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Does anybody care?

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When somebody tells me about a great new product they’re working on, one thing goes through my mind. It’s not how many users do you have or how will it make money. It’s something far more fundamental.

DOES ANYBODY CARE?
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How do YOU want to share music?

The web is a fragmented place. Although there’s plenty of common practises, there isn’t a strict set of rules that everyone abides to. This can make sharing content between different ecosystems somewhat difficult. I’m building an app that aims to break down some of these barriers around sharing music, but I need some help. I know how I would like things to work, but I’m curious to know how you would share music in an ideal world. The problem can be broken down into a few categories:
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Swarm.fm – A kick-ass music app in 20 days

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So I’m in the process of building a kick-ass music app. You can read about the inspiration here, or follow the progress here, but the point of this post is to announce the release of the first version for beta testing. If you’ve ever wondered what Facebook Music might look like, this is for you. Essentially, I’ve built a Google Chrome extension that injects music playback capability into Facebook as you browse. I’ve gotta admit, it’s pretty cool. It’s far from finished, but I wanted to get it out there and see what people think. Try it out and let me know your thoughts!
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The Echo Nest – A company after my own heart

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For those who don’t know, The Echo Nest is a music intelligence company. They give developers access to a wealth of music information, allowing them to build smarter music applications. Considering that my two passions are music and technology, it’s no surprise that I like them. But they go above and beyond other music tech companies (I’m looking at you, Last.fm) and continue to innovate in ways that make being a music-loving developer truly exciting. In short, they rock.
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How to Choose the Right Incubator for Your Startup (notes)

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Following on from How to Select Your Angels, Orrick were back with another great startup panel, held on June 21st. This time, the topic of discussion was How to Choose the Right Incubator for Your Startup, featuring:
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How to Select Your Angels (notes)

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On May 18, Orrick held a panel titled How to Select Your Angels, featuring Jeff ClavierJared HansenRob HayesMitchell Kapor and Naval Ravikant. It was an enlightening discussion and full credit to Orrick for putting it together. Below are the notes that I scribbled down. They are unedited and unorganised, but a few friends have found them useful, so I’m putting them up here in case they help somebody else. Enjoy!
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The antithesis of customer development

I couldn’t help but laugh when I got this one in my inbox:

Finally, to date we’ve received very little feedback from our members.  We hope that means that everything is going well and that the software does what you want.

Yep, everything’s dandy. Just sit back and wait for the checks to roll in.

Lean Pickings: The art of not failing

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One of my favorite moments from the SXSW Lean Startup Day was Steve Blank talking about the rate at which startups fail. He dealt out the standard statistics, “only 1 in 20 startups succeed”, to which the audience nodded grimly, but followed it with this incredibly poignant observation: “The funny thing is, you’re all looking at the person next to you feeling sorry for him!”. It really hit home. Everybody in that room had a great deal of conviction that they would be amongst the few to succeed. And yet history tells us most of them won’t.

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The Social Network – Michael Jackson = The Beatles

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As the credits rolled to box-office smash, The Social Network, we were given a rare treat: a real Beatles song. Licensing of the official Beatles catalog is extremely rare (once in the past two decades), but 2010 has seen the flood gates opened. Along with The Social Network, both Dinner for Schmucks and an upcoming Japanese film, Norwegian Wood have licensed official music. Add to that the release of their catalog on iTunes and 2010 has been an oddly popular licensing year for The Beatles. So what’s changed?
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Apple, Facebook and Twitter’s common flaw: The sub-domain of no return.

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Consistency is the easiest way to ensure that a website does what the user expects it to. Clicking a button should do the same thing every time. Take the website’s logo for example. It always points to the home page. Simple. Yet companies are failing to follow this rule when implementing sub-domains. And not just any companies. The culprits include Apple, Facebook and Twitter.
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