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Concept Arbitrage: Content & Community

Posted on Monday, Jan 8th 2007

A while back, I wrote a popular series called Concept Arbitrage, about ideas that have been successful in America, and have potential in India. Here is the summary of that series from last June.

I want to point you, now, to a set of ideas that have been gaining traction as content-community digital media properties in the US, and could well be also viable in India:

– Sites that address Indian College Kids & Teenagers

– What Gadgets are popular in India, that would entice Gadget Geeks

– Other segments like Cooking.

You can also watch the Segments & Lifestyles section for overviews of other such segments, including, for example, women, healthcare, etc.

I will also write more, shortly, about the future of the integrated 3C – Content, Community and Commerce – sites, from a global perspective, as I think what’s out there is still only superficial.

This segment is a part in the series : Concept Arbitrage

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Hello Sramana,

College kids and teenagers is one segment I can agree with, the other two are niches at the best, won’t scale in India, at least for a while.

Yes, we do sell a fair number of Nokia N Series phones, but try getting a serious piece of kit like the E70 in India and the dealers would tell you that you’d have to place an order and pick it up a couple of days later since they don’t sell much. The segment appeals a lot to a small number of people, but it does not appeal much to most people.

Cooking has been around in India since the time of the first bust, scale again is an issue. You get moderate to decent traffic, but not more, be it as a stand-alone indie operation or as part of a major portal.

The massive market value of India is locked into the vernacular segment first and held behind the fortress of the bad connectivity. Whoever manages to break through both has a major bounty waiting for them. Till then it is just the penny/paisa game. Nice/large enough support maybe just a handful average players.

From the arbitrage point of view, what I believe is that none of the current players stand even half a chance of surviving once someone unlocks the aforementioned potential and I don’t think the unlocking will be done by any of the existing players.

We are looking more at one of the traditional companies doing it and if you compare the market cap of existing v/s potential players, you can see how fragile the current crop are.

shyam Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 4:38 AM PT

Your comments are by and large accurate. However, what you place bets on today are the markets of tomorrow. I’d say none of these markets are truly markets of today. Not even college kids and teenagers. That, however, is what is attractive about them.

Sramana Mitra Tuesday, January 9, 2007 at 2:29 PM PT