It's a good time for talented developers. Architects of Web and client-side apps have their choice of dazzling users on not one, but three cutting-edge mobile platforms. There's no shortage of opportunities to create custom Safari apps for the iPhone, and add them to our growing collection of iPhone apps, of course. Developers can also now download the Android SDK (for Mac or Windows) to start measuring and mixing an app for Google's new mobile platform. Inspired developers have a chance to earn a share of the $10 million in prizes offered in the Android Developer Challenge.… Read more
Something hit me the other day. Perhaps it was two years of education at the hands of Larry Lessig finally sinking in. Or perhaps it was my reading of Gene Simmons' commentary on those pesky kids who steal his music. Whatever the impetus, it finally all came together.
Twentieth century software business models focus on scarcity because they're founded upon 20th century conceptions of property (actually, their origin is a few centuries' older than that, but never mind).
Scarcity is the absolute wrong way to build a software business in the 21st century, with the rise of digitization. It is pointless and fruitless to insist that the digital world act like the physical or analog world, and build business models that conform to this false view. To thrive in the new software world, we need to embrace its changes rather than fight them.
Inspired by Glyn Moody, I wrote a few weeks ago that "in a digital world, the money is in analog." But the principle is actually much deeper than this.
To get at the principle, it's useful to look at the successful business models of a few 21st century pioneers, including Google and Red Hat:… Read more
Years ago I remember when my then-professor, Larry Lessig, announced that he was hanging up the speaker's mic to concentrate on his research (and to give time back to his family). I pleaded that he would not abjure his freedom fighting. I asked who would take up the mantle in his absence?
Larry's answer was typical of him:You.
By which he didn't mean "me" per se, but rather those who looked to him to help promote open source, net neutrality, etc. Tim Wu of Columbia Law School has taken up that charge. Tim studied under Larry at Harvard and has been particularly involved in opening up the wireless world to competition, innovation, and capitalism. (Yes, you read that right - it's one of those ironic offshoots of freedom. It tends to lead to greater financial opportunities.)
I tend to be pretty hard on Google. I suppose it's a case of where much is given, much is expected. Regardless, as I was working yesterday it hit me just how much I use Google. It made me grateful that the company figured out a way to make gobs of cash so that its basic service - search - is free to use 24 hours each day, seven days each week.
How do you use Google? For me, I find myself using it constantly to find the following information:… Read more
The launch of Google's OpenSocial platform earlier this month might have been more PR than anything, as many of the third-party partners implementing the new developer standard won't be releasing anything for months.
Instead, OpenSocial-related announcements have been rolling out slowly: one of the latest is that social music site Last.fm has created OpenSocial widgets designed for use on Ning, a site that allows any person or business to create a specialized social network. (According to Ning, more than 123,000 networks have been created so far.)
Ning network creators and members can now install the Last.… Read more
Google is lining up financing to bid on wireless spectrum in the Federal Communication Commission's upcoming 700MHz auction, and it's already built a small high-speed wireless network at its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., to test out what it could do with the spectrum, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The Journal cited sources saying the company is planning on bidding in the auction, set to take place early next year. Google has obtained a test license from the FCC that it's using to test technology on a small wireless network on its campus, the article said. … Read more
Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama made an impressive showing at the Googleplex on Wednesday, joking about the casual attire of the audience and correctly answering a standard Google engineering interview question.
Asked by Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt what the most efficient way to sort a million 32-bit integers is, Obama said the wrong way would be the "bubble sort method," which is a basic but inefficient method for sorting numbers. "You answered the question correctly," Schmidt said.
"He's fresh, he's new, there's something about him that's Google-like," Nicole Resz, … Read more
Paula Abdul doesn't have anything on Marissa Mayer.
Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience, will be on a panel of expert judges for YouBeTheVC.com, where people vie for venture capital funding though an online contest. The contest is something like American Idol meets The Apprentice.
Would-be entrepreneurs submit their business ideas online and the judges give them report cards. Members of the public then choose the winners from semifinalists picked by the judges.
"We're really excited about this contest because we really like the idea of being able to see what'… Read more