Archives for December 2011

Ten Rules For Navigating in The Age of Outrage

Is Social Media the New Participatory Democracy?

Verizon just folded like a cheap lawn chair on their recently-announced plan to impose a ridiculous $2 fee for customers who used a one-time electronic bill payment feature on their website. Turns out that charging customers for the right to pay you was not popular: the internet rose up and roared. Almost immediately after announcing it, Verizon was faced with a 50,000+ signature petition demanding that they withdraw the proposed new fee. The protestors even raised the ire of regulators who publicly expressed concern and threatened to have a closer look. (Some WSJ coverage here.) Verizon had no choice but to beat a hasty and humiliating retreat.

I think this is the latest example a very broad and very deep trend at work.

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Bank of America Sucks

[Update to this post here.] Bank of America sucks. And not just because they nearly brought down our economy with their scandalous and predatory mortgage lending practices (they settled the lawsuits with the payment of a cool $8.5 billion earlier this year).

The reason they suck is because they are a business that doesn’t take care of its customers.

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Walking into a Buzzsaw (Amazon’s Brazenly Arrogant Retail Promotion)

What was Amazon thinking with the recent price-check promotion? This past week they offered three $5 discounts to customers who scanned an item in a store and then bought it online from Amazon. A storm of controversy ensued (e.g. see hand-wringing coverage in NYTBusinessWeekWiredWSJ).

For the life of me I cannot fathom why they chose to do this.

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That Vision Thing

What is the best way for an entrepreneur to balance demonstrating the large scope of his/her vision and opportunity space on the one hand, versus showing she is tighly focused on a realistic near term go-to-market strategy on the other hand?

Since I repeat this advice constantly, I figured I’d post it once and for all.

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Cloud-Enabled Business Models (Or Why iTunes Match Will Change Your Phone)

Gartner’s hype cycle charts how all emergent technologies start with a trigger, quickly ramp up to a peak of inflated expectations, drop in to a trough of disillusionment and then move back up a slope of enlightenment onto a relatively stable plateau of productivity. Cloud computing is moving right along that curve; the initial buzz was followed by a paralyzing fear of security issues, but we are now well up the slope of enlightenment: cloud computing is here to stay, and nobody disputes that it’s going to have a huge impact.

The power of cloud computing to enable radical new business models is really starting to be felt on a massive scale.

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The Future Of Publishing – The Book is Dead; Long Live the Book

Is the traditional publishing model dead?

I’ve touched on this topic before (for example,  Amazon becoming a publisher; Amazon really stepping up publication efforts; ebook growth; blogcasting), but three recent events bring it back to the forefront. First was a conversation with someone at a TCN panel talk I gave last week who had just self-published her own book, second was a conversation with a friend who had just published a book with a traditional publisher and third was an interesting piece just published by Matthew Ingram at GigaOM about the value of publishers.

At the panel last week I was discussing intellectual property issues in the start-up context, and one of the participants was focused on IP questions around a book she had just published. The questions were straight-forward, but what was interesting was that when asked who her publisher was, she said that she had self-published.

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The Solar Project – Notes On Our Installer (Video Interview)

www.solarips.com

[This post is part of a series about our net-zero residential solar project – see a list of links to the full series here, a list of frequently asked questions here or click here to bring up all Green-related postsPrevious Post in Series.]

I talked a bit about the installer of our system, Independent Power Systems, in this post and this post, but I have few additional thoughts and a video interview to add to the mix.

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