Which social network would Jesus use? If we’re to believe the hype, he’d definitely be on Facebook. Not only is it more wholesome (except maybe for “poking”), it’s also the coolest thing since Moses parted the Red Sea. But not so fast. MySpace is looking to “resurrect” its status as the world’s leading social network. How it plans to do this is truly amazing: it’s using facts and statistics neatly packaged into a press release.
And those facts and statistics are fairly impressive:
TheFind.com, a company that has apparently “reinvented” shopping search, just found $15 million in a third round of funding. This is on top of the money it found in its $7 million first round and $4 million second round. In total, TheFind.com has found $26 million. While there’s no information on valuation, I’m assuming it’s fairly significant.
This is the first in a new Drama 2.0 Show primetime series entitled Easy VC Money. In it, I present concepts for Web 2.0 startups that VCs will absolutely love. At the end, I reveal which VC firm will be getting an email from me with the pitch. I will post any responses I get.
Prostitution is the oldest occupation in the world and the prostitution industry is a billion dollar business. The International Labor Organization, for instance, estimates that between 1993 and 1995, prostitution in Thailand alone generated between $22.5 and $27 billion.
The New Economy revolutionized the world during the first .com boom. The traditional rules of business were overturned. Renegade nerds made billions of dollars. The world became a different place. Oh, and lots of people lost shitloads of money.
But apparently Bay Partners, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm, never got the memo that the New Economy was a farce. According to Bay Partners:
When Facebook announced its platform, a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and services that allow outside developers to inject new features and content into the Facebook user experience, Facebook, in essence, became the Social Operating System. Historically, the creation of an operating system, or a platform, has led to a new economy which includes a marketplace of applications.
It looks like investors read my blog post entitled “Geni and Web 2.0 Valuations” and decided to take my comments to heart. Ning, which I previously dubbed the ezboard of social networking, just raised $44 million on a rumored $170 million pre-money valuation. As Michael Arrington at TechCrunch notes, this would value the company at just under a quarter of a billion dollars post-money.
Wired has reprinted a story entitled “Open-Source Journalism: It’s a Lot Tougher Than You Think” which provides some interesting insights into the citizen journalism movement.
There are many Web 2.0 proponents who feel that the efforts of citizen journalism will marginalize the need for professional reporters and news outlets. After all, if we’re completely capable of reporting on the news ourselves and have means of distributing content freely on the Internet, what real need is there for a mainstream press that often does a poor job reporting on the news? Others contend that citizen journalists lack the skills, resources and access necessary to provide anywhere near the coverage necessary to serve as a viable source of news.
The hippies had Woodstock. Now it looks like Web 2.0 lovers have their equivalent: Startup Weekend.
Instead of getting great musicians together to play some groovy tunes, seventy Web 2.0 kool aid drinkers are holed up in Boulder, Colorado creating a Web 2.0 startup in “one jam packed weekend.” In their defense, many top musicians were too busy at Live Earth to participate in a Web 2.0 concert, so a gnarly Web 2.0 music festival wasn’t possible this weekend. Startup Weekend was the next best option.
So what did these seventy “founders” decide to create? Per their “marketing team”:
A recent Jupiter Research report should be of concern to startups and investors banking on the promise of social networking services to drive online commerce. Jupiter Research has found that social networking currently has little influence on online shopping habits. This report seems to indicate that the perception that popular social networks are sitting on unfathomable goldmines may be a mirage.
According to a silicon.com article on Jupiter Research’s report:
Only 12 per cent of online shoppers quizzed said they buy more than planned as a result of using a social networking site.
The valuations placed on a number of Web 2.0 startups have raised some eyebrows. From rumors that Digg is worth in excess of $250 million to statements that Facebook is on its way to an $8 billion valuation, there is no shortage of hype about the value successful Web 2.0 startups are creating.
I will leave a discussion on the valuations given to “established” Web 2.0 startups like Digg and Facebook for a later post. In this post, I’d like to comment on Geni, which has raised eyebrows by raising $10 million seven weeks after launch in a round that gave the young company a $100 million valuation.
The Web 2.0 phenomenon is often referenced alongside the concept of the “wisdom of the crowd,” which essentially states that under the right conditions, crowds are extremely intelligent and are more likely to come up with answers or solutions that are more accurate or better than could have been developed by any individual member (or subset of “experts”) found within the crowd. This concept has been popularized by the book “The Wisdom of Crowds: Why the Many Are Smarter Than the Few and How Collective Wisdom Shapes Business, Economies, Societies and Nations” by James Surowiecki.« go back