can see each other via our computer cameras. We also have a skype chat window open and write text to each other and my teacher writes to me in Pinyin / Chinese characters and occasionally English. I can save the transcript and she can also send me lessons beforehand via email.
Some of you may remember the popular Rheem ads from the 90′s with the tagline “install a rheem“. Well in today’s online age, “You Gotta Stream!”.
I have been meaning to write about this topic for a long time. The linchpin has been discovering this presentation via Mark Cuban’s blog, who knows a thing or two about online video himself given he is the chairman of HDNet and sold Broadcast.com for a bajillion dollars.
This slide deck is from Netflix. Its very honest and insightful into where this company is going, the opportunities, the threats and the future of entertainment. Check it.
A few weeks ago I went to TEDxSydney. One of the videos we watched was the one above from Seth Godin. It’s quite good. Its about how change no longer comes from mass marketing, cheaper labour & faster machines, but rather tribes. Tribes can be used to start movement and connect people.
Very inspiring video. There’s more here. I’ve been watching them all night. There’s lot of really cool videos on music, design, technology. Other diverse topics include health, education, etc.. It’s more about innovative ideas.
I’m out like tribes,
If you have been following me on Twitter, you can probably tell that I’m very excited about the next release of Google’s Android Phone. It’s called the G2 and will be exclusively distributed by Vodaphone.
Check out this video. It shows off the qwerty keyboard with predictive text and corrective text.
The release date is 1 May 2009 for the UK and they are accepting orders for it now. There’s been a lot of chatter about it on blogs, tech and gadget websites, and video demo’s are popping up everywhere on youtube, vidder, etc…
Why am I excited about the Android? Because the platform is opensource so it opens up to the possibility of more applications. And you know developers can come up with some crazy apps! It will be superior to the iphone.
At the moment, the release date is set for the following countries and this is what they are getting:
Germany – black version
Italy – black and white version (why?!!!)
Spain – white version
The obvious question is – when will it be released in Australia? There are no plans at the moment. I couldn’t find anything on the internet. Why am I not suprised? I checked the vodaphone website in Australia, they don’t even list HTC phones on there!! Optus is still flogging off the G1 (first version) aka the HTC Dream. According to ZDNeT:
“As with the Dream, HTC will be announcing the Magic for different countries only after it has secured operator partnerships. Vodafone will be selling it in Europe but there have been no announcements for Australia yet.”
I’m out like the G1,