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Project Stargate: "Always On" Skype video connection between remote offices

UPDATES:  Stargate is Live! | Also, see SimpleGeo's Implementation

We recently expanded PointAbout from its office in Washington DC, opening a new office for AppMakr in San Francisco (as an aside - interesting personal-interest story about the move here).

One problem with geographic separation is that the people in the other office are very abstract.  You might see work coming from them in the form of code, releases, email, etc., but it's very hard for the actual people between offices to make a connection.  And that inter-personal connection is very important to us as a company, so I set out to figure out a way to solve it.

My co-founder Sean aptly named this project "Project Stargate," after the science fiction Stargate movie in which shortcut paths to the Universe are opened up through a round, glowing portal (really wanna geek out?  More details on Stargate here), so the name has stuck.

I'll be adding to this blog as we figure things out, and I'd really like to have your thoughts in the comments section below, especially if you've done any work to solve this problem (any Y Combinator startups out there working on this vexing issue?).   Just to be clear, we all have AIM, or Gtalk, or Skype call & video chat abilities - that's not the problem.  The problem is that to initiate a call or IM chat requires effort.  And while it may be a very small, minimal amount of effort, nonetheless it's effort, which means that the magical moments where someone turns to another person and says "hey, I have an idea" or "can you look at this for me" are lost.  And that's really, really significant.  Since effort is required to establish a connection, the serendipitous connections are lost.  That's what I'm trying to bring back through "Project Stargate".

London Ranked as the World's #3 Startup Hub

On Isaac Lewis

The Startup Genome Report released a new report which compares the startup ecosystem in various cities. Their previous report gathered information on over 500 startups to identify common patterns of success. I really like these guys, as they're replacing all the vapid tech punditry we see today with actual data.

The current startup scene sometimes reminds of people 400 years ago who debated for years whether a bowl of water would be heavier if you put a fish in it, without ever thinking to actually weigh the damn bowl. Did you hear of this thing we invented called "science", which means that instead of endlessly debating stuff on TechCrunch or Hacker News, you should just go out and measure it?

Rant over, here's the city rankings:

Article here: http://techcrunch.com/2012/04/10/startup-genome-compares-top-startup-hubs/


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