Above the Crowd

Archive for the ‘social networking’ Category

A Rake Too Far: Optimal Platform Pricing Strategy

April 18, 2013:

In a casino, the term “rake” refers to the commission that the house earns for operating a poker game. With each hand, a small percentage of the pot is scraped off by the dealer, which in essence becomes the “revenue” for the casino. While casinos use the term “rake,” a plethora of interesting word choices exist which all describe the same thing – keeping a little bit of the revenue for the company that is running the service. Examples include “commission,” “fee,” “toll,” “tax,” “vig” or “vigorish,” “juice,” “the take”, and “graft” (although this last one is typically associated with ...

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Why Youth Has an Advantage in Innovation & Why You Want To Be a Learn-It-All

March 26, 2012:

[Follow Me on Twitter] A few relevant scenes from the recent blockbuster Moneyball: Peter Brand: Billy, Pena is an All Star. Okay? And if you dump him and this Hatteberg thing doesn’t work out the way that we want it to, you know, this is…this is the kind of decision that gets you fired. It is! Billy Beane: Yes, you’re right. I may lose my job, in which case I’m a forty four year old guy with a high school diploma and a daughter I’d like to be able to send to college. You’re twenty five years old with a degree from Yale and a pretty impressive apprenticeship. I don’t think ...

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You Don’t Have to Tweet to Twitter

November 15, 2011:

Frequent comparisons to Facebook leave many confused about the true value of Twitter. [Follow Me on Twitter] “In a brand new direction A change of perception On a brand new trajection” – UB40 [Disclosure: Benchmark Capital is a major investor in Twitter, and my partner Peter Fenton sits on the Twitter BOD.] Twitter is having a remarkable year. Active users have soared to over 100 million per month, with daily actives now above 50 million. Tweets per day are over 250 million. Most top actors, athletes, and artists are all active on Twitter. Every news and sports program proudly advertises its Twitter account handle. No one would consider ...

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Virtual Goods, Accounting, and the Power of the “Rental” Model

February 8, 2010:

American journalists and corporate executives have been slow to appreciate the beauty, brilliance, and consumer allure of the virtual goods business model.It’s not that they did not have data points – China is chock full of multi-US$billion market capitalization companies that are based on this business model. That said, many luddites predicted it was an “Eastern” fascination that would never spread to the West. They never fully understood it. As a result of this headstrong denial, I have often wondered what data point would finally convince me that the West had fully accepted the reality of the virtual goods business ...

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How To Monetize a Social Network: MySpace and Facebook Should Follow TenCent

March 9, 2009:

“Little Joe never once gave it away Everybody had to pay and pay”                   — Lou Reed, Walk on the Wild Side The consensus seems to be that social networks have a monetization problem.  On this topic, both the leading technology industry blogs  and the world’s top news organizations  agree.  The problem is not that these sites have no revenue.   I “guesstimate” that MySpace and Facebook have annual revenue run-rates of approximately $650mm and $450mm respectively – highly reputable numbers.  The perceived problem relates directly to revenue per user or page view, as these are two of the most heavily trafficked sites on the ...

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