Askpedia Alpha Program

I’m pleased to announce that we have launched the Askpedia Alpha program.

After many months of hard work, it’s gratifying to have other people use our service and provide valuable feedback. We know we still have a lot of work ahead of us, but it does feel good to reach this important milestone.

Right now, the Alpha program is limited to a few people, but we will gradually open up the program to more participants. We also plan on having contests and prizes during the Alpha program. If you’re interested in participating, send an email to alpha at askpedia.com.


Askpedia.com

It has been a while since I posted anything on this blog. It’s not because of a lack of topics. Over the last few months, there have been some pretty interesting developments in the whole Web 2.0 space.
Instead of just thinking about it or writing about it, I have decided to be a part of the new developments unfolding in the Web 2.0 space.

In March, I founded a new company and incorporated the company in June. We’re now busy working on the prototype and we hope to have an Alpha version out some time in early 2007.

We are still in stealth mode, but the company is in the knowledge sharing space. We are learning from the success of sites such as Naver’s JiSikIn and Yahoo Answers and applying the knowledge sharing concept to a different market in a different way. If you are interested in tracking our progress, you can sign up to be on our mailing list by going to:

http://www.askpedia.com

Needless to say, it has been pretty exciting so far and we’re all looking forward to launching next year and making a difference in the knowledge sharing space.

Stay tuned!


Why there is always Hope for Startups

The best business books have a profound yet easy to understand insight based on a simple observation. The Innovator’s Dilemma is one of those books. It is also one of the best examples of why there is always hope for startups in the technology space, even when competing against market leading companies.

Clayton Christensen makes the observation that even when market leading companies do everything right, they eventually lose their leadership position due to some unforseen and disruptive product, technology, or business model. It’s a form of corporate Darwinism where every company has its demise encoded into its DNA. Companies might be able to adapt to changing market conditions, but if you’re a dinosaur that needs a lot of food for sustenance, you are not going to survive the Ice Age. You have to become a bird and compete with other smaller animals used to surviving on less food.

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Moving on from WebEx…

It has been a while since I posted an entry to my blog.

The primary reason for not blogging over the last year and a half has been my position in the WebEx CTO Office. Given my role in investigating new technologies and developing business opportunities for WebEx, I felt that it would not have been appropriate for me to write about current technologies and trends.

Well, that’s all changing now.

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Netflix and 800lb Gorillas

I have been a Netflix customer for some time now and it has been interesting to see the company grow and evolve, given the changing dynamics of their space. Netflix pioneered the DVD rentals-by-mail market and have managed to grow to over two million subscribers since their launch in 1999. With their success, they have attracted the attention of 800 lb gorillas such as Blockbuster and WalMart who recently launched similar services.

This pattern of innovators (usually startups) creating a market and then attracting followers (usually larger companies) is something that we all see again and again in the technology space. The billion dollar question for Netflix is, can it survive and continue to lead the market?

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Friendster: The Next Big Media Company

Friendster recently announced that Scott Sassa, former President of NBC West Coast, will be taking over the CEO role from interim CEO, Tim Koogle, former CEO of Yahoo. Scott Sassa is the former wunderkind at Fox Network, Turner Entertainment, NBC, etc. where he has a solid track record of hits such as ‘West Wing’, ‘Fear Factor’, and ‘Law & Order: SVU’.

Scott Sassa is an interesting choice to run a company like Friendster. I think it makes sense because internet companies are essentially becoming media companies. AOL was one of the first internet companies that went through this transformation and now they’re part of a big media conglomerate. With the hiring of Terry Semel, Yahoo is also going through the transformation into a media company dependent on advertising and subscription revenue, just like network television and cable TV.

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Accel/SNRC Symposium

One of the great things about blogging is the spirit of information sharing within the community. An example of this is Jeff Nolan’s <a href=”http://sapventures.typepad.com/main/2004/06/blogging_from_t_4.html”>summary</a&gt; of the Accel/SNRC <a href=”http://snrc.stanford.edu/symposium.html”>symposium on Service-Oriented Flexible Computing</a> on his blog. Instead of paying $350, you can read Jeff’s blog to get the highlights. Of course, you’re missing out on the networking and offline discussions, but given the cost of admission to Jeff’s blog, it’s the next best thing.
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