VentureBeat: Venture Capital Trends For 2010

venturebeat_logo There was an article published at the end of December that I thought those in interested in the venture capital trends for 2010 might want to read.  The article appeared on the VentureBeat site and was written by two partners at Grotech Ventures.  It caught my eye as it discussed where money might be flowing in 2010.

A quick summary of the article:

  • Social Media.  The authors say that social media will be a hot sector.  While there are still many questions about how to monetize the conversational and real-time nature of social media, the authors expects social media to move towards profitability in 2010.
  • Cloud Computing.  The authors expect money to continue to flow to the cloud in 2010.  The financial value of cost savings, infrastructure savings and productivity enhancement will drive continued investment. 
  • Prosumer Technologies.  The authors say this space will fizzle in 2010 and we will see a re-separation of consumer and professional devices, having a trickle-down effect on the ecosystems of startup companies developing for the iPhone, Droid, and other platforms.   It’s interesting to read this view as Deloitte recently came out with their 2010 Technology Predictions (Deloitte: Seven Technology Predictions for 2010), and one of those predictions was that the Prosumer trend will continue to be hot and cause disruption for IT departments.
  • Freemium Model.   The authors say that start-ups should understand that the gap between free and paying customers is widening. As customer attention spans shorten, their brand loyalty diminishes as well.  Users tend to move move on to the next trendy, free offering.  This will put pressure on providers to innovate at an incredibly rapid pace in order to keep pace with market demand.  For more on the freemium business model, see Wikipedia’s article on Freemium.

Check out the full article at VentureBeat “Venture Capital 2010:  Hot (and cold) sectors to watch”.

AdAge: 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch In 2010

ad age_logo Mobile is such a megatrend.  Mobile technologies, applications and services will be big a big story in 2010 and this shift in computing will impact our lives forever.  That is a fact we can not deny.   So I have my radar tuned to any content that helps me understand the underlying drivers and trends.

AdAge recently had an article titled Five Mobile Trends for 2010 that caught my eye.  It provides us with a perspective of the mobile megatrend from those in the advertising industry.  The two authors Dan Neumann (Organic) and Allison Mooney (MobileBehavior) have been focusing on the mobility trend and the impact it will have on advertising.  The article provides their thoughts on the key trends.

Here’s my summary of the five trends they see…

  1. Local Advertising.  Mobile will completely revolutionize the way local advertisers can connect with potential customers.  Mobile search and location based services will allow small local retailers and service providers to reach consumers like they’ve never
  2. Shopping Applications.  The growth in adoption of mobile shopping applications (apps such as price comparison, user product reviews, coupons) will continue to alter in-store consumer behavior. 
  3. Branded Apps and Display Media.   The authors expect that brands and agencies will continue to build their own branded apps.  However thanks to Google, they will also have more attractive display media options.  The authors say to watch out for Google as it attempts to one-up the iPhone app experience.
  4. Outdoor Advertising.   The authors give a few examples of where mobile users can now interact with outdoor ads and signage, opening up a whole new set of opportunities for advertisers.
  5. Social Provides Instant Feedback.  Social technologies give users the ability to express their opinions anywhere, anytime.   Companies need to figure out how to embrace this as part of their marketing process, encouraging and acting on the real-time feedback.

Some interesting trends along with a unique perspective from the advertising industry.  I think it is safe to say that Google has an iron-clad plan to grab their share of the mobile advertising market. 

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore: 10 Web Trends to Watch in 2010

Mashable Pete Cashmore Pete Cashmore (Twitter mashable) is founder and CEO of Mashable, a very popular blog about social media.   He is a frequent speaker and a recognized subject matter expert on all things social and digital media.  Besides Mashable, he also writes a weekly column for CNN.com and back in early December, he published his list of 10 Web trends to watch in 2010.

Cashmore’s Top Ten Trends

  1. Real-time ramps up:  There’s a growing demand for immediacy in our interactions. Immediacy is compelling, engaging, highly addictive … it's a sense of living in the now.
  2. Location, location, location:  Location based services is not about any singular service; rather, it's a new layer of the Web.
  3. Augmented reality:  The AR hype is here. It’s a cool application, but AR vendors need to demonstrate real benefits.
  4. Content 'curation':   Content creation is outpacing our ability to consume it and increasingly, your friends are becoming the curators of your consumption.
  5. Cloud computing:  Cloud computing, a buzzword of 2009, will get its legs in 2010. 
  6. Internet TV and movies:  Is 2010 the year the majority of our television starts coming to us via the Internet? 
  7. Convergence conundrum:  Why do we need multiple devices (ipod, camera, phone, videocamera, watch) when we can have it all in one device?
  8. Social gaming:   Social gaming and the related virtual currencies these games have spawned is something to watch in 2010.
  9. Mobile payments:  Pete says 2010 will be the breakthrough year of the much-anticipated mobile payments market.
  10. Fame abundance, privacy scarcity:  Pete says to expect personal privacy — or rather its continued erosion — to be a hot media topic of 2010.

Pete gives us some interesting things to think about with his list.   Number 4, Content Curation hits home with me as does does number 10, Privacy.  I’ve been waiting for #6 to happen for a few years.  I have not yet jumped in feet first with all the social gaming (#8)….probably because I just don’t have time.

For a 4 minute video of Pete introducing some of these trends, check out the video below (found at http://us.cnn.com/video/?/video/tech/2009/12/08/cb.web.trends.cnn)

Global Location Trends Annual Report

Global Locations Trends A few days ago, IBM's Global Location Trends report-October 2009 was released. 

IBM’s Plant Location International services have been around for 50 years.  This IBM team provides advice to companies on their location decisions, covering all sectors and types of business functions.  Over the years, this team has acquired extensive expertise and knowledge on what shapes corporate investment decisions.  The team also works with government agencies worldwide for economic development and investment promotion in their efforts to improve and market their locations to investors.

Highlights from the 2009 Global Location Trends report include:

  • The economic recession clearly affected global investment activity: a decline of 25% in jobs created through foreign investment.
  • Various 'hot-spots' among the emerging markets were severely affected, as companies postponed or cancelled larger, risk bearing projects.
  • Stable, mature markets performed relatively better than the emerging markets, still attracting the smaller, consumer oriented projects, and being a safe choice for many consolidation projects (although the majority of these also showed overall decreases).
  • The widening of global investment continued. Despite the overall decrease in total investment, companies extended their search for markets, talents, and cost efficiency to new corners of the world. In particular, Africa continues to increase its share of global investment.
  • First indications for 2009 show that the above trends continue up until recently. Q3 and Q4 however clearly show signals of increasing activity. This is unlikely to lead shortly to similar numbers of new jobs as in recent record years, but shows that companies are beginning to change their focus to growth strategies again.

To find out more about IBM's Plant Location International team or to download the Global Location Trends report, visit the  IBM Global Location Trends website

CIO: 10 Websites That Will Matter in 2009

My last post, ReadWrite Web: Top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2008, provided 10 websites that were on the leading edge of web services.

Another article from CIO.com titled 10 Websites That Will Matter in 2009 also caught my eye.   I am always interested in articles like this as they almost always have a few new websites that I have never heard of before, but are pushing the envelope of Web 2.0 and web services.  This article did just that.

Take a look at this list of ten web sites.  They all have the potential to generate lots of buzz in 2009.  A few of them might become among your most favorite sites.

  1. TV.com:  TV.com (http://www.tv.com/). owned by CBS, has been relaunched with full-length programs (movies and prime-time TV shows).  In addition you can find promo clips, cast profiles, interviews, and discussions.  The big question in 2009 is will tv.com mount a big enough challenge to Hulu?  Right now Hulu (owned in part by NBC) has momentum and video quality on their side.  

  2. Qik:  Qik (http://www.qik.com/) provides a platform where you can easily stream and share live video from your mobile or cell phone cameral.  You can even set it up to send the video straight to YouTube, your blog, or to your page on Facebook.
  3. Boxee:  Boxee (http://www.boxee.tv/) is designed to collect video from all over the web (Hulu, YouTube, CNN.com, and many others) and put it in a very neat and easy-to-use interface that you can access via a PC or on your TV.  Currently available only on Apple / Linux machines, the company says it is working on a Windows version.
  4. Blackberry Application Storefront:  Research in Motion (RIM), learning a lesson from the Iphone playbook, is opening up a store for independently developed BlackBerry apps, called the BlackBerry Application Storefront.  This page is not open, but you can check for it at  BlackBerry signup page on the Storefront
  5. Loopt:   Finding friends and  then things to do with those friends has never been easier.  Loopt (http://www.loopt.com/) shows you a map, and your position on it, and also the positions of your mobile friends who are in the vicinity.  Then Loopt detects businesses in the area and makes suggestions based on your interests or specific queries ("beer, pizza, bowling"). 
  6. Blip.fm:  Blip.fm (http://www.blip.fm/)  really is like Twitter for music.  A social networking place for people who enjoy music.  What you see at the site is a scrolling list of people's song choices with their short comments about them.  These are called Blips. You can listen to the "blipped" songs as they come up, or skip up and down the list to songs you like. And that is just the start of all the fun you can have on this site.
  7. Power.com:  Power.com (http://www.power.com/) operates on the premise that many of us now belong to several social networking sites and that it is a hassle to log in and post to each site separately.  Power.com lets you log in once, then view (and post to) any of a long list of social networking sites that you sync the service up with–all from one place.  One thing to watch in 2009 is their stormy relationship with Facebook.
  8. Tweetag:  Designed to feed off the Twitter buzz, Tweetag (http://www.tweetag.com/) is a sort of search engine for "tweets." It allows you to look for trends in what is being publicly discussed on Twitter, and, more importantly, find discussions of things that matter to you.
  9. Hi5:  Hi5 (http://www.hi5.com/) is the third largest social network in the world, with 40 percent of the members coming from Spanish-speaking countries.  It has been growing rapidly and has some great features not found on other sites.
  10. Tripit:  Tripit (http://www.tripit.com/) wants to be your travel assistant.   Tripit aggregates all of your travel reservation details and based on those details, automatically pulls in key information for you like maps, local attractions, dinner reservations, and weather reports, and wraps it up in an easy-to-use master itinerary.

I've seen Tripit hyped before, so that sounds like a winner.  If you have not checked out Hulu (mentioned above in the tv.com entry, you should check that one out. 

I think in 2009 and 2010 we will see a ton of new sites like these that launch new and exciting services.  Can't wait to see them…

You can read the full article at titled 10 Websites That Will Matter in 2009.  

IBM’s Global Location Trends Report

A few days ago, IBM's Global Location Trends report-October 2008 was released.  The report is prepared annually by Plant Location International (PLI), IBM's global center of excellence for global location strategies, and economic development strategies. 

IBM's Global Location Trends study reveals that multinational companies are increasingly widening their investments to include a number of emerging countries, with notable increases in Latin America and Africa.

Some of the key findings from this year's report are:

  • Globally, an estimated 1.2 million jobs will be created by 10,200 foreign (greenfield) investment projects announced in 2007.  
  • The widening of global investment is a structural trend: despite an overall decrease in total investment, companies extend their search for markets, talents, and cost efficiency to new corners of the world.
  • New emerging markets continue to appear on companies' radar screens; Latin America & Africa in particular are increasing their share of global investment
  • Different strategic location drivers (market, talents, cost efficiency) result in a variety of location choices by sector and business function; targeted economic development strategies are indeed effective in responding to these different location strategies.
  • Renewable energy sector promises to be an important new job creator in many different areas globally.
  • Indian and Chinese companies are increasingly creating jobs in key global markets, and becoming important target groups for inward investment attraction.
  • Competition for skills, markets and cost efficiencies forces companies to be increasingly innovative in where they locate their activities and how they structure their global footprint.

To find out more about IBM's Plant Location International team or to download the Global Location Trends report, visit the IBM Plant Location International website.