Apple is expanding its work with universities, trying to get more to join its iTunes U program, where students (or the general public) can download recorded lectures. Our mp3books.com web site will be aggressively increasing its content offerings this year, and I hope to see us provide a lot of educational content as well. iTunes is just slightly ahead of us. :)
I've added the BJ Fogg Blog to my blog role. I consider BJ a good friend. He is one of the most honest and approachable people I know. I love his passion for changing the world. I remember meeting him a few years back at an industry event and we kind of hit it off. We've keep in touch the last couple years and I'm happy to see his new company YackPack garnering awards and industry recognition.
At CES I saw something about a music kiosk that allows anyone to record audio CDs or download audio content to their mp3 player at a retail location. Early on at LDS Audio we explored pre-loading iPods with audio content, but we found that the pre-loaded content would be erased when someone hooked up their iPod to their own computer and registered it.
I've always loved the purity of the Google vision to provide fast access to all the world's information. The Google team has always seemed to care more about the user experience than about making money. But today I glimpsed something that scares me and makes me wonder who is in charge at Google anymore. The pioneers who built the search engine were purists. But the settlers who are being hired at Google by the hundreds are probably more driven by making money than anything else.
This post may only be interesting to the few die-hard believers in business incubators. During the bubble, everyone wanted to jump in and start an incubator. But most failed, and failed quickly. So here I am in 2006 running an internet business incubator. Our plan is to use our small staff to test different ideas, see what sticks, and then to invest seed capital (from $20,000-250,000) in the ideas that seem to be the most promising.
Last week, Provo Labs held its first mixer for its portfolio companies. We are hoping to develop a culture of knowledge acquisition and sharing, a culture of networking, a culture of innovation. We gave out free copies of Tim Sanders' excellent book, "Love is the Killer App" and we also talked about John Hagel's new book "The Only Sustainable Edge" that in some ways may become the bible of Provo Labs. His earlier book "Net.gain" which discussed the power of online communities influenced my strategic thinking at Ancestry.com more than any other book.
Google is experimenting with print ads, and now makes this very significant acquistion in the radio advertising space. I believe the time will come that marketers will be able to reach virtually any audience, in virtually any medium, by using a Google service to purchase placement for their ad.
Provo Labs is a supporter of DevUtah's Geek Dinners, great networking events for both developers and entrepreneurs. DevUtah's next Geek Dinner will be held at 6:00 this Tuesday night (Jan 17) at the Miller Business Innovation Center on the Salt Lake Community College campus (9690 South 300 West, Sandy).
I just discovered a new feature of Firefox that I love. You can right click on any web page and choose "Show Keyword Density" and type in any keyword or phrase, and instantly see a nice keyword density report that covers Title, Meta keywords, Body, Headers, Links, Bold, and Meta description. Having this functionality embedded in the browser will be a real time saver for SEO-saavy web designers and copywriters. Kudos to the person that added this feature to Firefox.
If you weren't lucky enough to get to CES, or if you missed some of the keynote speeches, you've got to spend an hour or two reading the transcripts. Here are the links: Bill Gates 2006 CES transcript Howard Stringer, Sony CEO, 2006 CES transcript Paul Otellini, Intel CEO, 2006 CES transcript (PDF format)