Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A really smart guy

This guy Vinod Khosla is one smart fella, read what he has to say about renewable energy. This dude is the type of guy that should be advising the governments on sustainable energy policies. Did I mention that he was the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and general partner at Kliener Perkins?

Monday, September 22, 2008

AOL Revisited

Once upon a time AOL had this huge following of non-technical people who used their cartoony software to send messages to each other and read the news. It was a walled garden for old people and kids who didn't understand the Internet. It was really cute, had pretty colors and nice icons and animations. Eventually AOL let their users onto a little bit of the Internet with some weird ass browser that didn't work with any site other than AOL. Eventually people got wise and realized that they really didn't want to pay triple what other people were paying for a playschool version of the Internet and AOL took a hit and had to dismantle their walled garden and let people free using Netscape and Internet Explorer. Today AOL is some third rate destination site and nobody really cares about them.

Apple is the new AOL, they give you pretty colors and shield you from the machine but at the same time don't let you do too much because they're afraid that you'll hurt yourself. They won't let developers write killer apps, they don't have the most killer hardware and they actually don't even have the most usable software.

RIM, Google and HTC show a glimmer of hope on how that can one day change. RIM's got a killer with the Bold with more to come around the corner, the HTC Touch HD is sick and finally tomorrow Google's launching the HTC with Android.

Oh yeah, did I mention that PCs/Laptops are becoming rapidly irrelevant? And Microsoft, well they're still around there in the background providing infrastructure and platforms but they are to some degree just enablers of the stuff to come while HTC/Google are the real drivers.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Hey Americans!

Your government just gave away $170 billion of your money to 'stimulate the economy', bought $200 billion in crappy mortgage companies, bought bad debts of $85 billion from a near dead bank and now is going to buy another $700 billion of bad debts from the banks.

That's after arguably spending a few hundred billion on a random war in the wrong place.

Your debt will be 11.3 trillion dollars after all is said and done.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My favorite video

Anybody that knows me knows that The Knife are one of my favorite acts, so it's no surprise that this Royksopp track with Karin from The Knife on vocals is my fave vid. I usually don't like Royksopp because they're too wimpy but this is pretty cool. BTW: Karin is the one eating the apple and not the one floating.

Royksopp - What Else Is There?

Biofuel is mostly dumb

In the long run, biofuel is really a pretty dumb idea. We already have a massive problem with fertilizer runoff, drinking water and deforestation so it just seems really stupid to trade air pollution for water/ground pollution. Brazil seems to have a good handle on sugar beets but they started in the 70s. Today we know a lot more about what happens when you trade forests for fields and it's clear that that's no good. The same goes for bio-plastics, we trade one kind of pollution for another and because it has some kind of first level benefit, most people ignore the net benefit/loss.

It's just plain dumb and that's what happens when you treat this kind of stuff emotionally and not pragmatically. We need to look at all of these things like an accountant would with objective eye towards cost/benefit. Push down pollution on one side and where does it pop out on the other?

There are a lot of dollars going into much better solutions but they just aren't as glamorous. My prediction is that capitalism will work it's magic and smart solutions will come but in the meantime some idiots will keep pushing stupid ideas to stupid people with emotional judgments. Think hard about this stuff next time somebody feeds you some more enviro-bullshit and embrace the stuff that really makes sense. Personally, I trust the capitalists to have a far more tangible impact than the rabid environmentalists;

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On bolds and zunes

I've had my blackberry bold for a month now and I have to say that I'm loving it for the most part. The email + web is great, videos are decent and the screen & keyboard are awesome. The only thing about it that sucks is how much the thing crashes. Sometimes its a couple of times a day and sometimes it's every few days. Clearly this thing isn't quite perfect. On top of that, I'll have to be really careful with this one because my old phones took tons of abuse and lasted me years, the bold looks kind of fragile and reboots when it takes a big bump. I dread the day when I drop it on concrete.

Regarding the Zune, I have to say that the Zune Software V3 blows iTunes right out of the water and the Zune itself is still my preference over the iPods. I really don't like the touch and before you get your panties in a bunch, I do actually have one and use them both side by side. I don't use an iPhone but I get the general idea and understand why some people like them. I also noticed that the new iPod touch finally has a physical volume button but I still wouldn't get one if I had a choice. I am however using my 1st gen touch to play spore when I'm bored. Which brings me to another gripe - I bought spore on the iTunes store for 6 bucks and only after I downloaded it did I realize that it didn't work on my touch - fucking store and itunes didn't even warn me. I didn't read the fine print. I had to then buy the 10 buck touch version with no chance of a refund for my mistake.

At the end of the day, I still think that iFans are a closed minded group that don't really realize to what degree they've been been short-changed and won't figure it out until Apple becomes un-trendy. After all, Apple aren't really the underdog anymore and it's hard to be an individualist when everybody in your subway car has the exact same gear as you right? Are you really a counter culture individualist who uses the same gadgets as George Bush? Does listening to JJohnson & Feist somehow make up for it?

Apple used to run an advert about 1984 and big brother, these days I think that they're the second biggest brother on the planet with the first being Google.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Two weeks with a blackberry bold

Week 1 went great, roaming around the east coast of Canada. No problems whatsoever switching between 3G/Edge/GSM. However when I got into NY state last friday, it started crashing regularly. Spent 4 days in NY/NJ upstate, midstate and bottom including coastal NJ and it crashed every 6 hrs. Zipped over to Boston for the past couple of days and now its rock solid. Seems like there are still some roaming issues with ATT USA and that's probably what's causing the launch delay.

My advice to RIM is to hold on until its rock solid because clearly it's going to be a disaster if released in the US in this state. In Canada however, rock solid and a joy to use. I get lots of Americans down here eyeing my device and asking me about it so clearly it's lustworth.

Oddly enough, at a software conference it seems like most of the programmer types use iPhones and the founder/owner types use crackberries.

It's been a while

I'm sitting here at the Seaport in Boston for the Business of Software conference and I have come to realize how great it is to get so much insight from people who have been through a lot more than I have. I've met loads of people who came from all over the world and spent some fairly significant money to be here. Since Boston isn't too far from me it wasn't such a big commitment but after being here this year I think I'll follow this conference wherever it goes next year even if that means going to the UK or wherever it is next.

I also realized that I have a lot of knowledge to share with others as I have been through 3 bootstrap companies, 2 IPOs, 2 mergers and 3 fiascos. That's a lot of startups! A fellow with a show on the BBC will be interviewing me about my experiences with VCs, that should be interesting.

So all that to say that I'll be contributing to this blog regularly again soon but probably more with a slant of what I've learnt over the years and what's driving me.

Adios from Boston!