Alan Hall speech at E Station ceremony

(Note: these are my notes from Alan\’s Hall speech at the E Station ribbon cutting. They are his words, as well as I could capture them, not mine.)

I hope that in the future we\’ll look back on this date and realize that this initiative has been a success.

If just one great company comes out of all this investment, perhaps the size of MarketStar, then we would count this as a great success. But we think we have a secret sauce and have the ability to create many successful companies.

My Three Week Absence

I miss blogging.

Three weeks ago my blogging software stopped working. I tried a bunch of things and couldn\’t get it to work. So finally I called in my COO and asked him to manage my transition from Userland to WordPress. Phil Windley switched from Userland to Moveable Type, but Richard Miller convinced me to go to WordPress instead.

So I\’m finally back.

And I am amazed by the things that have happened during the last three weeks that I\’ve not blogged about. The pace of technological innovations continues to accelerate.

Here are a few headlines that I\’ve missed commenting on:

BYU as an Incubator

My friend Tad Walch wrote an article in today\’s Deseret News about the Business Week article that highlights Provo and 4 other cities as great places to start companies. BYU gets a lot of credit, as does the missionary program of the LDS Church, for creating entrepreneurs.

Tad got some good quotes from my other friend, Dave Bateman, who is possibly my favorite bootstrapping entrepreneur of all time–a constant source of inspiration and amazingly smart ideas.

iProvo: Fiber Optic for a City of 100,000

Provo, Utah, a city of more than 105,000 has owned its own power plant since 1940 (see Provo Mayor\’s message: November 2000). In 2000, Mayor Lewis Billings began discussions that resulted in decisions to deploy a city-wide fiber optic network called iProvo.

The city owns this network, but leases it to companies who will provide telecommunication services to Provo residents and businesses.

New Incubator in Southern California

One of the co-founders of Commission Junction, Per Pettersen, announced in July that he was forming an incubator/holding company called Estalea. He planned to start 3 companies this year. I can\’t find a company web site and in Per is still listed as the CTO at Commission Junction. But I\’m always excited to find fools like myself that still believe in an incubator model.

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 and Google.