In this morning's post I mentioned low cost cars coming from India. Today Business Week reported that Ratan Tata's new $2,500 car, called the Nano, is being met with "extreme enthusiasm" and is going to put India on the map in the auto world. CrunchGear indicates that Tata plans to introduce the Nano to other low income areas like Africa and South America in the next four years.
Thanks to my brother Curt who taught me to be inspired by visionaries, I always make an effort to hear the great thinkers and movers and shakers in person. It is so much different and better than hearing about it later. Nothing, for example, was better than attending the Facebook Platform launch event in May 2007, and even meeting Mark Zuckerberg afterwards in person. I've heard Marc Andreesen in person (2001), Bill Gates (2003ish), Larry Page (2005), Jerry Yang, Guy Kawasaki multiple times, Mary Meeker (2000), Bill Joy (2001), and many other influential VCs and entrepreneurs.
I'm in Washington, DC for the American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition. I started an MLS program back in 1990 (Masters of Library Science), but had to drop out because my CD ROM publishing company needed my full attention. But I have the deepest admiration for librarians, particularly reference librarians, who are vastly underrated. They don't know everything, but they know where to find the answers, probably better than any other profession.
I saw history in the making today. For some reason, I was lucky enough to be in San Francisco for the Facebook f8 Platform launch event. This announcement was at least an 8.0 on the Richter scale. It was a whopper.
I'm a huge fan of Quantcast. I've blogged before that it may be the best free tool for online marketers. And now it's even better. Two weeks someone showed me that whenever you are looking at a web site, to see how much traffic it has, that there are two arrows that PREVIOUS and NEXT, so if you are looking at the 100th most popular web site, you can click on NEXT and see the 101st most popular.
http://www.thelocal.se/6219/. This article says Second Life is approaching 3 million users, a third of them having joined in the last 60 days. A lot of companies are jumping on the Second Life bandwagon, but this is even more interesting.
For nearly 20 years I've dreamed of an easy to use search engine that would index all US Patents and make it easy for any inventor or entrepreneur to do sophisticated patent research. As an employee of Folio Corporation in the late 1980s, my job was to index huge data collections, such as AICPA content, all the IRS publications, and the US Code for our reference publishers who licensed our search engine technology. We looked at patent data several times, but it was never a project that actually got a sponsor.
I love subscription business models and I think Skype has a chance to sign up millions of paying subscribers with their new unlimited calling subscription plan. You can call any number in the US or Canada. So do you go Vonage at $24.95 per month for the residential unlimited plan or Skype for $14.95 per year?