Archive for April, 2005

Browser Wars: The bad guys vs. The good guys

Sunday, April 24th, 2005

Interesting comment at IEBlog: “The so-called browser wars have fundamentally changed. It’s no longer Microsoft vs. Mozilla vs. Opera et all. Now it’s the good guys vs. the bad guys. The bad guys are the phishers, malware distributors, and other miscellaneous crooks looking for a quick score at the expense of the browsing public. ”
We’re all in this together.

Gauri Nanda invents Clocky: MIT Media Lab’s Project helps the oversleeper

Tuesday, April 12th, 2005

No more ‘easily-locate-in-the-dark-and-tap’ activity on Snooze button of your morning alarm, unless you can find the clock from one of the several random places it can hide in your bedroom.
Put simply, Clocky is a robotic alarm clock, which rolls off the bedside and wheels away into a quiet corner.

Quoting the inventor, Gauri Nanda, “I’ve been known to hit the snooze bar for up to two hours or even accidentally turn it off and then wake up shocked”.
How about a pillow, which vibrates and bounces and roars until you wake up. Just another idea in the kitchen bag…

FeedBurner: Employees, Entrepreneurs, (E)Investors energized, everyone expecting Exit

Monday, April 11th, 2005

Feed Burner’s press release was aptly titled — FeedBurner Fully Financed For Future Feed Formatting Fun. Nice title, eh 🙂 How about this signature at the end of the release — “Employees, Entrepreneurs, (E)Investors energized, everyone expecting Exit” ?
Last week, Feed Burner announced the completion of a second round of $7m. Draper & Mobius are now joined by new investor Sutter Hill. Feed Burner manages 40,000 active feeds, including mine.
The company is still in the process of figuring out the right business model. Thing to consider — if the feed items are teasers (i.e. first few lines of the item), the feed drives traffic to the website. However, if the feed items are complete entries then there is little or no traffic to the website. Aggregators and users will shy away from the service if the non-feed content in feeds turn out to be intrusive. This will be an interesting space to watch with “ads in feeds”.

Public Beta of Packaged Software: 10 steps for a successful Beta Program

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005

Recently, in a discussion I came across with a ‘How to do a Public Beta of Packaged Software’ question. What came out was a list of 10 bullet points. Not that I am an expert on this topic or I have successfully ran public beta programs for million (or billion) dollar corporations — I just happened to participate in a few.
Here’s how a successful public Beta program should be run (not in any particular order of appearance):

  1. Public Bug Parade
  2. Moderated Discussion Forum
  3. Moderated Chat amongst Beta Participants
  4. Incentives to Bug submitters
  5. Build announcements
  6. Visible Change Log of Builds
  7. Easy Feedback form
  8. Incentive for Referrals
  9. A certificate or tchochke as a Thank You note to each Beta participant
  10. Beta Program should run from a community website (Sales/Marketing pitch is the last thing Beta-users are interested in)

Update: Gautham proposes the 11th step (The Microsoft way of running a successful Beta Program) — Release the code, make people pay, and then fix the bugs.
Next Part: More details