Google buys JotSpot, makes it free to the world

Google announced this morning that it had purchased JotSpot, one of the more creative wiki application companies out there.  One of the huge benefits of this is that Jot’s capabilities will now have a large infrastructure and essentially be free to use.  Hopefully Google won’t wait too long to integrate JotSpot into its other offerings, but I’m not holding my breath on that.  Google has yet to integrate gmail, calendar, and it’s “Office” offerings onto a common platform.  When they do, however, the addition of JotSpot will make the Google ‘platform’ a serious contender for those looking to put all their eggs in ‘the cloud’.

Yahoo unleashes voice “Skype Killer” IM

Last year’s dubious purchase of Skype by eBay for an ungodly sum is looking even more foolish today.  Yesterday Yahoo! released the beta 7.5 version of Yahoo! Messenger with Voice.  This update allows Yahoo!IM users to buy phone numbers, call out, call in, and generally function in a world similar to Skype without having another IM environment to deal with.  Om Malik fills us in with some more details here.

Guy Kawasaki points us to Karl Hartig’s incredible data chart creations

Guy Kawasaki points us to a collection of charts that Karl Hartig has generated over time using all kinds of interesting data.  Not only are some of these charts visually stunning, but they provide a way to show trending data in a more dramatic fashion.  In other words, the data comes alive on these graphics.  Definitely worth a look.

Venture Capital investing and Wal-Mart

 It’s hard to imagine Wal-Mart as anything but a clearing-house for goods made in China, India, and other developing countries.  The retailer, however, has recently partnered with Aldus Equity Partners to build a small, but interesting venture capital fund.  Since Wal-Mart is only investing a paltry $25 million in the fund, the real question is why Wal-Mart would even waste time and effort to move in this direction?  Well, the fund is aimed at investing in small women and minority owned businesses, and Fortune believes the idea is to placate diversity advocates who have been a drag on the Wal-Mart image of late. Continue reading “Venture Capital investing and Wal-Mart”

Are business plans of any use?

Everyone, from high flying venture capitalist to your neighborhood banker, wants a startup to present them a business plan. In most instances the need to create a business plan doesn’t prove that the business is feasable, but it does prove to a good exercise in crystalizing the core ideas that drive a young company. David Cowan, a partner a Bessemer Ventures, has an interesting post on how NOT to write a business plan. Continue reading “Are business plans of any use?”