Sunday, September 21, 2008

Web 2.0 Inspirational Startups

Tim O'Reilly from O'Reilly Media, Inc., Enterprise Radar - yes - THAT publishing empire is talking about how Web 2.0 (c) is changing into something that interacts with the real world - sensors, people, user created content. He addresses the inspirational and vision aspects of startups - going for the big idea. Ordinary ideas and me too are already funded and won't attract more. During the talk Tim refers to several sites - I've put links to some of them here:

  • 23andme - 23andMe's mission is to be the world's trusted source of personal genetic information. They offer a high-density, custom genome scan. Data is used for research as well as personal health information.

  • Benetech - Benetech emerged out of the pioneering work for Arkenstone, the world leader in reading machines for the blind. Seeing the value in providing affordable tools that greatly empowered the reading disabled, Jim Fruchterman was inspired to found a business that utilized technology to serve social causes. Benetech was born.

More links to sites below the video ...

  • ClickDiagnostics - ClickDiagnostics, Inc. has a dual mission of bringing quality medical advice at the doorstep of every household in the developing world at an affordable price, and developing cost-effective solutions for gathering critical data needed for planning and executing public health interventions. They utilise mobile phone technology to connect rural patients with remote medical specialists.

  • InSTEDD - InSTEDD is an innovation lab for technologies designed to improve community resilience and save lives through early disease detection and rapid disaster response.

  • Omidyar - Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm that is committed to creating and fostering opportunity for people around the world. It makes both grants and investments, identifying likeminded organizations that they support, scale, and champion to maximize their social impact.

    Omidyar sees philanthropy as more than a type of funding. In its truest sense, philanthropy is about improving the lives of others, independent of the mechanism. Therefore, they use a wide range of tools in their work, embracing market-based systems and open, web-enabled platforms as key means for making the world a better place.

  • PatientsLikeMe - PatientsLikeMe is committed to providing a better, more effective way to capture valuable results and share them with patients, healthcare professionals, and industry organizations that are trying to treat the disease.

  • Prosper - is a peer to peer Bank - an online community for lending and borrowing money, with over 810,000 members and $173,000,000 in loans funded on Prosper. Borrowers enjoy fixed monthly payments, no hidden fees and no pre-payment penalties.

  • Ushahidi - The Ushahidi Engine is a platform that allows anyone to gather distributed data via SMS, email or web and visualize it on a map or timeline. The goal is to create the simplest way of aggregating information from the public for use in crisis response.

  • WITNESS - WITNESS is an international human rights organization that provides training and support to local groups to use video in their human rights advocacy campaigns. Beyond providing video cameras and editing equipment, WITNESS is committed to facilitating exposure for their partners' issues on a global scale. They help broker relationships with international media outlets, government officials, policymakers, activists, and the general public so that once a video is made, it can be used as a tool to advocate for change.

Slide show from slideshare:
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: web2expo sheep)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Understanding the Dance - Web 2.0 through Youtube

An Anthropological view of Youtube and Web 2.0 sounds sterile - but is one of the most fascinating lectures you will see when it's the participative anthropology of M Wesch. Terms like Networked individualism take on a real life. If you want to think more about the social networkig side of Internet, this is a key starting point. Thanks to Tim O'reilly and Dave Weinberger for initially Twittering this.

I've included the earlier Web 2.0 video he did that is referenced in his lecture. Brilliant, compulsory.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The 6 Most Inspirational Videos You Haven't seen

How do you find inspiration without Anthony Robbins? Don't get me wrong - I love his videos - but we've seen them (I hope you have). We've all seen the dying Professor and the Marathon Dad. What inspiration is there that will make us think differently? Here's my suggestions. Take it away and excel.

Secrets of success in 8 words, 3 minutes

Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success. Watch this several times and study the detail in the slides. It's all there.

Crayfish Attack

I've heard of Sharks going for your legs. Rocks and Freshwater Crayfish eating your legs - well that's different. Somebody has to eat a bit more of this guy to slow him down though.

Malcolm Gladwell and Spaghetti

The reason I love listening to Malcolm Gladwell is that one never knows where the story is going. It starts with spaghetti and ends up providing serious insights - and NLP suggests you get the insight you are looking for. Deft lateral thinker, detective of fads and emerging subcultures, chronicler of jobs-you-never-knew-existed, Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry's pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce -- and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.

The Numbers - Time to rethink

We know it's a changing World. The technology, the opportunity, the potential. But do you really understand the numbers? This video implicitly asks you to stop and think about what it means and where the trend is driving.

Shining Eyes- The Inspiration of Benjamin Zander

On the surface, this is something about Classical Music - and that's true, but there is so much more here when one understands what 'one Buttock playing' means. Look for the shining eyes.

The Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Address 2005

You've heard of it - but have you actually heard it. Drawing from some of the most pivotal points in his life, Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself-- at Stanford University's 114th Commencement on Sunday in Stanford Stadium.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Where is this going - and are we looking ahead

Creativity - is this just a buzzword - a fad? Sir Ken Robinson argues that it is as important as literacy and we should treat it with the same respect.... that when the children in school today retire it will be 2065 - yet we don't even know what the World will look like in 4 years.

Mistakes don't mean a person is creative, but if you're not prepared to be wrong you won't come up with anything creative. Our companies and our schools stigmatise mistakes... they are the worst things we can do.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

13 Points on why Startup Web Sites Suck - and 1 that's good

Scoble has visited the startups from Demo - and he doesn't mince his words:

"I visited each website from the list of Demo finalists.

Boy, do they suck. Really, really suck.

Does no one understand how to market themselves?

It’s amazing to me that not a single Demo website has learned from the lessons of Gary Vaynerchuk’s Now THAT is a Website that knows how to market! (Interesting that Gary runs a wine store that sells $50 million a year, yet no one looks at his style as a great way to market your service/product yet)."

So why does this matter? because we need to ensure our web site grabs the visitor straight away on landing, and leads the visitor in. So there is one that works: -

Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Startups: your web site sucks «
Ones that caught my eye?

1. Quantivo. Nice design, gets to the point. Uses video. Makes me want to click into the site.

Um, I visited every single company on the Demo list. Amazingly lame companies. Amazingly lame web sites. Is this it? Am I missing something? How did these companies get $18,000 to go to Demo?

So who were those finalists?

Accordia Group, LLC; New Rochelle, NY;

Adapx, Inc.; Seattle, WA;, Inc.; Bellvue, WA;

Arsenal Interactive, Inc.; Mountain View, CA;

Asyncast Corp; Campbell, CA;

Awind Inc.; Junghe, Taiwan;

beeTV; Milano, Italy;

Best Buy; Minneapolis, MN;

BizEquity Corp.; Spring House, PA;

Blue Lava Technologies, Inc.; Honolulu, HI;

Cerego; Tokyo, Japan;

Cinergix, Pty Ltd.; Melbourne, Australia;

Clintworld; Boenningstedt, Germany;

CoreTrace Corp.; Austin, TX;

crowdSPRING, LLC; Chicago, IL;

DesignIn, Inc.; Marblehead, MA;

Dial Directions, Inc.; Alameda, CA;


Enterprise Informatics, Inc.; San Diego, CA;

Familybuilder; New York, NY;, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

Fortressware, Inc.; Mountain View, CA;

Fusion-io; Salt Lake City, UT;; Ramallah & Modin, Palestine and Israel;

Green Sherpa; Santa Barbara, CA;

Infovell, Inc.; Menlo Park, CA;

Intelius, Inc.; Bellevue, WA;

Invision TV, LLC; Bethesda, MD;

iWidgets, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

Kadoo Inc.; Washington, DC;

Koollage, Inc.; San Jose, CA;

Mapflow, Ltd.; Cork, Ireland;

Maverick Mobile Solutions, Pvt. Ltd.; Maharashtra, India;

MeDeploy; Hamden, CT;

Message Sling; Worcester, MA;

MeWorks, Inc.; Taipei, Taiwan;

Microstaq, Inc.; Austin, TX;

MixMatchMusic, Ltd.; Burlingame, CA;

Momindum; Paris, France;; Dallas, TX;

Paidinterviews, LLC; McLean, VA;

Paragent, LLC; Muncie, IN;

Photrade, LLC; Cincinnati, OH;

PlanDone, Inc.; Petaluma, CA;

Plastic Logic, Ltd.; Mountain View, CA;

Qtask, Inc.; Burbank, CA;

Quantivo Corp.; San Mateo, CA;

Radiant Logic, Inc.; Novato, CA;

RealNetworks, Inc.; Seattle, WA;

Rebus Technology, Inc.; Cupertino, CA;

RemoTV, Inc.; New Haven, CT;

Rudder, Inc.; Houston, TX;

Semanti Corp.; Alberta, Canada;

Sim Ops Studios, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

SitScape, Inc.; Vienna, VA;

SkyData Systems, Inc.; San Mateo, CA;

SpinSpotter; Seattle, WA;

Telnic, Ltd.; London, England;

TetraBase, LLC; Boothwyn, PA;

The Echo Nest Corp.; Somerville, MA;

tikitag, an Alcatel-Lucent Venture; Antwerp, Belgium;

Toolgether; San Mateo, CA;

TravelMuse, Inc.; Los Altos, CA;

Trinity Convergence, Inc.; Durham, NC;

TurnTo Networks, Inc.; New York, NY;

UbiEst S.p.A.; Treviso, Italy;

UGA Digital, Inc.; Taipei, Taiwan;

Unity Solutions, LLC; Clearwater, FL;

Usable Security Systems, Inc.; San Francisco, CA;

WebDiet, Inc.; Henderson, NV;

Xumii, Inc.; San Mateo, CA;

Zazengo, Inc.; Santa Cruz, CA;

See for yourself how your own site measures up.

Inspirational Video for the day

Tim O'Reilly sent this around with the provocative question - "and what can't YOU do today"?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Music One Note at a Time

The Newcastle Council sponsored this fascinating experiment. Instruments set up in a Church. Anyone can wander in and play a note on any instrument. People were not there together, but their input is edited into a composition - eerie, beautiful and yet human.

How could we apply that to our sites? How can we invoke the human touch?

Backwards Piano - a Bit of Fun

All the 'backwards video' tricks are tried in the background while the piano is played - backwards. I'm curious as to just how hard this is to do. It looks as if he is reading the music backwards to do it. It's here because we all need a break occasionally. Life's too serious otherwise. Thanks! (site possibly NSFW). Enjoy

Thursday, September 04, 2008

The Web changes everything - Can you have Version Control and Security?

We developed our ideas of Corporate Network support years ago. Careful release cycles, software tested and the invention of practices such as program testing, integration testing, system testing and deployment testing. Steady, planned and paced. Make no mistake - these practices were developed for real reasons.

Right outside our firewalls today, however, is the raging chaotic storm that is the Internet. New vulnerabilities have attacks emerge in the wild in three to five days. A significant delay to patching a browser can have serious consequences faster than ever. Taking the time to test patches for 3 months before applying and deploying them - prudent practice 8 years ago, is arguably an act of irresponsibility today.

Agility in Operations Management and systems administration separates the protected in-house applications such as Office and desktop from the external facing applications (web services, VPN, Browser), and provides rapid response on the external facing without sacrificing governance. Even desktop applications require regular update now. Open Office issued an urgent 2.3 to 2.4 upgrade. Microsoft have issued critical patches to address vulnerabilities in MS Office.

What liability rests with IT management when an organisation has not applied patches quickly when the patch and the reason are in the public domain? What liability is there when outdated browsers are deployed? In concession to IE6 users, IE6 is still under maintenance by Microsoft, but is your copy really up to date? If it is one patch and 5 days behind, your security may be an illusion.

I hate to say it, but when it comes to external facing software - patch and patch often.