Laura and I regularly go trail running over at Edwin Warner Park here in Nashville. There’s something about the park, the trails, the trees, and our Vibram Five Fingers that makes the experience a bit addictive. The other day we watched several hummingbirds fly between a couple hummingbird feeders at the Nature Center. It was so cool I resolved to bring my camera on our next run. So, today I sat at one of the feeders and one little fella showed up. Hummingbirds are crazy fast, so I didn’t have much time to take a picture of him. Below is what I got :)
For good measure, here’s a map of where I was:
I enjoyed this article primarily because I rarely use cash. I prefer to use credit cards for pretty much everything. Credit cards often have benefits programs (such as loyalty points, or cash back), and they also offer the ability to track your purchases and purchasing behavior quite easily. The flip side of this story is that it bodes well for alternative payment processing methods. For example, Jack Dorsey's company Square (which allows anyone to accept payments using an iPhone or an iPad) should bode well from the transition away from cash. We all know how popular PayPal is as a payment method and it operates completely cash-free. I imagine we'll always have a need for cash but it's interesting to see other payment methods receive more and more attention.
All of the sudden Foursquare's success is starting to make a lot more sense to me. Apparently they have opened their location database to developers via an API. What this means is that other application developers can utilize the location database built by Foursquare when needing to include location check-in services in other apps. They recently reached the milestone of 10,000 developers using their database - that's quite meaningful. The article notes that the biggest user of the API is Instagram - an extremely popular and fast growing photo sharing app exclusively on the iPhone. I'm not sure what Foursquare charges for API access, but if they're charging I'm sure it's a meaningful component of their revenue stream.
Just another indication of the importance of the tech industry right now. Video game developers and designers are in such high demand right now that they have their own agents. I've read numerous articles and posts recently highlighting the growing rift between supply and demand when it comes to technology talent (software developers, designers, etc.). There is WAY MORE DEMAND than there is supply. Clearly the industry is growing and it's growing at a pace unmatched by the new talent entering. Bravo, software developers and computer science majors. There is plenty of work to be had right now.
Ok, so Twitter is raising a bunch of money at a high valuation. Good for them. Could be an indication that the technology market is a bit frothy right now and Twitter is doing the smart thing by securing funds when funds are cheap and available. Good for you, Twitter. There's also the possibility that Twitter is actually profitable and growing and doing well. I read an article the other day positing that Twitter is actually quite profitable. I can't remember all of the juicy details, but it went a little something like this. On the revenue side Twitter has several sources. First, they have the "Firehose." Twitter has charged Bing and Google around 1 million each (annually) for real time access to Tweets (the "Firehose"). Unfortunately for Twitter, Google will let their "Firehose" subscription expire because Google intends on using it's new social network, Google+ for real time social content for Google search. Second, there are Promoted Trends. Promoted Trends cost up to 1,000 per day. The article I read says that Promoted Trends are currently sold out. That could mean a lot of daily revenue for Twitter. Finally, there are Promoted Accounts. You see Promoted Accounts whenever Twitter recommends someone to follow. Often times that recommendation has come at a price charged to the specific brand or individual. So, there you have it, three pretty decent sources of revenue for Twitter. To cut to the chase, the article I read estimates the revenue side to be 1 million annually vs. expenses of \ million. Not bad.