1,000 True Fans

Kevin Kelly

The long tail is famously good news for two classes of people; a few lucky aggregators, such as Amazon and Netflix, and 6 billion consumers. Of those two, I think consumers earn the greater reward from the wealth hidden in infinite niches.

But the long tail is a decidedly mixed blessing for creators. Individual artists, producers, inventors and makers are overlooked in the equation. The long tail does not raise the sales of creators much, but it does add massive competition and endless downward pressure on prices. Unless artists become a large aggregator of other artist’s works, the long tail offers no path out of the quiet doldrums of minuscule sales.

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It’s Not About You: The Truth About Social Media Marketing

Tim-O'Reilly

I recently attended an event with a large number of advertising executives.  All of them are coming to grips with the change from the era of push media to the era of social media, which might more properly be called “pull media.” At its core, the social revolution allows people to consume what they want, when they want, and largely on the recommendation of friends and other non-professional influencers.  Attempt to graft old models onto it and you are doomed to struggle; find models that are native to the medium and you will thrive.

At O’Reilly, we first learned this lesson in 1992, when we published The Whole Internet User’s Guide and Catalog, the first popular book about the Internet, and the first to cover the as-yet undiscovered World Wide Web. (When we published the book, there were only about 200 websites, and the first web conference which we convened, “the World Wide Web Wizards Workshop” had thirty attendees, albeit among them such later luminaries as Tim Berners-Lee and Marc Andreesen.)  We had the great good fortune to hire Brian Erwin, formerly the head of activism for the Sierra Club, to help us with our PR and marketing.

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Why Software Is Eating The World

Software is eating up the world

By MARC ANDREESSEN
August 20, 2011

This week, Hewlett-Packard (where I am on the board) announced that it is exploring jettisoning its struggling PC business in favor of investing more heavily in software, where it sees better potential for growth. Meanwhile, Google plans to buy up the cellphone handset maker Motorola Mobility. Both moves surprised the tech world. But both moves are also in line with a trend I’ve observed, one that makes me optimistic about the future growth of the American and world economies, despite the recent turmoil in the stock market.

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The Future Is Here

The Peripheral
by William Gibson
Putnam, 485 pp., $28.95

William Gibson has spent his career in the shadow of his first novel, Neuromancer, which was published in 1984 and greeted as at once a punk revolt against traditional science fiction and a crystallization of the anxieties of the age. The book depicted a future in which identity was dictated by technology, the natural world had been subsumed by cities, and the geographic distinction of borders had given way to a frenetically visual monoculture dominated by the neon ads of multinational corporations.

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Massa (crítica) encefálica

Qual o futuro para seus filhos?

“Pioneiros se apropriam da terra. Os colonos pagam o aluguel.”

O futuro de boa parte do mundo dos negócios está sendo “apropriado” pelas novas empresas inovadoras, concentradas nos EUA, mais precisamente no Vale do Silício.

Tirando proveito do ambiente pró-empreendedorismo norte-americano, do vigor de jovens de todo mundo e da cultura acumulada desde os tempos da criação do microchip, as empresas de tecnologia do Vale são o futuro e, pro resto, uhm…bananas. Continue lendo “Massa (crítica) encefálica”

Thinkers and Tinkerers

The Innovators Behind the Information Age

The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. BY WALTER ISAACSON. Simon & Schuster, 2014, 560 pp. $35.00.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. BY PETER THIEL WITH BLAKE MASTERS. Crown Business, 2014, 224 pp. $27.00.

In the grand scope of human history, technological progress is actually a surprisingly new phenomenon. While there had always been the occasional new invention or technological breakthrough, it wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that sustained technological progress became a reality—and, with it, the possibility of steadily rising living standards. For most of the past two centuries, that progress was most visible in the industrial and agricultural realms. But over the past 60 years or so, the lion’s share of innovation has come from a single sector: what is now loosely called “information technology.” When thinking about innovation in the United States today, the first (and sometimes only) place that comes to mind is Silicon Valley. In the simplest sense, Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators explains how that happened and, in the process, sheds some interesting light on what drives innovation more generally. Continue lendo “Thinkers and Tinkerers”

Hacker Way

Feito é melhor do que perfeito.

On Wednesday, Facebook filed the prospectus for a $5 billion initial public offering. Here is CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s letter to potential investors.Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.

We think it’s important that everyone who invests in Facebook understands what this mission means to us, how we make decisions and why we do the things we do. I will try to outline our approach in this letter.

At Facebook, we’re inspired by technologies that have revolutionized how people spread and consume information. We often talk about inventions like the printing press and the television — by simply making communication more efficient, they led to a complete transformation of many important parts of society. They gave more people a voice. They encouraged progress. They changed the way society was organized. They brought us closer together. Continue lendo “Hacker Way”