Monday, October 29, 2007

How developing a facebook application could make money?

I have met a lot of enthusiasts in Silicon Valley these days. and seems they are all interested in one topic: developing facebook application. A guy I met yesterday in a conference is the one who developed X-Me, and SuperWall(if you are a facebook fun, you know what I am talking about). Hope you also remember that my story on Stanford's new facebook developing course. I couldn't help wondering why those people are so crazy on this. Facebook will never pay them, the users will never pay them, too. and how could they make money?

The answer is advertisement. If you pay attention, there will be a little advertising banner in some facebook application. Those are the sources for revenue. Just overheard some company already made millions of dollars on this. Gosh, this business is crazy.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Impression by HP

I remember I first learned HP during the job just after graduating from the college. HP has been the system provider for my company, and the HP salesmen all looks very professional. To me, HP is the image of a man in the suit everyday, looking serious and professional.

However, I've learned the other side of HP these days. HP is sponsoring a case competition on its gaiming unit, a very innovative business enjoying high growth in the high-performing PC business. It's amazing by talking to the head of the gaming unitto see how innovative the unit is, and how advanced technology HP labs have now.

Brand is hard to set up sometimes, but for a big company, brand is sometimes a burden for the new business. For companines such as HP who experience high growth in the past ten years, how to find a new profit resource is very difficult, both internal and external.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What are the current thoughts of VC in Silicon Valley?

Silicon Valley is a place with all types of idea. Entrepreneurs think actively every day and so do the venture capitalists. Warren Packard, a Stanford MBA graduate, said in a forum on Saturday that he is looking beyond the VC industry into 2017. What will happen in ten years? He used a biology model, Biovisions, to tell his vision. (video could be reached here) Biovisions shows how the cell evolves itself via partnering, spliting, searching and diversifying. It's hard to connect VC with the inner life of cell. But I couldn't help thinking the relationship between the society and the cell. Isn't that we are also doing the same things as the cell?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Could monopoly live in a new era?

Before I met the SVP from Fox Media, the company only sounded like Fox News to me. But that's not true. Fox Media covers far more than Fox News. Fox Media has broadcasting branch, producing popular TV series such as Simpsons and 24. It also has sports channel reporting on NFL and MLB. It also has news/business branch, Film&Entertainment, Interactive media, Fox Mobile, Publishing, Dow Jones, and so on. Such a big group, I would say, covering from TV, radio, print, publishing to the Internet/Mobile.

I always wonder if a big media monopoly could produce any synergy between its different channels. People may argue it will be more content-efficiency, but my concern is the internal competition. If you could watch "24" online, (clearly and smoothly), will you still watch TV. If you could read the latest news on your mobile, will you read it again on the website? Readers are changing their appetite fast. Could a monopoly catch up with their speed? an open question.

Friday, October 12, 2007

DreamWorks, dream work?

Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of the most successful figures in the animation industry and the CEO of DreamWorks Animation SKG, said this in his presentation today, after showing his latest Bee movie.

"We are just trying to get close to what people believe in, instead of being realistic".

The producer of the popular movie Shrek, is calm with the sense of humor. His vision towards the movie industry, especially the animation sector, will still lead the world in the possible ten years.

"I believe in the movie theatre experience, along with the improved home experience", said the CEO. "The quality 3D experience" has a big future.

Listening to the icon in the entertainment industry is an enjoyful experience. His spirit towards the industry is very impressive.

"I always believe in me, and I hate saying no to others and vice versa". He said.

In the competitive entertainment industry, people have to be confidence, enterprenuerial, and pushing, just like this guy.

Maybe not only just in entertainment.

The bee said in the movie: "We are just bees, and honey is the only thing we got"

Monday, October 08, 2007

New media , old media, always a conflict between each other

A piece from Financial Times last week reported on News Corp's charges towards Google's not spending much more effort at preventing illgally copy video on Youtube. The interview with Peter Chernin, president of News Corp, said the Murdoch-controlled group is trying to promote its online space, Myspace, to be the world's largest social networking website, but sadly, has seen the market share taken by Facebook, though he said the Myspace is still better "in terms of measures such as time spent by users on the site and page views".

New Corp. is one of the active pioneers in the online space, from its appetite towards Internet start-up these years. However, I would say there will be always internal conflicts among all traditional media, and News Corp. is included as well. Investing in new media business, is more like grabbing market share from their exisiting business model on old media(printing, TV, radio), while old media people are reluctant to accept it. One case we discussed these days is on the electric cars, which were expected to be a new profit resource for car companies. However, producing electric cars itself means more than a new business, but the competitor to the old business. Even people know it is the future in the mind, it is hard to accept for them to move to the new direction themselves. So electric cars are killed by their inventors because of that conflict.

In such a media chaos now, new start-ups without no financial burden have more opportunites. Google, Yahoo, and Facebook all have better opportunities since they don't have to balance the revenue between old business and new business. So they are more creative with more time spending on generating ideas instead of trade-offs.

This is the opportunies for all enterprenuers.

Friday, October 05, 2007

bad things of new technology

I am not quite tech-gadget type. But I got a lot of new gadgets such as a IBM X41 tablet. It was the most advanced type when I bought it. However, I found there were only few matching accessories for this type, such as a compatiable dock. I bought a USB-connected DVD-RW(not IBM-branded) instead, and thought everything should be fine.

However, it turned out I have to have a dock to reinstall my operating system, instead of putting the restoring CD into the DVD player. So now I couldn't do anything myself. I could only send my laptop(which I couldn't live without one day) to IBM, and wait for at least a week to have them install for me.

I am quite a DIY(do-it-yourself) person. and I guess all the consumer producers should like me since I don't quite often use customer service. However, I would like to receive all the information and updates related with my products if there's any. For example, it will attract my attention if IBM/Lenove sent me updated dock information for my X41 tablet later. I may have probably bought it. Or I could just receive the info on how to set up a operating system without a dock.

Currently, people complaining how profit margin is so low in certain industries, such as computer sector. On the other hand, i would argue that companies paid a lot of attention to cut costs, rather than developing brand and consumer loyalty. As a result, they have seen less and less revenue, and finally failed in the market.

Especially for new technology, consumers want to try new things all the time, when they feel safe to buy. Now I feel very uncomfortable in buying every brand new products from IBM, since I learnt from my own experience that the deal like that will bring a lot of inconvenient to yourself. So better wait.

We have been talking about the successful business strategy these days. One thing we talked most is the customer-oriented service. Unfortunately, only a few of companies could achieve it and sustain it. Sometimes, it is easily to be said than to be done.