Why Startups Should Raise Money at the Top End of Normal This article originally appeared on TechCrunch. 2 preamble issues having read the comments on TC today: 1: I know that the prices of startup companies is much great in Silicon Valley than in smaller towns / less tech focused areas in the US and the US prices higher than many foreign markets. I acknowledged this in the article. You can be pissed off, but I don’t set prices. I’m just making the commentary. 2: As expected at least one person accused me of writing this post because I want to see lower valuations. That’s stupid. I said both in the article but felt compelled to provide a statement up front for the skimmers. I have conversations with entrepreneurs and other VCs on a daily basis about fund raising, the prices of deals, how much companies should raise, etc. I’ve decided to take all of my private conversations and subjective points-of-view on the topic and make them public in a keynote speech at the Founder Showcase in San Francisco on June 15th. Huh? Here’s what I mean.
“Community management in the newsroom” - The Guardian’s Laura Oliver at Hack/Hackers London I’ve said on many occasions that I am genuinely baffled how so many news organisations seem to think that they can grow an active community on their website, without investing in any community management. At the Guardian we have several people in a role called “community co-ordinator” who fulfill this remit. One of them, Laura Oliver, spoke at the last London Hacks/Hackers meet-up. She talked about some of the lessons she and her colleagues on the news desk, James Walsh and Hannah Waldram, have learnt from doing community management around the Arab Spring, a topic on which the paper has been relentlessly live blogging. Laura described their role as a mix of “representing the reader in our editorial decisions about news on the web” and “looking at social media until my eyes go square”. Here are my notes on four of the key points that Laura made in her talk. Expect the unexpected Laura explained that your users will not use the website in the way that you do. Reward your loyal audience
Facebook: Hey, We’re a Great Tool for Journalists Too!: Tech News and Analysis « Does Facebook have a little Twitter envy? The smaller of the two social-media tools has become virtually synonymous with journalism — thanks in part to the fact that it is more of an information network than a social network, and to the example set by journalists such as the NPR’s Andy Carvin in how to use it for real-time reporting on events such as the recent revolutions in the Middle East. Now Facebook seems to be trying to reach out to the media industry by offering more resources for journalists, including a dedicated page that the giant social network launched Tuesday. The Facebook page says that it plans to become an ongoing resource for journalists who want to figure out the best ways to use the network, and will be highlighting “best practices” engaged in by a number of media outlets and reporters who use it well. The one thing that Facebook has going for it over Twitter, of course, is sheer reach.
Groupon Is Overstating Revenue By 140%, Should Voluntarily Postpone IPO When a merchant sells something on a marketplace like eBay (EBAY), after a customer has paid for the item the merchant keeps a percentage of the sale, and eBay keeps a percentage of the sale. eBay counts its fee as its revenue for the transaction. It counts the aggregate value of the sale as a metric called gross merchandise value, or GMV. That's not how Groupon does it. As stated on page 1 of its S-1, and I'm sorry for missing this in Friday's article, Groupon is Effectively Insolvent: "Our revenue is the purchase price paid by the customer for the Groupon. Our gross profit is the amount of revenue we retain after paying an agreed upon percentage of the purchase price to the featured merchant." This would be like Expedia (EXPE) or Priceline (PCLN) booking the full purchase price of an airline ticket as revenue. So Groupon states revenue for Q1 of $644.728 million and gross profit of $270 million. Its two cost categories are selling, general, and administrative (SG&A), and marketing.
Huxley Vs. Orwell: Infinite Distraction Or Government Oppression? Posted on August 24, 2010 in Images The Huxley vs Orwell comic is originally from Recombinant Records: Amusing Ourselves to Death, adapted from Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business by Neil Postman. When I read this comic, I am reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Brave New World: “It’s curious,” he went on after a little pause, “to read what people in the time of Our Ford used to write about scientific progress. And: There was something called liberalism.
Journalism 2.0 Didn’t Kill Anyone, and Neither Did Old Media: Tech News and Analysis « Does the journalist who reported on a Quran burning by a right-wing pastor in Florida last month share some of the blame for the deaths of 24 people in Afghanistan in the wake of that event? And is the fact that they died some kind of indictment of the evolution of digital media, or “Journalism 2.0?” That’s the case being made by Forbes media writer Jeff Bercovici in a blog post published on the site Thursday, beneath a tabloid-style headline reading “When Journalism 2.0 Kills.” The story in question was about notorious evangelical pastor Rev. In the wake of the March 21 burning, riots broke out in several cities in Afghanistan to protest the event and more than 20 people were killed, including several foreign aid workers. So what does any of that have to do with Journalism 2.0? According to Bercovici, most of the mainstream media had decided not to report on Rev. The reality is that neither the reporter nor the wire service are guilty of anything but reporting the news.
Horn Group, Inc. > Blog This week I'm pleased to share a recent video interview from our Innovator Series with Tom Foremski, Editor of Silicon Valley Watcher. Horn Group Innovator Series - Tom Foremski, Editor of Silicon Valley Watcher from Horn Group on Vimeo. In this clip, Tom talks about how being a CMO is the toughest job in a company because everything is so fragmented. He also talks about how Silicon Valley has evolved into a media business and his thoughts on the social distribution of mass media.
MediaWatch: Thomson Reuters Bloggers Attack Business Insider Posted by Tom Foremski - September 26, 2011 (A photo from a Business Insider story.) This was interesting: Felix Salmon, the Thomson Reuters journalist blogger recently used his blog "Felix Salmon- A slice of lime in the soda" to attack Business Insider, the news site based in New York City and founded by Henry Blodget, a former Wall Street analyst (now barred). Mr Salmon didn't attack Business Insider personally but allowed Ryan McCarthy, a colleague to write this post: Business Insider, over-aggregation, and the mad grab for traffic. The article was in response to news that Business Insider had raised about $7 million. The 60 strong Business Insider reports that it has more than 12 million pageviews a month, a very strong showing. Mr McCarthy writes that some of this pageview count is built on the work of others and that some Business Insider stories are mostly rewrites of other news stories. He acknowledges that Business Insider also has good original reporting. I can answer that one.
Craig Newmark: CraigConnects for journalism It’s hard not to be curious when the man some have vilified as mortally wounding the classifieds business in newspapers gets into the business of supporting journalism. Craig Newmark’s most recently announced project, CraigConnects, is, as best as I can tell, a way of funneling Newmark’s attention capital towards (mostly) nonprofit organizations. In the way Craigslist leveraged a simple, open system to bring together people looking for stuff with people looking to get rid of stuff, CraigConnects will play a similar role in supporting work in areas like technology, veterans issues, open government and community building. And something else called “journalism integrity.” Okay, the deal is that trustworthy media really are the immune system of our country, as Jon Stewart says, “If we amplify everything we hear nothing. I swapped a few emails with Newmark, and it’s clear he sees attention as a powerful currency. What does Newmark mean by journalism integrity?
French media tweet and poke ban 6 June 2011Last updated at 18:36 In future, newsreaders will have to direct viewers to websites without naming them French TV and radio presenters have been banned from mentioning social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter on air. The country's broadcasting watchdog has ruled that doing so would break guidelines on advertising. Stations can still talk about services without naming them, it said. The French government is seen by many internet watchers as overly keen to regulate in relation to new media and the web. In a ruling, published online, the Conseil Superieur de l'Audiovisuel (CSA), said: "Referring viewers or listeners to the page of the social network without mentioning it has the character of information. "Whereas the referral by naming the social network in question has the character of advertising, contrary to the provisions of Article 9 of the decree of 27 March 1992 forbidding covert advertising." Continue reading the main story “Start Quote Freedom of choice
Launch of Newspaper Extinction Timeline for every country in the world - Trends in the Living Networks Back in August I predicted that newspapers in their current form will be irrelevant in Australia in 2022. That received significant international attention including from The Australian, The Guardian, Editor & Publisher (which called me the ‘Wizard of Aussie’) and many others. Part of the point I wanted to make was that this date is different for every country. As such I have created a Newspaper Extinction Timeline that maps out the wide diversity in how quickly we can expect newspapers to remain significant around the world. The Australian has again covered this in a story title Deadline for newspapers as digital publications rise. Click on image to download full framework The second page of the framework explains both the global and national drivers leading to the wide disparity in how quickly newspapers will move on, and provides some notes to the framework. [UPDATE:] Here are some of the many reactions to the Newspaper Extinction Timeline with a few comments. Below are the factors:
New name, new mission: NPR Digital Services expands, hoping to help streamline local journalism The ouster of former CEO Vivian Schiller last month brought understandable fear that the technological advances NPR had made in recent years would slow if not outright stop. As we outlined here at the Lab, NPR pulled the innovation lever pretty hard during Schiller’s brief tenure, from the full redesign of NPR.org to the ongoing development of the NPR API to the organization’s ever-expanding efforts in social media. Those fears should be pushed aside (at least partially — there’s still that whole defunding cloud looming) by the recently announced expansion of NPR Digital Services. Previously known as Public Interactive, Digital Services is something like a mechanic to NPR’s network, the support behind the scenes who helps build and maintain the machinery to keep things running for member stations around the country. But with Digital Services’ new name comes a new mission: distributing to member stations the kind of innovation and user engagement that NPR has developed in recent years.
Apple Has Finally Stuck A Dagger Into SMS. I Love It. Now that the WWDC keynote is over and I’ve had a little bit of time to reflect, I’ve been thinking about what excited me the most from today’s announcements. The list is long, no doubt. But I think I’m going to have to go with something that surprised me — while at the same time making me look smarter than perhaps I really am. (Again, just perhaps.) iMessages. As one of the core new features highlighted today in iOS 5, iMessages has one purpose: to kill SMS. That is, traditional carrier-controlled text messages. iMessages will do this by replacing SMS with a service that Apple is in control of across all of their iOS devices. Sure, you can argue that iMessages is limited due to the iOS requirement. Five days ago, on my personal blog, I responded to a post Anil Dash wrote wondering if Apple had all the tools in place to build their own Twitter. “There’s a reason why BBM took off. But SMS, with its billion percent margins (roughly), is a huge profit center for carriers.
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