Jason Ball's TechBytes

Technology & Venture Capital. Early stage venture capital news mixed with personal views and comments

Europe’s Goldilocks Environment

I saw a graph from Anne Glover (of Amadeus Capital Partners) at a presentation yesterday of numbers which hadn’t fully resonated with me previously. It highlighted the sharp divergence of numbers of IPOs on the two markets in 2006:

Nasdaq_vs_aim_1

As Anne rightly pointed out, this doesn’t mean AIM is doing things right, simply that NASDAQ is doing things wrong.

Another flash of insight from the Amadeus camp came courtesy of Hermann Hauser in a recent Alarm:clock interview, he sums up a sentiment I’ve held for the past 12 months very well:

"…[European venture] is a "Goldilocks environment".

In other words, it’s not too hot and not too cold; it’s not too hard, nor too soft. And it isn’t too big, nor too small – it’s just right."

Filed under: Venture Capital

Europe’s Goldilocks Environment

I saw a graph from Anne Glover (of Amadeus Capital Partners) at a presentation yesterday of numbers which hadn’t fully resonated with me previously. It highlighted the sharp divergence of numbers of IPOs on the two markets in 2006:

Nasdaq_vs_aim_1

As Anne rightly pointed out, this doesn’t mean AIM is doing things right, simply that NASDAQ is doing things wrong.

Another flash of insight from the Amadeus camp came courtesy of Hermann Hauser in a recent Alarm:clock interview, he sums up a sentiment I’ve held for the past 12 months very well:

"…[European venture] is a "Goldilocks environment".

In other words, it’s not too hot and not too cold; it’s not too hard, nor too soft. And it isn’t too big, nor too small – it’s just right."

Filed under: Venture Capital

Europe’s Goldilocks Environment

I saw a graph from Anne Glover (of Amadeus Capital Partners) at a presentation yesterday of numbers which hadn’t fully resonated with me previously. It highlighted the sharp divergence of numbers of IPOs on the two markets in 2006:

Nasdaq_vs_aim_1

As Anne rightly pointed out, this doesn’t mean AIM is doing things right, simply that NASDAQ is doing things wrong.

Another flash of insight from the Amadeus camp came courtesy of Hermann Hauser in a recent Alarm:clock interview, he sums up a sentiment I’ve held for the past 12 months very well:

"…[European venture] is a "Goldilocks environment".

In other words, it’s not too hot and not too cold; it’s not too hard, nor too soft. And it isn’t too big, nor too small – it’s just right."

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Venture Capital

Where are the Venture Capitalists?

Last night I attended the Young Person networking event hosted by the BVCA (British Venture Capital Association). Lots of young people, but none of them in Venture. Every single person that I spoke to, except Stephen Wilson from Unilever Ventures, was with Private Equity/Buy-out Funds.

I know the BVCA get tired of me complaining about the same thing every time: where are the VCs and why are you not called the BPEA (British Private Equity Association)?

If you’re under 35 and working in VC in the UK, drop me a line at techbytes [at] mac [dot] com and we’ll set up our own networking event.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Events, Conferences and Panels, Venture Capital

The future of music distribution? [Updated]

Reuters has reported on a new label and its approach to distributing their artists’ music:

Merlin, the new agency representing the world’s independent music sector, has agreed a deal with digital music company Snocap which will allow its labels’ music to be sold from Web sites such as MySpace…

The independent record label sector makes up for 30 percent of the music sold worldwide, with the rest from the four majors — Vivendi’s Universal Music, Sony BMG, EMI Group and Warner Music Group.

The downloads will be sold in the MP3 format, meaning they can be played on any portable music player including the iPod. Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes can only be used with an iPod while music from such popular services as Napster and Rhapsody cannot be played on the mass-selling device.

Band after band have a Myspace presence- equally important to established acts as new, upcoming bands/music. One of my good friends back in the US has an indie record label – all of his bands have a Myspace presence (The Bear Colony, to name one). I’ve also find out about great London music on myspace (a current personal fav is the new release from Bodyrox feat. Luciana, Yeah, Yeah).

Why would any of that matter?

Snocap, the technology behind the link-up, isn’t novel, but it’s one that looks like it has critical mass now…this could be serious contender for iTunes. How long until they reach 2 billion sales? Have Merlin/Snocap got the formula right to tap the Long Tail of indie music?

[Update]

I just caught Nic’s post from Friday on the long tail playing out well for music lovers:

I was reading in the Economist this morning about the death of the UK record store. HMV and Virgin are both struggling, and Music Zone with 104 shops has gone into administration.

One of the conclusions of the Economist article is that all this is bad news for small record labels and those who love their music. The argument is these companies rely on record shops to stock their music and knowledgeable shop workers to recommend them to punters.

I am not so sure about that.

I definitely think indie isn’t going the way of the Dinosaur- just big shops like HMV. Partnerships like Merlin/Snocap/Myspace are the first wave of the future…

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Technology

Collaborate to Innovate: The Rise of Social Networks

Markets
I attended a Nesta event on Monday, Collaborate to Innovate. Ronald Burt of the Chicago Graduate School of Business spoke about some of his research regarding social networks. Ronald has conducted extensive research on interaction between social clusters. The key conclusion is that value resides in the white spaces. Brokers, social flies, serial networkers, etc are most likely to benefit from cross-pollination between different social (or work) groups/communities.

The second topic for the evening was the rise of online social networks. For most anyone reading this, you’re well versed in social networks. The important point made is that there are really two key types of social networks- those focused on the person, such as LinkedIn, and those focused on people’s attributes, like musical taste, such as Lastfm, where the actual individual takes a back seat.

Thinking about where the white spaces are around my social networks, it makes sense to think about your (or my) attributes: American, VC, Chemist, Blogger, Guitarist, Mac Zelot, etc…any of those place me within potentially new "social networks".

Where would you look for disruptive, insightful, new social interaction?

Filed under: Other, Venture Capital

Thoughts on Macworld

I was asked yesterday what I thought about the iPhone. My gut reaction was, "bleh". Nice, but I’m not going to rush out and get one. I will probably wait until the chipset supports 2MB download speeds- making it a viable internet device. The functionality that Steve demoed would come in very handy in central London. The price point as offered on Amazon.de at 899 and 999 Euro seems a bit steep for what the phone currently offers as well…

The killer intro (well, update) was the Apple TV. I was hoping to buy one this weekend at the Apple Store on Regent Street. I’m an iTunes junkie (see previous post comments). I buy Season Passes for Lost, etc. and download movies as well. I’m a compulsive subscriber to video podcasts. Having all of that accessible from the comfort of my sofa is very attractive. Watching "Me TV" is much better than some house developer show or reality TV format on Channel 4….throw in access to my music collection from our media server and we’re rollling.

Filed under: Apple Computer

iTunes 2 billion songs purchased

In case you missed the announcement, hidden amongst other Apple announcements, iTunes song sales have now topped 2 billion. That means an additional 1 billion were sold in the past 12 months. The data points graphed looks like this:
Itunes2billion450fu0

Make your own crystal ball projections….

Via Mad Dog in the Fog

Filed under: Apple Computer

Professional Blogger

Act Like a Professional

Via Sample the Web

Filed under: Other

Roll your own Digital Dashboard

Shortly after I posted about Digital Dashboards, Max posted about one of their portfolio companies, Kapow Technologies, and their new service Openkapow. Their software allows you to connect, collect, and mashup anything on the web.

I’m glad I caught this AFTER my Christmas holidays, because if I had seen this at the beginning I would have been making robots the entire time…

Filed under: Software

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