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April 27, 2006

Net Neutrality - Defending Online Innovation

Net Neutrality provides the freedom that has made the internet a great creative commons. It guarantees that the telecom carriers and ISPs do not interfere with the flow of information on the net; it stops them from interfering with the flow of data for profit. Telecom lobbyists are arguing that they should be allowed to sell different levels of service, at different prices. And CISCO is providing the equipment to filter internet traffic according to commercial rules.

Traffic to big corporate web servers would have the right of way over small company traffic. In clear corruption of the internet early values, as described by Lawrence Lessig , famous for his book Future of Ideas, calls it the end-to-end principle so essential for the internet to continue to be a creative commons, where anybody can connect anything from anywhere on the internet.

The future is being sold to industries of the past.

Yet, Net neutrality is so easy to take for granted. Like free breathable air, freedom of speech, freedom of movement. You only notice them when they are absent or taken away from you. I think many non-militant people will become radicals pro-freedom activists, when big business puts its first filters in.

Small business entrepreneurs are the first into the fray. As a technologist and entrepreneur it is unthinkable that new statups companies should have to ask permission and pay for the privilege of connecting my web servers to the internet. The loss of net neutrality will kill off hundreds and thousands of startups with enormous potential.

The political battle is currently ongoing in Washington. Recently the telecom corporations had a victory, as net neutrality legislation was set back Telecoms groups turn back plans for net price controls, a few organizations lobbying to maintain net freedom are

There is so much we take for granted

Paul Elosegui

April 26, 2006

Top UK ecommerce site tops £1000m in sales

In 2005, averaged 28,500 orders a day, with the average order coming to £97. With 750,000 active users, the supermarket giant's online store contributes 3% to its total sales.

Online sales growth continues with 32% growth in sales for the year ending 2005, while profit margins increase by 55% relative to 2004, as economies of scale kick in.'s nearest UK rivals achieve nowhere near these volumes. According to web traffic statistics site Alexa, Tesco has approximately 67 % of the market reach when taking account other retailers. Both Waitrose and Sainsbury's opted out of the online channel in 2003-2004.

Tesco pursues an aggressive technology development program aimed at reducing costs and improving service to customers. An estimated 200,000 customers a day use the self-scan checkout, which eliminates waiting times at queues.

April 22, 2006

Colorado Technology Institute Closes

The Colorado Institute of Technology is quietly closing its doors, six years after it was created amid hopes of someday rivaling Caltech and MIT as an educational powerhouse churning out digital-age engineers. Tech facility closing

In my experience regional authorities get the best results in "creating technology clusters" by recruiting market forces into the process. Essentially, private equity investors and venture capitalists will inadvertently create more sustained regional economic growth than a government committee.

Quoting Brad Feld a Colorado venture capitalist, on the closure of the Colorado Institute of Technology.

Education is at the core of creating a great, long term, entrepreneurial environment. While a few people in Colorado, such as Jared Polis, are doing great things, our state government and business leaders should look at the failure of CIT as a major wake up call that we are simply not doing enough, or the right things, or managing them effectively, I wasnt involved in CIT, so its hard to be specifically critical, as Ive spent most of my Colorado-based entrepreneurial - education activity working with CU Boulder Deming Center for Entrepreneurship and the CU Denver Bard Center for Entrepreneurship, but Id hypothesize that if the companies that invested energy and money into CIT had channeled the same energy and money into these two institutions, there would have been a better outcome.

The most successful technology parks I have visited have a resident marketing & sales support department, and the worst performing parks focus on technology support. St John's Technology Park in Cambridge (UK) has a great commercial support team and a great tenancy record.

[Disclosure: I am a serial entrepreneur, my views may be biased]