Friday, January 27, 2012

Why the opposition to SOPA and PIPA was so effective

A lot of people feel like the world, or at least the Internet, dodged a bullet this past week when SOPA and PIPA were finally shelved. What is very interesting is how it came about. Everyone connected to the Internet probably noticed the black-out-day last week and quite a few people contacted their representative or senator to let them know what they thought of these bills.

News outlets have since written about the awesome power of Internet companies like Google, Reddit, Facebook and organizations like Wikipedia. There may be something to that line of reasoning but I don’t think the Internet companies would have had nearly the leverage they did this time unless public confidence in congress was at rock bottom and public confidence in the entertainment industry, non-existent.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

One of the topics that came up today on the funders panel at Startup Outlook 2012 was “Pivoting”. The question was, what does investors think about their investments pivoting etc? While most of the panelists had experienced pivots either in their own entrepreneurial backgrounds or among their investments I think Prashanth Boccasam nailed it by implying that gradual adaption to feedback and changing environment should occur on a daily basis in a startup but that 180 degree mission changing pivots should be the exception.

Friday, January 20, 2012

AT&T data plan price hike is yet another sign of lack of competition

AT&T Wireless recently announced a price increase on their add-on data plans for wireless devices. While the increased prices were accompanied by an expansion of the data allowance, this appear to be mere window dressing. According to reports from 2010 the vast majority of the users are not using their data allowance even under the previous, lower, allowances. This means that AT&T is charging for something that is technically free to them since the increased data allowance in most cases will go unused, while still increasing the prices on both the entry level plan (300Mb) and normal usage plan (3Gb).

I guess this is somewhat more finessed than Verizon's recent debacle when they tried to charge their customers a fee for paying their bills online or over the phone.