facebook does not hire old people

March 27, 2007

i just read a story on venturebeat about ‘start-up advice for entrepreneurs’ from y combinator start-up school.

mark zuckerberg states the following:


“I want to stress the importance of being young and technical,” he stated. If you want to found a successful company, you should only hire young people with technical expertise.

“Young people are just smarter,” he said with a straight face. “Why are most chess masters under 30?” he asked. “I don’t know,” he answered. “Young people just have simpler lives. We may not own a car. We may not have family.” In the absence of those distractions, he says, you can focus on big ideologies. He added, “I only own a mattress.” Later: “Simplicity in life allows you to focus on what’s important.”

i am not saying he is totally correct but there is some truth in that statement. the younger you are the more you believe you can change the world and that nothing or no one can stop you. also you put your life into whatever it is your doing/developing at that time. i speak from personal experience on this one…like zuckerberg i own nothing and sleep on air mattress. i have to say having nothing else to think about but ‘ digital innovation’ and when the next season of entourage start does keep me focused.

see full story here



franchasing of blog brands

March 27, 2007

ali j over at ‘everybody go to’ poses a very interesting question…can blog brands be franchised? the simple answer is yes. but i wanted to digg into why i think this is true. i worked for a major burger chain that was based on the franchise model and although it had its own craziness the model worked. the biggest problem with a franchise model is that usually the corporate office cant see eye-to-eye with the franchisee (on anything). and at my old place of employment this was a huge issues down to what type of bags were used. i believe the big reason for this disconnect between corporate and the franchisee are as follow:

  • market changes and franchisees stay the same
  • corporate does not communicate with franchisees
  • corporate wanting to much oversight of what franchisees do
  • not forming a partnership between corporate and franchisee

when a franchisee looks to get involved with a big chain the upfront cost are very high….the cost pay for:

  • leasing of land
  • product
  • marketing

the thing you have to love about the web is that all those things have very low cost of entry. as well you do not have to sign 10-20 year leases for web domains and severs while marketing is a google ad word away.

so let’s look at a brand like gigaom. om has built his network entirely on his brand. the great work he has done at business 2.0 to the latest site he launched newteevee. now i am a inspiring blogger and want to get off the ground pretty fast with out all the crap most people have to do to gain an audience. om could simply charge me a franchisee fee say 100 bucks a month plus 30% revenue generated from my blog. i in-turn get the marketing power of the gigaom network, hosting, url and some help with starting my blog. i not saying om let’s everyone in but if he feels you have talent why not. and just like any franchise agreement both parties can cancel the agreement if one party is not living up to their part. from om pov a blogger needs to grow their user base over time. from the blogger pov om needs to promote the new blog within the om network.

this model is very simple and very easy to monitor. the greatest implementation of the model is at hair salon and barber shops. if you are a barber you rent out a chair. it is up to you as the barber to make sure you client is satisfied and happy with the product you deliver. as for the owner of the shop they must make sure the work space is clean, stocked with the tools you need and they need to market the establishment.

i know this seems very simple and that’s because it is. that why I think franchising blog brands is a great idea.

check out the full ali j story here


i am a walking intellectual property…how do i protect myself?

March 27, 2007

this is more of a question than a post.   i think someone needs to develop a creative common license for ideas. think of all the copyright laws in the world and how you as a employee have no rights over the intellectual properties you develop.  i know what everyone is going to say…they pay you.  ok i get that but record labels pay artist and movie studios pay directors and screenplay writers but the still get credit for their work.  all the labels and studios due is add distribution to the great ip that an artist has developed.

why cant corporations act like labels and studios?  if you develop an idea you should get all the credit…why not?  the corporation will still make tons of cash off the distribution…correct? i would like to see the next apple product say designed by jonathan ive (or who ever) distributed by apple.  apple is nothing without design just like most companies are nothing without their great thinkers.  they should start to give credit where credit is due.


twitter and message boards…a match made in tech heaven?

March 26, 2007

i have been hearing about twitter for a while now but just thought of a cool way it should be used. think about all the community forms/message boards that companies and users create to chat about products and subjects. a few weeks ago i saw twitter vision and wondered what would a message board look like with the twitter platform…and twitter vision is it or very close.

a message board with a twitter like platform would be very interactive and engaging. it allows takes the boring look and feel (fuglyness) out of current message boards and leverages web 2.ohh functionality. this would be great for a company like apple, nike, or nintendo which have tons of fanboys who already love to communicate online as is. just think…at the next apple launch instead of f5 every second on engadget we all can talk over ‘apple twitter vision’. just a thought.

check out twitter vision here



update: techcrunch is reporting that twitter is adding a few cool features to their api.  full story here 

is joost about to launch to the public?

March 26, 2007

it was about 2am est…for no reason at all i was checking out some of the video sites out there to see if there was anything new i have not seen. i clicked on joost and the site is down with a ‘we are working on the site’ message. well if you are in private beta as joost has been is there any real reason to update your site? i would think not. with the news of fox/nbc last week is joost looking to grab some early market share by launching a little bit earlier than planned. might not be a bad idea.
this is just a guess on my end.

if anyone out there has any more information let me know.


update: the site is back up and sorry to say joost is not open to the public. they added a few more features like:

  • whats on joost
  • more screenshots of the platform
  • and if you have not seen the joost player it is now on the site

the most interesting of all the new features is a section called ‘share’. i had no idea what to expect when i clicked on it seeing the only thing i could really share was a link to the site at this point unless i am a beta tester. but i was surprised when i clicked on it…they go into how users will be able to share their channels with friends and take the tv watching experience into a community like environment.

this brings up another point. i watched last week march madness games at a friends place in nyc. we have a mutual good friend who lives in miami. the coolest thing about watching the games was hopping on ichat to talk through what was happening in the game real time with our friend in miami. that give me the idea that we can all watch the game together from 3 different parts of the world. if anyone works for the nba, nfl, mlb or nhl (and nhl you need help) this is a tech you should take advantage of. i would call it ‘game talk’ or ‘game chat’. allow people with webcams to come to the .com of that sport and login to talk with those who are watching the game as well. of course people will start to talk smack but thats the beauty of it.

just a thought. sorry for the long update. see the new joost site here

tv nets fight back….youtube dead?

March 22, 2007

well it had to happen. nbc and fox have teamed up to create a new video sites that will carry all their content for free. i just want to point out a few things:

1. users will be able to get all these shows in one place

2. advertisers will be able to buy both tv and online through one source

3. the power of the nets to market this to users

i am not saying youtube, joost, and other are done but as a user on techcrunch says…”its not a divorce of ugc and professional content but it is a separation”. true, true.

i know this is not the last we will hear from google and co on the topic but if viacom took the gloves off with the 1b dollar lawsuit then nbc and fox threw the first bare knuckle punch.

read full techcrunch story here. read the comments as well very interesting.


update: cuban is in on it now…here

update: techcrunch update from nbc/fox press call here.

vodpod test

March 22, 2007

ok…i have to admit i love what heavy is doing with ron jeremy and i am not the only one. i have seen this videos starting to pop-up everywhere. with that said i been wanting to do something with vodpod for a while and these videos give me a good chance to test. i created a vodpod for the clips and embedded on the sidebar below.

only thing i dont like so far is that it does not show the thumbnails all the time.

tell me what you think.


mark cuban pov on viacom vs youtube

March 14, 2007

i have been waiting to see his take on the whole thing…i could just see him reading the news (just like me) and going here we go. my pov is that this needed to happen. i do not care who wins but these copyright problems have to be brought to light. our industry will continue to be held back until these issues are figured out.

here is where i hope it ends up…

1- all video sites need to protect copyrighted material as much as possible. this means putting some type of tech in place to monitor what is uploaded to their sites. i am not crazy, they can not catch everything but they need to put some effort into this process.

2- media companies develop a vision and stop being dumb asses. alot of these video startup companies are running out vc cash anyway so go and tap the talent and have them help you figure out how to get your content out and still get paid. reverse engineer the problem with the minds that have created it.

3- users win. this is the most important point of all. not cuban, not viacom, not youtube, hell not even me. radio gave users the first national broadcast medium. tv brought that broadcast to live action. now the web is the ultimate syndication platform. there is money to be made from all parties but please, please remember the user. all this does not happen if youtube only gets 3 uniques a day.


read mark cuban post here.

video tagging to target

March 13, 2007

i have been working on a project that looks at using audio tagging to deliver targeted ads around video. the more i dive into it the more i realize that the tagging of video and how it is done is a huge undertaking. the major problem is the back log of all the video that has no tags and the lack of people who know how to tag videos in a way that advertisers can base their spending around keywords like they do for contextual ads currently.

first let me say some type of tagging will have to take place but i believe it will be at an higher level (i.e. sports, gaming, etc.) at least for now. i have realized once you get down to the clip level it almost impossible to handle currently because it is all subjective from one person to the next.

here is where the audio tagging idea came in but there is even a bigger problem there…yes i now know the words that are said but have no idea the visuals that go along with those words. i have an idea of what the visual may be but do i really want to put a fortune 500 advertiser in front of something i just have an idea about.  now you see my point.

so what is the solution: walled garden approach (for now). control your library and its video assets. this is where a company like youtube will fail unless they can build a library of assets that they can control and run through the ringer in order to give advertisers the type of tools they are looking for to target users. i am sure there is a long term solution that will involve visual and audio tagging tech that is applied to every video that is uploaded allowing for advertiser to come in and by keywords and certain visual elements. an example is if i am nike and i can buy the following tags for the launch of a new basketball shoe:


– basketball

– nba

– march madness

– slam dunk

– jordan

visual elements:

– basketball rim

– basketball court

– basketball

– basketball arena

– nba logo

– march madness logo

you get the idea.


widgets…i am sold

February 12, 2007

there is alot of talk out there about widgets and how they will be used in the 2.0/3.0 space. i still believe that 2.0 = distribution. with that said widgets are the wave of the future. you ask whats next…this is it. some will say it is now because of the myspace lovers out there with slide, photobucket, youtube (player), etc. but none of these take the community aspect into account.

a company i have been watching for about 2 months now seems to be getting it. vod pod has a video widget that is awesome. it allows you not only to upload your own videos but pick from a community of topics and producers you like. the wideget looks very cool and is screaming for some type of ad platform.

widgets could be the death of the portals and major websites alike when you think of the way the deliver content and the fact they can be placed anywhere. myspace has shown widgets could work and get a brand not scared tp take a chance and the dollars will roll in. just saying…i have seen crazier things.

check out vod pod video widget here: http://blog.vodpod.com/