ITNorthWest Voice

This is a blog for all the technology entrepreneurs based in the North West of Ireland - musings about our business, companies, interests, trends and any other random thing that hits us.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Let the Good Times Roll by Guy Kawasaki: The Art of Execution

Let the Good Times Roll by Guy Kawasaki: The Art of Execution Wise words indeed.....

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Opportunity cost - the biggest risk to any startup

And who suffered from this ? ................ Xooglers: I’ll get right on that. Eventually. "Sergey once asked a large assemblage of Googlers what our greatest corporate expense was. “Health insurance!” was one answer shouted back. “Salaries!” “Servers!” “Taxes!” “Electricity!” “Charlie’s grocery bills!,” came back others. “No,” said Sergey. “Opportunity cost.” He explained that the products we weren’t launching and the deals we weren’t doing threatened our economic stability more than any single line item in the budget. It became a regular call and response at staff meetings and added to the sense that no matter how hard we were working, success was slipping through our fingers. Rather than cause employees to feel defeated, however, it became a rallying cry to redouble their efforts."

You really need to focus!

Now What - You really need to focus! Interesting points raised in how and what to focus on... "You have a huge opportunity to make better products while growing faster with fewer managment headaches. At a minimum, walk around your company for the rest of the day saying to everyone that you meet “You really need to focus!” I am 100% certain that everyone will agree…"

Friday, January 27, 2006

Live Labs announced by Microsoft

Fred attends Search Champs in Seattle where Microsoft announce the latest initiative @ web2.0 Live Labs announced check the post and the presentation One slide caught my eye Online World - Diminishing startup costs for new businesses. - Aggregate size of tail potentially unlimited. - More business may not require more employees (work smarter). - Quality product can be a better algorithm. - Innovation iterations follow data flow cycles.

Irish tech company bought for $55million

Informatica Pays $55m For Similarity Systems Nice exit for founders and VC. Also spotted this in ENN "Property website Daft.ie is being wooed by potential buyers, reports the Irish Times. The website's owners have appointed corporate advisers to value the business following unsolicited approaches from a number of potential buyers. Market sources said A-Plan, the adviser run by former Merrion Capital executive Pat Landy, had placed a valuation range of EUR10 million and EUR15 million on the website. Majority owner Brian Fallon declined to name suitors and said the business was not for sale at present."

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Ready for Web 3.0?

Edge Perspectives with John Hagel: Ready for Web 3.0? Former McKinsey consultant John Hagellooks at the migration of Web 2.0 technologies into the enterprise space. Quote: "One significant barrier delaying deployment of these technologies is the cultural gap separating many of the early pioneers of Web 2.0 initiatives and enterprise CIOs. The pioneers of Web 2.0 generally view large enterprises as dinosaurs. Enterprise CIOs, if they are even aware of developments associated with Web 2.0, tend to dismiss them as marginal novelties with little relevance for “real” business."

Om Malik on Broadband : � Does Tech Matter?

Om Malik on Broadband : � Does Tech Matter? Interesting thoughts from Om - at the end of the day business execution beat technology coolness.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Who Has Time For This?: How To NOT Write A Business Plan

Who Has Time For This?: How To NOT Write A Business Plan

Genuine VC: Great Expectations

Genuine VC: Great Expectations "I think that’s just exactly it – some of the current wave of innovative services will find profitable models. Others will be picked up by Google, Yahoo, or an equivalent. A few will receive venture backing and succeed on a larger scale. And many will eventually fail. It’s all part of the innovation process, and it’s up to entrepreneurs to create their own path in it."

Monday, January 23, 2006

Who Has Time For This?: Crafting the Elevator Pitch

Who Has Time For This?: Crafting the Elevator Pitch Useful tips...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

down the avenue: Otter Group Learning 2.0 Boot Camp

down the avenue: Otter Group Learning 2.0 Boot Camp Interesting idea We all know plenty of companies who could learn from such bootcamps......

Friday, January 20, 2006

Basecode firefox extension for Basecamp project management

Basecode firefox extension for Basecamp project management Interesting development from an Irish design company. demonstrates that Ireland is turning out plenty of web2.0 products..... with plenty more to follow....

Marketer’s Eye � Blog Archive � 5 one-time site promotion tips that pay off big

Marketer’s Eye � Blog Archive � 5 one-time site promotion tips that pay off big

ben barren - rss'ing down under: Swimming with 2.0 Sharks

ben barren - rss'ing down under: Swimming with 2.0 Sharks Quote from Ben "And please, for God sake, don’t walk into a VC’s office with an NDA. In the VC community, NDA is an abbreviation of NaDA, as in “not going to happen” (definitely your NDA and most likely your deal"

EirePreneur: Iterative interface design by way of the blogosphere

EirePreneur: Iterative interface design by way of the blogosphere UI revision master class :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Platforms, Not Applications - sforce.com

Salesforce.com have put a big push on extending their platform/product from just CRM. From the Sforce.com blog "And from our modest beginnings with Sforce 1.0, we’ve seen the Sforce Web service API grow to account for over 40% of all of salesforce.com’s total traffic. Think about that for a minute - the API is almost as heavily used as the salesforce.com Web application. " The CEO of Salesforce.com speaks about Platforms, Not Applications on AO Strategy is out of the marketing playbook in my view One Irish company that is using Sforce.com is SelectSelling

� Tablane: a new web browser targeting niche market | Web 2.0 Explorer | ZDNet.com

� Tablane: a new web browser targeting niche market | Web 2.0 Explorer | ZDNet.com Tablane gets profiled by Richard MacManus in ZDNET

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Building to flip is building to flop - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

Building to flip is building to flop - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

Jeff Clavier's Software Only: A few data points regarding the Travel meta-search market

Jeff Clavier's Software Only: A few data points regarding the Travel meta-search market Interesting commentary on the online travel space - "online travel space - a $60B market:" Check previous post on travel related startup

Work vs. Life Balance in the Extreme (by Jeremy Zawodny)

Jeremy gives some examples of work vs life balance. Quote (taken from the Paul Graham article "Economically, you can think of a startup as a way to compress your whole working life into a few years. Instead of working at a low intensity for forty years, you work as hard as you possibly can for four. This pays especially well in technology, where you earn a premium for working fast." I dont agree with European comment - especially in an Irish context. "This is the point at which all my European readers chime in about how they get 2-3 times the holiday/vacation time that we do and generally live at more leisurely pace..." We go get our fair share of public holidays, etc, but from my own experiences, startups/tech companies are the same all the world over

Geeking with Greg: Recommender Systems Research at Yahoo

Geeking with Greg: Recommender Systems Research at Yahoo Interesting reading for anybody working on "recommendation" solutions

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Google Adwords Coming to a Radio Near You

Andy Beal's Marketing Pilgrim: Google Adwords Coming to a Radio Near You Yikes - online, newspapers, radio.... whats next Anyone in Europe doing a dMarc ?

Attract VC - great image

original post here

Monday, January 16, 2006

tagging tech /john collins/: there is life beyone the m50 you know!!

John wrote an excellent piece in the Friday edition of the Irish Times (paid subs required)on ITNorthWest - "Technology drive gives a shot in the arm to Ireland's northwest" He follows up with 2 other related pieces of news:tagging tech /john collins/: there is life beyone the m50 you know!!

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Long Tail

Just came across a great post from Bob Walsh over at ToDoOrElse.com on the long tail... http://safarisoftware.typepad.com/mlp_developer_news/2006/01/the_long_tail_a.html

Unlike Sligo, Mayo's Skies are Blue

See for yourself on page 8 of today's Irish Times Business Section ;-)

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Celtic Tiger roars again | InfoWorld | News | 2006-01-05 | By Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service

The Celtic Tiger roars again | InfoWorld | News | 2006-01-05 | By Nancy Gohring, IDG News Service

VC Adventure: When should you sell your business?

VC Adventure: When should you sell your business? Are you in the bubble :-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing: Software development trends and best practices

Don Dodge on The Next Big Thing: Software development trends and best practices Interesting trends, I think the Web2.0 model has fueled a lot of this, especially when cost; development times are critical to any start-up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Meebo and The Art Of Flipping (or, how to make quick millions and keep everyone happy)

Interesting commentary on the recent Meebo investment Nik Cubrilovic � Blog Archive � Meebo and The Art Of Flipping (or, how to make quick millions and keep everyone happy) btw, Meebo is a sweet service

Web2.0 talk on BBC Radio 4

A 30 minute piece on web2.0 BBC - Radio 4 - News - Shop Talk - 10 January 2006 Has the likes of Joe Kraus (Jotspot), Paul Fisher (First Capital), and others. Thanks Alex for the tip

The digital state we’re in…

SimonWaldman - The digital state we’re in… An interesting piece from Simon Waldman on web2.0 activity in the UK. One thing that i've noted is the historic lack of M&A activity in Ireland from "Agile Amy" - Amazon, Google, Interactive, Liberty Media, eBay, AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo) The following have presence in Ireland - Amazon, Google, eBay, AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo We can only look to the future...

Roy Lane on Enterprise Software

SandHill.com | Management | The Innovate-Dominate Imperative Take note...... "At the end, I explained why and I offered the CEO some advice. 'Take out the word 'enterprise' and replace it with 'Web 2.0.' And replace 'software' with 'service.''" This is a wake-up call for a lot of companies - and its more of a call when its the ex-COO of Oracle

PodLeaders - Irish startup, Nooked Interview

I recently did an interview with Tom Raftery, who is based in the Republic of Cork. :-) Check here for the details.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Start-Up Guide: Two Great Articles

Start-Up Guide: Two Great Articles check these out. 1. personal elevator pitch 2. myth of the great idea

Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs: Guy gets it right - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs: Guy gets it right - Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals)

The Top Ten Lies of Venture Capitalists

Let the Good Times Roll by Guy Kawasaki: The Top Ten Lies of Venture Capitalists

The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs

Let the Good Times Roll by Guy Kawasaki: The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Old Media Interview

On last Thursday's Tubridy show there was a nice little interview with Margaret. E. Ward about being an entrepreneur -- the perils, pitfalls, risks and rewards -- and whether Ireland is a good place to set up businesses... The real audio link is here. You can find the interview from about 47'30" .

Friday, January 06, 2006

VCs rushing into TV market

This caught my attention. "All the Irish broadsheets cover the launch of a new national television station, which is due to begin broadcasting in the Spring. The Irish Examiner reports that over EUR14 million has been invested in Channel 6 by a consortium of investors which includes ACT Venture Capital and Delta Partners. The station is aimed at the 15-to-35 age group and is expected to compete directly with RTE2 and TV3." I'm still trying to work out why VC's would want to invest in Broadcast - All current investment activities are in the Online space (most 15-35 year olds spend the majority of there time online or using mobile services) Look at events such as CES, read John Battelle's Search book, etc.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Staying in Business

A great blog post on Staying in Business Its all common sense at the end of the day !!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Tablane -- New Year Revolutions

After two months, two and half thousand downloads and four releases, we’re out of beta with our Tablane browser. This means we can move our executable onto Download.com, get much better reach and start competing for bigger download numbers. The biggest development in the fourth release we put out on 30th December 2005 is that our Collection feature is now in the RSS XML format. So, Collections of links can easily be bundled into an RSS feed. This puts us in sight of being able to display RSS feeds directly in the browser – something that is part of Internet Explorer 7.0 and will clearly be a widespread innovation across a variety of browsers during 2006. This innovation is also a springboard for an online service we expect to bring out within another couple of months whereby Collections can be posted and shared. If you want to try out an RSS Collection, why not check out a Collection of links Fergus has posted on this blog towards the end of last year. You can either download a file with an .rss or an .xml suffix. Needless to say, its best reviewed within Tablane itself, where all the links can be opened automatically as individual tabs, with multiple viewing lanes if desired. Just download to your desk top and then use Tablane to open it. We continue to face two fundamental challenges: Getting the word out about Tablane and then making money. Google's AdWords has served its purpose, but with its ever changing algorithms, pricing and lack of transparency, I have lost confidence in its ability to deliver what we need – genuinely targeted, predictable promotional services. We have posted a listing on Yahoo too, but again, I am not convinced by its marketing potency. Blog coverage is the most powerful source of traffic. Here serendipity, alertness, and Technorati are the most useful sources of potential coverage. This, plus good word of mouth, is how we are getting steadily noticed. But adapting our browser for specific uses, and marketing it accordingly, is clearly a good idea that we need to pursue actively. When we think about making money, we need to take into account Microsoft’s strategy across a number of fronts. There’s a good digest of this here from Seattle Pi. The full release of Internet Explorer 7.0 will help stabilise the terrain by removing uncertainty as to its final shape, but our future depends more on the desire of people to rationalise their access to the ever burgeoning content on the Internet plus the efficacy and openness of search engines. Thus MSN is more significant than IE to us. It doesn't matter if a search engine responds in milliseconds, if it then takes half and hour to burrow around to find what is actually relevant. Or you can't easily recover what you did last time you searched. We still think this is the opportunity. Most interestingly, the direction set by Alexa, a search index backed by Amazon, with an open API, is fascinating. Given that we are building an on-line service, you can sense the relevance of this. We hope you continue to watch this space as we try to resolve our debate about whether to pursue a general Internet or specific market strategy or both -- with limited resources, but a deep well of innovative ideas. We've got this far spending less than the cost of a modest second-hand car. Whatever happens, 2006 is going to be exciting. We hope the New Year brings you peace and joy.