Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Trip to Arizona

There is no better reward for several months of non-stop hard work than doing some traveling during a long awaited 3-day weekend; destination chosen: Tucson, Arizona. What a great relaxing holiday this has been! I took full advantage of Tucson’s awesome weather to play some golf, sun bathe a little bit, visiting around and eating, eating and more eating. The experience has been great and my energy recharged. I can’t wait to find time to travel again.

These are some of the pictures taken during the trip:


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

New Joost beta in review

Joost banner logoI finally had some time to download and play around with the new Joost software and I must say my first impressions are pretty good. Joost is still in beta version, which means that in order to download the software you will need an invitation from a friend; the good news is that it is completely free so if you are interested, I will be glad to send you one (just contact me via email).

Joost was created by Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom (founders of Kazaa and Skype) with the goal of merging the best of TV with the best of the Net. The system distributes TV shows and other forms of video over the web using peer-to-peer technology.

Joost is a new way of watching TV on the internet. With Joost, you get all the things you love about TV, including a high-quality full-screen picture, hundreds of full-length shows and easy channel-flipping.

Created in 2006 and based in Luxembourg, the company currently has over 100 employees and has already developed its business model based on targeted advertising. The ads pop up from time to time and are generally placed on the lower-right corner.

Joost advertisementThe beta version also incorporates extra features, such as search and instant messaging, built into the program, and allows sharing playlists of your favorite shows with friends or chatting with them online while watching the same program. The image quality is pretty good and the content too (about 150 channels). In contrast to YouTube, which specializes in short user-generated video, Joost offers whole TV shows from established producers and professional video makers. As a matter of fact, CBS and Viacom have recently agreed to provide content to the service, and will be offering programs from MTV, BET, Nickelodeon, Paramount and Comedy Central as well as CBS’s CSI, Evening News or Survivor.

Joost list of channelsMarketed as “TV anywhere, anytime…” it is growing through word-of-mouth (reason why it relies on an invitation only basis) and it is rapidly creating quite a buzz.

Stay tuned for more on this subject.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Motivation

Motivation stairs

…refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of behavior.

Motivation, a temporal and dynamic state, consists of the desire and willingness to achieve goals.



  • “Motivation is a battle for the heart, not just an appeal to the mind. Passion is always an expression of the soul.” - Patrick Dixon
  • “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” - Jim Ryun
  • “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.” - Napoleon Hill
  • “Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” - Abraham Lincoln
  • “You have a very powerful mind that can make anything happen as long as you keep yourself centered.” - Wayne W. Dyer
  • “Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.” – Anonymous
  • “Really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.” - Mark Twain
  • “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” - John Quincy Adams
  • “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill
  • “People who are unable to motivate themselves must be content with mediocrity, no matter how impressive their other talents.” - Andrew Carnegie

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Online Search Battle Continues

MSN vs GoogleNot being able to convince Yahoo about creating a partnership to compete against Google’s dominance in the online advertising field, Microsoft has announced the acquisition of giant digital advertising firm aQuantive for $6 billion.

Apparently, Microsoft has finally realized the growth potential of the online advertising business (expected to reach $40 billion and growing at an annual 20% rate), and is now making some serious move into the business. Microsoft’s last acquisition of aQuantive is actually the largest deal in its history. Sounds like a huge deal, doesn’t it? But the question would be: isn’t this too little, and most importantly, too late?

Let’s not forget that Microsoft launched AdCenter, its own advertising network, only one year ago; on the other hand, Google, the market leader, with its superior search technology, has relied on a business model based on online advertising since its creation over 8 years ago. In fact, Google’s spectacular revenue growth comes almost entirely from paid search advertising. Moreover, as referenced on my previous post Search Engine Market Share, Google accounted for 65% of all searches in April 2007, while Microsoft’s MSN was left with 9%. Clearly, this is an area where the aQuantive acquisition will not help Microsoft. And if Microsoft’s plan is to concentrate on selling ads on publisher’s websites, rather than paid keywords on search results, Google has that covered too with its recent acquisition of DoubleClick for $3.1 billion earlier this month.

Is there anything Microsoft and the rest of Google’s competitors can still do to stop the bleeding? One thing is for sure true, Microsoft won’t give up and this battle is getting very interesting. More to come, stay tuned!

*Update: Check out this article published in BestEzines.com

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Best Cingular Commercials

Have you heard of Cingular's (now AT&T) new campaign?

"Cingular, the network with the fewest dropped calls" is one of my favorite TV advertising campaigns of the moment. If you are in the US, I bet you have already seen them thousands of times. For those of you who aren't, now you have the chance of checking them out!

Here is a collection of my top 3 commercials:





Sunday, May 13, 2007

Optimism

Piece of a Puzzle

the opposite of pessimism, represents a life view where one looks upon the world as a positive place. Optimists believe that people and events are inherently good. They have a “positive” outlook on life, believing that things will work out in the end.


  • “Always look on the bright side of life.” - Monty Python
  • “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement; nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” - Helen Keller
  • “Optimism is true moral courage.” - Ernest Shackleton
  • “Man's real life is happy, chiefly because he is ever expecting that it soon will be so.” - Edgar Allan Poe
  • “If you can imagine it you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” - William Arthur Ward
  • “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.” - Martin Luther King
  • “Positive anything is better than negative nothing.” - Elbert Hubbard
  • “I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” - Jimmy Dean

  • All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible. - Orison Swett Marden
  • “Optimism is essential to achievement and it is also the foundation of courage and true progress.” - Nicholas Murray Butler
  • “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” - Maria Robinson
  • “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” - Winston Churchill

Friday, May 11, 2007

Search Engine Market Share

Google the kingGoogle’s share of online searches continues to grow. According to Hitwise, an internet monitor which collects data directly from ISP networks, Google accounted for 65.2% of all U.S. search queries for the month of April. Yahoo, MSN and Ask.com received 20.7%, 8.5% and 3.7%, respectively. Check out the chart I created to make it more visual:search engine market shareAmong the top 4 search engines, Google is the only one to increase its share of searches (by 11%) from a year earlier, when it accounted for 58.6% of all U.S. searches.

With such a dramatic dominance, it is not surprising that industry giants Microsoft and Yahoo are considering a possible merger in order to take on Google. Moreover, Google’s recent acquisition of DoubleClick for $3 billion, positions the search giant not only as the world’s most used search engine, but also as the online advertising king.

Will Microsoft-Yahoo talks end up in a real deal? More on this topic coming soon… Stay tuned! feed of the world according to me

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Technorati

Being crawled by Technorati's spiders...

Technorati Profile

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Top MBA Employers

fortune logoIf you are considering taking an MBA this may be interesting to you. Each year, Fortune publishes a list of the most desired companies to work for by MBA candidates. Not surprisingly, almighty Google leads the list for 2007. Here’s the Top 25:


Fortune also provides starting salary forecasts for prospective MBAs. The expected average starting salary for 2007 is $89,654, and the predicted salary for 5 years after graduation is $169,849.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

MeebO

I found out about another startup, MeebO, which goal is to let users manage multiple instant-messaging services from one site. MeebO supports the main IM services, including Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, ICQ, etc. The advantage of the application is that it allows users to use a single login to integrate multiple services. It is especially useful for those users who are away from their personal computer or at work where they cannot install an IM program.

MeebO
It also offers a widget making it possible to embed a version of MeebO on personal blogs or websites. Check out how it looks like at the bottom of this post.

  • Funding: $12.5 million (Draper Fisher, Jurvetson, Sequoia Capital)
  • Founders: Sandy Jen, Seth Sternberg (CEO), Elaine Wherry
  • Employees: 12
  • Business model: Advertising

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

StumbleUpon

StumbleuponStumbleUpon is a web browser plugin that allows its users to discover and rate webpages, photos, videos, and news articles. These webpages are typically presented when the user clicks the Stumble button on the browser's toolbar. StumbleUpon chooses which new webpage to display based on the user's ratings of previous pages, ratings by his/her friends, and by the ratings of users with similar interests. i.e. it is a recommendation system which uses peer and social networking principles. There is also one-click blogging built in as well. Users can rate, or choose not to rate, any webpage with a thumbs up or thumbs down, and clicking the Stumble button resembles “channel-surfing” the web. Toolbar versions exist for Firefox, Mozilla Application Suite and Internet Explorer.

Launched in 2002 by three 20-somethings in a Calgary, Alberta, apartment, StumbleUpon now has 2 million registered users drawn by its knack for finding websites that match their interests and those of others with similar tastes as they “stumble” around the Net.

Co-founder Garrett Camp came up with the idea as he was working on a master's in software engineering.

In the same way that it matches users with like-minded websites, StumbleUpon's technology also pairs online ads with targeted demographics and interests. Now StumbleUpon is attempting to do the same for online video and video advertising. In December the startup launched StumbleVideo, a service that offers the closest thing to channelsurfing that you'll find on the Web.

  • Funding: $1.5 million (Ron Conway, Mitch Kapor, Josh Kopelman, Brad O'Neill, Ram Shriram)
  • Headquarters: San Francisco
  • Employees: 12
  • Founded: 2001
  • Business model: Advertising, subscriptions
  • Next up: New features like content controls and mobile video recommendations