Blog


Weblog posting tool: I chose BlogJet

After losing the "fruit of my labor" (blog posts) a couple of times because network or server errors, I decided to look for a Windows-based blog posting tool that would allow me to prepare posts offline, save my work locally and post at the first (network connection) opportunity. As I was packing for the holidays, and I knew that Internet access would be limited at least the first week, I started seeking the "perfect" tool – based on my requirements:

Ability to save posts locally, post drafts and final versions, modify previous posts Support for standard blog features: categories, turning on/off comments and trackbacks, sending trackbacks, etc. Ability to configure multiple blog accounts since I am now authoring two different blogs, and contributing to a few others, on different blogging platforms Offering Wysiwyg editing  with direct access to HTML, spell checking with multiple dictionaries, etc. Dealing with multimedia uploads automatically (i.e no need to pronounce dark incantations to add a … Read more »


French startup CEOs have been busy over the past couple of weeks

I am pleased to report that there have been a handful of noticeable deals over the past couple of weeks in France:

I received yesterday a note from the CEO of Glowria (the French Netflix), Mihai Crasneanu, announcing the successful raise of a $5M series B (press release here, and more from Rodrigo here). Boonty announced a $10M round last Wednesday. Photoways announced at the end of June a $30M round co-led by Index Ventures and Highland Capital Partners, a mix of a buyout of early stage investors and an injection of growth capital.

Congratulations to Mihai, Romain and Mathieu, and Michel.

I hear that there is a lot more coming, and I hope to get briefed on some of the projects at our upcoming Entrepreneurs dinner in Paris.

 


London Tragedy

I am in transit in Paris before hopping on a plane to Spain, and heard about the London tragedy from a friend living there who has broadcasted his entire address book to let us know that he and his wife were fine. I have many friends living in London, and hope that they are all OK, and so are their loved ones.

Our thoughts are prayers are with the families of the victims and injured.

I’d have rather stuck with yesterday’s headlines when the Brits were making fun of the Frogs for beating us to the punch for the 2012 olympic games.

 


Introducing the Glendor Jobs Search Showcase

I have done tens and tens of product launches in my 15+ years in the software industry, but they always look the same: even with a lot of planning, you end up spending the last night polishing the final details, and sending bunch of emails to your poor team members who’d like nothing but relaxing a bit after having been under pressure for a long time. And the excitement of unveiling something that you have been working on for months or years is (thankfully) always there.

It is therefore my great pleasure to announce the official launch of the Glendor job showcase, developed by one of my clients, Glenbrook Networks. Glenbrook was founded in 2001 with the objective to deliver a next generation search technology, one that would enable the extraction of information in a given vertical market with a high degree of precision. The company has developed over the past four years a unique technology platform that automatically … Read more »


Skype’s non-service model

Ross is telling us about Vonage service problems he has been facing, and we’ve all been there: it sucks when it happens.

I spent two hours on my cell phone talking to Vonage support. Escalated from one guy that couldn’t speak any language from what I could tell, to another who said they weren’t allowed to help with the problem, to another who ran me ragged with power cycling. The basic issue is their records think I have two ATA boxes. Fourth tier is management and they still don’t know how to fix it. They promised to ship a new ATA box by Friday, who knows if it will show up Tuesday. They don’t do truck rolls. The saga continues.

Why will Skype destroy Vonage?  The service model.

Whilst I am very sympathetic to the Vonage angst, and being a Vonage customer myself, I have had similar problems, I don’t agree with … Read more »


Playing with Odeo

Following the post of my buddy Rodrigo, and the rather acid comment I left there, I thought that I should spend some more time trying out Odeo. My initial 5 minutes on the product two days ago led me to think that it was a lot of hype and not much functionality – especially given that the podcast production bit is not available yet (more power to Eric Rice and audioblog.com).

I decided to try Odeo on my Tablet PC, which is running Windows XP and Windows Media Player 10. Because of the automatic synchronization of WM10 playlists with my "scoblephone", the SMT5600, Odeo performs similarly to other iPodder implementations – except for the tagging aspect.The social networking functionality (i.e the ability to connect to friends and see what their subscriptions are) is definitely not straightforward to use, since I had to guess the usernames that my usual contacts (Ross, David,…) … Read more »


Stunning returns for Google VCs

In one of his landmark posts, Bill Burnham dissected SEC filings and other publicly available information to tell us Just How Much Did VCs Pocket On Google?

I recommend the reading to anyone interested in understanding VC exits, and to some extent, how profits are split in VC partnerships – unequally so.

As a reminder, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital invested $12.5M each in Google in 1999, for about 24M shares. Both funds have distributed a majority of these shares to their own investors, otherwise their investment would be worth $7.1B (at today’s closing price).

Because of the distributions of shares at "lower prices", Bill estimated the value of KP’s investment at $4.3B, i.e a multiple of 344x in 6 years. This is the number that will be used to calculate the performance of their $500M fund IX (?), which was returned multiple times with just … Read more »


TypePad adds ads – Why Pro ?

Just got an email from Six Apart announcing that as a TypePad user, I now had the option of displaying ads on my blog in a custom typelist. It is actually not a surprise since the deal was sealed and announced last November.

Bloggers have been using Google or Yahoo ads on their blog for the longest time, and the most heavily read have been making some money. So what I am missing here is why would I need to upgrade to the Pro version of TypePad in order to use that functionality which is otherwise available to me "for free" ?

The ad revenue is credited against the monthly cost of the TypePad Pro subscription ($15). Which means basically that one needs to have roughly 20,000 page views (at a 50c CPM) in order to make up the difference between a Plus and a Pro subscription, or 30,000 page views between … Read more »


The “Build It/Flip It” Bubble Discussion

Great post from Ross re  A Flip/Flop Bubble of Microventures? in which he "attacks" the concept of  startups launched and bankrolled by former "bubble entrepreneurs" for the sole purpose of flipping them to large established players.

[...] there are a ton of former entrepreneurs getting back in the game these days. The lure isn’t just that markets are opening again. A mindset is developing in the valley that you can and should develop startups for quick flips. If you have your own cash, you can seed a play like this yourself, filling a targeted niche — both in product, market and engineering expertise. I even heard of a major portal getting into seed funding to encourage it. Perhaps this whole thing was started by Google’s micro-acquisitions. I don’t have any data on this trend, as it is the most private part of equity, but it is the talk of many … Read more »


AdSense For Feeds: Creepy – in some Sense.

Tim Bray has published a piece AdSense For Feeds, Say What? that summarizes my own experience.

Upon learning about the availability of AdSense for Feeds ("AFF"), I was keen to try it out. So I went to the registration page, and started reading the Terms and Conditions (yes, I try and read these things).

Whilst I was happy to give a shot to estimate the number of subscribers of my RSS feeds, the "T&C" language related to  "Responsibility for Feed Users" felt downright creepy:

[...] You agree you will be responsible and liable for any and all use of the AFF Ads by any feed user and will indemnify Google for any lawsuit or proceeding (a) relating to or arising from any feed user’s use of AFF; (b) relating to or arising from Your failure to ensure any feed user’s compliance with the terms of the amended Agreement; and/or (c) brought by a … Read more »


Jeff Jarvis Moving On

Jeff "BuzzMachine" Jarvis has just announced in his post "Onward" that he had left his job at Advance.net to do *a lot* of new things, "all related to changing news and to citizens’ media".

So what will Jeff (who I know from his board involvement at Moreover Technologies) do in his new incarnation, as Buzzmachine LLC ? Check this out:

Work on content development About.com, working with Martin Nisenholtz at The New York Times Company Act as editor in chief of a new (stealth) news start-up Work with the new City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism as the school launches Hanging out my consulting shingle to take on a few good projects Write a book And of course, blog, blog, blog, and blog.

Most of these tasks would be close to full time for most of us, but the man is not like… most of us. So best of luck Jeff, and see you around.

Read more »