Comedy voicemail service prospers

Spinvox, the service that translates your voicemails into text messages, has raised a wheelbarrow-load of money from various top-drawer sources for international expansion. I like Spinvox and the company’s continued success shows that it’s clever to hang out where voice and data meet. Machine translation – especially in noisy environments like mobile – is hard… Continue reading Comedy voicemail service prospers

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More Japanese corporate history

I love these Japanese corporate history sites – in fact, I’m becoming a bit of a connoisseur. Nikon‘s is a treat, and all the better for the wobbly translation: I, the author of this article, used to work in Nippon kogaku’s designing department, felt a bitter feeling when asked by a sales representative of an… Continue reading More Japanese corporate history

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The eBay effect

As I keep saying, eBay makes a previously illiquid asset (the contents of your loft) marvellously, improbably liquid. According to a report from a consultancy called The Centre for Economic & Business Research written up by the FT, in fact, the average household could easily free up three grand by unloading all that old junk… Continue reading The eBay effect

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This is how they make business myths in America

If I remember the sequence correctly, plucky little Pipex (Britain’s first proper, commercial ISP) was bought by UUNet (America’s first proper, commercial ISP). UUNet was subsequently bought by MCI (America’s Maverick number 3 post-break-up telco), scouting round for an entry to the strange, new world of unmetered bits, which was subsequently bought by Worldcom (America’s… Continue reading This is how they make business myths in America

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Wolves and loss adjusters

Today, to our house, came a loss adjuster. You’ve met loss adjusters – they’re the lone wolves who tell the insurers to settle your claim or not (fingers crossed for that flood damage claim, people). Anyway, the wolf thing is not an excuse for a cheap loss adjuster gag. Our loss adjuster turns out to… Continue reading Wolves and loss adjusters

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Oh God…

At $280 Google is valued at $78 Billion. That’s 50% more than the combined value of all the publicly traded newspaper groups in the US combined. Analysts seem to be happy with this, though, with CSFB forecasting a share price of $350 which would be nearly 75 times projected earnings for this year. Any of… Continue reading Oh God…

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Businesses I like

Kall Kwik in Watford. My favourite kind of business: bustling, friendly, helpful, cheap and right, slap bang in the middle of the local economy. Making things happen for other businesses, almost all of them small or tiny. I wonder if there’s a metric for ‘contribution to the local business ecology’? If Watford’s economy is a… Continue reading Businesses I like

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24 hours in New York

I know. I know. I didn’t even see The Gates. I was in town to conclude a deal with my new friends Brad Bowers and Matt Comyns from Black Inc Ventures. Brad code-named our joint venture ‘Whiplash’ and, for the time being, that’s all you’re getting… Matt and Brad took me for a proper American… Continue reading 24 hours in New York

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So long Longbridge

Heart-breaking business reality finally steam-rollers the Rover dream. Having been through one liquidation (a bit smaller, I’ll admit) I feel pretty confident in saying that Rover is tragically but definitely history – its passing will be painfully and pointlessly deferred, though, because the UK Government can’t acknowledge that the Phoenix route may have been the… Continue reading So long Longbridge

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