24 octobre 2007

A foot in Facebook

It's now official [MSFT press release here], Microsoft has taken an equity stake into Facebook:
$240M at a valuation of $15B and few line later "Microsoft will be the exclusive third-party advertising platform partner for Facebook, and will begin to sell advertising for Facebook internationally in addition to theUnited States.".
First rumors of discussions were at $500M for 5% in a valuation around $10B. Then Google entered in the game, then valuation jumped to 12, 13 and then $15B. so why not $20B?
And why the money invested dropped by half?
Because Facebook needs revenue to get its IPO filed next year. An investment would have been below the EBITDA line. Now, how much are we talking about? Facebook might have just secure 3 years of today's advertising with a minimum guaranteed paid of $250M per year. Makes an easy $750M in revenue and $240 in investment, here goes $1B.

Am I far off?

19 octobre 2007

Web 2.0 Summit. Still solid.

Rumors have been flying about the beginning of the end of the web 2.0 Summit, the super hi-profile, $3750 a seat, trade show in SF.
It was kinda like a run of hi-end performers pushing the bar higher to take on this valuable ground of being The trade show of reference in the Internet industry, like Comdex was for long in the software age.

John Battelle's Conversational Marketing was great and TechCrunch 40 simply excellent and... different. Web 2.0 Summit remains the only trade show where you get to meet Ruppert Murdoch, Steve Ballmer and Meg Whitman and a bunch of other high execs who are no longer part of every shows.

Matter of fact there is no winner. Not one single trade show you must attend as those are trying to take a differentiated position. John Batelle's being oriented to marketing, he will have to consider either a commercial rendezvous for prospects and existing customers or extend beyond his own company. He's very smart and I'm sure next year will be interesting.
I will definitely attend again TC40. Positioned to startups and entrepreneurs, it's a great place to meet new people and get a flavor of coming cool stuff. Besides, Mike's energy and passion are genuine and very viral.
Web 2.0 Summit is, probably because of the outrageous price to attend, becoming a large corporation show. And that's not an issue as most startups need to evolve within those big guys.
Business development, M&A or simply trend informations or market analysis are key for startups.

Speaking of market analysis, here's Morgan Stanley's latest report. A must read.

15 octobre 2007


At a time every city is considering video surveillance and, for some, struggling with individual privacy, here's a new tool used here: the license plate screener. Cameras like this (4 like this installed on this police car) read all license plates and compare them to a central database of stolen, or simply researched, vehicles. The cop drives in parking lot or wait at traffic lights, when a license plate is recognized, an alert is triggered and... gotcha!

No it's not science fiction, it's information and it was just used here to find the aggressor of a little girl. The runaway guy thought of taking a stolen car but didn't know of this very efficient piece of technology. All story is here.

Now, for fun, or just to get scared, imagine this system coupled with the database of all unpaid tickets... next time you go back to your car, a cop might wait for you, asking for a check ;-))
Unlimited applications... are you scared?

11 octobre 2007

Firefox to go. Apple to open?

Rumored for a while and officially announced yesterday, Firefox will be available on your mobile. This is a important and interesting news.
Important because Firefox has a huge faithful installed base with more than 100M users and, as true open source, is really open thru its XUL language.

And of course, very interesting when you consider the progression of Safari installed by default on your iPhone and iTouch (which for the record, is, to me, the coolest product Apple has launched since the Mac! but it's me ;-)) and long lasting rumors of the gPhone (Google and Mozilla are very close. and not only geographically :-))

So, the immediate question to Steve J. after the recent lock up happening to iPhone suspected, rightfully or wrongfully, of been cracked: will Apple open it's mobile browsing product to Safari?
A lot of Mac users, as faithful and dedicated as they could have been, have already switched to Firefox on their mac...

10 octobre 2007

a $600 bargain

$620 for a while today. $192B de valuation. Google definitely means big numbers.
If you were not scared by the subprime drama in mid August, you could have bought GOOG at $470ish, which means 30% in less than 2 months.
Today, Google is the 11th most valuable company in the US, still shy of $90B from the once considered unreachable Microsoft. Assuming Microsoft stays where it is for a while in the $30 range, Google will be over Microsoft at short above $900 a share. a 2008 goal?

For the record, while Google grew 30% over the past 2 months, Apple gained more than 50%... and Yahoo! only 12%. So you can read advices to sell Apple now (NY Times) and buy Yahoo! as it looks like a bargain at 1/22th of the price of a Google share (MarketWatch).

Well, this interesting article points out Google to be way cheaper than Yahoo! with 30 times 08 earning vs 50 times for Yahoo!

I won't give any advice on the stock market but would love to collect your thoughts on those 3:
1. will Google continue to skyrocket at this pace?
2. is Apple at its highest now?
3. is Yahoo! the best bet now, just before Jerry Yang's announcement on coming new strategy?

Ready, aim... shoot :-)

08 octobre 2007

Sponsoring Widget Summit

netvibes will proudly sponsor next week's Widget Summit, organized by Niall Kennedy, Monday and Tuesday, 10/15-16 in San Francisco. Good opportunity to meet if you're around?

A long tail story...

Interesting graph from O'Reilly research showing users of the top50 apps in Facebook (that's the top 1% of the 5,000 Facebook apps).
Behind the Slide miracle with its millions of users, only 44 other applications are getting more than 100,000 users, out of the 41M active monthly Unique Users.
Interesting reality check isn't it? Definitely considering a Facebook app should be part of marketing mix but be careful to not bet the farm only on it...

07 octobre 2007

Switching to English

Guys, I'm seriously considering switching this blog to English and wander if it would be fine by you?
I tried to open an English version of this blog but as writing a blog should be honest and remain a pleasure, I find ridiculous to translate from one to another and, as I barely can find time to write a post every 2 or 3 days. At the same time, I have a lot of friend who don't read French... so, all in all, how about speaking English here?

02 octobre 2007

Ce qui etait cool en 2001, ne l'est plus aujourd'hui

Le tableau ci dessous (source Compete) montre le classement des 50 sites attirant le plus d'attention en 2001. La colonne de droite montre la variation de cette attention par rapport a aujourd'hui.
Pas besoin, de grossir l'image. Toute la colonne est rouge :-)

Comme quoi, difficile de rester cool pendant plusieurs annees sur Internet :-)
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