Archive for January 2006

Deutsche Blog Charts

January 31, 2006

The recent blog charts for Germany show, that the blogging community has gained significant momentum over the last 12 months. Congratulations to all who made this happen!

Mobile Entertainment Kick-Off Event – Recap

January 31, 2006

Yesterday was the kick-off event for the mobile entertainment 2006 initiative. The first part focused on mobile entertainment services such as mobile TV or mobile gaming, highlighting some early success stories from i.e. Hutchison 3G Austria.

The second part of the evening was dedicated to the VC perspective, where various venture capitalists shared their thoughts and insights with the 100+ guests. Mark Gazecki, Partner at Atlas Venture, discussed an interesting analogy between Web 2.0 and Mobile 2.0. Whereas Web 2.0 is already happening with many new ideas and concepts currently underway and explored, he believes that Mobile 2.0 is still to happen, which is good news for both venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. He believes that the penetration with Mobile 2.0 applications and services very much depends on the availability of and penetration with 3G, which will allow users to easily and conveniently access mobile content and applications beyond ring-tones, wall-papers and downloadable games.

From a company perspective, Martin Dietz, CEO of Coding Technologies, highlighted the ups-and-downs of his 9 year old company and his experience with the venture capital community, when the venture community was not very actively investing between 2002 and 2003. He clearly had a lot of “laughs” on his side with his very humerous presentation.

Many thanks to Go-Fresh and and M-Squad for sponsoring and organizing this great networking event!

Takeway: A good event and networking platform for mobile entertainment entrepreneurs. I concur with one of the speakers, that Mobile 2.0 is still to happen given the low penetration of 3G handsets. I strongly believe that the mobile handset will win popularity and market share compared to the highly dominante PC/laptop people currently use for shopping, surfing the internet etc. 3G as well as new (GPS enabled) handsets will make a huge difference going forward, similar to the Web 2.0 revolution, which was partly triggered by the rapid increase in broadband penetration.

Recommendation: We all have learned in 1999/2000 on what did work and mostly on what did not work in terms of mobile and wireless ventures. The evolution in mobile/wireless is rapidly evolving and will provide interesting play-grounds for entrepreneurs, new concepts, ideas and venture backed companies. Watch carefully areas such as MMMGs, navigation, location based services just to name a few.

 

 

Search – still a big thing?

January 30, 2006

Although Google has attracted a lot of attention and is defacto “owning” the search category, in my opinion, there is still a lot of room to grow for others. A proof of my theory was a discussion with Marissa Meyer last week at the DLD06, where she confirmed that many start-ups are trying to innovate with new technology or new search focuses. She believes that it might only be a question of time before somebody will come up with a more innovative approach to search, which we don’t know of as of now.

I totally agree with this view. Google has achieved a lot and is definately a very interesting company, but as the recent Google/Yahoo etc. acquisitions have shown, there is still a lot of uncovered territory as far as “search” is concerned. Recently, I have personally seen many new start-ups focusing on gaming search, video search, music search etc. – all territories, where Google et al. still need to catch up with.

One specific search category I feel very strong about is the approach to local search. What I mean with that is not only “yellow pages” and searching for names or addresses or recommendations (many user generated approaches are out there). One aspect I find very intriguing is the area of local search / local shopping.

Example: I want to buy an iPod, but as I also appreciate personal service and a customer representative, whom I can call any time something goes wrong. I probably won’t shop at eBay, but would be interested to know the followings things:

a.) Where can I find a product nearby / in my town / region?

b.) Where can I buy it the cheapest?

c.) Where is it on stock now or within the next 1-2 days?

What I mean with this is the combination of information on products, vicinity / locality, availability and price. This requires a step forward in the classical search approach and various start-ups in the US are eagerly exploring new ways and concepts.

Takeaway: Search is still going to an interesting topic for start-ups and VCs. Many variations of search are already tested or are going to appear; opening the doors for potential acquisitions by Google / Yahoo etc.

Recommendations: Have a look at what is happening in the US in terms of local search. Some of these ideas might be applicable for Europe / Germany as well.

OpenSource meets Business Conference

January 27, 2006

I just came back from a very interesting event called “OpenSource meets Business Conference“. Nürnberg, the German OpenSource centre of gravity was the scene of a well attended – 400 people – conference organized by Richard Seibt and the Heise Publishing group.

Top speakers such as Alexander Pinchev (RedHat, “Virtualization will be at hot OSS topic”), Dirk Hohndel (Intel, “All of us need to focus more on solutions. That’s what comapanies are asking for.”, “People will talk more about OpenSource than Linux in the future”), Simon Phipps (Sun, “OpenSolaris will change the future”) and many practical demonstrations and presentations from well known companies such as HVB, Deutsche Bank, Audi, or Deutscher Bundertag have contributed to a lively discussion on the status-quo and the future of OpenSource.

Congratulations Richard on this great event and we look forward a successor event in 2007!

Takeaway: OpenSource is gaining momentum. No longer do people ask on how to pronounce “LINUX” but on how Linux or OpenSource can help them become more successful, more agile and flexible on how they can save money!

Recommendations:

    • For Businesses: Make sure you have an OpenSource Strategy!
    • For Entrepreneurs: Guys, wake up! It’s just the beginning of a long, exciting journey! There are many opportunities out there on how to capitalize on OpenSource! The inroad of OpenSource into the edge computing world was just the beginning. Now comes the real stuff! Verticalization! Packaged Solutions! Hybrid environment support! Virtualization! And many more viable business propositions. Why not team up with the former SuseLinux team and start the next German success story? They know how it works!
    • For Venture Capitalists: Don’t by shy! Go out there and talk to the many talents available here in Germany within the OpenSource community. They need you! Let’s develope some technology “Made in Germany”!

 

DLD 2006 Recap

January 27, 2006

The Digital Lifestyle Days 2006 – organized by Hubert Burda Media – has become the highlight of the digital media scene in Germany within two years! Organized for the 2nd time after a sucessful 2005 event, DLD 06 has attracted over 600 participants from Germany, Europe, Israel, the US and other parts of the world.

High calibers such as Georg Kofler, Thomas Middelhoff, or serial entrepreneurs like Martin Varsavsky, to Google-star Marissa Meyer, all have contributed to a vibrant discussion on the Web 2.0, digital lifestyle and future trends.

Promising German start-ups such as Places.com or elitepartners have been complemented by cool consumer focused companies from hot-Isreal such as Talkings Headz or Superna.

All in all, this event has become the melting pot of good ideas, initiatives and projects..

Takeaway: DLD is a must event in 2007!

Recommendation: Although Web 2.0 seems to be overhyped at the moment, a few serial and seasoned entrepreneurs will be able to suplement a cool idea or technology with a realistic and scalable real business model. Watch 2006, it will be an exciting year to come!

Welcome to my Blog!

January 10, 2006

I am happy to announce the launch of my personal blog.

With this blog, I would like to adress the following four aspects:

1. Share my thoughts on interesting developments, projets and ideas in areas such as Web 2.0, digital and interactive media, new technologies and other revolutionary things.

2. Share my ideas, feedbacks and thoughts on emerging business models in the US, in Europe and in particular here in Germany.

3. Highlight new start-ups, new ideas and exciting entrepreneurs, and their likelihood for success.

4. Build a bridge between these exciting new concepts on the one hand and the sometimes “mystical” world of venture capital on the other hand.

I look forward to an interesting discussion with you and thanks in advance for your feedback, comments and suggestions.

 Yours Juergen Habichler

PS: Legal Disclaimer: This is a private weblog of Juergen Habichler. All the thoughts on this site are mine. Atlas Venture and its affiliated funds and personnel are not affiliated with this blog in any way.