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The business plan for the Web 2.0

Posted by daniel on October 6, 2004 at 7:07 AM PDT

I got up this morning around four and made a pot of coffee. At
home we grind the coffee just before brewing (and often roast it
in the week before grinding) and have an assortment of brewing
devices to choose from. On the road it's a drip coffee maker with
filter bags full of ground coffee. Yesterday Jeff Bezos of
Amazon.com was the first speaker at the href="http://www.web2con.com/">Web 2.0 conference. Disjoint as
those thoughts seem, coffee bags and Bezos' talk are
related. Although, you should be warned that I'm writing this at 4
am before drinking any of the coffee.

Bezos said that web 2.0 is "all about making the internet useful
for computers." As he showed the results of opening up much of the
Amazon.com platform through web services, he also returned again and
again to having a business model for your offering. This was different
than many of the O'Reilly gatherings with alpha geeks. Here, even
during technical presentations earlier in the day, people were asked
how they would make money off of what they were describing.

So, many years ago a group of us were hanging around drinking
coffee at our local coffee shop and musing on why there are tea bags
but not coffee bags. We spent a weekend experimenting with different
grinds and weights of filters. It came out pretty good and we were
convinced it was a great idea, and then we went back to our everyday
lives. I was a graduate student, someone else sold music, another was
a plumber, and a fourth was a lawyer. None of us traveled and so we
didn't understand that there was a potential market there.

I don't think that developers value the business side of the house
enough and I know the business side doesn't value developers
enough. One business guy emailed me after Bill Joy left Sun and said
"that's a good thing for Sun. There was never any way to productize
his ideas." Geeks like me are dumbfounded by such comments. We understand that programming can't just be "art for art's sake" but ...

I have said before that it is good for a company to have someone
solid "driving the bus". Jeff Bezos communicated an understanding of
the intersection of technology and business. He said that there is a
lot of value in Alexa and that they are already telling people they
will be charged for the service when it comes out of beta. The fact
that they haven't figured out how to charge for href="http://www.alexa.com/">Alexa has not kept them from
developing it and releasing a beta. Any thoughts on this balance
between the needs of technologists and the bottom line?


Alex Toussaint asks if href="http://weblogs.java.net/blog/netoz/archive/2004/10/spaceshipone_ar_1.html">
SpaceShipOne is using Java-related technology in today's href="http://weblogs.java.net/">Weblogs. Meanwhile, and
more down to earth, Chris Adamson explains href="http://weblogs.java.net/blog/invalidname/archive/2004/10/why_mac_develop.html">
Why Mac Developers are Concerned About the J2SE 5.0 Wait. He
explains why "there's some fear that being able to do your Java
development on a Mac is a tenuous situation."


In
Also in Java Today
, Remote management is critically
important when you've deployed your application to the field. As
Sean C. Sullivan writes, "When your team has to support a
mission-critical application, you can't afford to wait for users
to tell you that the application is having problems. You need to
be able to detect problems as soon as they occur." One simple
solution is to extend your logging system to send log files back
to you when serious problems are logged. In href="http://www.onjava.com/pub/a/onjava/2004/09/29/smtp-logging.html">
Reporting Application Errors by Email, Sean shows how to set
up log4j and java.util.logging to do this.

"Generic types in Java and C# introduce more expressiveness at the
source code level and move type checking from run-time to compile-time
when inserting objects into generic collections." Richard Wiener
provides Some
Examples of Generics in Java 1.5 and C# 2.0
in the Journal of
Object Technology. He concludes that "the design decision to use code
specialization for value types in C# has paid off in performance
benefits. The wildcard semantics in generic Java appear to provide a
more straight-forward mechanism for expressing complex generic
constructions than the equivalent C# implementation."


In Projects and
Communities
, you have a release of your href="http://java.net">java.net project ready, now what? In href="http://www.lastcraft.com/blog/index.php?p=11">Install me
you will see the importance to impatient users of a good
installation experience.You have a release of your href="http://java.net">java.net project ready, now what? In href="http://www.lastcraft.com/blog/index.php?p=11">Install me
you will see the importance to impatient users of a good
installation experience.

Download href="http://jddac.labs.agilent.com/server/docs/release03.htm">version
0.3 of the JDDAC framework, which contains a "first draft" of the
classes from the Java Measurement
Calculus Interface
along with a demo application.


What is the best way to protect your IP? In today's

Forums
, Java Kiddy writes "While Godfrey Nolan
apparently makes much of Java's (supposed) inability to
project our intellectual property, he fails to recognise that
by actually publishing his book in a readable form he is
endangering his own intellectual property to a much greater
extent. Surely he should have encrypted his text first, to
prevent plagiarism? Better still, written it in invisible
ink...?"

JWenting adds "If your href="http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=872&tstart=0#872">code
is so secret noone should ever have a chance to try and decompile
it you should keep it in house. Become an ASP and give people only the
result of calling the program, not the compiled binary."


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Current and upcoming
Java Events
:

  • October 8-10, 2004 href="http://www.nofluffjuststuff.com/2004-10-seattle/"> Pacific
    Northwest Software Symposium
  • October 15-17, 2004 href="http://www.nofluffjuststuff.com/2004-10-atlanta/">Atlanta Java
    Software Symposium
  • October 19-22, 2004 href="http://www.educause.edu/conference/annual/2004/"> Educause
    2004
  • October 19, 2004 href="http://www.jxta.org/servlets/ReadMsg?msgId=109045&listName=discuss">
    JXTA Developer Kitchen

Registered users can submit event listings for the href="http://www.java.net/events">java.net Events Page using our href="http://today.java.net/cs/user/create/e"> events submission
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Thinking about coffee bags