Daily Roundup for 2008-03-09

  • Silicon Valley is where most everyone’s goal is to be wildly successful in changing the world – creating a runaway success and being rewarded with a big payday. All know the odds, and the daily struggle of insatiable demands for the next big thing with the very least investment, and industry-wide contempt for those who have failed. Despite this, all are driven to grasp for the shiny brass ring that’s always, though sometimes barely, out of reach. It is an environment of soaring hopes, crashing defeats, and maddening near-misses. Despite this, entrepreneurs never lose their yearning to change the world and be entrepreneurs. While they love the perceived freedom, they live in the constant state of self-consciousness (they may deny it), feeling their entire worth as a human being is being judged by people who are risk averse, lack vision, and not technically one’s peers.
  • Bill Gust, like most venture capitalists, is an optimist. The managing general partner of Anthem Capital Management’s Baltimore office expects a tougher year for entrepreneurs looking for funding, but said opportunities still exist for the right ideas. Entrepreneurs seeking capital have become more confident and experienced, said Don Rainey, a general partner with GroTech Capital Group. He said the tech bubble burst and Sept. 11 terrorist attacks had a greater chilling effect on entrepreneurs than today’s economy. “The current credit crisis doesn’t cause the same kind of hesitancy,” Rainey said. “I think quality has been improving for a couple years; the management are more mature and experienced than they were a year ago.”

  • At last March’s Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference in Monterey, CA, a summit that’s been described as "Davos for the digerati," the calm-voiced software architect from Microsoft began his demonstration abruptly, navigating rapidly across a sea of images displayed on a large screen. Using Seadragon, a technology that enables smooth, speedy exploration of large sets of text and image data, he dove effortlessly into a 300-megapixel map, zooming in to reveal a date stamp from the Library of Congress in one corner. Then he turned to an image that looked like a bar code but was actually the complete text of Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, zooming in until two crisp-edged typeset characters filled the screen, before breezily reverse-zooming back to the giant quilt of text and images.
  • Get ready for the next generation of online buyers. Kids are shopping online, downloading digital files and making their product opinions known. This activity, which doesn’t always involve an actual purchase, serves as training for kids to make purchases once they have the means.

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