Articles Dragos Novac

Optimal environment for entrepreneurs to start and finance a company

Yeap, the current status in Europe is that there's more money available than ideas in the market. So if you're in for the game, there's plenty of fish to feed

Hello good times! For Berlin-based entrepreneurs this means ‘now’ is the best time to start a company.

Given the capital flowing into the city it has probably never been easier to raise Venture funding in central Europe’s new boom-town of Tech. This is especially true for early stage rounds, while growth capital remains scarce and dominated by large international investors.

For most entrepreneurs this will of course mean they will have to grow more cautiously than their Valley counterparts (and competitors).

context

Orders of magnitude

Apple has 1 billion active devices.

Facebook has TWO 1 billion user businesses: FB + Whatsapp

Google has SEVEN 1 billion monthly active users: Search, Android, Maps, Chrome, YouTube, Google Play, Gmail

The paradox of the day

Very uncertain times for publishers

Quality media

in the history of the world, if you are talking about quality journalism, where you have to pay people to do real reporting, and go travel to do interviews, in the history of the world, it would be hard to name the quality journalism organization that existed solely on advertising revenue. The closest is the broadcast networks in the '60s, '70s and '80s when they had 90 percent of the eyeballs in the country. And even then their news operations mostly didn't make money and were really considered a public service.

Meanwhile, people say CNN is down. But it is still making hundreds of millions of dollars. Why? Because viewers are paying for it through their cable fees. Thus there's a dual revenue stream. It's the same at MSNBC, which is highly profitable. And Fox is the most profitable cable channel. They might not all be the operations I would personally run. But, in the case of Fox News, they do something distinctive, pay good money to produce their product and then depend on people wanting to have the channel on their cable system, paying for it and watching

Newspaper bosses ‘paralyzed’ by change, clueless about paid content, says Steve Brill

It's the same song all over again, ever since the traditional media ever discovered the internet - if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Alas, content on the web is in an infinite supply mode so one has to know what its competitive advantage is to somebody who consumes content on facebook for free.

The UC Browser

UC Browser is a mobile browser developed by Chinese mobile Internet company UCWeb. Originally launched in April 2004 as a J2ME-only application, it is available on platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone, Symbian, Java ME, and BlackBerry.

With a huge user base in China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan and continued growth in emerging regional markets, UC Browser reached 500 million global users in March 2014.

According to StatCounter, UC browser is the second most used mobile web browser worldwide, passing Safari in October 2015.

Never heard of it until today

Europe in digital recession

The crisis we speak of has even more severe consequences for Europe’s global competitiveness. In our research on the state and pace of digital evolution worldwide, we have found that the old continent is in the midst of a “digital recession.”

Of the 50 countries we studied in our Digital Evolution Index, 23 were European (not counting Turkey).

Of these, only three, Switzerland, Ireland, and Estonia, made it to a commendable “Stand Out” category – which means that their high levels of digital development are attractive to global businesses and investors and that their digital ecosystems are positioned to nurture start ups and internet businesses that can compete globally.

one example

Mailing a parcel from Munich to Salzburg (distance: 145km; 90 miles) costs many times more than mailing it from Munich to Berlin (distance: 585km; 364 miles).

There’s also the matter of language complexity — for small and medium enterprises, creating a web storefront and customer support in the plethora of European languages can be prohibitively expensive.

If things look bad for goods moving across borders electronically, they look even worse for transporting content. There are a staggering 250 collective management organizations overseeing digital content, according to a 2014 EC press release. Transparency and governance issues abound. In some cases, competing organizations represent the same category of rights-holders; in some others, national monopolies dominate.

the whole argument: Europe’s Other Crisis: A Digital Recession

250 collective management organizations for 23 countries... Very fragmented.

So, who's making money digitally in Europe in spite of this situation? Yup, global brands like Google and Facebook.

the big picture

 

 

the entire presentation is very good, you can find it here

EU private equity

Since January, the European Investment Fund (EIF) and funds from across Europe have signed a total of 28 investment agreements (PDF) worth over €1 billion, the Commission says, in turn enabling fund managers to invest in promising startups and SMEs.

The Commission says that, by mobilising other investors - including funds from the private sector - the plan is expected to result in overall investments of more than €12 billion across the European Union.

EU Commission: We’ve funded over €1 billion in equity financing for European startups since January

The business of publishing

The thing about Internet scale is it doesn’t just have to mean you strive to serve the most possible people at the lowest possible price; individuals and focused publications or companies can go the other way and charge relatively high prices but with far better products or services than were possible previously.

Differentiation and Value Capture in the Internet Age

Bonus

You could hold a rock concert. Or you could hold a ballet concert. But don't tell people they are going to a rock concert, then put on a ballet. Or conversely, don't tell people they are going to the ballet, then put on a rock concert.

Jeff Bezos

figure of the day

Amazon.com implements more than 2.5m price changes every day, compared with just over 50,000 total price changes made by brick-and-mortar retailers BestBuy and Wal-Mart throughout November 2013, in its quest to be the most price competitive retailer on the web.

With price the number one driver for value-conscious shoppers, Profitero’s analysis also reveals Amazon.com has increased its number of daily price changes 10-fold over the last 12 months. At the beginning of December 2012, the online retailer implemented just 269,113 price changes.

Amazon changes over 2.5m prices every day in quest to be most competitive

2.5 milioane per day