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Retrevo’s Vipin Jain on Vertical Search (2)

Posted on Saturday, Jun 2nd 2007

SM: How big is the market for what you have to offer? (TAM analysis is essentially what I am looking for here … )
VJ: $1B-$1.5B. Assume a conservative $25B online spending out of a total of $150B CE spending in the US. Assume 4%-5% of the total online spend in referral. TAM is much larger if you consider the bridge between online research (75% of consumers research their products online) and offline purchases (and how to build that bridge). >>>

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Om Malik: Pioneering Blogs (Part 2)

Posted on Saturday, Jun 2nd 2007

Journalism is not the typical career path selected by young Indians in middle class families. However, Om made a choice and followed his passion.

SM: What was the first significant journalism job you had, something you consider a milestone? OM: I don’t think there has been anything that significant. I have been going through an evolutionary process – just one step at a time. I think the first job was the most crucial because without that I would not have had any foundation.

SM: The college music publication? OM: Yes. As I grew older I wrote about a whole bunch of issues for a whole bunch of newspapers. I think very early on in my life I went into a freelance mode, and took a multi-platform approach. I wrote for Sunday newspapers, daily newspapers, magazines, because I wanted to have maximum impact. That also meant I had to work too much, but that was part of the joy of writing for so many different people. It also meant more money. >>>

Story of an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Raj Vaswani (Part 10)

Posted on Saturday, Jun 2nd 2007

Raj continues to discuss his criteria for evaluating EIR opportunities.

SM: How about the experience level of the partners – I imagine having the opportunity to learn from them was rather important in your decision to join Foundation? RV: I found it very useful to be able to talk under the same roof, first about core technology, then about what the market for it might be, then about how one could actually sell into that market, and finally about how one would need to staff against that business model. Many firms say that their partners “have all built and operated companies”. It’s a good idea to make sure they have, since you will get the most out of your time as an EIR that way – especially if you haven’t done this yourself. >>>

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Retrevo’s Vipin Jain on Vertical Search (1)

Posted on Friday, Jun 1st 2007

A Vertical Search engine called Retrevo has come up a few times in our coverage of the Gadget Geeks segment. Here, I interview the CEO, Vipin Jain.

SM: Please describe your business value proposition and your product.
VJ: Retrevo is a web service that helps consumers with shopping and support of tech products. Retrevo is your trusted advisor throughout the lifecycle ownership of tech products, from education, research, deals, price comparison, getting the best out of the products you bought, accessorizing, using, fixing issues to servicing your products. Retrevo is the only company that helps consumers “before and after”. >>>

Online Video Ads: Acquisition Targets?

Posted on Friday, Jun 1st 2007

Online Advertising has been getting lots of attention, evidenced by Google’s Doubleclick acquisition, Microsoft’s aQuantive acquisition, and Yahoo’s RightMedia acquisition. My earlier post discusses additional potential roll-ups in the world of online advertising agencies.

Online video advertising, a relatively newer concept in Internet marketing, is fast becoming an important opportunity, evidenced in a study indicating that almost 6 viewers out of 10 watch video clips on the Internet. Google’s acquisition of YouTube for $1.65 billion clearly authenticated this trend, although monetization of these video viewership is still minimal.

According to eMarketer, online video advertising by 2010 will constitute 10% of all Internet marketing. Another study by Online Publishers Association shows that 44% of those watching an online video ad, after watching the advertisement took an action such as visiting a Web site, going to a store or requesting additional product information. According to Adams Media Research, advertisers by 2011, will spend approximately $1.7 billion on Internet video advertising.

I suspect, from now on, Microsoft will become more alert about what it needs to acquire, how soon, and at what price. Google, most likely, will try to crack this nut via internal R&D, and unless a startup comes up with rocket science technology and IP, that is protected by patents, their approach will likely be to challenge the droves of Computer Science Phds to justify their existence by coming up with the technology themselves. Yahoo, on the other hand, also needs to keep up the acquisitions.

So whom would Microsoft, Yahoo, and others acquire next to plug the holes in their video ad technology portfolio? >>>

Web 3.0 & Travel Search Engines

Posted on Friday, Jun 1st 2007

We have been discussing the online travel industry and have covered Yahoo! Travel, TripAdvisor, Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline and LonelyPlanet from a Web 3.0 perspective earlier. Here we will take a look at the popular travel meta-search engines, Kayak and SideStep in the light of the web 3.0 framework.

Kayak was founded in January 2004 by former executives of Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia. Both BusinessWeek and Forbes.com have included Kayak among the “Best of the Web”. Entrepreneur magazine had selected the site as the “Best Site for Airfare Shopping”. Currently Kayak receives more than 6 million unique visitors per month. >>>

Om Malik: Pioneering Blogs (Part 1)

Posted on Friday, Jun 1st 2007

Om Malik is a successful writer, reporter and has been entrepreneurial in many ways. He is also one of the pioneers of the blogging phenomena with GigaOm. Om has been a close friend of mine for many years, and was responsible for getting me into blogging. Today, he is one of first bloggers, along with Michael Arrington of Techcrunch and Rafat Ali of Paidcontent to have monetized blogs in a significant way. >>>

Story of an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Raj Vaswani (Part 9)

Posted on Friday, Jun 1st 2007

While Raj did not make much effort in the way of formally analyzing his acceptance of an EIR position, he does share with us what his criteria should have been. In essence, we are benefiting from a “hindsight is 20/20”. Raj goes into detail regarding what he feels is important in an EIR arrangement.

SM: Let’s break each of those areas down a bit more. What do you mean by having an aligned philosophy? RV: I’m a technical guy, so I tend to be interested in businesses which, and this is the only way I can think to put it, “should exist”. What I mean is that I’m less interested in things that exploit some kind of temporary gap in technology, or some kind of temporary financial arbitrage. I’m more interested in things that really “move the needle” in creating whole new areas of business or develop new technologies. >>>