Frédéric Filloux :
Through this lens, if Wall Street could assign to The New York Times the ratio Silicon Valley grants BuzzFeed (8.5 instead of a paltry 1.4), the Times would be worth about $19bn instead of the current $2.2bn.
Again, there is no doubt that Wall Street would respond enthusiastically to a major shrinkage of NYTCo’s print operations; but regardless of the drag caused by the newspaper itself, the valuation gap is absurdly wide when considering that 75% of BuzzFeed traffic is actually controlled by Facebook, certainly not the most reliably unselfish partner.
While BuzzFeed relies on ridiculous headlines and traffic from Facebook, investors are more inclined to value BuzzFeed way higher than the Times because of the potential it can generate in the future.
On the other hand, the Times is a safe-house, which proved to be realistic 5-7 years ago by transitioning into a successful digital brand. So all in all, the growth of Times is less tangible than a relatively new website. That’s precisely why there’s such a gap between the two. Though to be perfectly realistic, considering that one is kinda overvalued and the other one undervalued (in Silicon Valley standard) these two ratios should adjust and get closer together.
→ Monday Note
Aral is leaving Ello :
When you take venture capital, it is not a matter of if you’re going to sell your users, you already have. It’s called an exit plan. And no investor will give you venture capital without one. In the myopic and upside-down world of venture capital, exits precede the building of the actual thing itself. It would be a comedy if the repercussions of this toxic system were not so tragic.
Personally, I don’t really mind VCs selling my datas to advertisers and brands. That’s the price I’m willing to pay for a good service.
The other way to build a social service like this would be to set a subscription, like App.net does, though it has not proven to be very popular.
Now, how to maintain a service without funding ?
This is mythical. I think Aral’s note falls short without explaining his ideal way to fund a company and feed its employees.
Venture Capital might not be the perfect match between privacy and social medias, but I think it sustains creativity and encourage entrepreneurs to take risk — sometimes in creating some pixel-perfect layouts.
→ Aral Balkan
The truth is that most Americans have little interaction with the big-money, small-jobs technology boom, so they might be sheltered from the worst of the technology bust, at least as it looks today, if not years from now. But that might be cold comfort: It is a sad state of affairs if one of the most vibrant, explosive and creative parts of the economy — and one of the few that is minting millionaires — seems more like a walled garden than a public park.
→ The New York Times
Back on June 18, 2012, WhatsApp’ founders/PR/younameit wrote this brillant statement about “Why [WhatsApp] [doesn’t] sell ads.”
Today, WhatsApp sold itself to one of the world’s largest advertiser.
Advertising isn’t just the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption of your train of thought. At every company that sells ads, a significant portion of their engineering team spends their day tuning data mining, writing better code to collect all your personal data, upgrading the servers that hold all the data and making sure it’s all being logged and collated and sliced and packaged and shipped out… And at the end of the day the result of it all is a slightly different advertising banner in your browser or on your mobile screen.
Remember, when advertising is involved you the user are the product.
→ WhatsApp Blog
Fear doesn’t go away, it simply evolves. And that’s okay, because it’s the fear that drives us—but it’s up to us to embrace that fear and channel it, rather than let it drown us. It’s up to us to recognize the fears and go after them. It’s the scary parts of our business (like talking to potential clients to make a sale, or firing a troubling employee) that play the most critical roles.
In relgious communities, when someone is in need, the community rallies around them. People do kind things to other people just because it is the right thing to do. The startup world has a similar shared value; investors, CEOs, and service providers throughout the entrepreneurial ecosystem are always willing to lend a hand, donate time, and provide guidance and counsel.