Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Coworking / CoworkingManchester

This seems perhaps a little idealistic- but maybe that's a really good thing! Coworking / CoworkingManchester. Any takers?

Enterprises 2.0 Strategies

I read an interesting piece by Dion Hinchcliffe on Enterprise 2.0 strategies the other day which reviewed the various levels of service. But as far as Enterprise 2.0 market entry issues are concerned I really liked the insight from Euan Semple, which I'd paraphrase brutally as being there's little space for companies to adopt in between the extremes of total control and total free-for-all! Update:I also liked the comment from Andrew Burton of the Viking Fund: he likened selling conventional enterprise software as a long term courtship followed by marriage- whereas Enterprise 2.0 was something closer to "casual sex" by comparison!

Monday, 26 March 2007

A VC: Why Seed Investing Is Less Risky Than Later Stage Investing

Last time I looked there was reason to believe the assertion by Fred Wilson that Seed Investing Is Less Risky Than Later Stage Investing. In the UK at least the variability of early stage tech returns was MUCH LOWER than the variability of Dev Cap or PE funds- although mean returns were lower too :-(

How To Market Your Web App

Emre Sokullu over at Read/WriteWeb has written a really thoughtful, and frankly helpful guide: How To Market Your Web App . I couldn't quite get my head around the three categories Emre proposes; if a site is ready to be promoted it can get such a wide audience so rapidly surely there's never any reason to "Walk"? I'd therefore suggest there's really two categories:

WalkMass of users does not yet make the site compelling on first visit DON'T promote yet
RunMass of users already enough to make the site useful: ready to scale already
The key for me with all these kind of businesses is that they need to expect to launch in a small way several times; finding reasons to relaunch each time. This has the advantage that if the service is not quite attractive enough on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd launch, it builds experience of exactly what will start to make the service spread rapidly. Then once the company is really confident that the service is right it can open up with the major web2.0 launch platforms such as techrunch,GigaOm etc. Perhaps this is what he means by "walking"?

Friday, 23 March 2007

Connect Yorkshire: VCT Downdraft

Glen over at Connect Yorkshire has an interesting piece on on the effect of the budget's change on VCT rules. It'd be great to see some VCT interest in earlier/smaller deals, but I wont hold my breath!

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Advertising as revenue for Enterprise Software

It seems to be accepted wisdom that enterprise orientated web-services can't be funded by ad revenue to any serious extent. I believe the new google aps for your domain gives you the choice as to whether your staff see adverts or not- it'd be interesting to know how this is taken up. In general I can see some pro's and con's to this approach:



  • Seen as "unacceptable"! (who?, why?)
  • Purchasing decisions concentrated in a small body of the enterprise users
  • Enterprises may be concerned that the "context" information leaks to advertisers
  • Target audience can be harder to reach by other advertising
  • Revenue per click likely to be higher
  • Context customisation of ads likely to be powerful
  • Widely accepted (e.g. Google for search, LinkedIn ads, gmail popular as unofficial mail client used at work).

What do you think?

Enterprise 2.0

A great presentation by Paul Kedrosky on Enterprise 2.0. I particularly liked the quote:
"The opposite of an imposed structure is not chaos. With Web 2.0 tools, the opposite of an imposed structure is an emergent structure, one that forms over time based on the interactions of a lot of people."
Andrew McAfee,HBS
The presentation is well worth reading, largely for its valid deflation of some of the hype around Enterprise 2.0 as an idea.
My own view is the key to Enterprise 2.0 is not in the technology or usage, but by the sales process.

Techgain Wiki- tips for tech startups

Finally, I got round to putting up a skeleton of a wiki with useful bits and pieces for startup tech companies:"Techgain.net Tech Start-ups Wiki". Please feel free to help me add to the contents! I'll post here when it has another burst of activity.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

Web 2.0 has peaked

In my previous post I implied that I reckoned that investor interest in "Web 2.0" had peaked. Looks like Paul Kedrosky's also Dinging the Web 2.0 Bell, and Peter Rip notes that The next wave of innovation isn't going to be as easy.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

VC Buzzword Index

I had a brief spot at the NW Start Up 2.0 event organised by Manoj Ranaweera in Manchester and hosted by KPMG the other night. The requirement was for me to talk about the sectors that VC's were most interested in as investment targets at the moment- in 5 mins. It was perhaps a bit too flippant but I couldn't resist the temptation to make some points under the guise of an "Index of Buzz Words for internet/software investments". It's totally unscientific but I hope it made the talk a little less dry!