Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The world has changed

Yes people. its official. The world has changed. It's a different world to what we used to live in a few months back. Developers and geeks are cool. VCs want to invest in consumer applications. There are genuine complaints of there being too much money chasing too few ideas. I'm writing a blog. A 19 year old was on a panel at one of the largest conference of entrepreneurs that I attended a few days ago. Does this sound familiar?

The world has truly changed. Entrepreneurs reconnect with those VCs, techies go back to those labs and truly everyone, please lets try and do something this time that will benefit the rest of the planet we live on.

Its the time for ideas. Its the time to find them, invest in them and really think hard about them. While I am sure as ever before a lot of stupid ideas will get funded, even fewer will be successful and those few will in my opinion come from strange quarters. Because this time, capital is really not important. in this version of the web, its p2p not requiring massive investments in data centers, its direct to consumer in the truest sense not requiring advertising and its MOBILE - -with quite smart revenue models that can be demonstrated quick. enough to get accepted early on by other carriers all of whom are bleeding from the lack of innovation. Good examples of guys who are driving the new internet - firefox, skype and more to come.

The world has changed. And this time its really good for the entrepreneurs.

My reasons why:-
1. You know you have to build a lean business and you will.
2. The tools are around to help you along the way whether you live in india, dubai or portland Oregon.
3. You have large number of potential investors and more importantly other entrepreneurs who were funded by these investors in the past who will give you the real dope. Make sure you take it.
4. The public markets not so accessible and demanding growth from those already listed making it quite attractive to flip companies.

My predictions:-
1. Many VCs will lose their jobs and many will cement themselves in history as visionaries. The main differentiation will be that economics will reward those who truly partner with entrepreneurs as opposed to the lip service - let me invest and hire a CEO ones. The limited partner universe will become much younger and those entrepreneur unfriendly decisions will come back to haunt a few.
2. The serial entrepreneur will make a comeback. You will have unknown individuals who will start and flip at least 3 companies in the next 3 years some probably with no external investors.
3. The rise of usability. This is a profession that will come back into vogue.
4. Enterprise software valuations will skyrocket as budgets get freed from efficiencies in other areas and are devoted to more strategic investments.
5. Video conferencing and blogging will come back.
6. mobiles will be where a lot of opportunities come in.
7. A category that will see a lot of action will be email and PIM. messaging in general will change.

my biggest bet: 3 years fron now. The internet will not look anything like the present browser based universe. It will be rich, mobile and all pervasive. we will look back and say "Gosh, why didn't i(or microsoft or yahoo) think of that?"

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