Monday, June 30, 2008

Dash's GPS Industry's First Over-the-air Software Update

Its an exciting day today at work at Dash Navigation and my customer's world of Dash Drivers as Dash kept its promise to improve software and add features with an over the air software update to its first Internet Connected GPS "Dash Express".

I am not kidding when I say, I know of customers taking day off to experience the GPS industry's first ever over-the-air wireless software update and try the new features of MyRoute, Search Along Route and improvements of FasterFind and improved performance and new UI.

EVERYONE is talking about it - Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, CrunchGear,VentureBeat, Crave, JK on the Run, NaviGadget, GPS Review and GPS Tracklog ...

As someone immersed in customer conversations at the grass roots level daily, I want to thank our customers who spoke to us and led us to prioritize and bring them just what they wanted next.

Thank You! You Rock!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Feed Wars - Friendfeed vs Facebook

I am someone who has consolidated all my net activity on facebook. Every worthwhile site has a facebook app - twitter, wordpress blog etc.

Then came friendfeed. I was introduced to it as a simple facebook app and I could integrate everything worthwhile outside of facebook world to follow friends and find feeds of their activities, interests.

Private vs Public Social Graph: The main difference is that friendfeed is a public world of everything thats open for all to see from the people I follow or the friends who follow me. Facebook is my private world of pictures and comments shared by my circle of friends thats not archived for the world to randomly read.

Seinfeld of the Internet: Friendfeed has become the first site to pull me out of facebook to read random twitter feeds and multimedia digged or bookmarked or commented or shared on flickr or youtube - like a reality tv show in short bursts . Someone called Friendfeed the Seinfeld of the Internet (ping me if you know who said that). But its more than TV, you have control on when you flip channels and read feeds of friends or surf through the tinyurls of links your friends want you to read or get engrossed in a discussion of comments (a lot by Robert Scoble) as if you crashed into a cocktail party discussion about a random topic.

The problem is many of my friends on facebook are on friendfeed. They use twitter to say where they are, facebook status doesn't do it for many. My real dilemma came when I had to decide on where I should post an album of pictures after my facebook meetup. Flickr makes it public for the world. Facebook pictures add a personal angle as my friends acknowledge they saw it by tagging it. Same for videos, youtube is my favorite and I have a channel and followers., but facebook video manages support for all size and formats of videos and friends can tag. I chose to defer the problem and continue to use both with sometimes redundant efforts and friendfeed app feed showing redundant feeds of pictures on flickr while my friends on facebook have already seen the pictures on my minfeed.

Enter Facebook's minifeed imports:

Today I noticed Facebook has a simple "import" option in mini-feeds on a profile. And guess what? We have the choice of importing actions from our public sites onto our minifeed.

One first look this could bring the friendfeed functionality inside facebook feeds, but since we all see what our social graphs show, I think friendfeed is entrenched and its hard to expect my friends to adopt the minifeed as their discussion community with comments. Facebook will have to do more to make this import of minifeed (wish it had a better name than that) to be visible to the world and not lost in my minifeed.

On a different note, this import of minifeed could be facebook's attempt to make the profile page an engaging piece of facebook and allow "profile surfing" as is available on bebo.

Choice is good, but this is not enough to take me away from facebook or friendfeed. This could be fun for us as users if friendfeed survives as a standalone company, else this becomes a smart move by facebook to build friendfeed functionality before Google or MS buys friendfeed.

What do you think?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

DEMO Party SF Rocked

DEMO Party in SF rocked! ok, it was crowded, very crowded with 600 people! Thanks to Ramu of Qik, I managed to capture live videostream of parts of the event in a single click from a N95.

Rafe Needleman shared his nostalgia of how he was involved in the early days in 89 with Steward Alsop and had a demo story about being a repeat demo alum.

Brian Solis you rock! No one can capture more meaningful pictures and get them up faster on flickr on time Brian lets his pictures narrate who was there. I took some pictures, but mostly it was a blur of lot of people excited about DEMO.

Many had been there many times, some PR folks had taken companies to DEMO, some newcomers wanted to go there soon! Its phenomenal on how Chris Shipley goes around the globe and spots the winner companies and provides the fertile launch pad to succeed.

The beauty of the party was many many interesting conversations. I caught some on video as DEMO Stories that I am collecting for DEMO's facebook fan page. Ping me if we you have a demo story, the goal is to share our Demo experience on facebook and start some interesting conversations, you never know, something good will come out of it!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

DEMO Party tonite! Yay!

I am working on a project called "DEMO Stories" collecting real DEMO conference experience of alums to help new entrepreneurs. This goes on the DEMO Facebook Fan page. We have video interviews of Woody Benson and Julie O'Grady and podcasts in a yodio file there.

I am a DEMO alum from 2000 and have since taken two companies to DEMO, one as VP Marketing in Fall07, and another as startup advisor in DEMO08 . I blogged about last year's DEMO party.

Tonite is the 2008 DEMO Alum party in San Francisco! 600 people have signed up. You can follow DEMOtweets or watchout for the Qik live video streaming I plan to do for you!

If you are at the party and have a DEMO story as an entrepreneur, VC or Corporate Development person, I'd love to chat with you.

We have couple interns in Boston and Bay Area and can always add more if you want to do some DEMO story interviews anywhere in the world.

See you tonite.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Facebook Platform is OpenSourced

We all heard Dave Morin at the fb garage last week. Facebook has opened its platform as open source quietly in its own way here.

It is a lisenced under Common Public Attribution License (CPAL), which follows the Mozilla Public License (MPL) with the addition of allowing web services.

What does this mean for the developers?
  • This is facebook's response to Google's opensocial?
  • Facebook has 400K developers while Opensocial has been expanding with an industry wide support with developers trying it but waiting for better than beta quality from Opensocial platform. This move by Facebook deters developers from moving to Opensocial because they can now contribute to the platform and improve it to their own choice.
  • Choice is good and this makes life interesting for developers. myspace is likely to adapt its platform to Facebook style to get fb developers faster.
What does this mean to the Social Media Wars?
  • One subtle point that goes un-noticed in any analysis I've seen so far is that the lisense has been expanded to include Web services. This is the most interesting piece. This is in line with Facebook's promise of Facebook Connect whereby they plan to open up the social graph to allow access from any web service. This is the bigger step in the Social Media war with Facebook Connect being Facebook's response to Google's FriendConnect and everyone comparing Facebook Connect to FriendFeed etc.
Where is Bebo in all this?

Over the weekend I played with Bebo and wanted to understand the comparison with Facebook platform to see if Bay Area Facebook Meetup would like to see a bebo demo about Facebook migration. Interesting enough I connected with my facebook friends on bebo and haven't heard back from anyone who logged back into bebo. Ok Dave McClure is busy with GSP East, what is everyone's excuse?

I wonder what is the impact for Bebo which has the same Facebook platform lisenced which is not opensourced, right after Bebo's aquisition by AOL. Is this another influence on Facebook's decision to opensource the platform?

What do you think as a developer? I'd love to hear your thoughts.