Key points on the iPhone’s components are below: >>>
With Independence Day barely days away, Priceline predictably has come out with its 4th annual survey of 50 most popular holiday destinations. The survey is based on more than 30,000 actual booking requests made by its customers online, and therefore an accurate predictor of trends this season.
The beeline of holiday customers and humming of activity at Priceline is reflective of a general boom in online travel, that somewhat puts in shade its reported Q1 loss last month of $0.44 a share compared to a $0.02 loss a share in the same quarter last year.
Analysts feel the sheen of Priceline stock will not pale much since the company’s Q1 total revenue rose by an impressive 25% at $301.4 million ($241.91 million same quarter last year) and its Q1 pro forma revenue at $285.5 million registered an 18% increase over last year’s.
In November last year, Goldman Sachs had held a price of $49 a share for Priceline as 12-month target. The scrip however is doing much better, hovering around $63-64 in the last few trading sessions. >>>
According to Amir, the learning system is an important aspect which will lead to optimized ad campaigns for content providers. Is it? I’m still very skeptical …
SM: I see, so what you are basically doing is trial and error while the learning system figures out effectiveness, and then you push ads out accordingly. AA: Exactly. This is also why we called the company Adapt.tv, because we are adapting to user interaction with the ads to make the best selection.
SM: Are you live on any sites? AA: We are live on MetaCafe on two channels, the video game channel and the travel channel.
SM: Great. Let’s talk about the video game channel. What is the behavior like in that channel? >>>
SM: Where did you get the idea for Groople? Are you an avid traveler? Why group travel? MS: I did not come up with the idea of group travel. That distinction would go to our founder who is now off creating another start up combining culinary experiences and travel. What attracted me to this opportunity is that groups is the last extremely large category of travel to bring online. Prior to Groople there was no group travel provider offering a consumer friendly group travel planning and booking solution. >>>
A significant challenge for a developing country is developing an adequate workforce. Here I discuss the situation of the current workforce in Kurdistan. The most significant issue is that there has been little technical development in the workforce, thus there are limitations on the type of work that can be performed. A second significant drawback is the limited language skills, although time may indeed change this – I look at the trends where the US has set up military bases (South Korea is a prime example), and wonder if things were not so different for those countries at first as well? Having a large population returning from the US and Europe will not only improve the technical skills of the area, but also bring other traditions back with them (as well as contacts). Ties with other Universities is also of paramount importance. >>>
As the iPhone mania rages, it is a good time for us to pay tribute to the most spectacular innovation in retail store design, The Apple Store.
“On a square-foot basis, each of Apple’s 142 stores brings in almost three times the sales generated by each Best Buy store.”
And some Apple Stores also have the famous I.M. Pei glass staircase that was originally designed for the NeXT office in Redwood Shores.
Iraq is one of the most resource-intensive areas of the Middle East, yet to date has perhaps some of the least actualization of that potential. The Kurdish autonomous area has fared better than the rest of the country, and in the first portion Qubad points out the political stability which has given them a 10 year head start. It is also surprising to realize that the agricultural resources are also expected to become a significant opportunity for the area. While both oil and agriculture are feasible today, I am still curious to see what the area will be able to deliver in terms of technological development – can it achieve something similar to Israel in the Middle East, and be an example for the rest of the region? >>>
We have talked a lot about Web 3.0 and Context. Today, we begin an interview series with Mike Stacy, CEO of an Online Travel company called Groople, which has zeroed in on the context of Group Travel. It’s a very interesting niche, and we will explore Mike’s story of building Groople.
SM: Please describe your personal background : Family, upbringing, early career, etc. leading up to Groople. MS:
I was raised in Saginaw, a small town in Michigan. I learned a lot about what makes a business viable from my father, who was a banker in town. It was his job to make the final call on whether or not the bank would offer a business loan to a company or individual. Does the company have a solid plan? Is it a good business opportunity? Are they strong leaders? Even as I made my way up the corporate ladder, so to speak, I always thought about the traits of a business and a leader that equaled success and put them into play whether I was leading a small team or a large division. >>>