Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
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Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Next Big Things - Wow

We talked about the Net extending into the physical. Here's an absolutely killer example:

"..In short, Manber & Co. (urged on by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who Manber says was "very involved") strapped GPS-enabled digital videocamera-cum-terabyte server rigs to the top of a bunch of SUVs, and drove them around the commercial districts of major U.S. metropolitan areas, recording what became composite still pictures of entire cities, one address at a time. Tens of thousands of miles later, they had more than 20 million images of over 14 million businesses in 10 cities, and they aren't done yet. A9 then created a local search application it calls Block View. It's pretty darn cool, incorporating a lot of Javascript and other tricks to let you "walk" up and down the block. (You can't turn a corner yet, but you can look at the other side of the street.) A9 then integrated Block View with Yellow Pages listings (from Axiom) and voil´┐Ż -- local search with a visual cue. You have a picture of any business you're looking for. "It lets you see the Yellow Pages, as opposed to just reading them," Manber told me."

This is stunningly cool - and incredibly visionary. Check out my example of searching for pizza joints in San Mateo. Phenomenal stuff, needs to be played with to be appreciated. Talk about leveraging scale and scope economies to construct massive barriers to platform imitation - wow. (Via Om).

-- umair // 5:09 PM // 1 comments


There were a couple of guys doing this at Idealab in 2000, so the idea's been around for a while. It didn't make sense as a standalone business, but it might make a nice product. I wrote about it on my blog here.
// Blogger Amanda // 3:10 AM

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