Copyright restrictions just lost another sale

I love reading Seth Goldin’s blog for tips and interesting reading material. He posted a list of interesting books that he recently read, of which the first book on the list – The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau looked really interesting. When I go to the Kindle app and look to buy the book, I get the message that the book is not available in my geographical area. Now the moment is lost and I may never buy this book. Those copyright restrictions just cost the author and publisher a sale.

The world’s best performing Asset Class in the last 12 months

Business Insider has the scoop

The best performer in the world over the past year: Irish government bonds, returning 19.0 percent.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-performing-asset-12-months-2012-5#ixzz1vtNLYsCe

Ballmer’s Microsoft Transformation

Insightful article from Dustin Custis about the transformation of Microsoft under Steve Ballmer.

Here’s operating income by business unit from Microsoft’s last quarter:

3,770 M Business Division
2,952 M Windows
1,738 M Server & Tools Division
(229) M Entertainment and Devices
(479) M Online Services

6,374 M Total income

If you compare Microsoft’s earnings history to these recent numbers, the trend is clear: solving problems for companies that have a lot of money is very lucrative. Microsoft’s strategy, smartly, has been to focus on them. Most new consumer-focused initiatives lose money, and those failings are disproportionately public, hence the negative sentiment toward Microsoft as a company.

Restaurant Day

This sounds really cool but unfortunately, I’m not going to be in Finland this weekend!

Restaurant Day is a one-day carnival in favor of restaurant and food culture.

On Restaurant Day anyone can set up a restaurant, café or a bar for a day. It can be anywhere: at your home, at the office, on a street corner, in your garden or inner courtyard, at a park, or on the beach – only your imagination is the limit.

The quirkier the concept of your restaurant is, the better it attracts people. However oddities aren’t necessary. Good food and drinks at a nice place are enough – the most important is to create a restaurant that you’d like to visit yourself. After all, the idea of Restaurant Day is to have fun, share different restaurant experiences with other people and enjoy the our living environment together.

Restaurant Day originated in Helsinki, Finland, and it’s happens four times a year, about every three months.

On the first Restaurant Day on the 21st of May 2011 almost 40 restaurants opened in 13 different towns. On the second Restaurant Day on the 21st of August 2011 about 200 restaurants opened in 30 different cities in four different countries. On the third Restaurant Day on the 19th of November 2011 over 300 restaurants opened in over 40 different towns. On the fourth Restaurant Day nearly 300 restaurants opened in almost 50 different towns in 12 different countries.

More information here.

How Flickr was murdered

Gizmodo has a fascinating article about what went wrong at Flickr and Yahoo’s failure in general to enhance all of those cool startups they bought in the late 2000’s.

This is the story of Flickr. And how Yahoo bought it and murdered it and screwed itself out of relevance along the way.

The lesson is clear – if you want your acquisition to continue to grow, concentrate on continued innovation first and corporate integration second. I see parallels with Oracle and all of the industry-leading companies (Siebel, Peoplesoft, etc) they bought. For corporate integration in Yahoo’s case read Fusion in Oracle’s.

The site that once had the best social tools, the most vibrant userbase, and toppest-notch storage is rapidly passing into the irrelevance of abandonment. Its once bustling community now feels like an exurban neighborhood rocked by a housing crisis. Yards gone to seed. Rusting bikes in the front yard. Tattered flags. At address, after address, after address, no one is home.

It is a case study of what can go wrong when a nimble, innovative startup gets gobbled up by a behemoth that doesn’t share its values. What happened to Flickr? The same thing that happened to so many other nimble, innovative startups who sold out for dollars and bandwidth: Yahoo.

Here’s how it all went bad.

I used to be quite active but I haven’t posted in months and visited in weeks. Interestingly, the last image I posted was an Instagram shot.
Iced bike
Read the full article here

Optimism for Africa

I love reading a news story that is positive!

If you’re sick of the sad, hopeless stories coming out of Africa, here’s one that made my year. New statistics show that the rate of child death across sub-Saharan Africa is not just in decline but that decline has massively accelerated, just in the last few years. From the middle to the end of the last decade, rates of child mortality across the continent plummeted much faster than they ever had before.

Africa’s Child Health Miracle