Tonight I told Twitter followers to “call me” while I drove home from Petaluma to Half Moon Bay. I got about 20 calls in about an hour. One caller told me about 37 Signals new CRM software, called Highrise. Told me it was the most useful business software he’d gotten in years. I’m starting to use it, very nice user experience on first glance. Of course, that’s what I’ve come to expect from 37 Signals (we use their other software at PodTech.net).
Julio Vasconcellos is one of those smart kids who are at Stanford now trying to learn how the world works and how to build interesting things/companies/experiences. Today he posted an interview with Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, great interview. He was asked about Google’s huge market share and whether Eric expects to get into DOJ trouble because of that, Intel’s founder asked him about Google’s chaotic structure, he talked about Ray Ozzie’s point that Microsoft’s data center building being a competitive advantage. I learned a lot from this interview, I’m sure Google’s competitors will tear this one apart.
I’m here with Michael Raneri, CEO of MeeVee (an online video guide) and he was showing me that its network is getting slammed by people watching the first episode of the Tudors (which will come out on Showtime). The first episode is up on MeeVee two weeks before it’ll be on TV (it was just put up a few minutes ago). This is a new way TV networks are promoting new shows. Turns out that because of Tivo networks are having a tough time getting people to watch new shows (they don’t see the ads for the new shows) so they are doing “pre-launches” on the Internet on sites like MeeVee.
I’m off to my last video interview of the day, but lots of people have been sending me emails about Twitter being down — it’s already on Digg too. I can just hear the productivity of tons of geeks going up. I bet it’s less than a week before major corporations start blocking Twitter.
I’m reading Hillel Cooperman. He left Microsoft (ran the Max team) to run a startup in Seattle. And has become one of my favorite bloggers already in the few months he’s been doing that.
Anyway, today he writes “It’s amazing to me how many startups I talk to plan on making money via advertising, tell me about all the big numbers they’re going to post, and haven’t done this basic math.”
This is something I’m thinking to myself more and more too as I meet more and more startups. There are a TON of startups chasing advertising dollars. I wonder to myself how many really will be successful? Sure PlentyOfFish has gone nuclear. But he’s a one-guy business who is in a highly engaged audience type (dating). He says he makes $10,000 a day or more from his Google ads. I believe him, too, cause he’s seeing millions of visitors a day.
Oh, and to those people who say I never say anything nice about Microsoft, note that I am praising Microsoft here (he runs on .NET and says his system runs on far fewer servers than his competitor, Match.com does).
Anyway, back to the point. Lots of these companies are funded by venture or rich investors. At some point the revenues will have to kick in or else the founder will be kicked out and the service sold.
I am watching TechCruch’s deadpool and I wonder if TechCrunch’s new CEO is going to do something really smart: grab these companies as they struggle for revenues like a goldfish gasping for breath in a small fishbowl. Then, aggregate them together and build a killer ad network (even the worst of the Web 2.0 sites I’ve seen have thousands of visitors and lashed together would make a killer Google ad network).
Remember who made out pretty well during the last downturn? Pud of “f’d company.” He got bigger and bigger as more and more people got laid off.
I wonder if Mike is looking to do the same in the consolidation phase?
Another aside: why was Twitter so hot at SXSW last week? There simply wasn’t much else cool to talk about. That tells me that the innovation funnel is pinched closed. What happens next? The strongest survive on their own. The weaker ones get picked up in a consolidation phase. Why? The companies with the best salespeople will be able to sell ads on networks made up of lots of smaller, weaker, players.
Anyway, what do you think. What will you do when the consolidation comes?
In the meantime, Loren Feldman is bored with all the Web 2.0 stuff. He cracks me up, here’s a fun short video (probably will get 10x the audience of my long and boring vids).
Today is a full day of interviews that demonstrate some trends I’ve seen lately: popularity of cell phones, MySpace, and iTunes.
Started this morning with an interview of Plusmo. Cool cell phone service that brings news and live sports reports to cell phone users. They are one of a number of services trying to get cell phone users to join up. They showed me live cricket scores (popular in India) coming over their phones.
Share2Me lets you send stuff like a cool YouTube video to all your MySpace or IM or email buddies. Will be popular with the high school crowd. I didn’t realize how many of them have 200 friends who they want to send stuff to (without a tool like Share2Me you gotta visit each friend’s page).
At lunch today Goombah came by. They built a cool social service for iTunes that helps you find more music and people who have similar tastes to yours. This is an interesting way to find new music.
Now onto MeeVee, which is an online TV guide. Hope your Monday is going well.