Tag Archives: innovation

Composing a viable social network alternative, tips for Google Me

29 Jun

The web has been abuzz with news that Google is planning “Google Me” to compete with Facebook.  Google’s social network strategy should have the same playbook as their mobile phone strategy–exploit the competition’s desire to control every aspect of the user experience.

  1. Portability – You have to give me the freedom to leave as well as the freedom to quickly import my current facebook profile and to offer my friends the ability to join.  This may seem like a no-brainer with Facebook Connect but I doubt Facebook is going to actually help Google build a competitor.
  2. Search results control – I should have at least some control of what shows up when someone googles my name.
  3. Ultimate privacy and ownership of my data – If Google Me followed the proposed featureset of Diaspora and made their social network “personally controlled” and “open source,” you might see a big shift.
  4. Web Push and Pull – Facebook already allows you to “Like” and to comment on certain articles but you can go a step further by taking all of the content you create on the web and making it cross-linkable back to Google Me.
  5. Full Hoarding ability – Right now I use Flickr for photos, facebook for social networking, delicious for bookmarks; all so that I can hoard and keep track of my personal activity and the activity of others.  A universal space with privacy settings I trust and can completely control would be amazing.  I honestly would use Facebook for this but I don’t trust them to keep my data private.
  6. Buy LinkedIn – This only works if Google Me wants to operate as a social network that is slightly more serious than Facebook.  As Facebook becomes more and more MySpace-like, there’s probably a space for a different kind of social network. The additional benefit of buying LinkedIn is that you get a pretty massive user base that has LinkedIn as their only social network.

What’s interesting is that Google’s strength in this area cannot come from superior engineering (facebook is just as good) but must come from a cultural commitment to allowing users complete freedom over their information.

Google Me, the company’s answer to Facebook, may be real. But it’s a longshot. | VentureBeat.

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A good paragraph on entrepreneurial activity

25 Jun

I liked online advertising, because in 2002 and 2003, the expected size of the market was $6 to $7 billion in 2003. But what really attracted to me was the waste and inefficiency in the market. The technology that ad networks were using, and their business models were grossly inefficient. There were too many middlemen taking bites out of the transaction. I felt the stock market approach would bring massive efficiency. That’s what we’re doing–bringing efficiency to a big and inefficient market. We cut out the middlemen, and everyone left wins.

via Interview with Bill Urschel, Founder of AdECN | socalTECH.com.

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Alternatives to the “paperback Kindle”

10 Jun

Seth Godin proposed that Amazon introduce a basic and no frills $49 Kindle.  I’ve got a better idea–sell me an e-reader that allows me to electronically access the books I already own.  Give me the benefits of the Kindle–one device that holds 300 books, wireless access, bookmarking, ability to take notes, search notes–but make it extend to every book I already own.

I have a massive library of books that I love and don’t want to have to buy again.  I want Kindle benefits without paying $5000 to rebuy all these books.  You can even make me verify the fact by having me send in books that I want to digitize.  This should satisfy publishers that I’m not getting a free ride or that I won’t go sell my hardcopies later.

If I can convert all my CDs to MP3s, shouldn’t I be able to do the same thing for all of my books? Imagine if every Kindle came with the opportunity to electronically access the books you already have hard copies of? It would be a massive undertaking to negotiate with the various rights-holders but Amazon already has the relationships to do this.  If they did this for me, I would even pay a little extra for the privilege.  I’d also own just one reading device and that would be a great thing for whoever sold me that device.

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