Saturday, July 31, 2010

YouTube: 15 Minutes Are Much Better

YouTubeImage via Wikipedia
Five minutes were too short. My video sharing platform of choice was Google Video where I have uploaded tons of hour long videos. Then Google went ahead and bought YouTube and basically shut down Google Video. I don't think I have uploaded any new videos online since then.

But now I might take a second look. Five minutes felt like just enough time for teaser videos. 15 minutes are much better. 15 minutes might actually be better than 60 minutes.

Video-sharing website YouTube increases video upload limit to 15 minutes
YouTube now supports 15 minutes of fame San Francisco Chronicle
YouTube Gives Users 15 Minutes of Upload Time Tehran Times
YouTube wants your 15 minutes of fame CNN
YouTube Gives Users Their 15 Minutes of Fame New York Times (blog) As of Thursday, you can subject your friends and family to 50 percent more of your baby making that cute cooing noise or your dog doing that funny dance..... is increasing the limit to 15 minutes — the improvement requested most often by YouTube users ..... in June, a federal judge threw out Viacom’s $1 billion copyright infringement suit against YouTube, ruling that the site was not responsible for the behavior of its users.
YouTube bumps video limit to 15 minutes CNET (blog)

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Friday, July 30, 2010

Digital Dumbo 18: The Dumbo Loft

Image of Reshma Saujani from Facebook

I was at Digital Dumbo last night. It is a go to event. Yesterday was special. They had a job fair. There was a large crowd. Beer was free. Water you had to get from the vending machine for 50 cents, which I did.

I so love this venue. I wish they had the event the same place every month. The Dumbo Loft is a great space.

I was wearing a Reshma 2010 shirt (Phone Calls, Dress Code) - Reshma For Congress - and that attracted a few political types, including a Clinton 92 veteran who now lives on the Upper East Side. He had not heard of her yet.

"How many people are running?" he asked.

"Two. Her and Maloney."

"Then you are winning," he said.

You just started a small fire on the Upper East Side, he added. I guess he is now a strong supporter. Maloney declared she was going to run for the US Senate, he said. That's right when she loses this race. She said she was too good to keep representing the people in this district.

Nobody I met had heard of Reshma before.

But I also talked plenty of tech, and blogging, and jobs. Made some new contacts.

"Great event," I said to Kaitlin, (@kaitvillanova) the key organizer. I believe Andrew Zarick is currently in Spain. The first time I was at the Dumbo Loft, I was like, this is such a healthy male female ration for a tech event. This time too there were a lot of women there. I guess Kaitlin might be responsible.

If you can go to only two tech events each month, those would be the NY Tech MeetUp and Digital Dumbo.

I also have to give a shoutout to DigitalFlashNYC. NY Tech MeetUp is 10 bucks, Digital Dumbo is free with free beer on top of that. DigitalFlashNYC is also paid. Sara and Laura run DigitalFlashNYC, got to meet them again last night. I went to their Popular Science event a while back and it was just great. The talk was great. I met some great people including one potential business partner I had been trying to track other ways, and he just showed up there on his own. I met another dude who seriously considered investing in a venture of mine. You pay for a DigitalFlashNYC event but the drinks are free.

How Many Bottles of Beer Does it Take to Host An Event
Social media firms looking to hire
Crain's New York: Social media-focused ad firms look to hire
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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Disney's Playdom Purchase

The current logo of Disney Channel.Image via Wikipedia
Disney just expanded in the entertainment space: it went ahead and bought Zynga competitor Playdom. This for some reason reminds me of Yahoo's attempt to buy FourSquare months back, although the parallels end fast. Yahoo is a scatterbrained company, it occupies all sorts of spaces. Disney is more focused on entertainment. And Yahoo did not go ahead and buy a FourSquare competitor instead. I think it was for a lack of a capacity to digest.

An Offer To FourSquare

This purchase is of interest to me because I just blogged about Zynga a few days back: Zynga: The Google Of Games?

I have a feeling Mark Pincus' profile at the New York Times a few days back where he says in no uncertain terms that social gaming is a big, new, fundamental space online might have hastened efforts on Disney's part to make this move.

Is this like Google buying Android? Or is this more like one of those Barry Diller purchases? Time will tell. This might be somewhere in between.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Image representing Zoho as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

Zoho is an upstart, but it is an upstart with major advantages. How about a laser focus and a great slew of products? And I admire their decision to not sell out to

What is holding it back is its not wanting to take venture capital money, and have no obvious ambitions to go IPO at some point. Those are mistakes. You can stay small and private and cozy and beautiful, or you can go big. I think Zoho should aim to go big. Zoho has to have IPO ambitions.

Microsoft is a giant but its major revenue sources are so foreign to what Zoho does that you could argue Microsoft is almost in a different industry altogether. Google is more in the cloud, but search is that company's strength and weakness. It is a good thing Zoho products integrate seamlessly with Google office apps. That way you get the advantages of Google being big and Zoho being nimble and superior.

Zoho's competition is not with Microsoft or even Google, but itself. It has to have IPO ambitions. That lack of ambition was not something given to it by either Google or Microsoft but itself.

Wall Street Journal: Blogs: Digits: QandA: Upstart Takes on Google, Microsoft in the Cloud
Competing against industry giants can be a brutal ordeal. Just ask RC Cola, which took on Coke and Pepsi. ..... For Zoho, a small company that competes with Google and Microsoft in the market for Web-based software, the strategy for surviving alongside huge rivals has been to target gaps in their products. Zoho now offers nearly 30 free and fee-based tools in the cloud: from wikis, word processing and spreadsheets to customer-relationship management, invoicing, and project management. ..... Zoho’s 3 million registered users ..... A small percentage pay subscription fees, enabling Zoho to quietly build a profitable niche, without PR or advertising. ...... founded in 1996 ..... headquarters in Chennai, India, and Pleasanton, Calif., now has 1,100 employees, nearly 1,000 of whom work in India...... has long refused to take venture capital funding and has rejected numerous acquisition offers. ...... founder and CEO, Sridhar Vembu ..... Google’s product suite is limited to Mail & Office suite, while Zoho has a much broader product suite targeted at small and mid-sized businesses. We integrate well with everyone, including with Google Apps. ....... Microsoft has formidable technology resources, but faces the economic challenge of transitioning their business model to the cloud ....... earn the trust of consumers through actual daily execution, not just talk ..... why we focus on small and mid-sized companies first, because they tend to have fewer inhibitions about trying something new. ....... we have stated a preference to be independent and private, so that we can keep our vibrant engineering and customer-support focused culture. We tend not to spend a lot of money in sales and marketing. This allows us to invest in engineering, and come up with interesting new products. ....... Google’s philosophy is to offer a minimalist interface, while Zoho provides a much richer suite in terms of depth of functionality, breadth of applications and richness of the interface. We believe business users want and need a lot more than what Google offers. At the same time, recognizing the immense reach Google has, Zoho has chosen to partner with them, so that customers can mix and match Google Apps with various apps from Zoho. ..... Over the next three years, you will see cloud offerings really mature in terms of features and functions, and become feature rich, overtaking desktop offerings in many areas. As feature parity is reached, market adoption will explode. Just as mobile phones overtook wired phones in terms of features, functions and of course usage over the past 10 years, cloud software will overtake installed software over the next 10. The reason in both cases is the sheer speed of technology evolution. .....Financial investors necessarily need exit or liquidity, while our focus is to stay in business for the long haul. We prefer to sacrifice near-term growth in favor of keeping our company healthy and vibrant for the long term, which is not something an exit-focused investor would like to see.

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News: July 27

Zoho's Raju VegesnaImage by Thomas Hawk via Flickr

Q&A: WikiLeaks and the Future of Whistleblowing
Smartphone Help for Typhoon Alerts
Going for Cheap: India's $35 Computer
Hong Kong Goes 'Crazy' as iPad Launches
AT&T on Its Network, iPad Usage and the End of Unlimited Data
Baidu Advances on China Mobile Search
Digits Live Show: Welcome to the Age of WikiLeaks
Q&A: Upstart Takes on Google, Microsoft in the Cloud
App Watch: A Photo Tour of Your Favorite Foods
New TV Tech Could Be Boon for Venture-Backed Chip Companies
If You Tweet, Japan Will Come
Tech Tweets of the Week: Facebook, Flipboard and Phones
Ten Things We Learned From Tech Earnings Season


What We’re Reading: Technology Obsession
Meet Google’s Space Commander Reverts to Its Q.& A. Origins
Citi Discovers Security Flaw in iPhone Application
Bringing Data Mining Into the Mainstream
What’s for Sale on the Bug Market?
Part I: Answers to Questions About Internet Privacy
What We’re Reading: Femme Fatales
Dell’s Trouble Kicking the Intel Habit
What’s Behind the White iPhone 4 Delays?
Microsoft Grabs Hold of ARM
Diane Sawyer Interviews Mark Zuckerberg
What We’re Reading: Flipboard
Apple’s Web Browser Allows Sites to Collect Personal Information


Apple’s Magic Trackpad Signals The End Of The Mouse Era
Not Only Is Google Places Going After Yelp, They're Doing So With Yelp's Content
Apple's Innovative New... Battery Charger?
37signals Buys Campfire iPhone App Ember
Dude-Centric Video Network Break Media Moves Into 3D Programming
Stieg Larsson Is The First Author To Reach One Million Books Sold On The Amazon Kindle Store
Yahoo: comScore Underreported Our U.S. Page Views By 1 Billion Last June
Apple On The Defensive: Jailbreaking Your iPhone May Be legal But It’ll Still Void Your Warranty
Apple Outs A 27-inch, 16:9 Cinema Display
VoilĂ ! Apple’s Magic Trackpad Appears. Multi-Touch On Any Mac For $69
LearnVest Launches Financial Bootcamp Programs To Keep Women Fiscally Fit
Yahoo Japan To Use Google Search (And Not Bing) In The Future
Seesmic Web Adds Desktop App-Like Abilities, Facebook And LinkedIn Support
Listiki Offers A Smart Way Of Gathering Opinion Through Crowdsourced Lists
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Monday, July 26, 2010

This Blog's Design Inspired By Google, Craig's List

A netizen is not some kind of a king, but an average person. I put much thought into the name of this blog. I am a citizen of the Internet, and I hope you are too.

I have used a mainstream platform - Google's Blogger - that anyone can use. I have used a domain name that does not smack of exclusivity. Blogger gives it to you for free.

I have tinkered with the blog's design a lot over the months and years to finally come up with what I have come up with. I have got rid of many elements to make the blog load fast for the readers. Speed is a fundamental element.

I like the blank, white background. When I sit down to compose a blog post that makes me feel like I am facing a blank canvass and I am about to paint something beautiful. I would not want the blog to look snazzy and inaccessible.

The colors are for the most part default. The only color I changed was for the post titles. The default was weird orange. I changed that to pitch black.

New York Times, Time magazine and this blog all use the same font: Georgia. That is no small detail.

The header is a good one. It introduces me to the world, to the reader. It makes the blog stand out, I hope. When you pick from the popular design templates, you are not offering something unique to you.

As for snazzy design, I have saved that for my BlogRoll.

I am fond of linking. You might have noticed that. But then I am also fond of sharing pictures and video clips. If you are only interested in what I have to say, usually you get to skip the other parts of the blog. They are almost organized like sections, often, the image at the top, the links at the bottom.

Redesigning My Blog
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The Art Of Reading Headlines

I have decided to make news posts a regular feature of this blog. I experimented with it months back. But I did not keep it up. I thought, maybe I should only link to articles I read. I no longer feel that way. Often times reading the headlines is enough. You don't need to read the full article. The idea should be that you read 30 headlines, about 15 article summaries, and five full length articles, and it would be like you had your morning coffee and you are good for the day. Not only are you well informed of the happenings that affect you and are of  interest to you, but you also have some idea of what's going on in the tech sector at large, in the world at large.
Perhaps this should be a daily feature at this blog. I am not much of a morning person. And so maybe this ought to be a lunch time feature. You show up during lunch break to read up on the headlines for the day and to read a few articles from the top sources. That would beat having to visit all those various sources individually.

And I really like doing them. I am a big picture person. Before I can really enjoy the top three stories for the day, I need to know what is going on generally speaking. In preparing these news posts, I get to read summaries of many, many articles. I like that.

Along the way I also come up with ideas for new blog posts. Like today I came across an article in BusinessWeek that inspired me to write this post that I am proud of: The Economy: Uncharted Waters.

The innovation is that this simple feature allows me to act like a layer on top of many top news sources. A blogger is not just a writer, but also an editor. In my case I am a netizen. A netizen stays informed in the most efficient ways possible.
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The Economy: Uncharted Waters

Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother," a...Image via Wikipedia
The convulsion of the Great Recession has been the birth pang of a new kind of economy, a new kind of world. We had already been moving towards a post-industrial society, towards an information age for over a decade, but our pace had been too slow, not global enough, not as drastic as it ought to be. We are still unsure as to which directions to go. There is open talk of a double dip recession. The jobs are not here yet. It is still scary times.

After the Great Depression, America very clearly became an industrial economy. It was no longer the agriculture economy of Abraham Lincoln's time. A huge economic shift had been made. But there was pain along the way.

It is one of the failings of democracy that you need a big, bad event to get people riled up to go do something big. FDR wanted to enter the war long before Pearl Harbor happened, but he waited, and waited and waited until Pearl Harbor happened.

Why do you need a 9/11 before you realize the cause of democracy needs to be furthered across the Arab world? Why do you need a Gulf Oil Spill before even the average person starts thinking in terms of a zero emissions future? Why are intellectual extrapolations not enough? Or perhaps Hollywood is not doing its job.

I supported the Obama stimulus plan, but my criticism was and is that it was not forward looking enough. Roads and bridges are important but those are rickety swings of the industrial age. The roads and bridges of the information age are to do with the internet.

The stimulus bill was not big enough. It should have been a trillion. And it was not future oriented enough. The stimulus needed to be about turning America into a country of 75% college graduates. You can't do that with the existing colleges and so you turn the entire country into one big college. Universal broadband. Free up the spectrum, not in 10 years, but now. (India Broadband Spectrum Bids)

It was lack of vision that brought down Wall Street more than anything. Pumping more and more money into real estate is not my idea of visionary investment. They were accumulating so much money and all that needed to go somewhere. And so they came up with ever nefarious ways to put more and more money into real estate.

Wall Street was not thinking in terms of the jobs of tomorrow, the companies of tomorrow, the industries of tomorrow. It was not thinking futuristic enough. It was not thinking global enough. If it had been thinking global, it would have sunk a few trillions into global microfinance and seen returns that were better than that of the S&P 500. It would have put the money into global infrastructure projects. There were clear alignments to be sought between self interest and global interests, but they were not sought.

BusinessWeek: Lucky for Obama, U.K.'s Cameron Is Embracing Austerity First
Plugging their economies into the life-support system of central bank liquidity and massive government stimulus packages was the easy part. The tough question is how long their governments should stand in for a private sector too nervous about the future to invest and hire. With the world economy threatening to slide into a double-dip recession, both the U.S. and the U.K. are nevertheless talking about fiscal austerity. The only good news for Obama is that Cameron is going first. ..... spending cuts of as much as 40 percent ..... the U.K. doesn't want to be the next Greece. ...... bond vigilantes are driving U.K. economic policy. "Questions that were asked about the liquidity and solvency of banking systems are now being asked of the liquidity and solvency of some of the governments that stand behind those banks" ...... "The austerity debate is now not about whether fiscal tightening in advanced economies is necessary, but on when it should begin in earnest." ..... growth collapses if all of the members simultaneously abstain from spending. Too many governments curbing spending and raising taxes in parallel would snuff out the nascent recovery. ...... Consumer confidence has dipped ..... government aid can't be removed without risking a relapse. ..... With so many job cuts, Cameron could find himself coping with strike action on a scale not seen since Margaret Thatcher neutered the nation's private-sector unions. ...... The banking industry, meanwhile, is crying foul at the prospect of bonus caps and a top income-tax rate that will climb to 50 percent from 40 percent. Threats to leave for Switzerland may prove more than empty. ...... The path Cameron is charting is so arduous, and public opposition is likely to become so intense, that rating agency Standard & Poor's isn't convinced he can deliver ...... If he forges ahead, there is a real chance that Britain returns to a recession. Neither scenario is cheery—and neither is beyond imagining for the U.S.
I am for a second stimulus bill that will focus primarily on creating jobs. It was finally the massive spendings of World War II that ended the Great Depression. Bold action is necessary.

A second stimulus package would be big, it would focus on a radical freeing of the wireless spectrum with a goal of cheap, universal broadband, it would entail creating millions of new government funded jobs, likely in the education and health sectors that people can go for with short training periods.

A lot of smart people ran banks. But banks had to be bailed out. Then the stimulus happened. That was the government bailing out the government. A lot of money has gone to keep unemployment benefits rolling, to keep paying teachers and police officers and firefighters. We did not expect the private sector to take care of the bailout and the stimulus. Similarly in these times, it has to be the government that has to step in to create millions of new jobs. Just like the banks paid back, the people will too.

The deficit and the debt will have to be reigned, but now is not the time.
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News: July 26

Ron ConwayImage via Wikipedia

Some Tech Behind Inception And Avatar Becomes A Reality On Your iPad And iPhone
Ron Conway And Paul Graham Kick Off the Social Currency CrunchUp On July 30
LearnBoost Raises $975K To Help Teachers Manage Grades And Classrooms Online
Now Legal In The U.S.: Jailbreaking Your iPhone, Ripping A DVD For Educational Purposes
Snapgoods: Like Zipcar for Gadgets
17 More Countries Get the iPhone 4 On Friday
The 2011 Ford Explorer Goes Green(er): No V8, Front-Wheel Drive, Unibody Platform, V6 Or I4 EcoBoost
Enterprise Software Is Sexy Again


Inside the 2011 Ford Explorer Facebook Reveal
“Guy Walks Across America” in Viral YouTube Video
AT&T Expands Free Wi-Fi Program to Alleviate Data Congestion
7 Superb Podcasts for Summer Listening
HTC Desire and Nexus One Are Getting Super LCD Screens
10 Cool Crowdsourced Music Video Projects
WikiLeaks Releases Afghan War Reports in Unprecedented Leak
Antisocial Social Media: The British Monarchy Joins Flickr
Top 20 Sites to Improve Your Twitter Experience


7 Reasons Why Techies Love Inception
Swift River: Trying to Filter the Social Web Firehose
Lessons From Google: How Facebook Can Reach One Billion Users
The Internet of Things: What It Is, Why It Matters
In China, Baidu Fights Google for Control of Android’s Search
Virtual Desktops Are Hot Again
What a T-Mobile iPhone Would Mean


Google Apps makes new push for government customers
Intel rumored to be buying Infineon’s wireless division
Forget antennagate:Apple to launch iPhone 4 in 17 more countries on Friday
Skype founders place $6 million bet on
Ex-Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling’s second career in games
Convoke Systems raises $5.5 million to help creditors collect debt
Fashion is the new black online’s post of classified Afghan reports causes a furor
EC Roundup: Financial reform and the lost decade for entrepreneurs
Roundup: India eyes iPad rival, Firefox revamps tabs, and more
YouTube expands its embrace of HTML5 with new embedding style
Study shows Twitter lags other social networks in reliability, load time
Playdom CEO John Pleasants: why “social gaming” will die
Dell buys Ocarina Networks as it moves deeper into storage | VentureBeat


Feds say mobile-phone jailbreaking is OK
Plastic-bottle boat completes voyage across Pacific
Tipping cows down on the Farmville
Just say no to fake Net neutrality
New design unveiled for Terrafugia flying car
Google Apps gets a government version
New iMac, iLife coming soon?
Standard set for universal wireless charger
Web ad network: iOS 4 on half of iPhones
Chrome 6: What made the cut--and what missed it
'Tab Candy' to bring calm to Firefox's tab chaos
Android stencil kit makes your apps look sharp
Facebook says Ceglia contract was likely 'forged'
Mimicking Apple an imperative for PC makers


Markets Say Growth Trumps U.S. Deficits
Deficits Don't Matter
Taleb: Government Deficits Could Be the Next 'Black Swan'
America's Worst Investment
Obama Cameron: The Chilly Relationship
Consumer Reports vs. Apple—Dull Beats Cool
Stockpicking Tips from Obama?
Mutual Funds' Stock Buying Hits Bull High
BP Casts Dudley as Its Rebuilder in Chief
BP Resumes Work in Preparation for Kill
Blagojevich Tried to ‘Shake Down’ Obama, Jury Told
Charlie Rose Talks to Timothy Geithner
British Wind Plans Face $15 Billion Gap
British Retail Sales Get World Cup Boost
Louisiana Has the Most Sedentary Lifestyle
GM's IPO May Require Hefty Incentives
EU Sets Sanctions on Iran in Bid to Halt Nuclear Work
Pakistan Dismisses, U.S. Condemns, War Papers Leak


Certification Came Quickly After One-Click Access to Wikileaks Was Removed
EU Launches Formal Antitrust Probe Against IBM
An Emancipation Proclamation for the iPhone
New York Times: In Hollywood, Everybody's a Digital Revolutionary
Reuters: Telcos Are Winning The Cable TV Battle But Are They Losing The Broadband War?
CNet: Wasn't The Kindle Supposed to be Firewood?
New TV Tech Could Be Boon for Venture-Backed Chip Companies
Reinventing The News Room: Algorithms Aren't Evil
If Oracle Doesn’t Have an M&A Budget, Then Larry Ellison Doesn’t Have an Ego
The Boku Founders Talk About Mobile Payments, Competitors and More!
If You Tweet It, Japan Will Come
Viral Video: Song-a-Day Guy on How He Writes a Song a Day
Yelp’s Stoppelman Talks About Geo-Location, International Expansion (And Not Google)
Using Flickr Photos as a Travel Guide
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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seth Godin On Failure

Image representing Seth Godin as depicted in C...
I just read a whole bunch of blog posts by Seth Godin. He casually calls himself the best business blogger in the world and I believe him. I once emailed him (and he emailed me back; that does not make me special, he emails everyone back) about adding a comments section to his blog. He did not say it, but I think his attitude is, if you want to talk to me, email me directly. But now his blog posts come with the Like button. I dig that. It's good to be able to share.

Seth is a thinker. He challenges. I doubt he would be a great manager of a restaurant, for example. But we got plenty of those. We don't have enough people of the Seth Godin kind.

I really like Seth's writing style. It is so direct and obvious and simple. So when he says something profound, it does not feel complicated but rather obvious. Seth will say the darndest things.

15% changes everything
The art of seduction
Getting to scale: direct marketing vs. mass market thinking
The paradox of promises in the age of word of mouth
Self marketing might be the most important kind
Is everything perfect?
The management of signals
A hierarchy of failure worth following
Information about information
Upstream and downstream
Two kinds of schooling
The big sort
So easy to talk about lunch
Insubordinate... 50th anniverary free ebook
It's not my birthday
Fans, participants and spectators
Low esteem and the factory
Betting on smarter (or betting on dumber)
What's the point?

My favorite of all these posts: A hierarchy of failure worth following.
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Zynga: The Google Of Games?

Image representing FarmVille as depicted in Cr...Image via CrunchBase
That is common practice. To use a well known entity as a metaphor. At an event I attended during Internet Week, an entrepreneur on the panel said, "We are the Netflix for fashion." You don't buy dresses, you rent them. (Women In Tech-Media Event At JP Morgan: Internet Week) That is a great way to describe your company. If your company is not very well known, it makes sense to use a well known company as a metaphor. I'd love to be able to say about this blog, we are the Zynga of blogging (we are not, I am not), because Zynga, let's face it, is a well known name and it is huge. At the layperson level people probably are more familiar with the Farmville name than Zynga, but Zynga is big. So you have to ask, what's going on here?

New York Times: Will Zynga Become the Google of Games?
Mark Pincus, Zynga’s 44-year-old founder....... he had set out to build an enduring Internet icon, one that was synonymous with fun. ..... There has to be more than “a garage sale, a bookstore, a search engine and a portal ...... the opportunity to build an online entertainment empire was “like search before Google came along.” ..... the hottest start-up to emerge from Silicon Valley since Twitter and, before that, Facebook ...... While Facebook needed four and a half years to reach 100 million users, Zynga crossed that mark after just two and a half years. ....... the games are free to everyone ...... has been profitable since shortly after its founding. ...... investors, including Google and the Netscape founder Marc Andreessen, have put about $520 million into the company ...... Zynga has been valued at more than $4.5 billion ..... Silicon Valley’s next billionaire .... “He has nailed the next killer app, the next compelling thing that’s going to happen” in media. ...... Six million Facebook users, who grew tired of constant updates about their friends’ games, joined a group called “I don’t care about your farm, or your fish, or your park, or your mafia!!!” ...... Facebook started restricting the messages, and Zynga’s traffic dropped sharply. ..... little effect on revenue because many players who dropped out didn’t buy virtual goods. ..... about four times larger than its nearest rival, Electronic Arts. Playdom is third ...... Pincus is something of an aging whiz kid. ..... A serial entrepreneur, he sold his first company, Freeloader, an early Internet broadcast service, for $38 million, and took public his second, a business software maker called ........ talks of building a “digital skyscraper” ..... a visionary leader. ..... also known for his sharp elbows and irreverent style ..... brags about being fired from a consulting firm job for having little patience with his bosses. ...... “I didn’t believe in paying dues” ...... open about his distrust of many venture capitalists ...... a Silicon Valley firm turned down an investment in Zynga, telling him he was “not coachable.” ......"I did every horrible thing in the book to just get revenues right away." ...... “As the company has had more exposure and visibility, I have had to realize that more people take what I say seriously” ..... Twenty to 30 percent of visits to Facebook are to play games .... When Mr. Pincus first envisioned Zynga, most investors and peers doubted that a gaming start-up could become the next big thing. .....“Zynga has the most revenue, growth and happy customers of any three-year-old venture we’ve ever backed,” says John Doerr
Farmville was the next big thing because Farmville offered Facebook users that Facebook itself did not. Sitting down to catch up or talk serious topics can be socializing, but you can't do that all the time. That is why people play board games.

And traditional video games were missing a big point: the Internet. There was email before Hotmail, but they all missed a big point: the Internet.

There were other online games, but many of them were solitary exercises. To Farmville social is fundamental. Social has been as big a trend as search, and Zynga respected that.

And there has been the interactivity part. Playing Farmville is a very different experience from blogging. It is very different from taking pictures and sharing.

Free might not count for innovation, but it is. It is a big one. What if you did not have to download anything to play Second Life? What if it had been free? Keeping the game free has been fundamental to Farmville's growth.

There has been a monetization fit. Yahoo did display ads, fine. But Google could not have done that. Ads on Google had to act like search results to make sense. Similarly Farmville monetization had to be part of the gaming experience. There has been a great fit.

Pincus is not 22. Zuckerberg is not the norm in entrepreneurship. Most - the vast majority of - entrepreneurs are closer in age to Pincus than to Zuckerberg although the media will have you believe otherwise. I think Mark Pincus' age is an important detail in this story.

Pincus has had a track record of giving the finger. Out of the box thinking requires that. Bloomberg got fired too. And so he went ahead and started a company. Got to do something. What are you going to do with all that nervous energy?

Gaming as a basic fabric of the web experience, wow.

Every human activity ever, if you can figure out a way to take it online, there is a business model for that.

And there is room for reinvention. Believe it or not, Geocities was my first blogging platform. It was simple enough. But then platforms like Blogger came along and blogging took off. Geocities was a community before Facebook was a community. Facebook did not invent community, it reinvented it.

Farmville is a reinvention of gaming. The question to ask is, can Zynga re-reinvent gaming? Will it still be hot five years from now? Google is still around and fairly hot. Android and Chrome alone make it pretty cutting edge, I think.

Farmville Farmer's Market: My Idea
Farmville Has Not Been Loading For Me
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News: July 25

Image representing ReadWriteWeb as depicted in...Image via CrunchBase

Less Than 1 Year Until The Internet Runs Out of Addresses
Facebook Credits: The World's First Global Currency?
70,000 Blogs Shut Down by U.S. Law Enforcement
Facebook Like Moves Beyond the Dumb Grunt, Adds Comments to Like Button
YouTube Begins Experimenting With HTML5 Embedable Player


Firefox Just Perfected Tabbed Browsing. It's Like Apple's Expose Plus Spaces For The Web
A New Version Of Google Chrome Now Due Every Six Weeks
NY, NJ Parking Lots Sign Up to Charge Electric Vehicles
Pinning Down Zynga’s Revenues Is Like Playing Pin The Tail On The Bullet Train
Wisconsin: Land of Beer, Cheese, and…Startups
Big Money: AOL’s Beauty Pageant With Google, Microsoft For New Search Deal
Twitter Nabs Google’s Lead Android Evangelist. Next Target: Students
VH1 Will Be Promoting Foursquare On National Television All Summer Long
Jon Miller On New MySpace: “It’s Rock And Roll”


HOW TO: Put Facebook’s “Like” Button on Any Website
Mashable Readers Choose Real Books Over E-books
Tab Candy: Firefox Invents a Better Way to Manage Tabs [VIDEO]
Should Facebook Add a Dislike Button?


Weekend Viral Video: Mark Zuckerberg Gets the Kid-Glove Treatment From ABC’s Sawyer
A Facebook With Privacy?
Is the State Department’s Tweeter-in-Chief Headed to Google?
AT&T: Enterprise Loves the iPad
Dell to Pay $100 Million to Settle SEC Claims
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