When you don’t know your subject; write professionally.

blog.pmarca.com: When non-technologists write about technology

This post reminds me of something that my Dad used to say; “I’ve never read an article about a subject that I know well that was correct”.  It always made me wonder but I’ve spent years since reading articles about subjects I know looking for the exception; I’ve not found it.

The Economist is an extreme of this, I read it for over a decade and was subscribed for years. Then I realized that all articles about technology, the UK and France annoyed me because of their gross oversimplification and constant application of “Economist hope” over experience. However, the rest of the paper made sense.

Then I got thinking…

If that’s the case, does it mean that the worst written articles were always on the subjects that I knew best, or simply that I agreed with the other articles because I didn’t understand the situation and the Economist was over simplifying it?

In the end I unsubscribed and read more blogs instead!

LeWeb3 07 Looking Back

Jort is a collegue from Accenture in Amsterdam who I met for the first time at LeWeb3. I learnt a lot from sitting next to him for a couple of days. His notes are here…

Accenture BlogPodium /entrepreneurial-marketing/jortpossel/le-web-3-07-looking-back/

Of course, he’s missing the photo of himself…

Jort at LeWeb3

Beta Engineering

There has been a bit of fuss on the blogs because it seems that Tesla is going to be shipping with a “beta” version of their transmission that they’ll have to replace within the year.

Tesla’s Chairman and New CEO Talk Transmission Snags and Raising Another $40M « Earth2Tech

It raises the obvious question “how many other cars have shipped with beta components”. Here’s my experience…

Many years ago I bought a Smart. At the time the initial wave of optimism (mainly pre-launch) had worn off and the company looked in trouble. In the empty showroom near the Eiffel Tower (actually in the 16th) they tried to give the impression that they were going places but it was obvious that the business plan was in trouble.

The result was that they offered us an amazing deal to lease the car and not buy it; we had the cash but they wanted to sell zero percent credit at all costs!

About two months later we took the car back for a service. It took two days for them to replace the tyres, shock absorbers, reprogram the engine management system, replace the wind screen wipers and, interestingly, replace part of the gearbox!

This must be a common practice in the industry to get the cars out the door.

The importance of context in profiles…

The Google Operating System blog has a good list of Google type of predictions for 2008.

Predictions for Google’s 2008

However, in point one ther’s this…

“If Google doesn’t understand that your Gmail contacts aren’t necessarily your friends, we’ll see a huge privacy backslash.”

How difficult can this be to understand? And why hasn’t Facebook realised it already? I want to present different views of myself to different populations; it’s not rocket science.

The first network that gets this right will have a massive advantage over the others.

27% of Amazon Xmas Sales were Wiis!

If this is true it’s amazing. 27% of sales being the Wii. I suppose if you add iPods in that must be 80% of their business. Does that make all books “the long tail”?

41 Chinese companies are changing the world but none of them has a brand worth talking about.

As I pointed out a couple of days ago, the Top 100 brands was dominated by old western brands. However, it seems that the world will be changed 41 times just by the Chinese!!!

41 Chinese Companies Are Changing The World – China Law Blog.

Either their going to grow brands quickly; which makes a mockery of the Top 100 brands valuations or they just won’t need brands; therefore making a mockery of the Top 100 brand valuations!!!

MediaBloodhound’s 2007 Fact or Fiction Challenge

MediaBloodhound: MediaBloodhound’s 2007 Fact or Fiction Challenge

I failed badly! Don’t know if that is a problem with me or the state of affaires!

Ben Metcalfe doesn’t like profit on OLPCs

Ben Metcalfe has found OLPCs on eBay going for over three times the going rate (assuming that the going rate is $200).

Sad to see OLPC’s for sale on eBay at inflated prices :Ben Metcalfe Blog

He seems quite upset by the find; actually I believe a sign that this little thing could be an enormous success. There is a demand in the developed countries for the OLPC. This demand can be used to get the price down, build software and help with the OLPC “brand” in the target countries; the OLPC could be seen as more than a poor childs PC. Now the OLPC people need to get the machines out there and sell them to whoever wants them (wherever they maybe).


Simply put if they don’t flood the developed world with these machines the market will take care of it for them. They’ll be pushing machines into Africa and Latin America for them to appear on eBay at a profit. Now that maybe a great gain for the people who received the machines in the short term but long term they’re going to be big losers.