- How Visa, Using Card Fees, Dominates a Market — (NY Times) two interesting lessons here. First, that incentives to create a good system are easily broken when three parties are involved (here Visa sets the fees that merchants pay banks, so it’s in Visa’s interest to raise those fees as high as possible to encourage more banks to offer Visa cards). Second, that that value-based charging (“regardless of our costs, we’ll charge as much as we can without bankrupting or driving away all of you”) sounds great when you’re doing the charging but isn’t so appealing when you’re on the paying end. Visa justifies its fees not on the grounds of cost to provide the service, but rather by claiming that their service makes everything more convenient and so people shop more.
- Doing It Wrong (Tim Bray) — What I’m writing here is the single most important take-away from my Sun years, and it fits in a sentence: The community of developers whose work you see on the Web, who probably don’t know what ADO or UML or JPA even stand for, deploy better systems at less cost in less time at lower risk than we see in the Enterprise. This is true even when you factor in the greater flexibility and velocity of startups. I’ve been working with a Big Company and can only agree with this: The point is that that kind of thing simply cannot be built if you start with large formal specifications and fixed-price contracts and change-control procedures and so on. So if your enterprise wants the sort of outcomes we’re seeing on the Web (and a lot more should), you’re going to have to adopt some of the cultures and technologies that got them built.
- Analytics X Prize — The Analytics X Prize is an ongoing contest to apply analytics, modeling, and statistics to solve the social problems that affect our cities. It combines the fields of statistics, mathematics, and social science to understand the root causes of dysfunction in our neighborhoods. Understanding these relationships and discovering the most highly correlated variables allows us to deploy our limited resources more effectively and target the variables that will have the greatest positive impact on improvement. The first contest is to predict homicides in Philadelphia. (via mikeloukides on Twitter)
- Protecting Cloud Secrets with Grendel (Wesabe blog) — new open source package that implements Wesabe’s policies for safe handling of customer data. It uses OpenPGP to store data, and offers access to the encrypted data via an internal (behind-the-firewall) REST service. The data can only be decrypted with the user’s password. Hopefully the first of many standard tools and practices for respecting privacy.
ENTRIES TAGGED "competition"
Pandemic, a collaborative board game, casts a different light on competition and gaming.
Joseph Esposito on Amazon's dominant position and what B&N can do about it.
Amazon is the clear market leader, but that doesn’t mean everyone else should throw in the towel. In this podcast, Joseph Esposito, president of Portable CEO consulting, discusses the current publishing market and how B&N can best compete.
David Farber offers his big ideas about where the Internet is headed: how long it can last, slaying the bandwidth bottleneck, and waiting for the big breach.
Announcing the three prize winners of the O'Reilly writable API competition.
We ran a developer contest to see what folks could do with O'Reilly's new "writable" API. Today we're announcing the winners.
The DC Circuit didn't tell the FCC to turn back. It has a job to
do–promoting the spread of high-speed networking, and ensuring that
it is affordable by growing numbers of people–and it just has to find
the right tool for the job.
Visualize open networks–and remember how far we've already come from
the days before flat-rate long distance phone calls (much less app
stores for cell phones).
Opponents can shed their rhetoric and reveal new depths to their thought when you bring them together for rapid-fire exchanges, sometimes with their faces literally inches away from each other. That made it worth my while to truck down to the MIT Media Lab for yesterday’s Workshop on Innovation, Investment and the Open Internet, sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission. The event showed that innovation and investment are not always companions on the Internet. An in-depth look at the current state of the debate over competition and network neutrality.
Market Forces, Enterprise Fail, Analytics X Prize, Open-Sourced Privacy Subsystem
I was inspired by Fred Wilson's excellent piece on the subject to add my own two cents to Mike Arrington's rant about how Yahoo!'s deal with Google is bad for the industry. I wrote the following in Arrington's comment stream, and will reproduce it here: Let me weigh in as well on why I don't think Google's dominance in search…