Webreakstuff blog

October, 2006 Monthly archive

Bruce Sterling at Idea 2006

Idea Conference 2006 took place only 3 days ago in Seattle and more frustrating than not being able to be present is not being able to hear Bruce Sterling’s closing remarks at the Seattle Public Library, on which he explores design as a weapon against the world’s current problems and calls the audience to immediate action.

Bruce Sterling @ Idea 2006

The audio for his talk is available for download and I highly recommend taking 30 minutes off your daily routine to listening to what Bruce had to say. It won’t change your life but it might spark your imagination.

Photo by Pete Merholz. [Via peterme.com]

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You don’t need to be in the Valley

The New York Times ran a piece today titled “It’s not the people you know, it’s where you are” – and I strongly disagree, which means one of two things: either I’m wrong about the startup world today, or the Times is.

Reminder: Ideas are global

The biggest mistake of the New York Times is not recognizing the value of great ideas – which, as I’m sure YOU know, are everywhere. In fact, a new world changing idea can be (and probably is) taking shape in a napkin drawing at coffee shop anywhere in the world – right now.

While the Bay Area ecosystem is a great place to start a company – in every corner, there’s probably someone who’s been down the same path and knows people valuable to you and your business -, it is up to the entrepreneur to actually dig around for resources and run with an idea – and again, that can be anywhere.

Don’t be afraid of distances

The reason why I’m posting is because I love companies, and I love people with ideas who manage to generate value from them. An article such as this one in the Times does little more than scare people into thinking they can’t make it unless they’re in Palo Alto, Menlo Park or San Francisco. Truth is you can.

Need to talk to people in the valley? Fly over. Need to meet the VCs? Fly over. Need to live the dream for a while? Fly over. Heck, drive over if you can. But take your ideas and run with them wherever you feel comfortable. Others have (think Skype, for example).

Read more

Fred Wilson has a great take on this story as well, and himself being a VC, his opinion probably matters a whole lot more than mine could. Go read his post.

Disclosure: If you’re a long time subscriber, you probably know I was in the valley for a while and decided to come back to Portugal (and Europe as a whole) to start our company. And while I miss the people (and can’t wait for an excuse to go back for another while), I don’t regret my decision.

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Goplan review at /Message

Stowe Boyd over at /Message has a review of Goplan, our online collaboration product – which we’re officially launching soon – with quite a few screenshots and raising a few good points. He covers some of our features, compares our solution to the competition, and highlights some of our strong (and weak) points.

Goplan @ Shift 2006

If you still haven’t checked out Goplan, we are taking a few more people into the limited testing stage soon – so drop us an email at goplan@webreakstuff.com and we’ll get you in the queue for invites. Thanks for helping out – all the feedback we’re getting contributes towards building a better product.

More goplan information

Goplan product page, homepage and official weblog and pictures over at Flickr.
Previous posts: on slow launching, on the test stage and on not using the term “beta”

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Last week in the blogosphere (Oct 21 2006)

Dan Saffer, whose book (Designing for interaction) you should be reading, started a side project where he documents a series of inspiration bits for the interaction (and interface) designer. Check out his “No ideas but in things” – nice. (Via Adaptive Path’s blog)

Over at Digital Web Magazine, Jeff Cram posted an article for those of you who design and deploy websites and care about analytics. He outline some of the do’s and don’ts of site structure and goes into how CMSs play a role in site search engine placement.

George Olsen has a good post on Designing Breakthrough Products on UXMatters, and covers the impact of user-centered design techniques on the process. The article is full of interesting points, so save some minutes of your weekend to read through them.

Lawrence Lessig has a very good post on the Ethics of Web 2.0, and how sites like YouTube are “Fake” sharing sites where you can’t really get the content back. The post ends with a very important thought:

If YouTube is a trend, this is a depressing turn. No doubt, that amazing company has a billion things to think through (including what to do with more than a billion dollars). But one thing it really needs to keep in focus is a very important part of its success: That it was seen to respect the ethics of the web. Why post on YouTube rather Google Video? At least some did so because YouTube was “cooler.” Whether it continues to be as cool depends critically on the values it practices.

And finally, Andrew Crow over at Adaptive Path reminds me of an old passion for libraries in his “Library Porn” post, which is quite small, but definitely passionate. The experience of libraries is probably something I’ll post about soon (and to be honest, I’m dying to get back to Seattle and walk through the public library again).

Have a great weekend!

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