If you know me, please use Skype

To all my family, friends and co-workers:

Please download Skype, buy a microphone for your computer, and use Skype for both free voice phone calls and for instant messaging.

40 million people worldwide have downloaded Skype, but in the Skype directory I can only find a few dozen from Utah.

Like fax machines, the value of the Skype network grows exponentially as more people use it.

I want to use this free service, but I’m limited in my ability to fully utilize it because most of the people I know don’t yet have Skype.

I do use SkypeOut so I can make calls to any phone in the world for about 2 cents a minute. But it will be so much better if we all become Skype users. Our phone calls will be free. Our Skype address books will grow. And all of us will be better off for it.

Please use Skype.

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Question about OTC and Pink Sheets Stocks

Serial entrepreneur Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E Cheese, is now running a startup company that is publicly traded because of a reverse merger last year. It is called uWink, with ticker symbol UWNK.OB. You can read about his fascinating rise and fall, from a net worth of $70 million to near bankruptcy. I’ve been tracking uWink which is now generating millions in revenues from it’s Snap and Bear Shop products. It’s hard to keep a serial entrepreneur down. I’m very interested to see how fast Bushnell can grow this company.

But I’m frustrated because I can’t tell how many outstanding shares uWink has. Here is uWink’s quarterly income statements. Can anyone tell me how I can find the number of outstanding shares for a bulletin board or pink sheets stock?

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Bill Gross: Extreme Transparency (and Publicity)

Bill Gross, the still reigning king of incubators is pioneering a new concept which maybe we should call Extreme Transparency. I do believe he has guts. Years ago he invented the pay-per-click model where advertising costs were transparent. Anyone could see what other people were bidding on keywords. Everyone criticized this commercialization of search at the time, but that transparency led to a super-efficient auction model and is now making billions of dollars per year for both Yahoo (who bought Overture.com) and Google.

Now he’s getting a bunch of publicity for being transparent about the daily revenue numbers of a recent search engine startup called Snap.com. People think he’s crazy because the daily revenue right now is between $50 and $100, but I think he is smart, a) because of all the free publicity this is generating and b) because he and I have both watched web companies hit the J-curve. It’s not hard to believe that Snap.com will start with a small trickle of customers but over time it will achieve some scale with advertisers and customers and its numbers will explode. (Remember the e-business commercial where the few transactions start turning into hundreds or thousands per second? It doesn’t happen that quickly, but it does happen. It certainly happened with Goto.com, Bill’s first search engine company.) This could be the most closely watched J-curve in history.

Kudos to Bill for his innovative ideas and courage.

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