Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The disruptive power of collaboration: An interview with Clay Shirky | McKinsey & Company

The disruptive power of collaboration: An interview with Clay Shirky | McKinsey & Company

Creating success from failure

It’s very often the case that what people set out to do as Plan A turns out to be effective and important, not because it works, but because it shows them what doesn’t work. I use the example of Wikipedia. Wikipedia started as the Hail Mary play out of something called Nupedia, which was a complete disaster. Nupedia was going out of business nine months in, and the Wiki was Plan B.


So this huge success turned out to be the thing that the group of people who’d failed at Nupedia were finally willing to try at the end of the process. And every now and again, you get a visionary set of founders who come up with Plan A, and Plan A works unbelievably well. You get a Google or an Amazon. And those are great when they happen.


But you also get things like Wikipedia or Twitter. Twitter was Plan B out of Odeo. Odeo was about to tank. They’re, like, “Well, we’re going to run out of money. There’s got to be something else we can do.” And the mission statement for Twitter was not, “We want to own the kind of public-facing set of headline-style observations.” The mission statement for Twitter was literally, “I want to keep track of people, using our cell phones.” That little sentence was how the whole thing got kicked off.


So I think one of the things to recognize, I use the analogy of a rocket ship: You can’t get a rocket to the moon just by aiming it. You also have to give yourself the ability to course correct. And when we look around at the landscape of really big successes, very often what we see is that the course correction turned out to be more important than the initial direction.

Now Facebook Has a Drone Plan - NYTimes.com

Now Facebook Has a Drone Plan - NYTimes.com



With all his talk of better data compression and more efficient phone chips, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has had a bit of trouble getting people excited about Internet.org, hisambitious plan to get everyone in the world onto the Internet.

Titan’s drones, which resemble solar-powered airplanes, are designed to fly as high as 65,000 feet and stay aloft for as long as five years — essentially functioning like cheap satellites. They could blanket large areas with wireless Internet signals, although the signals would be slower and unable to handle as much data as land-based Internet connections. For remote places like rural Africa, they would be enough to provide at least rudimentary access to the Internet through mobile phones.

Facebook would have to overcome lots of technical and legal problems before a global Facenet would be a reality. But the idea would allow the social network to one-up its rival, Google, which has its own far-fetched plan to extend the Internet to far-flung places via a network of balloons.
And it is a lot closer to reality than Amazon’s idea of drones that will deliver packages.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

How a Small Family Business Pulled Off One of the Greatest Successes in YouTube History - Business 2 Community

How a Small Family Business Pulled Off One of the Greatest Successes in YouTube History - Business 2 Community


Social Media Success Stories: How a Small Family Business Pulled Off One of the Greatest Successes in YouTube History


On his 222nd video, Stephen hit paydirt. In a 29-second video, he demonstrated how to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew. It has now attracted well over 6 million views!


Is Instagram Another Path to Riches for Facebook? - NYTimes.com

Is Instagram Another Path to Riches for Facebook? - NYTimes.com

If Instagram were to turn up the volume on e-commerce and advertising — imagine a click-to-buy button on that photo of Louboutin shoes — well, let’s just say that would be Instamoney. (L2 predicts that Instagram will generate $250 million to $400 million in revenue this year.)


Instagram is already generating real revenue for brands, according to Pau Sabria, co-founder of Olapic. His firm helps companies like American Eagle Outfitters, LancĂ´me, Coach and West Elm to solicit photos of their products being used by ordinary people and then post them on retail sites as a supplement to staged catalog shots.


He said that by adding such user-generated photos to a retail site, the number of visitors who turn into buyers increased by 5 to 7 percent and the average order value rose by 2 percent.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Reporting From the Web’s Underbelly - NYTimes.com

Reporting From the Web’s Underbelly - NYTimes.com


Brian Krebs’s widely read blog, Krebs on Security, covers a particularly dark corner of the Internet: profit-seeking cybercriminals who make billions off spam, malware and frauds.


In the last year, Eastern European cybercriminals have stolen Brian Krebs’s identity a half dozen times, brought down his website, included his name and some unpleasant epithets in their malware code, sent fecal matter and heroin to his doorstep, and called a SWAT team to his home just as his mother was arriving for dinner.


Mr. Krebs, 41, tries to write pieces that cannot be found elsewhere. His widely read cybersecurity blog, Krebs on Security, covers a particularly dark corner of the Internet: profit-seeking cybercriminals, many based in Eastern Europe, who make billions off pharmaceutical sales, malware, spam, frauds and heists like the recent ones that Mr. Krebs was first to uncover at Adobe, Target and Neiman Marcus.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Daily Report: Facebook Settlement on Ads and Privacy Comes Under Fire - NYTimes.com

Daily Report: Facebook Settlement on Ads and Privacy Comes Under Fire - NYTimes.com



If you are among Facebook’s 1.2 billion users, the company says, you are automatically consenting to such social ads. Opting out is impossible for some ads, and for others, the control to stop them is buried deep within the service’s privacy settings.