A Tale of Two Devices

There are two reports out today, one about RIMs recent disappointing quarter and one predicting that Apple will have a billion-quintillion dollars in revenue in a couple of years.

I think the difference boils down to apps. Apple like apps. RIM doesn’t think they are the future.

But it doesn’t really matter what the companies want, what matters is what consumers want. And consumers want apps. The Yankee Group’s research says “We now expect that U.S. consumers will download almost 1.6 billion apps in 2010, and that those numbers will swell to more than 6 billion by 2014. Even more impressive, paid app revenue will swell from $1.6 billion this year to more than $11 billion in 2014.”

I still think Wired was right, the web is dead. Apps are the way to go.

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Venture backed IPOs

It looks like there is an interesting discussion starting around the dearth of venture backed IPOs. This is something that the NVCA tried to get rolling a few years ago, just before the financial markets totally blew up. Read “Recommendations to Restore Liquidity” on the NVCA’s site.

The current discussion was sparked by a WSJ opinion piece.

Here is a good piece by Dan Primack of Fortune – he basically doesn’t think Sarbanes Oxley is the cause of the malaise.

Jeff Bussgang was brought into the fray and is pretty sure that regulation is killing the IPO market.

I’m a little more nuanced. I think SOX is just one piece of the problem. I’m not sure fixing it will suddenly unleash a ton of IPOs. I think it will help, but not a ton. I see a lot of problems that the NVCA identified, mainly around the fact that small companies don’t have enough ibanking options – because ibanks can’t make money taking companies public any more. I’ve heard rumors that this is because there is no $ trading for your clients – supposedly the electronic exchanges kicked the butt of the banks, plus some sort of regulation drove down the commissions that they can charge. IDK, just what I’ve heard. So it seems like it’s hard to get shares in the hands of institutional investors. Plus we are missing all those wonderful retail day traders who drive up the price of everything. And, since many large VC backed, private, companies can use places like SecondMarket to sell shares and get liquidity, why even bother to go public anymore??

Anyways, let’s hope this discussion goes somewhere and doesn’t get interrupted by a major financial crisis like it did last time.

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Recent quotes on Customers and Blogging

I was recently quoted in a couple of places on how OfficeDrop treats customers, and also about how we made some mistakes when we first started the OfficeDrop Document Management Blog. It’s fun to speak with other bloggers and let them know some of the things I’m learning at OfficeDrop as we grow the business here! I can’t believe how much more effective I am today than I was just one year ago.

Ways to Keep Your Long-Term Customers Happy by Zendesk – For SaaS businesses, existing paying customer retention id critical, and OfficeDrop tries hard to keep our existing customers happy with our service. The Zendesk blog post talks about how we ask “best customers for advice and involves them in big decisions.” And also “OfficeDrop also involves existing customers in new product development, in the form of beta testing. “They are excited to see the new stuff that we are cooking up, and it is fun and exciting for them to be the very first people to try new things.””

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid on Your Company’s Blog on Mashable – This is a great post on Mashable about simple mistakes company’s make when they start blogging. We are quoted about how we originally did not effectively link back to the OfficeDrop main site when we first started blogging, but there are some other great tips on here about how to be a better blogger.

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SXSW success

I keep meaning to publish a big post on everything that I learned at SXSW… but I’m way too busy trying to cope with the integration ideas we got from potential partners to write!  So I guess that’s a sign of SXSW success!

Anyway, one of the great things that came out of the event was hanging with a lot of great startupers from all over the nation – and getting to talk about what I’ve been working on. Here is a cool video shot by Chase from Bostinnovation on OfficeDrop’s ScanDrop Software:

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Stats on New York’s VC growth

CB Insights has some interesting data on NYC vs. Massachusetts technology venture capital. The picture is worth 1000 words…

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