Archive for July, 2007

Tale of two commercials

Friday, July 27th, 2007


Mauricio had just posted about the ads for Nokia N95 , now compare those ads for the iPhone. Which one is going to be more effective ???

Apparently, there are only 12 types of commercials.(iPhone is a “Demo” and the N95 is a “parody”.) Who knew ?!?

Smaps – 1 year old today

Friday, July 27th, 2007


Customer behaviour on eBay => tips for Trade Me users

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Seth Godin has just posted about an article on Customer Behaviour on eBay.

Key findings:

  • More than 43% of people bid more than the “Buy Now” price.
  • Buyers are attracted to lower start prices. (Even when shipping is extra.)
  • Bidding strategy is mixed, timing is key to get final bids for an auction.

I would like to add some basic observations from my previous auction experiences:

  • Looking for bargains, search for “mis-spelled” items. Sometimes you’ll get get a bargain as people can’t find it.
  • Do some research on your sellers. High ratings doesn’t necessarily mean good service.
  • If a seller is using western union as a payment then its a scam.
  • If you’re unsure about the seller, use safe trader or paypal.

Venture Hacks

Friday, July 20th, 2007

Just discovered the Venture Hacks blog on venture capital, from a response to Paul Graham’s essay on “The Equity Equation”.

It has some great advice on


Friday, July 20th, 2007


Tech / Design


SOA and Web 2.0

Wednesday, July 18th, 2007

Here’s a good article from e-week about Web 2.0 and SOA. It illustrates how “Web 2.0” principles are being used to reshape how companies are looking at the design of internal applications and services.

From the article, it talks about how H&R Block are re-designing a number of applications as web services.

Dan Cahoon was looking for a way to streamline staffing operations at tax company H&R Block, the nation’s largest seasonal employer. Rather than use traditional desktop-based software for the job, the senior systems architect at H&R Block was able to deliver SOA-connected AJAX portlets to more than 12,000 branch offices for temporary work spaces to meet the company’s staffing needs.

Cahoon’s example illustrates the growing trend of merging Web 2.0 technologies with SOA (service-oriented architecture) to address issues normally handled through PC-based software, resulting in faster, cheaper and more flexible solutions….

And the business people can start to build useful applications from other data feeds, ala popfly / yahoo pipes.

….This trend touches on RIAs (rich Internet applications), mashups, AJAX, RSS, REST (Representational State Transfer) and other Web 2.0 areas. Now being referred to as Enterprise 2.0, the Web 2.0 technologies are helping to create rich interactive front ends to SOA back-end systems. In addition, line-of-business users who typically are nondevelopers can take services and build mashups without IT involvement—a potential boon for productivity but also a possible problem without proper governance.

This also raises some important questions about SOA, webservices and a like. We’re going to need to figure out ways to evaluate the capabilities of the different services. As SOA are evolving very quickly, it will be really hard to pick the right services and frameworks to achieve the objectives.

Food for thought.

Goodnight Australian ZoomIn Map API's

Monday, July 16th, 2007

The ZoomIn Mapping System in Australia has been shutdown as of this morning (16/07/07).

We’ve shutdown the API, as its not viable for us to continue to run the API when there’s no level playfield for map data licensing.

We’d like to thank our customers for their business over the last 12 months.

If you’re looking for an alternative mapping system, please refer to either:

The Team from ProjectX and SDX

From the horses mouth…

Friday, July 13th, 2007

The 37 signals guys created a post where you could ask them anything.

I decided that I would asked them something that has been bugging me a little bit after reading “Getting Real” about how they manage multiple products.

You guys have a number of products and a small team. How do you prioritize the work on your products? (How does Getting Real apply to multiple projects ?)

Their response…

There’s no real science behind it. Different people are working on different things all the time. One person usually works on one product at a time. If it’s a bigger update or requires additional expertise then two or three people may pitch in. Sometimes a designer and programmer work together. Other times it may just be a designer and other times just a programmer.

Sometimes some products go untouched for a few months or more. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s often good to let things just be the way they are for a good while. Then we’ll come back armed with a lot of good longer-term feedback and decide what to work on next.

Well, that all makes makes sense and fits in with their whole approach.

So if there is anything you want to know about Getting Real or 37 signals, now is the time to ask !


Thursday, July 12th, 2007



Moving the ProjectX site…

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

We’re moving the main ProjectX website to our production environment, away from our office network. This should help speed up the site, so it doesn’t get hammered by our office trafiic.

The DNS should have propagated, so everything should be fine.