Tuesday, September 29, 2009

StartupVisa - "The American Dream"

Check out the StartupVisa and this post from Brad Feld and friends. They are attempting to modify an existing Visa to be more conducive to foreign entreprenures starting businesses in the US.

The concept makes sense, and it seems like they are putting together a simple and thoughtout structure for managing the program. It's great to see some great business leaders putting together a government program that makes sense. This really is the "American Dream" at work. And what a better way to stimulate innovation and business growth in the US.

Good work StartupVisa team. Let us know how we can help.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Is your app "Easy"? Pandora is easy.

Yesterday, during my early morning run through the town of Laughlin, NV (btw, too many hills in my path lead to skipping my run today, ouch), I was listening to a Dishy Mix podcast guest hosted by Adam Kleinberg (CEO of Traction).  In the episode, Adam interviewed Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora.com.  It was fascinating to listen to Tim talk about Pandora and how it is making huge changes to the way people listen to music.  I can't wait to see where Pandora goes in the next couple of years, as I am a huge fan.

One comment Tim made really made an impact on me.  He stated "I think people ultimately want easy. what the web does is give you easy and personalized", which isn't rocket science, but is often overlooked by product developers.  I think it is often the case that product developers think they're making things easy for users, but they often get too close to the product and over develop.

There are so many great products available today on the web and in the general public, but many of them take a lot of work to setup and take full advantage of.  I often find myself loving certain products, yet I give up on them because I don't want to put in the necessary work to fully utilize.  Terry White recently wrote about his experiences with Apple products (as he often does and I feel gives the best unbiased reviews of Apple products, and that's why I follow his blog) in his post "iTunes 9.0.1, a closer look" how Apple has many great enhancements they're launching, but they're not quite fully developed.  He touches on Home Sharing, which I've never really heard of but would love the ability to use this Apple service.  That said, I'm guessing I would have to put in many hours to get my network and computers configured correctly to take advantage of this. 

Is it easy enough for the average person? I seem to be asking that question fairly often, and the answer usually is "No".  Products are asking people to make a large commitment in order to take full advantage of the whole service.

I think Pandora is a great example of "Easy".  They've developed their app to work with very little interaction from the user, the web to mobile versions translate perfectly and utilize the same interactions.  Pandora has nailed "Easy", I just hope they keep the vision moving in a simplistic manner and don't add to many bells and whistles like so many product developers do.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Is social media too crowded? Too difficult?

I just read Scobleizer's post about his Real Time announcement of his new baby (congratulations).

While it was interesting to hear all the sites he was using to broadcast the message to his family and friends, it struck me that this was way too difficult. He mentioned a handfule of methods/social sites that he posted this announcement on in order to let all his friends and family know of the joyous event. With social media being so dishjointed, will we ever be able to broadcast an announcement like this from using one method?

If the social media space is so crowded and disjointed, will it get easier or worse as we move forward?

I would think if more of the social tools utilized more of an open infrastructure, then this would allow much more interconnectedness. But I guess this really stems from some of the players keeping their walls up.

I have to admit that I've been slow to become active in social media but I've been watching for a while. I guess one reason I haven't participated up until now was that I was overwhelmed. Is social media too difficult for the average person? Will most people rely on one social media community (I.e. Facebook or Twitter) and mainly stay in that environment?

My assumption is that most people will only use one social media platform, at least until the community makes it much easier to connect between sites.

Could you imagine if you had to manually switch networks every time you wanted to call a Motorolla phone from our Apple cell phone? Then switch again to call a Nokia. Blackberry. That would be ridiculous and unacceptable.

Maybe I'm just asking for too much early in the social era.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Future Think - 3, 5, 10 years

Scobleizer posted about a possible Post iPhone World. It doesn't really seem possible, but something will eventually overtake the iPhone. I like his comment about the Walkman. I love my iPhone (even though it's a 1st generation), but I can't wait for the next thing to take over.

When I read Scobleizer's post, I thought about an ideation process I've been trying to formulate for my team. I haven't totally flushed it out, but it will hopefully help us develop some longer term projects to get us ahead of the competition. Part of the excercise will be to think about what the world, technology and our industry will be like in 3, 5, and 10 years.

Can you remember what the world was like 3, 5, or 10 years ago? 10 years ago was all about dialup. I know I wasn't thinking that I'd have faster Internet on my phone within a couple of years.

I think it's important for businesses to futurethink, especially if they want to be on the leading edge. Does your business have a future think program? If so, does it work?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New to Blogging, set "everything" up on iPhone

It really is a sign of the times. I sat here in my lazy boy, with the TV going, and setup my first blog completely using my iPhone. How cool is that? Seriously, what can't I do on my phone.

I've got to give my thanks to Google and Blogger for an easy setup and a free blog. I didn't think it could be that easy but of course I started by finding Google's blog tool, an went from there. The setup was simple an I starte my blog.

The one downfall to my Blogger setup; I couldn't write the blog post directly from the Blogger site using Safari. Quick search for he'll posting and it didn't look like there was a trick to post. So, I went to the App Store to find a way to post. That's where I found VirtueSoft's BlogWriter Lite (read: free).

So, I was able to get my first two posts up fairly easily. Good work Google, Apple and Virtue Soft.

How I Randomly Started My Blog Today

Well, here is my first blog post.

It all started when I read Chris Brogan's Blog this morning. It talked about Finding Your Inspirational Code. In this post he mentioned some blogs he follows, which I already follow most except Problogger . So I began following Problogger and read the Blogging to Learn post. This post really got me thinking that I should start a blog.

I guess I'm not really sure what I'll blog about, but I'm sure I'll figure it out.