Net Entrepreneurs Only

I’m reading “Net Entrepreneurs Only” a book that profiles 10 internet entrepreneurs who were Ernst & Young Entrepreneurs of the Year. The chapter on Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay, lists some of the things Meg Whitman (eBay CEO) learned in making the transition from a traditional business (she worked at Hasbro, Proctor & Gamble, Disney, Bain & Company) to an online business. She compares the “old way” to the “web way.”

  • Decisions made in a matter of days or even hours instead of months. Meg’s “main advice” to online entrepreneurs is: “Fasten your seat belt. This is a far faster world. You have to be more nimble and far more willing to make decisions without nearly the kind of data and analysis that I used to have at Hasbro, Disney, or P&G.”
  • Focus on selling consumers an experience rather than products
  • CEO micromanages the company image rather than monitor it.
  • Management style is more approachable instead of hands-off.
  • Strategy sessions might be needed several times a week, not just once or twice a year. “At Hasbro we would set a year-long strategy and then we would simply execute against it. At eBay, we constantly revisit the strategy–and revise the tactics.” At eBay, she meets three times a week with her staff to keep up with what other auction sites are doing and to figure out what to do.

Other books like Burn Rate, Business at the Speed of Thought, Blur, and Zero Gravity claim the same thing–that things happen much faster in internet companies than in traditional ones. I have watched individuals join a dot com and then experience a transformation or conversion when they personally experience this pace and the results that come from making a quick decisions or changes in strategy. By the next day, you see results from your live web site and can’t believe how quickly an idea turned into measurable results.�But most people, even in dot coms,�have not experienced this first-hand.

I don’t believe large traditional organizations can easily adapt to the new pace of the internet. My advice to “old way” organizations is to create small tiger teams of empowered, already transformed individuals, who have tasted the fruits of the “web way” and are hungry for more. Then get out of the way.

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Installing Radio UserLand on Godaddy

I’m struggling to install Radio UserLand 8.08 on my GoDaddy server. I’m determined to start actively blogging, but configuring this blogging software has been a bit problematic. I’m pretty decent with some technical things like software, but not server/hosting related stuff. So the world renowned blogger Phil Windley has offered to help me. My blog works, but my page is missing a few Radio UserLand images so 3 links at the bottom of the page look broken. I tried to email Radio UserLand support my configuration so they could troubleshoot for me, but I got an STMP error while attempting to do so. It’s one thing after another.

So I think I’ll just blog and let the links look broken until Phil helps me out.

A new Open Source Genealogy Software email list was set up on Yahoo! Groups today by Dallan Quass. It was the result of a Birds of a Feather session held at Gentech to discuss open source and open content projects in genealogy. It’s a humble start, but hopefully the group will grow and try to foster communciation among the many good "free genealogy" projects that exist, including many that date back years to the Rootsweb glory days.

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Will Google get Netscaped?

It’s amazing to me that Google could launch in 1998 and become the totally dominant worldwide search engine within just a few years. Onestat.com announced this week that Google handles 56% of all queries worldwide.

The search engine wars will continue and intensify as Microsoft prepares to introduce Longhorn, its next operating system, in 2006.

The big question is “Will Google get Netscaped?”

Will Microsoft incorporate search into its operating system in a way that will virtually eliminate the need for Google?

I’ve been thinking that it might happen, but then Google made a brilliant move. Google introduced its DeskBar download, a search tool that doesn’t require a browser to run.

The moment I heard about this I realized that Google could take one additional step–another brilliant move–and�actually win the war with Microsoft or at least postpone its eventual defeat for a very long time.

All Google needs to do is offer a desktop indexing component to the DeskBar–basically to enable you to index all the documents on your entire hard drive or network, including all of your personal email.

They can do this 2 years or more before Microsoft can incorporate the local/global search function into Windows.

In the DOS world, I used to have a search engine product called Folio MailBag that would index all of my email and provide instant retrieval of any message with a powerful keyword search.

If Google did this, tens of millions of people would become addicted to it before Microsoft has a chance to upgrade us to the 2006 OS.

If everyone gets used to using Google for both local and webwide search, I think they will buy themselves a few more years and help justify the possible $25 billion valuation they might reach after their IPO.

Larry, Sergey, are you listening?

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