In memory of the dot-com era

A good Sunday read from that features its Top 10 dot-com flops:


Not too sure how the list was compiled, since some of these companies did not go down the hole after spending “that much” money, but they were certainly icons of the bubble era: shutting down within a few weeks of launch, or that became famous through the feature film

They might also have done a top 50 including the likes of [email protected] (though one could argue that it was an ISP), – which raised about $100M – and sold its assets to eVineyard,  NetCentives ($130M VC/IPO – Chapter 11), ($120M VC/IPO – Chapter 11), ($100M VC – Chapter 11), etc.

Even though they were not dot-com themselves, I would also mention two firms that were closely involved with these companies, and had the same fate: lawfirm Brobeck Phleger and Harrison, and merchant bank Comdisco. Just to complete the … Read more »

My next phone ? Might be a Treo 670…

Whenever I meet with my friend Andrew Carton, the founder of Treonauts, he tries to convince me to switch from my SMT 5600 to a Treo.

After almost a year of using it, I like that phone and I *really* like Windows Mobile. Synchronizing emails and contacts, downloading podcasts automatically and listening them on the go, taking pictures and uploading them, it just works.

Oh yeah, and the phone part (dialing, answering calls, etc. – you know) also works great. So no reason to change, but for the VGA camera which snaps pictures of limited quality.

Well, looks like I can get in line for this one: Andrew posted that after a lot of false rumors and photoshopped pictures, the Treo 670 is “announced”, running Windows Mobile 5.

I just wish the camera was a 2 Megapixels. To anyone from Palm marketing listening: I am happy to be a beta tester!

SpaceStation to Houston: what are those BIDU shares that have shot up into the stratosphere ?

Note: When I came back from lunch, the stock had shot up again to close at $122.54. What’s above the stratosphere ? (BIDU) just made its debuts on Nasdaq, and went from an original IPO pricing of $14 to an pre-open price of  $27 to an open of $66 to $99 $122.54 in a couple of few hours. This chinese search engine, which is set to earn $12M on $30M of revenues, was awarded a $3.6B market cap – representing a 300x (forward) earnings multiple.

Bambi Francisco wrote in a note before the stock opened:

Due to healthy demand for the 4 million shares available — Baidu had intended to sell 3.7 million shares at $20 apiece — it’s hard to imagine this stock not trading at $30 or $40 some time in the near future, if not today.

Then a few minutes ago, in Baidu feels like Netcape redux, but where’s Meeker:

To the amazement … Read more »

Images of BlogHerCon


         Renee and JD                Pre-Conference Dinner          Business Blogging BOF


  Charlene after her BOF              Deborah Schultz             Patricia, Denise and Mary


Susan, Mary, and Christine      Elisa before her panel               John and Anina

Tags: , bloghercon

Tools: my holiday wishlist

This is really an addendum to my piece on blog posting tools. I have been catching up on blogs and podcasts over the holidays, working mostly offline. This has allowed me to discover a few issues or annoyances that ought to be addressed eventually by these tools providers.

TypePad: I have been using the comments/trackbacks moderation made available through the new version (1.6). It is a very useful feature, but it would be a great to add the notion of “certification” (for lack of a better word) of a source of comments or trackbacks, i.e once someone’s comment/trackback has been accepted then it is possible to register that source as “straight through”, not requiring a new moderation. Also, for people using TypeKey as the authentication mechanism, I would point to their TypePad blog as a home page as opposed to their TypeKey home page (or I would seriously refine that one). Odeo: for the record, I might have been … Read more »

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

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 »