Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Books, Music etc.

Digital books, Digital Music - I wonder if the traditional model of going to library or Barnes and Nobles is still going to be there in 5 years from now. With Sony Reader, and Kindle making waves, and the hardware cost is bound to come down in couple of years - everyone will just own one of these devices and access books from home. The libraries are going to get involved, so will be the publishers, and everyone will have to migrate to one platform. Open source for making content available on any hardware will be of great benefit to the consumers.

Sony seems to have an open software policy, where the content can be in any XML format - thus they are betting to make money on hardware.
Amazon's kindle - Both hardware and software.

Well, I think of iTune, Apple, Spotify and Apple contained ecosystem.

Interesting, ain't it?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Flying kiss

Today, I was at dhobighat, taking Teddy out to see what Mumbai is like. As my friend was taking pictures, a little girl came by and asked for money. I felt bad but ignored her because I knew if I acknowledged her presence, a lot of her friends would come surround me. As we were leaving, I got all the change in my pocket and handed it to her. The look on her face made my day. She had this big grin on her face, and she gave me a flying kiss, touched my forearm and those two little eyes had nothing but gratitude and love in it! Perhaps I will take the memory of her smile with me when I leave this place - my most cherished moment in Mumbai so far.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Travelocity acquires Travelguru

For an undisclosed amount but the sources at VCCircle reveal that the deal is somewhere around $10-$12M range. Both the founders get 1M in their pocket. Travelguru was one of the winners at Harvard b-plan competition and was started by Ashwin Damers and Amit Taneja. More information can be found here.

Important things to note -
1. There isn't much money in online air-fare business. Most of the revenues they generate is from hotel business.
2. In India the model is still 50% online and 50% offline - Again, a holistic online model is yet to succeed in India primarily because of low penetration on computer/internet.
3. Cross selling is important in this business.

Time to see what other players Makemytrip.com, and Yatra.com are going to do. All three of these sites are funded and are pretty dominant in the market. Speculation that makemytrip is going IPO this year are making news as well.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bump Bump Bump it up

Yup, again through Techcrunch(my new favorite website), I found the list of companies funded by Y-Combinator

There are like two/three that caught my eye.

Bump - where you can exchange information by just bumping your phone.. Cool huh? Definitely there are glitches like iPhone app. and what careers, and what handsets, and operating systems will it be available on.. Nonetheless - pretty cool

Others that I thought that were cool are:

DirectEdge: Just builds recommendation engine. Amazon has a powerful recommendation engine and more sites are going to be using some sort of recommendation engine.

Olark: Chat widget for your site.

Listia: Ebay for free stuf.

Myspace acquires iLike

Myspace has acquired iLike for approx. $20M though the exact details of the deals weren't revealed. More information can be found at Techcrunch link here.

Random thoughts on this deal

1. iLike is an app that has been integrated with Facebook. How do you put a valuation of 20M on the app like iLike? What if Facebook discontinues iLike tmrw and replace it with something very similar.

2. As Myspace I would be wary about why Facebook hadn't acquired iLike before. From what I read somewhere iLike management's team weren't fond of Facebook's mgmt team - so this possibly could be one of the reason.

3. The two social media competitors are going to have to collaborate on the issue of iLike. I don't really see how this will work out (I haven't used iLike or any of the music app. online so I am not aware of how it works).

Finally, I think it is a positive step for Myspace. Myspace definitely can't compete with just being an only Social Medial entity. Their best bet is concentrating in music industry and I think with the acquisition of iLike they have made clear that they want to lead the Social Media Music landscape. In fact, I believe that soon each entity in Social Media will target to one segment.

Facebook - e-commerce platform
Myspace - Music
Twitter - Real time web search

The social media landscape is going to further develop itself. I think of it as a world over internet with no boundaries. Well sort of!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How to remove the Nav bar from your blogger

"How to remove the header from your blog. (If you are using the google blogspot)

1. Log in to Blogger and go to the Layout > Edit HTML tab
2. Search for the following line of code
/* Header
3. Add this code as shown in red directly above the header comment
#navbar {display: none;}
/* Header
4. Save your template changes.

It's that simple. Courtesy: Simplerthanyouthink"