Guba CEO steps down, says more execs may follow

It’s kind of refreshing to see an executive state the obvious. Guba is an interesting business because they bootstrapped it but in the process made themselves toxic to mainstream venture capital because their bootstrapping mechanism was a porn business, excuse me “adult content”. Yeah, they had over 300,000 subscribers paying $15 a month for a service that really was pretty ingenious, they would archive all the adult content out of usenet newsgroups and serve it up to subscribers. Considering that Guba had deals with Hollywood well before YouTube did you have to wonder, in hindsight, whether or not they could have been YouTube were it not for that porn business. I should also point out that they did clean up and split off that part of the company under a separate brand but the fact remains that people like me, who have been interested in this space for a while, still look at the company and think “yeah they serve up porn”.

Guba CEO steps down, says more execs may follow | CNET News.com:
“I think we can all acknowledge that YouTube has won the big prize,” McInerney said. “Guba is at a crossroads, and we’re deciding whether to look for funding or to sell. I think we’re inclined to sell.”

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What It Is vs. What It Does

We have been going through a pretty intense process over the last month putting together the series B pitch for Teqlo. It’s been challenging on a couple of fronts, but primarily because of self imposed complexity. In other words, given 10 seconds how do I articulate what the company does in a manner that people can attach themselves to. I should have reread any of the numerous posts I have written on keeping things simple :)

It was only recently that the moment of clarity was achieved, rather than simply describing what it is I have been consumed with describing how it works and why it matters and the result was just more confusion.

Teqlo is a web-based personal workspace for people who use the internet to get things done.

Yeah, it’s that simple. The fact that we enable breakthrough capabilities for user generated application compositing from third party services, can achieve a continuum of usability unparalleled, and are at the forefront of a new wave of business application software assembled and distributed by the very users who depend on it is all well and good but it’s how we do it as opposed to what we are.

This very much reminded me of recent advertising campaigns by Ebay and AOL that focus on personalization and ubiquity.

Ebay say “you can get IT on Ebay” without defining what IT is because ultimately IT is everything. Whatever IT is really is up to whoever is using Ebay to buy or sell the things they need or want. AOL’s latest campaign focuses on “building a better internet experience” and for the vast majority of the mass market this is probably spot on. Whatever services are available from AOL or it’s competitors is secondary to the experience they provide, which admittedly is a function of what they offer but absent of an intense level of personalization their users don’t necessarily benefit.

UPDATE: Please see my last comment in response to a couple of others for more context on this matter.

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