Tag Archives for social network

Remember ’87, ’97, ’07

mobile social networkingImage by Will Lion via Flickr

Friends Reunited is now valued as little as £20m to £40m compared to the price paid by ITV of £175m.  Perhaps it is time for the Founders to buy it back or else think that social networks have moved on and Facebook has won with 200million users.

It is why you need an outside investor onboard to keep you in touch with the market; it is so easy to keep a life-style or passive equity company chugging along but it is not the role of entrepreneurs.

I remember the words said in ’87, “We could work for another ten years and not be as well off”.  And not just us, all the staff with their options and all the investors.

So essential and so difficult to do; build a business and keep a watchful eye on the value you are creating.  Of course, it takes special people to be busy building a business and going through the tortuous route of due diligence and closing the biggest deal of their lives.

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Playfish leaps up The Cloud with VC power

LONDON - MAY 31: Party revellers enjoy the atm...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

The Scobleizer uses his Flip video to great effect in these two videos:

“Playfish’s CEO talking about how they are building games for Facebook, part I and part II.”

Playfish builds social games (20million monthly players) and was formed by people who had already built a games business in the old game world and now are building games on social network sites such as Facebook.  The videos show how the games uses the social network, how they get tens of thousands of feedback, how a game can quickly be upgraded (a hundred upgrades not possible on a DVD), how the have no servers and everthing is in The Cloud.

Another company building on Facebook’s platform and reacting to the demographic data already available.

Playfish has raised $20million from Accel and Index Ventures and has quickly developed a 24 hour development operation with offices in London (HQ), Beijing and Silicon Valley.  Of course the founders of Playfish had done it before and so would have got a good deal from the ever generous VCs.  The real lesson is to build a business and sell it and do it again and again.

Building a business in The Cloud with VC power seems a great way to swim, lots of air and lots of water drops to power the fish along. I wonder what business plan resource they used?

Form thePlayfish website:

“What are Social Games?

 

Social games are games designed to be played together with friends.

Traditional computer games focus on standalone game play on consoles, your PC or on your mobile. Games that do allow you to play together with others online normally require you to buy the game, go online and try and find like-minded new friends who are also playing the game. This is something that usually only the most dedicated gamers are prepared to do.

Our social games are different. We create games that let you play together with real-world friends and family using the infrastructure built by social networks. This is in some ways a return to the roots of games. You play with the same people you would play cards, board games or go bowling with in the real world. Sharing the game experience with friends makes it more compelling and fun.

At Playfish we believe social games are a big part of the future of the video games industry, and are working hard to be the leading company in this emerging sector.”

 

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Is Facebook getting ready to float?

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The Equity Fingerprint of Facebook is a social network on its own and has just been increased by those nice people from ConnectU who claim to have come up with the idea in the first place.  However the “office boy” went on to fame and fortune (see my earlier post) with Facebook.  As part of a court settlement, the “office boy” has settled a lawsuit with his former Harvard college room-mates, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, receiving $20million in cash and 1,253,326 shares worth a further $11million based on the company’s own valuation.  Facebook was valued at $3.7bn, down from the$15bn when Microsoft bought in for $240million.  If Facebook floats at the higher valuation, the founders of ConnectU will do very, very well and not by half.

It reminds me of the Google float when paper was issued to thank people who had “helped” the company get going.

So many companies that go the Active Equity Company route do have to keep shuffling the equity to keep it rewarding the current people and, if all goes well, the ones who come out of the cupboard.

I remember when Reid “Glug” Hoffman of LinkedIn came to Cambridge and said that although websites looked similar, it is the attention to the small details that differentiate one from the crowd and Zuckerberg certainly has that skill.

Apart from all the history, do the ConnectU founders really deserve their cut?  Would their site have ever reached 150million users and more?  Their idea was great but could they execute?  How would you feel if you were the founder of ConnectU?  Or the “office boy”?  It would make a great case study.

Dave Morin, who runs Facebook’s app team, on friendfeed Tweets: “Today we gave our 175,000,000th user the power to share and be more open and connected through Facebook. Awesome.” One of the comments: “Congrats to Facebook on reaching 175 million users. Amazing growth. – Robert Scoble”.

So Facebook is going for the 200million mark (zuc……).

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Twitter fills up whilst in control

Fred Wilson makes the point that Twitter raised funds:

“But there’s a saying that I heard early on in my tenure in the venture business that still rings true.

The best time to raise money is when you don’t need it”

Interesting that Fred says “I am thrilled that Twitter will be working with Todd Chafee and his partners at IVP and Peter Fenton and his partners at Benchmark. The list of investors in Twitter just keeps getting better and better.”

That is the way to build an Active Equity Company.

Of course, Twitter like CraigsList, seems to provide a platform on which so many others can build and keeps it’s own headcount down, way down with a very small team (some 30+ people I think).

So often I hear people say things like “Why do I need to raise money when I am doing so well”.  Look at Geneva Technology and the late, great Stephen Thomas.  Plan raising money using a business plan resource, not when your backs are against the wall.

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Business applications of Social Networking

Facebook, LinkedIn, Bebo and YouTube are revolutionising the way people use the internet.

See interesting link at:-

http://cambridgemba.wordpress.com/