Monday, September 23, 2013

Relevance is about amping the signal amidst the noise

Very interesting article about Mass Relevance, an Austin-based startup that has raised $5 Million. The company plunges through the firehose of Twitter messages to help corporations and events pull out brand-safe and relevant messages to show on the TV.
The platform, using real-time filters, sifts through hundreds of thousands of tweets, dumps the retweets and replies, purges the content producers know they don't want -- profane tweets, for instance -- and then presents what's left in a queue where someone manually approves the tweets to go on screen. The system can also collect and analyze data for visualizations and power audience polls.
The insight is that information is rarely consumable. Mass Relevance has made a business out of finding what is consumable in a timely manner. This sole fact makes it easy for it to be ready to be used on other mediums, like TV.

You can read the entire article here.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

bizkg pulse: Coursera, Nintendo, Future of film, and new mobile (Week of June 16)

You don't even need $1.50 in late charges anymore
According to a study, Stanford students have created companies that generate about $2.7 trillion in revenue. If you're hoping for some of that mojo, check out professors Vijay Pande and Balaji Srinivasan's "Startup Engineering" class (CS184). It's open to the public through the Coursera platform.

What is more valuable, the network or the IP?
Nintendo claims that smart phones aren't hurting sales. It's belief that IP will attract users implies that Nintendo believes that Network Effects & IP. Read more here.

BHAG not good for Studios?
George Lucas & Steven Spielberg. Studios will buckle under the weight of making bigger and bigger budget films will Studios, causing it to implode. They believe that Video On Demand is the future. As long as George Lucas isn't writing the script, I'm willing to check it out.

Is there room for one more?
While many ODMs and OEMs struggle, new companies are entering the global mobile phone market. Huawei's Ascend is finally official. Can they repeat the success (limited) of HTC? Read more about the phone here.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Pulse: Google, Gungho, Supercell, and WWDC (Week of June 9th)

Spotlight Shifts Over The Pond for Games
As Zynga lays off almost 18% of its staff, the spotlight has shifted to new darlings of the gaming space--King, SuperCell, and Gungho. Neither company harks from the US, but instead over the ponds to UK, Sweden, and Japan, respectively. King currently has the number game on both Facebook and mobile platforms. SuperCell with only two games on mobile makes $2.4 Million per day, and Gungho's Puzzle & Dragons has set it's market cap to be larger than Nintendo. There have been some great breakdowns on why these games have been so successful. Read about them:
Google Goes on the Offensive with Transparency...
To try to clear up its name amidst the PRISM controversy. Google takes the offensive by openly posting a blog post asking to the government to be more open.

...But goes on the defensive with Map Information
More on Google. Not be left out on the $1Billion dollar acquisition fun, Google acquires Waze. The question is why? With 47 M users, Waze has a unique solution to maintaining live map information through crowdsourcing it.  However, this number pails pales in comparison w/ 300M total Android activations (let's say only 50% actually have used maps). Which begs the question, did Google buy Waze for map information? or just as a defensive move.

Apple Announces things while offering a Sneak Peak
Tim Cook kicked off WWDC. Here are some of the highlights.
As Aaron Levie of Box eloquently put it on twitter:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What makes Tumblr so Interesting?

Reading into the Tumblr has been interesting in uncovering what makes Tumblr so successful. Adam Rifkin believes that, like Twitter, Tumblr has a mapping of an individual's interest. Where a "single resource is for more specific than a specific feed."

Why is the interest so valuable?
  • Allow for the expression of extremely specific interests 
  • Cater to more readers than writers 
  • Host content that is valuable without any specific social, temporal, or platform relationship between readers and writers 
  • Capture intent, particularly commercial intent.
Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tumblr wants you to reblog its advertising

Business Insider Jim Edward got his hands on the pitch-deck that Tumblr has been passing around.

Tumblr will launch a test of "in-stream" ads on its desktop users' dashboards...  The ads will look like normal posts from other Tumblr users, appearing in users' personal news feeds.
In-stream ads, however, will appear as if they have come from someone a Tumblr user has followed. (When you follow someone on Tumblr, their blog posts are aggregated into your personal dashboard news feed.) 
A "select" group of advertisers will be chosen for the test. It includes:
  • An entry fee of $200,000.
  • Clients will get 10 "Radar" posts between May 21 and July 21
  • In addition, those clients get 10 web in-stream posts targeted at U.S. users.
[italics added by author]

Very interesting that Tumblr adopts Twitter's anchor price of $200,000. For in-stream advertising to work at Tumblr, the ads must reflect a certain level of style and personalization.  Not likely to see a Tumblr ad for Magic Scrub. 

The key metric to track if this is success? K-Factor.