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Wize up on what to buy (Part 2)

Posted on Tuesday, Apr 24th 2007

In Part 1, I introduced you to Wize, a 6-month old product research engine. Product Research has been around on the web since the ancient days of Web 1.0. epinions, for example, made a gallant attempt to become the place where the entire web’s products were reviewed. Today, the site has significant momentum with millions of page views a month. Yelp, an experience / service review site, has also gathered huge momentum in a much shorter time.

SM: What is the competition for Wize, and how do you differentiate? >>>

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Is Bangalore really India’s silicon valley ?

Posted on Tuesday, Apr 24th 2007

By Savita Kini, Guest Author

Any news article you have read since the emergence of the Indian IT industry often talks about Bangalore as India’s silicon valley.

It’s going to be a year very soon, since my husband & I relocated to B’lore. We have enjoyed the experience very much. The environment is dynamic here and the new generation especially those in their 20s are embracing entrepreneurship with more enthusiasm then I saw while I was growing up. Silicon valley had the same dynamism in late 1990s but after the dot.com bust, somehow life didn’t seem the same anymore. I hope things have improved in the last couple of years.

I thought it’s a decent enough time to do my own comparison between Bangalore, & the real Silicon Valley. >>>

Travel & Web 3.0: Overview

Posted on Monday, Apr 23rd 2007

Online Travel is one of the top segments that draws over 2% of the Internet traffic and approximately 24% of online advertising dollars, and in this series, we will evaluate the category against the Web 3.0 framework.

According to a report published by Hitwise, Online Travel sites accounted for an average of 2.02% of all Internet traffic and local travel sites made up 1.93% of this 2.02% in March 2007. On an average a visitor spends over 8 minutes 30 seconds on a travel site.

According to Alexa, Expedia is the leading travel site in the world with a Traffic Rank of 409 followed by TripAdvisor with a traffic rank of 504. Other top travel sites that deserve a mention are Yahoo! Travel, Travelocity, Orbitz and Kayak. All these sites have very high quality content (maps, booking services, reviews, etc) with contextual information. Some of these sites also have vertical search and comparison facilities. Expedia earned revenues of $2.2 billion in 2006 and advertising rates vary between $20 – $60 CPM.

According to the latest data published by eMarketer, online travel sales zoomed to over $78.8 billion in 2006 in the US and it is expected to continue to grow at a CAGR of 16.6% to $145.8 billion in 2010. These are strong growth numbers and the phenomenon is not restricted to the US alone. >>>

Video FAQs

iPhone and the Future of RIM

Posted on Monday, Apr 23rd 2007

Frank Levinson wrote an important piece when the iPhone was first announced. As we approach the launch of the iPhone, I would like to review what is going on in the rest of the ecosystem, and how the players are preparing.

Let’s start with RIM. The company has recently announced results, and after a strong 6 month run up, the stock dropped sharply because results met, but did not exceed expectations. [52-wk range: $67.95 – $171.46]

rim chart

So what are the expectations around RIM vis a vis the iPhone? >>>

Leadership Profile: Tom Werner (Part 11)

Posted on Monday, Apr 23rd 2007

In order to have a mass market which could potentially consume all residential market (and expansion of commercial markets) places, awareness and motivation (incentive) must exist among the consumers. Further advocacy would also help grow the energy production market by utility companies.

SM: What is the level of awareness and motivation in the marketplace to adopt solar energy? TW: Here, in sunny California, we have one view of America, and with the California Solar Initiative it is becoming much easier and more economical to buy a solar solution. The industry is scaling and it is becoming far more easy and economical to buy a solar system.

You do not see that elsewhere in North America. The utilities commission in California created a market that is scaling the industry, led by SunPower’s lower cost. It is not unusual for California to lead the way in areas such as renewable energy. >>>

Wize up on what to buy (Part 1)

Posted on Monday, Apr 23rd 2007

Following my conversation with TheFind, a lifestyle shopping service, here, we explore Wize, a product research engine. In this discussion, I am speaking with Tom Patterson, CEO.

SM: Please describe your business value proposition and your product.

TP: Wize is focused on helping people decide what to buy. We do this in several ways.

First, we use all the user and expert reviews we can find on the web to give each product a 1 – 100 score, or Wize Rank. Wize Rank is the quickest, easiest way we know to figure out which products are best, and to filter out the ones that aren’t worth considering. Since it’s based on an algorithm, Wize Ranks are completely impartial and can’t be manipulated.

The next thing we do is collect other information related to product
research – specifications, stores, prices, and “buzz” (akin to popularity)
and present them to customers as simply and clearly as possible. >>>

Googlemania

Posted on Monday, Apr 23rd 2007

By Patti Wilson, Career Coach and Guest Author

[A friend of mine forwarded this article on Google by Patti Wilson. The perspective is so very different from the rah-rah perception of Google, that I asked for her permission to publish it here.]

Google might be a great place to work for a certain population of people but the hyperbole is over the top and inaccurate about it being one of the best places to work according to Fortune Magazine. Those lists are pretty subjective anyhow.

I have collected over the years anecdotal information about most Silicon Valley company cultures. Yes, I do have a point of view about Google and it is based, not on its product, but on years of feedback and input from reliable sources: my clients. >>>

The Mystery of Katoor

Posted on Monday, Apr 23rd 2007

So, were you able to identify the hero of my story? Yes, it was Raj Reddy, world famous Computer Scientist.

I have been speaking with him often, and one of the questions we kicked around recently was as follows:

(1) 99% of gifted rural youth don’t get the opportunity. The same is true in India and in Alabama or Virgina.

(2) 99% of gifted youth in general don’t get the right opportunity either.

What are the barriers? >>>