O'Reilly Radar: ETech 2007


Technology, hackers, Gibson, alpha-something-or-other, future, etc., etc., etc. You've heard the O'Reilly schtick before. Tim knows you've heard it before, so he skipped it and give as a new quote from Dale Doherty:

"You guys aren't pulling your weight around here. You're not having enough fun!"

Make Magazine is fun. People are doing what they do for the sheer joy of it. Snowboarding wasn't started as a business, rather for fun. Linus Torvald didn't start Linux for a business--he started it for fun.

Finally, the Gibson quote. Tim talks about his future son-in-law putting a design for a new kite surfing kite online on Monday and testing it on Friday--and it was built in China.

The power supply for the one-laptop-per-child project is a pull-string charger. Colin Bullhaup of Potenco says "We used to get mockups. Now we get new working prototypes on a weekly basis." Hardware design is starting to iterate like we do with software.

Chumby is open source hardware: a Web 2.0 clock radio "you can hack with a seam ripper." The business model is widget subscription. Get the hardware cost as low as possible.

Threadless.com is a custom order t-shirt shop with a twist. Users submit and vote on designs. Only when a design gets enough votes do they get manufactured. They've had 75,000 t0shirt designs submitted and made 800 of them that have all sold out. T-shirts today, motorcycles tomorrow.

In the future, we'll specify products in small lots, buy them just as they're made and recycle them immediately. (Refer to Bruce Sterling's talk from last year).

Since last year's focus on attention, a number of sites have become more promiscuous with data. Twitter is the latest. There's an etech Twitter. Facebook has a mini-feed.

I missed a whole big thing about prediction marketing and it's relation to the stock market. We may learn things from the stock market.

Tim brings up Peter Rips' Web 2.0 - Over and Out post. Tim says that Web 2.0 is really about systems that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. Web 2.0 is about the build-out of the Web. Where is the Web 2.0 address book? Not hear yet.

Amazon and Google don't so much get better result because of their superior algorithms as they do because they have better and more data.