Archive for Internet

Internet trends in India 2010

Wonderful presentation by Vikram. I am assuming  he collected data from multiple sources and cleaned  it well. Compiling reliable data in India is a pain due to lack of a reliable central agency and closed nature of indian businesses. Anyway, I am not expecting anyone to extrapolate stats from single source. Loved the presentation  style and format.


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Unpluggd: Calling all entrepreneurs

Hi all,

It gives me immense pleasure in inviting you to the UNPLUGGD event, a freshly brewed startup event focused on ‘entrepreneurs in the trenches’.

By now, you must have heard statements like:

“Consumer Internet is just not happening in India.”


“You can’t build a global technology company from India without spending a fortune.”


“Building a Global Brand from India is impossible.”

If you are one of those who believe all this is true then get ready for a surprise. It might change the way you think about Indian startups & entrepreneurs. We are proud to present startups and entrepreneurs doing the impossible. They are the ones who have built a profitable business in India.

We, through the Unpluggd event, are providing a platform where these unsung heroes

–    Share their insights on building profitable businesses – The Indian Way.

–    Share their journey thus inspires you, me and every other aspiring entrepreneur.

This event is a invitation to  listen & share  intimate startup stories . Some of the speakers for the event are –

  • Sanjay Swamy, Ex-CEO, mChek
  • Mukund Mohan, Founder, BuzzGain
  • K. Srikrishna, Co-Founder, Impulsesoft
  • Rudrajeet Desai, Co-founder & CEO, Ideacts
  • Yusuf Motiwala, Foudner & CEO, TringMe
  • Dr. Ashwin Naik, Co-Founder, Vaatsalya
  • Sunil Maheshwari, Co-Founder, Mango Technologies

If interested please visit .You can register directly for the event   here.

Feel free to forward this mail to your aspiring entrepreneur friend or FoF.

For any queries call/e-mail:

Ashish Sinha  +91 98452 06443

Amarinder Singh +91 93431 71420

Satpal Parmar +91   97421 90747

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Social Networks : Business models and monetization

Social networks are plenty and in past few years  they have grown both horizontally from dynamic user groups to platforms and vertically from  social networks for gays and lesbians to  invitation only groups for social elites.

Social networks are  hugely succesful in India too. According to latest data from camScore indian social networks have grown 50 % in the year 2007-08. Moreover  majority of web users are now social networkers.


But despite this phenomenal  adaptation of SNs idea , social networks are  loosing  more money  then they make for their investors.

This post is my attempt to understand the whole social network monetisation problems and related  issues.

Social networks are used as marketing and branding  media  and make money through advertising  same way as TV, Radio, Newspaper  does. This way  advertisiding drives the form and functions of social networks. Social networks have to cater needs of two different parties, the actual  user, who want to use them as they wish to with minimum  interference  from anyone incling owners and advertiser who pay for runing the show and what users to behave in curtain way. This create a disconnect between interest of parties involved and there a contest going on between user and advertisers where social network trying to balance the  needs of both  parties.

Social network are new kind of media  in advertising industry and do not enjoy same level acceptence and trust among media buyers  as enjoyed by TV & newspapers. They are yet to prove their effectiveness and metrics used to evaluate thier effectiveness are evolving.

Other challenges involoved in monetizsing are related to very nature of social network. For exampl most of the network rely on user generated content where social network have very limited freedom to play with content. Most of the user activities are action oriented like writing on wall, poking friends, sending sms and hence  provided little space for text/display adversting model. Users are agnostic to any significant changes in social network structure and forms done to suit the  needs and requirements of advertisers. Attempts to sell/use user information to third party resulted  in backlashs and there is increasing awareness among users about privacy related issues. Many user privacy watchdogs  are seeking change in privacy policies of  social networks.

Below is more detailed  analysis of two major issues related to monetisation of  Social networks.

1. Low CPM  or Unsuitable metrics – CPM may not be the best indicator of social network analysis

Lookery, an ad network specializing in social media, offers display ads on MySpace, Facebook, and Bebo for only 13 cents per thousand times the ad is served (CPM); Yahoo’s average CPM is estimated at $13. Video ads on MySpace reportedly fetch just $25 per thousand showings; CBS charges $50 on affiliated sites, NBC as much as $75. (Source)

Next question will be  is why SN have low CPM . The reason is that most social network reply soley on advertising revenue.

Regardless of the model (CPM, CPC, CPA), advertisers value three key measures: reach, frequency, and targeting. Many social media sites certainly score high on reach and frequency, but how do they fare on targeting? Targeting is key, because it determines the CPM rates advertisers are willing to pay. And CPM rates vary very widely: from $16-20 for TripAdvisor to $0.10 for Facebook and MySpace. See, for example, this media plan. (Source)

There is another dimention to low CPM for social networks which is quite counterintutive.

The assumption is that if users are worth money, then more users are worth more money. Theoretically, an infinite number of users are worth an infinite amount of money. It’s simply not true.

There is a point of diminishing returns in Web advertising. Enormous traffic creates a glut of inventory, which inevitably drives the value of ads down. The most highly valued inventory on the Web is branded, high-quality media content. It’s valuable because the content projects value onto the advertiser. When Target advertises on, the brand benefits from MTV’s youth-oriented content, giving the brand a youthful shine. In contrast, utility inventory lacks the compelling context that advertisers need to help build identity and image, and in many cases may include negative images. The result is that advertisers have no cause to align their brands with products like Social Networks. Unlimited inventory and negative brand association is a perfect storm for low CPMs.(Source)

Extra : Here is interesting explanations and maths that is involved in calcauting CPM

2. User behaviour

Both  social network & advertsier would like to use datamining techniews to target there advertsing to improve their CPM . But this leds to problems related to privacy fo user information . User behaviour give  different challenges to social network. On social networks, people are primarily concerned with communicating with their friends, not looking to buy items or services. Moreover when marketers try to shake things up, users don’t take kindly to major changes. There are issues related to trust and privacy of user infomation and this lack of trust is mutual.

the fundamental problem that social networks face when trying to monetize through an advertising-driven business model is the lack of trust.  To be more explicit, while brand advertisers have historically trusted people as consumers, they do not trust them in the new role of producer (e.g. uncontrollable content).  Likewise, people who are armed with the power of interactivity are also demonstrating that they are increasingly distrustful of brand advertisers (e.g. ad-skipping).(Source)

I come across few exellent presentations related  to subject. Here are two of them

In the next post I will look for solutions that are been tried to resolve problems mentions above  and will  do some analysis on  how successful are  they in generating revenue for companies. I would  also like to cover  indian  social networks are trying to resolve monetization conundrum

Extra:  Social Networking Is Not a Business* ( Technology review – registration required)

Update : There is change of priorities  in professional and career side and due lack  of time to research I am finishing this article here.

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OCC Delhi Meet Jan09

I never tried drugs but I doubt they if they could be as intoxicating as talking with  a bunch of passionate wannepreneurs ( wannabee entrepreneurs) and hackers on a lazy Saturday evening.

Ok, may be that was a   little hyperbolic analogy , but I think  it very well  sumup experience I had in  OCC  meet last Saturday, where I  joined  7 other wannepreneurs to talk on topics ranging from  busines model in startups to startup ecosystem in India.

First  thing that draw  my attention  was the  confidence and enthusiasm displayed  by first year undergraduate students  (Akhshay and Apoorv). I was  impressed with their strong understanding of web and passionate  interest in startups ( doing own stuff ,  own way) . There is a revolutionary change in the attitude  of young graduates. At my time the only objective of graduating candidate was to work as hard as possible to get straight A’ ( a honors degree to be precise) and then hunt for highest paying  ‘MNC’ job. At that time nobody even talk about doing startups. And here is these guys talking RoR and startups in the very first year of ther graduation. 

Another thing that I find rather unique and interesting  was  their agnostic attitude  toward ‘business’ part of startup. They were representing   first crop of true indian hacker who love coding amd creating  cool programs and who  are least bothered about  job or money. This  herald a sea change in Indian startup ecosystem in next couple of years.

We were join by an veteran entrepeur from Nepal , Ujwal Thapa, who is managing his web business in Nepal from past 7 years. He is looking for  partners  to expand is bussines in Delhi. Talking like a sage he kept  conversation grounded and shared some really inspiration stuff on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship.

There were three  guys who left there secured job this month (yeah you wanted to know  if this is the right time to start a venture. Now you know, it is 🙂 ) to start their venture. Ajay and  two of his friends are all set to start  a new venture in real estate domain. Atul is looking forward to do a startup in education domain.

Quotable quotes:

“Entrepreneur are crazy people. We do not do stuff just for money. We do startups becoz it  is the only thing we understand and love doing. Nobody understand this  including our  family and friends.”                                                  

Ujwal Thapa

“Life is short and we live once so lets do things we love. ”   

 Ujwal Thapa

“In internet business we first build product and then build business around this. This is how facebook got created ”

Apoorv Khatreja

“Business main thoda baoot compromise to chalta hai.”       

Atul kumar Bucha

“Indian startup community is growing at very  fast rate  specially in banglore. If you have right idea and right team you can get angel and VC money”                                                         

  Ajay Yadav.

“You can start a business with passion and idea. Money may not come into mind as motivator. But when you have 100 people working for you and who depend on you and your startup ‘s survival, ‘business’ part of startup kicks in”                                               

Manish Malik

“Why you are so much into money and business. lets create stuff we like. Business will come later”

Akshay Gupta


Venue : CCD  (in front of sindhia house) ,Connaught place Delhi

Date & Time :  31 Jan  4.30 – 7.30 PM  

Agenda : Indian startup community, Web (business +models)


Manish Malik   Product Manager @Mobisoc

Ujawal Thapa  7+ year vetern runnning web business from Nepal. Looking for alliance  in Delhi to bring some of the web  business in India.

Ajay Yadav NSIT 2007, Trilogy, FlightRaja. Left job this month to start own web startup  in real estate business domain.

Akshay Gupta   First year CS student @ MSIT  and wannabe hacker.

Apoorv Khatreja First year IT student @DCE. Web developer and wannabe  hacker.

Atul Kumar Bucha  software Engineer @ Aricent Looking forward to start own venture in education domain.

Satpal Parmar  (yeah that me).

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CIIE launched iAccelerator

CIIE  (an initiative of IIM A to foster entrepreneurship and innovation) have launched  iAccelerator a program to incubate web start-ups.Yes. They heartly accept it as a clone of Y-combinator.

Main attractions of program:

a)Target audience are young IT professionals, students or web-developers young IT professionals, students or web-developers .

b)its a 3 month program. Two months for prototyping and 1 month of marketing.

c)8k stipend for participants.

d) CIIE will provide computers with connectivity (if you don’t carry a laptop of your own), an office space, mentoring, networking and accommodation at IIMA.

d)In case you are interested  apply before 20th April.


A brilliant “out of box web/mobile related idea” and the ability to build a prototype around that idea in 2 months with  a team of max 3-4 people.


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New Synovate AsiaBUS study on Asia Pacific Web 2.0 markets

Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions commissioned Synovate to conduct a survey via its AsiaBUS Service. It aimed to gauge the size of the blogging/social networking market as well as to examine usage habits in Asia Pacific.

The study covered the following 10 markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand*. A total of 11,306 people aged 15-64 were interviewed during December 2006, projected to a universe of 187 million.

Results are not very surprising. Korea with his world best broadband network , China & Taiwan with their   highet PC penetration (due to low hardware cost) are leading web 2.0 markets.One area where they are legging behind  is blogging.This can be explained in term of language barrier.I doubt if totalitarian government and lack of freedom of expression in China have any  discouraging effect on bloggers from China.

India is far behind in social networking and IM services but did surprisingly well in bloging front.  Low pc penetration coupled with poor broadband infrastructure make India a comparatively smaller  web 2.0 market.

 Can we say democracy rocks 🙂 

Happy Independence day India !!!!!!!!


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Interviews with Founders

One of the best way to get perspective on a product,service or field is to have a face to face talk with the founders or expert behind the that particlure product and service.Interviews provide great opportunity to have founders prespective on product and his area of endeavour.

Today I find this great collection of interveiws of founders of of most talked about web services providers.I am sure we will found lots of insight in areas product development,team  building,marketing and product design from these interveiws.

Alex Giron, founder CSSBeauty interviewed by SEOmoz
Alexander Kirk, founder of Blummy interviewed by SEOmoz
Amy Bohutinsky, of Zillow interviewed by SEOmoz 
Benjamin Bejbaum, founder of Dailymontion interviewed by SEOmoz
Bill O’Donnell, founder of Kayak interviewed by Emily Chang
Chris Hughes, founder of Facebook interviewed by SEOmoz
Christoph Janz, of Pageflakes interviewed by Emily Chang
Christopher Janz, founder of Pageflakes interviewed by SEOmoz
Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist interviewed by InfoWorld
Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist interviewed by Netsquared
Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist interviewed by SEOmoz
Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist interviewed by SFgate
Dave Pell, founder of Rollyo interviewed by SEOmoz
Dave Pell, founder of Rollyo interviewed by Technosight
David Sifry, founder of Technorati interviewed by Guy Kawasaki
David Sifry, founder of Technorati interviewed by SEOmoz
Eric Costello, Client Development Lead for Flickr interviewed by Adptivepath
Eric Rodenbeck, Mike Migurski and Tomas Apodaca, founders of Mappr interviewed by Emily Chang
Garret Heaton, founder of HipCal interviewed by SEOmoz
Garrett Camp, Co-founder of StumbleUpon interviewed by Centernetworks
Garrett Camp, Co-founder of StumbleUpon interviewed by ReadWriteWeb
Geoffrey Arone, co-founder of Flock interviewed by ZDnet
Jacob DeHart, founder of Threadless interviewed by Folksonomy
Jason Fried, founder 37signals interviewed by Web20show
Jeffrey Kalmikoff, Creative Director of Threadless interviewed by Juxaviews
Jen Mazzon, founder of Writely interviewed by SEOmoz
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia interviewed by SearchEngineLand
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia interviewed by Goodexperience
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia interviewed by Wikinews
Joshua Schachter, founder of interviewed by Rands In Repose
Joshua Schachter, founder of interviewed by ZDnet
Justin LaFrance, founder of StumbleUpon interviewed by SEOmoz
Kevin Burton, founder of Tailrank interviewed by Emily Chang
Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson, founders of Digg interviewed by Talkcrunch
Kevin Rose, founder of Digg interviewed by Philoneist
Kevin Rose, founder of Digg interviewed by Playlistmag
Kevin Rose, founder of Digg interviewed by ZDnet – part 1
Kevin Rose, founder of Digg interviewed by ZDnet – part 2
Konstantin Guericke, co-founder of LinkedIn interviewed by Sleepyblogger
Konstantin Guericke, co-founder of LinkedIn interviewed by SEOmoz
Mark Fletcher, founder of Bloglines interviewed by Bloxpert
Mark Fletcher, founder of Bloglines interviewed by Searchviews
Martin Stiksel, founder of interviewed by SEOmoz
Mike Davidson, founder of NewsVine interviewed by SEOmoz
Mike Reining, Co-founder of BlinkList interviewed by Emily Chang
Mike Tatum, founder of Wayfaring interviewed by SEOmoz
Nick Wilson, Co-founder Performancing interviewed by Centernetworks
Pete Cashmore, founder of Mashable interviewed by Netsquared
Robert Kalin, founder of Etsy interviewed by SEOmoz
Ron Hornbaker, founder of Propsmart interviewed by SEOmoz
Sam Shillace, founder of Writely interviewed by Emily Chang
Seth Godin, founder of Squidoo interviewed by Emily Chang
Seth Sternberg, founder of Meebo interviewed by SEOmoz
Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, founders of Reddit interviewed by Talkcrunch
Tariq Krim and Florent Fremont, founders of Netvibes interviewed by Emily Chang
Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media interviewed by ReadWriteWeb – Part 1
Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media interviewed by ReadWriteWeb – Part 2
Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media interviewed by ReadWriteWeb – Part 3
Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe, founders of Myspace interviews by Spiegel
Various Web 2.0 founders interviewed by Michael Arrington
courtesy: Julian Paling 

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