Last year Steve Nelson, founder of Unishippers spoke at the Utah Valley Entrepreneurial Forum. Among other excellent comments he indicated that franchisees are far more successful at staying in business than other startups. His statistic was that 94% of franchises are still in business in five years compared to only 15% of other startups.
Visit video.google.com and do a search. Google is now using data streams of closed-captioning to index TV content on certain channels. Eventually they hope to index all television. It's a great service.
In about 1989 Brandt Redd, genius programmer of Folio Corp. (at the time) figured out how to capture data streams from closed-captions and import them into a full-indexed Folio infobase. He demoed this to our team and we were all blown away.
Every few months or so an announcement is made that I consider mind-blowing. You just smile and shake your head and think, "how awesome!" Actually, the pace of such announcements seems to be increasing.
WSJ Online ended 2004 with 712,000 subscribers up only 3.3% from the 689,000 in 2003. (Paidcontent.org) Here is the full press release. I've been a subscriber for several years. I think the subscriptions would increase several times faster if they would allow customers to search archives--not just the last 30 days of articles.
Sometimes searching Google 8 billion page index is a big waste of time.
I know someone who spent nearly a full day searching the internet for something specific in order to write a school paper. When I found out what she was looking for, I suggested using elibrary.com (now highbeam.com) since I was a subscriber and I knew the site was full of high quality articles from hundreds of publications. Within a few minutes we found exactly what she was looking for.
For scholarly content, Google is making good progress with Google Scholar which seems to have 300,000,000 pages indexed.
My apologizes for being absent for the last 10 days or so. Blogging is one of my top priorities and yet lately I have been unable to make time for it. There are a few reasons for that.
Firstly, several of our companies have needed more time from me lately.
Six Apart which produces the Moveable Type publishing system and TypePad blogging service raised $10 million in venture funds in October. Today it announced the purchase of LiveJournal, a blogging service built on open source that claims 2.5 million users. Together they have 6.5 million blogs, according to TechNewsWorld.com. That seems way high, considering that Pew Research says about 8 million U.S. adults have a blog. (The vast majority of them only post once, however.)
Before entrepreneurs ask me for advice, I want them to know their company's SIC code (or NAICS code) and to know who their publicly traded competitors are that they can learn a great deal from by doing research at www.sec.gov.