links for 2010-08-22

  • My friend Howard Lindzon DM'd me on Twitter last night. He asked if I would agree to be interviewed on Skype next week on a series he is doing titled "The Web Is Dead." When I saw the DM, I shuddered. My good friend the web is dead? No way.
    But then I thought about a conversation I had with Saul Klein when I was in London a few weeks ago. Saul told me he is using the web a lot less and his iPad and iPhone a lot more.
    I don't personally have that experience. I use the web more and more. I've moved most everything I do to the web from desktop apps. And on my Android phone, I mostly use the web browser. I have a few apps, but the browsing experience is so good on An
  • If desperation is the mother of innovation, then ignorance might be its father. In the early stages of a company, being protected from external influences can be a powerful stimulant for creativity and innovation. Why? For the same reason that we often see some of the most creative and entrepreneurial insights coming from younger people. Wisdom and experience help to grow and sustain a company, but generating novel ideas requires a certain amount of naïveté. In the context of entrepreneurship and idea generation, ignorance equals open-mindedness. An empty mind is an open one — it is empty of bias, empty of past experience, and empty of external critique.
  • I’ve been pulled into a number of product and pricing meetings recently (for reasons unknown I’ve become the Foundry pricing and productization guy). I thought it would be helpful to put some of my thoughts into a blog post and hopefully spur some conversation in the comments and over email. With any broad topic, there are always exceptions to the general rules. There are also few absolutes and much of this advice varies depending on your specific product and market. And keep in mind here that I’m dealing generally with web services of some kind in the advice below (not consumer apps and not enterprise software). With those caveats, here are some ideas on pricing models:
  • Consumer Internet investing seems to have split off from traditional Venture Capital, and is creating a new category of VC’s: Lean VC’s. I think you can blame Customer and Agile Development for a small part of it.
    Here’s why.
    (tags: vc)
  • An entrepreneur recently sent me an @ reply message on Twitter asking for some help with a decision coming up in his business. I get these frequently via Twitter, Facebook or email.
    I don’t mind. I can’t always get to them. Basically a request like this is stacking on top of my already large to-do list. But I do like to try and make time for some and I’ll admit I’m a bit random about it. I do it when I’m in the mood, am avoiding something else or have a bit of free time. I wish I could do more.
    I provided my email address and he sent me a 688 word email (i.e. loooong) with a very broad question. I felt I had committed so I read and responded to the email.
  • Alignment.
    You hear this word thrown out frequently in business conversations. It is a wonderful thing to aspire to, but very hard to achieve. Perhaps even harder to achieve in entrepreneurial settings between the venture capitalist and the entrepreneur, where the stakes are so high and the ever-present risk of dysfunctional behavior leading to a "Start-Up Soap Opera".

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