Articles Dragos Novac

The mobile concierge market

1. it's rather in an inception phase, there's no clear winners or established companies, although I like the way Operator executes

2. it's not a winner takes all market, as it's a fragmented one and it will be even so in the next few years at least

3. I don't believe in general solutions to a rather complex problem, as provided by the class of companies that contribute in this space today. They are pioneers rather discovering than solving problems in an early stage environment.

4. I also do not believe in generalist AI solutions, such as Google Now, Facebook M or Cortana, which are different beasts than Magic, Operator or GoButler. AI is also hot these days, just like the conversational commerce, but there's no clear sustainable business model yet.

5. the transactional model seems to be limited to a certain user profile since there's always a premium on top of the retail markup plus the delivery costs, which makes it rather an expensive value proposition attractive to a certain demographic

6. on a broader level the transactional model makes it difficult to develop competitive advantages, it's just another sales channel, a channel that can be very easily replicated, cheaper, by solid players like Amazon and such. So it's a channel with a trajectory towards a model competing on brand and marketing budget sizes.

How is Foursquare making money

Attribution Powered by Foursquare leans on a voluntary, nonincentivized panel of 1.3 million Foursquare users who have agreed to leave their location-sharing feature on at all times, meaning Foursquare knows every store they visit—even if they don't open the app or the company's sister app, Swarm. The panel also takes U.S. Census demographics into consideration.

Brand marketers can select specific demographics in certain markets to home in on a campaign's performance across Web channels like Yahoo and AOL and various mobile app ad networks. Then, a test group and a control group from the Foursquare panel are set up.

The smartphone-carrying consumers' offline activities are recorded for an amount of time the marketer necessitates—for instance, a travel company would be interested in seeing visits data 30 days or more after a campaign runs, while a fast-food brand may want to know if an ad drove people into stores within a few days of seeing it.

Marketers will be charged at a 50-cent CPM rate for the attribution program, which will also be sold on a licensing model.

more context

it's the end of the world as we know it

The prognostication game has hitherto been about the speed at which newspapers will go out of print. Now it shifts up a gear to the more pressing question of which companies will start to jettison websites and other digital infrastructure accumulated in the past two decades.

Having a legacy business configured around a website is now almost as much of a headache as the rumbling printing press, fuelled by paper and money.

It is likely we will start to see studio or agency models emerge where publishing models once were, trying to create value around relationships and services rather than packages and products.

As publishers lose control, are newspaper websites a dead parrot?

So basically the online publishing industry is in a transition state, an ever going perpetuum for a few years already and not a surprise since its bosses are paralyzed by change.

Survival in the content business will depend on building the business not around the website as an asset but around the brand as a connection center. Combined with iminent death of counting pageviews and unique visitors, which is a broken business model.

Or, simply put, if you've got a sustainable economic model for the value created in the ecosystem, you've got a viable business.

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