Chao Lam

Working on the next small things …

Archive for March 2006

Disruption and the Entrepreneur

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Greg Galant discusses an interesting article about entrepreneurs on the Economist, and talks about why Entrepreneurs are great disruptors, repeating the Christensen theme, that disruption axiomatically cannot emerge from mature enterprises

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March 28, 2006 at 10:44 pm

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Wisdom of Crowds

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I really enjoyed James Surowiecki’s book “The Wisdom of Crowds”.

His podcast at the SXSW conference earlier this month is even better, and best of all you can hear it all at:

http://server1.sxsw.com/2006/coverage/SXSW06.INT.20060311.WisdomOfCrowds.mp3

It’s indirectly related to ClipClip (how do you harness the collective intelligence of crowds?), but, I think, in a very profound way.

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March 16, 2006 at 5:24 pm

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How to lose a billion

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This is so sad, Sony is delaying their Playstation 3 because of copy protection?! Aren’t already behind xbox for the next generation platform? Didn’t they allow completely miss the iPod phenomena? did Akio Morita worry about copy protection when he was inventing the walkman?

It will be sad to see Sony go the way of Ashton-Tate, WordPerfect, Lotus, and Netscape – but in this case, they may well deserve it.

Prediction: Copy-protection will allow Sony to miss more opportunities and ultimately lose more revenues than ever before!

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March 14, 2006 at 4:01 pm

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Anonymous Masks

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One of my personal favourite quirky feature in ClipClip are the Anonymous Masks.

Most social networking apps allow users to upload their own photos to show who they are. But many users , especially early on don’t upload their photo. So, what to show then? Most apps show just a bland blank image or maybe a smiley.

I thought it’d be cool to randomly assign users to a series of images that depict anonymity in a subtle way. In addition, it would be doubly cool if we could find a few Creative Commons licensed pictures donated by users all over the world to serve out as our default user images.

Well, Weiwen and I joined the activity pick a few cc-licensed photos as default user images and found some really cool photos on both Flickr and sxc.hu, an especially cool one is shown below (thank you s’nimm):

If you can discover cool images you’d like to contribute as default user images, please participate here.

Written by Chao

March 10, 2006 at 12:41 pm

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Google’s success has seeds of its own destruction?

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Fred Wilson has an interesting take on the oft-lamented sentiment that we are just in the first few innings of search. Even Google likes to say it will take hundreds of years to accomplish their mission.

Wilson’s blog entry made me recall an earlier blog entry on topix.net which speculated that “search pages [on Yahoo] earn $50 CPM while non-search pages for Yahoo earn an average of about $4 CPM site wide.

This got me thinking that the better search gets, the more Google’s current business model will suffer (yes, suffer is hardly the right word). Put simply, users click on Google’s AdWords today mainly because their organic search results are often not as good.

This doesn’t necessarily spell doom for Google, of course. It will take a long time before a search engine can consistently provide what the user wants exactly. And, of course, GOOG can and probably will find significant new sources of revenue.

Written by Chao

March 1, 2006 at 12:33 am

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