Monthly Archives: May 2010

First look: Loopt provides more incentives to try location-based services with Loopt Star

Recently I had lunch with Loopt’s CEO, Sam Altman, where he pulled out his iPhone and showed me a new version, called Loopt Star, that gives you incentives to visit major retailers. I talk with him about that in the video embedded on this post.

I’m working on a longer post about the location-based services that are out there and I’m getting tired of the data silos that are being built up here. I’d love to see someone take more of an integration approach and do that first before going after the monetization like Loopt is here, although I understand why Loopt is doing that.

That said, this is an interesting new entrant. Will it get me to check into it along with Foursquare? That’s the big question and I don’t see enough utility is here yet, but I’ll keep watching to see what the offers are like and whether that’s enough of a hook to get me.

There’s a ton of other reports about Loopt Star on Techmeme.

This is why I work at Rackspace

A few months ago Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, asked me why I work at Rackspace. “Would you still work at Rackspace, even if you won the lottery?” he asked me. “Yes,” I answered.

But it didn’t click WHY I answered that way until I saw this presentation by Dan Pink.

You really must watch it. It points out that a lot of what we think about rewards and getting the best work out of someone in this modern world is all wrong.

Is your job giving you a sense of purpose? Does it give you motivation to do better work? Does your boss get out of your way, or does he/she just give you a list of tasks to do?

I’m very fortunate to work for a company that gives me a purpose and then gets out of my way. The purpose? Help startups. Period. Note that I, and my coworkers, Rocky, Rob, Michelle, help out everyone we can, even those who host on our competitors. If you watch my videos I’d guess that only a small portion are actually of entrepreneurs who host on Rackspace.

Why? Because we have a deeper purpose than to just help ourselves. It’s why I work at Rackspace.

Congratulations to Soluto for winning Techcrunch Disrupt

When we got to Israel we heard from lots of people that Soluto was a great company and had a great approach to a sizeable market: Windows users.

I’m very happy that we got the first video interview of this company in their Tel Aviv, Israel, headquarters and congrats to Soluto for beating dozens of other companies to win Techcrunch Disrupt.

Speaking of which, Techcrunch Disrupt was a great event with much better speakers than TC 50. Congrats to that team, too, for stepping up the game quite a bit. Oh, and the wifi rocked.

Knocking Live shows what a front-facing-iPhone camera could do

Knocking Live Video‘s co-founder, Brian Meehan, was the one who convinced Steve Jobs to approve streaming video apps. That opened the door for a bunch of streaming video apps. This is a cool app that you can use to video with your family and they have a ton of things coming out. Does Steve Jobs have something like this up his sleeve for the next iPhone? I bet he does.

Here I meet him and get his story but also get a look at their latest video chat app that lets you do live video conversations on your iPhone or iPad or, now, your Android phone.

Also, check out how fast it’s being downloaded! This is a third-wave app, they are growing faster than Twitter or Foursquare and got to a million users faster than either of those. Wild growth.

Oh, and stick around to the end of the video to hear their experiences with Rackspace hosting.

Are you using Knocking? Why not?

The “David’s” in the war over social TV: Miso and Starling

The other day I introduced you to Comcast’s Tunerfish. Comcast has lots of advantages due to its branding and market presence. But there’s a little startup that got there first and is, in my experience, doing a better job: Miso. Here you meet Miso’s CEO, Somrat Niyogi. You’ll find him very passionate about TV. Will he win? Well, this is a disruptive area and startups tend to do better than more established companies when disruption is happening.

Oh, and if you haven’t had enough social TV, in Israel I met with the founder, Kevin Slavin, of Starling, who also has a unique perspective on this new world, although he hasn’t shipped yet and Miso has. Which one do you think will win?

TED Talks insider tour; 250 million views, 1000 TEDx’s

Yesterday I got a tour of TED’s headquarters in New York with June Cohen, executive producer of TED.

While touring she gave me some of the latest stats and they are mind-blowing. Did you know that TEDx (independently produced TED events) are only a year old but already there are about 1,000 TEDx events planned or held in 80 countries and 25 languages.

In the 40 minute tour you’ll meet some of the people behind TED and see the editing suites where TED Talks are edited.

Thanks to June for this awesome tour and look behind the curtain.