Who am I?

15 Dec
2008

The post title references a classic Jackie Chan movie, replete with awful (and hilarious) dialog combined with bizarre fight sequences involving props galore.

While most of what I talk about here (and really think about daily) revolves around the local space, I do a lot more than that. I’ve been building (proper) websites since roughly 2000, and did not enter the local space until 2005. Enthropia Inc was incorporated in early 2003. This means we were obviously up to other stuff than local – and we continue to.

As a quick example – I found value in domains, and picked up a few that I developed out. Some worked, some didn’t. Two top domains that were once owned by me were beat.com and webmaster.org. Both were developed out at one time – until a more lucrative offer (or better opportunity) made their sale an easy decision.

Local to me is a long term project that will not be solved in 1 year, or even 5 years. It requires a seismic shift in thinking – in how the YP business operates, in how consumers perform local search engines, and in how small business owners treat and operate with the internet (clearly exemplified in my last post on people being jackasses). Right now, I feel like local search is a swimming pool. We were on the edge with our feet sticking in, and sites like Yelp.com and Menupages.com have pushed us fully into the water (albeit the shallow end). Product inventory and companies like Yipit and LDC are pushing us towards the deep end – but everything has to come together before we can finally enjoy and have fun in the deep end.

But of course – all of that will take time. And while as a company we are growing very well

in the local space (giving us the capital to expand in new directions – more on that next year), we have other areas that provide us with revenue too (being self-funded requires creativity). Occasionally I will point at one of our efforts – in fact, I had two posts I wanted to write about, but one of them I imagined would get incorrectly construed with local. And so this post to clear the air.

I spend maybe 90% of my thinking time towards local. That still leaves 10% to do some other interesting stuff.

5 Responses to Who am I?

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Aaron Weiche

December 15th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

Great analogy Ahmed. I often wish I had 90% of my time toward local. Seems to be where most of my ideas are, but little time is directed there.

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Andre Marcelo-Tanner

December 15th, 2008 at 10:37 pm

I dont know you…

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otoburb

December 16th, 2008 at 1:14 am

I see a real use-case here for FluidDB. I’ll think more and post in a blog to flesh it out some more.

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Hany

December 16th, 2008 at 1:54 am

Looking forward to hearing more about Enthropia’s other ventures :)

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Kyle Else

December 16th, 2008 at 3:28 am

Well, starting in the local space, January 2006, I also echo your statements that its a long term project yet to be solved. I still continue to add new annotations to my ideas of what users need from local systems. I’ll walk over to buy a cup of tea and ponder what am I missing? What big pains besides the obvious nearby POI does a user want? What if I was a tourist or have an emergency?

As of late, I’ve been analyzing Grandfathered GIS solutions that could potentially be adopted into resources for local technology solutions.

For example think about luxury car manufactures (ie: Fortune 500) and power windows (Desktop GIS Solutions). Luxury can manufactures drive technology in the automobile industry b/c of big budgets for R&D as well as demand for lifestyle or convenience for drivers. Power windows started in custom luxury limo’s then trickled down to less expensive cars that offered power windows as a upgrade option – now they are so common it is a stock feature – when is the last time you had to hand-crank your window up or down? To the point – Government, Public Safety, Utilities, Business, Education, Defense, etc. have all developed valuable knowledge tools with Desktop GIS Systems and I expect to see those insights trickle down to local web applications.

The quest continues…

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