Francisco Tomé Costa

Blog where I write about stuff that's on my mind, so it can be on your mind, too

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Passion is Overrated

Don’t get me wrong, passion is the ignition of lots of projects. But in the end it’s hard (and expensive) to keep the flame burning.

Fall in love with the journey and get the most out of those special moments. Reinvent your desires, set seasonal goals and pull hard.

Today, live for tomorrow. Keep positive, optimistic and… give your best shot!

Trend for 2011 – Human Search Engines

Those who use Internet since the 90′s may remember the underground cyberpunk culture, the birth of IRC and the rise of many search engines.

Ask Jeeves (now known as ask.com) appeared around 1997 and gained lots of buzz. The site encouraged users to search, by ask one question and the keywords were filtered by company personnel in order to present more relevant results, just like if you have a personal steward who gives you the answers to your enigmas and requests.

Despite its relative success, at the end of the decade, a startup called Google erased all that market competition.

find xIs interesting to note that more than 10 years later, new applications where questions are asked, grow every day just like mushrooms. Of course they are adapted to the present reality and use technologies and concepts that just weren’t there in the beginning of the Web, but the concept is quite similar. Supported through a social network based architecture, sites like Yahoo Answers, Formspring, Quora, the all Stack Exchange Network or Mahalo allow users to ask questions about particular subjects, usually categorized in different domains, and obtain results, answered and ranked by the community. This kind of services are being already outsourced (like qhub) and they can leverage some business opportunities based on third-party applications.

I also believe that there is much to explore in some non-technological fields such as arts (music, movies, etc.), sports and economics. And of course all the niches within each of these areas.

Collective intelligence communities allow an effectively knowledge management when you live on an information society. The dissemination of electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets increased the group of information junkies. In urban places and big cities of modern countries, is now unthinkable for an individual not to be connected 24 hours a day.

While mathematical algorithms processed by computer, such as Google, are continuously being improved, I also believe there is a lot to explore in areas such as artificial intelligence and semantic web. So for now, nothing better to have humans answering my questions.

Redpill, staying in Wonderland

Once again, it’s that time of the year when you look back and start to think about what you accomplished during the last 12 months.

The first thing that pops my mind is that I didn’t blog here at all, and become a twitter addict. Well, that is not enterely true, because I’ve done some writting to TheNextWeb Portugal.

Patrulha.TVIn August I’ve also started to opinate about some tecnological weekly news at Patrulha.TV with my fellow friend André Tavares. Doing for the first time a video podcast was a very good experience where we’ve learn a lot about communication, we met a lot of people, played with some gadgets, and above all, had a lot of fun. I think that video is finally starting to gain some dimension in the Portuguese web environment where most of the urban kids an teenagers consume more web video content that watch TV. That said, the way content is produced and consumed began to change, and web platforms play a major row. At Patrulha.TV we want to be a part of this and to push this revolution.

Another achievement was the completion of the Master in Innovation and Technological Entrepreneurship.

tymrI’ve also released an event social network TYMR.com. During the last months this has been responsible by 95% of my time and were I spend all my strenghts and thinking. I’ve traveled thousands of kms, stole hundreds of hours to my sleep, met dozens of people and made some of the thoughest decisions of my life but now it’s finally taking shape.
This SaaS is currently in a very active development and more features will be released soon. At the moment, everything is focused in turning it to a robust service.
Someday I’ll write a more detailed post dedicated to all this entrepeneurial experience, that still lasts and it’s only in its beginning.

I’ve attend some conferences and talks like Portugal Empreendedor, SWITCH Conference, TEDx O’Porto, Codebits and BarcampPT, among others, where I had the opportunity to meet inspirational individuals that I admire for a long time and mainly to enrich my network of personal contacts. During the next year I intend to be more active and keep on increasing my networking skills =)

I want to believe that 2010 was just a warm-up year, and that in 2011 the game kicks off. I’m feeling willful and that’s why I’m taking again the Redpill.

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