Wanted: More jobs for Watson

IBM’s always on the look out for new challenges for Watson to tackle. Two dozen teams of USC students recently had 48 hours to create their own business plans for the technology.

A First Look At USC’s YouTube Class

YouTube is announcing the 45 winners of its NextUp and Creator Institute contests today. The former will get $35,000 in cash, the latter a month-long YouTube class at a top film school. The announcement made us wonder: What exactly do you learn in YouTube class?

Does Android Have a Target on its Back?

Android is the hot smartphone platform currently, and that means the competition has it squarely in its sites. HTC has been the target for Apple and Microsoft, but Android is the definite victim. The Microsoft agreement HTC signed may have a long-term affect on Android.

Do Teens Really Not Tweet?

twitter-bird1Though Twitter is used by celebrities like Oprah and Ashton Kutcher, a recent analysis by Nielsen concluded it hasn’t yet caught on with the under-25 set, which it found accounts for just 16 percent of Twitter users. But not everyone agrees with the way the findings, gathered under the title “Teens Don’t Tweet; Twitter’s Growth Not Fueled By Youth” are being presented, nor the methodology used to procure them. Read More about Do Teens Really Not Tweet?

Vid-Biz: GRP, Metranome, Cable Cos

Mindshare Pushes Gross Ratings Point Standard for Web Video; developed with YuMe, the metric allows ad buyers to more directly compare effectiveness of TV and and broadband buys. (Ad Age)
Metranome Launches White Label Product for Mobile Video; Poptiq Powered lets content owners create applications around their brands; 60Frames and DadLabs have signed on. (release)
Cable Companies Working on New Content Delivery Methods; would allow for easier transport of video beyond the TV to other devices in the house and could turn your cable system into a mini on-demand video Internet. (Bits Blog)
Hallmark Channel, USC Teaming Up For Lifestage Study; research will look at how content and media devices are used as people move from one stage of their lives to the next (i.e. from student to worker, from single to married, etc.). (Multichannel News)
Behind the Scenes at a Netflix Distribution Center; a neat photo gallery showing how all those red envelopes get stuffed and sent out to you. (Boston.com)
FUNimation to Stream Toei Anime Online; subtitled versions of classic cartoons such as Fist of the North Star and Captain Harlock to appear on the site. (Variety)
VLC Looking for Mac OS X Developers; popular open-source media player project suffering from a lack of active Mac programmers; those interested should get in touch with the team. (OStatic)

March Madness: Get Your Startup Out of Pre-Revenue!

March Madness typically refers to NCAA college basketball, but this
month’s craziness ranges from stock market-madness to presidential primary-madness, more prez -primary-madness to movie-madness (Ferrell!), and finally, to Spitzer’s hooker-madness.

But founders have more important things on their minds — like getting your startup out of the purgatory of “pre-revenue.” My research can help. You’ll close some deals using these core sales strategies. These tips don’t involve much sweet talking, but they do demand some attention and organization.

1. Aim your sales efforts at being #2: Your goal should be a “second
supplier”. A major mistake is going for the throat too early. SSG, Second Supplier Gambit, is trying to be a #2 provider through your website. Set aside your need to be their #1 supplier and love the waitlist status you are on. If you’re #2 on enough lists, you’ll be #1 soon enough.

2. Speak at industry conferences: Industry get-togethers are always looking for bleeding edge speakers. If you’re advanced, offer to be a back-up speaker (yes you just applied SSG). Another technique is to offer content focus, speaker line-up pre-produced and almost turn-key. A more expensive option is to have a pro writer develop content for you to speak on. Google ghost writer and put up an elance or better yet visit a Local NSA (national speakers association) chapter. If your CEO can’t speak, hire an actor (kidding!). Or go to an acting class. Read More about March Madness: Get Your Startup Out of Pre-Revenue!