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Amazon announced today that they are going to offer 70% royalties to authors/content companies that put their books on the Kindle.  Business Insider points out some of the limitations and restrictions, but they seem pretty fair.  If you are an author aligning yourself with this model, the restrictions are a good thing as it tries to push everyone towards the future.  The most interesting point is requiring the book to be between $2.99 and $9.99.  This point got me thinking – what if textbooks were $9.99? It’s a pretty insane concept with textbooks usually being 10x that in price.  Why not though?  We’re teaching our kids with analog methods in a digital world. (Some articles worth reading for context before preceding: Seth Godin Textbook Rant A Textbook Example of What’s Wrong With Education Here’s how I envision what the textbook publishing company of the future and McGraw Hill killer looks…Continue Reading
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*I always mean to tell this story, but it slips my mind.  Seth Godin’s Purple Cow finally made me remember while in front of the laptop* This was one of my experiences as an entrepreneur and in business at a young age.  I was 17 at the time and away for my Freshman orientation at Boston College the summer before college started.  It was a two day event where you got to know some of your peers and get situated with the college.  Everyone stayed in the senior dorms the first night, which essentially was a party spanning four floors.  Like any party, people got really hungry, and wanted pizza.  I figured why not organize it?  I wanted to try an experiment to make friends…  I said: “I’m ordering pizza, it’s free.  If you want to donate/chip in, i’ll try to get the toppings you want + call/text you when…Continue Reading
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Dave McClure put out a post a week ago calling for more consumer startup VCs to be versed in building products, user interface/experience, and engineering.  I’ve been thinking about this a lot as Venture Capital is starting to evolve and most first rounds are done by firms with smaller overall fund size such as First Round Capital, Union Square Ventures, Jeff Clavier’s SoftTechVC, Founder’s Fund, and Dave’s supposed new fund.  I think there’s a missing role in Venture Capital, especially at the early stage funds, where having nothing more than a demo/product can be enough to get funding.  First, let’s take a look at the general list of roles in a firm (correct me in the comments where I may be wrong. this is a general overview and each firm is different): Partners- Different levels of partners (managing, general,etc.) depending on the firm.  These are the senior guys who write…Continue Reading
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If you are a geek, there is a good chance you either have a HTPC (home theater PC) or have at least checked out the concept a bit.  It’s a fairly simple concept  at heart:  buy a small form factor or media center looking PC and hook it up to your TV to consume an endless amount of content and entertainment.  Then cut the cord on cable.  That’s it.  A fair amount of geeks end up building an HTPC themselves by purchasing parts from Newegg, especially the enclosure/case.  One of AVSForums’ most frequented boards is on the topic of HTPCs.  If you buy a pre-made HTPC, there are a few routes to go: Just get a Mac Mini that starts at $599.  We all know this is the “real Apple TV”. Purchase a net-top that has an NVidia ION chip for <$400.  This might require some more legwork as systems…Continue Reading
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I’m on my way to the valley as we speak (mountain view ironically) for startup school and other fun adventures. When I make the trek from Florida to the Valley it often involves long layovers in random cities. Today’s is Chicago. The saving grace to layovers as any geek traveler will tell you is Free Wifi. Sadly, most Airports don’t have free wifi, and act as thieves charging exorbitant rates. It feels like were stuck in 2003 or something. So Google here’s where you should step in: Rollout free Wifi to all airports in the US and eventually the world. Here’s why: First, more search ad revenue can be had. Share it with the airports to get past the whole “we don’t want to lose revenue” argument. I honestly don’t know how many searches, ads, etc would be shown but I’m sure it would be significant. You would also require…Continue Reading