The Real Reason for Poke and How Facebook was Left Naked by Snapchat

Strategically there’s a subtle underlying reason Facebook needs to buy / copy / kill Snapchat within its first few months of existence – it’s not because Snapchat has seen crazy initial success for a new mode of communication (impermanent photos) but because Snapchat is effectively a new social network being built outside Facebook, not on top […]

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Facebook and WhatsApp – What’s a Consumer Network Worth?

The exercise below is meant to draw a representation between the WhatsApp network and the value a potential suitor, including Facebook, would agree to pay. According to TechCrunch, WhatsApp has tens of millions of daily active users, the vast majority 1 to 1 messages between 2 people, not group messages. But these numbers are approximations, […]

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Why Facebook Will Fail Miserably Building a Smartphone

This weekend the NY Times cited sources that Facebook is out looking to staff up a hardware development team to build a smartphone. So let’s get this straight: in 2010, two years ago, and 2 iPhones ago, Facebook assembled a team tasked with creating the Facebook phone, then the project died when they realized this […]

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How to Make Your Startup Go Viral The Pinterest Way

This post originally appeared on TechCrunch. On Thanksgiving, Pinterest’s co-founder Ben Silbermann sent an email to his entire user base saying thanks. It was fitting, as Pinterest was born two years ago on Thanksgiving day 2009.  Ben had been working on a website with a few friends, and his girlfriend came up with the name while they were […]

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How Facebook is Killing Your Authenticity

We all know that the delineation between public and private was eroded by Facebook a long time ago. Over. Done. But now Facebook’s sheer scale is pushing it in a new direction, one that encroaches on your authenticity. Facebook is no longer a social network. They stopped being one long before the movie. Facebook is […]

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Twitter’s Fear of a Meta Platform

This week Twitter made clear its choice between (1) remaining a platform play, largely helping third party developers to be successful and taking a cut, or (2) becoming a destination site, owning end-users and monetizing via some combo of ads, virtual goods etc. Why did Twitter so abruptly move toward #2? On the surface, there […]

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The Velocity of Ideas and the Information Economy

Content tends to take on a power law distribution = “long tail”. As more people rely on social graphs for link sharing and discovery, and as the velocity of information they are sharing increases, a lot of good content is drowned out by the ‘top’ content – in terms of the 80/20 rule which governs […]

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Creative Customer Acquisition – Forget about Social Media

David Skok of Matrix Partners recently wrote an outstanding post about the importance of metrics in the SaaS world. Two of his biggest points were about customer acquisition costs and churn—and how critical these are to the sustainability of SaaS businesses. David is right. And beyond SaaS, all corporations – from Starbucks to Walmart – […]

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Next Gen Wireless – Twitter, Foursquare and Spurring Innovation

Since the launch of the iPhone, carriers, and in particular AT&T, have been in the news a lot. Most of the press is around why the service providers fail at providing a decent user experience. From dropped calls to dead pockets, people have come to accept what would otherwise be a totally unacceptable SLA (service […]

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