Archive for February 2006

One new blog every minute!

February 23, 2006

Amazing! According to Technorati every second somewhere a new blog goes online!

“The Pew Internet study estimates that about 11%, or about 50 million, of Internet users are regular blog readers. According to Technorati data, there are about 70,000 new blogs a day. Bloggers — people who write weblogs — update their weblogs regularly; there are about 700,000 posts daily, or about 29,100 blog updates an hour.”

Takeaway: I wonder, why we here in Germany aren’t a large blogging country yet! What do our kids do? Why are France or Spain the blogging countries No1 in Europe?

Recommendations: There are so many things you can do with blogs. It’s a totally new way of communications, of bonding people to each other, of creating communities, but – again – Germany seems to see another trend pass….How can we give this a boost?

Digital Identity 2.0

February 23, 2006

I recently got pinged from a consultant in the US, who knew pretty well everything about me. When I asked him, how did he know all this, he told me: “Look at ZoomInfo! They know you in-side-out!”.

ZoomInfo, the premier summarization search engine, delivers fresh, comprehensive information on over 27 million business professionals and two million companies across virtually every industry.  How do we do it?  Well, at the risk of being boastful, we have incredible technology that this guy and this guy and this guy invented.  ZoomInfo finds, understands and extracts information from millions of online sources such as Web sites, press releases, electronic news services and SEC filings and summarizes the information into a comprehensive format.  Basically, ZoomInfo creates structure out of the chaos of the Web.”

Takeaways: Scary at first sight, this application is another approach of the dozens of Digital Identity Plays 2.0 out there. What started with 1.0 social networking tools such as LinkedIn or OpenBC is now moving into another stage. Where in 1.0, you had to put all your stuff into these sites yourself, Digital Identity 2.0 plays are now doing most of the stuff for you. I am only waiting for the 3.0 plays, which not only fill in the information for me, but which also discover my existing real-world relationships with people,…, no even better, which automatically discover people for me which I might like or who share similar thoughts, ideas and interests like I do, put me in touch with them or even set up meetings and calls for me…

Recommendations: Cracy but exciting things out there…..Digital Identity 2.0 is there already!

Jajah moves HQ to Silicon Valley

February 23, 2006

An interesting Austrian start-up called Jajah has been making a lot of traction and “noise” in the VoIP market. Some people are calling it already Skype 2.0 as the company positions itself “JAJAH introduces global VoIP telephony between normal landline and mobile phones – without software download, installation process and headsets.” and a potential successor to the acquired and no-longer independent Skype.

Rumors over the last few months have indicated a recent financing by a top tier silicon valley VC (Sequioa). Now the recent announcement on their web-site to move headquarters to the US and establish European HQ in Luxemburg (Skype model!) is a clear indication for funding by a top-tier West-coast VC. If so, well done guys!

Takeaway: Jajah and its couragous management is a great example for a European / Austrian company in the emerging VoIP space. Like Skype, Jajah might join the ranks of successful European start-ups in this space.

Recommendations: Watch out for more start-ups in this space. VoIP is hot and innovation – this time – (also) comes from Europe!

Good news for start-ups!

February 17, 2006

European start-ups and entrepreneurs can look positively into the future. European venture capital firms raised the highest amount in three years in 2005, with fund-raising totaling €3.7Bn according to VentureOne.

Takeaway: The years after the new economy hype were the most difficult years for start-ups and entrepreneurs to get funding. The recent pick-up in M&A or IPO exits in 2005 as well as the accelerated speed of global innovation is positively triggering a new vintage of investment funds.

Recommendations: New innovations and trends, paired with the availability of funds to invest, is the best recipe to fuel growth and trigger exciting new start-ups. Looks like we have promising times ahead of us…

Neomedia snaps up 12Snap – Munich based start-up

February 16, 2006

NeoMedia has purchased the mobile phone marketing agency 12Snap established in 1999 for about $22M. According to various sources, more money has flown into this venture than was delivered back to the investors.

Takeaway: Mobile marketing is a booming market. Still early stage, many companies have struggled over the last 5 years to develop a value proposition for their clients. Only recently, consumers, agencies and brands are picking up on mobile marketing and some start-ups are growing successfully. The future looks bright but still might take some time to come…

Oracle becoming No1 acquirer in OpenSource Space

February 16, 2006

After having acquired InnoDB in 2005, Oracle is shopping for the next opensource companies in order to boost their software products. Last week, Business Week and others reported that Oracle is watching out for three open source plays, namely JBoss, Zend and Sleepycat. This week, Oracle announced already the acquisition of Sleepycat.

Oracle’s Ellison stated at a recent conference: “We are moving aggressively into open source. We are embracing it. We are not going to fight this trend. We think if we’re clever, we can make it work to our advantage.”

Takeaway: The shopping tour of Oracle is a clear endorsement, that the space is hot and that traditional ISV need to be proactive in embracing the advantages of the open-source community. The recent OSBC show in San Francisco has highlighted that an early trend is becoming main-stream and that open-source is covering not only edge computing or horizontal applications but steadily moving into vertical apps and mission critical products and services.  

Recommendations: Acquisitions like this will fuel the activities in this sector. What was formerly a “geeky” sector is now becoming reality. Much more to come in the future! 

 

Bridging virtuality and reality to create “Virtual Reality 2.0”

February 15, 2006

Recent start-ups are trying to bridge the gap between reality and virtuality. One of these promising examples is Plazes.com, a Berlin-based start-up established by Felix Peterson. Plazes.com allows you to share the place you are or have been with your friends and connect with them whereever you are. Felix believes that

„… verschiedene Software-Agenten für uns Dinge bloggen werden und Fotos veröffentlichen, die möglich sein könnten – und kollaborative Filtersysteme filtern das dann wieder. Es geht nicht darum, Dinge zu verstecken, sondern man wird falsche Fährten legen und die sozialen Netzwerke werden die Filter sein, die die relevanten und echten Informationen dort herausfiltern. Location based services werden dafür sorgen, dass der Zufall in unserem Sozialleben keine Rolle mehr spielt. So wie jetzt schon Handys dafür sorgen, dass wir Leute nicht mehr zufällig in der stadt treffen, sondern sie anrufen. Ich werde mir aussuchen können, welche Teile aus dem konstanten Strom, der mich herum stattfindet, ich haben will.“

Another US-based start-up in this field is Socialight, which allows you to share location-based pictures and notes with your friends.

Takeaway: Yes – the border between virtuality and reality is about to disappear. Virtual Reality 2.0 will happen in not too far of a future and Plazes – one good example of the existing Web 2.0 boom in Germany – shows the capabilities and dreams, which are possible in this new world of Web 2.0.

Recommendations: Don’t believe it? Register at Plazes and touch base with my on juergen_habichler and let’s share some of the future dreams of Reality 2.0 together…