Fotolia Starts Video Marketplace in addition to That for Still Images

I’m getting very interested in the market of photo-sharing and video sharing sites because I’m building the site of my own by myself due to some reasons. Some sites are aimed at distributing the contents licensed under the Creative Commons rules, and the others are for matching buyers and sellers for the pictures you’ve taken.

There’s the world’s larget photo marketplace site (I’m not sure it is actually “largest” because I have no statistical evidence) called Fotolia. Fotolia’s Japanese Manager Ms. Sumiya told me it would start today video service as well photo service.

Logo of Fotolia

The service allows to upload video of 60-seconds-long and 30-frames-per-second at the maximum, that means uploaded videos may have the quality enough to be republished even on TV.

If we setup an SNS on global basis, we need localize it to avoid language barriers, and need arrange it to local tastes because of regional characterestics. However, photos and videos are universally acceptable for all the people around the globe without pre-arrangement, that’s why it would be easiter to make it on the world market.

I heard some amateur photographers make their livings only by selling their works on Fotolia.

I can have the following ideas.

– Students studying at training schools to be possible professional photographers can sell their works on Fotolia, which can make money and collect audiences’ view at the same time.

– TV stations and program production companies can sell unused video clips, which were originally taken for other purposes. (For tv broadcasters whose revenues are being reduced due to downturn in the ad industry as well, this business scheme can turn someone’s trash into another man’s treasure, which makes money for the broadcasters.)

If Fotolia can deploy the additional feature of automatic tagging posted videos with Videosurf‘s technology, I believe it should be getting more and more convenient. (I explained here about Videosurf. Sorry it’s written in Japanese.)

Mitsui VC Holds Business Plan Competition for Cellphone Apps

There was the award presentation ceremony of the business plan competition held last Tuesday in Akihabara by Mitsui & Co’s venture capital firm.

IT journalist Nobuyuki Hayashi, Satoshi Endo from Ascii Research Institute, and Takashi Betsui from CNET Japan were invited as judges for the competition’s awards, I attended the event because interesting persons came together to give their presentation on the stage.

Snapshot at the venue of i*deal competition

I wrote a story about the event, and contributed it to Asiajin.
Akiba mobile app biz plan competition held by Mitsui VC

(Proofread by Mr. Sean O’Hagan, and he corrected the story I’ve written in English.)

A Sweet Address on the Chocolate

This year’s first edition of tokyo2point0 was held last Monday.

Several hosting provider companies gave the presentation on their services in the event.

One of the presenters gave away chocolates to attendees as shown below.

QR Code on the Chocolate

There’s QR code on it, your cellphone may show you the presenter’s promotion website only by scanning the code.

Japanese subsidiary of Chocolate Graphics from Australia introduces this product.

It would not be suitable for the Valentine Day’s present due to its minimum order lot. But this is a good idea for a girl having many boy friends, if she wants to distribute many chocolates on which the code for her own blog’s URL is embedded.

I heard from another sources that business conditions of hosting providers are mostly going well because their client companies have to comply with newly introduced security countermeasure law called J-SOX, and they are forced to switch their own hosting to outsoutced environment, despite the hosting service itself is not so innovative.

Many Internet Services Report Presidential Inauguration

When someone becomes Japan’s new prime minister, there’s not so many event for the celebration.   But neither is there for the U.S. President’s case.

The traditional Japanese word meaning politics “matsurigoto” is stemmed from “matsuri” meaning festival or celebration, and I hope his inauguration makes something happen to get all the world out of recession somehow.   I know the fact is not so simple.

By the way, some Internet services broadcast live the inauguration.   (qik’s live is already introduce on the previous blog post.)

– Internet TV “Joost” (using the stream provided by euronews)
Starting at 1am, 21st (Wed.) in Japan Time

– Live Streaming Video Service (using the stream provided by Associate Press)

Ustream released its iPhoneApp, you can watch the live even with iPhone by downloading the App from the following link.

Unfortunately, WiFi environment is required to use the App.
(Perhaps in order to get an approval from Apple to list it on AppStore, it’s limited only to WiFi Use to avoid the overload to cellphone carrer’s network.   Not like Qik’s case.)

Both Joost and Ustream use the streams provided by TV stations, I think qik is much better to feel the atmosphere with so much presence that local citizens do in Washington.   (It’s available on my previous blogpost.)

Enjoy the show.

Live: The Sundance Film Festival and Obama’s Inauguration

The first image reporting US Airway’s aircraft which came down in Hudson River of NYC was taken by a passenger on the sightseeing ferry there, and it was posted to Twitter.

Cellphone journalism is in boom.

I wrote about qik on this blog previously, there will be two live programs with the application.

– Live: The Sundance Film Festival hosted by Ashton Kutcher and Kevin Rose
Starting at 1am on Saturday in Japan Time.

– Live: U.S. President Barak Obama’s Inauguration

Availbale on the screen below.   Starting at midnight on Wednesday in Japan Time.
(The videos uploaded may be republished on CBS, BBC and Houston Chronicle.)

Upgrading My Blog Environment to PHP5

PHP Logo

My Japanese blog is hosted on iza!, I really need not consider its environment, but my English blog is running on the environment of my own so that I may try new experimentals.

Finally, I did upgrade the environment of English one from PHP4 to PHP5.

As you may know, support for PHP4 has been discontinued since last year, I think I must finish using this, but some technical problems occured, it was a little bit hard to solve them.

Upgrading to PHP5 has been completed, it improved totally the blog’s system perfomarnce including more rapid screen output.

Today I’m relatively free to do something, soon or later I will be able to migrate my web applications running on PHP4 as well as the blog.

Founder’s DNA or Company’s DNA making Innovations

There’s Steve Jobs’ condition making a headline of TV news and Internet portals in these days.    Apple announced that he would devote himself to curing for six months from now on, which means he seems so badly ill.

Previously when I was working for a venture capital firm, some colleagues said unanimously,

“The founding parent of the company is not always the foster parent of that.”

That means, founders of start-up ventures are sometimes daring guys, they had better hand over to foster parents having profession which may have the ventures growing up more.   Generally speaking, I believe that idea is relatively acceptable for the investors who are mostly conservative.

But the real world is strange and interesting.   MBA holders (of course, meaning not “married but available” but Master of Business Administration) may bankrupt his/her company.  On the other hand, there are some companies led by the management who cannot understand B/S and P/L, but those keep growing up difinitely.   I cannot find which idea is correct.   Honestly.

When I take a look at Sony without its co-founder Mr. Ibuka and Mr. Morita, Panasonic which removed its founder’s surname “Matsushita” from its brand, and Honda withdrawing from F1 championship of the founder’s dream, I see all they take options apart from the founders’ ideas.

Managements from giant enterprises are asked at new year’s party of Keidanren or Japan Business federation, what the card to overcome the recession, and almost they answered “creating something innovative to overcome”.

In order to make innovation happen in the company, we need some sort of daring atmosphere there.   If no daring employee working in the company, do you think any innovation comes up there?

I don’t intend to criticize Japanese consumer goods manufacturers, and I apologize for your discomfort if you feel.   By the way, I’m interested in how Apple can keep innovating something like iPhone if Steve resign his current position.

Apple’s headquarter is located at 1 Infinite Loop.   And, Google’s buildings have the names like Pi and e=mc².   Needless to say it, these facts show you the similarity of the two companies.

And now, people are rumoring about Apple’s acquisition by Google, extremely sounds like a real story, but if it would so, what’s the most important is whether Apple can keep innovating.

In terms of profit-seeking as one of raison d’être of the company, it is very important to think how the company can keep its DNA, which encourages the employees to innovate something, after the company founder disappeared from the company.

P.S.   I heard that Toyota Motor would appoint to make Mr. Akio Toyoda as the next president of the company, who is a direct descendant of the company’s founder.   It reflects the company’s relief that Toyota wants to overcome such a bad economic downturn with the founder’s DNA.   Will he or his leading company can create something new after Prius?

Live: Introduction to iPhone Apps Made in Japan

This year’s MacWorld would get relatively calmer because Steve Jobs was not on the stage, but there’s an event at SixApart HQ near the venue of MacWorld in San Francisco, introducing iPhone Apps made in Japan by the developers themselves coming from Tokyo. Led by famous IT journalist, Nobi Hayashi.

As of the time when I’m posting this message, there’re doing the presentation and broadcasting live on uStream as follows.


Where’s IT Going This Year?

Already three days passed since new year has come, but still I can say probably happy new year to all of you.

By the way, I resigned my position as managing director for Skywill Inc., at the end of year 2008.   Skywill is the fourth company that I’ve been involved as a founder, six years passed since the company’s foundation, I determined to entrust it over to my colleagues, and to take a new step to something new next, because I’m sure the company has got on the right track even in today’s economic downturn.

Previously as I wrote on this blog that I got an invitation from Andrew Shuttleworth about Dave McClure’s Seminar in Shibuya last month,  it is favaorably evaluated and helpful for us to think what to do to start up our business in 2009.

For instance, Nobi Hayashi’ s comment on the event (Japanese):

I put here the slide and the video of his presentation.
(I couldn’t find the video recording last month’s event in Shibuya, and the video below is the one of his event last October in San Francisco instead.)

May the year of 2009 be an excellent for all.