Entrepreneurs

Over at GigaOM, Michael Wolf says 2012 will be the year the artist-entrepreneur.
Headlines look great with declaratives in them, but the truth is artist-entrepreneurs have been doing quite well for a whille now. In 2007 Radiohead circumvented the middle men and told people to pay what they want for their album, In Rainbows, directly from their site. Prince made a similar move in 2007 with his album Planet Earth and again in 2010 with the album 20Ten. In both these cases though, he gave away his album for free in national newspapers in the UK.
You might say Radiohead and Prince are big names so they can get away with bold moves like this. And this is true. You could also say this about the recent
experiment Louis C.K. did by selling his latest stand-up special, DRM-free on his website for $5, grossing him over one million dollars in a few weeks.
But what about the artist-entrepreneur nobody knows? The guy or girl with an idea, who executes the idea and then gets people interesting in backing it and ends up raising thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars?
Wolf doesn’t address this group and it’s unfortunate, because I think it’s one of the most exciting areas on said topic. How he managed to not at least mention Kickstarter in his article boggles my mind.
I’m not saying this because I happen to have a project on Kickstarter. I originally wrote about Kickstarter and Craig Mod’s inspiring story in November 2010.
I’m happy Michael Wolf wrote his piece. It’s important to see prominent individuals taking this DIY approach, I just wish he showed this approach can work all the way down the spectrum.

Entrepreneurs

Obvious

I love as more and more details and clues are leaked regarding Apple’s future product plans, things become so obvious to these brilliant, insightful analysts.
Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee talks about Apple’s (supposed) entry into the television market (via paidContent.org):

Frankly, we are not surprised and believe AAPL should enter the TV space as this is arguably the only major end market the company is not currently participating in a bigger way.

“Moreover, we have picked up several data points indicating activity from component makers to manufacturing partners as well as AAPL’s own patent filings from at least 2005.

“We believe it makes sense for AAPL to produce Apple TV in both a set-top box as well as an integrated all-in-one version to give users choice.

Wu wasn’t surprised at all. Wonder if he was expecting this 6 months ago, or a year? I’m sure that part in Walter Isaacson’s bio of Steve Jobs where Jobs talks about cracking the TV market didn’t help you at all either.
Analysts are about as reliable as weather people. It’s only when they see the clouds on the horizon can they predict the rain.
Newsflash – I can do that too.

Obvious

Paid To Be Good

Despite the thoughtful and elegant design of the new Windows Phone OS, it seems Microsoft is having trouble getting developers to design and build quality applications.
In response to this, Microsoft Canada has launched the Developer Movement, which gives away prizes for each quality application a developer makes.
I don’t think Apple ever had to pay developers to ensure their applications were well-designed.
Where’s that Ballmer chant when you need it?

Paid To Be Good

I Will

Over the holiday weekend, we were talking with my dad about his army days, and he busted out his Signal Corps ID card. He was an electronics instructor (at age 17) and the back of the card listed the ‘Instructor’s Motto':

I will always realize that everything
I say and do influences other soldiers.

I will instill in each student a deep
sense of loyalty to his fellow soldiers,
the Army, and our country.

By my own example I will inspire him
to the highest standards of personal con-
duct, integrity, and professional skill.

Seems like a good rule of thumb for any profession.
Signal_Corps_ID_Card.jpg

I Will

Reverse In Motion

David Pogue imagines a world where car companies operated like tech companies:

Here at the annual Consumer Electronic Automotive Show, the largest trade show in the world, the carheads have again made their annual pilgrimage to see what new breakthrough vehicles will be finding their way into American garages in the new year.

Axxle, the Cupertino, Calif., automaker, is again notable by its absence. But even though its perfectionist founder, Steve Hubs, recently died, the company’s impact was everywhere at the show.

When Axxle announced its sleek, simple-to-drive iCar last year, automotive blogs like Gizmoto and Engearjet savaged it for its lack of a windshield, doors, roof and body. “Only the fanboys would want to drive a flat glass surfboard,” went a typical remark.

Well done.

Reverse In Motion