Even now, it’s still shocking how the remarkably low distribution costs of the web can change a founder’s fate overnight. Many startups are duds, and most grow at a clip that’s just not fast enough to justify an interesting valuation. But once in awhile, a company comes along and just nails it. The right timing.
Last year, we covered an ambitious collaborative R&D project called “Startup Genome,” created by three young entrepreneurs, Bjoern Herrmann, Max Marmer, and Ertan Dogrultan. The goal of the ongoing project was (and is) to take a comprehensive, data-driven dive into what makes tech startups successful — and not so successful. Out of its research came, among other things, Startup Compass : A free benchmarking tool that leverages its data to allow entrepreneurs to evaluate their progress compared to other startups in their space. The product’s overarching goal is to allow founders to make more informed product and business decisions by “utilizing a data-driven feedback loop,” according to its mission statement. While part of the team has since split off to focus on Blackbox , an educational program and startup accelerator, Herrmann and Marmer have continued toiling away at Startup Genome, collecting data from the some-16K startups that signed up for Startup Compass — and beyond.
There are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers around the world, meaning 77% of the world's population uses a phone. The majority of those users — 3.8 billion or 73% of the group — live in emerging economies. Yet mobile advertising dollars spent around the world do not begin to compete with traditional platforms or Internet ads. As the Internet spreads throughout the developing world, it's arriving on phones before traditional computers. Some 70% of Internet users in Egypt, 59% in India, 57% in South Africa, 50% in Ghana and 44% in Indonesia get online via mobile phones alone. This Jana infographic poses a question for advertisers — how will relevant content be delivered via mobile device?
Editor’s note: Ari Mir is the co-founder and CEO of virtual currency platform Pocket Change . He also co-founded GumGum.com, the world’s largest in-image ad-network. This week, Mir is attending the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. My youth was spent jumping turtles, killing 16-bit Nazis, connecting kickflips with manuals and nube tubing. Haaaaadouken!
Editor’s note: Legendary investor Vinod Khosla is the founder of Khosla Ventures . You can follow him on Twitter at @vkhosla . All Khosla Ventures investments, as well as ventures related to Vinod Khosla, are italicized. We are in a whole new world of platforms, a post-PC era, which I’d more aptly describe as the always/everywhere era, finally, and that means a whole new set of opportunities. Add to it the fact that because of a variety of factors too numerous to cover here, the cost of experimentation has gone down dramatically (one can start a web startup or write an Android app with no more than a student credit card!)