A recent Econ-Math-Dance college grad living in the heart of NYC. Obsessed with all things food, travel, and technology. This tumblog is a mix of personal thoughts, interesting finds, and entrepreneurial pursuits.
About a year ago, Google announced the introduction of Fiber to Kansas City, and just a couple of days ago, selected Austin to be the next major city. One of NYC startups’ greatest complaint is the broadband infrastructure in this town, so I’m sure this will be helpful to the budding tech community in Austin.
A couple of things come to mind:
When Google Reader underwent a transformation to become “more social” nearly a year and a half ago, I never thought it would eventually lead to a complete shut-down of the product. Some speculate that the demise was caused by a decline in usage. It’s easy to see how the widely-criticized re-design discouraged users — sharing to all channels got more complicated and posting to Google+ was essentially the tech equivalent of Dartmouth’s slogan (for the uninitiated, it’s “the voice of one crying in the wilderness”.)
Thankfully, crops of alternatives have emerged. I’ve been playing around with Feedly’s mobile product these days and I am quite looking forward to Digg’s RSS reader. One of my more interesting use cases for Google Reader is searching through posts I’ve already read. I have a greater incentive to add feeds to Google, because every post I read is essentially archived and searchable. (This is great for sending posts to friends in the vein of “Speaking of _____, I just read this awesome article on ______”)
As for a post-Google Reader world, I think Curata said it best,
As you may know, Google announced that they are discontinuing Google Reader as of July 1, 2013, which has upset many people online. But in reality it’s a blessing. For the past 8 years, we have seen little innovation in the feed reader market because of Google’s monopoly. Many have used Google Reader without qualms because it’s “good enough.” But why settle for “good enough”?
I, for one, am definitely looking forward to a renaissance in content aggregation.
Over MLK weekend, I completed my second half-marathon with a sub-10-minute-mile pace. Challenges overcome included a nasty cold that I caught two days before the race, windy and rainy conditions on the course, and the lack of a timing device to help keep pace during my run.
At the starting line, and again at miles 1, 2, and 3, I couldn’t help but wonder why I would put myself through this. By the time I got to the last mile and sped through the finish line, my spirits had definitely improved and there was no question in my mind that it had all been worth it.
I took the trip down to Bermuda on my own, which gave me a great opportunity to make some new friends. It was surprising how friendly the local Bermudans were! Of course, I also met many runners, most of them were serial marathoners. My favourite conversation starter was, “Do you like running? Or do you like the runner’s high?”
As I reflect upon my experience with running, I most definitely fall in the “love the runner’s high” camp. For the most part, running for me is still somewhat strenuous, and until my muscles warm up (which takes a while), I am not enjoying the process. Perhaps this is also a reflection of my working style — I am more of a goal-driven than process-driven person.
When: Saturday, February 2 - Saturday, February 9
DevFest is a week-long development festival during which students build applications, experiment with new technologies, and compete for awesome prizes. DevFest will kick off with a pitchfest and team formation, starting at 12:30pm in Davis Auditorium on Saturday, February 2, followed by workshops and hacking time.
It gets better every year!
The three-screen experience is largely a social TV concept — how can a TV network engage the user beyond just the television screen. The strategy, I think, can also easily apply to media startups, particularly in gaming.
I spoke to a marketing guy last night, who was on the Pokemon marketing team just after it hit the scenes in the late 90’s. He attributed Pokemon’s quick rise and sustained popularity to the media machine it became — originally a Nintendo game, Pokemon quickly expanded to include a TV show and a trading card game, not to mention thousands of different types of merchandise.
I see a similar go-to-market strategy for a company like Rovio, who not only dominated mobile games on iOS and Android, but went on to sign deals for multi-platform video games, a TV show, and a movie. Going from one screen (the PC or the mobile) to three screens essentially helps transform a company from delivering just a game to becoming a franchise.Becoming a media franchise will ease the pressure to produce a series of hits (see: Zynga) and allow the company to produce a less lumpy stream of revenues.
What will be key is the ability for a franchise to create a unified experience around all of their products. I recently spoke to a product person from Sesame Street, who mentioned that their latest mobile apps are meant to generate incremental income (such as paid apps or in-app purchases) or to enhance/market their existing products (such as an augmented reality app that interacts with their existing DVD offerings).