Archive for September, 2006

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Authentication As A Utility

Yahoo’s new BBAuth — Browser-based Authentication service is another building block for the coming wave of Web-based small businesses. No one wants to run a server farm and no one really want’s to deal with authentication. Between Amazon’s virtual computing and storage, and Yahoo’s authentication service, it’s going to be simpler and simpler to assemble a online business.

Good Money, Bad Money

One sign that the business of building businesses on the Web has changed since the bubble years is that entrepreneurs are talking about “good money” and “bad money.” Used to be that all money was good. The idea used to be to get as much money as you could from a VC, then go public as soon as you could. And of course investors would cooperate by buying lots of stock, causing the price to sky rocket. Quick riches and early retirement. Then on to create a second company that never quite captured the magic of the first.

The VC funded IPO is becoming rarer and rarer. I wonder if the Small Business Administration will be the new funder of small Web businesses?

Apple “Phone”

The buzz about an Apple iPhone has hit the streets. Personally, I’d like a new cell phone, but I don’t like much of what I see. I want a phone, but I’d like much more. I carry an iPod, a Palm and a Cell Phone, that’s two devices too many. The Treo tries to do all three — but isn’t quite right. The issues around CDMA and GSM (Apple + Cingular) are very interesting as well.
The problem is one of narrowing the user interaction to the set that hits the utility needs and desires of the largest group of consumers. I’m a terrible example, I like Palm’s PDA because I can SSH in to my Web space — not exactly a feature that the market is crying out for. But some method of mobile blogging or Web site content updating is part of the killer app for a mobile device.

Blogging As Advertising

Techmeme’s new advertising model is perfectly organic to the site’s presentation and content. In a sense, it’s as significant as Google’s text ad model. Although, as Dave Winer points out, it may be difficult to blog about a new product for a whole month – or even more. But I can imagine a whole new gig for talented bloggers as guest bloggers on a sponsorship blog.
The creation and acceptance of new advertising formats is critical for the survival and growth of new Web-based small businesses. We’d all benefit from fewer display ads on Web sites — especially sites that offer text as their primary content. Imagine TechCrunch with out all those graphic ads.

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