For our last discussion at the RealTime CrunchUp, we’ve got a panel on actually generating revenue from these services. Participating in the discussion are some of the Valley’s top VCs and veterans of the space.
Brian Singerman — Founders Fund
Ron Conway — Angel Investor
Dan’l Lewin — Corporate VP for Strategic and Emerging Business Development at Microsoft
George Zachary — Charles River Ventures
Paul Buchheit — Facebook/FriendFeed
Andrew Braccia — Accel Partners
Michael Arrington — Editor and Founder, TechCrunch
Moderated by Steve Gillmor and Erick Schonfeld
ES: We talk a lot about the overflow of information. Lots of interest in geo-stream. Where do the money making opportunities lie here? We have lots of consumer use cases.
GZ: That’s a broad question. We’re investors in three companies now starting to accrue rev. in this space: Twitter, Yammer, and SMSGupshup (Twitter of India). Regarding Yammer: In 0 for marketing, over 10% conversation of the install base for Yammer. The company has around 550k installed enterprise seats in 14 months.
MA: It’s this insidious product where it’s very sticky and you hae to start paying. It’s a good thing.
GZ: It’s a good thing for the company, and investor..
DL: Good for customer too. Company stays around.
GZ: In response to Marc Benioff copying Yammer, we got lots of calls saying Chatter copied Yammer.
MA: There’s 550k installed enterprise seats, over 10% of new seats convert. There’s below 100k paid seats. Near 100k paying users.
GZ: Marc Benioff setting price at 50 per user gives us some room…
ES: What’s yammer’s strategy to ingest other enterprise data systems.
GZ: I think yammer is going to be the future of enterprise messaging. There’s going to be serious competition and we know that.
ES: FriendFeed was the first sig. acqusition in this space. Wasn’t the size of what people were talking about with Twitter, but it’s a milestone. From a founder perspective you were building this system, can you tell us about, what you thought was obviously the future.
PB: Facebook kept talking to us, they were very persistent. We were never looking to sell, even when we did. What happened is we started talking to them more, learning where they’re going. As we put more thought into the future of Facebook it started seeming like an intriguing possibility. The opportunity at Facebook is very substantial. Nobody has ever announced the deal. The biggest component is what is the value is Facebook. I think the value of Facebook is going to be huge. It is going to get more successful.
ES: Brian can you talk about what you guys are interested in?
BS: We’re also in Yammer. We’re also interested in where real time can go in non consumer/enterprise. There’s lots of room in devices, biotech. Lots of cool companies being able to figure out on the fly if there is E Coli in a substance. You can leverage tech to do lots of stuff that used to take a long time.
AB: We’re taking a wide approach.
MA: Kimball Musk this morning said there are gobs of money in search. When Twitter bought Summize, I think they gave them like 8% of the company, not sure if that’s been reported, it was a huge part of the company. I think they realized it was still very hard and passed it to Bing/Google. The places where the money is with Yammer, which touches on things like Echange. And search. But where else are people making money. Where are startups making money if not one of those two buckets?
RC: Those are good buckets. I agree, what you’re seeing with the programmable web. Some business is going to take off, we’re seeing things that haven’t been created yet that are going to see a huge amount of value in things being created.
RC: Coupons alone to inventivize users to go to a nearby place, revenues from that alone could be massive. This is going to happen in 2010.
BS: We’ve seen a huge amont of traffic on real-time coupons/offerings.
ES: How does microsoft look at this.
DL: he first thing for us is to build the infrastructure out, and look at the big information flows, like we did for the Twitter relationship. Some of these things will be things we’ll be interested in. We have been and will continue to be inquisitive. It’s been around 20 companies a year on avg. about 10 of those are bubble up like this and become important parts of a broader strategy. RealTime goes way back to the very beginning of data exchange. Who carries the flow, where is the value at what moment in time of the flow of information. These are all indications of inevitability of realtime. What we’ve done with Twitter/Bing those are foundations for much bigger connections. There’s a little company doing math in the cloud, seven guys optomizing POS information. 5k retail points, 20k units inventory in a warehouse.
SG: What do you know about deal with Twitter.
DL: Which deal?…
MA: What’s the other deal?
DL: They did one with us.
SG: Question is licensing of feeds?
DL: Why would I offer details on this.
RC: Yon can tell Dan’l likes this job.
MA: I feel like panelists know the answer to this.
RC: The companies we’re investing in today that TC writes about are indiciation of where the market is going. COtweet. Retime search companies. That’s going to be a hell of a horse race. I think one of the real time search engines that exists today will win out.
AB: Realtime search is a tough space. I think Google does a pretty good job at information retreival. Facebook has search in a different way (more discovery serendipitious). I look at it, if you go back 4 years ago, most of the companies you would see that were web enabled, you could see the same traffic refeeral chart. 30% google SEO. 40% SEM. the rest direct. Today out of nowhere Facebook/Twitter have become huge reffers.
ES: Paul, you’re both a buyer and seller because you’re an active angel investor. To what extent do the companies you invest in fall in this theme.
PB: I don’t know if I’ve invested in too many real time. I think real time is valuable because… basically the word relevance. Search is valuable because it’s relevant. Realtime enables that across a lot of other domains. If right now I say I am sitting right here and I get a coupon, it works because it’s relevant to me. If I got it tomorrow it would no longer be relevant. One of the companies I recently invested in. They do car sales/car business. They look for intention are you looking to buy a car, are you having trouble, that’s a good opportunity to contact them.
MA: There’s another angle to FB search. Forget where you are, what you’ve done. I found when I look people I know, search results are really good. Reason is because they are ranked based on people who have mutual friends. Google doesn’t address that at all. Applies to more than just people. Who you are is really relevant to almost all searches.
PB: Relevance has multiple dimension. Google got keywords. There is time relevance. All are opportunities.
ES: As we look forward at where all this is going. Seems like there are a lot of different approaches. Is there danger of confusion here. Do I build on top of Twitter/Facebook, quasi open systems Google is pushing.
MA: Stocktwits built on Twitter and now they’ve moved almost completely off it. Zynga is doing it with Farmville now.
BS: If you need to move off, all startups pivot. They can pivot. But I suggest starting with something, pick best thing for the job, and don’t be afraid to pivot.
RC: Start with one with cheapest cost, highest number of users, off you go.
AB: I think good entrepreneurs will find their way. Omar at AdMob.. even before iPhone launched he was focused on that as an opportunity for a business. They’ll find their way.
DL: Big question is whether company that rises as a company like Twitter. Or one like Facebook becomes core platform. Pick starting point but it’s hard to argue that anyone can anticipiate which one is going to get lift like a Twitter. Why Twitter and not someone else.
ES: George, maybe you can answer that. Twitter, Facebook, Google each platforms taking different approaches.
GZ: The concept of a social network has been around for a long time.The one difference is twitter is unlike geocities etc. Twitter is an example of a horizontal network. They own namespace, let third parties build it out.
ES: FriendFeed was ultimate twitter client. Paul, you built it partially on back of Twitter. But then when you sold to FB you bet on FB model.
PB: I think both companies have promising future. I don’t see it as once vs other. I don’t know how the future will play out. They’re both incredibly well positioned. I’d love to own either (or both). FB had all these features, for API had to allow access to each, more complex. Twitter only had a few features so it was very easy to build a Twitter client. Set up this whole ecosystem of twitter apps. Everyone filled in the little pieces by themselves. I’m curious if anyone else can do this. They’ve managed to outsource this.
SG: Does anyone have an opinion if lists, RT, etc are going to be plus or minus.
RC: Huge plus. People have been screaming for ecosystem for lists for a year. Whole ecosystem of companies built off lists themselves. Twitter is building a platform. in the next year there will be 100 apps built off twitter lists.
DL: I think most of the money will be made in enterprise communications.
ES: What will be the biggest real time exit next year?
DL: I think a number of things sub 100, 50. One thing that will be a billion dollar thing. Not even sure there will be exists. It think opportunities for big things will be able to stand alone.
GZ: I can’t even predict what’s going to happen next year. I think most of the companies in this space in terms of revenue are fairly immature with the exception of FB. I think more likely for big exists in 2010/2011.
RC: This market is in its infancy. I think a couple max in 50-100. Acquisitions in 2010 will be for IP and great teams.
MA: Do you think Zynga is doing more monthly rev than Facebook?
RC: Interesting question.
PB: I’ve heard rumors of Zynga IPO.
AB: I agree with the panel.
Q: Who is Twitter disrupting?
RC: Dick Costolo had some fascinating adjectives. “non tradional” “unique” “organic” “people will love it”. That’s a pretty interesting drum roll.
The next wave of disruption in technology will come and disrupt the big ones.
DL: I think Michael has a POV of our position on the web. Not sure if anyone paid attention to what we announced at our dev conf.
>> So this is the last session that we’re about to start.
And let’s stay here and we can get this one wrapped up on time.
>> So if everyone on the final panel, if they’re not behind there, are they all back there?
Should we give away the
So at the end of this panel, we’re going to give away the sailing trip again.
So I’m not going to do it now because everyone left.
If everybody who is on this panel can come up.
Brian Singerman, Ron Conway, Dan’l Lewin, Paul Buchheit and Andrew Braccia.
If you’re back stage, come on up here.
>> All right.
We’re going to get started.
Can you find the other panelists.
We’ll have drinks afterwards.
So we’ll get started.
Yeah, George, are you giving a demo?
>> He’s around.
>> George Zachary.
You want to come up on stage, guys.
Someone find Ron Conway.
He’ll show up.
>> Let’s have everybody introduce themselves and say a little bit about why they think that
They have an opinion about real time or not.
Let’s start on this end.
>> Andrew Braccia, Accel Partners, have no opinion.
>> Paul Buchheit, Facebook at the moment, I guess, previously Friendfeed, and
>> Facebook, I guess, at the moment?
>> That came out wrong.
I was trying to decide whether Friendfeed or Facebook part was more relevant.
They’re both very relevant since obviously I think realize is a big time where we’re headed
In the future.
And in particular not just the technical aspect but the human aspect of how we relate to each
>> George Zachary, Charles River.
I’m known to have opinions.
I missed the question.
I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention.
>> As it goes, who are you.
>> I’m Dan’l Lewin, I’m with Microsoft.
I’m here in Silicon Valley, and oversee our outreach to the start-up community in general.
Brian Singerman, I’m at Founders Fund.
So we kind of want to use this panel to, A, wrap up some of the themes that we’ve been seeing
And really kind of focus on what both the business and investment opportunities are in the
So we’ve seen talk a lot about sort of filtering this overflow of information that’s being
delivered in streams.
If you would like.
You can be Ron Conway.
We’ve seen that there’s a lot of interest in geo stream information, lots of start-ups working
>> By the way, the doors were locked and there are a bunch of people trying to get in, they
Couldn’t get in because the doors are locked.
>> Could somebody open the door.
>> In real time, please.
>> All right.
And we’re seeing these streams becoming sort of new distribution mechanisms for both private
And public communications, media content, etc..
So where do the money-making opportunities lie here?
We’ve got a lot of consumer use cases.
Where is the money?
>> That’s a pretty broad question.
Well, we’re investors in three companies that are now starting to accrue revenues in the space.
One is Twitter.
The second one is Yammer a third in India SMS group shot, people in India call the at which
Twitter of India, which is kind of a Twitter and e-groups blend.
>> Can you talk about how well Yammerer is monetizing, it’s unclear.
It would be good to understand.
What percent of customers turn into upgrade into a paid account and what are they paying on
What’s total revenue?
>> I won’t tell you that level of detail.
But I will tell you
>> Their advantage is being a private company.
>> I will tell you that with a salesperson who is promoted from customer support, no other
Sales infrastructure, in zero four marketing we have over10 percent conversion of the install
>> They’re paying it
is it $12 a month per user?
I forgot what is it they charge?
>> I can’t remember right now.
$1 per use per month.
>> You told me in the hall once salesforce announced chatter you started getting a lot of
>> Just to partially answer your question without getting a raft of crap from the company.
The company has about 550,000 installed seats up from zero in 14 months.
So I think
>> Was that David Sacks.
>> Has anyone
who here has used Yammer and uses it
more than what I thought.
>> We started using it after TechCrunch after they won the event.
At some point we moved the paid.
We have to move to paid.
Cleared out old accounts and got control of it.
It’s an insidious product where you get very sticky.
You’re like we have to start paying.
And so it’s a good thing.
>> It’s a good thing.
It’s a good thing for the company and me as an investor.
So to answer your question
>> It’s good for the customer because you’ll be around for a while, then.
>> That’s correct.
To answer your question, you know, post Marc Benioff getting up saying we’ve blatantly copied
Yammer but I’m not going to tell you because we claim everything.
We started getting calls from investment bankers saying since salesforce has chatter I bet
All these other companies are going to want Yammer.
But we haven’t responded to the calls.
>> There’s an interesting thing we’ve noticed at least I’ve noticed in terms of Yammer, as
They keep broadening their platform across different devices, like, for example, when the iPhone
3.0 software came out it supports push notification.
And all of a sudden if you send an at Steve or at Mike or editor, it shows up, if you have
An iPhone still, which Mike doesn’t, it shows up on the, it alerts you.
Literally it pushes to the top of the stack.
>> It synchs across devices which Twitter hasn’t come close to doing.
>> You said there’s 550,000 seats.
$1 a month.
>> 550,000 installed enterprise seats over 10 percent of new seats convert every month.
>> So it’s like 20, 30, 40,000 paid seats.
>> No, it’s below 100,000.
>> And that’s
below $100,000 in revenue per month.
>> Near 100,000 paying users.
>> It’s $1 per month per user.
>> Actually, it’s three to five.
So it’s actual revenue.
It’s not huge yet but it’s proving it’s a business model.
>> Marc Benioff is setting the price, his price at 50 bucks per user gives us some you mean
>> But he ties into all this other CRM data, right?
So are you saying that you’re going to
what’s Yammer strategy to kind of ingest other, you
Know, enterprise data systems and make those, you know, alerts within Yammer?
>> That’s correct.
And just to pick on Marc a little bit, salesforce is a company with more P than E in their
P to E and existing off of CRM is not a good way to maintain the company.
So he has to spread into the space.
And my belief is that the core of all enterprise IT is going to be messaging.
I mean, huge franchises have been built off of messaging, specifically e-mail and Dan’l you
Would know this well, and I believe that Yammer is going to be the future of enterprise messaging.
So I’m very excited about it.
There’s going to be serious competition, we know that.
>> So, Paul, Friendfeed was the first really kind of significant acquisition in the space.
You know, definitely wasn’t in terms of size of what people were talking about Twitter, but
Twitter never sold.
But in terms of the impact you guys are having, within Facebook, I think that it’s a milestone.
And $50 million is nothing to sneeze at.
So to what extent, from a founder perspective, right, you’re building the system, can you tell
Us a little bit about what extent were you sort of off in the woods doing what you thought
Was obviously the future, and at what point did sort of the bigger companies, the acquirers
Start sniffing around?
>> You know, Facebook kept talking to us.
Like from the very beginning.
They’re very persistent.
And so pretty much always there were people looking.
But we were never looking to sell.
Even when we did sell.
It was a surprise even to us.
So but really what happened was that we did start talking to them more closely and got to meet
More of the team and learn more about where they saw things going.
And you know as we started putting more thought into essentially the future of Facebook, it
Started to seem like a very intriguing possibility.
And ultimately that was obviously what we did.
>> So your motivation for selling was primarily what?
>> The opportunity at Facebook is very substantial.
You quoted a number which we’ve never
no one has ever announced the deal, but obviously
The biggest component is the question of what is the value of Facebook.
And I think that the value of Facebook is going to be huge.
It’s a very successful company.
It’s going to get more so I think in the future.
There’s really a lot of opportunity in the whole area of all the social and the real time and
And they’re in a somewhat unique position which I think will prove rather lucrative.
>> Brian, can you tell us a little bit about your involvement in real time, what kind of real
Time companies have you invested in?
>> Yes, we’re also in Yammer along with George.
And supporting David for a while.
But I actually think.
>> What kind of revenues is Yammer doing.
>> Last time I saw Mike he asked me exactly what the Facebook revenues were.
I gladly volunteered that information as well.
We’re interested in that kind of stuff.
But we’re also interested in where real time can go from nonconsumer or enterprise apps.
We think there’s a lot of room for real time in devices, and there’s lots of room for real
Time in biotech applications, and everything else.
>> Biotech, like what?
>> Like for instance there’s lots of cool companies doing things like being able to figure
Out on the fly if there’s E. Coli in a given substance.
And stuff like that.
So I know it’s not the exact same type of real time that we’re talking about, but technology
Is able to
you can leverage technology to do lots of cool stuff that used to take a long
Like how news before
>> It’s real time in the sense that if you find out before you eat the hamburger, that’s good.
>> That’s right.
It’s a lot better to find out beforehand.
>> But there’s an application in India right now, there are huge issues on global health where
People take medicines, drugs, which are purported to be clean and prescribed, but they’re actually
And a third of the time you have a chance of dying from taking the drug.
Because it’s not real and it’s not clean.
So there’s a public/private key.
Real time example of you scrape off a little piece of hidden thing like you do on the prize,
And you SMS the code and you get a real time check, is this a real drug or not.
And then you choose to take it and live.
So there’s a ton of examples outside of many noisy things that are real world applications.
in healthcare bio, life sciences, simple things like that.
Lots of opportunity.
>> I agree.
>> That’s one of those things, it’s one of those areas that’s really exciting to us right
Just basically taking stuff that used to take a long time and require a lot of capital, making
It not require a lot of capital, and having instant gratification.
Like in general that’s the theme of real time, and we’re huge fans of that.
>> Andrew, can you talk a little bit about in terms of what percentage of pitches that you’re
Seeing now either they use this term or that you
I mean, is this becoming the new Web two
Are people using it as a branding mechanism?
Is there something real here?
>> It’s a very popular part of a lot of the presentations.
Both from the perspective of new companies, presenting their ideas, with that lens, but also
With existing companies, you know, pivoting around the trends of what’s happening around real
And I think we have a bunch of different thoughts on the space, and I think like Brian was
Talking about, and Dan’l, we think that real time has an impact in just about every business
That we invest in.
You know, whether it be a business that is, you know, in the data storage space, where more
Information, you know, is only growing the need for the next level of data center infrastructure
Around information retrieval and we have a company that we’re investors in with Ron called
Cloudaria commercialization of Adoop, important for the data infrastructure.
If you look at a lot of the advertising business and look at the importance that real time
Is playing in terms of targeting you look at the rise of demand side platforms that are using
Real time exchanges, like right media, double click, Google, OpenX.
Those are areas we’re interested in.
I think you look at the real time communication aspects of social networks, and you look at
Those businesses as next generation platforms for commerce.
If you think about Google, you know, Google organized all the world’s information.
If you look at Facebook in many ways Facebook is organizing humanity, and in many ways people
Are exchanging information and businesses are being built off of that.
If you look at social commerce and you look at the frictionless nature of getting offers in
Front of people and the virality of that and you see it in social gaming and other applications
So we’re taking sort of a wide purview and wide approach to investing.
>> I think Mike has some ideas about the offers.
>> Social gaming offers?
>> I’m not necessarily talking about those types of offers.
>> If you look at Kimball Musk from OneRiot in the panel this morning said that there are
Gobs of money in search and I think when Twitter bought suchld ummize last summer I think they
Gave them eight percent or something like that of the company.
I don’t think that was ever verified.
I’m not sure if it’s ever been reported.
But there’s a huge chunk of the company that Twitter gave to do search.
I think they realized that it’s still very, very hard and sort of passed it off to Bing and
But it seems to me like the only places I’ve seen, maybe you disagree, I’d love to hear if
The places where the money is a little bit like with Yammer where you’re selling something
To the enterprise and you’re convincing they want it and touching on exchange and that huge
Potential pot of money, and in search where people are, as Kimball said, using his words, people
Are expressing intent right now what they want and you can throw ads against and clearly there’s
Lots of money to be made there, too, but where else are people making money.
You put Facebook in another bucket and they’re so huge now they’re able to make money more
But for your start-ups you’re investing in, where are they going to make any money if it’s
Not in one of those two buckets?
>> Those are two pretty good buckets.
Those two buckets are going to be a couple of billion dollars a year.
But they’ll be new buckets as well that are unique.
>> So what are the buckets?
>> I completely agree.
I think what you’re seeing with the whole programmable Web out there with all these APIs out
There and you’ve got a bunch of people on your panels, some business is going to take off that
Uses some of these APIs and very interesting unique ways and we’ll see things that haven’t
Been created yet that generate a huge amount of traffic and a huge amount of value in that
Space to people who are creating these building blocks for the programmable Web.
>> Just the location based opportunity with Twitter doing the location API, which is going
To help people like Foursquare Goola and Hot Potato, these are companies in their infancy,
And they’re huge, huge markets.
>> Can you talk a little bit more about that?
We just had a geo panel.
I know you were in another commitment.
We tried to talk a little bit about this.
But what’s your sense of how
once we get geo data into all these apps, what are the, some
Of the business opportunities that that makes possible?
>> Just couponing alone to incentivise you to go in and replace a business that you’re within
Two to three blocks of, just that in and of itself and the rev share from that could be mass
>> And newspapers used to be the Sunday paper was the home of coupons.
And that’s gone.
So there’s an opportunity to be replaced.
>> And it’s a huge opportunity.
This is going to happen in 2010.
You’re going to see it on gooala and Hot Potato and Foursquare and five other companies that
We’re talking to next week.
>> We’ve seen a huge amount of traffic, deal flow traffic on people doing the real time where
You are-based coupons and offerings and doing intelligent targeting based on location on the
>> How does Microsoft think about this in you want to buy companies that are sort of invent
you wait for companies to get critical mass to prove it up?
>> The first thing for us is to build the infrastructure out, which we’ve been doing.
And looking at the big information flows like what we did with the Twitter relationship.
But I think that the inevitability is that some of these things that are bubbling up will be
Things that we’ll be interested in.
I can’t obviously comment on specifics but there’s no question that we have been and we’ll
Continue to be inquisitive.
Generally speaking, if people don’t know, it’s been about 20 companies on year on average,
Probably 10 of those, half of those deals are bubble up like this if you will and become important
Parts of a broader strategy that we’re clearly building out as it relates to the infrastructure.
The enterprise infrastructure is really important to this.
Location, as Ron points out, is fundamental to it as well.
But to me, I think, the biggest picture for the company, I know Lili was on a panel earlier
Today, probably mentioned some of these things.
I’m sorry, I personally missed it.
I had to be off site this morning.
But real time, it goes way, way back in my mind to the very beginning of data exchange and
EDI where who carries the flow?
Where is the value at what moment in time in the flow of information.
Whether it’s money, or inventory, which equates to money, etc..
So what we’re seeing with the real streams and user-generated content for the most part today
Or from what I’ve heard since the noon hour, these are all indications of the inevitability
Of real time in a broader customer hall sense.
How much will be monetizable and absorbed into infrastructure like a Facebook infrastructure,
Which I think is fundamental as Andrew pointed out, and is mapping a very important space,
Humanity, if you will.
And all of those organizational dynamics around big, broad systems of record, whether it’s
Information that Google organized or Facebook has done or we’ve done with Bing etc., those
Are foundation points for much more rapid connections and the monetization will come about
Where there’s a commercial opportunity.
Create a advertising base.
>> Do you agree it’s those two buckets, the search and what was your other bucket?
>> Search and personal identity and flow, and information flow.
There’s huge opportunity in the
>> Huge opportunity in the enterprise.
There’s a little company that we’re working with right now that’s building out seven guys doing
Math in the cloud using Asher we just worked with them at our developers conference this week.
Seven guys optimizing for point of sale information.
5,000 retail points.
20,000 units of inventory in a warehouse.
There’s massive inventory opportunity.
>> Does the coupon thymine as I’m driving by a mini mall 18 coupons are going to pop up.
>> In an ideal world you’ve presented it in a natural way.
>> You want to put the filters in place.
>> You’re already starting to see this with Foursquare, where
>> In your hand well since you’re here, go in the store, get this.
>> I would absolutely add commerce to one of the buckets, to one of Mike’s buckets.
I think you have to.
>> Can I go through my top 10 list again?
>> We did that last time.
>> Is it the same.
>> Ron’s going to go through his top 10 list.
>> Lead generation.
I’m going to pass over the repeats.
Licensing of feeds.
And acquiring followers.
>> Licensing of feeds.
Dan’l, what do you know about the deal with Twitter?
>> Which deal?
>> Wow, they did more than one.
>> You paid a certain amount of money, allegedly.
>> I don’t know
>> Let’s go down this which deal.
>> Well, you’re asking about a deal with Twitter.
>> That deal.
>> I think she answered that question.
>> Ron Conway is like ask him, ask him, what’s the other deal.
Am I disrupting the panel again.
>> It’s your prerogative.
>> I was asking a simple question.
>> Which deal did Twitter do?
They did one with us, right?
The question is licensing of feeds.
That seems to be a pretty big license of feeds.
What are the details of that license?
>> Why would I offer details?
>> To a conversation that was a private conversation.
I can try.
>> You can tell Dan’l likes his job.
>> I feel like the panelists up here know the answers to the questions but it’s like, well,
They don’t want to share it because they’re venture capitalists and this one company we’re
Not going to talk about the fact that they’re
>> We kind of got ourselves into this by putting venture capitalists on the panel.
>> So does anybody want to say anything?
>> The companies, the venture capitalists are investing in today are going to be, you know,
The $100 million companies of tomorrow, or we wouldn’t be investing in them.
So the companies we’re investing in today that TechCrunch writes about are an indication of
Where this market’s going.
You know, we have CoTweet in the corporate space.
We have a whole raft of real time search companies.
And that’s going to be a hell of a horse race, because they’re going to have to integrate more
Relevancy and intent so they deliver better results.
But there will be a big winner come out of that.
>> How many real time search companies do we need?
>> We have quite a few right now.
So I would encourage people to go elsewhere.
>> Nobody’s won the space yet, though.
>> Yeah, there’s room.
>> I think one of the ones that exists today will win out.
Because their IP will mature.
>> Is it going to be Bing or Google?
>> No, no, I’m talking scoopler, topsly, Eller Dale, the scrappy ones.
>> This is the man that invested in Google.
>> Andrew, do you agree with that?
>> Real time search is a tough space.
I think it’s
Google does a pretty good job at information retrieval.
And I think a lot of the real time information that’s being exchanged where relevancy is no
Longer page rank, it’s the people you know.
Facebook does a pretty good job of enabling that.
>> Facebook has search?
>> I think search in a different way, in sort of more of a discovery sArn dip to us way, but
I think I kind of look at it from the perspective of if you go back six
go back three or
Four years ago, most companies are companies that you would see that were Web-enabled and business
Their businesses off the Web.
Literally, you could see the same traffic referral chart for just about every company except
For a couple of well-known destinations.
It was 30, or 33 percent Google, SCO.
It was 35 or 40 percent SCM and 20 percent or whatever the number that’s left over there direct.
And referrals to the website.
You look at today, most of the companies that I see, whether it be existing companies or new
Companies that are popping up, out of nowhere you know, Facebook has become sort of the number
Two or number three referral source for those companies.
Twitter is all of a sudden become a very significant resource for those companies.
So that to me is a lead indicator in many ways of how people are discovering information on
The Web and how that’s changing.
>> So, Paul, you’re both a buyer and a seller, right, because you’re very active Angel Investor.
To what extent the companies that you invest in, fall within this same kind of theme, or do
You diversify away from like what you’re doing?
>> You know, I don’t know that I’ve invested in too many real time companies.
But I think it’s a component of probably most businesses going forward.
In that the reason that I think real time is really valuable is basically the word “relevance”.
Like, the reason that search is valuable is because it’s relevant.
Someone does a search, you can give them a response that’s relevant to what they’re asking
And what real time does is that that enables that across a lot of other domains.
Like if right now I say I’m sitting right here and I get a coupon for the restaurant next door,
That works because it’s relevant to me.
If I got the coupon tomorrow, it would no longer be relevant.
So I think that’s the thing that made search really go.
And I think that same dynamic is going to drive real time.
>> So when we talk about real time search and monetization of it, how much of that opportunity
Is tied to location versus other types of real time.
>> Certainly location is the easier one because of the example of coupons.
But I think if I’m sharing what I’m thinking right now, if I’m thinking about
Is I’m thinking about, there’s probably a relevant, some relevant information that could be
Provided to me.
One of the companies that I recently invested in is
I can’t remember if they launched so
I won’t say who.
But they do car
they’re in the car business.
So one of the things they do is look at like, look for intention of are you selling, are you
Looking to buy a car, are you having car trouble, and that’s a great opportunity to contact
That person and say, hey, we can help you get a new car.
>> There’s another angle to Facebook search, in particular, I find really fascinating.
Forget what you’re searching for and maybe even what you’ve recently done on Facebook or even
Where you are, when you query.
I found that when I’m looking up old friends from high school or just people I might know that
The search results are really, really good and the reason they are, even though there’s so
Many people with the same name, is that they’re kind of
they’re ranking it based on people
That maybe have mutual friends or somehow they’re figuring out who I’m probably thinking of
Based on that.
And Google clearly doesn’t address that dimension at all.
But that applies to more than just looking for people, you know.
Just who you are and who you know is really relevant to almost all searches.
>> They do it.
>> Relevance has these multiple dimensions.
Google got it on like the keywords.
But there’s time relevance, what I’m thinking of, social relevance, and all these other elegance.
>> Personalized relevance.
>> So all those dimensions I think are opportunities for revenue.
>> We’re going to start to wrap this up in a few minutes.
So if you want to ask some questions, please come to the mics.
>> So as we look forward where all of this is going, it seems that there are a lot of different
There’s sort of a lot of different platforms that developers can build their apps or their
Businesses on top of.
is there a danger of confusion here?
Do I build my
do I build my business off of Twitter or on top of Facebook, do I build it
On top of quasi open systems that Google is pushing?
Like stock Twitter todays they built off of Twitter but they’re still called stock Twitter
Todays but they have their own system.
They use Twitter to get all the systems and then moved off.
And Zinga is doing it with farmville.
>> Because they have more control.
>> You can take advantage of these platforms, get being enough and then ultimately, right,
The most value, you can capture enough attention, people to come to use your application or
Come to your website.
You know, ultimately that would be the biggest win, I would think.
>> I would suggest having a pretty good idea of where you want it to start.
Then researching what’s out there to help you.
Like some of these geo APIs that we looked at today.
I know I’m doing a side project right now I’m using one of the geo APIs just because I needed
It and it’s very useful for me.
And if you need to move off. You need to pivot like all start-ups pivot and figure out this
Is what is really working for me they pivot.
But I would suggest starting with something pick the tool that’s best for the job right then
And don’t be afraid to pivot.
>> Start with the platform that gives you the most leverage for the cheapest cost for the
Highest number of users. Build your own brand and off you go.
>> I think if you’re fortunate enough to work with great entrepreneurs, they’ll find their
You look at Omar at addmob and it was built off of sort of a WAP.
As soon as the iPhone launched before iPhone launched he was very focused on that as another
Opportunity for that business.
And they took resources.
They moved things very quickly to go and take advantage of the iPhone ecosystem.
Very early on.
And they benefited from it greatly.
So I think when you have great entrepreneurs, great ideas, I think they find their way.
>> Question: Peter.
To me it’s really not a question at all if those platforms like Twitter and Facebook or partner
Companies that built their business on it are going to make money.
The really interesting thing for me would be is it going to be the first route to take the
Low-hanging fruit and in licensing deals, for instance, with Google and Bing and so on, and
Are they going to become co-dependent on those, or are they going to in parallel build out
Their own direct revenue streams, and to see this through, sort of through the end as their
>> I hate to be flip.
But it depends on how long those contracts are.
I hope they’re short.
But who knows how long they are.
>> It’s a very good question.
Very good question.
>> I think that
I mean, that there is money that’s not the question anymore.
I mean, the question is are those companies going to be able to become as big as the ones that
>> Some things are catalysts and they continue to exist and reform.
And other things are catalysts they instigate connections and dissipate and go away.
There’s a big question about whether a company that rises very, very rapidly as a connection
Point between two things and builds their platform up like what Twitter is doing in placing
Their particular bets and someone like Facebook that turns into a phenomena, that it becomes
A core platform around which someone can do something like what ad mob did with a platform
They bet on it in some form and leveraged that point.
You pick your starting point, but it’s hard to I think argue that anyone can anticipate to
Ron and the other investors who place a broad array of ads.
Anticipate which one is going to be the one that gets to live like Twitter.
Why Twitter and why not someone else.
>> Yeah, why Twitter.
Maybe George you can answer that from a perspective of, Twitter, Facebook, even Google, they
All have platform ambitions but they are platforms, taking different approaches, Twitter lean,
They want to take the communication layer and everyone to build on top of it.
Whereas Facebook is more feature-rich on its own.
Tell us from like in your investment in Twitter, so you have a point of view, but how do you
See these different approaches playing out and what’s at stake here?
>> It’s a very fascinating question.
And I’ve thought about this quite a bit.
You know, the concept of a social network has been around for quite a long time.
You could posit that geo cities was a cromagnon version followed by e friends and Facebook
And followed by Twitter.
The one difference with Twitter all the networks are vertically integrated.
They owned the name space for the users and then the messaging and then the features above
Twitter is an example of the first horizontally distributed network, where basically their
Goal was to own the name space and the messaging and control of that.
And then let third parties take the risk of basically building out products on top of that,
To basically fill out the entire stack.
But it’s a horizontal plane.
And I think it’s a very cost-effective play from an investor perspective.
And as well as user risk perspective.
>> Paul, why does Facebook win?
You’ve got an interesting perspective because in a sense Friendfeed was the ultimate at which
A lot of people kind of said that.
Half jokingly, but it was also true.
So you built Friendfeed partially on top, on the back of Twitter because that was a very big
Portion of the feed that was going through Twitter or through friend feed.
And but then with the
when you sold to Facebook, you bet on the Facebook model.
>> You know, I think both companies have very promising future.
I don’t see it as one versus the other.
Obviously I don’t like know exactly how the future is going to play out.
But they’re both incredibly well positioned.
I think that
I would love to have
But can you contrast the platform like
>> I think there’s a lot to learn.
They have taken very different approaches.
But I don’t know that it’s entirely like a conscious thing.
I think it’s to some extent like a historical accident, the approach that Facebook took original
Ly I think was they looked at
obviously I wasn’t there at the time.
They looked at the apps that they had already built themselves and said how can we enable other
People to do the same thing that we’ve done.
So they basically tried to open up all of the capabilities that the native apps like photos
Or whatever had to third-party developers.
And Twitter, I guess, to some extent did the same thing but they only had a couple of features.
So consequently it was extremely easy to build these Twitter clients who grow the site.
So they didn’t really make any accept to occasionally remove features.
I think that worked out very well for them.
It’s like a wonderful
it’s a great example of like how things can play out differently just
Depending on the initial conditions.
But what that did was it set up this whole ecosystem of Twitter apps, where you have all the
Clients, you have tweetty and Twitter today pick and everybody filled in an amazing example
I’m curious if any other company is able to replicate that, because they’ve managed to essential
Ly outsource the innovation.
>> Does anybody on the panel have an opinion about whether the new stuff that Twitter’s been
Building out lists, retweets, etc., is that going to be, a plus for them, neutral, or a minus?
>> It’s going to be a huge plus.
People have been screaming for lists for over a year.
In the Twitter community.
And there’s a whole ecosystem of companies being built on top of the Twitter lists product
So people were saying, oh, is Twitter going to go into the list space?
No, they’re building basically a platform and in the next year they’ll probably be 100 applications
On top of
>> It’s kind of a Microsoft play, isn’t it?
>> Twitter lists.
>> It’s kind of a Microsoft play where they build the infrastructure and then let people party
>> I don’t know
I think of Office and the operating system.
I don’t know the infrastructure products.
>> There’s various ways
people talk about platforms in loose ways, and I think that the
Early stages of the business, Microsoft, I was not there then, but I was at Apple working on
The Mac stuff.
And it’s one thing to build a lower level platform on which for the first generation people
Built content-less productivity tools, office automation things.
E-mail which was talked about earlier as an communication exchange.
Things didn’t take off until there was an appropriate standardization, you could then interoperate
And move mail around effectively.
And then the newer platforms that we’re talking about today in this context, I think, for the
And then either bolting on to infrastructure that exists like what Yammer has done in the enterprise
Infrastructure for monetization, or very high risk, high return bets like what the at which
Twitter guys are choosing to do to partner but at the same time build out and totally open
Up the ecosystem for others to add value on top.
This is a new
it’s a new phenomenon that’s happening in real time and we’ll see the results,
I think, as Ron says, year over year, with some interesting brand new winners that have probably
Already been funded and then many things that will get absorbed into the platform plays like
What a Facebook would do or what Microsoft or Google or anyone else would do that has infrastructure
Upon which this stuff connects and moves.
So it’s happening ever faster.
I think personally, though, to my earlier comment, I think most of the money is going to get
Made in enterprise infrastructure.
There’s just too much money in enterprise to be as inefficient as enterprise communications.
>> To wrap up with predictions.
What’s going to be the biggest real time exit in the next year, in terms of just dollar value?
Where do you expect, like where are we in this stage?
Are we going to see more $50 million deals?
$100 million deals, billion dollar deals?
What’s your expectation and what’s the time frame?
>> You just look at past performance in these areas.
I think there will be a number of things that are sub hundred million in the 50 million dollar
$50 million range, and I think there will be, if everyone’s lucky, one thing that will be a
Billion dollar kind of thing.
That’s typically what
and it’s happening faster, right?
But not even sure there will be exits.
I think the opportunity for the big things will be to stand alone, if they’re really going
To be big.
And witness Ace Book, you were questioning what’s the value of Facebook.
>> Well, I can’t predict what’s going to happen next year in terms of exits.
I think most of the companies in the space are, in terms of revenues, are still fairly immature
With the exception of Facebook.
So I think it’s more likely that big exits will occur in 2011 and 2012, than 2010.
>> I wish that company that you and Ron are putting together could have launched here today.
The one that I tweeted out yesterday or the day before that was going to enrage half the audience
And make the other half want to basically invest, because that’s the one I think
Either completely fall flat and go nowhere or it will potentially just has such a huge mon
>> This is the one that replaces the U.S. Government.
>> That eventually will.
>> Everyone’s got an option on that.
>> I have to clarify.
I’m trying to invest in that particular company.
George has done all the lifting on that company.
So I don’t want to take any credit.
Exits in 2010.
This market is in its infancy.
I think from 15 to $100 million range.
Teeing up exits, in 2011 and 2012, there could be a billion.
But we have to remember, this is a market in its infancy.
The acquisitions that get made in 2010 will be for intellectual property and great killer teams
>> That’s exactly right.
>> And Paul Buchheit’s company is a great example of that.
>> ZInga is doing more monthly revenue than Facebook right now?
>> I’m not privy to either company’s financials but it’s an interesting question.
>> Hesitant to make any predictions.
I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve heard rumors of Zinga’s IPO.
That would be exciting.
>> No, I agree with the panel.
>> He wants to go get a drink.
>> One question from the audience here then we’ll wrap it up.
>> Question: I don’t know too much about, have too much insight into Facebook and at which
Twitter’s monetization models, but it seems to me that Facebook fundamentally disrupts double
Click impression ad model and their dollars come from there.
What market will either be disrupted or created by Twitter, do you think?
>> Who is Twitter disrupting?
>> Well, we don’t know yet.
But Dick Costolo this morning, I thought, had some very fascinating adjectives.
And one of them was that they’re going to
their business model is going to mature in 2010.
It’s going to be fascinating.
I took lots of notes.
Unique and organic.
And it was going to be very, very cool and people would love it.
>> Who was it that said that
that’s a pretty interesting drum roll that 2010’s going to
Be a very interesting year in this space.
>> Who said Microsoft is afraid of Google
is afraid of Facebook, is afraid of
There was somebody that said that quote last year.
I wish I would have thought of it.
It’s sort of true Twitter disrupting Facebook, disrupting Google, I think that’s very real
Facebook disrupting Google and Google disrupting Microsoft because Microsoft still trying to
Figure out the Web stuff.
>> Sprinkle all the little start ups underneath that and one of them is going to
Them is going to disrupt that crowd, the big crowd.
Three years from now it’s going to be
there’s going to be another company.
I hope I invested in it this year.
>> That is the next wave of disruption in technology.
>> You invest in several of those people on that list.
>> List right there.
>> I missed Microsoft.
>> All but Microsoft.
>> So Dan’l, you were shaking your head.
>> I was shaking my head.
I think Michael has a point of view about our position on the Web.
And I always respect Michael’s opinions, but I don’t know if anybody was paying attention to
What we announced this week down at our developers conference, but I encourage you to take
>> I think we were still reeling from the Don Dodge layoff.
Hire him back but he’s gone now.
I think that generally we loved him.
So he’s going to be hard to replace.
>> We’ve got to liven up the ending.
>> So please give the panel a big round of applause.
I’m going to give away a sailing trip, I think, maybe.
If nobody is here I think I might give it to Dan’l as a consolation prize.