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I ve seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by marketing, shilling for ad clicks, dragging themselves through the strip-lit corridors of convention centres looking for a venture capitalist. Just as X Factor has convinced hordes of tone deaf kids they can be pop stars, the startup industry has persuaded thousands that they can be the next rockstar entrepreneur. What s worse is that while X Factor clogs up the television schedules for a couple of months, tech conferences have proliferated to such an extent that not a week goes by without another excuse to slope off. Some founders spend more time on panels pontificating about their business plans than actually executing them.
Not surprising, the stringent nature of venture funding as well seems to be channeling innovators away from great ideas and into trends and popping industries. Great minds can spend years wasting their time on the next Groupon while real innovation stalls.
Mark Zuckerberg knows that this time next year Facebook will be a public company, or preparing itself for a blockbuster public offering. In a rare interview this weekend, the 27-year-old founder of the social networking site spoke candidly about culture, commitment and clingers-on at Silicon Valley's hottest ticket. Most interestingly, Zuckerberg said he would have bypassed the Valley if he were that 21-year-old Harvard student starting Facebook tomorrow. "If I were starting now I would do things very differently," he told Y Combinator partner Jessica Livingstone in the interview. "I didn't know anything. In Silicon Valley, you get this feeling that you have to be out here. But it's not the only place to be. If I were starting now, I would have stayed in Boston. [Silicon Valley] is a little short-term focused and that bothers me."
Its taken them this long? Groupon was said to have valued its business at US$25bn while reviewing a possible IPO.
Facebook is about to add yet another new product to its revenue-generating machine, widely predicted to be unveiling a Groupon competitor at a press conference in California shortly. The new service is confusingly dubbed 'Facebook Deals' as distinct from 'Facebook Places Deals', which it launched in the UK in January and the US last November. That service let users check in to venues using the Places location tool to take advantage of special offers. though there has been little buzz about the service since launch. The new service, as predicted by Bloomberg last month, is likely to launch in San Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Austin and Atlanta. Rather than based on check-ins, Deals will be more like a daily deals offer, and Bloomberg said Facebook planned to test the service during March.
Congratulations Elias. When I first heard about Startup Bus via Silicon Beach it sounded a bit crazy. Its obvious now crazy is good!
After travelling for two days on a bus halfway across America, you'd expect to see a bunch of weary passengers arrive at their destination desperate to stretch their legs, have a shower, and get a good night's sleep. But that's not what happens if they've been on Startup Bus. Today, six buses from San Francisco, Silicon Valley, New York, Cleveland, Chicago and Miami converge in Austin, Texas. The 150 tech-enthusiasts on the bus have spent the last two days organising themselves into 38 teams in order to create brand new startups from scratch.
If anyone knows how I can use my "TwitterTickers.com" domain - let me know ;-)
Hugely popular, Twitter is a platform for sending frequent short messages (or tweets) to many people from your phone or the Internet, and receiving the same from others. For instance a tweet like "Doing laundry yet again!" might go to thousands of followers, if the sender is that popular.
A post like that, of course, would be perfect fodder for those who lampoon Twitter.
But tweets can be powerful. Consider.....
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