Monthly Archive:June, 2011

Amazon Calls California’s Cards

Wednesday, California’s Governor signed a bill into law that modifies the definition of “doing business in the state” for the purposes of collecting sales tax.

The bill explicitly includes retailers

entering into agreements under which a person or persons in this state, for a commission or other consideration, directly or indirectly refer potential purchasers, whether by an Internet-based link or an Internet Web site, or otherwise, to the retailer, provided the total cumulative sales price from all sales by the retailer to purchasers in this state that are referred pursuant to these agreements is in excess of $10,000 within the preceding 12 months, and provided further that the retailer has cumulative sales of tangible personal property to purchasers in this state of over $500,000, within the preceding 12 months

Amazon responded today by terminating all of its California Affiliates.

Internet taxation by States is an ongoing conflict on many fronts, and no doubt there will be many battles that will be fought in the future.

For example, The Performance Marketing Association is currently challenging a similar law in Illinois on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.

For the meantime, the end result is that California will not be collecting any sales tax from Amazon, *and* it won’t be getting any income tax from the terminated affiliates either.

The Next Cycle

Due to living part-time in the Seattle area and part-time at home for 3 months, I haven’t had the time to garden as much as I would have liked. Law? Lots of time for that. Tech? So much I don’t quite know how to process it. But Garden? Well, the Garden took a bit of a back-seat for the months prior to last frost.

Of our 8 garden beds, only 5 are planted (and some not fully). At this time of year, that’s a waste of resources.

But, I have experience on my side. While I know I am wasting space that collects amazing sunlight and could be used to grow beautiful California plants, I also know that each one of those plants sucks the resource of time.

And, if I am honest with myself, I didn’t have enough time to properly prep all of the beds even before the plants need attention. Too many travels. Too much work. So, this season, I am focused on proper execution in the garden. Maximum quantity of quality within the constraints that I have.

Again, my garden is a perfect metaphor for one of the cycles in start-up life (when you could do more, but it would suck time and/or nutrients from other things that don’t have enough to support them unless you scale back for a season).

The tomato seedlings post-planting:


The eggplants (the big one will be asian purples, the small one below it is a breed of white/pink mini-eggplants):


And, of course, the peppers:


Habanero, Hungarian Carrot, Jalapeño, Caribbean Red Hot, & Anaheim.

Already, the investment is starting to show returns. The tomato plants are dark green and easily triple the size shown in the photos above, eggplant fruits are showing, and the peppers are already flowering. Also, several cucumber plants and squash plants are spreading their hungry vines in search of sun. Even with perfect weather, it will not be the biggest harvest I’ve ever prepared, but it is clearly focused on the most high value benefits (e.g. those that produce the most to eat where the taste differential between the garden and the store is the highest).

Thank goodness for learning from the past — this summer/fall harvest is destined to be quite good despite requiring about 1/2 the effort of prior years.

A Second Facebook Movie?

Paul Ceglia’s allegations regarding his role in the founding of Facebook are grandiose.

The legal response from the Facebook team is similarly fantastic.

No matter how it plays out — it’s shaping up to be a huge fight and will likely make a great story.  I can’t help but wonder if this scenario might find its way to the big screen as well.