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Random Thoughts over some White Tea with Honey

10/1/2007

Some random thoughts over some white tea with honey….

  1. The Final Cut of Blade Runner comes out this Friday. It’s playing in two theaters, one in NYC and one in LA. I’m taking a group of Mahalogins to a screening. Blade Runner is one of my top five films of all time. During a particularly long bought of insomnia I watched the film 50+ times. I didn’t have cable in my loft, just a DVD player. I’d work until 1AM and realize I needed to sleep. Going to bed wouldn’t do the trick, but the music in Blade Runner combined with the visuals would sort of put me in a trance. I’d watch for 30-60-90 minutes and pass out. Good times.
  2. If you want to build a great company spend time with the folks on your team doing social things. If you have a good time going to the movies or dinner you’re going to have a good time working together. If you can’t share a simple movie or meal, well, that’s a red flag.
  3. Now, for BigCo’s I understand folks want to get in and out, and do the minimum in many cases. When I was doing my year at AOL we had the Weblogs, Inc. folks having dinner, going for drinks, and on trips all the time. The folks at AOL would come out with us some times and you could see the ones who ventured out looked like they were on cloud nine. People can like each other and have a good time at work!?!?! Wow! When I was at BigCompanies (I’ve been at two or three) I would hear all these excuses of why people can’t participate in social activities after work (i.e. kids, school, I’ve been here all day, I have work to do, etc), and always wondered how they could spend 40 hours a week with folks, 2,000 a year, but not have the time to go to a two hour dinner a couple of times a year. You gotta make the time.
  4. Looks like Apple is breaking iphones that have been hacked (i.e. modified to run other programs or use the phone network of the users choice). It’s called “bricking” them (as in turning them into something as useful as a brick). It’s interesting how the Apple folks are now realizing that Apple, as opposed to IBM and Microsoft which Apple mocked in their 1984 commercials, is acting like big brother. The issue here is really about stock price and the iPod. Apple had such an amazing hit with the iPod in terms of not only units sold, but the margin of that product, that it needed a second act. The iPhone is that second act. In order to maximize revenue Apple had to sell the soul of the device to AT&T. So, there it is everyone… even the greatest CEO, at the great company has to make concessions when running a public company.
  5. Keep in mind the fact that even the mighty Steve Jobs had to make major concessions on the iPhone in order to keep Apple’s stock going when you start building your company on top of Facebook. At some point Facebook will be a public company and when they are they will answer to shareholders, not application developers. Right now Facebook’s position on 3rd party developers is amazing and I’m sure they are genuine in their support. However, give Facebook two missed quarters as a public company and they might not have no choice but to squeeze every ounce of revenue out of Facebook. That squeeze might include competing with the current crop of Facebook developers. You know what you can do if they have to squeeze? Nothing. You can go out of business like countless software companies did when Microsoft decided that they need a second act after their operating system and came out with Office. Or look at the information providers who were partners with AOL back when AOL charged by the hour. When AOL went flat rate the information providers got rocked–big time.
  6. That being said, Facebook is an AMAZING way to promote a business that is off the Facebook platform…. right?! I mean look at these five huge business that Facebook apps have built…. ummm… the first is… ummm…. let me see. Uhhh…. does anyone know a business that has grown from Facebook into a real non-Facebook dependent business yet? I think MySpace has built one third part y business in Slide.com right? Oh yeah, and Photobucket which MySpace bought. Building inside closed ecosystems is very, very dangerous…. be careful.
  7. Make sure you vote for fellow blogger and dotcomer Mark Cuban tonight on Dancing with the Stars… he’s out there dancing his heart out for all of us. He is show the world that nerds can Dance… for that we must thank him–with a phone call vote of support!
  8. Went to see Bright Eyes at the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday night. They were amazing, but played a very short set. The singer from Bright Eyes seemed toasted…. he was saying all this wacky stuff between songs. Either that or he was trying to solidify that “the next Dylan” moniker.
  9. I’m looking for a couple of more HOW TO editors/writers for here at Mahalo. Know anyone? Let me know… full-time position in Los Angeles/Santa Monica. We’re also looking for freelancers.

That’s it for now… talk again soon. More bulldog puppy love pics coming soon. I promise!

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English Bulldog

Hello, my name is Jason. Welcome to my blog on the interwebs. You can reach me on twitter @jason and by email at jason@inside.com. My Skype is jasoncalacanis, and my mobile phone is 310-456-4900.

I only pick up numbers I recognize, and in terms of emailing me, the best strategy is to write short, blunt and to the point requests. I can quickly respond to short messages, and many times I simply don't have the time to read five page pitches. In terms of taking meetings, I only do that after reviewing an actual product (not a business plan). So, the best time to ping me is when you have mockups or an alpha site. I don't read business plans, and I've never written one.

Other twitter accounts you can follow: Inside.com, Ticker, This Week in Startups and LAUNCH Festival

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