November 2004
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Month November 2004

Entrepreneur: What not to do

Mark Henricks interviews John Osher who discusses the 17 most common mistakes startups make, along with 5 must dos to win:

Mistake 1: Failing to spend enough time researching the business idea to see if it’s viable. “This is really the most important mistake of all. They say 9 [out] of 10 entrepreneurs fail because they’re undercapitalized or have the wrong people. I say 9 [out] of 10 people fail because their original concept is not viable. They want to be in business so much that they often don’t do the work they need to do ahead of time, so everything they do is doomed. They can be very talented, do everything else right, and fail because they have ideas that are flawed.”

FCC Chairman Michael Powell on Broadband Politics

Larry Lessig interviews FCC Chairman Michael Powell on our nation’s poor broadband penetration:

Lessig: The latest statistics say that we?re number thirteen. So what?s happened in the last four years that this place where the internet really started and took off seems to be falling behind so quickly?
Powell: I think this situation should be unacceptable to us. Fortunately, I think we?re beginning to have some success in making our national leadership understand that this is something they should care about. This is something that will impact and control the economic prosperity of our society in the Information Age. It should be debated in the halls of Congress. It’s that critical.

Wal Mart Blog

Interesting look at Wal-Mart from www.alwayslowprices.net. Glenn Reynolds notes that he’s never really liked shopping there. I have to agree. they do have great prices on some products, but you must be willing to put up with shopping their way (crowds and little in the way of aesthetics (which target has taken advantage of).

Demand Side Democracy

Ruth Robarts, Ed Blume, Don Severson, along with several others have launched this site: www.schoolinfosystem.org/run/ seeking interested candidates for two Madison School Board seats. This represents a new demand side approach. We’re interested in a vigorous debate, which requires more than one candidate. Check it out and pass the link around.

Dick Ebersol Plane Crash = Trial Lawyer Contextual Ads

CNN’s article on NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol’s private jet crash at Montrose Airport (near Telluride, CO) includes two contextual ads (from overture) for trial lawyers. 160K jpeg

More on Microjets


Sara Kehaulani Goo on Microjets or Very Light Jets (VLJ’s) and the emerging air taxi system ($6/mile):

The fledgling industry is “going to be looked upon like the Wright brothers in 1903,” said Ken Hespe, a spokesman for the National Consortium for Aviation Mobility, a nonprofit group that has been studying and developing new uses for the nation’s tiniest airports and for small jets with NASA, which estimates a market for 8,300 microjets by 2010. “It’s going to be a revolution in the transportation industry,” Hespe said.
Analysts say microjets will appeal to a cross-section of customers including corporations, which might add planes to their fleets, and wealthy travelers who are looking for a less-expensive alternative to owning a jet. Since 2001, companies such as NetJets have grown by providing access to planes around the world for members who pay for fractional ownership of aircraft. Aviation experts say air taxis with all-microjet fleets could serve as an even more affordable version of the fractional ownership aircraft model.

VC Don Valentine Looks Ahead

Alorie Gilbert interviews “legendary” venture capitalist Don Valentine (Founder of Silicon Valley’s Sequoia Capital):

I really think it’s sort of embarrassing for South Korea to have an intrinsically greater disposition in broadband than California……..
I got to Silicon Valley in 1959. Nothing is revolutionary; it’s evolutionary. Look the sequence of Intel microprocessors. It’s all predictable. The nature of silicon and software and storage go hand in hand. In the case of software, you just have to be more clever about the nature of the application. So all these things kind of tick along, feeding off each other

Opening the Do Not Call List to Phone Spam

Lance Gay:

The agency overseeing the national Do Not Call Registry is considering opening a loophole to allow companies to deliver ‘pre-recorded message telemarketing.’ The effort is being organized by Allen Hile of the FTC’s division of marketing practice. Be sure to let the FTC know how you feel about it.

Via Slashdot.

Another Approach to Local Taxes

Ken Thomas discusses Beaver Dam’s plans to reduce spending by 1% and keep net property taxes flat (a reduction in mill rates is balanced by the usual increased property valuation.

Christo and Jean-Claude

Christo and Jean-Claude are planning to bring saffron to Central Park next February according to Carol Vogel. Reading this reminded me of their work in Paris from 1975 to 1985. A fresh UW grad, I was in Europe for an extended stay when I came upon Christo and Jean-Claude’s The Pont Neuf Wrapped. I snapped these photos in 1985:

I commend and admire their work.