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goon's Journal: Sophism,valid critics & hype Pt. 2 #34

Journal by goon

Sophism,valid critics & hype Pt. 2 #34

  `... Because of the clout of your cash,
  you could get a company like Star Bucks
  to partner in an enterprise whereby
  visitors to Star Bucks could print off
  their own personal newspaper,
  customized so that stories, columns,
  comics and even ads are relevant to
  their particular interests and
  needs.... [0]`

Kozmo.com
This would be a great example if it had not already been tried and failed. Remember Kozmo.com [1], Joseph Park and Yong Kang? Kozmo had a deal with StarBucks. You can see what happened in e-dreams [2] a film by Wonsuk Chin. Needless to say this approach didn't stop Kozmo biting the dust - though to be fair Kozmo`s business idea was pretty lame.

New blood
For all the smarts in the room I cant really get the gist of what went on. I can see the photos, tick, read the transcript, cross, but where is the audio or AV link? Also looking at the photos all I see is grey hairs [3]. Wheres the young upstarts? The new generation ready to kill and eat the Microsofts, Amazons and eBays?

Compare this to yCombinators yak feast where instead of Architecture Astronauts spouting about the potential of ideas you have practical examples and advise on how to achieve them [4]. Then you see the results a swag of startups funded to the tune of USD$6000 each by Paul Graham and yCombinator [5]. Less talk more practical advise and guidence and a small injection of funds. Not all will make it, but for 6K you can fund lots of small Coelophysis [6] type companies will start to take on the current Postosuchus [7] companies and eat their bones.

Pure vs Applied
But all is not lost. I view this talk as an example of pure ideas. Much like the difference between pure and applied maths. The concept (Web 2.0) is explore, understood and defined. You need to understand your market to build it.

But while O`Reilly can get away with ideas, words and ultimately nuture and shape the tech future, VS`s are rooted in the practical generation of money. Here`s where I don`t get it. Who was the talk for? Early funding for startups? If this is the case forget it. yCombinator has an approach is much more suitable for startups, more understandable and according to Joel more likely to attract and harness the tech-talent. [8]

BS detection
I followed this link from JOS (Joel On Software) article. Joels a sort of BS detector of fluffy ideas (eBay and Skype, Something Rotten in AdSense [9], etc). And I can understand the viewpoint of Joel, because in the end there are 2 types of ideas for practical people. Ideas that can be built into something and ideas that cannot. Reading the transcript, it is difficult to decipher the pure ideas and I dont see any applied ideas.

No wonder Joel is bamboozled.

Reference
[0] Brad Burnham, `We don't get it`, [Accessed Wednesday, 26 October 2005]:

http://www.unionsquareventures.com/2005/10/we_dont_get_it.html

[1] Google search, `What happened to Kozmo.com?`, [Accessed Wednesday, 26 October 2005]:

http://www.google.com/search?q=Kozmo+edreams

[2] e-dreams , `e-dreams: A Film by Wonsuk Chin`, [Accessed Wednesday, 26 October 2005]:

http://www.ellipticmovies.com/edreams/CAST/home.html

[3] ceonyc @ Flickr, `Union Square Ventures Sessions 1 - Peer Production`, [Accessed Wednesday, 26 October 2005]:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ceonyc/sets/1177695/

[4] Kevin Hale, `Kevin Hales Notes Startup School`, [Accessed Monday, 17 October 2005]:

http://particletree.com/files/startupschool/startupSchool.txt

[5] Paul Graham, `What I did last summer`, [Accessed Wednesday, 26 October 2005]:

http://www.paulgraham.com/sfp.html

[6] Coelophysis, Dinosaur from BBC, Living with Dinosaurs. Small vicious cornivore from the late Triassic period. [Accessed Wednesday, 26 October 2005]:

http://www.abc.net.au/dinosaurs/chronology/220/default.htm

[7] Postosuchus, Ancient reptile from the BBC, Living with Dinosaurs. Large reptile that competed with Coelophysis in the late Triassic period. Ibid.

[8] Joel Spolsky, talking about yCombinator visit. [Accessed Wednesday, 26 October 2005]:

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2005/10/16.html

[9] Joel Spolsky, `Something rotten in AdSense`, [Accessed Wednesday, 26 October 2005]:

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2005/10/24.html

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Sophism,valid critics & hype Pt. 2 #34

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