Tuesday, July 10, 2007

I've sold my magazine websites

Ted Valentin

I’ve SOLD my magazine websites! (You can find a list of them at my company website Ted Valentin Holding AB).

The buyer is Medieutveckling.se - a young and versatile company in the magazine business. I will stay around a bit and help them with strategy issues - which I think is the fun part - but I will not be doing the administrative things anymore.

So I get some money and more time to start up new web projects!

Swedens major business daily - Dagens Industri, wrote a fun article about me yesterday, and it was the most read article on Dinapengar.se during the day. (Henrik Torstensson commented on his blog, as did Erik Stattin. IDG wrote about the press relese from Tidningskungen.)

What happens next? Well, I will try to seize this opportunity to start a bit afresh; I’ve order a Mac and a Linux server - and I might even try to do the switch to Ruby on Rails. (Before I’ve been developing on a PC, a Windows server, and in ASP. Ancient, huh?)

I might also give this blog a bit more love!



Eric Wahlforss - the programmer - has made a smooth running website called Onelinr.com. It’s a place where you can start up a “backchannel”. Eric himself calls it “ConferenceWare”. Here you can read more about the background for Onelinr. The key word is simplicity; it takes about one second to start your own backchanel and start using it. I really like the scaled down and super-user-friendly design.

Hej 2007 internet conference

Serious Ted Valentin

Most internet conferences in Stockholm are organised by the traditional media, like magazines, and therefore they are usually quite boring. (And so expensive that no fun young people can attend.) So like I’ve always said - it’s a better idea to spend the money on a plane ticket to San Francisco!

But now - finally - here’s a conference that I actually WANT to attend: Hej! 2007. It’s being organised by a few dynamic exchange students at KTH, from Singapore. I really hope that this time we’re going to hear something new in Stockholm!

So see you there! You’ll recognize me by the enormous amount of stickers on my laptop. :)

Idea #5: Spotify.com

“Spotify gives you the music you want, when you want it. Your choice is just a search box or a friendly recommendation away. You’ll be amazed by the speed and control you have with Spotify. ”

“Spotify was founded in 2006 by serial entrepreneurs Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon. The company is privately held and has 15 employees. Spotify is based in Luxembourg. ”

Sounds interesting! Looking forward to hear more about this.

Idea #4: Keybroker.se

Keybroker.se is the name of a new Swedish company that is supposed to help other companies advertise on search engines. The company is started by Fredik Arnander who has previously started some other companies (and who also went to the same school as I did).

It could be really lucrative to get a peice of the pie of the large companies spending on search engine advertising. And the Keybroker.se webpage looks really nice. But what they won’t tell you is that Google actually accounts for 95% of the search market in Sweden. Does anyone really need another middleman? Well, maybe if you’re a bit clueless and you’re running a company with deep pockets, you do.

Idea #3: Ipod + Wikipedia mashup

Another quick idea (that I discussed with friend Ben Morris today).

I want to download interesting information - as sound files - to my iPod. So that I can learn about the history of Malaysia or cream cheese while in the car, in the gym or on the airplane.

Then, this is a really simple solution: A webpage that combines www.wyhiayg.net [What You Hear is What You Get] and www.wikipedia.org. A mashup between the two.

Go to this page and simply search for any topic that’s on Wikipedia - and then download the entire article as a sound file to your iPod!

I made a short example about Alfred Nobel HERE. It’s in mp3 format. The info is from Wikipedia.org and the soundfile from Wyhiayg.net. The text-to-speech engine is perhaps not the best, but I’m sure someone could find a better one.

OK. Anyone interested in doing the coding? We could surely get a million visitors a month?

Idea #2: Video Learning

The last post got me thinking: Maybe I would prefer Video Learning.

For example: There’s a webpage called Speakersnet.se - where you can watch short videoclips with interesting swedish speakers. But wouldn’t it be nice with a webpage where you could watch full-time videoclips with interesting speakers from all over the world? I would be willing to pay for a good selection of videos with top speakers, in good quality.

And the marketing? The best thing would be to let the speakers themselves do the advertising - if they get a commission on each download, then they would have a great incentive to advertise the webpage for free. And a lot of downloads would also underline their popularity as speakers - and they could charge more for their gigs.

Idea #1: Audio Learning

This blog had only been running for a few hours when I met up with an old acquaintance from school. Together with some friends he’s starting a company called Audio Learning. The idea is to create speeches and management summaries - on audio - for business people on the move. I like the idea. But there are a lot of good ideas that never make it. In order to make money you need to either:

1. Get a lot of users…
2. … or charge every user a lot of money.

Personally I prefer business models that focus on point 1 - scale. As for most business models, the big issue here is: marketing. How can you - cheaply - reach a lot of people, get them interested, and get them to pay for the service?

Blog intro.

Sweden is country historically known for some great inventions. Like the three-point safety-belt, dynamite, the automatic lighthouse, the self-aligning roller bearing and other novel products that helped lay the foundation for prosperity in Sweden during the industrial age. Thanks to some inventive people some hundred years ago, new industries were created that helped lift Sweden out of poverty.

However, this blog is not about historical Swedish people or their inventions from the past. Rather it’s supposed to be about what’s going on in Sweden right now. Or perhaps even better - what's out there around the corner!

My personal interest is not so much in traditional inventions. [By that I mean the type of things that usually involve physical products, patents and large companies and institutions doing research and development for millions of dollars.] The stuff I’m interested in is rather: new and clever ways of doing business, with what you already have at hand.

Every entrepreneur doesn’t have to be build super-companies like IKEA or Skype. What I think is fun is how people can come up with fun and clever ways of solving problems, large or small, and then work hard so that they can make money - and their ideas can keep growing.