Rainbow Hat Guy transition, Uncategorized 0 comments on Prices that don’t race to zero (re-posted from Rainbow Hat Guy)

Prices that don’t race to zero (re-posted from Rainbow Hat Guy)

An old friend and I had dinner the other night, and he told me that a friend of his was starting a company focused on rating the customer service of online sites. Why? E-commerce sites can no longer compete on price or shipping, and so customer service has become the new frontier.

That’s a fascinating concept in the “free” economy world of Web2.0. I don’t, however, think that that’s sustainable anymore, and more and more examples are proving as much.

I’ve just read an article on TechCrunch about PicPlum. Their whole premise is that the best photographs are worth paying more for. Would you rather send many, poor quality photos, or 15 high-quality photos? I, personally, would like to have a budget per month, and mix and match size and quality against that budget. If you’re going to ask me to pay more, then give me complete customizability. I’m not sure if that’s where they’re going with their concept, but I like the fact that PicPlum is trying to bring value to something that WalMart has tried to turn into a commodity.

One might call that the Apple strategy in that Apple has brought value back to the laptop market where Dell had turned it into a commodity item. IBM, with their ThinkPad division, tried and failed, and so it’s not easy said, easy done.

What’s more, content generators are finding themselves moving away from free as well. The NYTimes showed really solid online subscription numbers this last quarter, and Fred Wilson’s blog about porous paywalls shows that a new medium may be forming for content. This is definitely a good sign for folks who believe in the value of journalism, of which I am one, and is another simple example of the reversal of the trend towards free.

Even clones of the early Web2.0 services such as del.icio.us (Pinboard) and flickr (500px) are starting to, and able to, charge.

I wonder if this is a function of the consumer getting wiser, or if it’s a matter of businesses realizing that the race to zero is no longer a sustainable business model. It could simply be that the indestructible revenue model which was Internet ads doesn’t actually make for a good experience and good web service, and we are now demanding both from our web applications.

Regardless of the why, I think it’s pretty clear that the race to zero has stopped, and that in its place the Web is seeing a resurgence of opportunity.

Rainbow Hat Guy transition, Uncategorized 0 comments on End of life for Rainbow Hat Guy

End of life for Rainbow Hat Guy

I’m killing off the Rainbow Hat Guy persona, and will bring over my favorite posts from that site to this one. I’d like to write more, and that’s going to take focus, and a single point of expression. Focus seems to be a theme generally in life these days, and I’m going to be really excited to share more when I can in a few weeks time 🙂


Fatherhood, just thinking out loud, Uncategorized 0 comments on Life update

Life update

I haven’t posted in quite a long while, and a lot has happened in my life since. High level overview, and then I’ll get back on the bandwagon, and post more regularly.

Luka was born

My son Luka James Onvural was born on July 5. He’s huge, and healthy, and happy. He had a bit of a hospital stay because of an infection, but we’re doing great. Family has come and gone to visit, and that was really nice as well. All in all, having two is a lot more work, but a million times more fun than having one. So lucky to be four now.

Amelia’s organs are all on the inside

Amelia had surgery for her sports hernia, and for the first time in her life all of her internal organs are on the inside. It’s such a weird thing to celebrate, but I’ll take it. Her surgeons were amazing, and we’re just happy to be done with it all. Now hopefully the next time she’ll make me cry it will be for something that doesn’t kill me.

TokSoccer won its first legit game

My last post was about the soccer team we formed at TokBox. We’re pretty bad still, but we put together a fantastic game, and beat the #1 team in the league to keep our playoff hopes alive. It’s all or nothing this week for us as we play the team against which we’re competing for the last playoff spot.

I’m competing a triathlon

Yup. I can’t swim, but I’m going to go for it anyway, and see where it takes me. I’ll do updates as I get more training in :-p

Crazy few months, but happy to keep driving through it all.