InsideGoogle

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Google Gadgets Now Run On Mac’s Dashboard

Google Desktop’s Gadgets are now cross-platform compatible with Apple’s Mac OS X Dashboard. That means you can run Gadgets alongside Widgets in the Dasboard, on Google’s Sidebar, and on the iGoogle personalized homepage, making them amazingly versatile, and letting Google’s platform pick up the slack when Dashboard is missing something important. If Google does the same for Windows Vista, and helps Gadgets run on Vista’s Sidebar, that would be amazing.

November 29th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Products, Desktop | one comment



Gmail Adds IMAP Support

Google has added IMAP access to Gmail, letting you use that protocol to access your email. IMAP, or Internet Message Access Protocol, is one way of accessing your email from outside Gmail (POP3 is the other), that works better syncing with mobile devices than POP3. According to Wikipedia, advantages of IMAP over POP3 include:

  • Connected and disconnected modes of operation - IMAP users stay connected to the server so long as they are using the email client, allowing for message content downloading on demand. POP3 users must download all the new messages first.
  • Multiple clients can simultaneously connect to the same mailbox
  • Can retrieve parts of a message as needed, instead of the whole message, like portions of a MIME structure or the text of an email without the attachments.
  • Can flag message states on the server, marking them as read or replied to or other things on the server, making syncing them with multiple devices possible
  • Interaction between multiple mailboxes on the server, including moving messages between boxes.
  • Searching the mailbox on the server side is possible
  • Allows extensions

Disadvantages include increased complexity, increased server resource usage, slow connections over mobile devices, and a requirement to transmit sent messages twice.

What does this mean? The biggest advantage for IMAP is that it works real well with multiple computers and mobile devices (albeit slower), meaning you can access your email from a Windows Mobile device or iPhone, or from your laptop, home computer and work computer, and have messages remain synced among all of them, almost like having an Exchange Server.

Read how to set it up here.

This video explains how to set up IMAP on the iPhone:

October 24th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Services, Gmail, Email | one comment

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iPhone Boosting Google Maps Usage

Om Malik reports that Google’s Marissa Mayer is saying Google Maps usage has shot up sharply since the iPhone was released in July, and hasn’t stopped rising. It appears the 1 million-plus iPhone users really like Maps, making it possibly the killer application for the phone. Hopefully Google will take this to heart and put more attention to the versions of Google Maps on other platforms.

While I like the version of Google Maps on my Windows Mobile phone, Google’s iPhone success shows that some better attention to detail, especially in the interface, as well as preloading agreements, can make a huge difference. Get Google Maps preloaded on a lot of phones, and you’ll probably see similar success.

iPhone photo by Steve Garfield under CC

September 18th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Google Maps, Services, Microsoft | one comment

Bloglines Has A Console

bloglines-console.png

One think I loved about Quake and other shooters was hitting the tilde (~) key and bringing up the console and learning all the cool things you could make the game do by messing with it, inputting commands. Turns out the developers of the new Bloglines have included in it a console, too, and you can do a few things.

To bring up the console, hit the tilde key on your keyboard. It should be to the left of the “1″ key. You don’t actually need to hit tilde, leaving out the shift key and hitting “`” will also do.

You will see this message first, followed by a command line:

Welcome to
_ _ _ _
| |__ | | ___ __ _| (_)_ __ ___ ___
| '_ \| |/ _ \ / _` | | | '_ \ / _ \/ __|
| |_) | | (_) | (_| | | | | | | __/\__ \
|_.__/|_|\___/ \__, |_|_|_| |_|\___||___/
|___/ v3.0 (beta)
Proudly Made On Earth!

Type “help echo” and hit Enter to see a list of commands. Currently, it will return this:

# help echo
commands:
echo
set
show
type help command_name for specific help

Any command listed there can be further explained by typing help, then the name of the command. Obviously, “help echo” you just did, but “help set” shows you some parameters you can change. Currently, it gives you this:

# help set
set usage:
set hotkey action key
set theme theme_name
set text text_color
set background background_color

You can set certain action keys, different themes, different text colors and different background colors. you can use the show command to see what of those are available to you to set. Type “help show” and get this:

# help show
show usage:
show hotkeys
show keys
show themes
show profile

Problem is, the show command is disabled, so you’ll have to guess at the “set” commands. “set text” works, but it changes the text color of the console itself. For example, type “set text blue” and it will change the console text to blue. You can keep changing it, then switch to black to make it normal again.

bloglines-console-easier.png

You can also use “set background” to change the background color of the console. The console is much more readable with a black background and white text, so do that. Type first “set text white”, then “set background black”.

Trying to set a theme with “set theme” will fail unless you know a theme name, and I haven’t been able to find any. Another command that works is “clear”, which clears console output.

While I discovered the console last week and didn’t have enough time to play around with it, credit goes to TechOpus for discovering the “help” command that really got the ball rolling. If you can find any other commands comment below or use the contact form and we can further crack this thing open together.

September 17th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Ask, Blogs, AOL, General | one comment

Apple’s iPhone Ad Was A Fake

Remember last Thursday, when Apple and Nokia were running dueling ads about the iPhone price cut? Turns out only Nokia’s ad was run by the actual company. “Didn’t You Hear” admits to running the ad, mostly to get some laughs. It wasn’t a terrible idea, what with it pulling a clickthrough rate of 12.72%. Apple, of course, wasn’t so pleased.
(via Gizmodo)

September 9th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Humor, AdWords, Advertising | no comments

Nokia and Apple Dogfight In Google Ads

Hilarious little story developed today around some Google AdWords ads. After Apple dropped the price of the iPhone, Nokia bought ads for “iphone price drop” on Google, saying, “Sorry, Early Adopters. iPhone drops $200. Salvage yours with free content at MOSH. mosh.nokia.com”. The ads are referencing Nokia’s Mosh social network, which Nokia figured it could pump while taking a jab at Apple and reaching out to Apple’s angry early adopters.

Apple struck back nicely, running an ad (and outbidding Nokia to get the top spot) saying, “Congrats, Late Adopters. iPhone drops $200. Now you get all the iPhone for 2/3 the price. store.apple.com”. Apple’s ad doesn’t make a good point, not saying anything for the early adopters, but it’s funny, and that’s what matters in such silly fights.

Besides, Apple got the most important last word, giving $100 in free store credit at any Apple Store or the online Apple Store. That’s the kind of credit that makes it all worth it, right? You can spend some of it on a giant adapter to use your luxury phone with a regular pair of headphones, I guess.

Story via Search Engine Land, as is the screenshot.

September 6th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, AdWords, Advertising | 2 comments



Google Search, iPhone Version

Google has released a special iPhone-formatted version of its search engine. Besides being sized properly for the smaller screen, Ionut Alex explains that it is actually an implementation of Google’s AJAX Search API, and comes with the limitations of that API. You only get eight results (web search, news, and images), and clicking to see more only brings you to the regular sized Google. Plus, the back button probably won’t work. Still, it looks like it works well on a phone.

You’d think the iPhone would launch with a special Google search capability, given Google’s incestuous relationship with Apple. At least, since it uses a public API, anyone else can try their hand at changing the design or adding other API functions, like Custom Search Engines, blog search, and video search (not that any of the video can play on the iPhone).

UPDATE: A Google spokesperson contacted me and clarified that this is not the iPhone version of Google search, but rather a developer demonstration showing how the AJAX search API can be used in iPhone applications:

We actually haven’t launched an iPhone-formatted version of the Google search engine. The page in question is a demo the AJAX Search team created to illustrate how developers might use the AJAX Search API in their own iPhone web apps. It’s not an official interface for Google search. (See the original blog post here: http://googleajaxsearchapi.blogspot.com/2007/07/feed-discovery-api-and-ajax-search-on.html).

Very cool. So, developers can use the API and integrate it into their iPhone apps, and probably even give it a cool iPhone-like UI while they’re at it. That’s all. Of course, you can use the demo page on your iPhone, as long as it is available.

July 23rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Search, General | no comments

Google Wins, Like, Every Webware Award

You Gotta love the Webware 100 Awards. With ten winners per category, every multi-billion-dollar corporation can win multiple times, often in every category! Gee, it’s just like the Oscars!

Here’s what Google won:

Google Reader won in the Browsing category, Gmail won in the Communications category, Google won in the Data category, YouTube won in the Media category, GOOG-411 won in the Mobile category*, Gmail Mobile won in the Mobile category, Google Maps Mobile won in the Mobile category, Google AdWords/AdSense won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Google Calendar won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Google Docs won in the Productivity and Commerce category, Blogger, won in the Publishing category, Feedburner in the Publishing category, Google Analytics won in the Publishing category, and Google Maps won in the reference category.

Other companies:

My Yahoo - Browsing; Yahoo Mail - Communication, Yahoo Messenger - Communications; Yahoo Search - Data; Flickr - Media; Yahoo Video - Media; Yahoo OneSearch - Mobile; Yahoo Maps - Reference.

Internet Explorer - Browsing; Windows Live Hotmail - Communications; Windows Live Messenger - Communications; Windows Live Search - Data; TellMe - Mobile; Microsoft Office Live - Productivity and Commerce; Silverlight - Publishing; Microsoft Virtual Earch - Reference.

Everyone else makes an appearance, and in most categories, every major player is a winner. I love award shows where everyone wins. It’s like those Little Leagues where everyone gets a trophy and no one learns to be an adult.
(via The Google Analytics Blog)

* - cough, bullshit, cough. It’s a brand new service, and unless it feeds the homeless, it deserves nothing yet. Category filler.

July 11th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Calendar, Amazon, Ask, Analytics, Reader, eBay, Apple, PayPal, Docs, Spreadsheets, YouTube, Blogger, Google Maps, AdWords, Search, Advertising, Gmail, Email, AOL, Microsoft, AdSense, Products, Services, Yahoo, General | 5 comments

Google Video Downloads Working On iPhone As Well

Engadget reports that Google Video is working out quite nicely for iPhone users. While video can’t be watched on Google Video, and embedded Google Videos don’t work as well, because of the iPhone’s lack of Flash support, Google Video is the rare video service that lets you download the videos. You can download most videos, but not all, and get them in “iPod/PSP” format, and play them in the iPhone’s video player. Pretty convenient, and just another reason I like to upload videos to both YouTube and Google Video.

Two things I’m wondering:

  • What does Google gain by building these applications for the iPhone? I mean, two of the best and unique things on the iPhone are the improved Google Maps application and YouTube, and in the case of YouTube, Google is giving up bandwidth from a money-losing service, in a method that makes even less money than the standard website!
  • Why hasn’t Adobe gotten Flash on mobile devices? Flash was going to become the de-facto standard for easy internet video, but the lack of Flash on smartphones is forcing YouTube to re-encode into H.264. I think Adobe just missed their chance, big time.

July 2nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | YouTube, Apple, Google Video, Services, General | one comment

Apple’s iPhone Coming With YouTube Application

Apple has revealed the well-anticipated “twelfth application” for its iPhone: YouTube. A page on Apple’s website explains that the iPhone, which ships a week from today, will come with a dedicated YouTube browser. Launch it, and it shows a list of YouTube videos, organized under three tabs: Featured, Most Viewed and Bookmarks, with additional tabs for searching for videos, and one just labeled More. Click on a video and it launches full-screen in the iPhone (which means turning the device sideways).

Here’s the TV ad Apple has produced to promote the feature:

Apple also released finally the update that allows Apple TVs to play YouTube videos. Both work on the same platform, playing videos that have been recoded into H.264 format. Apple says:

To achieve higher video quality and longer battery life on mobile devices, YouTube has begun encoding their videos in the advanced H.264 format, and iPhone will be the first mobile device to use the H.264-encoded videos. Over 10,000 videos will be available on June 29, and YouTube will be adding more each week until their full catalog of videos is available in the H.264 format this fall.

Saying iPhone is the first mobile device to get them would seem to imply that Apple does not have an exclusive agreement with YouTube. Hopefully, Google will realize that this benefits them in no way (unless Apple bought a monopoly) and allow all mobile devices to use the re-formatted videos. I can’t wait for Windows Mobile to get a YouTube client.

Engadget has details on Apple TV’s implementation.

Blogging Stock talks with a wireless expert, who says Apple must be misleading customers, since EDGE network speeds (which iPhone is exclusive to) are too slow for YouTube. He’s probably wrong, since Apple is touting specifically the use of YouTube on Wifi and EDGE, so they must know that the YouTube videos have been encoded low enough to be streamed even over EDGE. He is right about one thing: Few people with wifi phones use it, except in very specific circumstances, especially if they have a data plan.

It’s funny, but Helio, another mobile provider, is trying to charge its users for YouTube access $5.99 (presumably per month), actually blocking them from accessing m.youtube.com (luckily there’s a workaround behind that link). Gizmodo seems convinced that YouTube streaming on the iPhone won’t work over EDGE, thus saving AT&T money as customers use someone else’s hotspot. Interesting theory.

June 22nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | YouTube, Apple, Services, General | one comment

YouTube Coming To Apple TV, YouTube Adding H.264

While the jury is still out on whether anyone actually needs an Apple TV, the iTunes streaming device is getting a new feature: YouTube. Sometime in the middle of this month, a software update to the device will add wireless YouTube streaming. While YouTube will be added to the device this month, the entire YouTube catalog will not be available until the fall. Why?

Apparently, Google is re-encoding every single YouTube video into H.264 format, which will allow playback on devices that do not support Flash and Flash Video, like the Apple TV, the iPhone, and many other portable devices. That’s amazing news for everyone, even those who don’t own an Apple TV, because it should mean the ability to download YouTube videos, probably in higher quality, and without any sort of hack. It’s a big move for YouTube, and I can’t wait to see the transition.

When I upload videos, I put them on YouTube and Google Video, and the only reason I use Google Video is that you can download videos from there. Uploading to Google Video can sometimes fail for no reason, so it’d be great to upload to YouTube and be done with it. Hopefully we’ll know more about this next week.

Also, YouTube signed a deal with EMI for allowing their music on YouTube, giving them all four major record labels. Now you can upload music and music videos without worrying much about it.

And RealPlayer is adding a feature that allows you to download YouTube videos, save them, burn them, watch them offline. Seems kind of redundant if the H.264 downloads happen, but we’ll see.

June 8th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | YouTube, Apple, Services, General | one comment



iPhone Ad Features Google Maps

Last night, the first iPhone ads (not including the annoying “Hello” teaser) were revealed, along with the product’s release date. Interestingly, the ads were little more than super-polished segments that could have been lifted right from a Jobs keynote, demoing features for the viewer (something you almost never see anymore). You can read more about it at Apple Watch, but I wanted to focus on the one ad (out of 3) that was more an ad for Google Maps than the iPhone itself:

Odd that Google Maps is considered a major iPhone feature, but when you consider the fact that the iPhone does a small number of things in a unique way, I guess it is. The Google Maps UI on the phone is certainly cool, and I’m sure Google would love that Apple is paying money for ads that focus on its product, except…

The ad never once says “Google Maps”. Not even in tiny text hidden way in the background. Damn. Talk about a lost opportunity for Google. Maybe they should have demanded better branding in the app.

June 4th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Google Maps, Services, General | 4 comments

Google: #1 Most Desirable Employer

Fortune asked MBA candidates the places where they most desire to work, and Google topped the list. The top 10:

  • 1. Google
  • 2. McKinsey & Company
  • 3. Goldman Sachs
  • 4. Bain & Company
  • 5. Boston Consulting Group
  • 6. Apple
  • 7. Microsoft
  • 8. General Electric
  • 9. Nike
  • 10. Bank of America

Where do you want to work most? Me, I want to work in a candy factory. As long as they have good dental.

20.58% of all questioned listed Google in their top 5, compared with 10.78% for Apple, 7.82% for Microsoft, 4.8% for Yahoo (#22), 4.71% for IBM (#23), 4.24% for Amazon (#26), 2.96% for eBay (#42), 2.37% for Dell (#53), 2.13% for HP (#59), 2.05% for Time Warner (#63), and 1.78% for the CIA (#74). Glad to see a good number of the top 10 are soul-sucking investment companies.
(via MacNN > Findory)

May 8th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Amazon, eBay, Apple, Culture, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, General | no comments

YouTube Wars Enter Third Stage

It’s official, we are definitely in the middle of a massive multi-industry war on the level of the RIAA/filesharing and other major technology wars of recent memory. Today, the war entered its third major stage, with many of the opposition joining forces to announce a YouTube competitor, coming this summer.

The chronology:

Pre-war ops: Various companies and startups enter the video sharing arena. YouTube (2/15/2005), Revver (11/2005), Break(1/2006), Blip (5/2005), Metacafe (7/2003) and many others form, hoping to gain the user base to eventually make money. Google Video (4/13/2005), MySpace Video (1/23/2006), MSN Soapbox (10/2006), and other major companies try to gain a foothold into the emerging market, and other small players get bought up by large companies trying to gain a share of the pie, including iFilm (acquired by MTV 10/15/2005) and Vimeo (acquired by IAC 8/2006).

Catalysts: December 17, 2005: Saturday Night Live presents Lazy Sunday. Spurred by the popularity of the video, which NBCU later demands be removed, YouTube gains many new users and media attention. YouTube has hit the mainstream, and has never looked back.

Stage I - The Alliance: November 13, 2006: Google annexes YouTube. Mere hours after both Google’s own Google Video and YouTube signed treaties with major music companies, Google trades $1.65 billion in stock for control of YouTube’s mindshare and army of loyal users.

Stage II - First Strike: February 2, 2007: Viacom demands Google remove over 100,000 videos, and March 13, 2007, Viacom sued Google for one billion dollars, striking at the popular YouTube, which is rapidly becoming a significant competitor for its audience. Viacom’s lawsuit, if successful, would open the door for similar lawsuits by every video copyright holder on Earth, burying YouTube and bankrupting the service. It is a battle YouTube cannot afford to lose.

Stage III - The Coalition: March 22, 2007 (today): NBC/Universal (NBC, General Electric) and News Corporation (FOX, MySpace), two of the largest forces in television, announce a competitor to YouTube. The service, a joint effort of the two, will launch this summer, will pool content from TV shows on NBC and FOX networks.

The joint service will give preferred access to those videos to Google’s main competitors, Microsoft’s MSN and Yahoo, as well as Time Warner’s AOL and News Corp.’s MySpace, shutting out Google from important content, and opening it up to more lawsuits if users upload NBC/FOX content to YouTube.

This mega-coalition, NBC/U-NewsCorp/FOX/MySpace-MSN-Yahoo-AOL, represents a huge threat to Google/YouTube. They have the media clout, advertising partners, web traffic, and money to beat back YouTube, which has not (and thus far cannot) developed the revenue streams for Google to use in this combat. While Microsoft and Yahoo have not found a way to beat Google at search, the keys to the internet, they can use YouTube to bleed Google dry, and thus making this a win-win for every single internet company that joins the fight.

The fact is, you may like Google, but Google is bad news for every large internet corporation. It is too large, too scary, too capable of being a threat in other companies backyards. Google has one hit, but in it holds the keys to creating future ones, by designing or buying companies and taking over verticals. It is in the best interest of every Microsoft/Yahoo/AOL/IAC/MySpace on the internet that Google just go away. Superpowers make competition difficult, while a splintered market is great for all to compete in.

Can Google win this one? Can Google outspend its rivals? Can Google someone not have to spend away all its cash on a defense? Was YouTube Google’s biggest mistake? We’ll see.

I can’t wait for Stage IV. My guess: YouTube wins a deal with the only remaining network, ABC. Google CEO Eric Schmidt uses his position on Apple’s board to leverage negotiations with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, a Disney board member, to put Disney/ABC content on YouTube. Possible future moves: An iTunes collaboration for Google, and a settlement with Viacom that saves Google from a dangerous legal precedent.

March 22nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Ask, Apple, YouTube, Google Video, Services, AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, General | 2 comments

Google’s Eric Schmidt: The Next CEO Of Apple?

eric-schmidt-as-steve-jobs.jpg

This is some startling news: According to Doug Kass at TheStreet.com, Apple is preparing for a situation where CEO Steve Jobs will have to step down, temporarily, to deal with a stock options backdating scandal. If that does happen, the Apple board member who would likely take the reins of the company until his return: None other than Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

The idea of this sort of thing happening is so mind-boggling that I refuse to believe it to be true, but if it did happen, the possibilities are endless. Schmidt is obviously already very familiar with Apple, as a result of being a board member for the last half-year (and it is possible he is on the board only because of this scandal), and both Google and Apple share a common enemy, but I can’t imagine two huge tech companies having the same head. This sort of thing has to be unprecedented, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there are laws for this situation, and if Schmidt would have to step down from Google, even temporarily.

What happens if Apple has to release a major product while Schmidt is the temp CEO? Do they wait for Steve to return? Not likely. In that case, either Schmidt will run the keynote, in a style that will never compare to that of Steve Jobs, or maybe someone else at Apple, someone charismatic, will run product announcements in the interim. Is Jonathan Ive charismatic?

The other big question is what sort of changes Schmidt would make. While a temporary CEO will be asked not to make any changes, the simple day-to-day stuff can represent major shifts by themselves. Google’s corporate culture is more a function of company cofounders Page and Brin, and not Schmidt, but it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that there’s no way Schmidt is as privacy-paranoid as Jobs has been. With Schmidt at the reins, I could see fewer cases of Apple suing enthusiasts and blogs, and maybe even a little more openness and transparency from the company.

Even if Schmidt takes over for just a few months, we could see some interesting shifts in policy at the iPod company. If he makes a loud decision, one that shows that speaking with your customers can help Apple, it will be hard for Jobs to ignore when he makes his return.
(via Mac Rumors > Digg)

February 6th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Culture, General | one comment

Google CEO Eric Schmidt On Stage With iPhone

iphone-google-eric-shmidt.jpg

Apple introduced the iPhone today (you can read more about that at Apple Watch, and get my very long op-ed on it at InsideMicrosoft), and joining Steve Jobs onstage for about a minute was none other than Google CEO and Apple board member, Eric Schmidt. Schmidt was there to announce that Google Maps and Google search would be built into the iPhone. Photos from Engadget, as well as these quotes:

iphone-google-maps.jpg

Steve Jobs

“From google what we have on the phone is google search built right into the browser and google maps. We’ve been working closely with them.. it’s my pleaseure now to introduce Dr. Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO.”

Eric Schmidt:

“I’ve had the privilege of joining the board and there’s a lot of relationships… if we merge the companies we can call it Applegoo — but I’m not a marketing guy. You can actually merge without merging. Each company should do the absolutely best thing they can do every time, and he’s shown it today.”

“We can take the enormous brain trust of the Apple team and the open protocols of companies like google and put them in an environment for end users. From a gooogle perspective we’ve pushed very hard to partner with Apple and working with many many different data service, — Steve showed a little bit. It comes together seamlessly. This is the first of a whole new generation…”

“Steve, my congratulations to you, this product is going to be HOT.”

iphone-google-maps-satellite.jpg

January 9th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Google Maps, Services, Search, General | 3 comments

Google Guys Climbing The Forbes 400

Forbes updated their list of the 400 richest Americans, and the Google guys have climbed a few spots. Previously tied at 16th (and before that, 43rd), Sergey Brin is now the 12th riches man in the world at $14.1 billion, while Larry Page is just behind him, his $14.0 billion netting the 13th spot. Last year, they had $11 billion, so the extra $3 billion moved them past Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer. CEO Eric Schmidt gained $1.2 billion to jump seven spots.

Other notables:

#1 - Bill Gates - Microsoft - 53.0 billion
#4 - Larry Ellison - Oracle - 19.5
#5 - Paul Allen - Microsoft - 16.0
#7 - Michael Dell - Dell Computer - 15.5
#12 - Sergey Brin - Google - 14.1
#13 - Larry Page - Google - 14.0
#15 - Steve Ballmer - Microsoft - 13.6
#24 - Carl Icahn - financier (attempted overhaul of Time Warner) - 9.7
#32 - Rupert Murdoch - News Corp (owner of MySpace) - 7.7
#32 - Pierre Omidyar - eBay - 7.7
#38 - Sumner Redstone - Viacom - 7.5
#45 - Eric Schmidt - Google - 5.2
#49 - Steve Jobs - Apple/Pixar/Disney - 4.9
#70 - Jeff Bezos - Amazon - 3.6
#77 - Gordon Moore - Intel - 3.4
#117 - David Filo - Yahoo - 2.5
#133 - Mark Cuban - Broadcast.com - 2.3
#140 - Jerry Yang - Yahoo - 2.2
#189 - Omid Kordestani - Google - 1.9
#242 - Kavitark Ram Shriram - Google - 1.5
#297 - Barry Diller - InterActiveCorp (owner Ask.com) - 1.3
#322 - Margaret Whitman - eBay - 1.2
#374 - John Doerr - venture capitalist (Google) - 1.0
#374 - Charles Simonyi - Microsoft - 1.0

Paranoid has a great comparison of the $13 million a day Page and Brin have earned in the last two years, showing how much more they make than Tiger Woods, the Yankee payroll, and how much money they make while urinating.
(via Digg)

September 22nd, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Amazon, eBay, Apple, Ask, Culture, Microsoft, Yahoo, General | one comment

Which Billionaires Could Pull Off A Repeat?

A discussion at Niniane Wang’s blog particularly interested me. The gist: If we took their money away, which billionaires would be able to pull off a repeat and earn their money all over again? Give your opinions in the comments, but here are mine:

  • Google’s Sergey Brin and Larry Page - Tough call. Google hasn’t pulled off anything since their initial success that is worth over a billion dollars, yet there is a good chance that if Sergey and Larry weren’t “stuck” running Google, they’d have created something amazing in their spare time.
  • Bill Gates - Absolutely not. Microsoft has lost so much market share, and started only one billion dollar product in recent years (Xbox), and it loses billions! Now, if this were Bill Gates, circa 1995, I’d believe he could not only do it again, he’d beat Microsoft doing so.
  • Mark Cuban - Not likely. Cuban has made smart moves since his big windfall, but they’ve all been smart investments of his sizable fortune. I would like to see if he could launch a new product/service at this point without funding, grow it, popularize it, and then get VC backing, but I think he’s had the big money for too long to go back to the startup mindset.
  • NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg - Yes. Even though he used his money to get there, Bloomberg completely reinvented himself in his years as mayor of the toughest city to manage in the country. Keep in mind: He didn’t use one dime of his own in the city’s budget.
  • Steve Jobs - Of course. Didn’t he already do it?
  • Warren Buffet - Just give him one red paperclip and watch him go.
  • Paul Allen - No. He’s rested on that Microsoft stock for far too long
  • Michael Dell - Maybe not. His company has failed to move quickly as the industry around it changed, and Dell built the company originally on its speed and efficiency. This suggests he may have slowed too much to pull it off again.
  • Larry Ellison - Ha ha. Ha. No.
  • Steve Ballmer - Toughest call. Has as much energy today as ever, so maybe.
  • Carl Icahn - No way.
  • Eric Schmidt - Yes. He’d find another successful young company to babysit.
  • Jeff Bezos - No idea. Amazon sure has some good ideas as it evolves, and he might find a way to hit it big again.
  • George Lucas - He’d find a way to make millions within a year, and many millions after a few, but not billions.
  • Donald Trump - I’m not even trying that one :-)

August 21st, 2006 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Apple, Amazon, Culture, General | 5 comments