Moguls Set To Approach the Sound Barrier

More fun than being the governor of New York.

At 704 miles an hour, the new plane’s top speed approaches the speed of sound. The new G650 has a range of 7,000 nautical miles, which means it will be able to reach most of the world nonstop from New York, save for Antarctica, Madagascar, Australia, and parts of South Asia.

[From Moguls Set To Approach the Sound Barrier – March 14, 2008 – The New York Sun]

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Rosedale to step down as Linden Lab CEO

“The company has the type of financial performance that if it wanted to it could become a public company,” said Benchmark’s Bill Gurley, who sits on the Linden Lab board. “I certainly think at some point in the future — and I’m certainly not announcing anything new here for the next 12 months — that’s on the company’s ambition plan.”

[From Reuters/Second Life » EXCLUSIVE – Rosedale to step down as Linden Lab CEO]

What? 2007 was a difficult year for SL and 2008 is shaping up to be no better. Registration growth has slowed considerably and concurrent users to new users have likewise tapered off. Only the insiders know the financial performance and that may be indicative of why Gurley very specifically pointed to “financial performance” instead of just “performance.”

SL has always billed itself as a “virtual real estate company” yet recent history is replete with one stumble after another as they revealed themselves to be a bunch of brilliant engineers who know little about real estate, finance, and tax law.

On a positive note, SL will be soon enabling embedding of HTML objects within SL objects. I am interested in this for a couple of reasons, but primarily because this will enable us to make our widgets renderable within SL.

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Mainstreaming of FriendFeed

I think FriendFeed is pretty cool, but I still don’t know why it’s a must have. So it aggregates a wide range of social networks and media to present a social feed… but why should you or anyone else care? What value is this creating in my life? But none of this is stopping the cheering section from declaring FriendFeed the winner in social network feeds before a market has been defined.

FriendFeed has been described by different folks as a social Web lifestream, by others a Web services aggregator, or as a conversational platform. But it’s not just one of these things – it’s all of these things. There are a definitely a wide number of sites out there that let you share all your activity in one place, or to track friends’ activity, but FriendFeed is the only one that lets you share items directly to the feed, elevate discussions through comments and show “likes” to highlight individual posts.

[From Duncan Riley Misses the Point of FriendFeed: Silicon Valley Blog]

Adam Ostrow says that FriendFeed has crossed the chasm. No offense to Adam, but that statement is so patently absurd on it’s face that it rises to the level of being preposterous.

First and foremost, the only people that are connecting to me on FriendFeed are the same people that connected with me on Facebook last year and the same people who are on Twitter and the same people who connect to me on every shiny new toy I try out. FriendFeed can’t even see the bridge to cross the chasm, it certainly hasn’t crossed it yet.

Adam says that they are collecting gobs of data about what we do, but I say that doesn’t mean the data is commercially viable or even commercially accessible (witness Beacon). Just having data doesn’t mean shit, you are no closer to defining a service that can be delivered to an economic buyer than not having the data at all, in other words just having the data doesn’t mean you have the right data.

But in the end the biggest failing of FriendFeed is that it’s like standing in a very crowded room with everyone shouting at you, there’s no sense of proportionality or authority that helps define what I should be paying attention to.

I still think it’s pretty cool.

Microsoft Buys Ad Inventory Management Firm Rapt

Congratulations to Tom and the crew, this has been a long time coming. Rapt has been around for the better part of a decade and has it’s roots in enterprise supply chain management (Sun was their first customer), so it’s a great case study about how a management team can repurpose one solution to another market and realize success.

[From Microsoft Buys Ad Inventory Management Firm Rapt |]

Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has bought San Francisco-based ad a company Rapt. Terms were not disclosed. The company, which provides ad inventory management systems, will be integrated with the Atlas Publisher Suite, under Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group. Atlas became part of Microsoft when it bought aQuantive for $6 billion last year. The acquisition represents the company’s latest attempt to counter Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which saw its long-awaited purchase of DoubleClick close this week. So today’s announcement is probably not very coincidental.