Dear Michael Arrington, Please don't come back. Sincerely, Europe. The TechCrunch founder lives the high life in Paris at the Le Web conference, but finds two hours lunches at odds with the start-up mentality of doing whatever it takes to succeed. A rankled conference organizer asks his readers if they think Arrington should even be invited back next year (they don't), and the Silicon Valley guru cries censorship.
Did you just ;-) at me? Make the check out to Oleg Teterin. Hoping to cash in on the popularity of the wink emoticon ";-)", Teterin trademarked the series of punctuation marks with Russia's federal patent agency. Good luck enforcing that.
"FWD — Re: You're Fired." Laid off by email? Find out your company was downsizing on Valleywag before you heard it from your boss? The Big Money splices together a video on layoffs in the digital age.
Leaner, Better, Cheaper Solar. The solar industry has seen roughly $4.5 billion distributed among 150 solar start-ups in the past four years. But with at least one analyst predicting a 40 percent drop in financing for alternative energy in 2009, the sector is committed to going lean. One company's aim? To make solar "as cheap as coal."
Does Display Advertising work? Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures blogs about the pros and cons of search vs. display ads on the web. The takeaway: display ads may not lead to immediate clicks, but they can still boost traffic to your site up to four weeks after the ad's been viewed. He recommends a mix of both.
South Dakota or bust. The conservative Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council releases its annual report on the states with the highest tax burdens for small companies. At the top of the list is South Dakota, followed by Nevada. The costliest states for doing business? New Jersey (no. 50) and California (no. 49).
Angels get their wings clipped. The results aren't finalized yet, but a recent survey from the Angel Capital Association shows that thus far angel investments have dropped at least ten percent from 2007 to 2008. The average size of an investment went up 6 percent to about $280,000 per deal, but the number of investments per group plummeted 16 percent.
You are what you search. Yahoo and Google release their top 10 search terms for 2008. Yahoo's skews a little more low-brow with Britney Spears and WWE at the top of the list. Google skews millennial with Obama and Facebook.