Potomac TechWire: VC Outlook 2008
Attended the breakfast event (click for event and panelist details) this morning. My notes
The primary business model on the internet continues to be ad-based. Where is the opportunity in online advertising (the market continues to grow fast)?
- broad high traffic sites (the top 20)
- vertical narrow sites that allow advertisers to reach a specific demographic (e.g. iVillage)
- ad-networks helping sell residual inventory
- new data types (video, photo, social apps)
The non-ad based subscription model is relevant for sites that the customers are willing to pay for: club penguin (gaming site for kids recently acquired by Disney). When successful, these are very profitable businesses.
Two key issues with the information on the web: trust and quality control. It is interesting that Google today announced Knol, a competitor to Wikipedia, that is targeted to address these two issues (pcworld new-item).
Opening of the walled garden will drive opportunities and innovation. Verizon and Google have recently moved this milestone closer. This will lead to the development of new on-the-go services that will go beyond just e-mail. However, this is not breakthrough innovation as we trail the world in this regard.
Interesting opportunities continue to be seen in SAAS, open source, virtual machine, etc.
What is HOT in the future?
- green products (longer term) and services (shorter term)
- smb market
- electronic payment services
- China & India
What is NOT SO HOT?
- Web 2.0 Internet companies