Ebizjets. One of my partners succumbed and is now an ebizjets member. Very interesting idea. I wonder if the prices will go down — today’s WSJ discussed a glut of business jets. Resale prices have certainly dropped. The claim in the article is that fractional rates won’t drop, implying that the economics were driven by operating costs (which haven’t dropped), not capital costs. I wonder tho.
Air Transportation Stabilization Board. As I read this, about $1.5B has been guaranteed in loans to airlines so far, and there are several major applications outstanding. Most of this money goes to the bankers if the airlines fail as I read it. The damage from September 11 though is at a very individual level — families who lost members, and individuals who have lost or will lose employment as a result of the resultant economic upheaval. Seems like we ought to be directly helping these individual citizens rather than the corporate entities and the banks.
What Martha Should Do. She doesn’t need the money from the IMClone transaction. She should call a press conference and announce:
– She did not do anything wrong and will cooperate fully with any investigation
– But to remove any suspicion that she benefitted from this transaction, she is giving the entire proceeds to charity. Her original principal and any gain.
– She will give it to a charity to help workers displaced by all the recent ceo/cfo shenanigans
– Because she is as sickened by these shenanigans as anyone and particularly so as a ceo herself.
This would stop the media circus and they would move on to someone more vulnerable.
RealNames. Lots of press about Realnames going out of business — for instance at Scripting News. Most of it very anti-Microsoft. I think The Register has it right tho. Actually maybe the tide is turning — Joel has it right too.
Realnames is dying because
a) it has very little utility for most end users. Search engines and autocomplete in the browser make it pretty easy to find things.
b) it has little utility and lots of cost for site developers. It doesn’t make it that much easier to find my site (see a) and it costs me money.
c) it has little utility for advertisers. They already have to put URLs and AOL keywords in their ads. Neither of these are going away. Why put in a 3rd that has less coverage than either of the prior two?
It is easy to point a finger at Microsoft and say they are to blame. But Microsoft did a deal with Realnames at a time when other large players did not — where was AOL? A merger of AOL keywords and Realnames might have made sense, by providing a common name across the internet and the AOL service.
Had the service been incredibly compelling I am sure lots of deals would have occured. But the bottom line is the service didn’t solve that many problems. I just did a quick check on google. Searching for “Ignition” — first several hits were relevant. Searching for “Ignition Venture” or “Ignition Seattle” — first hit was dead on our home page. When we set up our homepage I considered getting a Realname — but given the experience above, I couldn’t ever justify the cost. I think most people did the same math.
Design the Box. Good thought exercise for every startup — what exactly will the box for this product look like, what will it say? Joel on Software – Product Vision. Equally interesting — what does the press release announcing this product say? What will the user experience in the first 30 minutes?
I got interested in who Michael Eisner is. It didn’t take much time to find out, for example, via Forbes, that he made over $700 million in five years. At the same time he argues the financial interest of creative people. So which creative people will speak for Eisner’s position? They are conspicuously silent. How much money flowed to them while he was making all that money?
We are an investor in Idealab, and boy have we learned hard lessons here. Our one really bad dotcom mistake. Bill Gross the founder is brilliant but things have not turned out well. Business Week had an article on. And our lawsuit against the company is mentioned in Fortune and in Forbes (sorry you have to register at Forbes to read the article).
This was the quickest investment decision I ever made and the worst. The connection is obvious….