As I was trying to make up my mind about some modest investment of mine, I went through the recent funding announcements on TechCrunch, CrunchBase and Journal du Net to check what VCs consider hot.
Looking at 2011’s investments into eCommerce start ups, I noticed the following common traits of well-funded start-ups. It seems that the following characteristics make a start-up worthy of a sizable $10M to $100M in one round:
– Mobile application. Magic words: iPhone, iPad, Android
– Social media component. Magic words: Facebook, renren
– Shopping application. Magic words: Coupons, Group Buying, Buying Club
– Web-based application. Magic words: Cloud computing
– Global footprint. Magic word: China
– Localized application. Magic words: Local deals, Geolocalized
– Free(-mium) business model. Magic words: Free basic service
From that I concluded that a free global mobile application, also developed for the Chinese market, that would enable Facebook and renren users to automatically geolocalize (without tedious check-in) and get a local shopping coupon to share with friends and other members of a group buying club would be a total hit.
Or would that be another Ford T?
‘s Austin Carr found a huge discrepancy between the number of search results announced by Google
and the number of results that can actually be found through these search engines.
Fast Company Presents Bing and Google as in a Pissing Contest
To answer the question Do Google And Bing Actually Return Billions Of Search Results?, he searched for “New York Times” and counted the number of search results and result pages. Here is what he found:
– Bing: 491,000,000 results announced, only 223 available on 23 pages
– Google: 126,000,000 results announced, only 468 available on 47 pages
Harsh reality. No matter how many trillion pages a search engine can index, nobody is going to click on a page further than page 10. In fact, the majority of users will click on the first results of the first page. Why bother displaying more?
The myth of the Web’s unlimited shelf space is busted. The Web was hoped to offer equal opportunities and unlimited exposure to every product and every company, from the Bavarian Dirndl tailor to America’s largest corporation. Instead, it’s a cut-throat global competition for limited premium placement. Not much different from the fight for aisle-end display in physical stores.