Bill, we’ve never met but I’ve been a big fan of yours since the idealab! days. I’d love to chat with you based on your recent media coverage around UberMedia.
I’ve been reading lots of the recent news around the acquisition of TweetDeck and your other acquisitions.. This morning, I read an interview on PaidContent which really crystalized this for me and appropriately, Chris Dixon named you a badass swashbuckler.
I don’t have such a cool name for you, but I do want to share a few things with you that I’ve been writing now for the past 5 years. Note, this is not everything, but snippets of what I could find indexed in Google from my blog.
Here’s a snippet of what was written on PaidContent this morning:
For some of us, like you, some of these ideas of push news, push information, we’ve been there, we’ve seen them fail. I was involved with PointCast. Here’s what I think has happened. Some ideas are really, really great and fundamental, like the push power of PointCast, which Twitter is very similar to today. However, the time wasn’t right. The devices weren’t ready for it. We didn’t have mobile devices, didn’t have smartphones back when PointCast was out, The bandwidth was too low. One of the big challenges PointCast has was taking over the bandwidth of corporate servers so they blocked it. At that time, the dial-up modem was just too slow to handle the push graphics. Today, it’s ideal. The ideal circumstances are there so sometimes old ideas at the right time are really powerful and I think that’s the case today.
As many of you who have followed this blog since day 1, I’ve said that there is room for PointCast to come back. I even attempted to purchase PointCast 3 years ago but that failed and that’s when I began building Tomzy in my private time. Tomzy will be released in the near future once a few developers can finish up the initial alpha code.
Here are a few of my blog posts about PointCast over the years. The media landscape is so ripe for it especially as all of our media consumption “devices” are becoming connected.
Predictions for 2006 (1/2/2006) We’re going to see a “Pointcast” type network emerge for media. For those who do not know what PointCast was, it was a startup formed in 1992 that provided relevant news and information to your desktop thru a push application. See the Wikipedia definition here. Pointcast didn’t fail due to it’s amazing product- it failed due to poor management and the timing of the marketplace. I’d like to see Pointcast come back in some iteration that may bridge iTV, iRadio, Internet, and video games. Do I believe that media can be 100% ad-supported? Not all of the media, but there are certainly a mass quantity of media that can be – so lets get Pointcast up and running and support that relevant media. (I’ve got an idea, so contact me)
PointCast & Widgets (8/29/2006): Are we going to see a resurgence of the PointCast Network?
The Adobe Air Up There (9/27/2007): Lots of possibilities for this platform. The number one possibility I’d like to see it enable/bring back? PointCast. If PointCast had launched utilizing the Adobe AIR platform, the technical hurdles that the developers faced in the 90s would have went away and PointCast may be the next new network. Who knows. I’d love to place a bet that a similar [PointCast] model will emerge soon utilizing this platform.
Digital Ramblings: Long Post Warnings (12/7/2008): Boxee is really interesting for many reasons, but the first of which is getting digital content onto my living room TV. I can watch everything from Fast Lane Daily to TED Talks, Hulu to Netflix. Genius. I want to see Boxee expand to the desktop as well in terms of a content distribution system inside of widgets. Think PointCast model. I’d be very interested in talking further about this.
Bill, I welcome a conversation with you next time you are in NYC or I’ll fly out to San Francisco to meet with you. You can contact me thru this form (sorry for not giving email address due to search engine spammers) and I’ll gladly be in touch.
If you aren’t Bill Gross, but are an entrepreneur who has serious aspirations around a “new” PointCast model and you can think larger than the traditional “desktop” experience, lets chat too.