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How I wish I had this article to refer a couple entrepreneurs to just this last week at OpenCoffee Cambridge, since it takes time to keep trying to reset expectations. I've now'd the url to so I can just refer folks to it on the fly, thx David for taking the time to write it.
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There is reason to be concerned, but I wouldn't over-react. Just because Bank of America might buy some stock in Time Warner because they see a great return, doesn't mean you should expect your average reporter at Time Magazine to even realize that relationship exists, let alone act on it. Universal didn't buy Buzznet -- they made an equity investment. I've taken "strategic" money like this for previous startups and a vast majority of the time it simple means that some corporate investor at the company thought you were a good investment. It usually has nothing to do with any kind of integration or overlap with the rest of the company the way a merger or buy-out would. So I doubt this really means anything other than Buzznet has some more cash to grow.
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I'm not sure that these virtual worlds will provide as fickle/trendy as you think - since there is real switching costs involved in terms of time expended. Think the of longevity of Neopets or Habbo Hotel. However, the heavy childlike thematic elements will certainly accelerate the process. On a side note, I have found it remarkably simpler to talk about what we personally have been up to because of the number of people that have kids playing Webkinz, Runescape, Club Penguin, WoW, & SL. I was able to explain to the 60 year-old owner of a middle-eastern deli what we were doing simply by comparing to Webkinz.
Toggle Commented Apr 15, 2007 on Second Life for Kids at BeyondVC
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Great post -- and more people should be watching Nintendo. It's one of the basics of startups and competition -- don't try and compete on other peoples terms, invent the terms yourself. I also find it incredibly interesting that most folks in the game industry are much more excited about the Wii than the PS3 or Xbox. This is the corollary of a Web2.0 company getting the blogosphere wind at its back. By taking a chance and aiming at the mainstream and casual gamers, they've also ironically gotten the enthusiasm of the most hardcore gamers of all (folks in the industry).
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2006 on What startups can learn from Nintendo at BeyondVC
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You're of course welcome over any time. There is certainly some serious energy around mobile in Boston right now, and with the M-Qube acquisition that's only going to heat up. I saw a lot of familiar faces from Boston out at CTIA, and some of them I know were not there the year before. With m-qube/verisign, everypoint, nellymoser, mobot, groove mobile, jumptap, m-qube, ulocate, oxysys, mobilelime..etc there's quite a community growing here.
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