What am I Missy Episode 35 - Juice Pitcher, Microsoft poaching Apple employees, and SmuleRead more...
What am I Missy, Episode 31 - VCs predict Zynga, LinkedIn will IPO soon and Smule competition
This episode is brought to you by our sponsor Smule, the creators of iPhone applications like Ocarina, has a cool "Feel the Love" contest running. Users who have Leaf Trombone can register to win $500 at https://www.smule.com/. You just need to sign-up, and get as much love from your friends as possible. They can listen to your registered performance, and send you love using Leaf Trombone or Leaf Trombone Lite- which is free! Whoever gets the most love wins!
It is time to start being optimistic. Bill Gurley, venture capitalist at Benchmark has declared the IPO market officially open.
On his blog, Gurley writes, "For the life of me, I cannot figure out why the press is so feverishly pessimistic about the IPO market." Umm, Bill, maybe it's because it has been pretty dead?
Nonetheless, Gurley points out that Ancestry.com just filed its S-1 to go public and that no major company IPO filings have been pulled this year. Furthermore, 2009 IPOS, such as Opentable and Rosetta Stone have done OK. But Gurley, who has invested in Twitter and Opentable, is not the only upbeat one about IPOs.
According to Reuters, venture capitalists predict four hot startups will make their debut on the public markets soon. They include Solyndra, Silver Spring, LinkedIn, and Zynga. Zynga, the popular social gaming site grew as one of the most popular applications on Facebook.
But not all applications leveraging Facebook make it big. So don't get too excited. Remember iLike? The company was just bought by MySpace for $20 million. It is a decent price but not when you factor in the $17 million in funding that iLike raised.
Those advertisements of his teenagers buying PCs instead of Macs must be working. A recent survey found that there are more student laptop buyers in the market for a Netbook over Apple's Mac. Since almost anything can be done through the Web, Netbooks are the way to go. They only weigh about four pounds, cost about $300, and can easily be carried around.
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Read more from our "What am I Missy" series
What am I Missy Episode 34 - Beatles stuck in 20th century; Free vs paid; Smule's contestRead more...
What am I Missy Episode 33 - Disney and Marvel; Aloqa's mobile discovery; Smule's contestRead more...
Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs
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Smule develops interactive sonic applications for the iPhone and other technology platforms. Smule is developing the new sonic network, connecting users across the globe through expressive audio. Smule's Ocarina, I Am T-Pain, and Leaf Trombone have set the standard for iPhone applications, combining innovative uses of the hardware with compelling social experiences.
Joined Vator oniLike is the Web's leading social music discovery service and the dominant music application on Facebook Platform®, Bebo, and Hi5. With over 20 million registered users, iLike helps consumers discover and share playlists, new music, and concerts that match their tastes. The iLike Sidebar for iTunes recommends new music, creates automatic playlists, and connects people through music. iLike's Artist Service Platform is a suite of services to help artists build viral fan communities. By leveraging iLike's "Artist-Fan Graph," a vast database of connections between consumers and their favorite artists, iLike's Artist Services Platform transforms the way artists cultivate and communicate with their fanbases on iLike and Facebook. iLike is privately funded by Ticketmaster (IAC), Khosla Ventures, Bob Pittman, and other private investors. Based in Seattle, WA, the company also operates indie music community GarageBand.com.
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What is Twitter?
Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests.
Where did the idea for Twitter come from?
Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.
How is Twitter built?
Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes.
We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.
How do you make money from Twitter?
There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.
In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet.
At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.
Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.
What's next for Twitter?
We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users.
We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.
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Zynga is the largest social gaming company with 8.5 million daily users and 45 million monthly users. Zynga’s games are available on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, Yahoo! and the iPhone, and include Texas Hold’Em Poker, Mafia Wars, YoVille, Vampires, Street Racing, Scramble and Word Twist. The company is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, IVP, Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Pilot Group, Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel. Zynga is headquartered at the Chip Factory in San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.zynga.com.