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Adobe acquires Behance, sets sights on community-driven Creative Cloud

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/20/adobe-acquires-behance/

Adobe acquires Behnace, sets sights on communitydriven Creative Cloud

Well, it looks like Adobe is wrapping things up nicely before the long holiday weekend. Mere days after the most recent round of updates, the software outfit has just announced its acquisition of Behance, the online portfolio community for creatives in a number of disciplines. Founded in 2006 by CEO Scott Belsky, they NYC-based outfit will remain it’s current location and retain all of its 32 current employees. Touting over 1 million active users and 90 million project views in the past month, Behance is an online repository for portfolios, feedback, inspiration and the hiring of creative pros. Adobe is planning to fully integrate the design community’s wares into it’s Creative Cloud arsenal “allowing members to seamlessly create content, seek feedback, showcase their work and distribute it across devices.” For now, there won’t be any changes for free and paid members of the Behance offerings, but Adobe is evaluating how to integrate the paid portions into Creative Cloud memberships with the free option from the community remaining as such. Head on past the break to take a gander at the full announcement.

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Thursday, December 20th, 2012 news No Comments

3 Myths About Facebook The Company Wishes Would Go Away (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/myths-about-facebook-2012-12

carolyn everson facebook

Ever since Facebook went public earlier this year — and was finally liberated from the SEC-required “quiet period” that all companies must go through when offering stock — Facebook has been trying to chase down several untrue rumors about how its business works.

As the old saying goes, a lie will go round the world while truth is pulling its boots on.

We sat down recently with Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vp/global marketing solutions, and asked her what the most common misconceptions were among advertisers about the way Facebook works.

She told us that these are the three of the biggest:

1. “Facebook ads don’t work.”

Everson says: “I see it in the press sometimes. I will hear a marketer say, ‘Prove it to me, show me how Facebook marketing works.’ To me that’s code for ‘I haven’t believed it yet, or I haven’t seen enough data.’ And my team now is equipped globally with literally hundreds of examples and proof points of how Facebook advertising works [for] everything from Samsung launching a product down to your small/medium business trying to drive people into their stores.”

2. “Mobile is bad for Facebook.”

To be fair, this myth was started by Facebook itself, when it warned in its IPO papers that had not yet properly monetized mobile. It warned again in Q2that mobile may “negatively affect” revenue. Since then, however, mobile has turned out to be huge for Facebook.

Ev erson says: “Mobile is fantastic for monetization. Fourteen percent of our revenue from the third quarter was from mobile. The CPMs are higher in mobile across the board. The performance in the news feed on mobile are 8 to 10X. Let me give you some interesting stats. Rosetta Stone, language provider, did an offers product. They got 560,000 claims, 98 percent of them via mobile. Lawson’s is a Japanese convenient store, kind of like 7-11, they got 598,000 claims, 93 percent from mobile. It is a very powerful way for our marketers to reach our users and I will tell you that when I sit with the client council members, Keith Weed at Unilever or Marc Pritchard at P&G, any of the top CMOs, they are entirely focused on how Facebook can help them in emerging markets … Clearly more people are joining Facebook on mobile, so mobile’s been very positive from a user growth standpoint.”

3. “Facebook only works for brand awareness.”

Everson says too many advertisers think Facebook is only good at generating vague brand image impressions, and it’s not for driving direct sales. But she believes Facebook has uses throughout marketing’s customer “funnel”:

“The third myth, Facebook only works for top-of-the-funnel objectives, for brand awareness, for people having conversations or earned media. What we have now demonstrated consistently is we deliver throughout the entire funnel. ”

Disclosure: The author owns Facebook stock.

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

Now THIS Is The ‘Right Way’ To Start A Company

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/now-this-is-the-right-way-to-start-a-company-2012-11

noah brier james gross percolate

Ok, fine.

There probably is no “right way” to start a company.

But, if there WAS a picture-perfect, fool-proof method, it might look like Percolate.

Percolate, a SaaS solution for marketing managers, was founded by James Gross and Noah Brier in early 2011. Today it raised a $9 million Series A round and it has more than 30 Fortune 500 companies as clients. They’re each paying Percolate about $10,000 per month.

There are a few things Gross and Brier did in their startup’s earliest days that set them up for success.

  • They each worked for marketing companies before founding Percolate.
  • When they had enough knowledge and industry connections, they quit.
  • They bootstrapped until they proved their model.
  • The used outside capital to step on the gas.

Gross was a former sales executive for Federated Media and Brier worked for a marketing agency, The Barbarian Group. While they were there, they created a lot of contacts in the marketing and advertising departments of major corporations. They were also able to see inefficiencies and demands in the industry. Later, while the two were bootstrapping Percolate, everything they absorbed at Federated Media and TBG became very valuable.

Being employed also enabled the pair to save up money and bootstrap. They funded their startup themselves for one year, during which Brier ! and Gros s worked out initial kinks.

When they finally had a working model and paying clients, they sought outside capital. They used a $1.5 million seed round to accelerate growth; they didn’t waste it stumbling around and pivoting.

Of course, a lot of successful companies have been founded other ways. Zuckerberg never had a job before founding Facebook. Ben Silbermann initially set out to be a doctor, but he ended up founding Pinterest

It’s too early to guarantee Percolate’s success. But whatever Gross and Brier have done up until now, it seems to be working.

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Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 news No Comments

Spotify Is Now The Second Biggest Source Of Revenue For Labels

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/spotify-revenue-labels-2012-6

sean parker spotify interview

Spotify is now the No. 2 revenue source for the major music labels, a source close to the company tells us.

Spotify is an on-demand music service. There are free and subscription options. 23 million people used the service last month, according to AppData.

The No. 1 revenue source for labels is Apple’s iTunes.

iTunes paid approximately $3.2 billion to record labels in 2011, Business Insider Intelligence estimates.

The gap between Apple and Spotify remains extremely large, our source tells us.

“iTunes is way up here,” our source said, gesturing up high, “and everyone else is way down here.”

At this year’s SXSW conference in Austin, early Spotify investor Sean Parker said: “If we [Spotify] continue growing at our current rate in terms of subscriptions and downloads, we’ll overtake iTunes in terms of contributions to the recorded music business in under two years.”

Spotify, founded in Sweden in 2006, is currently raising $220 million at a $4 billion valuation. Goldman Sachs is investing $100 million in the round, Evelyn Rusli reported in the New York Times.

Spotify raised more than $100 million at a $1 billion valuation in 2011. 

We first heard about Spotify’s latest raise at a massive valuation back in March. Then, investors told us they were very skeptical of the company’s prospects. The reason: Spotify does not own the content it sells to consumers. The labels do. In this view, the music labels will be able to keep a close eye on Spotify’s margins and tax the startup’s (as-of-yet unrealized) profits heavily.

The more optimistic view is that the labels will support Spotify as an alternative to iTunes, which the labels view as too powerful. In this outcome, Spotify will become a revenue source the label come to depend on and it will be able to dictate terms.

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Monday, June 25th, 2012 news No Comments

This Hot New York Startup Looks An Awful Lot Like eBay After Six Years

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-ebay-vs-etsy-2012-5

There’s a reason people call Etsy the next eBay. Six years after their founding, both companies are showing eerily similar growth curves. Admittedly, Etsy is tackling a smaller slice of online retail than eBay, but that didn’t bother the investors who valued the company at an estimated $688 million in its latest round of funding. 

chart of the day, ebay vs etsy merchendise sales, may 2012

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Thursday, May 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5883683/the-best-times-to-buy-infographic-shows-you-all-the-savings-by-month-and-day

The Best Times to Buy Infographic Shows You All the Savings by Month and DayPlan your purchases and you can grab the best deals on everything from clothes to flat-screen TVs to appliances and more. This infographic from Savings.com breaks down the sale times for just about every product so you can save all year round.

The graphic includes recommendations by month and by day, as well as some additional optimal times to buy (e.g., oil changes early in the morning). The savings recommendations overlap our own comprehensive Best Time to Buy Anything guide and Best Days of the Week to Buy Almost Anything, just offering a different view and some additional items like real estate.

Here’s the full image. Click to expand or right-click to save to disk:
The Best Times to Buy Infographic Shows You All the Savings by Month and Day

Infographic: Best Time to Buy Airline Tickets and Everything Else | Savings.com

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Friday, February 10th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

27k projects, almost $100 million in funding

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/11/kickstarter-details-the-year-that-was-27k-projects-almost-100/

Just how big a year was 2011 for Kickstarter? Very nearly a $100 million dollar year. That was the total amount of funding pledged on the crowd-sourced site during the year ($99,344,382, specifically), which is up considerably from the $27.6 million pledged in 2010. That was generated by just over 27,000 projects, 11,836 of which reached their funding goals (a success rate of 46%, up from 43% in 2010). What’s more, while tech-related projects may generate the most attention ’round these parts, film and music projects were actually the two biggest cash draws on the site (netting $32 million and $19 million, respectively). Hit the source link below for the company’s complete wrap-up.

Kickstarter details the year that was: 27k projects, almost $100 million in funding originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 11 Jan 2012 01:10:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 news No Comments

John Doerr And Reed Hastings Put $11 Million Into Education Startup

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/boonsri-dickinson-dreambox-raises-11m-from-john-doerr-and-reed-hastings-2011-12


john doerr tbi

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and super VC John Doerr just invested in DreamBox Learning, an adaptive math learning platform.

The startup just raised an $11 million round from Hastings (through his Charter School Growth Fund), Doerr (through his private investment fund), not Kleiner Perkins, and others.

The company plans to use the investment round to expand the product and curriculum as well as increase distribution. In the past year, half a million elementary school students used the platform, viewing more than 11 million lessons. An independent study found that students who used DreamBox for four months, improved their test scores by about 5%.

As a nation, the United States is lagging behind in math, but educational startups may soon change that. Another popular startup Khan Academy recently raised $5 million, which uses videos and practice problems to teach a range of courses including physics and computer programming. In October, Founders Fund invested $33 million in education startup Knewton, which has an adaptive learning algorithm that has been used to power a college online math readiness course.

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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 news No Comments

The World’s Largest Blockbuster Drug Just Went Generic — Here Are The Winners And Losers (PFE, WPI, ABC, TEVA, MRK, MYL, CVS, WAG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-nations-largest-blockbuster-drug-just-went-generic-2011-11


pfizerap1017

With the expiration of Pfizer’s patent exclusivity on Lipitor, the nation’s top selling drug will go generic and see a market share split that will force manufacturers into a share race.

Lipitor, a cholesterol drug that reduces cholesterol, came to market in 1997 and ultimately peaked with sales of $13 billion. Last year, it contributed $10.7 billion in revenue to Pfizer.

Analysts remain divided over how much market share Pfizer will be able to hold on to. The company is aggressively discounting the drug through a program to entice patients to remain on Lipitor. Over the coming 180 days, Watson Pharmaceuticals and Ranbaxy Laboratories of India will enter the market.

Eight Citi analysts poured over data and see Pfizer retaining 40-50% of market share over the next half year. Delays out of Ranbaxy, which were prompted by U.S. regulatory bans over questionable quality concerns, will aid Pfizer.

But after the 180 days, when another round of pharmaceuticals like Teva and Aurobindo are allowed entry, the cost of Lipitor will drop to “pennies a day,” Citi analyst John Boris writes.

However, most of Lipitor’s decline has already been priced into Pfizer stock over the past year. “We maintain our Pfizer 4Q11E/2012E Lipitor sales/EPS contribution at $930M/$640M,” Boris continues. That represents a Lipitor sales contribution of 14-18% of fourth EPS, before falling to just 2% of earnings in 2012.

The largest to benefit from the change may be drug stores like CVS and Walgreens, which may see an uptick as more patients can afford to take cholesterol medications, even as average drug prices decline.

“In addition, we believe that the drugstores will be able to generate stronger gross profit dollars as the average gross margin for generic drugs is generally 50 to 60%, while the average gross margin for branded drugs is approximately 20%,” Boris says. 

Meanwhile, Pfizer is betting its name on smaller blockbusters in other drug categories to contribute $4 billion in new revenue by 2014 as it re-emerges in a world post-Lipitor.

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 news No Comments

When Will Kindles Be Free? (AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-the-shrinking-price-of-the-kindle-2011-9

At yesterday’s Kindle presentation, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos gave special attention to all the people in the media who were calling for a $99 Kindle.

He noted that pundits said a $99 Kindle would send people into a “fervor”. Then Bezos whipped out a $99 Kindle Touch and said the “fervor” for cheap Kindles could begin.

A few minutes later, (oddly) with less excitement, Bezos revealed a $79 Kindle. Considering the Kindle started at $399 four years ago, these are very impressive price cuts.

We’ll start the next round of questions from the pundits to Bezos: When will the Kindle be free? When will Amazon’s special offers, and Prime program make it cheap enough for Amazon to give away Kindles? Next year? The year after that?

chart of the day, kindle price september 2011

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Friday, September 30th, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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