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Flickr rocks but what about hot startups like EQO and Dabble DB?

Submitted by Roland on Tue, 2006-04-25 08:51

Flickr rocks but this piece really adds no information (the time to write about how great flickr is, what great people Stewart and Caterina are and how much money they got would have been in Spring 2005 just after the acquisition not Spring 2006). Instead of concentrating on yesterday's news, the Globe and Mail Report on Small Business should be covering today's Canadian small businesses i.e. EQO, Dabble DB, etc rather than last year's small businesses like flickr.

From : Exit strategy: Cashing out, staying in.:


Thanks to Yahoos traffic, Flickr membership has quadrupled to

2.5 million, and the site has emerged as the linchpin of its new owners social-networking strategy--that is, to reposition Yahoo as a venue for people to connect and share experiences, rather than simply as a place they go to search and shop.

Because of that shift, Yahoo is closing in on Google, the do-everything juggernaut a few kilometres down the Valley. Which raises the question: Given Flickrs strategic significance, did Butterfield and Fake sell out too soon?

If they did, they dont seem to be regretting it. Money is clearly not this couples primary motivation. Instead of blowing their cash on Porsches or a sprawling manse, they rent a modest house in San Franciscos still-gentrifying Mission district. "We have a Prius for the fuel economy," he says. "And we share it."


FOSS Business model - give FOSS developers stock in their customers?

Submitted by Roland on Sun, 2006-04-02 19:01

Interesting idea for a sustainable model for Free and Open Source Software. Not sure it would work!

From i repeat myself when under stress (free software business model solved) (longer form):


When commercial software is free software -- publicly licensed -- the customer for that software can always get what they want by working with a coop or NPO. This means that the customer can always get their software by paying a fair share of the cost of development.

It's very fine that the customer can always get the free software they need by paying a fair share of the cost of development but that is a problem for developers who want access to investment capital. A developer who wants access to investment capital must have a good chance of returning a profit -- not merely breaking even on cost of development.

So my proposal is that some developers can be paid in shares of their customer's stock instead of cash.

If you issue stock, it is usually easy to grant someone else some of your stock in a way that costs you less in cash than it would cost to buy that same stock.

Now if a developer, paid in stock, immediately sells that stock for cash -- they earn just the cost of production but no profit on top of that.

On the other hand, if a developer paid in stock holds on to that stock, and the customer of the developer's program flourishes, the stock will rise in value. Later in time, the developer can sell the stock and get back the cost of development, plus interest, *plus a profit*.

A free software developer who can make a profit that way has access to investment capital. Such a developer is truly on an equal footing with proprietary developers, from an economic perspective.


CanadaCamp before or after Toronto Web 2.0 traditional conference?

Submitted by Roland on Thu, 2006-03-09 23:43

Traditional doesn't mean bad though (and props to Mark Evans, Matthew Ingram, Michael McDerment, and Stuart MacDonald for taking the time to organize this; I know how hard this is to do in 12 months like we do for Northern Voice let alone 3 months like they are doing). I really enjoyed the "traditional" part of the Northern Voice blogging conference (why? just two of many reasons: Nancy White and Julie Leung) in Vancouver both in 2005 and in 2006. But I gotta admit, after helping organize unconferences like Northern Voice Moosecamp 2006 and BarCamp Amsterdam, as well as more traditional conferences like Northern Voice and the Open Source Content Management System and Blog Tool Summit, my sympathies are with the unconferences.

A plea for somebody in Toronto: organize a Bar Camp Toronto (should be easy given the success of TorCamp and DemoCamp4, maybe call it CanadaCamp and encourage people from Vancouver and the East Coast to converge in Toronto; I wish I had time to help organize this but other than throwing out crazy ideas I don't!) before or after the Toronto Web 2.0 conference at a place with lots of rooms, central location and good WiFi and convince some West Coast people like the following to lead sessions (the following short list off the top of my head shows omits many cool folks apologies in advance):

  • Boris Mann - one my Bryght partners - could lead sessions on starting and running an open source company, open source product development and evangelism since he is Drupal evangelist #1 in my book. Boris could also be a session leader on Jabber, VoIP and web application platforms.
  • Avi Bryant and Andrew Catton of Dabble DB could lead a session on Smalltalk and why it's relevant to Web 2.0 as well as why doing things differently makes sense
  • Dave Sifry (not a Vancouverite person yay!) could do a leadership "hack" session - the one at Moosecamp was fantastic from what I could tell
  • Paul Kedrosky (a sometime Vancouverite) could talk about On why you may not need Venture Capital for your startup, just do it with your own money!
  • Alexandra Samuel on what tech companies can learn from non profits and activist organizations.
  • Dick Hardt or one of his sxip folks could lead a session on Identity 2.0 what it is, why we need it. Dick also knows a tonne about running an open source startup!

From Stuart MacDonald | eBusiness and Marketing Geek.:


Our Web 2.0 Toronto Conference date and location are set. Mark May 8 and 9, 2006 at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto in your calendar. The keynotes and panels are shaping up nicely, and we will have a site up by mid-March with all the details.


Angel Investors - Amazing peek behind the curtain

Submitted by Roland on Wed, 2006-02-01 10:34

Read the whole thing!

From Life With Alacrity: On Being an Angel.:


In the last month or so I've received a number of links to Life With Alacrity as a venture capital blog, and to myself as a venture capitalist.

However, I don't consider myself a venture capitalist. Instead, I am what is known as an "angel investor".

This week has also seen a new topic enter the blog zeitgeist: the topic of reforming or reinventing venture capital. This topic was initially raised by Dave Winer, followed by Robert Scoble, Doc Searls, Michael Arrington, Thatedeguy and many more.

All types of venture investment -- seed, angel, venture, and institutional alike -- carry with it great risks and great rewards. But before we can reinvent venture capital and related venture funding methods like angel capital, we need to understand how it works.


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