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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How to make money on Bitcoins

I’v seen a lot of discussions around bitcoins lately: how long they will be around, if this is a new bubble,  how “fixed” they are. For me, another question is more interesting, how will people make money on bitcoins?

I can see these money-making opportunities:
  •      Bitcoin Mining. I think that the prime time for mining is over for bitcoins. There is an opportunity in mining for alternative virtual currencies but it’s risky as it is unknown what alternatives will be around in a few years
  •       Making tools for bitcoin mining. There are several major players in this space and it is amazing how fast technology is progressing
  •       Conferences and publications. That’s guaranteed to work for the few people with experience in that space
  •       Developing software. There is a need for plug-ins into major web store fronts, end user wallets, point-of-sale devices, etc. May be at some point we will even see plug-ins into accounting software
  •       Arbitrage between bitcoin exchanges
  •       Speculation on price spikes. Creating price spikes by purchasing and dumping large amount of coins
  •       Running bitcoin exchanges
  •       Financial consulting
  •       Combination of the above

Anything I am missing? (old-fashion steeling will not be counted here)

Watching how people made money on Y2K, Web1.0 bubble, mobile apps, I feel that there is a clear pattern and the list above with some small modifications will be applicable for the next “big” thing. What will it be? Does it matter? People who are good with words will always make money on words. People who are good with code will always make money on code. People with business talent will always find a way to monetize their brain waves. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wearable Technology presentaion at Appnation

Spent a day at the Appnation conference and want to share my notes from my favorite presentation - wearable technology. I'v been a big fan of wearables for some and it's exciting to see how the technology that was used by a few geeks taking the central stage. Anyway, here are my quick notes from the presentation.

DEC 4, 2013 

Q. Why now? 
  • sensor technology becomes affordable
  • cloud is ready, sensor data can be uploaded to the cloud 
  • big companies are making huge investments
Q. Why wearables?
  • wearables provide value now, helping solve problems in daily live
  • Pebble watch can provide contextual information (ex: runkeeper app that is active when user is running). My understanding is that sensors can be used to determine current user's context, if user is walking/running/sleeping and serve user with the information/apps that are appropriate for the context  
Side Note:
"smart wearable" is a cool term, I like it! Check:

Q: Wearable device classification:
  • General purpose devices (phones, watches, etc) 
  • Special purpose-built device (Fitbit, etc) are very popular since they solve particular real problems for user (fitness, diet, sleep, etc)

Q. What is different when wearable sensors come to play:
  •  distributed architecture - symbiotic dependency on smartphone 
  •  micro-engagement - instant access to the information
  •  sensors drive differentiation
  •  next few quarters will bring large number of new devices to the market 
  •  focus on the experience including users who want to use the technology in certain way
  •  there are some experiences that can not be done on phone (bio-context) 

Q. New design requirements that applicable specifically for wearable:
  • Long battery life (week+)
  • Durable, waterproof
  • No friction! People will keep and use these devices on daily bases (all the time?)