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Published: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 23:40:27 +0000

Last Build Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 23:40:27 +0000

Copyright: 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved

The eBay Chronicles: Dreams of an eBay Mashup

Thu, 22 Jun 2006 16:38:14 +0000

I’ve been pondering the state of Internet commerce recently, and wondering why eBay has missed the chance to be the center of all commerce while Google has become our main shopping resource by default…without doing anything to deserve it. I’ve even come up with a solution: An eBay mashup that could be the mother of all shopping sites on Web 3.0. Tell me why I’m wrong, but give me a chance to spin my tale first.It all began when I bought a computer for my father on eBay last week.

America's Future...isn't in America

Wed, 17 May 2006 12:11:21 +0000

It’s funny what you can learn from your kids. My latest lessons have to do with the gnashing of teeth over America’s threatened future and the flattening of the world that is destroying our competitive advantage. In a funny way, recent events involving our youngest and oldest child might point to a way out of the crisis.With America’s trade deficit ballooning, immigration and border controls a hot topic, and explosive economies in both India and China making it patently clear that the nexus of worldwide commercial activity has moved to Asia, the Grumpy Gus’s of the status quo are feeling particularly curmudgeonly these days. Not only are these upstart nations sending us cheap goods and manning thousands of call centers the doomsayers wail, but they are minting five times as many engineers each year. This is the end of civilization as we know it.The problem so far is that while lots of smart folks can see the looming storm, precious few have any prescriptions for dealing with it. The latest example was a recent op-ed by Michael Schrage in the Financial Times. The author does us all a service by pointing out the obvious: Trying to somehow shore up America science education is like having the Little Dutch Boy stick his finger in the dyke. In the face of a giant wage differential (we live in splendor, the rest of the world somewhat less comfortably), and a tiny educational differential (trained engineers are good at math no matter where they live), this trend isn’t going to stop anytime soon. Bemoaning it does no good whatsoever. Schrage has some fuzzy ideas about how to use the talent in elite western universities to equip grads with some kind of weapons to succeed, but it makes little sense to me, or the incisive Nicholas Carr on his blog where he decries the lack of proffered solutions.Luckily there is an answer. There is something that we can export to the rest of the world in vast quantities to redress the balance of trade. The answer is ourselves and our entrepreneurial spirit. Some people say there is no place left to explore on this earth. I say what about every underdeveloped village in the world? Exporting our can-do and get it done version of grassroots capitalism all over the world is a uniquely American opportunity. However, it is an opportunity that will mean our entrepreneurial kids need to learn about the rest of the world and leave the cozy suburbs for a while. Can we change enough to stop being Ugly Americans and become World Citizens and in the process unleash another gigantic wave of capitalist frenzy?

Tyranny of the New

Thu, 27 Apr 2006 13:46:44 +0000

In the past few days a couple of writers—Gary Hamel on Google and Om Malik regarding EBay—have made clear just how corrosive the Web 2.0 bubble mentality and the Wall Street mantra of “Growth at all Costs"? has become. I feel compelled to make the point that I’ve made several times before about both companies here and here: First, you have to take care of your existing business, and keep your customers happy, before heading off for parts unknown.This simple truism seems to have escaped some of the most respected commentators in the digital world, maybe because it is so old fashioned. New isn’t better unless it improves the old. Shoring up the base product, then selling more services to happy existing customers, is by far the easiest way to grow any business. Setting out across the landscape for new territories to conquer is much more expensive, much more resource-intensive, and much less likely to succeed. So why is most of the digerati so completely enamored of it? Because it is much sexier and seductive for big thinkers to come up with new ideas, rather than incrementally improve the old ones.

More Microsoft Chinese Backscratching

Wed, 26 Apr 2006 10:33:15 +0000

I’m not advocating a Fortress America attitude, just wondering why we can’t have leaders who’ll combine a desire to make money with a willingness to speak out enough to nudge repressive regimes towards more humane policies.

Capitalism Gone Amok

Tue, 25 Apr 2006 16:55:43 +0000

The fawning and obsequious behavior of Bill Gates, the world’s most powerful businessman in the presence of China's premier, and his deafening silence, was one of the most depressing displays of capitalist behavior I’ve seen in recent years.

EBay: Evolution or Hibernation

Fri, 21 Apr 2006 13:21:50 +0000

Bemoaning a new competitive threat, looking for some grand alliance to fight it off, and generally playing “woe is me"? is a prescription for failure. EBay has fallen asleep under the Flame tree and is hibernating, instead of evolving.

Apple's Boot Camp Lollapalooza

Thu, 06 Apr 2006 16:19:55 +0000

Boot Camp is going to revolutionize the portable marketplace, and almost no one gets it.

Caveat eBay Emptor

Wed, 05 Apr 2006 13:08:10 +0000

Another Gold Plated Internet Brand Loses Touch With Its Customers

The Cookie Monster in the Closet

Wed, 29 Mar 2006 11:50:07 +0000

Is the entire web universe populated by advertising weasels, sell-outs, and apologists?

Google's Napoleonic Complex

Wed, 22 Mar 2006 18:19:25 +0000

Is the ghost of Napoleon walking the corridors of the Googleplex?

The Lord taketh and giveth away...even for Steve Jobs

Thu, 16 Mar 2006 12:56:41 +0000

As the Mac finally gets its long-awaited chance to go head-to-head with Windows, could Bill G. actually be far ahead in the innovation game?

Don't drink the Kool Aid -- this is important

Mon, 13 Mar 2006 20:03:03 +0000

Blogoviating has reached new pinnacles of excess.

Toothbrush Tech

Fri, 10 Mar 2006 13:46:46 +0000

A story about low tech (tooth brushing) meeting high tech (electric tooth brushes) and the choices a company can make.

Little Brother Cisco in China

Thu, 09 Mar 2006 12:47:41 +0000

Cisco, the “gorilla"? of networking—is executing a stealth China program under the very noses of Wall Street and the mainstream media.

Personal Robots in LegoLand

Wed, 08 Mar 2006 12:48:23 +0000

Lego's Mindstorms NXT might just be the start of a whole new digital revolution.

Intel, Google and marketing gurus

Tue, 07 Mar 2006 20:28:08 +0000

This week Intel has been in the news as it has spilled news of Microsoft's Origami Project in a carefully orchestrated product and buzz build.  Revealed at its semi-annual Developer Forum, the company has also tried to pump up its prospects a week after revealing a precipitous decline in revenues and a falling market share for the processors that it pioneered.

Subsidizing the status quo Internet

Mon, 06 Mar 2006 10:10:45 +0000

Are we in a new episode of The Prisoner? Is Patrick McGoohan about to walk through my browser?

Sniveling about Steve Jobs

Mon, 06 Mar 2006 07:05:44 +0000

Cut the turtle-necked geek-icon some slack, dudes!I’m astonished by the reaction to Steve’s presentation earlier this week of the new Intel based Mac Mini.

MovieBeam Mousketeers need Steve now

Sat, 18 Feb 2006 07:01:58 +0000

A couple of weeks after Disney agreed to buy Steve Jobs' Pixar, the Mousketeers announced a new product from a spun-off subsidiary called MovieBeam that is so "brain dead" as the turtle-necked one would say, that you've got to wonder what they're smoking in Burbank.  As far as I can see, In today's marketplace, even bad ideas can get funded--maybe the bubble is coming back after all.