Four short links: 17 Mar 2009

Four short links: 17 Mar 2009

Startups, databases, iPhone app marketplace, and how to launch:

  1. Weary of Looking for Work, Some Create Their Own (NY Times) — a story about a new tide of entrepreneurs forced into it by the economic times. The goal for many entrepreneurs nowadays is not to create a company that will someday make billions but to come up with an idea that will produce revenue quickly, said Jerome S. Engel, director for the center for entrepreneurship at the Berkeley Haas School of Business. Mr. Engel said many people will focus on serving immediate needs for individuals and businesses.
  2. Redis — another key/value pair database, but this time with atomic operations to push and pop. The reinvention of databases continues apace ….
  3. Gaming on the iPhone–Natural Selection in Real Time — as the number of games has risen, the price has dropped. But that’s where things have begun to settle, just a short time after the App Store started featuring games for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Five bucks is to the iPhone what sixty bucks is to the PC: the high end of the price scale. And the expectation is that, if you’re gonna tempt someone to fork over a Lincoln for your hard work, it had better be something special [...] The iPhone is a relatively easy platform for developing games, where you can generally create a game with a small budget and short development time, and be looking at potentially large returns. But the market has become so crowded with casual games that it has become incredibly hard to get your game noticed.
  4. Don’t Launch — an eminently reasonable answer to the question I’ve often been asked. Don’t chicken out and do a closed beta; get real customers in through real renewable channels. Start with a five-dollar-a-day SEM campaign. Iterate as fast and for as long as you can. Don’t scale. Don’t marketing launch. I love everything this guy writes. If he ever publishes a collection of his laundry lists and telephone doodles, I’ll preorder it on Amazon.
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Four short links: 28 Jan 2009

Four short links: 28 Jan 2009

Sensors, games, recession indicators, and book prep in today’s four short links:

  1. New Networks Take Nature’s Pulse – an article in Christian Science Monitor about sensor networks. Makezine pointed out that hobbyists are building low-cost versions with Arduinos. Sensor networks are part of the “Web meets World” change we’re in, where the Web ceases to be something you sit down to interact with. Instead, our everyday life will inform and be informed by the Web in ways we won’t realize.
  2. Interactive Fiction Goes to Market – a company, Textfyre is readying new text adventure games (“interactive fiction”) for the iPhone market. I dream of a day when the text adventure world becomes lucrative again (the tools like Inform are divine) but I can’t help think that the iPhone is the wrong platform. The make-believe keyboard makes text entry such a chore that it would seem to count against text adventures. I hope and wish that I am proven wrong and some day the CEO of Textfyre buys the house next to me just so he can build a huge mansion and paint on the walls “Nat Torkington thought the iPhone was the wrong platform for text adventures”.
  3. You Know It’s a Recession When More People Search for Coupons Than Britney Spears – interesting tidbit from Bo Cowgill, who runs Google’s internal prediction market. His blog is full of fascinating pointers to prediction market research. Between him and David Pennock, my prediction market cup runneth over.
  4. How To Write a Book – Steven Johnson writes, on BoingBoing, how he uses DevonThink to gather and organize his book thoughts and structure before actually sitting down to produce the words. I love reading about the act of literary creation (I have a long shelf of “how to write mystery novel” books that I can almost quote chapter and verse), the way it’s so different for every author yet so the output is so similar.
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State of the Computer Book Market, Part 4 – The Languages

We will look at programming languages and drill in a little on each language area.

Overall the 2007 market for programming languages was down (1.67%) in 2007 when compared with 2006. There were 1,809,695 units sold in 2006 versus 1,779,523 units sold in 2007 which is (30,172) less units in 2007.

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