Since Mike Osborn founded Wine.com in 1998, he has tackled a complex web of state-by-state regulations, and effectively shut out competitors. Wine.com sales were $60 million in 2011.
Spotify's desire to move from a simple streaming service to a full-on 'OS of music' has been bolstered by the latest wave of apps for the company's desktop client.Twelve new applications have been unleashed, joining add-ons like Moodagent, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork TuneWiki and Songkick, which have been a huge success since arriving in November 2011.Among the new breed are entries from record labels like Warner (with The Warner Sound), DefJam, Domino, Matador and indie company PIAS, all bringing an enriched experience to their vast libraries.There's also an app called TweetVine, which collates playlists based on the #NowPlaying hashtags posted on Twitter, but not necessarily from those you follow.Lots of social curation Digster is another interesting addition. It trawls your listening history and Facebook likes to create new playlists, while Filtr curates track lists based around what your Facebook friends are listening to.Hot or Not is a game, of sorts, which allows you to judge which tracks are indeed Hot or Not while Classify is a portal for all of your classical music needs.The Complete Collection brings album booklets while The Legacy Of... brings historical insight into a host of your favourite musicians.As with the first wave of apps, they're all free to download and are available from within the App Finder section of the desktop client.There's still no sign of an app store launch for the Spotify Premium mobile apps which serve the company's three million paying customers
Social gaming overlord Zynga has officially snapped up rival studio OMGPOP, the creator of the Pictionary-style Draw Something app.Confirming reports earlier this week, the studios have reached an agreement, thought to be in the region of $200m (£120m).Draw Something has proved to be somewhat of a phenomenon over the last month, rising to the top of the iOS, Android and Facebook charts soon after its launch.The game requires its 30 million plus users to draw pictures based on word clues, while attempting to guess those doodled by opponents. It can also be played across platforms.Engendering social interactionsNoting the game's dramatic rise to the top of the social gaming arena, Zynga (which enjoyed similar success with Scrabble clone Words With Friends) has moved fast to acquire the title."The OMGPOP team has created a game that's fun, expressive and engenders real social interaction," said Zynga CEO Mark Pincus in a news release.
You're the boss, but you still spend too much time on the day-to-day. Here's how to become the strategic leader your company needs.In the beginning, there was just you and your partners. You did every job. You coded, you met with investors, you emptied the trash and phoned in the midnight pizza.
When you are up against a wall, you can still make the best of a tough decision. Here are 4 ways to keep your dream--and your business--alive.It can happen at any stage of the start-up life-cycle. After months or even years of success, you can just hit a wall.
PayPal’s Here mobile payments products represent a direct assault on Square, and the company adds in a few features that would take some effort for Square to replicate.
Any of these mistakes could cost you time, money, and the security of your business.You'd like to think of yourself as tech-savvy: You upgraded to the latest Web browser, started using CRM software in your business, and even added a new mail server running Microsoft Exchange. What could go wrong?Plenty. In fact, you might be making a classic tech blunder at this very moment...1. Buying the wrong laptopDon't get sucked in by the low price of a new system. That shiny new Dell might not be all it is cracked up to be.
Google is set to shake up its search results by adding facts and direct answers to its usual list of ranked pages.Using "semantic search" technology which allows for a better understanding of the true meaning of words, the company hopes to provide more relevant results.Google search executive Amit Singhal said that the new system will be more like "how humans understand the world."Search queries will be matched with a database of "entities" which includes people, places and things which Google has been building for the last two years.This will likely be bolstered by Google's acquisition of Metaweb Technologies in 2010.
Japan has long been established to be the land that has the most vending machines to serve its large population (numbering at around 5.5 million machines that cater for around 127 million people), and this time around we have a version of the vending machine which will be able to work even when there is no power supply available. The whole idea behind this vending machine? To be able to work even when there is a power-related disaster, as it allows folks to access the contents of the machine without having to vandalize it in the first place. Sanden is the brains behind this hand-crank vending machine, where it takes around 70 cranks or so to deliver enough juice to the machine in order to dispense up to seven bottles.
The cost of starting a business today is lower than ever. If you have an idea, pursue it. Or give one of these three arenas a hard look. I would (if I weren't already tied up in social media).Recently I outlined the two most important rules to follow when deciding what market to attack for your new business. In turn, many readers asked me which markets are most ripe for starting new businesses.Here are the three areas I'd explore if I weren't already knee deep in social media at Buddy Media:1.