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Innovation, Marketing, Startups, Technology »

[23 Apr 2010 | No Comment | 3,165 views]
Wandering Down Innovation Alley at ad:tech

As a startup guy myself and someone who likes to cover startups, I was delighted to find the Innovation Alley at ad:tech San Francisco. It’s no surprise that the exhibit hall and conference sessions are dominated by big brands like Yahoo! (YHOO) and Google (GOOG). They have the resources to buy exposure. But startups struggle for attention everyday. Most don’t deserve any attention but even the ones with innovative new technology and solutions don’t get the buzz they deserve.
So the folks at ad:tech is helping to solve this rather …

Business, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Startups, Strategy, Venture Capital »

[16 Aug 2009 | 3 Comments | 13,531 views]
How to be a Good Member of a Board of Advisors

There are plenty of good pieces on the Internet about how to build a good board of advisors.  Go ahead, Google them.  There is one super post about why you shouldn’t bother to build an advisory board by the smart guys at 37Signals.  Essentially, they’re saying that too many supposedly critical things are myths that keep you from building the company and products.  But what if someone has approached you to be an advisor to his company?  There aren’t very many pieces about how to be a good advisor.  So how do you …

Entrepreneurship, Features, Hedge Funds, Investing, Latticework, Randomness, Startups, Technology »

[1 Nov 2008 | 8 Comments | 4,796 views]
Thriving in Tough Times

I don’t get things right as much as I’d like when it comes to the market but my Latticework Linkfest back in late February was spot on:
In times of recession, when unemployment is high, the unemployed go back to school to add marketable skills and increase future earnings power. The leading companies in for-profit education include Strayer Education (STRA), DeVry (DV), ITT Educational Services (ESI), Career Education Corporation (CECO), Capella Education (CPLA), Corinthian Colleges (COCO), and industry giant Apollo Group (APOL). Apollo operates the ubiquitous University of Phoenix campuses. This …

Innovation, Startups, Technology, Venture Capital, Video »

[28 Sep 2008 | 8 Comments | 1,067 views]

The Web is changing. The current Web is designed to allow computers to retrieve and deliver documents from other computers for the end user to view, read, and interpret. As anyone who has used Google’s (GOOG), Yahoo’s (YHOO) and Microsoft’s (MSFT) search engines can attest, sometimes the retrieval of desired documents and information is accurate and sometimes it is way off base. The Semantic Web, others prefer to call it Web 3.0, has the potential to change the game completely. In the Semantic Web, computers have …

Design, Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Strategy, Technology, Venture Capital »

[20 Sep 2008 | 2 Comments | 1,408 views]
The State of Intellectual Property

A while ago, I wrote about patent trolls and wondered about the viability of intellectual property, in the form of patents, as a liquid, tradeable, securitized asset class. I also mentioned Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures as one outfit that could drive patents toward an elevated asset class status. In a recent TechCrunch post about Myhrvold, it appears he’s gone a long way in pushing patents to become more liquid and tradeable. In summary, Intellectual Ventures has systematically acquired a patent portfolio of over 20,000 patents. In the eight years since …

Entrepreneurship, Features, Investing, Startups, Technology, Venture Capital »

[8 Aug 2008 | One Comment | 4,931 views]
Irrational Exuberance 2.0

Facebook insiders have been selling their stock. Top level insiders such as directors from venture funds invested in Facebook, key executives and even Mark Zuckerberg himself have been quietly trying to unload some shares in private sales. These private transactions are not uncommon as startup entrepreneurs and their backers are often in search of some liquidity. What makes these particular transactions interesting are the implied values being negotiated.
When Microsoft (MSFT) bought a small stake in the wildly popular social network, the price paid implied an overall value of $15 billion. …

Business, Features, Innovation, Investing, Technology, Venture Capital »

[1 Jul 2008 | 2 Comments | 4,847 views]
Patent Bridge is Falling Down

Technology industry heavyweights are banding together to form a new group called the Allied Security Trust. Members include Google (GOOG), Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Hewlett-Packard (HPQ). This alliance will buy up patents in the marketplace to preempt “patent trolls” from acquiring these patents in order to extract royalties from Allied Security Trust members.
Patents are notoriously difficult to value but it is clear that patents are becoming a viable asset class in themselves. Taking the cue from many other asset classes, could there be a way to “securitize” a portfolio of …

Investing, Linkfest »

[27 May 2008 | No Comment | 842 views]
Investing Linkfest 5/27/08

Last week, I attended Zions Bank’s (ZION) 7th Annual International Trade and Business Conference. Most of the speakers were very interesting. John Howard, the former Prime Minister of Australia, gave a lively keynote speech and subsequently fended off with aplomb the inane question of a clearly wide-eyed political science student from the university. Christopher Padilla, the United States Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade (that’s a mouthful), spoke about the opportunities in a world featuring an emerging power in China.

The one speaker that intrigued me most was Matthew Simmons …

Innovation, Startups, Strategy, Technology, Venture Capital, Video »

[15 May 2008 | 2 Comments | 1,693 views]
Google Commoditizing Networks

A few days ago, I wrote about the commoditization of social networks or rather the social networking feature sets that currently make Myspace and Facebook so unique and neat. Pioneers in social networking like Friendster and Myspace introduced a new data and software architecture that, at the same time clumsily and elegantly, met Internet users’ desire to interact and share content with each other. Finding old friends, connecting with new friends, sharing music and videos, playing collaborative games, and expressing oneself to virtual audiences of thousands all were groundbreaking features …

Investing, Linkfest, Technology »

[27 Apr 2008 | 2 Comments | 1,547 views]
Investing Linkfest 4/27/08

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my pessimism regarding the technology sector. The market had seemed to interpret the surprisingly good results reported by Big Blue (IBM), Google (GOOG), and even Yahoo! (YHOO) as reasons for unleashing optimism and a bargain hunting shopping spree for stocks of publicly traded technology companies. Maybe the recessionary environment and the woes faced by banks and the American consumer would not negatively impact corporate budgets for technology. My skepticism rests on the ability of secondary technology companies to weather the economic slowdown. In …