Sunday, July 27, 2008

Facebook News(feed) Flash

Besides the obvious user experience improvements, greater flexiblity for advertising for facebook, and general polishing -- the new design also signals an interesting move by facebook with its new empahsis on the feed: Control.

With the new user experience emphasis on the newsfeed, not only does it enable more interesting user interactions, but provides facebook with a way to have greater control over how its applications connect with its end users.

We're seeing an obvious decline over the use of profiles, but it'll certainly be interesting for developers to see if there's going to be a shift in the effectiveness and use of the other viral channels.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Launch Rush.


We launched Kontagent, our viral analytics tool.

Have gotten some great feedback from the developer community at F8 today. While this might sound a bit cocky, I can honestly say that we had fully expected given the feedback we had gathered from a number of discussions during our earlier private trials and discussions with some of the top thought leaders in the space.

The F8 conference was very well organized. Rumored to have cost 1 Million to host the 1000 attendees.

After 22 hours straight run with what ended up being about 2 hours of sleep the night before, and a few snags on the news release, "public day" #1 is done.

I don't think there's anything more exciting than the "day before the launch" rush -- where months of work accumulate to one jammed packed day of unexpected events and feedback loops.

With this being the 5th startup now, the rush of the launch is still as addcitive as ever.

Whats been an amazing experience with building this bi-coastal this time is that some of the things that have happened would have never happened if I had done this exclusively out of Toronto as I had with most of my previous startups.

By having a presence in the mist of the action in "the valley" (technically, its San Francisco) is the flow of information and networks. Even prior to our public launch, while still in stealth mode, we've had an astonishing number of parties that came to the table with serious acquisition interest.

Thankfully, I was not in a position to have to sell early, as is often is the case with startups that are undercapitalized due to limited access to early stage financing. That's not to say that I don't beleive in "sell early and sell often" (truth is that "it depends") -- as was the advice that I had given to my friend Greg of YoVille (congrats Greg on the sale to Zynga! -- go London Ontario!) -- just that when one is well capitalized or in an enviorment where there is more access to capital, the option to grow further vs. selling too early are often much less stressful choices.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Hours Slept To Probablility of an Eventful Next Day Analysis

So I'm going to have 2 hours of sleep tonight.

Anytime that I have around 2 hours of sleep, something special usually happens the next day.

As long as it doesn't involve a red eye flight I mean.

Thank you to all those who have supported me. You know who you are.

This is either the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning... time will tell. =)

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Future Of Mobile Entertainment on the iPhone

Check this great summary and review of the latest iPhone apps out.

One thing that I have noticed about this first wave of iPhone apps is the relatively high quality of the user experience and visual design as compared with the first wave of apps on Facebook (empahsis on first wave as the current "2nd wave" apps on facebook are now far more advanced than the original batch and many are competitive to whats on the iPhone now). 

I think this really speaks to the power of the Apple iPhone SDK and its amazing development community following.

The iPint was easily one of my favorite apps.  Not just because of its attention to detail and innovative use of the accelerometer, but also because it happens to be a great example of how a brand can leverage the iPhone platform to create fun and engaging branded experiences.

The iPhone is clearly an awesome platform for some very cool next gen gaming.

I do wonder how soon we'll have our first iPhone based Next Gen, Massively Multiple Player Online Game + Alternate Reality GeoCacheing type app that takes advantage of:

  1. Always-On Mobile Unlimited* Broadband for instant access to your in game character (*well, at least for countries with a competitive wireless carrier environment... Canada/Rogers )
  2. GPS for Geocaching Mini-Games and Tasks/Game Clan Building
  3. Social Networking and Viral Distribution Features that Take Advantage of Your "Social Graph" (AKA: the Phonebook and/or Facebook Connect)
  4. Built in Camera on Device for Avatar Personalization and User to User Communications
Given popularity of free, ad and micro-transaction supported of MMOGs these days, I'm eager to hear what people are building/funding right now in this space.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Canadian iPhone: Pay 3X More with WITHOUT Unlimited Data

This is almost a moot point with regards to pricing, as an iPhone without Unlimited data is virtually useless in terms of mainstream user adoption of the phone and its most important features (first and 3rd party data applications/ecosystem).

International Cost Comparisons1

Canada (Rogers)2

United Kingdom (O2)3

United States (AT&T)4

Phone cost (8 GB model)

$ 199


$ 202.03

Plan cost per month

$ 100

$ 76.63

$ 101.51

Minimum contract length

3 years

1.5 years

2 years

Voice minutes (day)




Voice minutes (evenings/weekend)


N / A



1 GB



Text messages




Call display included




Mandatory extra fees per month

$ 7.45

$ 0

$ 1.25

Caller display fee

$ 7

$ 0

$ 0

Total monthly cost

$ 114.45

$ 76.63

$ 102.76


$ 4319.20

$ 1379.34

$ 2668.27

Canadian iPhone: 3X the Price as the UK and 1.6X the Price the US WITHOUT Unlimited Data

Source: Get the facts on the Rogers iPhone - FACTS

JesusPhone: Does this mean Geotagged photos is FINALLY going to hit mainstream?

Exclusive: Sneak Peek of the 3G iPhone OS | Gadget Lab from

iPhone + Photos + GPS = Killer Geo-Tagged Photo Platform/App?


For what its worth, going to try a new higher frequency blogging pattern with short spurts of thoughts. Partly inspired by my use of ScribeFire (an awesome in browser/firefox plug-in blog editor).