Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Is Apple the No. 1 Danger To Internet Freedom?

Tim Wu, a Columbia law professor, who is credited for coining the term 'net neutrality,' has now written a book titled book 'The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires' warns us that (apart from Governments), Apple, with its iPad/App market is one of biggest dangers to the freedom of the Internet.

He explains to the New York Times,
'I know the Internet was designed to resist integration, designed to resist centralized control, and that design defeated firms like AOL and Time Warner. But firms today, like Apple, make it unclear if the Internet is something lasting or just another cycle.'

When the NYT asked him which companies he feared most, Wu says,
'Right now, I'd have to say Apple.'

So, how do we deal with Apple's threat of a pretty, vast, closed system?
This Slashdot comment says it best,
The entire threat posed by Apple comes to nought if people don't buy Apple products. I'm doing my bit.

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Fitwatch: Hero website of the month

Fitwatch ( is a U.K. website that publishes useful bits of advice to student protesters in U.K., who are protesting university fees, on how to avoid arrest. The Police closed down the website on grounds of 'criminal' activities.

But, the site is up and running again.

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Mary Meeker: Ten Questions All Internet Businesses Should Ask And Answer

In her 2010 version of 'State of the Internet' presentation, Mary Meeker, who is a Wall street analyst famous for her understanding of Internet trends, lists out 10 questions all internet executives and entrepreneurs must answer:

1. Globality — Do you know which players in which countries do what you do better (or at least differently) than you do? Do you study / implement it?

2. Mobile — Ramping faster than any ‘new new thing’ – is your business leading or lagging?

3. Social Ecosystems — Would you rather be Apple, Google or…Facebook? Will their future directions help / hurt your business?

4. Advertising – Ripe for innovation – will your business benefit?

5. Commerce — Products must be fast + easy + fun. Do humans want everything to be like a game?

6. Media — What does the extraordinary ramp in on-demand video usage mean for your business?

7. Internet Company Leadership Evolution — Shocking changes over just 6 years… are you prepared for next half decade of change?

8. Steve Jobs — What’s his ‘secret sauce?’ Does your company have it?

9. Ferocious Pace of Change – What’s Next in Tech? — When do consumers / enterprises & incumbents / attackers need you?

10. Closing Thoughts – Large companies do not typically support rapid growth rates of the magnitude that follow..will these trends continue?

I would add this for entrepreneurs: Are you building to sell out or are you in for the long haul?

Via Techcrunch