Access to Analyst Reports
recently released their new book Getting Real online as a ebook
. They give away a few chapters that are designed to entice you into buying the whole book. I would like to see the same idea applied to analyst reports. For example, an analyst could put part of the report online for free and then charge a nominal fee to get the full report. Alternatively, an analyst could give away some reports and charge for others. The key though is to reset the price point for analyst reports. 37 Signals charges a very reasonable $19 for one copy of the book and $49 for a site license. When is the last time you purchased an analyst report for under $20?
Google Calendar Thoughts
Like everyone else, I have been playing with the much anticipated Google Calendar. Overall, I think it's a very well done. It has all the AJAX style stuff you would expect from Google. I like that it is only loosely coupled with Gmail as well. I imported my calendar file from SunBird in just a few minutes and everything worked as expected. It's also great to see Google support the iCal standards and provide RSS feeds. I have no doubt we will see more integration and some cool mashups out of all this.
One use case I hope they work on is: "Schedule a Meeting." It is great I can share and see other people's calendars, which is a step in the right direction. Now, what they need to do is to provide a wizard style interface for scheduling a meeting. This interface would allow me to select the invitees and then show me a graphical schedule of availability and allow me to pick open times for a meeting. Right now, this is a multi-step process where you must first subscribe to everyone's calendar, look at availability, and then schedule the meeting. Some way to automate this would be outstanding. Exchange does this very well today. You can select invitee and schedule a meeting without having to subscribe to their calendars.
There is no doubt Exchange is the definitive market leader when it comes to calendars. There is one key use case that Exchange does not solve: "Schedule meeting across different companies." Google and it's hosted calendar is in the perfect position to solve this. If Google does this, then they may revolutionize how we use calendars. Let's hope the do.