Our portfolio company OMGPOP develops real time, social games. Their most recent game Hover Kart is off to a great start with well over 1million game plays in just over a week. Hover Kart is also integrated with OMGPOP’s Store where users can purchase virtual goods.
Today, Mashable wrote about Ford sponsoring Hover Kart in a very clever way. Using the "Konami Code", players unlock a virtual Ford Fiesta car in Hover Kart that comes along with a bunch of special features.
Check out the full story on Mashable which also includes a video of a Ford Fiesta team member at the OMGPOP’s office in New York City.
“Thirty years of official nutritional advice has only made us sicker and fatter while ruining countless numbers of meals. Pollan proposes a new (and very old) answer to the question of what we should eat that comes down to seven simple but liberating words: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”—reblogged via Evan Williams | evhead
Consider Guitar Freaks that came out in 1998. Here’s a Guitar Freaks video on YouTube. You can see that it had influence on the widely successful Guitar Hero. But I don’t consider Guitar Hero to be a me-too game. They innovated in some big & important ways.
I think there are many people that have never been an entrepreneur (or a VC) that are too quick to judge. They don’t appreciate how these things are different.
Don’t get me wrong. We look for ideas that are disruptive and completely original. And you can’t say enough about the importance of execution.
And yes, there are plenty of clones out there. Those aren’t interesting to me. And I’m also not interested backing entpreneurs that lack a unique vision and hangs to the mantra “hey, the market opportunity is huge and there will be multiple winners!”.
That ain’t enough.
But I’m not going to paint startups innovating in highly competitive markets with crazy/daring/brilliant/audacious ideas with a simple, broad brush and call them all me-too.
-Scott started the evening session by asking the audience if they are generally optimistic or pessimistic about what’s next in technology & opportunity. I think every single person raised their hands and said they were optimistic.
-I thought we had a nice discussion about exciting opportunities in technology and the concerns we have. In some cases we have similar interests & concerns but it was also clear that our firms also see the world & opportunity differently from one another. That isnt’ a bad thing.
-There were a number of questions about seed capital availability. I mentioned our involvement in TechStars Boston and Start@Spark. I’m really excited about both programs.
-We had a monitor on stage and were able to see Tweets tagged #whatsnext09. I thought it was great that Scott took some questions from those tweets as well.
-Scott asked the VCs if we had any questions for our fellow panelists. Neil asked outloud how I could be a Yankees fan. That got the home crowd grumbling and hissing a bit. Thanks Neil :)
-Yesterday, the news buzzing on twitter was the death of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett. Scott jokingly asked me if celebrity obits was the future business model of Twitter.
-Offline, someone asked me if we would consider making investments in applications & services built on top of Twitter or would we avoid it because “we already made an investment in the category”. That’s a very good question. I am very interested in applications and services built on top of the Twitter platform. I think there are lots of opportunities and I’m seeing some interesting companies use the Twitter API for media sharing, enterprise, payments, gaming, affinities, sports, marketing, tech support, content aggregation….the list goes on. Having said that, I wouldn’t invest in a company that is a direct or likely Twitter competitor for obvious reasons.
I was a bit tired after a long day in New York City earlier in the day and I hope it didn’t show. Thanks to everyone that participated and thanks Scott for inviting me.
So first I was all, “Wow, that’s sad news but I am not qualified to blog anything about this musician, since I never could’ve honestly counted myself as a real fan.” And then I went home and the first thing I typed into my iTunes search box was “Michael Jackson” and then before I knew it I was mouthing, “I’m not gonna spend my life bein’ a color,” dancing around the kitchen. It happens.
There is an event happening right now in San Francisco. It’s the Boxee SF meetup and you can watch it live here. The NYC Boxee meetup attracted nearly 800 people. It will be interesting to see how many people show up in SF.
There are a number of things planned for tonight. Here are a few of them.
Boxee App Store
Avner and the Boxee team are going to share a bunch of things at the meetup including the results of the Boxee Dev Challenge. The apps from the developer community have been incredible.
Boxee does Windows
To date, Boxee has been available for Linux and MacOS users. Tonight the Windows release goes into public alpha as well. From now on the Mac, Linux and Windows version should remain in sync. Thats good news for many Window users that have been waiting to try out Boxee.
After the last board meeting, Avner showed me a version of MLB.TV Premium running on Boxee that they were working on. Tonight, thanks to a partnership with MLB, Boxee users can watch thousands of baseball games live and in HD along with DVR functionality and in game highlights. That is very cool - especially for someone like me (yankee fan living in boston!).
I love this one. You can stream music and watch photos from the people you follow on Tumblr on Boxee. Tumblr on the big screen…oh yeah!
The Boxee team (around 10 employees) have been working like crazy to get this release out the door. I’m blown away with their talent, ambition & drive.
(update: TechCrunch covers the update as well here)
“While my life is frenetic, the world around us is chaotic, and as I like to say “something in my world somewhere is totally fucked up every single day”, I generally achieve a very deep calm. On the surface I appear to be extremely busy, but at my essence I hear the birds chirping and think of fields of golden retriever puppies.”—
“In the end, inspiring the poignant fantasy of another life is the closest these videos come toward telling a bigger story. Like MTV in its heyday, Next New is proudly hit or miss. Viewers don’t go to it for any one video; they tune in for a sensibility, a lifestyle. The scene at Next New is techy, of course, but it’s also wholesome and nostalgic and low key and inventive and whimsical and frugal and enterprising”—
I bought the very first first iPhone when it came out a few years ago. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to give it a run.
It didn’t work for me. I couldn’t get over the lack of 3g, lack of MS Exchange support, lack of apps (no app store in those days), no copy & paste, no email search, poor battery, and an odd headphone jack connector. I wanted it to work for me. It was so frustrating.
I went back to my trusty blackberry curve.
Then the iPhone 3g came out and promised a lot. It came with an App Store, 3g speeds and MS Exchange support. My friend Nabeel and I got up early and bought that phone on opening day.
I lived with that phone for a few months but slowly found myself carrying around two devices. iPhone and Blackberry. I still couldn’t get over the frequently slow/delay keyboard bug, lack of copy & paste, lack of search, slow processor, poor camera & poor battery life.
Then i dumped the iPhone altogether and just used the Blackberry. I couldn’t take the iPhone shortcomings and carrying two phones isn’t my thing.
When a friend helped me install an early beta of iPhone OS 3.0 OS I knew that things were getting better. At last we had search & copy/paste. Yes!
On Friday, I received the iPhone 3gs. I’m still in the honeymoon phase but this thing is fantastic. Better battery, plus it’s fast. I did a web browsing speed test with my colleague Rob Go who has the previous 3g model. The 3gs blew him away.
The OS is smooth. Copy & paste and search are lighting quick. I can type really fast. The camera is excellent and I’m already having a ball with video recording.
I have had a love/hate relationship with the iPhone over the years. But I’m back and this is the phone I’ve been waiting for.
“Fiscally conservative types are aghast at the enormity of the bailout and the unprecedented intervention in the economy, such as the GM and Chrysler takeovers. Meanwhile, the netroots are disappointed with Obama’s relative moderation on the social issues, like gay marriage.”—
I didn’t make it to the 140 conference. I caught pieces of the of the various sessions on Twitter and various blogs.
I wish I could have been there for the Ann Currie session. I heard it was quite interesting.
Fred discussed the power of passed links at the conference and how services like Facebook and Twitter are driving more traffic than ever to various websites. I’ve been hearing about this from our various portfolio companies as well as larger companies too.
And while I do check out my Tumblarity score (today is 480 btw), I don’t check Google analytics too often for this blog.
But I checked it out today. Here’s where the traffic is coming from:
For the last few months, Twitter has been driving more traffic to this blog than Google.
“That a new information technology could be improvised for this purpose so swiftly is a sign of the times. It reveals in Iran what the Obama campaign revealed in the United States. You cannot stop people any longer. You cannot control them any longer. They can bypass your established media; they can broadcast to one another; they can organize as never before.”—