The PayPal Mafia

The PayPal Mafia

Much of the first generation of Internet businesses blew up in the Dot-com bubble back in early two thousands, while there were much crticism in mass media, a few books like eBoys by Randall Stross has given some interesting accounts of events leading up to the bubble bursting.

Even though the fall out of the Dot-com bubble was pretty nasty, a handfull of companies did survive to become multi billion businesses, one of them was PayPal which back in 2002 became a part of eBay.

Even more impressive is how a handfull of the (many) founders of PayPal went on start even more amazing companies within the technology space, to such an extent that the term PayPal Mafia was coined, with several parallels to the Fairchildren who seeded much of the semi-conductor revolution in Silicon Valley.

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Image by flickr user sacks08 under CC BY 2.0

The value of mobile

The value of mobile

The age old question of "Feature, Product, Company" is more complex on mobile then on the desktop, on desktop platforms product were usually a suite of feature, but on mobile a feature can be a product with the home screen or launcher being the suite that contains the features.

This wave of atomization of products to features is clear in term of the current number of apps on iOS and Android, both hitting over the one millon mark a while back.

This perspective gives a starting point for how to determinate where the value of mobile lies, for now it seems that the value does not reside in the networks that dominanted on the desktop where your identity and attention was tied to you online logon, as with the case of Facebook Login, instead your identity and attention seems centera round either the device or portable open identifier like phone number.

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Image by flickr user GBPublic_PR under CC BY-NC 2.0

Monetization of mobile

Monetization of mobile

The dust is settling from the Facebook and WhatsApp deal and the massive price tag has sunk in somewhat, still there are a lot of questions on how Facebook will get a return on the $19 billion acquisition.

In desktop computing environments the online advertising modell has been very successful in terms of monetization. But for mobile computing the limitations of hardware and connectivity creates a different set of cognitive limitations that influences the monetization opportunities thru ads.

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Image by flickr user Tsahi Levent-Levi under CC BY 2.0

Innovation lives everywhere

Innovation lives everywhere

There are many misconceptions about innovation in general and few have studied the subject in-depth as professor Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School. In Christense’s research he makes a difference between sustaining and disruptive innovation with the latter being what many people consider innovations per se.

Further more there is the common misperception that manufacturing, many times done in South East Asia, is nothing more then basic assembly lines with little value and even less room for innovation, something that even Steve Jobs disagrees with in the Isaacson book.

With sustaining innovation well on the way in manufacturing economies, mainly in China and South America, we are seeing more innovations when it comes to their respective services industries.

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Image by flickr user Prachatai under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Facebook and WhatsApp

On February 19th Facebook announce that they will acquire WhatsApp for $19 billion, making the deal the largest acquisition ever for venture-backed company, the deal sure raised some eyebrows.

Given that Facebook's business is mainly selling ads towards its users, there was an initial worry that user data from WhatsApp would be offered to Facebook partners, but the messaging from the WhatsApp team has been clear; that it would not happen (for the time being at least).

Given the strong position the WhatsApp founder has taken against having ads and collecting user data for monetization, some early tries of other interesting means of monetization has been tested by WhatsApp and their partners.

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Video by Bloomberg

Social trends to private

Social trends to private

With the latest financial reports in from Twitter and LinkedIn, there are signs reiterating the trend that the more public leaning “one to many” social networks are more hitting a slow down in terms of growth.

Much of the growth in the consumer Internet industry right now is towards the more private "one to one” or "one to few” types of services with much of the user growth and product innovation occurring in South East Asia with services like WeChat, LINE and Kakao Talk.

In some cases we are also seeing expressions of private in terms of ephemeral services like Snapchat or even anonymous services like Secret.

There are several dynamics at play here (mobile, fatigue of publicness to mention a few) which really opens up for opportunity to innovate for the next billion of Internet users.

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Image by Flickr user Amnesty International UK under CC BY 2.0

Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella

Microsoft's new CEO Satya Nadella

On February 4th Microsoft announced that Satya Nadella would take over the role of CEO at Microsoft.

Much of the attention these days is focused on the consumer technologies companies and especially on the four horsemen Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Yet Microsoft still has an important role in both enterprise (Office and Windows) and computing infrastructure (Azure and Server products).

It will be very interesting to see what Satya Nadella has planed for the tech giant, given that he seems to have a non Windows centric view of the world considering his previous work with the Azure services for mobile.

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Image by flickr user Pierre Lecourt under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

Ghost vs Squarespace

Ghost vs Squarespace

As with most endeavors, an initial phase of researching the tools needed for the task is an excellent opportunity to dig into some interesting products and technologies. Finding a simple yet suitable platform for writing is no easy feat these days.

First platform that came to mind was Wordpress, I've used it for several projects in the past and it has massive user and hosting adoption. Though I quickly realized that Wordpress has grown far beyond my needs, it is not just a platform for writing but a full CMS now days, one might say it has become the Microsoft Office of online publishing. :)

After some additional research two services ended up on my short list; Ghost and Squarespace.

Ghost - Highlights

  • FLOSS project on Kickstarter started by former Wordpress developers
  • Excellent Markdown editor with preview
  • Great collection of themes

Squarespace - Highlights

  • Solid company and platform 10 years in the making
  • Amazing tools for customization of themes
  • Great mobile apps

I decided to go with Squarespace for now, though I really like the super elegant Markdown editor on Ghost, too bad it lack simple Google Analytics support.

Image by Flickr user Huasonic under CC BY-NC 2.0 license

Welcome

Welcome

With close to 40.000 tweets on Twitter over the past few years, most of them being curated links that I've shared, I began to think about what an additional formats I could make use of for my content curation online.

Going forward I intend to post interesting links, comments and insights on topics relating digital strategies, analysis and trends.

I hope that you will enjoy my posts! :)

Image by flickr user ☻☺ under CC BY-SA 2.0 license