All your IP are belong to us.

Sometimes it takes a bad meme to explain the obvious, and sometimes that meme is correct.1

In 2013, I was working in a robotics factory in Santa Clara California – right in the heart of Silicon Valley. I had the good fortune to talk to several of the Tesla engineers about overseas manufacturing. There message was simple and blunt. “If you are in China do not even mention IP (Intellectual Property), or the next day you’ll see it on the streets being sold.”

Yesterday, while looking through hacka12phoneday.com I ran across an interesting article, entitled Reverse-Engineering a Superior Chinese Product. To say the least, I was intrigued because most Chinese Products are cheap copies or clones. But just like the Japanese have learned to increase quailty to increase sales, I expect the Chinese to do the same. In the article, American engineers reverse engineer a $12 Chinese phone (sold only in China).

Here is a blurb from that hackaday article (Jan 1, 2105):

[Bunnie] has dubbed the phenomenon “Gongkai”, a type of institutionalized, collaborative, infringementesque knowledge-exchange that occupies an IP equivalent of bartering. Not quite open source, not quite proprietary. Legally, this sharing is only grey-market on paper, but widespread and quasi-accepted in practice — even among the rights holders.

That article links to a blog post from bunnie. Here is a short blurb — to encourage you to read it.

Gongkai is more a reference to the fact that copyrighted documents, sometimes labeled “confidential” and “proprietary”, are made known to the public and shared overtly, but not necessarily according to the letter of the law. However, this copying isn’t a one-way flow of value, as it would be in the case of copied movies or music. Rather, these documents are the knowledge base needed to build a phone using the copyright owner’s chips, and as such, this sharing of documents helps to promote the sales of their chips. There is ultimately, if you will, a quid-pro-quo between the copyright holders and the copiers.

NOTE: After the eighth paragraph Bunnie breaks in to some technical discussion. It is intended for person reading Hackaday, not entreprenuers. However, beyond that some of the article is interesting, such as the prediction he cites by a former MIT professor.

Other parts are comical, such as the section entilted Reversing the Boot Structure

Other parts have real implications, such as the second paragraph of Booting an OS

The video is also extremely interesting. I recommend watching the first 15 minutes and the last 15 minutes.

—-

Footnotes

1. All your base are belong to us

Where have I been?

The "Prickly Pear" is a favorite of my Mother. It is fruit for this part of the world

The “Prickly Pear” is a favorite of my Mother. It is fruit for this part of the world

Today is the first day in months I had a chance to write. My last real post was about two months ago. Around that time my mother had receive her bankruptcy settlement.

To give you some detail, late in 2008 – during the housing implosion – one of the rental properties my parents own was going in the “higher percentage rate”; previously known as “balloon payments”. The consequence was a court fight between the parties that own the property. That in turn lead to bankruptcy. To say the least, it was stupid – real stupid. At this point, my mother has lost her house of 30+ years, two crappy rentals remain – that the bank refused to take in bankruptcy, but still wants it’s money. And we are living in El Paso, Texas.

MIXEDCHARTS_maquiladora

Click on the image to find out more about the factories that border both countries.

In the meantime, I have come to find out that El Paso (and it’s twin city across the border – Ciudad Juárez) is the 22nd largest metropolitan area in the United States; and it is the third fastest-growing metropolitan area. It has an International Airport and three (3) Border crossing. The factories across the border, known as Maquiladoras, provide one of the largest economic bases in the area, second only to “West Texas Crude“. In short, El Paso, despite it’s relatively average income, is very profitable area of the US. In addition, it is one of the earliest North American possession for Spain.

entrepreneur.com – Top 100 Crowdfunded things

Lately, crowdfunding platforms like kickstarter, indiegogo, & others have been taking up headlines in the tech industry. They have become a source of democratization of our economy. However, someday people will contend the illuminati are behind it all. In either case, the links below work as pointers to its previous success.

How The Top 100 Crowdfunded Companies Raised Major Money

http://m.entrepreneur.com/article/229397

Top 100 Crowdfunded Companies

published November 2013
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229477

4 Famous Crowdfunding Fails

posted October 24, 2013
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229423

  1. New York City Opera – Kickstarter – $1M/$303K
  2. Ubuntu Edge Phone – Indiegogo – $32M/12.8M
  3. Melissa Joan Hart’s Romantic Comedy – Kickstarter – $2M/$51K
  4. Zosia Mamet’s Music Video – Kickstarter – $32K/$2.7K

Topic: Top 100 Crowdfunded Companies

http://www.entrepreneur.com/topic/top-100-crowdfunded-companies

John Stroppa’s Alternate Funding Strategies

On July 21, 2014, John and about a dozen persons meet in the classroom at HackerDojo. Starting promptly at 6pm, a few people were late. None-the-less, John pressed through giving his experience – drawn from his successes and exits in the video game industry in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

John outlined six (6) methods for capital besides bootstrapping or venture (or seed) capital, in short — without giving up equity.

    1. Strategic / Ecosystem or platform monopsony – in which a player needs a product or service by which they can continue to enhance their market position. An example is a search engine for walled gardens. A9, for example, started as a generic search engine, now it’s largest customer and investor is Amazon.
    2. Sponsored – sponsoring is a great to jump start a business. In this model another company or organization would pay to use your product for a demo or publicity event. For example, Coca-Cola might use your telepresence avatars for an international youth event.
    3. Factored – With this method, it does feel a bit like a pre-sale, but infact the money is fronted on expected sales. Also other terms are given, such as early exclusive sale or access to the product for a given period. An example would be a retailer that expects to sell other products with the early release of a game. As such, money fronted is drawn from the pre-sale until the money is “factored” back. You could also see it as a loan, payed back from sales.
    4. Philanthropic – An example of this is a large event being sponsored by a philanthropic organization that decides it needs some sort of unique service, such as an online game.
    5. OEM/White label – create a generic product for an industry. A good idea is doing want ads for electronic magazines, or monthlies that have turned to the web; such as trade magazines.
    6. Crowdfunding/Crowdsourcingkickstarter, indiegogo, fundable

Google: Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding.com lists – gofundme.com, kickstarter, indiegogo, youcaring.com, causes, giveforward, crowdrise, fundly, firstgiving, fundrazr

Forbes.com Top 10 Crowd funding websites kickerstarter, indiegogo, crowdfunder, rockethub, crowdrise, somolend, appbacker, invested.in, quirky (AngleList is not a crowdfunding website contrary to what the article implies.)

Places to eat in the Greater Silicon Valley

Don’t Yelp! Just enjoy the food and locality. These are places I have personally visited.

  • House_ofPrimeRibHouse of Prime Rib – SF – The only place to get dry-aged USDA Grade Prime – prime rib. Want it rare? No problem. Want it well done? Ask for the end-cut. Want fish, burger, or pasta; go somewhere else. This place has prime rib, mashed or baked potato, creamed spinach, french bread. You’ll need a doggy bag for the “King Henry VIII Cut”. And if you want liquor it’s available. This *IS* a civilized place. Open daily for dinner till 10pm.
  • LouiesBarLouie’s Bar – SF – Wade recommends the bourbon BBQ burger, and a beer, of course. This is a man cave, but chicks visit it too. Margaritas what are those?
  • MainStreet_Roaster_200x200Main Street Coffee Roasting Company – Redwood City – coffee hand-roasted daily in small batches. The roaster, Bob, learn from the guy that started Peet’s. It is *the* best coffee in the bay area. Mona the restaurateur and baker excellent, runs the front room. She’s up at 3am to make the best scones in town. The daily menu includes a new omelette every day. The french toast comes with real maple syrup. It is great; but it’s not available Saturdays. There is an outdoor patio – in the back. Closed Sundays and some holidays.
  • JansDeliJan’s Deli – Menlo Park – A fresh turkey is roasted daily. Not, a turkey ball, not a turkey breast, the whole turkey. It is the best turkey sandwich in the bay area. It’s blocks from SRI. There is a outdoor patio – in the front. Open for lunch, closes by 4pm weekdays; closed Sundays and some holidays.

Some bourbons you might want to try, if you can find it.

Pappy Van Winkle, The Bourbon So Popular Even Billionaires Can’t Find It
http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2013/07/08/meet-the-bourbon-so-popular-even-billionaires-cant-find-a-bottle/
Kentucky’s Case of the Missing Bourbon
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/us/kentuckys-case-of-the-missing-bourbon.html