Archives for category: Business model

Updated Business Canvas




As long as news sites don’t severely edit comments, they’re not liable for comments on their sites, according to a collaboration of media lawyers and editors.

Communications Decency Act of 1996 (CDA) Section 230:  “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.” and  “No cause of action may be brought and no liability may be imposed under any state or local law that is inconsistent with this section.”

Cubby v. CompuServe, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 1991) – CompuServe sued for republishing user’s comment that a competing business is a “start-up scam” – Question: Is Cubby liable as a “republisher”? • Is Cubby a newspaper or a library? – Court finds that Cubby is a mere distributor, with no liability • No role in creating content • No opportunity to review content

Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co. (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 1995) – Anonymous user of Prodigy’s “Money Talk” bulletin board says a securities firm was a “cult of brokers who either lie for a living or get fired.” – Same result as Cubby? – Court finds this case is different, because Prodigy “held itself out to the public … as controlling the content of its computer bulletin boards.”

The natural lesson to be drawn from Cubby and Stratton-Oakmont?  If you control content, you will be liable.

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An instructive lesson for our project from Groupon CEO Andrew Mason who sums up his entrepreneurual experience building a global $15 billion company:

We started out building a site that was designed literally to solve the unsolvable problems of the world, and now we’re hawking coupons.

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The Lean Launchpad philosophy is predicated on an iterative process of customer development and validation. In Four Steps to the Epiphany, author and e245 teaching team member Steve Blank fervently evangelizes this process of field learning, discovery and pattern detection.

The Team experienced its first mini-epiphany this week during a second round of customer interviews on one of the web’s most contentious issues — online anonymity.

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Apparently, there’s no kiddie pool for budding entrepreneurs. It’s cannonball into the deep end or be the weird kid with the water wings and goggles clinging to the edge.

Read the rest of this entry » (formerly “News Talk”) is an ad-supported, web-based comment platform for daily news content. Vibrant real-time conversations and dynamic curation of news stories empowers people to expand their social networks and personal expertise about topics important to them. This improved capacity for discussing and sharing information addresses three problems vexing the news industry: inadequate online community engagement, poor topical search capacity on news sites, and scarcity of targeted online advertising niches.