from the doing-it-early-vs-doing-it-well dept.
kjh1 writes "Paul Graham writes about what he felt went wrong at Yahoo. He has first-hand experience — his company, Viaweb, was bought by Yahoo and he worked there for a while. In a nutshell, he felt that Yahoo was too conflicted about whether they were a technology company or a media company. 'If anyone at Yahoo considered the idea that they should be a technology company, the next thought would have been that Microsoft would crush them.' This in part led to hiring bad programmers, or at least not going single-mindedly after the very best ones. They also lacked the 'hacker' culture that Google and Facebook still seem to have, and that is found in many startup tech companies. 'As long as customers were writing big checks for banner ads, it was hard to take search seriously. Google didn't have that to distract them.'"
theodp writes "Admit it, IT is ingenious. Also, IT is surprisingly effective for certain uses, including real cops and mall cops. And if you tried IT, you probably smiled to yourself. So why all the Segway hate? Paul Graham looks into The Trouble with the Segway and offers a hypothesis about what prompts people to shout abuse at Segway riders: 'You look smug. You don't seem to be working hard enough.' Not that someone riding a motorcycle is working any harder, adds Graham, but because he's sitting astride it, he appears to be making an effort. When you're riding a Segway you're just standing there. Make a version that doesn't look so easy for the rider — perhaps resembling skateboards or bicycles — and Segway just might capture more of the market they hoped to reach."
theodp writes "Over the past 20 years, there's been much speculation about what the convergence of computers and TV would ultimately look like. Paul Graham says that we now know the answer: computers. 'Convergence' is turning out to essentially be 'replacement.' Why did TV lose? Graham identifies four forces: 1. The Internet's open platform fosters innovation at hacker speeds instead of big company speeds. 2. Moore's Law worked its magic on Internet bandwidth. 3. Piracy taught a new generation of users it's more convenient to watch shows on a computer screen. 4. Social applications made everybody from grandmas to 14-year-old girls want computers — in a three-word-nutshell, Facebook killed TV."