Category: innovation

Status Report / Update

Things might be pretty quite around here for a while (at least). Why, because I’m super busy with various projects and using Facebook, Twitter, and FriendFeed more than this blog .

I’ve also started experimenting with Blogger.com, which I like better than WordPress.com for hosted blogs. Here’s the first real post on Bootstrappy: “Bootstrap or Die: Lessons Learned From a Web Startup’s Murder/Suicide” (that’s the post that the chart above belongs to).

Cheers!

Why The Twitter Breach Is Bullish for Two-Factor Authentication

First, see these headlines and stories:

Now, ask yourself this?

Is having (good) two-factor authentication (TFA) on its Google Apps and Gmail accounts something that Twitter would pay for?  A GToken, perhaps, for each user?

Of course, it is.  And, to answer the begged question: Yes, TFA could have prevented this breach.  NEW: See “The Anatomy Of The Twitter Attack” and consider what would have happened if Twitter would have been using TFA (and it was required for password resets).

It’s the same with many other individuals and companies. In fact, if good TFA is easily accessible, it will become a requirement, not just the differentiator it is now. Companies who tell their customers, partners, investors, lenders, etc. that they use security best practices will have to use TFA.

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Carsonified Golden Ticket (and point of life)

Just a quick post after reading Ryan Carson’s “Golden Ticket” tweet and blog post about how to win an all-expense paid trip to one of these Carsonified events:

See the blog for details on how to enter and qualify. And please leave a comment here on my blog, which is what I need to qualify. Thanks.

More importantly, and whether you leave a comment for me or not:

If you are also participating in the contest, let me know (comment below or email me at http://buzzpal.com/contact). I am happy to drop by your blog and leave a comment for you. In fact, I really, really want to!  Why?

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Seedcamp Update

NOTE: The is a repost from The BuzzPal Blog, but this is personal as well as business (that’s why it’s on both blogs).

Congrats and have a blast to those invited! To those who didn’t, like BuzzPal, save that turn down email, it will look great framed one day!

Seriously, I hope you got as much out of the application process as we did:

  • Made first video
  • Recruited a co-founder (that didn’t work, unfortunately)
  • Got first mention in media and on blogs, including TechCrunch UK
  • More!

It’s been awesome! Thanks again, Seedcamp people for the kick in the pants!

NOTE: Even though BuzzPal was not invited to be a Seedcamp team, we were invited to Seedcamp week, anyway, and a number of meetings are already scheduled, with to come (with you?). My schedule so far is here. Hit me up if you want to connect.

Cheers,
Chris

REMEMBER: “Eighty percent of success is showing up” –Woody Allen

$15-Off Coupon Code for BuzzPal T-Shirts

A friend just emailed me about a $15 coupon for BuzzPal’s USA shop. The coupon code is APOLOGY. That means you can get one of the less expensive t-shirt for FREE (plus shipping) or one of the more expensive ones for under $10 (plus shipping). Not sure when this coupon code will expire, probably real soon, so best to use it right now. If it doesn’t work, check here and search Google and Yahoo for other Spreadshirt coupon codes. For those of you in the EU, you can order from the USA shop or the EU shop, but I think the coupon code only works in the USA shop. Either way, check ’em out! The one I’m wearing here is the American Apparel with Flock printing from the EU shop. Totally sweet, as some of you have seen at The Next Web Conference in Amsterdam, Reboot in Copenhagen, and OpenCoffee in Gothenburg.

BuzzPal Video Pitch to Seedcamp

The is a repost from The BuzzPal Blog, but this is personal as well as business (that’s why it’s on both blogs).

Here is the 10-minute version.and here is the 2-minute version that we posted on the Seedcamp blog. If you just want to see the 1-minute music/photo video of some of the people and places that got us this far, here ya go: BuzzPal Music/Photo Video.

When watching the video, please bear in mind that this is BuzzPal’s first-ever PowerPoint presentation, first-ever video “pitch,” and it was done in a couple of hours, using some new tools and low-budget equipment. So be kind!

Also, please bear in mind that BuzzPal’s founder was in venture finance in the media, communications, publishing, and technology areas from 1999 to 2003 (MCG went public on the NASDAQ in 2001). During that time he has seen hundreds of pitches, so he knows what he likes in a pitch, especially a first pitch (see you expose yourself and show your personality + be different) and what he doesn’t like (see your formal face or fake/boring personality + talk the same old smack).

Yes, we don’t go into a lot of detail. That’s pretty common for pre-launch startups. This is not the launch video or private presentation we give to prospective stakeholders. This is the public version, the teaser version. Don’t like it? Tough cookies. Unless you’re one of the guys and gals who has gotten down in the dirt, in the arena, struggled for your life, in full public view, then you probably have no business being a critic. Don’t take my word for it, here’s what Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the U.S., had to say about it:

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BuzzPal Mentioned in the Media Today

BuzzPal – The World Is Your Party, got it’s first press mention today:

The article is about the new generation of Swedish startups and Seedcamp, which is basically the European version of Ycombinator. BuzzPal may be participating in Seedcamp, coming to it based on the suggestion of Anders Fredriksson, one of last year’s participants. Anders is a friend and contact here in Gothenburg. Thanks, Anders. -Chris

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From Daydreaming to Filmmaking, Through the Lens of Dyslexia

Another interesting NYT article on dyslexia. See a few related articles here and here. And this one from the WSJ: How the Brain Learns to Read.

March 30, 2008
Documentary
From Daydreaming to Filmmaking, Through the Lens of Dyslexia
By WENDY CARLSON

WHEN Harvey Hubbell V had difficulty learning in elementary school in the 1960s, his parents had him tested for dyslexia. He had no idea what that was. Nor did he care.

He was too busy making movies in his head.

“I would close my eyes and see pictures. I’d hear music, too — like from a marching band or something — and I knew right where it should come in,” Mr. Hubbell recalled.

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Odd Behavior And Creativity May Go Hand-in-hand

Another interesting article along the lines of this one on Dyslexia and Entrepreneurs.

ScienceDaily
Sep. 7, 2005
Odd Behavior And Creativity May Go Hand-in-hand

These images summarize the results of near infrared spectroscopy scans of schizotypes, schizophrenics and normal controls during divergent thinking tasks. Image (a) illustrates where the probe holder was placed for the brain scan. Image (b) shows the increase in oxyhemoglobin, which corresponds to an increase in brain activity, that occurred in both the right and left hemispheres of all three groups. Image (c) shows the increase in oxyhemoglobin in the right hemisphere of schizotypes compared to normal controls, while image (d) illustrates the much greater activation in schizotypes over schizophrenics. Image (e), which compares the different reaction of schizophrenics and normal controls, shows no difference between the two groups. (Courtesy of Park Lab)

ScienceDaily (Sep. 7, 2005) —

Often viewed as a hindrance, having a quirky or socially awkward approach to life may be the key to becoming a great artist, composer or inventor.

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Article: Coins in the New Realm

It’s interesting to see more and more people realizing the value of domain names. I’ve been building my portfolio for about 10 years and each year revenue grows, with little effort. It’s the real estate of the virtual world.

February 1, 2008
New York Times
Coins in the New Realm
By BRAD STONE

HOLLYWOOD — Xavier Buck planned to spend $100,000 to bid for domain names, those parcels of virtual Internet real estate, at a live auction here last week.

He blew past his limit in less than an hour.

By the time the three-hour auction had ended, Mr. Buck, the chief executive of the Luxembourg-based company EuroDNS, had spent $150,000 for 15 appealingly generic names, including 7th.com, chaptereleven.com, microfinancing.com and computersystems.com.

“These names will pay for themselves within two years,” Mr. Buck said, as he sat in the ballroom of the Renaissance Hotel with a business partner who wore an identical gray suit and shirt with the company logo. “The world is only now beginning to discover how important it is to have these assets.”

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Futurist Ray Kurzweil Pulls Out All the Stops (and Pills) to Live to Witness the Singularity

Ray Kurzweil is an interesting guy and certainly his thoughts on an exponential rate of technological advancement are relevant to everyone from West Bum Fuck Texas to West End London and everywhere in between. It’s one reason why people are constantly underestimating the rate at which advances are made (they are estimating linear growth when exponential applies). Here’s his book on Amazon: The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology. Now on to the articles (two of them):

WIRED MAGAZINE: 16.04
Med-Tech : Drugs RSS
Futurist Ray Kurzweil Pulls Out All the Stops (and Pills) to Live to Witness the Singularity
By Gary Wolf Email 03.24.08 | 6:00 PM
Photo: Rennio Maifredi

Ray Kurzweil, the famous inventor, is trim, balding, and not very tall. With his perfect posture and narrow black glasses, he would look at home in an old documentary about Cape Canaveral, but his mission is bolder than any mere voyage into space. He is attempting to travel across a frontier in time, to pass through the border between our era and a future so different as to be unrecognizable. He calls this border the singularity. Kurzweil is 60, but he intends to be no more than 40 when the singularity arrives.

Kurzweil’s notion of a singularity is taken from cosmology, in which it signifies a border in spacetime beyond which normal rules of measurement do not apply (the edge of a black hole, for example). The word was first used to describe a crucial moment in the evolution of humanity by the great mathematician John von Neumann. One day in the 1950s, while talking with his colleague Stanislaw Ulam, von Neumann began discussing the ever-accelerating pace of technological change, which, he said, “gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs as we know them could not continue.”

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How to Get Wall Street Journal Articles Free (and legal!)

March 21, 2008
machinist.salon.com
The Wall Street Journal’s Web site is already (secretly) free

Late in January, Rupert Murdoch put an end to speculation that he would set free the Wall Street Journal’s subscription-only Web site.

While he planned to “expand” the site’s free offerings, “the really special things will still be a subscription service, and, sorry to tell you, probably more expensive,” the News Corp. head told a crowd in Davos, Switzerland. The pay wall, in other words, would stay up.

But Murdoch, quel surprise, wasn’t telling the whole truth: The Wall Street Journal’s Web site already is free. Every article that the paper publishes is available to anyone, for no money at all.

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Article: The One-Guy Theory

An interesting article highlighting the agility and decisiveness that comes with “one-guy” leadership. Also covered, of course, are some of the drawbacks.

February 14, 2008
BusinessWeek
The One-Guy Theory

Diffuse power begets confusion. Companies led by one guy get things done.

There is a central truth about Time Warner (TWX) that new CEO Jeff Bewkes must grapple with: Things. Move. Very. Slowly. There. The stock market yawned after his initial earnings call with analysts on Feb.6, perhaps because two of the major initiatives he mentioned—revamping AOL to sell its dial-up access business more easily and moving toward some decision about Time Warner Cable (TWC)—already have spent a few seasons percolating as possibilities in the press. Furthermore, readying AOL would be “fairly complicated,” Bewkes warned. The process could take several months.

This touches on the fundamental media conglomerate problem: There are too many layers. There are too many fiefdoms. There are too many…guys. Guys strolling the corridors, guys clustering around the boardroom, guys slowing things down. (The litany of executives that follows shows they’re, still, almost exclusively guys.) This, in a time of great uncertainty and fast-shifting consumer appetites, when sheer speed may determine which companies successfully molt and which simply melt.

I was chewing this over with a dealmaker pal and, inevitably, the alacrity and decisiveness with which News Corp. (NWS) makes its moves came up. Said pal had a two-word explanation: “One guy.”

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Article: Empty-Stomach Intelligence

I’ve been meaning to post this for about a year… finally got around to it when I wrote this post on my startup’s blog: Bootstrap, Then Raise Funds If/When Necessary.

Update: Also this post: Simulated Startup vs. Real Startup.

December 10, 2006
New York Times
Empty-Stomach Intelligence
By CHRISTOPHER SHEA

Hunger makes the best sauce, goes the maxim. According to researchers at Yale Medical School, it may make quadratic equations and Kant’s categorical imperative go down easier too. The stimulation of hunger, the researchers announced in the March issue of Nature Neuroscience, causes mice to take in information more quickly, and to retain it better — basically, it makes them smarter. And that’s very likely to be true for humans as well.

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