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iPhone Competitors: Palm

Posted on Thursday, Aug 9th 2007

In my previous posts, I have talked extensively about Palm’s future in the face of competition from iPhone. In a nutshell, I’ve maintained that Palm either needs to come up with something impressive in the enterprise space, or go for a lower-priced emerging market killer app strategy.

Post iPhone launch, Foleo still remains Palm’s only response so far. >>>

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Concur CEO Steve Singh (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Aug 9th 2007

SM: 1998 you went public with $6M a quarter revenue. What happened after that? SS: The company did well in the public market for a period of time. One of the major changes for us was in April 2000, before the bubble burst.

A true story, which gives you some context about us. I was headed out on a much delayed honeymoon. I had a chance during the flight to read all of our management reports. When you step back you get a chance to see where the business is going. We had acquired into some businesses that we were not executing very well on, things like HR and Procurement.

At that point you can choose to address those issues or you can choose to ignore them. As I went through this, I had a chance to see where we wanted to take the business. I saw we were excelling in the expense management side, we were not doing well in the Procurement or the HR side, and even on the expense side there was limited future on the growth of the licensed software model. >>>

Online Dating & Web 3.0 (Part 4)

Posted on Thursday, Aug 9th 2007

Web 3.0 formula discussion (4C, P, VS)

Here, we will take a look at the Web 3.0 aspects of online dating sites.

Context
As we mentioned earlier, Context for dating sites is becoming increasingly more focused and nichy, as sites look for different avenues to differentiate. Some popular contexts that are emerging are Seniors, Gay, Single Parents, etc. >>>

Video FAQs

Electronic Arts (ERTS) On The Way Up

Posted on Thursday, Aug 9th 2007

By Frank Lara, Guest Author

If John Welch is building a new Electronic Arts then how is the real Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:ERTS) doing and is it worth your time and money for a potential investment opportunity?

ERTSThe quick answer – they are worth your attention.

Electronic Arts is the big daddy of the gaming sector with a $16.9 billion market cap, they are the world’s biggest video game publisher. This month ERTS posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss due to a boost from hits such as its latest “Harry Potter” title. >>>

iPhone Competitors: Nokia

Posted on Wednesday, Aug 8th 2007

It won’t be too far fetched to say that today, Nokia is the Microsoft of the mobile devices industry. This Finnish giant is the one company that Apple would definitely need to bite at if it wants to create its place in the mobile devices market.

On the other hand, Nokia has proven to be resilient and the experience of 2004 when it lost ground to Motorola’s Razr will help it address the iPhone challenge better. It’ll be interesting to see how Nokia reacts to the anticipated paradigm shift in the mobile devices market, post the launch of the iPhone. Here is my prior analysis of Nokia wrt the convergence device movement.

Finland based Nokia Corp(NYSE: NOK) is the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile devices. In Q2 2007, the company shipped over 100 million units worldwide accounting for 37% of total units shipped. Nokia’s dominance in the market can be judged by the fact that it was a shade under about 3 times clear of the nearest rival Samsung, which shipped 37.3 million units in Q2 2007. >>>

Concur CEO Steve Singh (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Aug 8th 2007

SM: What are your pricing guidelines now? SS: We actually don’t share that publicly, but it is not too different than payroll processing costs. The core point is if you look at the paper model, and you go to companies and ask them how much it costs to process an expense report via paper, it is about $45 – $50 per transaction.

SM: When you say that, is it because people have to manually write it down, and place it into the computer, is that what you are quantifying? SS: No, in fact our buyer is the CFO or controller of a company. They do not look at soft-dollar savings, so your time and my time are not factored in. What they do look at is how many people in the accounting department who receive your paper expenses, enter them into the general ledger system. What does it cost to do paper-based checks? How much do you save in supplier contracts? What benefits can you get in reducing the transaction processing costs? We can take that from $45 – $50 down to well south of $10. >>>

Online Dating & Web 3.0 (Part 3)

Posted on Wednesday, Aug 8th 2007

Business Model
Most of the online dating sites earn money mainly from subscription, ad revenue and products and services sold through its sites.

The subscription rates for the dating sites vary from $29.99 per month for Match.com to $39.95 per month for Yahoo! Personals to $49.99 for True.com to $59.95 per month for eHarmony.com. eHarmony claims to have some incredible insights into psychological profiles of its members, and advertises “chemistry” match through its rather clever television ads.

Match.com generated revenues of $311 million in 2006 with a growth of 25% over 2005. eHarmony is expected to earn $200 million in revenues in 2007. Though revenues of these sites have been growing they are still not making profits due to rising marketing costs. >>>

Building the Electronic Arts of Casual Gaming: PlayFirst CEO John Welch (Part 10)

Posted on Wednesday, Aug 8th 2007

SM: What are some of your key learnings from this journey so far?

JW: At my first startup we cut off our consulting business to focus on raising venture capital that never materialized. Cash is king. Build the business that makes you money and keeps the doors open; it can finance your riskier investments.

During the early days at Shockwave.com I learned the perils of hyper-quick growth. Don’t hire faster than you can grow your management capabilities and revenues, and don’t spend all of your money unless you are certain that you are investing in things that will give the expected return.

Honest communication is of the utmost importance, in life and in business. Alissa and I were very different people. None of our friends thought we made a good couple early on, but we communicated very well so we converged. >>>