“The more devices people own, the more likely they are to go online while watching TV. Fans of reality TV shows like Survivor scored especially high on this front, with 81% likely to surf and email while watching their show. With all this multitasking, are people even watching the ads? Surprisingly yes—almost half of people with multiple devices at home recalled brands advertised on the screen—perhaps because they’re too busy multitasking to channel-surf during the commercial breaks like they used to.”—Data Points: Multiscreen Mania | Adweek
Om Malik: “Today when I heard about Salesforce buying Buddy Media for $800 million, I tweeted that perhaps that would be the end of venture capitalists saying that it isn’t prudent to fund married couples. I say why not? I mean, just look at this list. Do you really need more testimonials?”
Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner, co-founders of Cisco Systems
Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum, co-founders of VMWare
Michael & Xochi Birch, co-founders of Bebo
Caterina Fake & Stewart Butterfield, co-founders of Flickr
Rashmi Sinha and Jon Boutelle, co-founders of Slideshare
Brian & Lisa Sugar, co-founders of Sugar Inc
Michael & Kass Lazerow, co-founders of Buddy Media
Kevin & Julia Hartz, co-founders of Eventbrite
Victoria Ransom & Alain Chuard, co-founders of Wildfire Interactive
In Silicon Valley, however, failure has a way of previewing the future. Just as social networks like Friendster gave way to Facebook, so will these early social-discovery apps mature into something more user-friendly. What, though, will the eventual success of such technology mean? Will it… “amplify our humanness” by compounding the coincidences in our lives?
…Do we really want the preternatural ability to avoid entering any Starbucks where we might encounter an ex? Do we want to wonder, during a conversation with a delightful stranger, whether that person plotted our “chance” meeting? And the reverse: Do we want to find ourselves forever stalking people in airports because an app says they might be professionally valuable?
Ultimately, apps that claim to engineer serendipity seem more likely to do the reverse. Their main offense is not ubiquitous surveillance, but that they stand to destroy surprise and, with it, true serendipity. Rather than enriching our lives with unexpected encounters and genuine strangers, they threaten to take the mystery and the magic out of people we don’t know.
“In 1950, four million people in this country lived alone. These days, there are almost eight times as many, thirty-one million. Americans are getting married later than ever (the average age of first marriage for men is twenty-eight), and bailing on domestic life with alacrity (half of modern unions are expected to end in divorce). Today, more than fifty per cent of U.S. residents are single, nearly a third of all households have just one resident, and five million adults younger than thirty-five live alone.”—Why Are So Many Americans Single? The New Yorker
“At the turn of the twentieth century, life expectancy for Americans was just over 49 years; by 2010, that number had risen to 78.5 years, mostly on account of improved sanitation and basic medicine. But life extension doesn’t always increase our well-being, especially when all that’s being extended is decrepitude. There’s a reason that Ponce de Leon went searching for the fountain of youth—-if it were the fountain of prolonged dementia and arthritis he may not have bothered.”—Radical Life Extension Is Already Here, But We’re Doing it Wrong
“It’s worth contemplating one of the primary factors that drove Facebook’s adoption by (soon) 1 billion people: Loneliness. Americans have less support than ever — 1 in 8 in the Pew survey reported having no “discussion confidants.”—How Facebook Saved Us from Suburbia
“On how important social media has become, Karp shared that the bulk of traffic that Tumblr sees comes from Twitter and Facebook. Not Google. This isn’t surprising, but speaks volumes about the real-time value of Tumblr. While most blogs rely on Google for the bulk of its traffic, Tumblr has carved itself a niche that is a hybrid between real-time and static content. Basically, the company has built the best of both worlds.”—Most of Tumblr’s Traffic Doesn’t Come From Google (via thenextweb)
“What information consumes is rather obvious. It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”—Nobel Prize winner Herbert Simon, 1970 | You Are Not A Computer
“This is what bubbles do to us. Even if you’re not going to hit the jackpot, all that money floating around still makes it hard to focus on things that take time. Rush. It’s a game of musical chairs. The music will stop and you won’t have a place to sit. It’s all the more dangerous today because the employment situation, outside the bubble, is bleak. I think for most of us, the Facebook IPO is a transition, maybe to something better. A peak. It sure isn’t making us rich. And it’s not giving us much to hope either.”—Dave Winer on the Bubble (via Om Malik)
Last year, Facebook’s non-advertising revenue — the bulk of which comes from virtual payments using Credits (an estimated 12% of which came from game developer Zynga) — was $557 million, or about 15% of the total, according to the company’s S-1 securities filing. That was more than four times what the company pulled in from payments in 2010. And since that figure represents Facebook’s 30% take of the total, that means users spent close to $2 billion in Credits last year.
In short: less than 2% of users generated $500 million in revenue.
“Everybody should learn to code, he says, because machine/human and machine/machine interaction is becoming as ubiquitous as human/human interaction. Those who don’t know how to code soon will be in the same position as those who couldn’t read or write 200 years ago.”—Computer Programming for All: A New Standard of Literacy
Facebook makes about 1/10th of Google’s revenues even though they have 2x the pageviews. Some estimates put Google’s search revenues per pageviews at 100-200x Facebook’s.
…The bad news is that, if there is one consistent theme in both online and offline advertising, it’s that ads work dramatically better when consumers have purchasing intent. Google makes the vast majority of their revenues when people search for something to buy or hire. They don’t have to stoke demand – they simply harvest it. When people use Facebook, they are generally socializing with friends. You can put billboards all over a park, and maybe sometimes you’ll happen to convert people from non-purchasing to purchasing intents. But you end up with a cluttered park, and not very effective advertising.
“In many ways, Facebook’s story is the most modern example of the American dream gone right. Some would argue that those who have gotten rich from the company should pay some dues back into the system that enabled that success. As billionaire Mark Cuban has written on his blog, the ‘most patriotic thing you can do’ is ‘bust your ass and get rich. Make a boatload of money. Pay your taxes.’”—Just In Time For A Facebook IPO Tax Break, Eduardo Saverin Renounces U.S. Citizenship
“I didn’t start [Instagram] to be a photo app. It was about communicating visually. Those are two very different things. A photo app is a utility. It’s like comparing Twitter to Microsoft Word. If you want to be an author, you’re not always going to constrain yourself to 140 characters.”—Kevin Systrom | TIME.com
It’s now accepted-going-on-cliché to say things like ‘software is eating the world’, which is an aggressive way of assuming that every company now has to be at least a bit of a technology company, and those that want to grow rapidly even more so. Many new companies targeting industries as diverse as eyeglasses and baby food are, at the outset, leveraging technology for everything they do: supply chain management, marketing, recruiting, internal communication, product development, and so on. This makes these businesses look like technology companies, if you squint. But, of course, they aren’t. They’re eyeglasses and baby food companies.
…‘Tech company’ and ‘tech startup’ are over-applied labels that have outlived their usefulness. Calling practically all growing contemporary businesses ‘technology companies’ is about as useful as calling the enterprises of the industrial era ‘factory companies’; it accurately describes an aspect of what they are (or were), but it doesn’t really capture the totality of their operation. It certainly doesn’t tell you anything substantive about how they’ll behave in the market over the long term, which is probably the most useful reason to label a business at all.