Pointers for Entrepreneurs

Labnotes has a list of 7 things for startups to know. Among them:

VC funding is not a liquidation event. When youre playing in an emerging market, the most you can do is speculate. VC rounds are hard numbers, but theyre not market intelligence, unless youre price shopping for interest rate. Borrowing money is not the definition of success, its a sign that youre not making a profit.

All problems are interesting to solve. Some problems are also profitable to solve. It depends on how cheaply you can do it in the face of mounting competition. Yes, you can make a boatload of money dominating in the software industry, but even Microsofts ticket for success was bought for cheap. The Web is not different.

Self Forming Content Networks

Fred Wilson writes:

When it comes to networks, the most powerful model is the self organizing network. That allows participants to move seamlessly between networks and takes out all the overhead of managing them.

But we really haven’t seen self organizing media networks take hold. Adsense is a self organizing network for publishers and advertisers, but not for the readers/consumers. You can’t put together a page that shows all the content that an email marketing ad has appeared on. You might be able to use search to do that, but it’s certainly not a seamless process.

This is in the context of FeedBurner Networks.

Daily Key to Success

Tom Evslin writes:

What is the one thing you do daily which is the key to your success as an entrepreneur? someone asked me. Well, in my case it is past tense and I both succeeded and failed in entrepreneurship as well as most anything else Ive tried. Moreover, lots of the things which make a successful entrepreneur like irrational exuberance, hard work, leadership, and contrary thinking are not on a daily cycle. But Ill try to answer the question.

If Ive gotta pick one thing its an obsession with the DAILY metrics of whatever business I happen to be in. Hell, sometimes I even look at the hourly numbers.

Mobile Internet

Tomi Ahonen writes:

The next era will be the mobile internet. The FT claimed that the PC’s centrality to the tech world is passing. IT will be mobile phones, games consoles, digital media players and TV set top boxes shaping the future.

But – the word is mobile.

As a post note to this blog. Interestingly the big operators in the US and Europe are missing out on an opportunity – locking in, locking down, believing they “OWN” customers shows their short sightedness.

Rather than working hard to build for the future they seem stuck in a world that is more about steam trains rather than the wonders and possibilites of mobile digital platforms.

Adobe Everywhere

The New York Times has an interview with Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen:

The fonts in daily newspapers may have been created with Adobe Type. The layouts in magazines are likely to have been made with Adobe InDesign. The graphics on soda cans or water bottles are likely to have been made by Adobe Illustrator or Adobe FreeHand. Adobe software is used in everything from car navigation systems to electronic I.R.S. tax forms.

This delivery of information across all platforms and media types is what is driving our business. And that’s why, even with a depressed stock price, we still have a market capitalization of $16 billion.

TECH TALK: Mobile Internet: Views (Part 2)

Tomi Ahonen is one of those in the opposite camp who believe (like me) that the mobile internet is absolutely going to happen. The best content will also migrate to the mobile phone-based internet because the money is there. It is very difficult and clumsy to charge for content on the traditional internet. You need Paypals or credit cards or other work-arounds. But every mobile phone can handle payment directly, at a click. In fact mobile phones, through premium-SMS payment, are already used in various internet applications to gain access to micropayments.

In another post, he elaborated:

The mobile phone can replicate all services that the traditional PC based internet can do. Yes, the screen is smaller, but that is no absolute obstacle. But everything else we had on the web, including its interactivity, is also available on the mobile phone.

But an internet on the mobile phone delivers four elements that don’t exist on the fixed internet. First of all, a mobile phone based internet is totally personalized. Our PC is often shared – such as a university campus computer, or a family computer, or the PC owned by the employer with its limitations and at times access by the IT department etc. But our mobile phone is totally personal.

Secondly the mobile phone is always on. It means that any alerts, urgent news etc can be delivered. With laptops we need to find our access, connect to a WiFi etc network, but mobile phones are always connected and can for example be reached via SMS text messaging for alerts at any time.

Thirdly the mobile phone is always within hand’s reach of its users. No other technology is so close to us physically at all times. We don’t take our computers to bed with us (well, most don’t do that), but over 60% of all mobile phone users take their cellphone physically to bed with them at night. We notice we’ve lost our wallet in 26 hours. But we notice we’re missing our mobile phone in 68 minutes.

Finally – and most importantly – the mobile phone offers a built-in payment mechanism. The PC based internet does not have that. On the traditional internet we need to set up a payment system like Paypal, or we need to submit credit card info etc. But on the mobile phone we can (if our carrier/operator has enabled it) handle any payments at the click of a button.

There are three times as many mobile phones as PCs. Twice as many people use SMS text messaging as use e-mail. Users on the traditional PC based internet expect content to be free, but mobile phone users expect mobile content to be paid-for. Collecting money on the traditional fixed wireline internet is very cumbersome. Collecting money on the mobile internet is built-in. The world’s biggest internet company by revenues is not one of the internet darlings – Google, Yahoo, eBay, Amazon or AOL. It is Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo’s domestic mobile internet arm, i-Mode. And i-Mode alone makes bigger profits than the five internet darlings combined. Where will you put your best content? On the mobile internet of course.

Tomorrow: Views (continued)

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