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The Issue of Intellectual Property and The Free Culture

Motto: “From the earliest days at Apple, I realized that we thrived when we created intellectual property. If people copied or stole our software, we’d be out of business. If it weren’t protected, there’d be no incentive for us to make new software or product designs. If protection of intellectual property begins to disappear, creative companies will disappear or never get started. But there’s a simpler reason: It’s wrong to steal. It hurts other people. And it hurts your own character.” (Steve Jobs, as quoted in the biography by Walter Isaacson)
We are safe to assume that Bill Gates has the same philosophy when it comes to Intellectual Property for the simple fact that he made a fortune from IP. And many other Internet or media moguls do. The issue is not however as simple as Jobs described it for the simple fact that the Internet changed all the rules of the game when it comes to IP in some spaces.

Coca-Cola - original bottle patent

Coca-Cola - original bottle patent


Culture and Entertainment. In the cultural spaces, for example, the assumption from which most people start when they consume culture today is that culture should be free. Free open-air concerts, pirate websites and free content available on the Internet have created an idea in people’s minds that anything related to culture should be free. While in theory we can agree with this, there will always be the question of who’s paying the creators? Creating quality content takes time, talent, and dedication. The authors might have spent maybe years trying to create something valuable, but they are not able to cash. The solution is never free culture. It also can not come in the form of overpayment. How many of the movies you have seen lately were worth the price of admission? Regardless of the quality most of the DVDs cost almost the same. Let’s examine the case of the movies a little bit. I’ve just checked for some prices on the street and on-line and guess what I found? The last asian gore, a classic Dolph Lundgren feature, a simple chick flick and the last Tarantino costs the same. While this might be good news for somebody collecting movies in huge quantities regardless of the genre, in general it’s just a fact that helps the piracy even more, because some of the afore-mentioned movies might be of interest for purchasing just for the fans. Renting them on or offline is the usual solution, but it doesn’t solve the problem. The solution is deceptively simple: change the pricing and purchasing options. But how? Charging for quality is subjective (you never know how much somebody would pay for a certain movie) and also against the free culture mantra by all means, even tough it’s common practice (please check the pricing for the movies that won Oscars against those who haven’t, what do you notice?). This will remain an open problem, but purchasing options are definitely changing: from iTunes to Amazon and Hulu, entertainment and culture are available through all channels. We will not dive further into the pricing problem that is faced by the entertainment industry now. We will explore it with another occasion. One thing is clear: the desire for Free Culture and the mass adoption of piracy was not the public saying that they don’t want to pay for something, but rather the public saying that they are tired to eat crappy content and to search for years for certain albums or movies for the simple fact that the entertainment giant refuses to re-edit them. In certain countries where the payment was low and there was also a cultural gap (see former communist countries, for example) piracy flourished because publishing giants were ignorant when it came to their countries.
What happens to the software industry? Be warned that industry people and common people might understand different things through free software. As defined by Richard Stallman, Free Software is open software, software that comes with the code, but not really unpaid software. If you want you can have free software for which you pay. How does this sounds? Counterintuitive for sure. Free software is also software offered for free legally, software for which you don’t pay money. And of course, while we don’t like it, illegal software is also free, but nobody responds for it. Now here lies the true value: who responds for this software? Who responds if this software ruins my computer? If nobody does it, then you shouldn’t be using it because you don’t know if it’s safe to use it.
Intellectual Property at its strongest: Patents. Well this year was all about patents. Every major company had to fight at least a dozen process against patent trolls, but also against other major companies. It seems like nobody plays fair anymore. Without patents there will be no protection for new ideas, on one side, but also no source of income for inventors. And as we noticed already, it takes time and money to do something well. Patents are the real engine of the economy. They stimulate competition. Without them we will all be a bunch of copy/pasters, reduced to what the establishment already offers us, without any real capacity to bring disruptive ideas to the market. And yet even leading companies choose to eliminate it from their practices. We should all consider a patent as a recognition of his creator, an homage, as well as a guide to the invention.
Free Culture or Fear Culture? Free Culture is a recipient for disaster in any space. Can you image tourism thriving in a world of Free Culture? Not really. There is however a thriving fear culture that prospers in the shadow of Free Culture, a Fear Culture, a culture of people that are so scared by new ideas that they prefer to steal instead of experiment.

November 3, 2011 Permalink

The Entrepreneur’s Fear of Flying

I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” (Michael Jordan)
Fear of Flying. We’re not talking about Erica Jong’s novel about “zipless fuck” and sexual revolution as seen by a woman in the ’70s, but rather about those things that stop new entrepreneurs from flying high into the unlimited business space.
The term is not accidental, as some of the causes are related to meetings with other people and fear of success. We think one of the most important reasons for failing in business is the fear of failure. Why? Because it just stops you from experimenting new stuff and eventually it will stop you from creating innovative products and services. Ideas do not appear out of thin air every day so if you find some obstacles in your way you should not despair. Dealing with failure, trying to overcome obstacles might help you discover new things you didn’t knew about you or your company. It might even refocus your entire business on something else. How do you think Microsoft became such a huge player in the gaming zone?
Entrepreneurs can fall into different categories: from dreamers, to problem solvers, to doers, for example. Chances are if you are a dreamer you will not feel as comfortable as a problem solver when trying to overcome obstacles. Some solutions would be to move to another country (there are better conditions to develop certain types of businesses in Sillicon Valley or England than in Ukraine, for example) or to hire somebody to deal with all the operations you’re not good at.
Lack of financing should not be a problem, except for projects in expensive areas like automotive, space travel, search engines. Lack of a business model is a problem. If you just copy something there is no guarantee that you will achieve the success you are seeking. It’s not impossible, but it usually means to replicate something in another country. Some new service was launched in the Valley? Why shouldn’t I try this in Italy? Well, if it’s not the country that will get you into trouble, patents might do it, especially if the business is related to IT or consumer electronics.
If you want to succeed you always have to keep your mind open and to change your state of mind if something’s not working. Please remember Albert Einstein: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” If you want to be an entrepreuner, you have to be a motivational guru not just for your employees, but also for yourself.

Cowboy

Cowboy :)


An entrepreuner is like a cowboy: he has to take care of the cows (those that will give him the profit), but he also needs to build the farm (the company); he has to take care of his friends (not only employees, but basically all important people), but he has to be ready to shoot every time he is in danger (fire the unproductive people, otherwise he can loose money), and most of all he likes to explore the unknown and lead his herd (his company) to the promised land.
Today even big companies sometimes can enter into a zone where they fear they won’t be able to innovate anymore, but this should not stop you. Please keep in mind that nothing can stop a motivated man, not even the fear of flying. As long as you keep trying, and keep your focus so that you can pass the milestones from your business plan, great things can happen.

September 9, 2011 Permalink

Floating Cities – Why we are still far from the ’60s

Floating cities. When you hear this words you start thinking at some sci-fi TV series in which humans colonized the oceans, like SeaQuest, for example. Such projects where proposed for decades, but they never materialized. We actually got into a place where we are far from the ’60s optimism when it comes to colonizing the oceans, space travel or artificial intelligence (the last flight of the space shuttle is a good argument for this). The reason why we are still far from the ’60s dreams is not related to the end of the Cold War (even tough that is part of the reason), but rather to the fact that we lost the art of rapid prototyping and the desire to experiment with anything that was characteristic to that age.
Floating City
The free floating cities is major news this week, but only between the lines (read: lost between the Google-Motorola deal, football and the aftermath of the London riots and the Oslo re-enactment). Peter Thiel, member of the PayPal Mafia and renowned Facebook investor, gave 1,25 billions to The Seasteading Institute run by Patri Friedman, ex-Googler and the nephew of Milton Friedman (the famous economist). The main reason for this investment seems to be the fact that Thiel loved Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged and believes that people should have the liberty to choose the governments they want. Cities that would flow on the international waters, usually built on oil-rig platforms and cruise technology, might help us do exactly that. These would be outside any international regulations, so they will provide interesting experiments in the area of the self-governing communities. The first platform will be launched next year, and probably by 2018 they will be recognized by the United Nations. That’s the year when SeaQuest begins! Another sci-fi story becoming reality?

August 19, 2011 Permalink

Original Online Money & Business Ideas

dollar

www.TheMillionDollarSearch.com & www.Macoway.com welcomes you to the MillionDollar Blog – Ideas That Made 1 mil $ or more !

Million dollar business ideas have no boundaries, age limits, race restrictions, time lines, or economic class. They can occur when you least expect them.

For psychologist Roger Adams, it occurred during a midlife crisis and divorce. For management consultant Mercia Tapping, it happened after a 10-year battle with allergies and the search for a cure. Ruta Fox was a freelancer running out of work when she said “Ah” to her “Aha” moment. Searching for the million dollar business idea is less a product of business planning and market research and more born from observation and frustration.

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10 Examples:

1. Million Dollar Homepage

1000000 pixels, charge a dollar per pixel.

2. PickyDomains

Hire another person to think of a cool domain name for you?

3. Doggles

Create goggles for dogs and sell them online?

4. LaserMonks

LaserMonks.com is a for-profit subsidiary of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank, an eight-monk monastery in the hills of Monroe County, 90 miles northwest of Madison.

5. AntennaBalls

You can’t sell antenna ball online. There is no way. And surely it wouldn’t make you rich. But this is exactly what Jason Wall did, and now he is now a millionaire.

6. FitDeck

Create a deck of cards featuring exercise routines, and sell it online for $18.95. Sounds like a disaster idea but former Navy SEAL and fitness instructor Phil Black reported last year sales of $4.7 million. Surely beats what military pays.

7. PositivesDating.Com

How would you like to go on a date with an HIV positive person? Paul Graves and Brandon Koechlin thought that someone would, so they created a dating site for HIV positive folks last year. Projected 2006 sales are $110,000, and the two hope to have 50,000 members by their two-year mark.

8. Designer Diaper Bags

Christie Rein was tired of carrying diapers around in a freezer bag. The 34-year-old mother of three found herself constantly stuffing diapers for her infant son into freezer bags to keep them from getting scrunched up in her purse. Rein wanted something that was compact, sleek and stylish, so in November 2004, she sat down with her husband, Marcus, who helped her design a custom diaper bag that’s big enough to hold a travel pack of wipes and two to four diapers. With more than $180,000 in sales for 2005, Christie’s company, Diapees & Wipees, has bags in 22 different styles, available online and in 120 boutiques across the globe for $14.99.

9. SantaMail

Ok, how’s that for a brilliant idea. Get a postal address at North Pole, Alaska, pretend you are Santa Claus and charge parents 10 bucks for every letter you send to their kids? Well, Byron Reese sent over 200000 letters since the start of the business in 2001, which makes him a couple million dollars richer.

10. Lucky Wishbone Co.

Fake wishbones. Now, this stupid idea is just destined to flop. Who in the world needs FAKE PLASTIC wishbones? A lot of people, it turns out. Now producing 30,000 wishbones daily (they retail for 3 bucks a pop) Ken Ahroni, the company founder, expects 2006 sales to reach $1 million.

August 19, 2011 Permalink

Top Earning Sites – WebSites That Make Constantly Millions $$$ Over The Internet

The list of the top 30 earning websites in the world, for some of these websites, $50 million in revenue a day is just a typical day. This Websites Are Business aren’t they ? And it was all created in the last 10 or so years! How many business dream to make this money in this short period of time ? Well, now, you have them in one place.

The TOP 30 Websites That Make > 1$/sec on the internet.

Rank Website Founders Annual Revenue Per Second
1 Larry Page and Sergey Brin $21,800,000,000 $691.27
2 Jeff Bezos $19,166,000,000 $607.75
3 Jerry Yang and David Filo $7,200,000,000 $228.31
4 Pierre Omidyar $6,290,000,000 $199.45
5 Nathan Myhrvold. $3,214,000,000 $101.92
6 Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, and Luke Nosek, $2,250,000,000 $71.35
7 Jeff Robbin $1,900,000,000 $60.25
8 Marshal Vace $1,892,000,000 $59.99
9 Jesse Fink $1,884,000,000 $59.74
10 Added Mark Schroeder $1,447,000,000 $45.88
11 Reed Hastings $1,200,000,000 $38.05
12 Terry Jones $1,100,000,000 $34.88
13 Nick Swinmurn $1,000,000,000 $31.71
14 David Litman $1,000,000,000 $31.71
15 Erik Prince $968,000,000 $30.70
16 Jeff Katz $870,000,000 $27.59
17 Robert Brazell $834,000,000 $26.45
18 Tom Anderson $800,000,000 $25.37
19 Niklas Zennstrom $550,841,000 $17.47
20 Zhang Chaoyang $429,000,000 $13.60
21 Robb Brock $400,000,000 $12.68
22 Eric Baker $400,000,000 $12.68
23 Jack Ma $316,000,000 $10.02
24 Mark Zuckerberg $300,000,000 $9.51
25 Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, $300,000,000 $9.51
26 Mark Vadon $295,000,000 $9.35
27 Stephen Kaufer $260,000,000 $8.24
28 Mark Getty $233,200,000 $7.39
29 Garry Itkin $207,000,000 $6.56
30 Henry Jarvis Raymond $175,000,000 $5.55


August 15, 2011 Permalink

How to become a Millionaire.

piggybankwallpaper
A man walked into a bank in New York City one day and asked for the loan officer.

He told the loan officer that he was going to Philippines on business for two weeks and needed to borrow $5,000. The bank officer told him that the bank would need some form of security for the loan.

Then the man handed over the keys to a new Ferrari parked on the street in front of the bank. He produced the title and everything checked out The loan officer agreed to accept the car as collateral for the loan.The bank’s president and its officers all enjoyed a good laugh at the guy for using a $250,000 Ferrari as collateral against a $5,000 loan.

An employee of the bank then drove the Ferrari into the bank’s underground garage and parked it there.Two weeks later, the guy returned, repaid the $5,000 and the interest, which came to $15.41.

The loan officer said, “Sir, we are very happy to have had and this transaction has worked out very nicely, but we are a little puzzled. While you were away, we checked you out and found that you are a multi millionaire. What puzzles us is, why would you bother to borrow “$5,000″.

The millionaire replied: “Where else in New York City can I park my car for $15.41 and expect it to be there when I return”

Well thats how the rich stay rich, they know a lot more about Money Management. All the millionaires I have met in my life were penny wise. Look after your cents and the Dollars will look after themselves.

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Before opting to pay online, one should have his or her credit report in black and white. Often the fact that your credit card is offering you home insurance or term life insurance remains unknown to the consumer, hence the numerous applications for various loans.

August 12, 2011 Permalink

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