There’s been an influx of on-demand mobile services – the Ubers, Lyfts, Postmates, Shyps, etc. of the world. They’re great and I think we should continue to invest in these companies, especially at a vertical level with industries like cars (Beepi) and food (Sprig). There’s one issue that’s been cropping up in my head for the past couple of months and that’s: what’s the end-game for many of these services? I don’t say this in a “it’s 1999 bubble and burn rates are high” manner. I say this in a genuine and optimistic, we haven’t seen anything like this before and many of these services will have to have an exit, but the buyers for these companies are different than just the usual Google, Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft . Here are the different buckets and where I think on-demand mobile services might shake out in terms of liquidity. Don’t think of…Continue Reading
There aren’t many of them, but I’m a big believer in B2B2C companies. Some favorite examples might be OpenTable and Benefits. The flipside to the B2B2C model deals with having to build products for two distinct user bases with different yet related needs. It’s incredibly difficult and a tricky balancing act. We did this at Onswipe and it wasn’t easy, resulting in many lessons learned. Building a product that’s B2B for the publishers is a different set of needs than building a product that’s B2C for delivering the best experience for the end user. I still think there’s tremendous value to be had in the B2B2C space, but there’s a better way to think about it. Josh Breinlinger put out a post a bit ago that opened my eyes to the SaaS+Marketplace opportunity and how a B2B2C success could spring from here . I think the next great marketplace will…Continue Reading
It’s 2014 and according to Google, 55% of small businesses still don’t have websites. Ridiculous, right? This is even with technology like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace. Most websites are still desktop first so they’re going to have to be re-written for a mobile only world soon anyway. Responsive design is a great stopgap, but it’s really a way to shrink down all the desktop logic into a mobile form factor. It isn’t saying: Most people are going to be consuming web content on mobile and most will be coming from either Facebook or Google on these devices. Identifying the problem: People want information delivered to them in a simple easy to consume manner We shouldn’t be looking at websites as the problem being solved, websites are actually a solution. They’re a solution that we came up with over 20 years ago. The real problem is: People want information about a…Continue Reading
Marc Andreeesen gave a great interview last week with the New Yorker around the topic of optimism and where he sees technology going. We need to shed a bigger light on this topic because we’re seeing many founders get dissuaded from focusing on the big picture or being optimistic. “Let’s forget whether it’ll work or not. What if it does work?” – @pmarca on optimism and early eBay http://t.co/3Ugey2Wkai — Jason L. Baptiste (@JasonLBaptiste) October 27, 2014 Let’s not write off the “Toys” or “Silly Ideas” Chris Dixon has a well known article about how many technologies of the future will start out looking like a toy. Many new companies, such as Yo, launch and start getting belittled in the press for looking like a toy. People can’t understand why a company like this would receive millions of dollars in funding. That’s the skeptical thinking that is the complete opposite…Continue Reading
Before you begin, here’s a primer in laymen’s terms on iBeacon as most don’t know what it is. If you’re already up to speed, continue on to the next paragraph. It’s technology that uses bluetooth instead of cell signal to do two things First—broadcast down to the meter where you are to another beacon and Second—allow an app to broadcast information to you when you are in range. Any iOS device after the iPhone 4S can be an iBeacon OR you can buy small little bottlecap sized devices as independent iBeacons. It’s an intelligent way to connect you who has become a digital object through your mobile phone to any other physical object in close proximity such as a person or place. Think of it as the ability to turn anything non digital into something digital such as a store, your friend, a painting inside the museum, or even a…Continue Reading