Interesting links and excerpts from the past couple of weeks

Excerpts from interesting things read in the past week or two:

  • Guy Kawasaki’s Ten (Actually Fifteen) Questions with Dr. Sandor Gardos: an interesting and personally relevant excerpt:
    • Question: What can an ecommerce startup learn from your experiences selling sex toys online?Answer: Find a niche that is currently under-served in the way you want to serve them. Then, continue to mine the data, listen to your customers, and keep creating ever more experiences that are *amazing* for them. Also, stop thinking that you are selling a product—that puts you into commoditization and the only thing you can compete on is price. You are selling a *solution* to a problem that your customer may not even know they had. Finally, forget about all the latest trends and gee-whiz technology; if it doesn’t really help the majority of your customers, it is worthless or worse.”
  • Guy Kawasaki links to three essays on social networking:
  • Another link from Guy Kawasaki (I’m learning a lot from this guy):
    • AdAge published its annual Largest National Advertisers report. Great info for every marketer and any company that is using an advertising business model.
    • Quick skim of the report shows that $8B of the $150B in advertising that was measured in 2005 was spent on the Internet. This is the disparity in ad dollars spent online vs. those spent on television that Pud mentioned in his talk at about at Gnomedex.
  • John Batelle Tips on Ads that Work from Neilsen/Norman eyetracking study:
    • …people do not look at static ads with graphic treatment. Users seem to “zone out” (with their peripheral vision) ads and other site elements that have clearly distinguishable ad features such as graphics and colors that make the ads look different from the rest of the site, or animated ads….When users DO look at ads with graphics, those ads usually have:
      -Heavy use of large, clear text
      -A color scheme that matches the site’s style
      -Attention-grabbing proprieties such as black text on a white background, words such as “free” and interactive (UI)
  • KP’s Seven Rules for Software Startups from Paul Kedrosky
    • Instant Value to customers – solve a problem or create value with the first use
    • Viral adoption – Pull, not push. No direct sales force required
    • Minimum IT footprint, preferably none. Hosted SaaS is best.
    • Simple, intuitive user experience – no training required.
    • Personalized user experience – customizable
    • Easy configuration based on application or usage templates
    • Context aware – adjust to location, groups, preferences, devices, etc.
  • Scoble says, “Sorry, I don’t do Social Networks anymore
  • TED conference videos available online
  • Venture Capitalist David Cowan links to “Television 2.0” companies (including Delivery Agent, which he covers in another post) that Bessemer has made investments in
  • Many to Many is a great group weblog focused on social software
  • From Lost Remote, Nielsen is planning on measuring video viewing on “alternate” platforms including PCs and mobiles
  • Also from Lost Remote, a new research study shows people don’t mind watching video over the web.

I’m going to try to do this more often — it’s largely for my own benefit, as a way of archiving interesting things that I’m reading and thinking about.