Thursday, October 07, 2004

SpikePost - Polese's New Business

Kim's presentation:

Kim Polese says that strange things are happening in IT. Brazilthrows out Microsoft. So do regions of Spain, Germany, Belgium. China does its own Linux distro. Kim says "this is a revolution." And its happening "from the bottom up."

She contrasts this with the way that things used to work -- power was concentrated at the top, "the industrial egosystem." And this has worked in IT -- "monolithic vendors mad monolithic systems."

But then the Net came along and everything changed. A whole new software habitat now exists. A home on the range for developers. "Soon the ecosystem as opposed to the egosystem was filled with a whole new breed of software."

Open source adoption is exploding. This is a movement. This is a revolution. 70% web server share of Apache. 33% CAGR for Linux. 30% of all new apps using mySQL. And it is deployed at bug companies - Cisco, Goldman Sachs, ...

Web 2.0 arrived when demand began to supply itself. First it happened to programmers. Now it is spreading out to the rest of the world.

"The IT guy is the unsung hero of the economy."

The Net and Open Source were both built on principles that will change the world forever.

When anybody can improve software, it gets better.

The software industry IS maturing and commodifying -- but this is a GOOD thing.

But there is a whole new world of software business opportunities,, because innovation is moving to a whole new level.

Process innovation is becoming the new innovation in the software industry.

SpikeSource is leading this innovation

Muragan Pal and Ray Lane founded and incubated the company at KPCB

Kim joined 2 months ago as CEO

This is a "new breed of open source IT services company"

Peter Norvig talking at Web 2.0

Peter Norvig talking at Web 2.0
Peter Norvig talking at Web 2.0,
originally uploaded by Ted Shelton.
Peter Norvig is going deep into the science of search. It is intersting following the research person from IBM who talked about how they have research labs all over the world. Peter started his talk saying "Google doesn't have beautiful real estate all over the world, Google Labs is more about a state of mind..."

He is demonstrating semantic clustering -- very impressive to be able to see how documents are clustered by relationships between terms.

He demonstrates using the terms "george bush" and "john kerry" and everyone laughs when there are document clusters around George Bush that include "stupid" and "idiot" but these terms do not occur around John Kerry... Peter comments "this isn't what I think, this is what the web says..."

Web 2.0 Observations

Having written critically about the Blogon conference earlier this year, I am happy to report that Web 2.0 has been a GREAT conference, especially in contrast... Terrific speakers, really interesting topics, and (like Blogon) great attendees to interact with. And there is an enormous amount of buzz about the Internet -- a "resurgence" said one speaker.

What has Web 2.0 done right? Unfortunately for the future of conferences, they have returned to the model of the past -- key speakers or panels, narrowly focused on specific topics, and speaking TO the attendees not WITH the attendees. Now, the fact is that this model works and we haven't figured out the new model of the conference.

But it is worth mentioning that the two things that Web 2.0 tried to do toward a conferences 2.0 have failed:

(1) The idea of workshops is good (the first day of the conference) but the execution was poor. One problem was simply that the conference has been TOO successful -- a lot of people have shown up to participate. It is tough to run a participatory workshop in a standing-room-only meeting room. But the other failure was that no attempt was made to utilize a back channel for managing and directing the interaction. See my earlier post on this or Martin Tobias' post made after supernova.

(2) A Wiki for a conference COULD be a great tool, and the folks at Socialtext did a great job of creating a shell for a compelling online place for Web 2.0 attendees to interact with each other online. HOWEVER - organizers please take note! If your speakers do not engage on the Wiki and post info about their talks, and interact with attendees, and post their presentations, then you will not achieve a critical mass of value in the Wiki to attract attendees to participate. Thus the Web 2.0 Wiki is an eerily empty and silent place, rather than a vibrant interactive community.

Nonetheless, kudos to the organizers for creating a conference that hit a lot of the right topics, with great speakers, and an energized industry that is ready to leave here and make the Web 2.0 happen!

Mitch Kapor at Web 2.0

Mitch Kapor at Web 2.0
Mitch Kapor at Web 2.0,
originally uploaded by Ted Shelton.
Mitch Kapor tells us that:

Democracy is broken

Technology is (partly) to blame -- in the form of broadcast media

Technology will be the way to fix democracy

Primary issue: citizens opting out of the process. Secondary issue: transparancy (or the lack thereof)

Line that got applause - "If Thomas Paine was writing 'Common Sense' today, he would be doing so on a Linux laptop"

The politicians took the wrong message from the Dean campaign -- they heard that the Net was a way to raise money. They missed the way in which the Net became a way to engage citizens in the political process.

Bloggers are holding politicians accountable, the Net can create greater transparency and involvement, and - though there are challenges - we can fix democracy.

Cory Doctorow at Web 2.0

Cory Doctorow at Web 2.0
Cory Doctorow at Web 2.0,
originally uploaded by Ted Shelton.
Cory Doctorow speaking eloquently on the topic of digital rights management, how Intel amongst others are, in Cory's words, "selling out the tech industry" and how EFF is fighting for fair use and a healthy industry. Send money, call your senator, march on Washington.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Music is a Platform

Hank Barry starts out his panel with an impassioned plea to contact your legislative representatives to fight the INDUCE act, which he says is moving forward in private negotiations under the leadership of Senator Hatch.

Panelists inlude Mike Caren of Atlantic Records, Eddy Cue of Apple, Danger Mouse - the "hottest hip-hop producer in the world", Michael Weiss of Morpheus

Mike -- my job is to find new music and new talent, and then developoing that talent. The Internet is now part of everything I do. I have to look in ever nook and crany which used to be scouts and local shows but is now also reading blogs and looking online for favorite play lists and individual reviews. On the developing talent side, we are recording almost 100% directly to digital which reduces costs and facilitates distributed collaboration.

Hank - can you give me an example of a band that has broken out on the Internet?

Mike - not a perfect example. The Internet has been useful as an indicator of say that a video will be a hit video. But I can't say that there was one artist that has truly been an Internet artist.

Eddy - I think this is going to happen in the next year, where there will be an artist that really emerges from the Internet. We have more and more artists that have direct deals with iTunes.

Danger Mouse - Talks about how he created the "Grey Album" background from his web site --
Danger Mouse raised the bar on hip hop experimentalism by dropping the infamous Grey Album, which used the full vocal content of Jay-Z's Black Album, recorded over new beats and production created using the Beatles White Album as it';s sole source material. The resulting record is a unique hybrid of work, a re-interpretation being touted as the one of greatest remix albums of all time. With one million downloads in a week and ensuing battle between major record companies, the media, Internet and copyright advocates, the release of the Grey Album has been nothing less than a watershed moment for music.

Michael - Neonet is the next generation of peer to peer search technology which is going to drive people crazy in the intellectual property business.

Interesting, though wandering conversation about intellectual property rights, the use of the Internet to promote vs. steal music... But nothing really new here.

Lessons Learned, Future Predicted

Who doesn't want to know the future? But I sort of expect that Marc Andressen and Dan Rosensweig are more likely to have useful comments on the first half of this panel's topic.

Marc predicts that Microsoft will come back and attack Firefox and Opera and the other browsers that are emerging with a revitalized IE strategy and one that "screws with people's business models, leveraging the monopoly that they control..."

Dan believes that Yahoo's direction is to become more and more open. He does believe that there are things that can be done with a client application and pointed out that Yahoo already has a number of rich clients, including a browser.


Marc observes that we live in a world where software is more and more open - this is not the world of web 1.0 where the experience is a walled garden, but he believes that data is the new walled garden -- data lock in. You can't get your reputation out of eBay, for example -- "the plantation owner - sharecropper relationship"

Dan agrees that data is absolutely essential. But Dan thinks the walled garden of data leaves companies vulnerable -- if you lock up data, you just create a world in which companies and people are all trying to extract that data. So if you build your business on the premise of controlling that data, your business will unravel. So the important thing is to create a compelling user experience around data. That user experience will provide a lasting business model.


Marc -- Google is being lead willingly and unwillingly by press, wall street, users, into a direct confrontation with Microsoft. And I've seen this before. (Dan - how did it turn out? (Marc - you're going to find out!). They are being lead because everyone is spoiling for a fight. The result of that is that you have Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer on stage taking it personally and saying we will have to kill Google. It will be very interesting to see and it is still very unclear how it will line up. Google on your browser is one way, but there are other ways that they can screw with Microsoft's business model. (John Battelle (moderating) - but John Doer said that Google isn't going to do a browser -- Marc - the day that Google listens to John Doer is the day that they don't do a dutch auction...)

Dan -- Yahoo focuses on the user. What is the long term value for users. Long term value for users creates long term value for investors and employees. Its important not to get caught up in the issue of the moment and to stay focused on that long term value. "At the end of the day we are all going to end up surrendering to what the user wants to do."

Mary Meeker at Web 2.0

Mary Meeker at Web 2.0
Mary Meeker at Web 2.0,
originally uploaded by Ted Shelton.
Talking about China -- points out that in 1850, China was 33% of the world's GDP. Today they are only back up to 4% but they are the fastest growing.

59 million Chinese Internet users

24 million Chinese broadband subscribers

15 million online gamers

The economic picture is enormously different in China --

GDP per capita -- $619 China $37,000 for US

Huge labor surplus still in China:

Opex per employee $6.5K in China vs $73K in the US and $333K for Microsoft

"In the middle of most towns in Europe is a church. In China it is a Kentucky Fried Chicken or a McDonalds or both -- pointing to the enormous commercialization of China."

James Currier at Web 2.0

James Currier at Web 2.0
James Currier at Web 2.0,
originally uploaded by Ted Shelton.
James Currier of Tickle, Inc -- recently sold to (not to be confused with Monster cable of Monster Park here in San Francisco). James makes the case that there has been an enormous consumer psychological shift SINCE the Internet bubble (since 2000-2002). He argues that Web 2.0 will be about people defining the Internet in a way that is core to the way they live their lives -- the way they buy, meet each other, learn, etc.

The psychology of web 1.0 was "make me safe, put me in a walled garden"

The psychology of web 2.0 is "let me roam and explore"

Web 1.0 was about getting someone's email address

web 2.0 is about creating a "quality conversation with persistent presence"

Web 1.0 was about does it work, can I get the transaction done?

web 2.0 is about help me get this done, give me more information...

Dave Sifry at Web 2.0

Dave Sifry at Web 2.0
Dave Sifry at Web 2.0,
originally uploaded by Ted Shelton.
Dave Sifry says that there are over 4 million blogs, less than half are now in English, politics is the number one factor driving blog posting growth.

Example of blog power -- the kryptonite lock problem (pickable with a bic pen) broke on blogs 5 days before the mainstream press picked up the story.

Blogs are starting to get the same kind of attention that mainstream media gets.

Corporate blogs are proliferating. But the numbers are still really small -- only about 5,000 corporate and executive blogs and over 50% are from small companies.

Only 31% of all blogs have RSS feeds but the most influential blogs (approaching 90%) have RSS feeds. By influential Dave means, people who are linked to by other bloggers.

What happens next?

Make things easy for RSS readers (attention.xml)

Make things easy for web developers (synthetic feeds, hot topics...)

Mobile Panel at Web 2.0

The panelists inclide Trip Hawkins of Digital Chocolate, Russell Beattie, Jory Bell of OQO, and Juha Christensen (Psion, Symbian, Microsoft...) currently at Macromedia.

Russell -- "consumers are going to start realizing that they are carrying around little computers in their pocket..."

Trip -- "The voice business still dominates (the carrier's) thinking. But clearly the mobile phone is turning into a social computer. ...ways of connecting with your virtual village. But the carriers are like the gas station that has a convenience story and what they haven't grasped is that data is going to be the tail that wagged the dog... clearly the screen size is going to prevent this device from being used as a desktop computer would be used... but there are all of these ways that people can be helped in their mobile lifestyles."

Juha -- "one of the ways in which the phone is different from the PC is that the UI remains fairly static after you buy it as opposed to the PC which is vastly customizable. But this is changing, despite the battles between the manufacturers and the carriers for the control -- ultimately the users will be the ones that decide how their phones work."

Russell -- as a UI the reason SMS has been so successful on the phone is because it is so simple -- but this is not so different from the PC in fact the example would be Google -- SMS and Google are the same in the sense that you basically have one field and you fill that one box out and something valuable happens - in either environment (mobile or PC) simple is a key to broad succcess"

Jory -- "today we can put the entire Windows environment into a format that fits into your pocket, so why don't we put the entire think on phones, instead of worrying about all of these problems with bad UIs..."

Juha -- "by (200?) there will be 1.8 billion phone subscribers, this is not a market where one solution will fit all needs - I would argue that there is a divergence going on in the market, with a lot of innovation going on -- bigger devices, smaller screens, watches -- and many different user experiences."

Trip -- "computers in this (pointing to phone) form factor will outnumber PCs 10 to 1, just like the PC came into the enterprise... there will be billions of people carrying these devices..."

Russell -- (mobile phones will kill the ipod)

Bubble 2.0?

Now on at Web 2.0 is a panel discussion by a group of venture capitalists with the question -- is it a new bubble? Panelists include Safa Rashtchy of Piper Jaffray, Lanny Baker of CitiGroup, William Janeway of Warburg Pincus, and Danny Rimer of Index Ventures.

According to the group, the big difference between what will happen during this growth phase of the Internet and the last one is revenue. While last time there was a blind faith that building an audience would result somehow, someday, in revenue -- this time people know that it is possible (and Google proved it) to build a very profitable business around that audience. So companies have to prove that they know how to make money.

So what are these investors looking for as an investment in Web 2.0? Bill Janeway - "the integration of what has traditionally been back office, batch processing and analytics with real time network generated data..." Danny Rimer - "...the use of the Internet to introduce disruptive technologies... companies that are upsetting traditional economics..." Lanny Baker - " is still about building the largest audience..."

Bill - "Web 1.0 was about experimentation. The Bubble allowed us to overbuild the network, we funded enormous productive waste - and waste, trial and error, is a virtue. This set of proofs allowed us to create Web 2.0. This time around, the cost of capital is substantial which transforms the opportunity for experimentation. There will be a lot of people creating cool concepts but they will likely be acquired by big companies that have a proven audience and revenue... With extraordinary execution a few new companies may emerge... but otherwise, 'successful' companies are more likely to be acquired than to go public."

Brewster Kahle at Web 2.0

Brewster Kahle at Web 2.0
Brewster Kahle at Web 2.0,
originally uploaded by Ted Shelton.
Brewster Kahle wants you to know that it is possible today to take all (published) human knowledge available to all of humanity, everywhere in the world. He is talking about his project to put the world onto the Internet. You might remember Brewster as one of the early Thinking Machines employees. Brewster's organization The Internet Archive has text documents, movies, audio recordings... all available for free.

Joe Kraus at Web 2.0

Joe Kraus at Web 2.0
Joe Kraus at Web 2.0,
originally uploaded by Ted Shelton.
Joe Kraus, founder of Excite, is here at Web 2.0 launching his new company -- he is demonstrating the product now, something he calls an "application wiki" -- Lotus Notes, eat your heart out, the wiki is definitely coming to a corporation near you soon.

UPDATE: The name of Joe's new company is JotSpot

Canter Pumps Laszlo

Anyone who has followed Marc Canter over the past few years, either on his blog or otherwise, knows that he has been very critical of the company that he founded, MacroMedia. But it is strange to see him wandering Web 2.0 following the announcement that Laszlo will open source their rich web development environment and trying to convince everyone he speaks with to use Laszlo. The most interesting thing about the announcement is the preemptive strike against MacroMedia's own development environment for Flash. I expect it to be a successful tactic in that battle, by the way.

FoxNews Changes Their Article

FoxNews has modified their article on the debate to correct their duplication of Vice-President Cheney's Gaffe last night of mentioning "" instead of "" -- in the revised article, FoxNews states:
Cheney said that the allegations are false and directed voters to read the truth about Halliburton at; although he probably meant a project of the University of Pennsylvania that independently evaluates politicians' claims. Ironically, forwards visitors to the Web site of left-leaning billionaire and Bush administration critic George Soros."
But in the original article published shortly after the debate, FoxNews had repeated the VP's error and written:
Cheney said the Halliburton allegations are false and directed voters to, a project of the University of Pennsylvania, to read the truth.
I have used a product called Furl to store a copy of the original FoxNews article here and the live copy of the FoxNews article can be found here.

While media can take advantage of the fluidity of the Internet to change their articles without notice or apology, we the media consumers can also be vigilent in observing and recording this funny business.

After reading Fox's summary of the debate and counting the number of times that the piece promotes Cheney's points in the debate, and doesn't mention Edward's points I didn't need to see them change this article to know that they were a mouthpiece for the Bush-Cheney campaign. But seeing the way they chose to make this change, speaks volumes of the editorial integrity of the FoxNews team.

Boing Boing has an interesting note on this -- that the owners of are a for-profit advertising service based in the Cayman Islands and that they redirected their URL to George Soros " relieve stress on the service and to express a political point of view," as they were being deluged with hits within minutes after the end of the debate. Also interesting is the note that posted which says in part "...we did post an article pointing out that Cheney hasn't profited personally while in office from Halliburton's Iraq contracts, as falsely implied by a Kerry TV ad. But Edwards was talking about Cheney's responsibility for earlier Halliburton troubles. And in fact, Edwards was mostly right.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

FoxNews links to

Duplicating VP Cheney's error, Fox News links to in their article on the debate. Will Fox change their page to reflect the Veep's intended website link? Here is my Furl'd version of the page in question with the link to -- if you notice Fox changing their site, let me know! Wouldn't that be a clear indication of partisinship? Or would they simply claim that they were making a correction? -- George Soros?

I like millions of Americans, am following VP Cheney's suggestion and typing into my browser... so why is the headline Why We Must Not Re-Elect President Bush: A personal message from George Soros. Here is an interesting web hijack. Has the press picked up on this yet?

UPDATE: Martin Tobias explains that VP Cheney should have directed people to

Canter On The Future of the Web

Marc Canter has just been rapping on the future of the web -- I almost think he belongs at a conference called web 3.0 rather than web 2.0 as he is describing a world of the far future.

Marc wants an infrastructure for social networking, content sharing, and global search that is ubiquitous, open source, free, peer-to-peer...

This is a brave new world that he describes (""...and such people in it!").

I am struggling with how one builds a business model in this world. Marc's answer is that the entrepreneur creates a compelling user experience and that people will pay for that. On the other hand, my experience of the world has been that people are willing to use "good enough" if it is free or cheap(er). Isn't that part of why the PC won over the Mac?

Standing at Web 2.0

Standing at Web 2.0
Standing at Web 2.0,
originally uploaded by Ted Shelton.
Yes, I am at Web 2.0 in San Francisco. Shortly after taking this photo of Marc Canter and Steve Gillmor standing at the back of the first workshop, they dragged in some more chairs. At least the Nikko is NOT one of the hotels that has locked out employees. Marc points out that it is a GOOD thing that people have come out for the conference and that it is standing room only at 9:00 in the morning...

Monday, October 04, 2004

Web 2.0 Conference

I will be spending the next three days at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco. If you are going to be there, look me up!