poelog: Commentary, thoughts and opinions on the web, ebusiness and marketing -- a web log by Rob Poel
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Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Venture Blog discusses an article by Benchmark Capital's Bill Gurley: Dot-com double take. Bill goes on to document that perhaps everyone was a bit too rash in claiming the demise of everything "dot-com." I have to agree with him. Bill also has a great slam on Barron's, a pathetically pessimistic financial pub that has been claiming for years now that not only was Amazon.com overvalued but that any day now it would go bankrupt and disappear. With a $9.7 billion dollar market cap I don't see that happening anytime too soon.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

In light of Amazon's earnings today ... I thought it would be appropriate to pay tribute (not) to Barron's ... a pathetic financial newspaper that has been predicting Amazon's demise for years now: May 31, 1999 - "Amazon.bomb." Here's another potential threat to Amazon: What's to stop famous authors from establishing their own Websites to sell their books? If Madonna can have her own record label, the theory goes, why can't Stephen King or Danielle Steel have their own book imprint?"

Charles Hudson's Weblog: Why Consumers Want to Buy Software as a Service (Part I of II) ... followed up by Part II of II (via VentureBlog).

Trader Mike, a blog I found in my referrer logs, is making me nervous. I've enjoyed the market run-up over the past week and would like it to continue. Now I'm trying to decide if I should sell a stock I've been trading which has had a good run and wait to buy it again on the dip. From the looks of the futures this morning ... the market is at least going to be starting in the negative.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Remember Mouse Trap? Check out Honda's latest television advertisement, a two-minute film called "Cog". It suppposedly took 606 takes to get right. According to a forwarded email from a co-worker: Filming was done over four near-sleepless days in a Paris studio, after one month of script approval, two months of concept drawings and a further four months of development and testing. One of the more surprising things about the ad is that it was not a cheat. Although it would have been much easier to fiddle the chain of events by using computer graphics, the seesaw and shunt of events really did happen, and in one, clean take. I think it was worth it.(note - a larger, flash version of the commercial can be found here).

Monday, April 21, 2003

Looking for a great book? I just finished Peace Like a River by Leif Enger. It has 164 reviews at Amazon and is averaging 4.5 stars. There's a reason why so many people have read it and felt compelled to write a review.

The book that replaced it on my nightstand? The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz. The brief description: In 1941, the author and a small group of fellow prisoners escaped a Soviet labor camp. Their march out of Siberia, through China, the Gobi Desert, Tibet, and over the Himalayas to British India is a remarkable statement about man's desire to be free.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Wedding Bells for DealTime, Epinions - the news is over a month old but I mention it because I've always been a big fan of Epinions and I was curious how they were faring financially. According to this article, Epinions was profitable on a GAAP basis for all of 2002. Pretty impressive. Although I've never used Dealtime, a quick browse of their site reveals that a merger with Epinions makes a ton of sense. Dealtime is a pretty well-done comparison shopping site while Epinions is a leader in consumer reviews. Put the two together and you have some real synergies ... granted they'll never turn into Amazon.com but they should be able to build a solid company.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

BookmarkSync - This is exactly the type of thing I've been looking for as I deal with multiple computers and, especially at home on the Mac, multiple web browsers. BookmarkSync is the only real-time automatic synchronization service that allows you to access your bookmarks, favorites and favorite files from any computer or any browser, without changing the way you use the Internet. (via VentureBlog).

Thursday, April 03, 2003

August Capital, a Sand Hill Road venture capitalist, has started a blog: VentureBlog. I've always been very interested in the world of venture capital despite the fact that Grand Rapids, Michigan (my home town) is only now about to launch it's first (yes, FIRST) venture capital fund. Even though I'm not too sure of the quality yet I'm going to add this blog to my list of Blogs of Note so that I can remember to return regularly (via Scripting News).

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

Starbucks innovates again by offering a dual use Visa. The card boasts the reloadable stored-value feature of its successful Starbucks Card, but also works like a credit card. When using the credit card the customer gains reward points that can then be redeemed at Starbucks retail locations. Expect to see many other retailers copy Starbucks and introduce dual-use cards of their own over the coming months.