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Secrets of the Startup Sages March 31, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Education, Web 2.0.
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What better way to learn how to launch a startup than to get advice from those who’ve proven to be successful with their own startups? Here is a collection of excellent wisdom and advice from some of the best startup sages in web history. Also included are links to their blogs and twitter profiles. Both resources are still alive and offer valuable information that only adds to their impressive body of work.

Evan Williams (Blogger, Odeo, Twitter)

Twitter: @Ev

Blog: http://evhead.com

Advice for Startups (1995 long before Twitter)

10 Rules for Web Startups

Several video interviews during Odeo days

Loic Lemeur (seesmic)

Twitter: @LoicLemeur

Blog: http://www.loiclemeur.com

Top 10 Things for Startups

Think Global Not Local

Jason Calacanis (Mahalo)

Twitter: @JasonCalacanisBlog: http://www.calacanis.com

How to save money running a startup (17 really good tips)

Startup Handbook: How to identify and deal with the slow masses, knowledgeable skeptics, and savvy dreamers.

Guy Kawasaki (Truemors, AllTop, Garage)

Twitter: @GuyKawasaki

Blog: http://www.GuyKawasaki.com

The Art of Innovation (Speech with Slides)

The Art of the Start (Speech)

Michael Arrington (Techcrunch)

Twitter: @TechCrunch

Blog: http://www.techcrunch.com

Startups Must Hire The Right People And Watch Every Penny or Fail

Michael Arrington and 13 Startup CEOs at Web 2.0 (Video)

Gary Vaynerchuk (Winelibrary.TV)

Twitter: @GaryVee

Blog: http://garyvaynerchuk.com

Legacy is Greater than Currency

The DNA Game

Final Thoughts on Startups:

This was just a sampling of the vast amount of excellent information available today about startups from the masterminds who’ve been successful with their own startups.

I selected the cream of the crop here and included many video presentations as well. Does following all of this advice ensure successful for your startup? I doubt it.

However, it will only help you avoid many of the mistakes that others have experienced the hard way. Perhaps you can become of these startup sages someday sharing the lessons you’ve learned!

AntiSocial Network March 10, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Comedy, Comic Strips, IT Happens.
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While having lunch without my trusty laptop and its aircard, I rather enjoyed being outside with a new book I’ve been meaning to read. It was a pleasant change of pace being “offline” and “disconnected” from the world for a brief period of time. Sure, I still had my Blackberry but I turned it off and pretended to be in 1991. Ah, ignorance is indeed bliss!
I got to thinking that this might become a regular routine for me and wondered how many others felt the same way.

Then I had the idea to do a new installment for my I.T. Happens comic strip regarding this notion of being offline and perhaps antisocial. How many would join a network of people who are tired of always being connected and socialable?
I know, antisocial types wouldn’t want to belong to any network. 🙂

Anyway, I just think it’s a good thing to be Net free sometimes and get our head out of the cloud (among other places).
Get some fresh air (without any Adobe or Macbooks)!

By the way, after sharing my thoughts on this on utterz, someone shared the following link:
http://nosoproject.com/about !!! I guess I’m not the first to think of this.

(Click to enlarge)it-happens-n5.png

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Web 2.0 vs Web 3.0 March 8, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Semantic Web, Web 2.0.
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Web 2.0 is still alive & kicking but everyone is already focussing on Web 3.0. What is Web 3.0? Well, the old adage is true: a picture is worth a thousand words. With that said, I will let the following images and videos explain the differences between web 2.0 and web 3.0 otherwise known as the Semantic Web.

In the Beginning there was Frontpage
Before comparing Web 2.0 and Web 3.0, it might be helpful to compare Web 1.0 with Web 2.0 first. Here’s an excellent image that does a great job showing the differences:

Here’s a visual comparison of all three: web 1.0, web 2.0 and web 3.0

Here’s a really ambitious image that shows web 1.0 thru web 4.0!

Here are some videos that do a great job covering web 2.0 & web 3.0.
The Machine is Us/ing Us

Here’s a straight forward explanation

Tim O’Reilly’s definition

Tim Berners Lee on Web 3.0/Semantic Web

Digital bazar’s explanation of the Semantic Web

Here’s a video showing the history of web 1.0 to present and beyond to web 4.0!

Final Thoughts:
No matter what the terms or how things are explained, one thing is certain: the future of the Internet and technology is extremely exciting! Things will only continue to evolve into more collaborative and personal ways which is great for everyone on a personal and professional level.
By the way, this isn’t the first time that Web 2.0 was given its last rites! Nicholas Carr called Web 2.0’s time of death on 11/11/06!

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Pop Goes the World? March 7, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Web 2.0.
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The pundits are still doing their best impression of chicken little and firmly believe that the web 2.0 bubble is going to burst any moment now. Despite this constant falling sky warning there are new startups popping up all over the place. Are we headed for another disaster? Who knows. In the mean time, keep blowing them bubbles!

I’ve covered this topic before in Bubble 2.0 which includes the popular bubble music video. Here’s a new anthem that I am proposing for all you startups living on the bleeding edge:

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Virtual Clipboard February 27, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Freeware, Web 2.0.
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ControlC is a unique new service, that’s for sure. In a nutshell, what it wants to be is your virtual clipboard, allowing you to copy and share (instead of paste) via the web.

I like the concept and the way that it saves everything in one place for easy retrieval from anywhere any time you want it again. Best of all it’s free and easy to use.

The only downside to the experience is that it requires a small download and installation of a tiny utility that needs to be running at all times in your system tray.

The good news is that it is indeed so small that it doesn’t appear to impact your computer at all. The downloads page has versions for different operating systems including Linux

and Mac OS and of course windows.

As for security concerns, some will be hesitant when it comes to openly sharing what they dump to their clipboard and rightfully so. Sometimes those items can be login names and passwords or account numbers or credit card numbers, etc. Well, ControlC realized that much and provides encryption automatically for everything you copy which is a great move on their part.

Personally, I love using my JingProject account to take screenshots and immediately sharing it via the web to anyone I want but I might use ControlC more just to see what else it can do in comparison.

Note: The free basic version only allows you to access things you’ve copied in the last 5 days. You will need the premium version to access anything older than that.

Social BrainStorming February 26, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Collaboration, Web 2.0.
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If two minds are indeed better than one then just think of the possibilities of conducting an online real-time brainstorming session with several minds at the same time! There are many new web 2.0 services that make online collaborative mental mashups a breeze and best of all they’re all FREE! Here are the best ones that I’ve tried thus far:

MindMeister has received the most attention and deservedly so thanks to its slick interface and ease of use. The ability to embed the mindmap on your website/blog is very useful.

The free basic service allows up to six mindmaps with the premium and team plans allowing unlimited maps. Here is a comparison of each service.

Here’s an excellent screencast from DemoGirl.

Mind42 also allows collaborate mind mapping without anything to download or install. Everyone logged into the map editor will see changes in real-time too.

Here’s a screencast:

bubble.us offers less features and doesn’t look as nice as the others in this space, but there doesn’t appear to be any limits to the number of maps you can create and share online for free either.

So, if you aren’t all that into bells and whistles and a glitzy appearance, then bubble.us might be the one for you, especially for quick and dirty mind dump sessions.

Final Thoughts:
You can’t go wrong with any of these services. Mindmeister is the market leader though.

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You 2.0 February 23, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Social Aggregators, Social Media, social networks, Web 2.0.
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It can be overwhelming when you consider the magnitude of your digital life today. In the past, you just needed to know your name, social security number and perhaps some other basic information such as your phone numbers and home address. Today, thanks to the amazing Internet and all that it has to offer us, we have an ever-growing mountain of “stuff” to remember or manage.

How does one do this without going nuts or losing great big chunks of precious time? I will try to share some thoughts on how to make your digital life more managable and thus all the more enjoyable. Ultimately, it will mean more free time for your offline life. These articles will be part of my Quality vs Quantity series which will adhere to the “Less is More” school of thought. Think ZenHabits meets LifeHacker with a sprinkle of twitter fairy dust (No, nothing to do with Robert Scoble!)

Here’s my You 2.0 map from MindMesiter that will give you an overview of what I plan to cover. I will continually change and update this map as it is, just like us, a perpetual work in progress.

I’m continually learning and growing so look for this information to do likewise. The goal is to provide a detailed breakdown of each module on the map, eventually. Please feel free to contribute to the project by sending links and suggestions whenever you think you might have a better way to do thing. After all, this is called YOU 2.0.

The Road Map to your reinvented digital self: You 2.0

Identity Management: Identity Crisis covers ways to take control of your online profiles and personal brand. Using OpenID is the key to the fine art of Less is More.

Contact Management: How do you manage your ever growing list of contacts? Identity Crisis also covered this ground with Plaxo and its powerful contact management and sync features.

Favorites: I Got Your Favorites Right Here covers the best social bookmarking sites around today.

Instant Messaging: Meebo: IM Legend covers the ways Meebo can reduce the headaches of multiple messenger accounts with a single login.

Email Management: Inbox 2.0 covered the future of email aggregation by spotlighting fuser.com and its ability to consolidate numerous email accounts and social networking messages into one one.

RSS: Feed Me, Seymour revealed a unique way to make Google Reader grab all of your own personal RSS feeds and share them.

News: Is it better to Digg your news or Mixx it up? This will examine the future of news delivery.

Blogs: Finding ways to improve managing your blog(s).

Websites: Streamlining your website. Registering your Personal Brand with a domain name.

MicroBlogs: What are the differences between all of the micro-blogging services? Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku, Tumblr, Utterz, etc.

Social Networks: Social Networking Aggregation is the key to controlling this runaway train of digital information. Identity Crisis covers Plaxo with Pulse and some other aggregators.

Music: Virtual DJ shows the best ways to stream your music library and access it from anywhere in the world.

Photos: Is Flickr still king or can PhotoBucket or some other challenger dethrone them?

Videos: YouTV examines some of the best ways to manage your video collection and broadcast it from one place.

LifeCasting: What’s the right tool for you? Seesmic, Utterz, Ustream, Qik?

Phone: The future of the phone is extremely exciting as I will look at services like GrandCentral, YouMail, Pinger, Jott and more.

Message Forums: Forums + Web 2.0 = Tangler covers the new age message forum. It isn’t your father’s message board anymore.

Summation: The Quality vs Quantity (less is more) Series will strive share the best aggregation tools and services available today in an effort to make your online life more managable and thus more enjoyable.

You 2.0 map

Bubble 2.0 January 20, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Movies, Web 2.0.
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All of the web 2.0 pundits and so-called experts are predicting another bubble burst like what took place in 2000 when the dot com phenomenon came to a cataclysmic end. Who is to say for sure what will happen for sure? In order to predict the future it is always wise to examine the past to study and learn possible explanations for a certain conclusion. By learning from the past mistakes of others, one could possibly avoid the same fate, but it doesn’t guarantee success either. Still, it might be fun to take a stroll down memory lane. Shall we?

Startup.com is a documentary that captured the fate of a dot com startup called GovWorks.com. Many entrepreneurs and universities use this film as a training guide for online businesses. The film has won numerous awards thanks to its voyeuristic approach to the subject matter, giving an inside look at the world of dot com startups that was up till that point totally unknown.
Here is the Trailer and a Charlie Rose Interview with Cast and Crew

Kozmo.com is considered the poster-child for the dot com bust. They offered a one-hour delivery service for items such as Starbucks coffee and Blockbuster DVDs. While the concept was simple and appealing, the execution of the business became increasingly perplexing and astonishingly destructive to its long-term success. Somehow, despite a business model that most financial experts criticized, Kozmo managed to raised over $250 million dollars and burned thru it in record time!

e-dreams is a documentary that chronicles the rise and fall of Kozmo.com. Some have criticized the documentary itself for being to sympathetic to the Kozmo executives, painting them as victims of sorts when they were the primary factors for its historic demise. Instead of pointing fingers they just needed to look in the mirror.

WebVan is another perfect case study for demonstrating how to take a sure-fire can’t miss business idea and totally blow it up into millions of pieces in no time at all. For those of you who don’t remember, WebVan delivered the groceries you ordered online right to your house! Here is one of their TV Commercials:

I loved WebVan because we used it on a regular basis in Atlanta, GA. Their website was excellent and easy to use. The food was usually fresh and almost always in stock and available. Heck, even the fish was fresh and tasty! Still, I know something was wrong when I noticed all of the shiny new vans zooming around town and all of the ultra expensive palm pilots (hey, this was way before the iphone, kiddies!) that every driver carried around including portable printers for receipts! When I saw their warehouse on a television special my mouth dropped open and I knew they were doomed. We later learned that WebVan spent over $1 Billion just on their warehouses alone!

Eventually, WebVan managed to offer their services in nine U.S. markets, but had planned to service 26 before they went bankrupted in 2001. The autopsy of their financials would become historic for examples of blatant excess and carelessness. One example being the purchase of 115 Herman Miller Aeron chairs (at over $800 each)!

Here is a mockumentary of WebCan called IceVan:

Final Thoughts:
I’d like the end this piece with the clever Bubble Song that everyone’s seen by now but still worth a glance: