Tagami Vlogs MacWorld 2006

Here is the first of at least 2 videos from MacWorld. What a blast!

Michael Verdi, Ryanne Hodson, Joshua Kinberg, Dave Toole, JD Lasica, and more! Paul Carnine of Vara Software and Peter McClard from Gluon both have cool tools that we may be seeing at Vloggercon this year. Josh let’s us know we are about to get directories with FireAnt, and what appears to be Vlogmap integration!


There is a ton of noise that will be coming out of Las Vegas with the Consumer Electronics Show for the next few days. I hope to weed through all of that noise and find the signal(s) that I am looking for: namely media infrastructure and mobility announcements. Here then is what I have been able to glean from day 1:

Video Cameras: Sony introduces the DCR-SR100 Handycam. Engadget reports that it has a 3 megapixel imager, 30GB harddrive, and optional bluetooth mic…nice!

Also announced today was the Sanyo VPC-HD1, a High Definition SD recording camera. Coming as early as March, this 8.3 oz, $800 camera, boosts 5.1 megapixels and a 10x optical zoom. Wow.

Mobile Video: Thomson’s LYRA X3000 PMP has a 3.6 inch 320×240 screen and 20GB HD, and is 3/4 of an inch thick. Not sure how well it does digital, but it is ready for DirecTV 2 Go’s analog signal. Nice that DirecTV is experimenting with adding Vloggers to their service already.
There has been talk of Digital Video Broadcasting Handheld format coming into the US for over a year, and it looks like 2006 may be the year for it. Crown Castle has enlisted Samsung and LG to roll out product even though no carriers have yet been confirmed.

Distribution: at&t (new lower-case branding) introduced its version of IPTV to a few hundred house holds in San Antonio Thursday according to the Wall Street Journal. Only 200 channels and no HD yet, at&t promises to expand to 1000 channels and enable subscribers to program their DVRs via their mobile as well as choose camera angles for sporting events. It is running on the MS operating system.

Intel (also freshly rebranded in the new year) is revving up it’s dual core processor video solution they have named Viiv (which I assume is a spin on 6 4) with a announcement at CES that includes on-demand news and sports, advertising and entertainment, as well as our favorite Vloggers. Morgan Freeman will be there promoting ClickStar, his company that is planning to shorten the window on movie distribution from theater to IP. This sounds alot like what Mark Cuban’s Magnolia Pictures is scheduled to do with Soderbergh’s new movie Bubble. Bubble is scheduled to release simultaneously in theaters, on cable and DVD this January 27th.

Finally, Creative opened the doors on a riff of iTunes to support their new Zen player. Check out zencast.com

Startup School

It’s a rainy day in Cambridge and I am stuffed in an auditorium with 500 other like-minded technologists and investors. Paul Graham has set up this one day conference to help spark new tech start-ups into action. More to come as the day goes on. I am recording the sessions, but acoustics are poor so I am not sure that I will podcast this. We’ll see.

Langley Steinert (TripAdvisor) provides solid recommendations for startups. Minimum start $500k-$1m. Keep at least 12 month burn in reserve.

Marc Hedlund (O’Reilly) lists companies he is interested in: Adaptive Path, Bloglines, del.icio.us , Feedburner, Flickr, Indico, Jotspot, Koders, Odeo, Project Placesite, Spike Source, Splunk, Squid Labs, 37 Signals, Upcoming.org, Zimbra.

Qi Lu (VP of engineering, Yahoo!) is demoing the beta Yahoo! mail running AJAX. Built on the Outpost acquisition. Search application is strong. 2 billion messages a day on current platform. Social bookmarking (My Web 2.0) is also mentioned. Outreaching for Developer Network. Yahoo! music player with new APIs. Working with the Entpreneur community by investing in companies that use Yahoo! APIs. Qi makes the arguement that as a startup you call enjoin in Yahoo! and not worry about scale (both in traffic and data process).

After the break we heard from Hutch Fishman. He’s been the founding CFO of quite a few start ups including Sonus Networks, Viaweb, Winphoria Networks, VideoServer, and Family Education Network. He is current CFO of cMarket and Veveo (in stealth mode).

Paul Graham is speaking now (Y Combinator). Ideas for startups. He’s on a great riff. I sure hope the audio is good enough to cast this, meanwhile, full text of his speech here

David Cavanaugh (Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr) is up. Intellectual Property for Startups. He is using the Babcock Grabber to illustrate all the points in the IP question. (Patents, Trade Secrets, Copyrights, and Trademarks)

Michael Mandel (Chief Economist, BusinessWeek) believes the US has unique ability with respect to the rest of the world to provide for an enviroment for startups. The role of Venture Capital is not to give out money, it’s to throw you out if you are not executing well on the good idea.

Steve Wozniak gets a standing ovation at the end of his recant on the start of Apple.

Woz is an active Segway polo player. He has been having problems with his back (sounds like he may need surgery?) and he jokingly remarks, “As long as you have enough gadgets you dont need your health.”

Seeds of invention. Apple, was accidental for Steve: Making the computer small with less parts was a game to him. He goes on to say that just because a system is set up a certain way before you design what you want, does not mean that you need to use that same design set up when you go to task. We should establish our values early on and write them down. Later on, if we are confronted with a choice in direction consult back to those early writings on value.

Mark Macenka (Goodwin Procter LLP) The great value of avoided mistakes. Important of study and analysis of the market opportunity. He goes on to speak of the incredible continuing requirement to remain focused and that the requirement (or failure) to solicit strategic and tactical advice on business legal issues makes or breaks the startup. Mark drills into Capital Structure, IP recurring problem areas, founder’s issues.

Start and stay organized. Do it right the first time with advisers that know what they are doing. Someone in the company must be compulsive. Give corporate and legal matters the same respect as your source code, lab notebooks, engineering documents.

Stan Reiss (GP Matrix partners) Your First Round should be the worse terms you ever negotiate in the life of the Company. Very small number of VC are associated with the overwhelming bulk of successful companies. Make the decision with a lot of care.

Stephen Wolfram (Founder, Wolfram Research) Origins of complexity. Steve wanted software tools to help solve his complex problems, so he built the tools himself. June 1988, Mathematica v1 released. This man has a brillant mind.

Like a telescope he was discovering computational relationships in all things using it. Here was symbolic programming and discovering the essence of things. He wanted to get down to the primitives. On business: if you delegate without understanding things tend to get messed up. You cannot delegate the core motivation of running the company.

Steve’s company is not a formula run company, but one run on underlying principles. alot of business is thinking practically.

While I am listening, it is amazing to see him speak. He seems to be speaking extemporaneously, yet on the main screen we are viewing a large triangle with many various sized triangles as he continues to refer back to his laptop.

At the core of something successful is something very difficult. Applications in nanontech, biotech, pattern recognition, security. Despite the total esoteric nature of Steve’s research, he as developed Wolfram Tones by doing searches in the computational universe. Wolfram Tones used for cell phone ring tones!

The outcome cannot easily be predicated based on the simple starting algorithm. Building a company for acquisition and not long term benefits allows those that try that to get away with a lot of things that will blow up in 10 years that wont in 5. Growth vs revenue? Steve seems to believe that it is not an either or problem.

Chris Sacca (Principal new Business Development, Google) Shepherd of stray thoughts
Larry and Sergei…just got to hacking.

  1. Just start. Just start coding. Have an idea of what you want to do. Focus on user experience.
  2. Solving a user problem will give you the reward in the end.
  3. Go big!
  4. Cheap to demo!
  5. Geeks rule! Acquisitions are for talent.
  6. Food! People bond over food. Head chef, Charlie, was employee #40.
  7. Be Open

Organize the worlds information and make it universally acceptable and useful.
Chris shows a gigapixel photo where you can drill down..waay down ala Bladerunner. There is information if you know where to look for it.

5 million terabytes of information are estimated to be available online. Google has about 170m terabytes.
how many diff ways can you color an icosahedron with one of 3 colors on each face?

Looks like Google is moving to set up a campus in boston? If interested, send email to miner@google.com

How does Google evaluate? They want to see what you’ve got. Does it work? Google rarely look at code first. They are most interested in open source that is extensible and scalable to millions of users. Again, they acquire for talent.

Olin Shivers (Assoc Prof, Georgia Tech; Co-Founder, Smartleaf)

Random walk through Startup space

choosing co-founders
bad choices

exponential tail-off
founders: papal land grant
first 10 ; small integer %
everyone else might get a price of a condo, plus an education + a rolodex

Stock options and money. No shame in talking about $ and options. You are not doing this for fun you are doing it for money. Possible alternative reason, you are a revolutionary.

Venture Capital: souless agents of satan or just clumsly rapists?

Inferred character traits of VC: Technical depth, managerial executive experience, unafraid to be contgrarian, nerves of steel , can handle this. This is emprically wrong on every point.

Failure is part of the process. There will be pain. After a defeat, you should acknowledge your opponent (ala Judo). “Thank you for what you have taught me”.
Easy to say , hard to do.

You need a high tolerance for feeling like a moron.
Can you handle permantely residing outside your comfort zone.
You need courage
why shouldn’t you do significant things in this one life, however you define significant r. hamming
principally, deficit of courage.

“Scientific profess advances in units of courage not intelligence.”

Recommends: Sutherland’s “Technology and courage”, and Hammings “You and your research.

You’re a loser until you are a hero. “Life in academe means learning to manage uncertainty ” A. Newell.

Lots of quotes and quick sound bites. Be stubborn, be flexible. Its only an addiction if you try to stop. Only way any of this works is if you are really into it. Stand where lightening strikes. Optimize your people, locale, culture idea.

Best quote: “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.” TE Lawrence

Quotes Ramanujan too.

Be a master of technology. Family man vs warrior monk. Age plays a part. Beware the groove. Grad school. Are you a scholar or businessperson?

His privacy agreement example: keeping it simple and succinct!

Barring compulsory legal process we do not release individual information about our clients to any outside parties at all.

More to say later. Hopefully pictures and sound. It’s 3:30 and we just got in after having a great party with the folks at HeyLetsGo. They look similar to Upcoming.


Just a day after seeing Jeff Jarvis talk about Recovery 2.0, a major earthquake hit South Asia. After the Tsunami and New Orleans, has the online community built the needed neworking and resources to respond effectively? Looks like there is still alot of work to do. Check out some thoughts from Global Voices Online.

update Recovery2 is pointing to South Asia Quake help to organize efforts. I’ve also resized the video of Jeff’s speech to a much more manageable size (less than 5 megs now). BTW, I am new to this media stuff, so if anyone is in the SF Bay Area that would like to give me a few tips, I would be deeply appreciative!

Google has a reader. Yahoo does podcasts.

I’ve got two new podcasts up from the Web 2.1 BrainJam that happened last Friday.

In Breakthrough Session #1 Stefan Klocek, Camilo Ramirez, Susan Tenby and I chat about Discovery and Serendipity. Breakthrough sessions were small groups of 5-8 people that shared ideas about the future of the web and how people fit into it. These sessions lasted 15-20 minutes and then we broke apart and reformed new groups to do it over again.

In Breakthrough Session #2 Our group included Cal Henderson, lead developer for Flickr. In this podcast, Cal discusses the origins of Ludicorp as a MMOG, and shares his view on the basic architecture required for Web 2.0.

Celebrity sighting:

Pete Townshend is using blogger to post his novella “The Boy Who Heard Music”.

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Web 2.1 BrainJam

This last Friday I gathered with 50+ other folks @ San Francisco’s KRON TV studios to discuss where people fit into the evolving web at Web 2.1 BrainJam.

We had an opportunity to rotate through several break through sessions as well as look at a few new sites like a multi-user groupware editor [synchroedit.com], a tag suggestion engine, which at the time of this writing has been up and running less than one week! [tagyu.com] , Adaptive Path’s approach to better web traffic log visualization [measuremap.com], opinion network [rateitall.com], and self-publishing empowerer [zazzle.com] (similar to cafepress).

Jeff Jarvis presented a summary of the Recovery 2.0 project.

The 3-point objective of Recovery2 is to: have a place to swarm; have interoperable APIs (for sharing of data across invariably distributed sites; and to have face-to-face meetings. I’ve uploaded his brief presentation on my blip.tv vlog.

Thank you Chris Heuer for putting this together!

Audio from some of the breakthrough sessions will be uploaded soon.

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Torrent for Indy Media

BitTorrent landed $8.75m from DCM Doll yesterday. Will be interesting to see their model evolve. Do you use torrents? Which client do you prefer? I am hearing good things about Azureus. Any recommendations on clients and platforms welcome!

I believe P2P has a role for Independent media. As producers of media we should be able to control the creation AND distribution. I talk about it more here in my intermittent podcast .

I feel truly inspired after last weekend, and have even created my first vlog! I’ve uploaded it to blip.tv. I was hoping to convey the feelings I get when I ride my bike as a commuter and have that extra time to think about all the things that are happening around me. In this case, it was the thoughts left over from Webzine2005. The incredible music is from C. Alan Byrd. You can also find his music on iTunes. Have a listen to his rendition of Sixteen Tons and House of the Rising Sun…awesome!

Please check it out, and let me know what you think.

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More Webzine 2005

I admit, I slept in today. I didn’t attend any of the parties, but I am exhausted after a wild Webzine 2005 weekend. I must be getting old.

This “live wiki” was really refreshing. Alot of experimentation, alot of questions. More creators and inventors – less shrink wrapped solutions and money people.

That did ring a little bell in my head though. Where is the money? Here is a good conversation I had with Joshua Kinberg (FireANT) and Charles Hope (blip.tv) where they help me understand the rel=”payment” tag and the possible future in torrents.

Feast your ears on a wacky conversation with Bre Pettis (imakethings.com and wearethemedia.com) where we go from drawing visualization for school children all the way to the Webzine 2005 “smack down” Challenge!


emeryville loop: 1:21:19

Fall in San Francisco

What a amazing day in SF. A perfect fall day that included an anti-war rally and the the Love Parade. The best part was neither as most of my afternoon was spent indoors geeking out at Webzine 2005. An amazing *.alt culture where folks still dare to dream. As I promised in my last post, the podcast is up. More to come tomorrow.


Fri 9/23: speed training w/ Peter @ the track. (6) 1km sprints with .2km walk/rest.