Week of May 30 2011
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Milton Friedman 's grandson Patri has a vision that might have made the economist proud: to build a floating libertarian nation 12 miles off the coast of California. Billed as " Burning Man meets Silicon Valley meets the water," the planned nation flotilla would be constructed on a variety of barges and water platforms within sight of San Francisco. It would include everything from homes, schools and hospitals to bikes for transportation and aqua farms for food.
Groupon has filed its S-1 and hopes to raise $750M in its initial public offering. Given they’re currently losing a staggering $117M per quarter, despite revenues of $644M, they’ll be burning through that cash almost as soon as it hits their account. At the moment, it’s costing them $1.43 to make $1, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any cheaper. They’re already projected to make close to three billion dollars in revenues this year.
(简体字： 为什么中文这么TM难？ ) (繁體字： 為什麼中文這麼TM難？
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Tom, don't you think it would be interesting to present Pearltrees at such a conference? by Jun 5
Quora, the fast-growing question and answer site, has become increasingly popular among journalists. In a phone interview, Quora co-founder Adam D’Angelo attributed the site’s recent growth to an increase in media coverage and traffic from Twitter, among other factors. Because the site auto-follows users’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, it makes sense that its user-base would spread quickly once a few influencers begin using it. “Originally when we built the site, we didn’t have new users automatically follow all their Twitter contacts,” said D’Angelo, former CTO of Facebook. “But since, in the vast majority of cases, people want to see what their friends are doing on the site, we changed it to automatically follow the people who we can detect that they care about via Twitter/Facebook.
In military circles, a ‘scorched earth policy’ – according to Wikipedia – is “A strategy which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through, or withdrawing from, a given theater of operations.” Perhaps it’s symbolic, but that’s exactly the approach I took to my digital presence this past Memorial Day weekend. I started a fresh new site on the future of media over on Tumblr .
Well known US VC house Greylock Partners is launching a brand new $160 million fund aimed at internet technology companies, with the fund being deployed between Europe and Israel. Greylock is best known for its stakes in Facebook, Groupon and LinkedIn and European investments including Wonga. Greylock’s move will be a shot in the arm for European tech companies looking for more options when raising financing.
According to a survey of more than 1,000 Americans by Prudential Financial, many have grown increasingly distrustful of the stock market. NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Want to know what the hot new trend in investing apparently is? Not investing. Even though the S&P 500 ( SPX ) has more than doubled from its March 2009 bear market lows, many investors still don't trust the rally according to a survey from Prudential Financial. Prudential ( PRU , Fortune 500 ), which polled more than 1,000 investors between the ages of 35 and 70 online earlier this year, found that 58% of those surveyed have lost faith in the stock market. Even more alarming, 44% said they plan to never invest in stocks.
Chang W. Lee/The New York Times The Camera Connection Kit for the iPad. But with the right tools — and the ability to control the urge to play one last game of Angry Birds — the iPad can also be a hefty workhorse. Inexpensive apps and third-party peripherals make the iPad an excellent device for photographers, artists, writers and bloggers to create original content.
EVEN two decades after the Indian technology miracle began it is hard not to be impressed by the scale of the achievement. Particularly considering the obstacles. The roads in Bangalore, the city at the heart of the revolution, still suck. Power cuts still periodically kill the lights and air conditioning on the campuses of the big IT firms, until back-up generators come to the rescue. This is a world-class industry built from nothing, that won most of its business abroad, while overcoming India's lousy infrastructure and inept, and sometimes venal, state. Indian IT has made shareholders and employees rich and now boosts the country's balance of payments by $59 billion a year.
Ecommerce merchants are constantly looking for new and creative ways to promote their online stores, and by now most have realized the value of running a blog to attract visitors to their site in the hopes of converting them into paying customers. There are a number of different blog techniques that merchants utilize to gain traffic and improve organic rankings, such as writing product reviews, top ten lists, contest promotions, or customer question and answer segments. However, very few ecommerce merchants are leveraging infographics as a regular component of their search engine optimization strategy, and this is an area that they could consider experimenting more often. Infographics have great potential to give them a leg up over their competition.
At a former mall in San Antonio, near escalators that used to shuttle Mervyns shoppers between floors, Rackspace Hosting ( RAX ) Chairman Graham Weston explains a phrase his 3,500 employees have practically tattooed to their brains: "fanatical support." That's how Weston sees Rackspace beating larger, better-known competitors such as Amazon.com ( AMZN ) in the business of hosting others' websites and applications on servers around the world. The 12-year-old company had a decade of near-death experiences, including a disastrous initial public offering during the 2008 financial crisis. (Its stock fell almost 20 percent on the first day of trading.) Since 2007, Rackspace's sales have grown by an average of 30 percent every year, and analysts expect net income to climb 49 percent this year, to almost $70 million. Wall Street has caught on: Rackspace shares, up almost tenfold since early 2009, are trading near an all-time high of $46 per share, valuing the company at more than $5.6 billion.
Update: Dan has a follow up to this post, here . This guest post was written by Dan Ackerman Greenberg , co-founder of viral video marketing company The Comotion Group and lead TA for the Stanford Facebook Class . Dan will graduate from the Stanford Management Science & Engineering Masters program in June. Have you ever watched a video with 100,000 views on YouTube and thought to yourself: “How the hell did that video get so many views?”