July 20, 2006

How Failure Breeds Success

Filed under: Podcasting,Start-up First Aid — Administrator @ 10:47 am

Businessweek’s July 10, 2006, cover story “How Failure Breeds Success” by Jena McGregor is a must read for anyone striving for excellence in business – entrepreneurs and corporate soldiers alike.

There is a real nice quote by Scott Anthony, managing director at consulting firm Innosight where he discusses encouraging intelligent failures:

”Figuring out how to master this process of failing fast and failing cheap and fumbling toward success is probably the most important thing companies have to get good at.”

Anthony goes on to explain that “getting good” at failure doesn’t meaning creating anarchy out of organization but rather it means leaders need to create an environment safe for taking risks, and then reflect on those mistakes.

You can listen to McGregor provide some behind the story nuggets by listening to her podcast.

You might also want to listen to “Innovation Champions” a podcast with Michele Conlin where she talks about the new breed of managers and their radical cultures.

And, while you’re at it why not checkout how RSS champion, Feedburner, encourages innovation – Hackathon.

February 18, 2006

Podcast search engine: Podzinger

Filed under: Podcasting,Web 2.0 — Administrator @ 6:16 pm

BBN Technologies launched Podzinger, which uses speech technology to convert to text the contents of 60,000-plus podcasts. Since it can search through the text of podcasts, it can better determine the relevance of search results to help you find what you’re looking for.

There are several China-based blog search engines that do very basic searches, such as feedsearch, 8fang, feedss, and Bokee’s Booso.

However, none of these blog search engines have the capability of searching podcasts, which is unfortunate as Podzinger is an English only podcast search engine.

December 1, 2005

Do sites need multiple RSS feeds?

Filed under: Podcasting — Administrator @ 6:18 pm

For the past three months, I been facing a funny situation (funny “odd” not funny “haha”) over whether or not our portfolio companies should published multiple RSS feeds; largely because these companies are in China and, well, things get blocked from time to time, standards are changing all the time, etc…

At first, I thought, no way, too messy…stick with one, but then I read a post from Aaron Baron (one of the founders of the super funny “haha” vidlog RocketBoom hosted by Amanda Congdon) where he discussed the reason RocketBoom has 15 RSS feeds; here is a taste:

With multiple feeds, I feel like we may have more control over offering a simpler, more personalized experience for our audience because we know what we have, how it should be organized, how it looks, how people are using it and how to cut out all the extra packets that they are not using.

And here is what Dave Winer has to say about this:

I think of that when I see pages with fifteen different formats that all do the same thing. Why? There’s no need for it. How many of those types of battles were fought inside Apple that resulted in the super-shitty experience I had and Jeremy had. Maybe we need to take a step back and start thinking a bit about how this kind of bullshit keeps us from growing.

I’m leaning towards Dave’s position, what do you think?

Webzine 2005: $elling Out: Making money doing what you love

Filed under: Podcasting,Start-up First Aid — Administrator @ 1:13 am

I just finished listening to podcasts from Webzine2005 (San Francisco). I highly suggest you go and listen to the podcasts, there are a lot of great conversations and panels to listen to.

One specifically that I think a lot of start-ups in China will find useful is the one titled: “Selling Out: Making money doing what you love.” This panel was moderated by Philip Kaplan, formerly of Fuckedcompany.com; other panelists included:

Brad Fitzpatrick, LiveJournal
Jim Young, HOT or NOT
Srini Kumar, Unamerican Activities, StickerNation
Maheesh Jain, CafePress
Moderator: Philip J. Kaplan, AdBrite

Some of the questions Kaplan asks are:

1. What were you doing before you started your site? When did you leave your full time job (if you had one) to focus full time on your site?

2. How do competitors positively and negatively impact your business?

3. How did you get customers and visitors to go to your site?

4. What are the challenges independent web publishers face as they grow? How can they make money?

5. What was the turning point (i.e. financial, page views) or rather, at what point did your site exploded to the upside?

6. Is there a rush to be successful?

November 7, 2005

Video gets Flickr’d…BIG TIME!

Filed under: Podcasting,Social Networks,Video/Film,Web 2.0 — Administrator @ 6:32 pm

This weekend, I was listening to last week’s Microsoft Live Windows press conference and somehow ended up playing around with Google Video… then it occurred to me that there must be a website that maps Flickr’s functionality to videos

…and so I started digging and came up with a lot of these sites, here are some of them:


I also read on Flickr’s blog that they will be adding video capabilities in the near future…

I am wondering how these sites will differentiate themselves from one another? Features? Community? Branding? Content? All these answers are so generic and yet spot on…

You know what? This started out as a platform play but it is quickly shaping up to be a drag race

October 16, 2005

Schwarzenegger’s first podcast…

Filed under: Podcasting — Administrator @ 3:44 pm

Before there were podcast, there was VHS…

Found Footage Festival tours the USA treating festival goers to “the good, the bad and the ugly of forgotten film” reports National Public Radio’s Joel Rose.

Click to NPR’s website and if you look half-way down the page you see three video links on the left hand side, click on the following two:

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s travel-cast from Rio de Janerio

McDonald’s training tape, “how to clean your grill”

October 10, 2005

Yahoo launches podcast site…Chinesepod.com top site

Filed under: Education,Podcasting,Web 2.0 — Administrator @ 7:22 pm

Yahoo brings podcasting mainstream…and to be honest, it looks quite functional

If you want to listen to podtech’s interview with Yahoo Podcast product director, Geoff Ralston click here…it is worth a quick listen…

Interestingly enough…one of the top three most popular postcasts is ChinesePod.com, which provides free daily podcasts teaching people to speak Chinese…

October 8, 2005

How do we value a blog site?

Filed under: blog,Podcasting,Web 2.0 — Administrator @ 11:03 pm

…I was thinking back to 1998 when my friend Frank Yu and I started our very first blog community called AsiaInsider.com…the idea was to build a network of localized news aggregators (e.g., JapanInsider.com, ChinaInsider.com, etc)…the value add being our “personal perspectives and insights”…

…this was just before RSS/XML was common place…and since neither Frank nor I were smart enough to program a solution to aggregate the news stories for us we did this manually…this was a lot of work and in the end an unsustainable and unprofitable model…and so, sadly, we closed down our Insider.com empire in 2000 and melted back into society…

…only to reemerge five-years later…rubbing ours eyes and wondering what is so different today then yesterday? Is there a new revenue model? Did people get smarter? Are more interesting things happening in the world? Did technology make a quantum leap? Maybe the answer is both…”all of the above” and “none of the above”.

…why guess when we have cold hard data to look at…thanks to a recent Technorati and PR firm Edelman blog survey conducted a couple months ago and given to bloggers…

…the results are interesting, here are the highlights: (1) Less than 5% of bloggers are in the game to make money; (2) the main driver for blogging is that these guys want to either record their thoughts or gain “viability as an authority” in their field; and (3) more than 70% would like product sample given to them from companies so that they have the opportunity to evaluate the products and report their findings on their blogs…

…to be honest, this isn’t all that surprising since early adopters of blogs tend to be professionals with full-time jobs, industry knowledge leaders, and/or university students…so I guess the question is, “how the hell is anyone going to make money investing in a blog?” There might be a model is charging companies to offer their products to bloggers for their review (sort of a quasi advertising model); of course, there are drawbacks and limitation (don’t shot me, I was just giving a suggestion)…

…In the past couple days/months we’ve seen high profile acquisitions/investments, such as AOL’s purchase of two-year old Weblogs Inc for somewhere between US$25m and US$40m. Closer to home we saw four venture capital funds (two with limited China exposure), Granite Global, Mobius, SAIF and Bessemer, invest US$10m on a (rumoured) US$20m pre-money valuation in Beijing-based Bokee.com (formerly BlogChina)…

…I bring all this up because I’m looking at this space now and wondering how best to make money and how best to value these companies?

…On the rev side I think Weblogs Inc has an interesting model, but I also think you can look at vertical sites that incorporate vitural communities and “web-ucation” (okay, e-learning)…I don’t know if we are ready for downloading ringtones from RSS feeds, but maybe?

…On the valuation side…well..before I get all Graham and Dodd on you…I want to point to a quick study that Tristan Louis did on the back of theTime Warner/AOL Weblogs deal. Tristan looks at the value of the AOL-Weblogs deal as a function of the number of links to each blog in the network–a proxy for the conversation–as opposed to the raw traffic (a sort of PageRank vs. pageview valuation)…if you work through all the math you get Time Warner paying about US$600 per link…

…Again, an intersting valuation approach, especially if you pair it up with a fundamental look at the companies bits and pieces, such as revenue, earning, pageviews, management and growth…anyhow, I just trying to figure out how not to pay 10x something when I’m trying to exit on 10x something…

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