It's not the most innovative name but the concept may be revolutionary. Metaplace, a virtual community that is currently being tested for launch in spring 2008, was one of the most talked about start-ups at the TechCrunch40 Conference. The new platform allows anyone to build a virtual world from scratch -- for the web or even mobile applications -- without any programming knowledge. Like other virtual communities such as Second Life, There, Entropia Universe, or World of Warcraft, the Metaplace worlds can be used for gaming, socializing, and e-commerce. And they come with the usual community features: forums, user … Read more
There are many pundits who herald Apple for its "convergence strategy:" iTunes is on more than 300 million computers, Apple TV has been launched, and the iPhone has emerged as the most talked about new consumer electronic device in history and is expected to fuel the launch of more all-in-one gadgets from competing consumer electronic makers. Convergence is -- once again -- all the rage.
But what does convergence exactly mean? Let's try a very simplified overview. First of all, there is the media convergence between the worlds of telecoms, TV, Internet, and computing, including fixed-mobile convergence, … Read more
Mash, Yahoo's way of quietly saying farewell to Yahoo 360, is at first glance a somewhat uninspired attempt to catch up with Facebook. Even the name is boring--Mash. Don't mix it up, by the way, with Mosh, Nokia's mobile networking site (currently in beta) and Mashable, the social-networking blog. Mash (invite-only as of now) looks like a cross between Facebook, MySpace and Netvibes--and it also has a bit of wiki DNA: Anyone you grant permissions to can edit your profile or add modules they think are relevant to your profile. Besides that, nothing new.
To be … Read more
According to a McKinsey & Company study of US economic activity, "Raising the productivity of employees whose jobs can't be automated is the next big performance challenge." The study argues that "as more companies come to specialize in core activities and outsource the rest, they have greater need for workers who can interact with co-workers, partners, and vendors," supported by highly personalized organizing and communication tools. 40 percent of labor activity, says McKinsey, comes not from making things or from traditional transactions but from what the consultancy calls the "Interaction Economy," which it … Read more
The common wisdom is that gas stations make almost no profit off the gas itself (the gas companies make a ton of profit, of course) and must have side businesses like garages and, above all, snack shops to turn a profit.
What if you were to turn that equation on its head and add a "filling station" to, say, a Starbucks? That's the intriguing possibility raised by an article on SFGate about Hyatt Hotels and Tesla Motors, the Google-founders-financed electric car start-up. (It's also been written up on CNET News.com.)
"Hyatt will install Tesla … Read more
Get ready for the onslaught of "iPhone killers".
This isn't necessarily a reflection of whether the iPhone really is a game-changer or an outstandingly good phone. (And I should say up front that in its current iteration I'm ambivalent about the iPhone, for my uses a BlackBerry is better.)
The iPhone killers are coming simply because the iPhone is a "hit" product, and these days the wireless industry is driven by "hits." The Motorola Razr was the first bonafide hit, achieving sales of 2 million units in the UK alone which had … Read more