FirstPagr, your (growing) web sites on a page

Let me introduce our web app FirstPagr, a really simple tool to make a really simple website. It makes a static page that can contain lists. It does not do any automatic aggregation of your contents elsewhere or any interactive feature like commenting or RSS. You, no one or no machine else, enter everything you want on the page manually. Why such a primitive tool?

When you created a blog, you thought it would be your 'homepage'. You may have even bought a domain (yourname.com) and associated it with the blog. But things changed. Now, you may spend more time at Facebook or with Twitter. Even worse(?) you may create another blog, or a tumblog. So, what is your 'home' page? You wonder or you don't care, if you were like me.

A side effect of this is that you stop caring about giving your own domain name to your sites. Either you have no choice of putting a custom domain name (e.g. Facebook) or, even if you did, you are tired of coming up with and buying new domains.

You may have linked sites with each other. Your blog lists all your other sites, and your facebook profile lists all your other sites, and your friendfeed lists... Some people seem to think that(linking) is natural on the web. But in my eyes, that seems like 'over-linking'. (In fact, a recent fashion seems to be copying and pasting contents everywhere. That's ... over-loading.) I don't enjoy looking at all those small icons at a sidebar. It only gives me the impression that this person is another contributor/victim of information overload.

So we created FirstPagr to let us make the simplest site that can link to other sites of yours. You can only have one page. You type in the site name and create lists of your sites (with some descriptions, if you want). That's it.

So far, I am personally very happy as a user. I used to associate www.hyokon.com with my blog, but now with my FirstPagr. Have a look and try yourself.


Insuring high-risk customers.How?

Fred Wilson's 'Making My Personal Health Record Public' is inspirational, though I am not completely agreeing (or disagreeing). Privacy matters aside, I think the insurance issue is a very interesting one. The biggest project I did as a strategy consultant was about insurance, making the first online insurance in Korea (and one of the first globally, as we could not give the clients any success case when they strongly demanded one) and strengthening the existing agent-based insurance business. The project involved auto and life insurances.

This is same in the auto insurance. No one wants to insure a truck or a motorcycle in Korea. So a lot of them go uninsured, or get alloted to insurance companies by some rules (part government, part self regulation).

I have discussed with an exec that there may be a business opportunity to create an insurer who specializes in high-risk vehicles. Fundamentally, insurance exists because there are risks. Unless the risk is systematic (meaning accidents tend to happen together), they are insurable. The problem is, then the price may be quite high.

The other solution is to make an insurance company that says 'we have one price for everyone regardless of the risk profile'. The key will be to pool risks widely and to forego the costly underwriting process (which means they don't investigate your track records). The goal is hassle-free, simple, reasonably-priced insurance. The problem here is there might be adverse-selection. Because they give lower price for high-risk cars, you may attract only high-risk cars. The problem will be especially real when the competing insurer says "you are paying for high-risk motorcycles at that insurance company. Come to us and we will offer lower price." So the key is whether the saved underwriting-process costs of the 'one-price insurer' can be as large as saved claims of the 'discriminating insurer'.

The last solution is the government regulation. The government could create one big monopoly insurance company, or ban private insurance companies to discriminate the insured. I don't think this is a great idea. It will became politics, not business.

My example was about auto insurance, but the same is true for health insurance. And my personal opinion? The first one. The second one is attractive, but I am not very positive the cost saving can justify the claims difference.


In response to Will Prices's "Lost My Voice"

(This is a comment that I made on Will Price's recent blog post http://willprice.blogspot.com/2008/04/lost-my-voice.html)

I would rather think that you should feel free to promote your company in your blog. What needs more caution is when you write about other topics, including what you learned from your management experiences.

In this age of personal broadcasting tools, people broadcast even what needs to be communicated silently between individuals. The world will eventually find new ethics, but right now people seem overshooting. It's not different here in Korea. A politician recently said, "Stop talking to a microphone. Let's meet."