Daily Archives: December 25, 2006

How about a game of GPS battleships?

I’ve got this idea for a game. The idea is that we get a whole bunch of folks together that have Windows Mobile 5.0 devices with GPS recievers to play “battleships” within a certain geographical area.

We woud load on a little compact framework application that would feed regular position updates to a central location on the web over GPRS or 3G and the same client application would allow people to “request a strike” at a certain set of GPS co-ordinates. There would be a set blast radius and anyone within that radius would be “sunk”.

Last person still floating wins.

The game could also be enhanced with different “weapons” that are triggered when people enter a certain area (radar traps etc). I wonder if we could get enough people together in Canberra with the right equipment to play.

Thinking on Andrew’s Thinking

Hope everyone had a good Christmas. Time to get back into it :)

I noticed that Andrew Coates had posted up some thoughts about how TechEd 2007 in Australia could be delivered. First off, let me say that I am pleased to hear that we aren’t just looking at being a mini-TechEd US, I think that this is a lesson that TechEd Europe learnt and they even went as far as to split the event into two parts and even hold it in different parts of Europe – one for developers and one for IT pros.

So the question is – what would a uniquely Australian TechEd look like? Or maybe that is the wrong question, maybe we should be looking at a TechEd Asia, or TechEd Asia Pacific?

As far as extending the event out to cover more of the year, I like the idea, especially if you can hook in content that would normally be getting published anyway. Here is how I would pull it together:

The problem is going to be that you’ll always have trouble linking in the community and expanding it. Those people that want to “connect” will, and those that don’t are just dark nodes on the network.

The altruistic purpose of venture capital?

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately about start-ups and the various processes that venture capitalists use to filter out investment opportunities, and I have to admit that my opinion of them as a source of start-up capital is changing.

Whilst riding the dot-com boom and bust cycle venture capitalists got a pretty bad name. I distinctly remember standing at the water cooler talking to colleagues about how company X was funded to the hilt and had no plan to turn that investment into some kind of return. It happened so many times (resulting in the crash) that I started to think that VC’s were to blame.

These days my opinion has mellowed a little bit and I can start to see a somewhat altruistic side to the whole venture capital game. A large number of VC dollars are spent on enterprises with some kind of technological aspect, because of this I suspect (although I have no hard numbers on this) that a large number of people on the receiving end come from a technical background.

So what draws so many geeks towards entrepreneurism? Well, I think it has something to do with this:

The “cube farm” seems to be the default configuration for most enterprises today and when you put a geek with an ounce of talent in one they are going to start hatching escape plans. Venture capital offers geeks with a good idea an escape plan.

So – that is the alruistic purpose of venture capital, to allow geeks with an idea to get out of the cube farm and start following their dreams – if they are brave enough to do it.

Not Quite Altruistic

OK – so venture capital isn’t some charity program. The benefits flow both ways. By hatching geeks from cube farms VC’s are building the talent pool that they need to rely on. Sure there will be some failures which is why it is important to surround that geek talent with a good team but assuming that something gets off the ground that same team is going to be a better be the next time around.

And eventually, once the geek has earned enough they might decide that they want to be the backer for venture capital. There is an eco-system here I think.