Video Market heating up

I just read the TechCrunch post on BrightCove’s launch and it looks like a pretty appealing avenue for those somewhat serious about monetizing their video content. Seems to me they just leapfrogged what YouTube+GoogleVideo is supposed become. They don’t have their content base anywhere near Goog’s but do have a tighter, more defined financial model.

If Google takes too long to get their act together, BrightCove could pull ahead. Watch this one closely for sure.

iCracked the iPod

(Well, I didn’t crack the iPod myself, but the headline was cool).

Imagine this: in 1999 you’re 15 yrs old and you are the one that cracks the DVD copy protection scheme which subsequently enables people to copy their DVDs.

So what do you do for an encore?

Well, today in 2006 at 22 yrs old you crack the copy protection of the iPod, allowing rivals to sell competing products that play music from iTunes and offer songs for download that work on iPods as they seek to take a bite out of Apple’s dominance of digital music.

Congrats Jon Lech Johansen! Wow.

Your own online startup reading libary

Doing a startup? Read through this list of excellent essays and you’ll learn a lot.

Microsoft Zune player getting the right model

I’ve always felt that “share the love” models that turn every customer into a paid sales rep are the future of distribution. Amway representatives will be quick to point out that they’ve been doing this for years and they are right.

Microsoft’s Zune isn’t exactly MLM, but if you share a song (which it allows you to do so legally) that influences your friend to actually buying that song, you get “paid” in the form of credits to buy more music. Very cool.

Marketing Tips

Guy Kawasaki’s blog excerpted a few points from ” Geek Marketing 101“, which I think offers from very straight and simple (i.e. elegant) marketing points and they are:

  1. Marketing is not a department.
  2. Marketing is a conversation, but most people don’t speak geek.
  3. Simplicity does not negate complexity.
  4. Think what, not how?
  5. Think will, not can.
  6. Only you RTFM.
  7. Technical Support is marketing.
  8. You’re not marketing to people who hate marketing.
  9. You’re not marketing to people who hate technology products.
  10. Marketing demystifies.

Will it pay to have Pals in Honolulu?

Greg Kim, Honolulu attorney and founder of Vantage Counsel, sent out an email to his contacts and with his permission I’m reprinting the email here:

Dear Friends, here’s an interesting article ,”It Pays to Have Pals in Silicon Valley“, from today’s New York Times regarding the YouTube phenomenon and the numerous other PayPal spinoffs. Some reflections on relevance for Hawaii:

  1. There’s nothing like having a huge success like PayPal to jumpstart multiple spinoff companies and the acceleration of tech development and creativity. To follow this example, Hawaii should aim for a few huge successes that will ultimately generate spinoffs and accelerate critical mass.
  2. Startups are hard work and they need to be. The strong will survive. We shouldn’t make it easy for entrepreneurs to fund their companies if we are to complete globally and find sustainable businesses. If we make it too easy for them, then we are actually hurting them in the long run.
  3. Hawaii should thus be careful about taking risk away from entrepreneurs and investors. As Reid Hoffman (PayPal alum and founder of LinkedIn) is quoted at the end of the article, “Nothing focuses your attention quite like losing money and the sense that you are going to die soon.”
  4. Entrepreneurs want things to be hard. That’s why they are entrepreneurs. The article makes numerous references to the bonding that occurred through the stress and hard work (nights and weekends) of employees of PayPay in its early stages as a struggling startup. It states: “The long hours, sleepless nights and intense pressure of life inside a start-up often create strong bonds among its employees. In its early years, PayPal was all about pressure and the struggle for survival. The company was losing millions each month.”
  5. We should nurture this type of environment for entrepreneurs.

Got Startup? Don’t make these mistakes

I had the pleasure and honor of hanging w/ Paul Graham a few years ago and love what he writes. Here’s his “18 Mistakes That Kill Startups” :

  1. Single Founder
  2. Bad Location
  3. Marginal Niche
  4. Derivative Idea
  5. Obstinacy
  6. Hiring Bad Programmers
  7. Choosing the Wrong Platform
  8. Slowness in Launching
  9. Launching Too Early
  10. Having No Specific User in Mind
  11. Raising Too Little Money
  12. Spending Too Much
  13. Raising Too Much Money
  14. Poor Investor Management
  15. Sacrificing Users to (Supposed) Profit
  16. Not Wanting to Get Your Hands Dirty
  17. Fights Between Founders
  18. A Half-Hearted Effort

IP Licensing Conference in Hawaii

Interested in learning more about successful IP models?

Attend the 2nd Annual Hawaii Intellectual Property Licensing Conference

  • Co-sponsors: High Technology Development Corp., and Intellectual Property & Technology Section of HSBA
  • Date: Friday, October 20, 2006, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
  • Place: Ala Moana Hotel, Hibiscus Ballroom, 2nd Floor
  • Online registration at:
  • Contact: Patty Low, (808) 947-3101 or

This year’s IPL Conference, “Turning New Technologies & Creative Ideas Into Profits”, will focus on practical business models, marketing methods, and licensing resources to assist Hawaii entrepreneurs, business professionals, and investors with selling or licensing technology inventions and creative ideas successfully. Visiting guest speakers include Richard C. Levy, a marketing tour de force who has licensed some 125 inventions generating over a billion dollars in revenues, and Henk B. Rogers, President and CEO of Blue Planet Software, Inc., who has made a huge success with IP licensing in Hawaii.

Hat Tip to Leighton Chong for driving this conference. Yours truly will also be speaking there.

Setting up for a good acquisition

Preparing for a Successful M&A Exit

Google’s $1.6 billion acquisition of YouTube sprang to life during breakfast at Denny’s just a few short weeks ago – or so the story goes. For this and many other reasons, the YouTube deal is really the exception rather than the rule of M&A today.

There is an old saying: a product well bought is half sold. The most successful software acquisitions are those which are carefully crafted well in advance. Understanding today’s M&A landscape and the new standards involved will help emerging companies ensure a strong exit.

Key points are:

  • Start Early
  • Be Prepared
  • Say “No”
  • Be Patient
  • Know the Buyer Landscape
  • Value Realistically
  • Go Early
  • Look Big
  • Be Ready for Audits
  • Know Your Buyer
  • Meet Deep

OCtunes is like iTunes for Local Music

If you’ve ever looked online for Island music, you know that it’s pretty slim pickings. Well not any more. I went to and found what they call the most island music on the planet. I liked the fact that I could listen to samples from a large selection of local artists. It’s like an iTunes for local music and you can buy the tracks you like or the whole CD. I think it’s a great way to sample and buy Island music online.