Gowalla/ Facebook deal: welcome to 2003, 1999 is over

Most of the chatter about the Gowalla and Facebook deal was about the investors and whether the founders screwed over the investors or not (to make a long story short, Arrington thinks they did but Jason Calacanis (an actual investor) think they didn’t. the End). In my humble opinion, it doesn’t matter. It’s nothing more than Silicon Valley gossip. What really matters is this deal impact on the future of the location base services space (LBS) and consumer apps in general: The number 2 player in the LBS space got picked up for what’s considered in the valley to be pocket money? What does it mean for the 100s of LBS/consumer apps that are competing over the limited consumer attention? Continue reading “Gowalla/ Facebook deal: welcome to 2003, 1999 is over”

Gowalla/ Facebook deal: welcome to 2003, 1999 is over

So what did you learn from running a consumer internet company?

Ruth was number 20. I don’t know Ruth, and I didn’t know the other 19, but they all sent me emails/Linkedin messages that read something like this:

So sorry to hear about Bizzy. I am building a very similar service but with a twist/different monetization/different target audience: can you share your learning from Bizzy?

I answered few in writing, few via phone calls and even had couple of face to face meetings but when number 20 hit my inbox, I figured it time to have a permanent link I can send people to… Every answer here deserves a post of its own, and one more for the questions I haven’t answered yet, but let’s start with something… I also tried to write the answer in a more general way, so they are useful to the broader audience. So here are some of the questions I’ve been asked:

So what did you learn from running a consumer internet company?

A letter to Bizzy

I don’t know Ethan. I never heard his name before or saw him on Bizzy. I got an email from him today thanking me and the bizzy team and thought it was worth sharing. After all, we worked on Bizzy because we loved it. And knowing that we were able to amaze people is all we could expect.

Hi Gadi,

It’s very sad to see you guys go. Bizzy is a very fun and useful product and while it had its glitches, I enjoyed playing with it for most of the time. I’m writing to let you (and the team) know how impressed I was with the recommendation engine from Bizzy. Continue reading “A letter to Bizzy”

A letter to Bizzy

The Tale of Many Bubbles

You are living in a bubble! This is a claim that many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs often hear. To some extent it is true. It is always sunny here, and new technologies are introduced every day, so we tend to be more cutting edge, just by diffusion. I want to argue though, that there is a bigger bubble than the geographical one: the Twitter bubble. Wait! Before you stop reading hear me out. I am not saying Twitter is over hyped, nor that it is not great. I am saying something different: Twitter creates a bubble for its heavy users and creates a virtual global world, in which Twitter is the main mean of communication.

Take Robert Scoble, one of the most admired new media evangelists in the valley. In a blog post posted recently claiming that Twitter worth 5-10 billion he said: Continue reading “The Tale of Many Bubbles”

The Tale of Many Bubbles

The Problem Facebook does solve

More than a year ago I spent time thinking about Facebook and the problem it solves. Back then, Facebook was growing in a staggering speed, adding 1 million users every week. This week, Facebook turned 5 and with 15% of the world internet users on Facebook, it is clear they are winning the game of user adoption. I made two claims about Facebook back then and I am happy to say I was very wrong about one and only somehow right about the other. Not much of a record…

I was wrong about the problem Facebook is solving. I thought it was a fun product that did not solve any real life problem. With 15 months of perspective I feel that I have a better idea: Facebook is so successful because we are all absolutely horrible in managing our social relations. Continue reading “The Problem Facebook does solve”

The Problem Facebook does solve

Office 2.0 and Burning Man?

I was invited by my friend Ismael Ghalimi to host a panel during Office 2.0 about my favorite topic, SaaS. The session is about going 100% SaaS and what it means. My panelists are Dan Druker from Intacct, Doug Harr from Ingres, Rob Hull from Adaptive Planning and Rene Lacerte from Bill.com. What’s great about this team is that they are all senior executives that pioneered SaaS either with their current company or in previous lives: Dan was part of Postini (later sold to Google), Rene co-founded PayCycle, one of the best kept SaaS success secrets in the valley, Rob co-founded Adaptive Planning in 2003, when no one believed SaaS will ever happen and Doug spent 5 years with Portal Software, that was acquired by Oracle. We would not be lacking perspective here…

In the next couple of weeks I will share my thoughts about the 100% SaaS goal as I progress in preparing for it. For now I wanted to go back to the title, and explain the interesting story behind Office 2.0 and its connection to the Burning Man festival. Continue reading “Office 2.0 and Burning Man?”

Office 2.0 and Burning Man?

Should you build an iphone application?

There is an incredible amount of buzz surrounding the launch of the iPhone app store today. You walk around University Ave. in Palo Alto, CA and it sounds like everyone is building an iPhone app… Before you had out and build one for yourself, here are some things to remember:

  • Watch the numbers- Apple is hoping to ship 10-12 million iphones this year. This is 1% of the total estimated phones shipments this year. When compared to the total number of phones in the world (3.3 billions), the share is even smaller. If your success rely on mass penetration, go look elsewhere.
  • Ignore the numbers- Continue reading “Should you build an iphone application?”
Should you build an iphone application?