Sometimes a band is just too good. Maybe it’s because they were incredibly prolific, releasing two albums in the span of just a few months. It could be because one of the members is leaving for greener pastures.
I can’t decide whether this image is a brilliant boiling down of what the web can be for business or if it is purely apocalyptical. At the very least, it makes it’s point clear, like a political cartoon.
To me, the overly-obvious labels in political cartoons are funnier than the jokes themselves. The combination of clear-cut rhetoric with often passive-aggressive commentary presents a dichotomy that, like this image, is at once smart and contrived, simple and complex.
Marketing Sherpa has some great case studies of people doing business on the web. Recently they’ve noticed a lot of people stealing their content. Unfortunately, new technology has made it really simple.
Both of my major clients, BestPlaces and Who2 have also had their content pilfered, almost never with attribution. Take the first sentence of any Who2 profile and run it through your favorite search engine. Most of the results (no pictures, but still may not be safe for work) are whole copies. The same is true of BestPlaces.
And it doesn’t take much to automate this process of screen-scraping. With so much information available for free on the internet, it’s easy to imagine the thieves might not even think it is wrong. I even understand the thought that there isn’t much difference between us giving it away for free and them giving it away for free. I don’t agree, but I do understand.
For smalltime sites, there is no real recourse. Even with a service like CopyScape, it would take too much time to contact the thieves directly. Add to that the fact that some of the results are official partners who pay money or otherwise have been given the right to use the content and the problem of protecting one’s intellectual property becomes all the more time-consuming. We do not have the ability to automate the legal process the way a content thief can. It would be extremely embarrassing to send a cease and desist to a partner.
So far, the answer has been to maintain some elements that are just not copyable (or at least make less sense to copy). At BestPlaces, we have the comparisons between places, as well as a few program-driven tools. Who2 has links between profiles, as well as fun connections between famous people in the form of “loops.”
Basically, my approach to content thievery has been similar to my karmic laissez-faire search engine optimization beliefs: put good, original stuff out there and people will find you.
The first time I heard the term VC (venture capital / venture capitalist) was the late 90s. I was in college, observing and not understanding the internet boom that was going on all around me. From what I could see, VC (the name of the industry, as well as the people within it) was just the noun form of greedy. I put them in the same crowd as San Francisco office space landlords who demanded stock options in addition to rent.
So, when someone came to town, bought out my favorite pizza place, and started talking about expanding, it seemed fitting to refer to him as “the VC.”
During the last year, I’ve been reading the weblogs of a number of venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. I have weeded my way down to just a handful who have helped me become a little more objective about the position of VCs in startups. Interestingly, the posts that got me started were about bootstrapping (i.e., saying no to venture capital).
It turns out that venture capital is more similar to entrepreneurship that it is different. They both involve calculated risk, competitive analysis, and nurturing a business. And while the VCs do demand a large piece of the pie, they also do their fair share of work to ensure a business succeeds.
My favorite VC-related sites also have a heavy dose of personal posts. This is probably why I kept reading them, as their business-related writing is fuller when I have a complete view of the writer’s world view.
Most slides are impossible to follow without being present at the talk, but these are great. He fits a lot in while keeping them simple, yet I can tell he must have added a fair amount of meat to his points.
I’m not sure exactly how he found this balance. If you ever give presentations, go check out his slides and copy whatever it is he is doing, even if you aren’t interested in making zillions writing Mac software.
If you’re interested in hearing what he adds to his written points, are into the whole Podcast thing, and don’t mind spending 90 minutes listening to him, he has recorded his talk and made it available.