Have Startups Really Become Boring?

August 30th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

This article suggests that after 6 big exits, suddenly the whole space of web startups is less exciting and we should look to other fields.

Startups Have Gotten Very Boring

In the wake of the Facebook IPO, something funny has happened to the world of startups. Suddenly, startups feel very boring. VCs and entrepreneurs say they feel it too. “I do feel a bit like that, but then again that could also just be the startups I’m happening to see,” one investor said.

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via: www.businessinsider.com

I find that to be bollocks.  There are still things on the world that can be improved or fixed trough web-based technologies, and that will never change. Sure, bio-tech and similar are emerging and creating new exciting spaces, that will bring improvements to our lives, and might generate bigger returns for investors in the next decade, but if returns are all that makes something exciting for someone, well, why don’t you go live on an island somewhere.

Howto add Hacker News share button on WordPress.com

August 29th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

English: Spanish metal button circa 1650-1675,...

 

English: Spanish metal button circa 1650-1675,...

English: Spanish metal button circa 1650-1675, 12mm diameter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Every blogger writing about technology and/or startups knows how important Hacker News is for promoting good, quality articles. The effect of being published there is comparable to more general sharing sites like Reddit and Digg and StumbleUpon.

 

Unfortunately, unlike it’s bigger cousins, this service is not supported by WordPress.com as an option for sharing buttons, after the post. Luckily we have an option to add custom sharing button, that makes it really easy to create a custom button yourself. Here’s how.

 

  1. In your WordPress.com dashboard, Go to Settings -> Sharing
  2. Click ‘Add a new service’ under ‘Available services’, a popup will show up
  3. Put ‘Hacker News’ under service name,
  4. Put “http://news.ycombinator.com/submitlink?u=%22+%post_full_url%+%22&t=%22+%post_title%” under Sharing URL,
  5. Put “http://ycombinator.com/images/y18.gif” under Icon URL, and hit ‘create share button’
  6. Drag the newly created ‘available service’ button to enabled services

 

and you’re done, now you have a shiny new HackerNews sharing button under every blog post. relax.

 

 

 

Hacker News is for Kids

August 28th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

© 2007 See-ming Lee ( Blog / Facebook / Flickr...

 

© 2007 See-ming Lee ( Blog / Facebook / Flickr...

© 2007 See-ming Lee ( Blog / Facebook / Flickr / LinkedIn / Network / Orkut / Twitter / Wiki ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’ve had an amazing blogging week last week.

 

I published a post about startup not being a job, that I’ve written in a very short moment when I was overwhelmed with disappointment over founders of a certain just-born startup that were not available for what could have been a life-changing meeting for them. we’ll never know now, but it made me realize just how different startup world I live in is from other forms of employment.

 

I didn’t think about it much more after I’ve written and scheduled it, so it was quite a surprise for me when I realized that another entrepreneur fried published it on Hacker News, and that it was receiving a lot of attention on it, as well as on Twitter.

 

The responses were amazingly different. While Twitter crowd liked the post very much, HN readership fell into a flame war against me, based on consistent misinterpretations that had one common topic – overworking yourself is hard, and you don’t need to do that in order to be a startup. I wholeheartedly agree with them, but that was not my point.

 

But a day later, I got this news in my inbox, and it shone an interesting light on the confusion: 50% of readers on HN are under 24-years old. the only other popular site that has younger audience is DeviantArt:

 

Social media demographics 2012: 24 sites including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn

If you ever wanted to know the age and sex of social media users on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn,Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, Hacker News, Slashdot, Github, Stack Overflow, Orkut, Quora, WordPress.com, Blogger, Flickr, Myspace, Tagged, Hi5, LiveJournal, Yelp, deviantART, StumbleUpon, Goodreads and Last.fm … you’re in luck.

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via: venturebeat.com

 

Now, this is significant new information, that has an important consequence: HN readership obviously has a different value system than most of the rest of the ecosystem. we should be more aware of it, because it will shape our world in the next 5 years.

 

or as a friend commented on facebook: “it seems HN is used only by lifestyle businesses”

 

 

 

Blogging is safe for now

August 27th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

 

it seems the debate about the death of blogging just won’t die out, but this post by Tim Bray is a great. I completely agree with everything:

  • that the main reasons for someone to blog are:
    • Money.
    • You love writing.
    • To influence.
    • To entertain.
    • To inform.
  • that people who have always written stuff are mainly those who can’t not to
  • and the following quote sum’s it up:

I don’t know of any way to be influential without deploying some combination of rhetoric and polemic and storyline. And I don’t think you can do that without writing a few hundred words, organized into paragraphs, with a permalink.

 

Global Dashboards of Everything

August 25th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Planet example

 

Planet example

Planet example (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

So, everyone is talking about a balloon accident lately, but my Blogspire sent me a version of the report that blew my mind – hungarian project that maps all emergency events on the planet, from major traffic accidents to fly-by-objects.

Here is an example:

 

Vehicle Accident – Europe – Slovenia

EDIS Number: VI-20120823-36303-SVN Date / time: 23/08/2012 14:30:44 [UTC] Event: Vehicle Accident Area: Europe Country: Slovenia State/County: Capital City Location: [About 6 miles south of Ljubljana] Number of Deads: 4 person(s) Number of Injured: 28 person(s) Number of Infected: N/A Number of Missing: N/A Number of Affected:…

via: hisz.rsoe.hu

 

and they have another project, mapping all grobal warming events.

 

Both of them are a great addition to a growing list of real-time global dashboards of differenti aspects of the Planet. I’ve been collecting them for a while now, and it seems it’s time to create a dedicated page for them.

 

 

Please feel free to submit any dashboard you know of that I’ve missed in the comments. 

 

 

 

Does Silicon Valley Have a Public Relations Problem?

August 24th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

 

Amazing how we never see opinions like these coming from within Silicon Valley itself.

Does Silicon Valley Have a Public Relations Problem?

Silicon Valley is facing an image problem. Facebook didn’t even leave the Valley to ring the opening bell on its tragic IPO, and that was after spending $1 Billion on Instagram. Meanwhile Zuck’s sister is shooting a “reality” show in San Francisco and calling it… well, reality. Let’s not forget the Angry Birds movie, either.

the media in Silicon Valley needs to stop regurgitating the same stories to the top of Techmeme every day. Secondly, focus on BIG problems – stop saturating the media with acquisitions like Instagram which do nothing to actually change a significant problem in the world. Finally, look to the established giants who are solving the world’s most important problems – from healthcare, to politics, to green energy and education.

 

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via: blog.loispaul.com

I agree almost completely, the valley as a business hub is becoming more about efficiently moving pieces of paper, than solving next greatest problem of the world. They are starting to resemble entertainment industry of south California.

One thing that we should see as their achievement and contribution to the world though, are numerous frameworks and recipes for reducing friction in entrepreneurship. Everyone around the world knows about the lean startup now, and it is helping to unleash new talents in other places.

Not sure why I’m remembering Monty Python right now.

 

13 counterintuitive business truths

August 23rd, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

I actually like this article, in spite of the new-age-y feeling to it.. something to keep in mind all the time, but know that there is no truth. I often get too worried about finding out the truth, when all is needed is just a decision. It’s a Slovenian thing…

13 counterintuitive business truths

7 modern workplace myths Here are 13 counterintuitive business truths I’ve come to know, even if I can’t exactly explain why they make sense. The first truth actually relates to that very subject: the how and why of things. To understand how things work, just observe; don’t ask why. This is more or less the Tao Te Ching in a nutshell.

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via: www.cbsnews.com

Startup is not your job

August 22nd, 2012 § 7 comments § permalink

Startup.com

 

Startup.com

Startup.com (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m sure most of you think you agree with this statement, but I bet you are making tons of inefficient decisions because you are trained to expect certain things from your ‘work environment’ aka Job.

But the startup really isn’t a job. To build a startup you don’t need an office, until you actually know why you do – for instance after you have several non-founding team members.

And you most probably don’t need those employees, until you actually know to the hour what they need to do so the founders can build the startup.

And you don’t need vacation, because you don’t have a job. You might need time to think about the pivot, but that’s not vacation. You might need to rest your brain, but don’t expect you will actually unplug. Your entrepreneurial brain can’t unplug. You don’t need time off. If you think you do, you’re in a Job and should stop thinking it’s a startup, because it will fail.

Startup is not a job, it’s just you wanting to achieve a change in the world / other people’s behavior, not taking no for an answer, because you don’t know how to stop, and constantly thinking about a shortcut to the next obstacle on the way. Startup is just a group of people and technologies arranged around the founders that represent the currently shortest way to change the behavior of others. It is the founders passion, and in that it’s similar to works of art – you can’t help yourself but make it work.

Everything else is secondary. Specially (fancy) office space, (expensive) employees and (long) holidays.

 

Future of Advertising Industry Online

August 21st, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

Last few months we’ve witnessed a birth of an almost whole new industry. Here’s a good summary:

The Entire Advertising Industry Is Shifting To This Strategy

Native monetization is a fast growing form of digital advertising that is changing the complexion of the advertising industry in New York. Native advertising refers to ad strategies ad strategies that allow brands to promote their content into the endemic experience of a site in a non-interruptive, integrated way.

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via: www.businessinsider.com

The Personality Layer

August 20th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

A Rocher, layer by layer

 

A Rocher, layer by layer

A Rocher, layer by layer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I really admire product, technology and design people, who dare to incorporate the findings of psychological science into their work. I deeply believe our whole generation is ignorantly reinventing the wheels all the time.

This is a great article about the layers of great design, where giving the products personality is the final stage.

 

 

The Personality Layer

Do something unexpected and new. Uniqueness Differ from other products in an interesting way . Attention Offer incentives, or offer help even if you’re not obliged to. Attraction We all like attractive people, so build an attractive product. Anticipation Leak something ahead of the launch. Exclusivity Offer something exclusive to a select group.

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via: uxdesign.smashingmagazine.com

 

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