Archive for the ‘amp company’ tag
Waar NPS eerst stond voor Net Promotor Score (‘Hoe waarschijnlijk is het dat u (bedrijf X) zou aanbevelen aan een vriend of een collega?’’, draait het nu allemaal om het volledige systeem om klanten, en medewerkers, tevreden te houden. En dus ook om nieuw leiderschap. Aldus Rob Markey, partner bij Bain & Company en mede-auteur van het boek ‘The Ultimate Question 2.0’. Hij is eind mei even in Nederland om te spreken tijdens Marketeer of the Year, in The Cool Brandshouse in Amsterdam.
Lees Meer over: Rob Markey (NPS): Gelukkige medewerkers, gelukkige klanten.
Editor’s note: Guest author David Cho is CEO and co-founder of Sidebark, the private photo and video sharing service. Prior to founding Sidebark, he was a leader in Bain & Company’s digital media practice.
How much more valuable do you think Facebook is than Yahoo? Let’s say I gave you 1% of Facebook’s stock. How much of Yahoo would I have to give you to part with that share? 5%? 10%? More? (Or would you just move to Singapore and renounce your U.S. citizenship?)
What about Google stock? Would you make a 1% for 1% trade? What about 0.5% of Google for your 1% Facebook stake?
Well here’s what the stock market thinks: Based on market cap, Facebook is closer in value to Yahoo than it is to Google. After sliding under $20 per share, just two and a half months after going public at $38, Facebook’s market cap hit $45B, closer to Yahoo’s $20B than Google’s $210B.
The two companies represent two possible future states for Facebook. Google: Thriving, a colossus in digital advertising with a stranglehold on search, the kind of company that creates billion dollar businesses out of secondary products. Yahoo: Shrinking, trying to find its identity with a revolving door of CEOs, while seeking ways to improve monetization of its still massive user base.
These two companies pretty much represent heaven (Google) and hell (Yahoo) for Facebook. Or to steal from Dante’s Divine Comedy (no, not this one, this one), Paradiso and Inferno.
Right now, according to Wall Street, Facebook is edging perilously close to Inferno. So what gives? Is Wall Street right, and more importantly, can Facebook find salvation?
By virtually any measure, Facebook runs a fabulous business. With a billion (!) engaged users, Facebook recorded $1.2B in revenue and $300M in profit in its most recent quarter and has $10B in cash to invest in the business.
But the stock market does not reward current performance. Stock prices reflect investors’ expectations about a company’s future performance, and particularly for stocks like Facebook, growth.
This is partly why Facebook’s stock price took a beating after its most recent earnings announcement, even though it met the earnings guidance that it had set for itself. The problem was that many analysts believed that Facebook was “sandbagging” its numbers. The stock price reflected that expectation, and when Facebook merely met its earnings guidance, the stock took a tumble.
So what should we expect for Facebook’s growth? Facebook will almost certainly start to create separation from Yahoo ($1.3B revenue in Q2 2012). But do we think it can eventually grow to Google’s size ($11.0B), nearly 10x bigger than Facebook today?
To get a sense of Facebook’s growth prospects, we can start by breaking down Facebook’s revenue into its component parts: number of users; mix of those users; and average revenue per user (ARPU). Let’s look at each piece individually.
Number of Users: This is all about product, and Facebook has obviously crushed it here. They have added 250M users in each of the past three years, and these users are becoming ever more engaged on the site. But how much growth is really left? In the US, its most mature market, Facebook grew its user base just 5% in April vs. the same time last year. In many other markets, Facebook appears to be hitting saturation as well. While some headroom still remains, Facebook is rapidly approaching a point where hyper-growth – driven by growth in users – will plateau.
Mix of Users: What do I mean by mix? Not all users are created equally. A U.S. user is more valuable than an international user, and a web user is more valuable (today) than a mobile user. As has been well-covered, however, engagement is rapidly shifting to mobile, and most of Facebook’s user growth is coming in developing markets. Both factors will serve to mute the impact on revenue that arises from continued growth in users. In other words, even if you believe that Facebook can grow its user base by, say, another billion users, revenue will not necessarily double.
Average revenue per user (ARPU): This one is all about business model, and it is here that Facebook will need to generate consistent growth to find Paradiso. This in turn will come down to two factors: How well it leverages its competitive advantages of scale and data to attract large-scale brand advertising, and how successfully it grows new monetization models like payments.
On the first, Facebook has done well in attracting small and medium businesses and other so-called “performance advertisers” to the platform, but the game will be won or lost based on attracting the billions of dollars that brand advertisers like GM, Proctor & Gamble or AT&T still spend offline. While online advertising has grown to nearly $40B per year, offline advertising (TV, print, radio, etc.) is still a ~$140B market. Facebook’s scale will help in attracting these dollars, but they have hit bumps along the road in doing so.
To help land these brand advertisers, Facebook will also need to continue to be aggressive in how it uses user data to deliver strong ROI. We’ve already seen Facebook experiment here with sponsored stories, using your friends’ likes to insert ads into your mobile feed. I expect we’ll see many more experiments in the future as Facebook uses what it knows about us to improve ROI. In fact, Sidebark, the company I co-founded with Nick Stanev, was founded in part in anticipation that privacy concerns will get worse, not better, on Facebook.
The second factor of finding secondary sources to monetize the user base is a wild card. Facebook has been successful building payments as a meaningful revenue source, and many pundits have offered other adjacent businesses that Facebook should enter (Facebook phone, anybody?) But I think it’s hard to rely on the discovery of new business models to project Facebook’s growth.
So where does that leave us? Decelerating growth in users, unfavorable change in user mix, and a question mark in ARPU. In the short term, Facebook is certain to grow, but the question of Inferno vs. Paradiso will take quite some time to sort out. In order to catch up to Google and find Paradiso, Facebook must be aggressive in driving strong ROI for its customers, the advertiser. But to avoid Inferno, they must not kill the golden goose – their amazingly engaging product – through overly aggressive use of user data or otherwise sullying the user experience. It’s a fine balance, so for now, I’ll hedge my bets and say that Facebook is in Purgatorio and take my 1% to Singapore.
What do you think?
FullCircle raises $3M for its combination of every technology trend ever: a mobile geo social discovery network
FullCircle sealed the deal on $3 million for its product which fuses every hot technology trend out there into one app. It is a mobile, geo-locating, social, discovery network with group organization capabilities that offers targeted advertising opportunities.
The technology integrates location awareness and social networking so users can interact with other individuals and businesses based on their physical proximity, interests and preferences. The app identifies similarly minded people in a general area and enables them to come together by forming groups. From within these groups, members can identify other group members, send messages, and coordinate meet ups.
While startups, like Highlight, Banjo, and FourSquare, offer similar combinations of geolocating and social networking, and apps like GiddyUp and GroupMe facilitate mobile group organization, FullCircle distinguishes itself by amalgamating all of these services into one tool.
It may be tacky in fashion to combine all the latest trends into one ensemble (imagine a metallic, futuristically printed, hot pink, short skirt suit with a peplum waist), but it seems to work in the technology world.
The use cases are diverse. Devotees of a football team can coordinate pre-game meet-ups by identifying fans in a general proximity. They can also find local businesses that are of interest (sports bars), and after selecting a watering hole, message everyone in the group about knocking back a few beers before kickoff. A food truck could decide where to park that day by viewing where the highest concentration of fans are located, and notify them of the exact address.
The round was led by Greehey & Company, Ltd, a firm that primarily deals in oil and gas exploration as well as other emerging technology. With the investment, Full Circle will continue to develop its technology and grow its member base. It is based in Herndon, Virginia.
Geosocial app developer FullCircle has raised $3 million in a round led by Greehey & Company, LTD. The funds will provide a bigger office for the company. For the app, there will be mobile ads and more features, including a “suite of Microsoft-enabled services.”
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
While I find technology and innovation in technology to be intellectually fascinating and fun to read about, in my personal life, I am what product managers disdainfully refer to as “The Last Adopter.” I’ve spent the last 9 years living in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco as an outlier so extreme, I still yearn for the return of The Pony Express because I love hand-written letters almost as much as I love ponies.
I am not a journalist, a professional writer, or even a blogger. So: if you’re looking for breaking news you can impress your boss with, let me save you some time. Set this aside, read every other article on this site, and return to this when you’ve just finished your fifth coffee, find yourself staring into space, and absentmindedly wonder what the Kardashians are up to today. This is not hard-hitting journalism folks.
A couple of weeks ago, I was a guest at the Sun Valley Resort during the annual Allen & Company Media / Tech boondoggle. 99% of the guests – ranging from moguls, to dogs of moguls, to reporters spying on moguls and dogs of moguls – were there for the conference. I was there for the weather, the pool and the outdoor skating rink.
My morning vacation routine does not usually include standing in line behind Harvey Weinstein and Tom Freston at Starbucks while Rupert Murdoch whizzes by the window on a golf cart. It was morbidly fascinating. And I quickly figured out that chatting with amazingly brilliant tech and media icons is actually very easy, provided you’re someone like me that has no idea what most of these “icons” actually look like.
I started up conversations with pretty much anyone I ran into, as if they were just Joe Bob from down the street. And I find that as a naïve-looking blonde, famous men tend to naturally assume I’m kind of a dope in that “Aw, how cute! She doesn’t realize I’m Master of the Universe” kind of way and will usually grant me the pleasure of a conversation.
Wednesday night I snuck into the hotel-bar-turned-MOGULS ONLY lounge to 1) have a drink and 2) share light bar colloqui with some famous dudes. To virtually guarantee success, I brought something I knew would be a conversation starter. No, not my boobs. I carried an enormous bright blue hardcover book that I planned to open and actually read.
Nothing communicates “I DON’T KNOW WHO YOU ARE!” more brazenly than marching into a crowd that potentially contains every great tech innovator in Silicon Valley, disinterestedly looking around, making a face like you just smelled dog poo, heaving an audible sigh and finally, plopping down to animatedly read an old-fashioned book.
And what do you know? Not 20 minutes passed by before a lovely gentleman – who it later turns out was sitting with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos – leaned over to ask what I was reading. We had a nice chat about my book (“The New Republic,” by Lionel Shriver) and he recommended I try “The Age of Miracles”. I tell him that the next time I visit the town bookstore, I’ll be sure to look for it. Immediately this kind man (who I’m sure is also terribly important) gets a twinkle in his eye before shouting to his table mates “Jeff! Guys! You have to meet this girl!”
Jeff Bezos is drawn to my enormous hardcover book like an area 51 fanatic to an alien. “So, is that really a book? Because you know, the color of the book matches your scarf.”
There is laughter all around as I reply sheepishly that yes, it is a book and no, I did not plan on wearing a matching scarf.
He replies, “So you know, I bet you could read that book on a Kindle”.
I say something absurd about how I’m not a big tech person and how I didn’t know that I could find a kindle that matched my scarf.
“Well, maybe not, but you could get a cover for it. And Kindles are really easy to use. Maybe you just need a tutorial? Do you have a Kindle”
“You know, I think I might?” I said, “I feel like someone gave me a Kindle as a gift last year, but it’s probably just sitting in the box somewhere. I don’t know that I even opened it.”
At this point, all fellows at the table are trying to stifle raucous laughter. The original gentleman I was speaking with says, “Ask her where she got the book Jeff!”
So naturally, he asks and I tell him all about the great little bookstore in town, and how the people there are so nice and helpful, and if he wants a book, he really should go.
“What about Amazon?” he said, without any disclosure, “If you ordered the book on Amazon, it could be here tomorrow.”
I thought about this for a second, then said “that’s true, but…at the bookstore in town, they have a cafe connected to it so you can buy your book and get a coffee at the same time. Now if I order a book on Amazon, it doesn’t come with a cup of coffee, does it?”
Not only is everyone now guffawing at Jeff Bezos failing to sell The EMPIRE HE INVENTED, they are also looking at me like “this girl is either dumber than a box of rocks or lives under a rock, because is this really happening?”
Jeff however, remains undeterred, perhaps hoping that flattery will land him a new customer. “You know, there’s a commercial out there that reminds me of you.”
“It’s this woman, and she’s reading a book. I don’t know if it matches her scarf – but she’s beautiful and charming and charismatic.”
I chime in hopefully, “a kind hearted Midwesterner on vacation?”
“Yes! But the thing is…she’s reading this big hard cover book and it makes her TERRIBLY unhip”
“Sounds about right.”
As the crowd laughs again at my cluelessness, I bid them farewell to head back to my room. Walking down the dimly lit resort pathways, I realized the following:
1. The bar quesadillas looked really good.
2. Jeff Bezos called me charming, charismatic and “terribly unhip”
3. Not one of the men at that table (Jeff Bezos included) was kind or gentlemanly enough to pipe in and say “Hey honey – before you totally embarrass yourself further, the guy you’re talking to founded Amazon and that’s why we’re laughing at you!”
4. Not one of the men at that table (Jeff Bezos included) knew I had a secret of my own…to be revealed next weekend in Part II.
Editor’s Note: As she confirms above, Susanna Burke has absolutely nothing to do with technology — Other than the fact that she may (or even may not) have met Jeff Bezos at a bar.
Image via Stuart McClymont
Er wordt nog vaak gesteld dat social media media zijn waar je als bedrijf vooral geld kunt stukslaan, maar waar het genereren van directe omzet lastig is. Toch liggen de verwachtingen voor social commerce bijzonder hoog. Uit het onderzoek ‘Turning Like to Buy’ uit 2011 van Booz & Company bleek dat de markt voor ‘social commerce’ in 2016 dertig miljard dollar zal bedragen. Lees meer
Localized social network Nextdoor is announcing $18.6 million dollar round today, led by Benchmark Capital and followed on DAG Ventures, Greylock Partners and Shasta Ventures. Investment bank Allen & Company, Pinnacle Ventures, Rich Barton, Anthony Noto and Dave Goldberg also participated in company’s series A round.
The Allen and Co participation is particularly unsurprising, seeing as though Nextdoor was one of the chosen presenters at this year’s Sun Valley conference.
Attempting to conquer the same social/hyperlocal space as Patch and more niche apps like Yardsale, Nextdoor, which launched to the public last October, lets people create Facebook group-like communities for their neighborhoods, free of charge.
From the Village Voice to Foursquare to Everyblock, everyone has tried, but the problem of how to effectively create location-based social networking is conundrum for many reasons. In order to mitigate the largest barrier to entry, trust, Nextdoor has you verify your neighborhood address either via snail mail or via credit card — purposefully introducing friction.
Founder and former Epinions genius Nirav Tolia takes the final frontier of social, local, very seriously. “Facebook is a special company and has built one of the defining companies of our generation,” he responds, when I ask him if hyper-local social networks will ever be able to achieve mass scale, “We are fulfilling a different need - connecting people to their local communities.”
He continues, “While we’re still early in the process, we believe the desire to build stronger and safer neighborhoods is a universal one that will attract many millions of people.”
Tolia views the neighborhood as one of the original social networks and hopes that Nextdoor will eventually function as location-intensive Craigslist or Yelp. The company is currently adding 22 new neighborhoods every day and engagement seems to be exceptionally high.
The startup currently has 647k households signed on in and is the “official” communications mechanism of hundres of cities. It is processing anywhere between 150-200K neighbor messages a day.
After I recommended that my neighbor, Conner Richardson, join, he found out the ideal usecase of Nextdoor the hard way, by losing his cat Kiki and having to post a virtual flyer on the social network in case anyone found her. He was overwhelmed with the community’s response.
“That site is rad,” he told me as I was about to type this up. “We posted about Kiki and everyone tried to help. We even got a psychic healer two doors down offering to pray for Kiki. You lose your cat, the community supports you. What more could you want?” he said. Conner ended up finding Kiki two days after his post. And the psychic healer ended up calling him to check in, just in case.
“We’re early believers in social networking platform companies,” investor David Sze told me, explaining why Greylock invested in the startup, “We’re fascinated by underlying platforms in social, like Twitter, Instagram, Path and believe this will eventually expand to additional and specialized networks. We really liked the idea of bringing community back to a local level. We think Nextdoor has a chance to reinvigorate that.”
“The neighborhood is one of the original social networks,” Tolia says. In addition to wanting to make communities safer, he is noodling on monetization models that involve replacing Classifieds and providing better lead generation for Recommendations. “This is mass market,” he says, “When we show this to folks in Middle America they don’t scratch their heads. “
“The essence of getting some of these local plays right is that you have to curate the sites almost by hand,” says Benchmark investor Bill Gurley, who is thrilled to be getting to work with Greylock again. “Any one can launch a website that’s zipcode based, but if you didn’t spend the time to make sure that the communities were sustainably alive and well and vibrant it wouldn’t work out.”
Nextdoor plans on using the money for hiring, like every other startup in the Valley right now. “We will remain laser-focused on building the best product for our users,” Tolia says. “The financing will enable us to accelerate the hiring of talented engineering and product folks and continue to invest in the long-term prospects of our business.”
“We’ve spent two years testing and tweaking the product to make sure that on Nextdoor, neighbors feel comfortable sharing online the sorts of thing they would feel comfortable sharing offline,” he explained. Well, it sure worked out for Kiki.
Targeting Families, Sidebark’s Private Photo & Video Sharing App Debuts With Automatic List-Making Feature
Want more proof that the private, mobile social networking space is exploding? Today, there comes yet another entrant into the game: an iOS and web application called Sidebark, which targets families and friends interested in sharing photos and videos privately via mobile.
Because there are so many of these apps, with Path perhaps being the one to beat in this space, each has to offer some differentiating factor in order to stand out. In Sidebark’s case, that feature is an automated email analysis tool that smartly builds sharing lists for you.
Sidebark’s user interface is pretty much par for the course, in terms of how media-sharing apps go – there’s a camera button, the ability to import from your camera roll, a profile page, an activity feed, and even photos filters.
But before you get started with all this, the app walks you through an email analyzer that scans your Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo mail, or AOL mail, and then determines which groups you might like to share photos with. The experience is reminiscent of Katango, the app that automatically grouped Facebook friends for private sharing before it got snapped up by Google. The difference is that Sidebark analyzes your email connections, not your social networks.
In theory, it’s a handy feature since a large majority of private phot0-sharing, believe it or not, still occurs via email. Sidebark’s co-founder David Cho, a Harvard Business School grad (and dad) who left his comfortable job at Bain & Company to build the app with longtime PayPal engineer and manager Nick Stanev, tells me that only 50 billion of the 350 billion photos taken in 2011 were actually shared. “The ~50B is from cobbling together a bunch of data sources,” he explains, “but the biggest numbers come directly from Facebook (~40B photos shared) and Google+ (~3.5B shared). Once you start adding up the rest of the services (Flickr, Instagram, etc.) you pretty quickly start to converge on 50 billion,” he explains.
Cho says the number one reason why these photos have been shared is privacy. “There’s a ton of activity and energy right now around private video and photo-sharing, and there’s a reason for that – we think it’s a big opportunity,” he says. There is an advantage to using groups, instead of Path’s small, but still singular group. You can share the appropriate pictures and video with the appropriate people – the whole family, school buddies, parents and grandparents, your girlfriends or bros, etc.
In addition to its focus on the privacy angle, Sidebark also aims to differentiate itself simply by supporting (and not favoring) photos and video, unlike how Instagram focused on photos and recently acquired Socialcam went for video. “There’s all chatter around what’s going to be the Instagram of video,” Cho says. “It seems like a false dichotomy to say there needs to be an Instagram for videos. Why can’t they both just be in one app?”
While the app is simple and easy to use (Android users are directed to a mobile-friendly webpage so they can use it, too), I did encounter some issues. The app crashed on me once, it lacks the ability to authenticate via Facebook or Twitter, it requires an email confirmation to activate (which seems decidedly old school), and the list-making feature is a non-starter if you use your email account for both work and personal emails, as many do. It seems the algorithm there should be smarter – not looking for just frequently emailed contacts or those from the same domain, but also those with whom you’ve shared photo attachments on a regular basis.
But the biggest problem is that the photos, once shared, can’t be saved to the Camera Roll. Now this could be positioned as an advantage if you were looking for a way to share sexting pics, I suppose, but given that Cho says Sidebark is targeting families, it’s just a miss. The very first thing grandma wants to know is if she can have a copy of the photo to use as her iPhone’s wallpaper. Oops. The founders say they may add this feature in a future update, though, along with that new “print to Walgreens” function.
Sidebark is a free download on iTunes here.
China is officially the world’s largest smartphone market. According to data released by Needham & Company, the country has jumped 164 percent to 33.1 million smartphones sold in the past quarter.
The United States sold 25 million units in the same time period, falling behind China. As AppleInsider notes, Needham & Company analyst Charlie Wolf attributes this to China’s competitive smartphone prices. When smartphones first came on the Chinese market, they were priced to compete with feature phones. Having a lower price tag out of the box may have encouraged more people to buy initially.
Market researcher Niko Partners suggests the number of mobile gamers in China will top at 192 million this year, surpassing the number of PC players.
Android squarely beat Apple in China, with 69.5 percent of the market, while Apple sits at 17.3 percent. That still marks significant growth for Apple, which at this time last year only had 9.9 percent of the market. Nokia brings up the rear at 11.2 percent. It’s impressive for Apple to hold the number two spot here, when it doesn’t have access to China’s number one mobile carrier, China Mobile. The operator has not yet adopted the iPhone, although its competitors China Unicom and China Telecom have.
Demand for the iPhone on China Mobile shows, however: The carrier already has over 15 million iPhone users. How? It seems customers of China Mobile are jail-breaking their iPhones specifically to run them on China Mobile.
Apple is reportedly attempting to boost its presence in China with a number of new retail stores as well. Two of these stores were approved by the government in early June, to be located in Chengdu and Shenzhen. Apple’s retail stores worldwide made the company $4.4 billion in the second quarter of 2012 alone, 38 percent more than the year-ago quarter.
Design is determining the winners in everything mobile. The most successful players are focusing on one thing: How to make products, services, and devices as compelling and delightful as possible – visually, and experientially. MobileBeat 2012, July 10-11 in San Francisco , is assembling the most elite minds to debate how UI/UX is transforming every aspect of the mobile economy, and where the opportunities lie. Register here.
Filed under: mobile
Strategy+Business, een online publicatie van Booz & Company, publiceert vaak interessante en diepgaande artikelen, zo als recent “The Social Life of Brands”. In essentie komt het artikel erop neer dat de waarde van een merk gelinkt is aan de relaties die het koestert en bevordert (met klanten). Het managen van al deze relaties op de diverse niveaus is de fundamentele taak voor hedendaagse marketing. Een merk kan verder gaan dan het creëren van een pure transactionele relatie naar het transformeren in een belevingsplatform dat voelt als friendship. Lees meer over: Booz & Co: managen van relaties is fundamentele taak voor marketing.