AOL mail crushes Gmail

Not in terms of functionality or ease of use but check this out:

Yahoo dominates e-mail with 88.4 million users in the United States in August, according to comScore. That is far more than Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail at 45.2 million and AOL at 44.8 million, not to mention Gmail at 26.0 million.

When you look at how much time people spend reading their e-mail, Yahoo mail users spend the most time (286 minutes a month), Gmail users the least (82 minutes), with AOL and Microsoft in the middle (229 and 204 minutes, respectively).

Wow. As a Gmail-lover, i would have never thought that was the case. You read the whole article here.

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Google's Shot Across the Bow

It’s been a while since there’s been a major power play by someone in Silicon Valley.  A big “take over the world” type of action.  I think Google’s latest Chrome is that – reminiscent of the old days of Netscape, Sun and others who were all trying to take over the world.  

Fred Wilson does a good job of describing how their 3 latest projects: Chrome, Android, and Cloud/Gears are positioning them to be the OS of the future.  Saying



  1. They are building a modern browser, Chrome, that resembles an operating system as much as a browser.  It’s not that Google wants to build a better version of Internet Explorer or Firefox. They want to build a better environment for running web apps.
  2. They are building a mobile operating system, Android, that is also designed for running web apps in a mobile environment. I think in time, Google’s Android will be to the iPhone what Windows was to the Mac. The iPhone laid out many of the killer mobile device innovations, but its a closed device, a closed carrier relationship, and even a closed application store. Android will take all of those good ideas and put them on every device, with every carrier, and in partnership with every app developer
  3. Google is all about the cloud. They have developed all of their apps in what goes for the cloud these days. They’ve build a great cloud computing platform in App Engine. 
These three things ensure that Google will be a major player.  With other launches of OpenSocial and such don’t display the raw power of Google but here it is.  I love it and believe they will be the biggest and most powerful company standing – over facebook, Microsoft and others – when the dust settles. 

Twitter the most pure social network

Some social network thoughts…..

I’ve been using Twitter more and more lately and i have to say that i’m really enjoying it.  I love the simplicity and ease of use.  The fact that they limit the characters, is only text and is just a list of your friends thoughts makes it always interesting.  Of course, Facebook used to be like that for me too.  I’m not sure if it will ever catch on for the masses.  The fact that only a subsection of my friends use it makes it more useful for me so i don’t get too many updates.  I’m not sure if it’s fun enough for everyone just yet.  I do think the mobile aspect of it could tip it over the edge. I wasn’t that into Twitter until i started doing it on my iPhone and then it became a must-have app.  I still don’t see much difference between the AIM away-message, the facebook status message and Twitter other than the mobile/cell-ness of Twitter and the simplicity.

More and more i think facebook will develop into a utility instead of a place of expression.  I think it will be like the yellow pages – where is a tool people use to look up people, find out about friends of friends and find phone numbers, emails, etc.  It’s a social address and people directory. It’s a tool

MySpace continues to be about self-expression and i think that’s a good differentiator as they could never beat facebook at their game.  However, i do believe self-expression can be done even better.  Something like Uber or Virb or something could be better – if it had more of Tumblr-type experience int it.  We did some focus groups the other day and everyone used both Facebook and MySpace.  They liked Myspace b/c it really represented them – it was a good badge but they hated the sketchiness about it.  “Too many old weird guys” they said.  They had facebook b/c everyone had it and it was easy to connect but it didn’t seem like it was fun to them.  It was interesting.

What are your thoughts

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Nathan Myhrvold – Pretty Badass

I just watched this video about Nathan who is quite an incredible guy who spends 18 minutes describing what he does. It’s a lot of very scientific stuff like:

  • Archeology – digitizing Easter Island statues and the pyramids
  • Inventing new nuclear reactors – which are more efficient and better than the current designs
  • Inventing meta-reactors which are really real invisibility cloaks
  • Bio-medical research – is studying the eyes
  • Building radio-telescopes and funding the SETI project. If you want the movie Contact, he describes that all the characters are based on real-life folks. He’s the creepy rich guy
  • Cooking – took a sabatical from Microsoft to study cooking in France and occasionally works at a Seattle restaurant
  • BBQ – he won the world championship BBQ prize
  • Paleontology – he’s discovered a T-Rex in a badlands

It’s just a video about him and how he loves to do a million things. As he says, the talk is “a mile wide and an inch deep.” But that’s how he operates. One thing that stands out is that he seems to be one of the bigger badasses alive. I’m happy that people like them are out there and trying to discover the past mysteries of the world and invent new ones. Pretty interesting stuff…

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iPhone will take down Blackberry eventually

I had a Blackberry Pearl and loved it.  I was planning to keep it – until i saw a friend’s iPhone.  It was just so frackin’ slick that i couldn’t stay away.  Does Blackberry do email better?  Yes.  Does Blackberry have some better/smaller sizes that are better for a cell phone?  Yes, definitely.  But is it as cool or fun to use an iPhone?  Not even close.

However, i always hear about people going back to their Blackberry’s b/c of the email capability.  I can understand that.  I don’t use my iPhone email for work everyday and it is harder to type.  But the other advantages heavily outweigh this one feature.

I then read this blog post by Tim O’Reilly about “Why the iPhone Will Beat the Blackberry.”  He write that Blackberry users are cell phone power users and:

power users are a minority, and while they point the way to the future, they tend to be disappointed when the rest of the market catches up with an inferior product that has a lower barrier to new users. So, my prediction: the Blackberry will become more like the iPhone, or the iPhone and its imitators will eventually eat its lunch, relegating it to a niche player. The iPhone is now the communications device to beat. 

I couldn’t agree more.  The iPhone is only getting better going at email and the Blackberry will never come close to the iPhone in slickness of features – including the iPod.   It’s only a matter of time before Blackberry goes down.

I heard a rumor that Microsoft was going to purchase Blackberry.  I don’t hear it anymore, but i think that’d be a great move for both companies.

Le Web 3: Day 1

After visiting Romania, i attended the Le Web 3 conference in Paris. While i won’t get into what went on the second day (kinda lame), i wanted to post my notes on the first day of speakers. Here goes:

10-10:30: Real World and why it matters: Hans Rosling
This was a fantastic presentation of describing why we need to change our perspective from being Us vs. Them when describing the global social/economic nations to being a low-middle-high income view as almost all countries have exactly the same birth rate and life expectancy. Hans is a great speaker and his company is worth checking out. I wish i took more notes on this one. He did have a great visual view of how the countries of the world have progressed so that almost all of them today are 2 children homes with a life expectancy of 70 years. That’s right almost every country is there. There are no more large family, short life expectancy countries – the world will stabalize at 9 billion people.

11-11:40: Giants Outlook on Web 2.0 (Yahoo, Orange, Nokia, Windows Live)
While the first was amazing, this was quite the opposite. It was too generic of a presentation. Questions were posed like “does size matter?” and they all said, “well ‘yes’ and ‘no'” and expain why size might be good and the negatives of being big which the generalities were just useless. This was more a pitch of why these companies are awesome and less about what they’re working on. They all said that user-generated content is the key to their success. The questions were all soft-balls, like “do communities matter?” to which they all responded an obvious “yes” – the Nokia presenter was the worst. He would say blanket statements like “communities aren’t about technologies,” to which the moderater would ask, “what are they about?” and he would answer blankly, “they’re about people.” Worthless. I saw much more innovation and better presentations as the Startup place.

2-2:20: State of the Blogosphere (David Sifry, CEO of Technorati)
Some stats he showed (which is pretty much all he did):
– The blogosphere doubles in size every 150-200 days
– 60 million blogs, 7 million update once a week or more
– I was surprised to see that while english is the largest in the blogosphere, it’s not over 50% (i’m a dumb american). The US is at 39% and i was surprised to see japanese blogs at 33% (france was at 2%)

2:40-3: Future of Business (Reid Hoffman – LinkedIn)
This was a short but interesting talk. He believes all people will eventually have a public facing web page. He comments that MySpace won the wars over Geocities and others b/c your home page is a social page and customizable. LinkedIn will do the same. He sees the technology of resumes as migrating from a list of assertions of where you’ve been and what you’ve done to being much more accurate and informative. Current resumes are “very 1.0, sometimes lack information, and they lack metadata.” They should be demonstration of expertise which they currently aren’t. LinkedIn is trying to become the next version of that resume. He also sees Business 2.0 right around the corner and what are the new set of business applications. So many professionals are online, there will be increased collaboration

3:20-3:30: Jamendo startup preso
Largest aggregator of indie music in Europe. Users can stream the music from the Jamendo site or download the entire album using bittorrent. Our service (Qloud) links into AmieStreet and i’d like to get Jamendo content in there too. Hopefully we can make that happen.

5:20-5:30: Viral Growth (Netvibes CEO)
This was one of my favorite talks. He spoke of when he first started with 4 guys and they had no idea what to do. Lukily they had Wiki and API’s which turned out to be a critical piece of their growth. They allowed others to translate the widgets and make useful plugins that the users wanted.

Continue reading “Le Web 3: Day 1”

Why Google Buying YouTube Is A Good Idea

Yesterday, someone sent me an email about the Google/YouTube deal with the note “seems like an absurd amount of money.” Well, i think it was a good deal for Google. Here’s why:

  1. YouTube has critical mass which is VERY hard to get
  2. YouTube (like Google Video) is a complete browser-based system which fits in with google’s long-term scheme of providing a browser suite (mail, calendar, tv, etc.) on low cost computers to undercut Windows and Apple and dominate the world.
  3. 10% of all google traffic goes to youTube and they are the number 2 destination people go to (#1 is MySpace). Earlier Google did a strategic deal with MySpace so now the top 2 places people go to from Google are to google-friend sites
  4. This further underscores that the actual technology is no longer the most important asset in the web 2.0 world. Revver, JumpCut and even AOL Video have better technologies but YouTube has users and users are what matter. TagWorld, CyWorld, Bebo,, and Multiply are all better than MySpace in that they look better, they have more and better features but MySpace has critical mass
  5. Page views equal cash and YouTube has a lot of them. Because they haven’t fully monetized them yet doesn’t mean they won’t. They needed a partner with an ad serving system and relationships with advertisers – Google’s the best at both. In fact, Scoble was wondering what it would have been like if Microsoft had bought YouTube – and it all comes back to who has the relationships with the advertisers. Google’s #1 business is advertising and now they added a major piece of page inventory and now dominate web video inventory too (YouTube is 48% of all web video).
  6. 1.5 Billion is a good price in my mind. People said 1/2 a billion was too much for MySpace. Less than a year later, MySpace got $900 million from Google so it could power the search on the site. There’s clearly money to be made here and 1.5 B isn’t too much in my mind.

What do you think?

Google Apps Launches. What Now?

The first step towards the Google PC are there which i commented on here and here with yesterday’s announcement of the Google Apps.  The next step is for them to announce the low cost PC – which may not happen for a while.

Second, there’s a very interesting post from Chris Anderson about what this could mean.  We don’t want Google to simply replicate MS’s Office suite, but rather we want them to create a similar product that incorporates the new trends happening today – such as easily embedding of apps and collaborating.  Embedding a piece of a word doc into a page or embedding a spreadsheet component would be great.  Putting big-time applications into a browser opens up a variety of new options.


So, the first punch has been thrown. Now the fun begins….

If I Was Apple, What I Would Do To Protect iTunes


Apple has a great monopoly on both the fulfillment and playback of digital music. ITunes is a great player, the iTunes Music Store is the most comprehensive music store available online, and the iPod is the best, most badass player on the market. However, competitors are coming on strong. Microsoft announced the Zune project, Sony is releasing new players (article), and smaller players like the Music Gremlin are doing some cool and innovative stuff.

So, what should apple do to protect this mighty lead? They should give aways as many iTunes tracks as possible! Seriously, like it is halloween or a homecoming parade they should throw tracks away like candy. And, like the clever company they afacebook.jpgre, that’s exactly what they are doing. Last week they announced that they are giving away tracks to college kids with a deal with thefacebook to give away 10 million tracks (btw: facebook is the 7th most trafficed site in the US). And yesterday Apple annouced a deal with Coke which said in the press release, “Coke will link its website to the iTunes site and give away millions of free music downloads and hundreds of iPod digital music players”

cokeapple.jpgWhy is this a good idea? Because every track that a user gets from iTunes keeps them attached to the Apple world. If you have hundreds of tracks that only work in iTunes and iPods, you’re not very likely to buy or use anything else but if you have only mp3’s from CD’s, eMusic, or “found” online it’s pretty easy to go somewhere else. So, to ensure that nobody switches in the future, Apple should lock everyone in with iTunes tracks. Personally, i’m keeping

Halo Update


Halo is blowing up! I have some news on both the game and the movie.

Arguably the best game (both 1 and 2) in the past 5 years is being made into a movie. Last year Peter Jackson signed on as executive producer for “Halo: The Movie,” and the project was tentatively scheduled for summer 2007. That date now seems to be premature as IMDb has updated its movie listing reflecting Master Chief‘s silver screen debut has been postponed until 2008.

While a simultaneous launch of both the movie and Halo 3 would be beneficial for both parties, Bungie always claimed the two are not connected in terms of release date, so this does not automatically mean that Halo 3 is delayed as well.255px-halo3logo.png

The trailer for Halo 3 is now online and looks fantastic! .

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