Sunday, July 29, 2007

The “Internet is Dead” long live the Internet

by Mark Hewitt - July 29th, 2007

Last Wednesday Mark Cuban declared the Internet “Dead” -
"The Internet’s dead. It’s over." His basic point: The Internet has gone stagnant. The only "new application" on the World Wide Web of recent vintage was, in his view, YouTube -- which, unlike Cuban’s, ripped off the creative content of intellectual-property owners to build its video-based business.

From Cuban’s perspective I guess I would agree – here in North America – actually the United States specifically we have given over the keys to the kingdom to corporate types like Joseph Nacchio, former Qwest CEO – recently sentenced to six years in prison.

Unlike the U.S. market other countries push ahead with significant pushes toward national broadband strategies – and many smaller political divisions throughout the US market move ahead such as the Ohio rural broadband plan with all 88 counties due to participate.

So Long live the Internet!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The "Media Center" will Fail

A vision of the future

by Mark Hewitt - July 28th 2007

Our company "EcoSystem Partners" is founded on the premise that the Internet has caused a fundamental shift in the creation and delivery of Broadband services. The traditional model which combines the “Utility” nature of Infrastructure with the economics of “Services” has come to an end.

The Internet today can be delivered over an array of Infrastructure and thus the dependence of limiting supply to increase the demand no longer works. This has been proven as we have witnessed the largest bankruptcy cases in history with MCI and Global Crossing – followed by the reintegration of the RBOC’s to the New “AT&T”.

We continue to see Innovation bring about strong new products with examples like, Plaxo, MySpace, Google, and the list goes on. EcoSystem Partners believe that the old business model that calls for the restriction of access to bandwidth to increase the value is actually causing damage to our overall economy. Today we support efforts to bring about a careful blend of ownership of our Communications infrastructure and to create a separation between Infrastructure and Services. This separation of power is designed to promote responsibility over our core Communications Infrastructure and the services that improve our security and quality of life.

We see many business leaders today working toward a goal of bringing together bundles of products and services, designed to simplify product selection for consumers. Yet every time a product attempts to incorporate proprietary control they fail. I predict one of the largest failures will be seen in Microsoft’s “Media Center” it is too restrictive and content will only grow once it is free to do so.

This process accepts an element of risk that most investors and CEO’s are unable to deal with (the exception to date is Google) yet this process is well documented with a rich history of how success requires supplier to work in “Open Markets”. We know that consumers will choose not to buy when they are either confused or feel that they have no choice. Nobel mathematician John Nash has given us the proof which today continues to fuel an expanding World Market.

I encourage any and all comers willing to collaborate on this vision of the future to join with us in strategy, resources, marketing, and investment to grow a market where innovation is allowed to flourish.

Start by sending me a brief note of your interest and how either networking, collaboration, or joint efforts may help to bring about a successful venture.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Universial Broadband act of 2007

by Mark Hewitt
July 26th 2007

Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today introduced a bill supporting legislation to help make "Community Broadband" a reality for everyone.

The proposed leglislation is very careful to protect many of the existing business and development business and utility models currently expanding across the United States today.

The Community Broadband Act of 2005:

  • Ensures that no State prevents a municipality from offering high-speed internet access to its citizens if the municipality so chooses;
  • Ensures that when a municipality
    is in the position of regulator or competitor, it does not abuse such authority.
    For example, the municipality could not enact a three percent franchise fee on itself, but a five percent franchise on a competitor; and
  • Ensures that a municipality complies with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and any other federal or state telecommunications laws.
The measure is also sponsored by Senators Gordon Smith (R-OR), John Kerry (D-MA), John McCain (R-AZ), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

Monday, July 23, 2007

Light really bends

William Bookbinder's breakthrough in optical fiber will change the way we distribite information.

In an exclusive interview with Fortune senior writer Stephanie Mehta the Corning team shows off this new material.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Looking for Success in Failure

SunRocket's failure is a model of how not to invest

by Mark Hewitt - July 20th, 2007

The recent collapse of “SunRocket” one of the largest VoIP Venture funded startup’s in recent times is a strong indicator of a much larger issue of our times.

SunRocket which sacrificed long term revenues for short term gains in sales sold its future to satisfy an impatient financial market place. Players including the Mayfield Fund, Doll Capital Management and Anthem Capital Management placed unrealistic goals on the start up. This in combination with a business course that was too similar to the business model of a failing telecom market is a familiar pattern of failure in our current climate of business investment.

Just to show that I’m not picking on just these investors – remember “Genuity” a 2 billion dollar VoIP startup – that went down hill the day the doors were opened by trying to simply replace a legacy product with new technology.

An example of how to build a successful product

Consumers want choice and are always seeking simplicity – this has been at the foundation of the recent success of the “iPhone” by Apple. The iPhone success is predicated on the history already established by the iPod and combines the ability of consumers to have “Choice” one of the most elusive elements of success that most product companies and investors fail to understand.

Economic Game Theory

John Nash the Noble Prize winner for his work in Economic Sciences pioneered the analysis of equilibria in his theory of “non-cooperative games” – today referred to as “Modern Economic Game Theory” the application of this fundamental theory is at the core of very successful ventures.

SunRocket and their investors failed to apply this most fundamental basis of success proven time and time again. Companies like “Google” and business success as in Rupert Murdock’s media empire are fine examples of the application of these business basics.

Investors like (not unlike all of us) to repeat prior success yet we know that change is the basis of all things. This investment process seeking a direct or familar repeat a past success has a very limited rate of return. History has shown us that siginificant success has always been a break in the norm, Microsoft, Google, Henry Ford, are good examples of this pattern of success.

I will most likely be slammed for saying this however the failure of the SunRocket startup is a great example of how not to invest – VoIP is not a direct replacement of the legacy telephone industry – that is a failed model. Broadband however an opportunity for change – investors and executive teams must look past the technology and seek a plan that is adaptive.

Some related Articles:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Well it's not Technology - or maybe it is ;)

Wedding Day Bliss
by Mark Hewitt - July 8th 2007

This past Saturday my brother Carl and his now wife Larisa tied the knot - following the best part of a year in planning they pulled off one of the most impressive weddings that I will most likely ever be a part of.

I know that I try to keep things here focused on convergance and technology, yet this is a story about how such things improve our lives. Carl and Larisa took the time to collect and share their experiances with a very large collection of family members and friends.

One of the highlights is the same day edit done on the Wedding Video Go to Same Day Edit's Blog to see the video --> then go to the Image of Carl and Larisa to watch.

None of this would be possable without broadband and technology - quality of life stuff

Best wishes to Carl and Larisa