Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Let The Carnage Begin

"Things always seem to get worse before they get better." If that quote holds any truth - then we're about to see things get worse.

The early indications - besides the Wall Street seesaw, the housing meltdown, weak "Black Friday" and the credit crunch - are starting to make themselves known. In the tech world - when social networking sites start closing (and/or get acquired) it's sort of the canary in the coal mine biting the dust.

This week a couple of sites announced that they were going into the deadpool - Pownce (co-founded by Digg’s Kevin Rose) and Twing announced they were shutting down. This comes on heels of the death of other sites over the past 4 months - sites that were fairly well funded and had some "good press." Some of them were even founded by very successful entrepreneurs. Here's a small sampling:
  • Eyespot ($3.7 million in Oct 06)
  • Uber ($7.6 million in funding - May 2008 - cofounded by former Friendster CEO and NBC West Coast president Scott Sassa)
  • Wallop (from Microsoft's Research Team)
  • Fleck (€225k - based in Netherlands)
  • Social.FM ($5 million in funding)
  • TripHub ($15 million, founded by Josh Herst, an early member of the Microsoft Expedia team)
  • MatchMine ($10.5 million, founded by Mike Troiano, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather Interactive and Brandscape)
  • Akimbo ($56 million, investors including AT&T and Cisco)
  • Capazoo ($12 million)
  • etc, etc, etc.
My prediction is that we'll see a lot more of these bubble-2.0-social-media-with-no-business-plan company hitting the skids this month and on into the middle of 2009. I mean, didn't ANY of these people learn ANYTHING from the first bubble?

TIP #1: Eyeballs do not necessarily equal money.

TIP #2: You need money to stay in business.

TIP #3: Just by having a screwed up name that no one can pronounce doesn't mean you'll get money.

TIP #4: See tip #2

Speaking of folks that may have had too much Turkey - the good folks over at Twitter have turned down a $500 million (mostly stock) offer from Facebook.

Um.... yeah. Half a billion dollars for a site with zero business model - and a huge cost structure. Good plan! I know, I know you're "...working on a monetization plan for the middle of 2009...". Good luck with that.

Again, see tip #2...

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