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My Internet Notebook

a journal on software, mobile, marketing

Entrepreneurial Quote – Peng Ong

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Here is a quote I like regarding risk-taking as an entrepreneur. It was an old interview by Sramana Mitra (http://www.sramanamitra.com/2006/11/12/serial-entrepreneur-peng-ong-part-1/) of Peng Ong, who founded match.com, interwoven.com etc.

The biggest risk to me is not that I loose money but I do not make use of the time I have as effectively as I can. When you look at it from that perspective it is very risky to get a regular job, not learn anything and not to experience very much. From that perspective, losing all of my money is lower risk to losing all of my time.

Interestingly, Peng Ong made his first fortune working at Sybase and Illustra. But he was essentially a serial entrepreneur who was able to spot opportunities to solve problems from his prior experiences.

Written by Y.

May 25th, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Posted in Entrepreneur

WolframAlpha.com is Impressive

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Within 5 seconds of going to WolframAlpha.com, I decided to enter this query just for fun, without much expectation.

“loan amount $400,000 interest rate 5%”

Wow, I was impressed. WolframAlpha.com just gave me exactly what I expected.

mortgage calculator WolframAlpha.com

Enter the same search phrase in Google.com, you got at least 4-5 steps away before you get the same information. I think WolframAlpha.com really found a niche to beat Google. A very welcome development in the search space.

Written by Y.

May 16th, 2009 at 10:07 am

Posted in Business

Social Apps Monetization Methods

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Social apps, mostly games, on Facebook and MySpace can make a lot of money. As long as you have a good game play designed, you have a couple of monetization options that are commonly used/proven by the existing players today.

Virtual Goods

Players of social games are ready to pay for a) customization and decoration of the game environment; b) advancement in game levels. For example, Tencent made a lot of money with premium instant messaging, pet penguins, page decorations. Playdom did with clothing, weapons & adornment for cars, and advancement in the game. Zynga did with poker chips, mystery crates, home improvements, flame throwers. (Via: paidcontent.org)

Free v.s. Pro

Games designed with two or multiple levels of players can charge for a Pro experience. For example, in Playfish games “Who Has The Biggest Brain?” and “Word Challenge?” users have the opportunty to access additional content by “Going Pro” payable either via payment methods like PayPal, PayMo or PayByCash, or by using affiliate programs such as Trial Pay.

Advertising

Social games can also monetizing their audience by advertising, with direct or through a ad network. For direct advertising to work, you probably will have to already have a sizable player audience so that direct advertisers are willing to work with you.

For advertising through an ad network, you have quite a few options: Offerpal Media, adparlor.com, tattomedia.com, Super Rewards, etc.

If you are still looking for evidence on whether there is a serious business in social applications and social gaming, just take a look at the big players such as Zynga, Playfish, Playdom, SGN, RockYou, Slide and how much venture capital money they have raised so far.

Written by Y.

May 7th, 2009 at 9:02 am

Posted in Business,Web2.0

Twitter Tips and Links

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I am sure you already heard of twitter.com by now. Well, I started using Twitter in Feb. 2009 and found it quite amazing in terms of discovering new people, new information, and sharing what you know with the ‘public’. Here are a few links and tips on how you can get the most out of Twitter.

Using Twitter

You first need a twitter account. That is an easy one, a trip to twitter.com and 2 minutes of time will take care of it. At the minimum, you should say a few words in your profile, and upload a picture of yourself. When other people stumble upon you on twitter, they want to have a basic idea on who you are. So you show that you are a real human with a genuine interest in whatever, they are more likely to follow you.

Twitter Clients: usually the web client (i.e. your favorite browser) is what most people use to tweet. But there are other twitter clients that offers enhanced features than the web client. My favorite one is TweetDeck (which is available on both Windows and Mac). If you have an iphone, TweetFon is what you will want to use.

Lastly, you may feel lost in the first few days of tweetering, here is a good blog post on how to be a successful twitter: http://blog.mrtweet.net/7-habits-of-highly-effective-twitterers-kris-colvin

Search Twitter

You can find interesting people to follow by going to http://twitter.com/invitations/find_on_twitter

You can searching for topics of interests to you by going to http://search.twitter.com/. For example, if you are interested in knowing what people are talking about iphone, you can just do: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=iphone

tweetbeep.com: Tweetbeep searches twitter for you on topics you care to monitor and sends email alerts to your inbox. A good research and reputation monitoring tool for you advanced users.

Twitter Tools

TwitterSheep: TwitterSheep is a website that builds a “tag cloud” from the biographical information of your Twitter followers.

HootSuite: The self-styled “ultimate Twitter toolbox” is a fantastic resource. It allows you to manage multiple Twitter profiles, pre-schedule and automate your tweets to other services, such as RSS feeds, and even gives some useful stats to help you hone your Twitter performance.

Written by Y.

February 24th, 2009 at 11:28 pm

Posted in Web2.0

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Recession and Innovation

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microsoftontheissues.com carried the full transcript of Mr. Ballmer’s speech at the Democratic Caucus Retreat.

It is a fascinating read, a refreshing take on the current economical situation from a business person’s perspective, without beating the dead horse (a.k.a the wall street). He strongly believes that technology innovation is one of the three forces that is going to save the day again. Interestingly, he highlighted user experience and cloud computing as the next phase of technology transformation: “The next few years are going to see dramatic changes in the way you interact with technology: touch, gestures, handwriting, speech recognition.” and “these trends are going to help create a computing platform that extends from PCs and phones and TVs out into the massive storage and connectivity out in the Internet. ”

You should go read the piece.

Written by Y.

February 6th, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Posted in Business