Mint Wins TechCrunch 40

Mint, the very timely and innovative startup that offers to organize *and optimize* your personal finances, won the TechCrunch 40 “competition” in Silicon Valley today.

I’m optimistic that Mint could be a great new company if it can get past the obvious key challenge – gaining enough trust from users that they’ll share banking passwords. This is a non-trivial problem given the incredible vulnerability you’d have if *all* your banking information was taken. For this reason I’m wondering if there is any way for Mint to figure out a way to offer some form of “insurance” to guarantee the protection of assets in the even of a Mint security breach. The challenge for them is that the depth of liability here is potentially enormous since they are “protecting” all of a users financial information. | TechCrunch | Mint Wins | Mint reviewed by VentureBeat

O.J. Simpson Charged

O. J. Simpson has just been charged with armed kidnapping after an incident at a Las Vegas Hotel  called the Palace Station.

No, I don’t usually blog about such stuff but this is another optimizing test.   This is only a test.  Do not be alarmed or fear that O.J. Simpson will come to your Las Vegas Hotel room.   For the next sixty seconds please ignore this test.

One of those with O. J. taped the fracas and it seemed clear from the tape that there were guns and the threat of violence.    O. J. Simpson appears to be  claiming he’s totally innocent of these charges and that it was all a misunderstanding between O.J. and the memoribilia dealer who had the Palace Station Hotel room.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled blogishness.

Yahoo Mash – all play and no work?

Social networks are the key to understanding the “new” online world so I’m paying a lot of attention to Yahoo’s entry into this space called Mash.    Myspace, with close to 100,000,000 profiles remains by far the king of this heap though Facebook is catching up fast.  Yahoo failed to aquire Facebook after offering – according to most reports – about a billion dollars for what is arguably the best programmed and highest potential social networking environment.

With Mash, several of the beta testing folks including me are asking the question Li Evans correctly is asking over at Yahoo Mash:

… do we really need another Social Network?

I think the answer is basically “yes”, because we need to improve social networking so that you don’t have to sign up separately and build profiles and hassle with friends for every Mash, Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace that comes along.

We need social networking that breaks down the things that separate people from pure online interactions on their own terms, at their own time, and with the information they want to provide to others.   Facebook and Mash admirably are starting to do this with open architectures and developer programs and we are already seeing some great stuff come out of the Facebook environment.    Mash, correctly, is also working to keep development easy and open though they seem to be looking to compete with Myspace more than Facebook.    This may be a good idea from a profitability perspective but it’s disapointing to those of us who want some fun but mostly work related interactions with folks.

Yahoo Mash Blog

OK to email me if you need an invite to Mash beta   jhunkins @