Did people really think I’d end up brawling with Jason Calacanis at CeBIT last week? Sure, I called him a prick and wrote about the evil cult of the Internet start-up. But he does actually have good points.
I met Mr Calacanis when I found myself recording the 2 Web Crew podcast on my borrowed video camera. Since I was concentrating on getting good audio, the vision’s a bit shaky, but at least you’ll see what it was like during those hectic 16 minutes.
I may disagree with Calacanis’ priorities in life, but that’s hardly unique to him. He does do business transparently, however. He makes sense and calls a spade a spade. And he’s certainly been a successful entrepreneur.
He’s also a tireless promoter — of himself. Now that’s not a bad thing when you’re trying to build hype around a new business. But it’s a character trait that Australians reckon is bad — which is perhaps why we so often fail to market our own innovations.
I was also amused to see the swarm of Calacanis fan-boys and girls buzzing around him “like flies to a dead sheep”, as I said on Twitter. Guys, a little less cult of personality and a little more independent thought will work wonders in your lives. Success is not achieved through frottage with the successful. Unless you’re a hooker.
So, Jason, here is the promised blog post saying that you’re not as much of a prick as I thought you were.
[Note: This is a slightly edited version of an article I wrote for Crikey this morning. The main difference is a bit more linkage. There’s more CeBIT / Transaction 2.0 material to come.]
In 1980 futurist Alvin Toffler wrote The Third Wave. Following the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions, he said, we’re now experiencing the Third Wave, or what might be called post-industrial society. Australia’s surfing prowess means nothing here, though. We’re still pissing in the shallows, barely held up by leaking floaties.
Why is tech-literate, well-educated Australia so bad at marketing and profiting from its own innovation, from the fisheye lens to gene shears? We do innovate, you know.
“Australians expect the government to do everything for them — but the government’s clueless,” explained journalist and evangelist Duncan Riley at yesterday’s Transaction 2.0 conference. “The Australia 2020 Summit is a classic example. The Internet was seen as an ’emerging’ industry. Emerging? We’ve had it for 20 years! In the US alone it employs 7 million people.”
Continue reading “Crikey: Australia’s web 2.0 wipeout on the wave of the future”
The episode of the 2 Web Crew podcast we recorded last Wednesday is finally online. The Podcast Network‘s Cameron Reilly, Laurel Papworth, TechCrunch‘s Duncan Riley and I chat about Underbelly, P2P networks, BitTorrent and distribution, telcos and innovation, Crikey and media impartiality. The audio quality’s a bit dodgy, but hey. I’ll also be on the episode being “recorded live” tomorrow at 1300 Sydney time on Ustream.
Duncan Riley asked me to appear on the 2 Web Crew podcast this week, which will be recorded at 1300 this afternoon Sydney time. You’ll be able to listen to it live as it’s being recorded (and chat back to us) and then the edited version will appear in a few days. Meanwhile I’m trying to find my best options for setting up Skype — I’ve never really bothered with it until now.
“I supposed at least he was honest,” said Duncan Riley when he passed on this story (pictured).
I’ll reproduce the text here so the search engines find it — which may or may not be a Good Thing. My website ends up in enough weird searches as it is.
A 38-year-old Cole Avenue man reported that his home was invaded on Sept. 9. The man said that he was sitting home alone masturbating and watching a pornographic movie when a man came down into the basement, holding a gun, and started to videotape him. The man said that before he left, the intruder fed his dog some mushrooms and the dog died.
The story is supposedly from The Beacon Journal, Sunday 21 September 2003. If it’s a fake, someone’s gone to a lot of trouble.
Now, is this the weirdest crime story you’ve heard recently? Please, links to even weirder ones!
OK, that’s set the tone for the day…
[Note: This article is a follow-up to How do you treat your staff? Like 37signals, or like this prick?, written after that piece received a lot of attention. But my views are more complex than simple Good vs Evil, as a look through all Calacanis-related posts will show.]
I’m still chuckling at the seriousness with which some people treat getting onto Techmeme. It’s true, I keep stopping typing to giggle. It’s embarrassing.
I’d never visited Techmeme until this weekend. Even then it was only because someone told me I’d blipped up there. It’s just another feed of what someone thinks is “important” in infotech, yeah? Who cares. It’s not as if it’s Reuters or BBC News.
It’s just more geeks telling geeks what geeks think other geeks should think about stuff that geeks think about.
But Jason Calacanis cares.
Jason Calacanis must care very deeply because he “joked” about it on this website, and over at TechCrunch he “joked” about getting pageviews. His fan club speculates that Duncan Riley and me and others are only attacking him to generate our own web traffic. Well, I can’t speak for Duncan, but no, I couldn’t care less about website traffic — especially the low-grade drive-by flamers that usually wash up here after being mentioned on high-traffic fan sites. That’s not why I’m here.
I’m attacking Calacanis because I reckon the business style he describes, the one championed by his defenders, is rotten to the very core.
But first, let’s talk about religion…
Continue reading “Jason Calacanis and the Evil Cult of the Internet Start-up”