Make Yourself Obsolete

Some entrepreneurial Carnegie Mellon students believe that letting me know about their new startup company will help them somehow. I hope they're right, but I have my doubts.

The company is called Mave, and it's located here, and their email to me said this. Mave is
an "e-conomy for everyone". Anyone at any skill level can easily start their own "business" offering any service – drum lessons, home improvement, interior design, haircuts… and find local customers, display work samples, and get their own domain name(

On Mave you don't waste time searching through irrelevant listings and you're not obligated to do anything. If you need something, you simply post a need and have businesses bid for you. If you offer a service, you're automatically notified anytime someone in your locale posts a need for the services you offer. Businesses can then choose to serve only the most convenient and most profitable customers at their leisure.

Our vision for Mave is a place where anyone can take any idea they have or anything they're passionate about, share it with the world, and maybe even make a living from it.

Honestly, I'm not sure what this means, so check it out yourself.

Here's a note to other entrepreneurs, students and otherwise: If you want to promote your company, feel free to drop me a line. It's best, though, if you have an angle, and it's best if the angle is something more than "I want to get rich." (Again, not that there is anything wrong with that!) One reason I paid attention to the Mave message was that the Mave folks have a blog (don't we all?), and on the blog they report this fabulous exchange:
A few weeks ago in one of my entrepreneurship classes, a student asked my professor, “How do you hold off the competition?” to which my professor answered, “You have to continuously make yourself obsolete.”

Listening, Pittsburgh?


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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at] Mike also blogs at, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

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