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The Middle Kingdom’s Middle Class

Posted on Tuesday, Jul 3rd 2007

From McKinsey Quarterly:

A social revolution will soon transform China, and multinationals that do business there can’t afford to ignore it. So far, they have mostly focused on the country’s tiny minority of urban-affluent consumers. But as more Chinese migrate to the cities for higher-paying work, they are steadily climbing the income ladder. By 2011, McKinsey research suggests, China should have a lower middle class of 290 million people; by 2025, the upper middle class will be 520 million strong, with staggering disposable wealth. For many multinationals, this is the market of the future.

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Citrix’s Collaboration Business Offers Strategic Options

Posted on Tuesday, Jul 3rd 2007

I wrote about Citrix being an acquisition target for Oracle recently on the grounds of their on-demand collaboration product suite. Since then, I did a bit of digging on the numbers for the Citrix Online business.

Whereas Citrix (NASDAQ: CTXS) is primarily an enterprise software company with:

* $1.134B revenue 2006
* 60 million users worldwide
* 180,000+ corporate customers
* 22% overall annual growth rate

Citrix Online is a much higher growth business with:

* $148.8M revenue 2006
* 23,000 business customers, largely focused on the SME segment, itself, a very high growth market
* 49% annual growth rate

Today, Citrix Online constitutes 25% of the Citrix business, and in Q1 2007, scored triple digit growth with $50 Million in revenues.

Cracking the Online Video Monetization Nut: CEO Amir Ashkenazi (Part 10)

Posted on Tuesday, Jul 3rd 2007

We conclude our conversation with a brief discussion about Google, and any potential impact it may have on, including competing for talent.

SM: Which companies are out there that you find interesting, who have good approaches, besides yourselves? AA: We obviously think the approach should be viewer friendly, effective monetization. I think it is still early, and we will see more companies joining the market, but today what you see are poster ads or pre-roll advertising which is just replicating the TV model on the Internet. I am a lot more optimistic about the future of this industry than having pre-rolls all over the place.

SM: What are your thoughts about Google’s efforts in this area? >>>

Video FAQs

Web 3.0 & Group Travel: Groople CEO Mike Stacy (Part 3)

Posted on Tuesday, Jul 3rd 2007

SM: How big is the market? How do you calculate TAM? MS: In 2007 the groups and meetings market is forecasted to be $170 B. The travel portion, $92B. (Source: Phocus Wright)

SM: What are your top target segments? MS: Small to Medium size companies (we also get business from Fortune 500 companies), Sports Teams, Student Groups, Friends Getaways, Family Reunions, Family Trips.

SM: And these are the options that you offer on your Groople site as Event Category. How did you penetrate the market and get early traction? MS: When Groople was first founded, online group travel was a completely new concept. Early market penetration was achieved through four primary avenues: >>>

In The Shadows Of Iraq: Qubad Talabani (Part 4)

Posted on Tuesday, Jul 3rd 2007

Countries such as Iraq, which have not been involved in a capitalistic economic circumstance, are going to experience growing pains as they attempt economic development. Among the most important requirements will be access to capital, and likely in case like this, access to microfinance. My first question about the banking capabilities in the area reveal what I was expecting – very limited capability (this is important, as banking can help reduce and mitigate fraud and corruption on many levels). Here I inquire about the US State department reconstruction teams, as they at times have some microfinance teams embedded in them, and have economic development as one of their primary goals. >>>

iPhone’s Inside Beneficiaries

Posted on Monday, Jul 2nd 2007

The first few attempts at understanding the guts of the iPhone have started emerging. Here are 2 pieces that take a crack at the topic from EETimes and TechOnline.

Key points on the iPhone’s components are below: >>>

Pricing Priceline

Posted on Monday, Jul 2nd 2007

With Independence Day barely days away, Priceline predictably has come out with its 4th annual survey of 50 most popular holiday destinations. The survey is based on more than 30,000 actual booking requests made by its customers online, and therefore an accurate predictor of trends this season.

The beeline of holiday customers and humming of activity at Priceline is reflective of a general boom in online travel, that somewhat puts in shade its reported Q1 loss last month of $0.44 a share compared to a $0.02 loss a share in the same quarter last year.

Analysts feel the sheen of Priceline stock will not pale much since the company’s Q1 total revenue rose by an impressive 25% at $301.4 million ($241.91 million same quarter last year) and its Q1 pro forma revenue at $285.5 million registered an 18% increase over last year’s.

In November last year, Goldman Sachs had held a price of $49 a share for Priceline as 12-month target. The scrip however is doing much better, hovering around $63-64 in the last few trading sessions. >>>

Cracking the Online Video Monetization Nut: CEO Amir Ashkenazi (Part 9)

Posted on Monday, Jul 2nd 2007

According to Amir, the learning system is an important aspect which will lead to optimized ad campaigns for content providers. Is it? I’m still very skeptical …

SM: I see, so what you are basically doing is trial and error while the learning system figures out effectiveness, and then you push ads out accordingly. AA: Exactly. This is also why we called the company, because we are adapting to user interaction with the ads to make the best selection.

SM: Are you live on any sites? AA: We are live on MetaCafe on two channels, the video game channel and the travel channel.

SM: Great. Let’s talk about the video game channel. What is the behavior like in that channel? >>>