Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Is there any money in Web 2.0?

"Daily voucher company Groupon has reported an unexpected loss.

In its first set of results since listing on Nasdaq stock exchange in November, Groupon reported a net loss of $42.7m (£27.0m), when a small profit had been expected.

The loss for the last three months of 2011 compares with a loss of $378.6m in the same period of 2010."

BBC News - Groupon reports unexpected loss

A year ago the hot world was 'social', from conferences to the hunt for VC social was everywhere. Suddenly young good looking people nothing like Mark Zuckerburg were trying to make a career of social.

It was all like the dot bomb all over again maybe.

Recent filling by Facebook shocked us to see that the giant with almost a billion users earns less than $5.00 per user per year!

If you try to think of the entire social media pie you have to imagine right now Facebook has a large piece of that pie. And yet it only earns about $4,40 per user per year. Foursquare and Twitter along with YouTube will be taking most of what is left of the pie.

What does this mean? It means that maybe there is not much of a pie. Facebook and Twitter had explosive growth because of the massive population with web tool that needed something to do with them, but the fact remains the web seems better at free stuff than pay stuff.

There simply may not be any business online.

But wait, didn't we go through all of this before? Didn't dot coms collapse because of the market pulled out only to have the industry return with even more power.

Well yes, the web came back with Web 2.0, dot coms funded by IPOs collapsed to be replaced by new social firms funded by VC, but still the large sustainable ecosystem is not there. So far the companies to make money off the web are Apple and Google.

But that is not the full story, thousands of smaller companies make more money because of the web, people make more at their jobs because of the web, the web reduces the costs of many firms.

Maybe we have a new kind of economic model coming up. One that has a few massive web companies that take up what little profit can me made, a lot of non-profit projects like Wikipedia and Debian and a huge network of smaller firms that make smaller revenues doing specific work.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Android Faces Windows 8 Tablets

"The platform will be bigger threat for Android as compared to iPad because Android is already facing a tough time against Apple's tablet. The sheer survival of any single Android tablet is difficult when it comes to facing iPad. Amazon's Kindle Fire has come for its rescue and has contributed majorly to the Android's market share but that's pretty less as compared to iPad's lion's share. "
Why Android Should Fear Windows 8 Tablets?

We see three key factors that are going to make Windows hard to beat:

  • They have lots of money and resources to fight it out.
  • Windows and Office are still familiar productivity tools, and the tablet's main application will be as an office tool opposed to the smartphone which is more of a toy.
  • Windows 8 will give a single experiences from PC to laptop to Tablet to Phone, that will be powerful. Mac is struggling to get the set of iOS and OSX working for people and Android has no presence outside of the PC Chrome browser.

But there are major problems Windows has to overcome:

  • No history of mobile presence with consumer.
  • A very crowded tablet space with Amazon, Google, Apple and now Microsoft fighting in a battle which is turning out to be much larger than we had anticipated.
  • iPad and Android ecosystems.