July 27th, 2007
There are a few things brewing at Waxxi. One of them, we can talk about here. Others will have to wait, just a while longer.
While we’ll continue our typical 30+ minute interactive podcasts with very interesting people, we’ll also begin a shorter version, called the Sweet Spot. The idea is micro-consumption: an interesting snapshot of cool, smart people which you can read, listen to, or watch in five minutes (or so).
We’ll be announcing a lineup soon, but here we’ll let you in on one of our first guests: Twitter co-founder, and genius , Biz Stone. Have a question for Biz? Simply leave a comment here, DM me on Twitter here, or message me on Facebook here (guest suggestions may also be submitted in the same manner).
Yesterday, the Mashable Team posted an outstanding compilation — sort of an ‘everything you wanted to know about podcasting, and more’ list. Included are such categories as:
- Podcast Creation Guides (such as iLounge’s Beginner’s Guide to Podcast Creation)
- Podcast Advertising (like Podbridge)
- Video Podcasting (a la blip.tv)
- Mobile Podcasting (see Yodio)
- Podcast to Text (try CastingWords)
- Podcast Directories (such as Yahoo! Podcasts)
Waxxi was named in the Live Podcasting category, as such:
Audio shows streamed live, mainly with notable technologists. Once recorded, the live shows are available as podcasts.
June 14th, 2007
Another great question (not to mention, answer) from the ‘cast with Seth:
“Does Yahoo! have a chance?”
Well, wait a second. Yahoo! makes millions and millions of dollars every day. They have more register users, I think, than just about any other site in the world. And, they deliver huge amounts of information on finance and everything else. Millions and millions of people have Yahoo! mail.
If someone wanted to hand me the keys to Yahoo!, I’d be happy to show up. They’re not doomed, by any stretch of the imagination.
The real question, I think, should be: what’s Yahoo!’s next Dip, and how do they get through it? Is Yahoo! on a dead end in which they’re going to keep cranking out money but not become a superstar in something new. Or, are there Dips that the people at Yahoo! could focus on and put their huge resources behind, and push through. Or, is it a better strategy for them to do forty things, and hope that one of them pops?
And, based on what I’ve said so far today … the way you win on the Internet and everywhere else is to find an area that people are going to choose to talk about, overwhelm it, push through the Dip and then erect a barrier behind you – what I call the Valley of Death – so it’s harder for the Microsofts and the Googles to catch up with you.
June 12th, 2007
“What was your biggest Dip?”
I’ve had lots and lots of Dips, which is really lucky for me.
There are plenty of people I went to business school with who have been on a dead end ever since. There are plenty of people who I worked with at my first job, who have been at a dead end ever since.What I have tried to do is seek out Dip after Dip.
Now, there have been a few times when I’ve quit in the Dip and regretted it. There have been a few times when I almost quit in the Dip, and managed to just squeak through. Just before I sold Yoyodyne to Yahoo in 1998, the good news is the day before we sold, we were profitable which was very unusual in those days. The bad news is that in the six weeks before we sold, there were three occasions where we almost missed payroll. We were within an hour of not having the money in the bank to pay our employees.
And it would have been really easy in those days to give up. To look around at the well-funded companies that had raised twenty or forty or eighty million dollars. We had raised four. To look at the companies in California that were getting great deals and hook-ups because of who they knew, and we were in New York and knew no one.
It would have been easy in the pressure of the moment to say, “Well, we gave it a good try. Let’s go home.” I’m really glad we stuck that Dip out.
Originally blogged over at The Long Blonde Tail.
June 6th, 2007
Today was an exceptional experience: we had the chance to really riff with Seth Godin for about an hour. I have to say, this was one of my favorite Waxxi ‘casts to date, simply because people seemed to have so much fun (moderator and guest included!).
We talked about working with Hugh, The Dips of Google, StumbleUpon, Squidoo, Yoyodyne, Oprah, Microsoft, Ask.com, Yahoo!, the book publishing industry, and much more. The ‘cast will be live shortly, and we’ll have some transcripts of the conversation here as well.
If you haven’t yet done so, take an evening or a few hours on a weekend day – and read The Dip (a New York Times bestseller, just this week). Then, buy five (or more) copies, and give them away to people you know. The message, and lessons, are relevant to just about everyone.
Thanks again to Seth, and to everyone who participated!
May 15th, 2007
If you have an entrepreneurial bone in your body, or if you have embarked on a new project (/job/company/career/etc.)Â lately, we strongly recommend this quick,Â yet incredibly well-rounded and insightful, read.
May 1st, 2007
This is an incredibly exciting announcement for us: legendary marketeer, writer and speaker Seth Godin will be Waxxi’s next guest. If you’ve never seen him speak, either live or on video, we strongly recommend taking a look at him in action, here at the Googleplex.
Seth’s blogging, books, and speeches have helped transform businesses and organizations by challenging people (CXOs, students, workers, leaders in government and academia, and so on) to think differently, and then do something about it — like going to the edges and being (truly) remarkable.
If you haven’t yet become addicted to reading it, his is one of the most highly regarded business blogs in the world. He’s the man behind Purple Cow, Permission Marketing, Unleashing the Ideavirus – and now, The Dip.
As the title states, The Dip is A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick). We’ll have more coverage on The Dip in future posts, but for now we’d recommend checking out the book’s blog.
On June 6, 2007 at 1:30pm ET, youâ€™ll have the chance to talk to Seth directly (via phone) and/or ask him a question (via IM in the chat room). Here are the details:
WHAT: Waxxi ‘Cast with Seth Godin
WHEN: Wednesday, June 6, 2007, 1:30-2:30pm EDT
HOW: Register here. But hurry! As always, itâ€™s free but spaces are limited.
Bonus read: Guy Kawasaki’s 10 Questions with Seth about The Dip.
April 17th, 2007
The April 5th Waxxi cast with Jimmy Wales is up, and available for your streaming (or downloading) pleasure, here.
At just 32 minutes, this was the shortest cast we’ve done so far, and the first one we haven’t had to cut in two parts. Although the reason for the shortened cast had to do more with Jimmy’s schedule than anything else, it’s a refreshingly nice length.
It’s a fascinating conversation, and while it’s (again, for the first time) just mine and Jimmy’s voices you’ll hear, the interactivity and participation was awesome.
One question, for those of you who prefer text, came from the live chat:
Steve asks: What are the pros and cons of a transparent search algorithm? Are the advantages of having an open book approach to how search is performed worth the risks of some who will use the information to “game” the system?
Yeah, so that is a really core question. And, in a certain sense, the success or failure of this entire concept hinges on that question: which actually will work better in the long run?
So, there are a couple things that I think are pretty clear. When you have an transparent, open search engine with freely licensed software, when people find that thereâ€™s a problem, thereâ€™s a potential for people to actually correct it â€“ and actually have oversight into whatâ€™s gone wrong and how to fix it â€“ that you really donâ€™t get in a proprietary search engine, unless you hire lots and lots of people.
The political implications are, well, theyâ€™re important to me. And I mean political with a small â€˜pâ€™, not really talking about government, but talking about the organization of society, and the organization of information in society. I think as citizens and consumers and producers in the world, we should be concerned about secrecy around such a core piece of the infrastructure of the Internet. So thatâ€™s one of the major pros.
Now, if you talk to security people â€“ so, people who work in computer security â€“ theyâ€™ll always tell you that â€œsecurity through obscurity is a bad idea.â€ In other words, if the way youâ€™re keeping something secure is by keeping it secret so people canâ€™t game it, well youâ€™re always subject to people to figuring it out and gaming it without you noticing. Youâ€™re subject to that kind of attack all the time.
One of the reasons we trust the encryption algorithms that we use is that theyâ€™re published. Theyâ€™re public, and theyâ€™ve been tested by many, many mathematicians and computer programmers. Everybody can throw what they want at it, and try to find a flaw. If youâ€™ve got a secret encryption algorithm, wellâ€¦you just donâ€™t know: I mean, has it really been tested thoroughly? And so forth.
So, I think the same idea applies to search algorithms. If the only reason itâ€™s good is because itâ€™s secret, well, that never lasts. What you really want is to truly begin to solve the problem in a more systematic way. For that I think the open approach is the best.
April 11th, 2007
From the Logo Design Blog:
Logos are one of the most creative elements of graphic art. These creative logos have a tendency to not only provide brands with essential recognition, but also ensure its success.
In order to recognize the creativity behind these artistic visual identities, we at LogoBlog, have listed some of the best creative logos (though itâ€™s not a ranking) in a random way. We hope that you will appreciate these creative logos as much as we do.
This is an impressive list, one on which we’re very proud to be present. Some of the very best in ‘artistic visual identities’ are represented: Firefox, Nike, Apple, Target, FedEx, IBM, Calvin Klein, as well as 2.0ers like Rollyo, Flickr, Campfire and gabbr.com See the whole list, here.
We have our partners-in-design to thank: the incredibly talented Inflatable3. I’ve worked with them for years now and would trust them with anything I do, or became involved with. Plus, they’re are a bunch of really great guys.
Trivia: after selecting this particular logo mockup out of many, it still wasn’t in final form (as it never is). This is what our logo looked like, before the final version:
During the Jimmy Wales ‘cast, some of the fundamental questions involved his new project, Wikia, the future of human-powered search, and competing with Google. Some fantastic content awaits you in the podcast, which will be up on Waxxi very soon.
Can you tell us more about Wikia?
Basically, Wikia is my new project. We are building thousands of Wiki communities in parallel. The way that we like to describe it is that Wikipedia is the encyclopedia, and Wikia is the rest of the library and the magazine racks. So, itâ€™s a totally new organization completely separate from Wikipedia, and growing really quickly. [Weâ€™re] spending a lot of energy in trying to improve the software and make it easier to use, to try to push this whole free culture revolution out to the next wave of participants.
How will human powered search work?
So, the search project is one of the projects of Wikia, and basically what weâ€™re looking at is everything is open source software â€“ all free software. We want to publish all the algorithms; we want to bring some transparency into the search business.
There are a lot of people who are trying to do human powered search, or trying to do new algorithmic search, but I donâ€™t know of anybody whoâ€™s really trying to make a radical commitment to being open and transparent in the sense of free software. So, thatâ€™s basically what our goal is.
How itâ€™s actually going to work? Well, thatâ€™s yet to be determined. I mean, weâ€™re still in the open design stages. Itâ€™s not the kind of thing where we labor for twelve months in stealth mode, then build it all out and announce it in a flurry. Itâ€™s a project to build a search engine, so anyone can participate and weâ€™re discussing and debating how to go about it.
How do you plan to successfully compete with Google? A question via chat, from the incredibly participative Rick Myers:
Umâ€¦I have no idea! I mean, I think the real answer is, if you believe as I do: that quality search is becoming a commodity. So, if you take a look at the results from Yahoo!, look at the search results from Google, from Ask â€“ theyâ€™re really quite similar in many respects, and thatâ€™s been increasingly so in the last couple of years. And then you look at some of the stuff thatâ€™s been going on in the open source world, around search engines. I think weâ€™re in striking distance of having good quality search in a free software package.
If thatâ€™s true, then itâ€™s really a matter of just having the servers and people that manage them, and then you can really compete. If thatâ€™s true, then competition is not about having the most money and the most rocket scientists. Itâ€™s about having open transparency: search results people can trust because they can understand how things are ranked and sorted.
So thatâ€™s basically the approach weâ€™re taking. I donâ€™t normally think much in terms of competition, I think more in terms of finding something cool and fun to do, and doing it.