Look, it’s not you, blogosphere, it’s me. I thought we had something special, but really… well, there’s somebody else…
So I’m sure anyone reading this is already well aware, but for the closure, I thought i’d ‘wrap up’ this blog – or at least put it on pause (somehow I feel like you’re reading this two years later and going “wow… yeah he definitely never posted again”). Anyway, I launched the Rude Baguette with Roxanne Varza and, frankly, there just isn’t enough time for two blogs (plus guest posts on TechCrunch, and writing for Paper.li), so I’d like to formally close this blog thread down.
Thanks for all the good times we had, thanks for reading, and hopefully i’ll see you on the other side.
As Facebook roled out its new Verbs tool, permitting developers to incorporate “high level social actions users can perform,” it became quite obvious that the war was on to capture up all that data from the ‘Action Space.’ While Foursquare lets you share where you go and apps like Staround let you share what you think, Denis Harscoat of DidThis wants to know everything – he wants to know what you do.
When I first met Denis back in September at the Pirate Summit, I was intrigued by what he told me. He said that people want to do things, and they want & need people to encourage them. When we go on a diet, we tell everyone and their mother about it, in hopes that they will encourage us and keep us on track if we should lose our way. When we share with people what we’ve accomplished, we feel validated, and we want to be validated by others that what we’ve done is important – we can all attest to having a bit of the Me Monster in us.
DidThis’s app is still in its early stages – bug fixes, minimalist interface, and a lot of seemingly unnecessary typing – but early adopters can be assured that there feedback suggestsions are being heard. DidThis is currently looking to be one of 5 startups that will pitch at Start In Paris on November 7th – you can vote for them and other startups here.
There is no doubt that the ‘action space’ will become an important one in the next few years. More and more apps will be looking to gather data on various aspects of our lives, now that our social lives are online. Apple’s integration of Siri into its iPhone 4S (yeah, i just bought one) brings us even closer to a fluid interaction between our real lives and our internet lives – the real question is: once I can effortlessly share my every action, who will be best fit to gather this data?
Download DidThis’s iPhone App
Follow Staround on facebook or twitter
Check out some other Startup Articles:
- Feedback @VizualizeMe – Where’s the Magic?
- An evening with LeLoop, a French Hacker Space
- First Impressions of Ignite …. The StartupWeekend of TED Talks
At the Web 2.0 Summit this past week, Mary Meeker, a Morgan Stanley analyst, took the stage and gave a presentation that resounded throughout the tech world. A lot of great statistics were brought up that might make you think about the future of the Internet, and I suggest you read through the whole presentation slowly and take it in the implications of the statistics – but I thought I would talk about something that stood out for me:
What Does this Mean For Europe?
- Where’s France on the Top Media Providers? The first statistic brought up (slide 5) was the list of the companies with the top market values in the world. The statistic was intended to show that Chinese companies like Baidu are creeping up this list, as well as Russian companies; however, not one European company made the top 25 list. Europe (and specifically France) needs to take a look at this list and ask itself “what are these companies doing that we aren’t doing?” You may say ‘bigger markets’ or ‘better venture capital,’ but all I read is ‘larger-scale vision’ and ‘more vigorous attitude.’
- The Internet is not just for America: The article continued on this global topic, pointing out that 81% of users to the world’s top internet properties are coming from abroad. The implication for US startups is that it will become more and more necessary to think global in their efforts in order to survive. The implication for Europe is that we ARE the market. So often, we wish to go to California to succeed, because we think that is the market, that that is where the money’s at. Well, the money will follow the market, and the market is outside of the US. – European companies need to see that.
- Europe is not as excessive as the US… at least in terms of Social Media coverage. The slide pointed out the countries with the top average number of hours spent on social networks, with Israel leading at more than 11 hours. While the list spanned Central America, the Middle East, South America and Asia, not one European country made the list. Perhaps Europe isn’t at social as we think: perhaps social Europeans startups will have to rethink their strategy, if their market isn’t on facebook as much as they thought.
- Great Startups don’t just start in the US…. But they definitely make the big money there. Among the examples, Shazam, Spotifyand Soundcloud are great examples of European companies that made it global. I have spoken with a lot of French entrepreneurs, and there seems to be this similar sentiment of “all France needs is a successful French startup to get things really rolling…” and I think there is a greater problem inside that. These three companies above are successful EUROPEAN companies. Just like we don’t differentiate between where Foursquare, Square, and Facebook started, neither can France afford to wait for a company that happens to launch its beta in France. ‘Think Global’ cannot just be a message to US entrepreneurs – it needs to be one for French ones as well.
- France may be second in Apple’s heart, but it’s mobile growth is a little behind. With stores in Lyon, Bordeaux, Montpellier, Nice, Lieusaint, Le Chesnay, Velizy, and two in Paris, Apple seems to have made a solid investment in France (FYI: that’s more locations than Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong and even China – less than Canada, Australia, and the UK). However, in the charts, France comes up twelth in terms of total 3G Subscribers, behind China, behind Italy, behind Japan, and behind Spain. With just 39% of the market penetrated in France, this should be a wake-up call to the mobile app developers in the country; nonetheless, Western Europe ships smart phones to a larger percentage of its populations than North America and Japan. That is to say, more than 70% of phones shipped in Western Europe are smart phones, with only 60% in North America. Apparently, we’re buying cell phones, but can’t be bothered to subscribe to 3G plan – that’s what you get when “unlimited” doesn’t mean unlimited.
The data went on to show that, as expected, iPad growth destroyed its predecssors growth, mobile search and overall internet use is growing, eCommerce is growing, and suggested that Online Audio was the an up-and-coming trend. These topics are universal in their implications, so I’ll leave you to explore and make your own deductions on those fronts. I think that this presentation represents a larger movement that Roxanne Varza and I could attest to: startups are moving out of the Silicon Valley, and if they aren’t, they need to. US VCs will begin looking outside their hometowns, or even moving out of the US in order to find those new gems in the right market. I think the important thing for France and all European countries to start thinking about is: Will you be ready when that kind of VC funding comes knocking on your door?