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Showing posts with label corporations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label corporations. Show all posts

April 30, 2011

Net Income: Apple Vs Microsoft

Apple's profits beat Microsoft for the first time in a very long time for the last quarter.
It's an amazing triumph for a company that was on the brink of death in 1997, and would have been a lost cause if not for the return of Steve Jobs and a $150 million investment from Microsoft.

When Steve Jobs announced that investment on stage a big Apple event, he said, "We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win Microsoft has to lose."
It was a prophetic statement, as is evident in the chart below. Microsoft's profits aren't collapsing as Apple's rise. Microsoft's last quarter was one of its best.


March 20, 2011

The Bubble 2.0: How Soon Will It Strike



For the first time since 2000, internet and technology entrepreneurs can raise seed capital with little more than a half-formed idea and a dozen PowerPoint slides. “There is probably a bubble in the number of start-ups,” says Alan Patricof, a venture capitalist, though he is not yet convinced that there is irrational exuberance in later-stage valuations.
Yet valuations have certainly risen, especially for the leading firms in this latest, “social” phase of the digital revolution. Groupon, a two-year-old firm that offers group discounts to online consumers, reportedly turned down an offer potentially worth $6 billion from Google, prompting analysts to ask if Groupon’s founders had lost their coupons. A secondary-market auction of shares in Facebook in December had a minimum offer-price 77% higher than the price reportedly paid in a similar transaction three months earlier. Twitter is valued at $3.7 billion, up nearly fourfold in a year. The number of deals with (pre-investment) valuations of at least $100m is also increasing, according to Cooley, a law firm (see chart).

There are differences between today and the dotcom bubble of a decade ago. Then it was initial public offerings that were overpriced. Today, although the IPO market is reviving, it remains a shadow of its former self. Instead, the main way for the owners of a start-up to cash out is to sell their firm to a bigger one, such as Cisco, Google, Facebook or even Groupon. These tech-savvy firms ought to be less gullible than the stockmarket investors of 1999. But their owners may now be so wealthy that they care less about value for money than the coolness of owning the Next Big Thing.
The emergence of an active secondary market in shares of start-ups yet to go public has allowed founders and early investors in firms such as Facebook and Twitter to bank fortunes without waiting for a traditional exit by IPO or acquisition. These secondary-market prices feed hype about what these firms might be worth, were they to list on the stockmarket.
Then there is the growth in “angel” investing, by rich individuals and small funds that provide seed capital to start-ups too small to interest a venture-capital firm. These angels make many small investments (say, $100,000 a time), in a strategy critics call “spray and pray”. That could certainly account for a bubble in start-ups. One prominent angel, Chris Sacca, has reportedly paused his investing on the ground that valuations have become overblown.

Today’s entrepreneurs also have a deeper understanding of the industries they are trying to transform, says Nick Beim of Matrix Partners, a venture-capital firm. Fewer of them are engineers. More are “ambitious non-technologists with a business idea” to change industries such as media, advertising, financial services or fashion. These industries are concentrated in New York, which is why the new boom is as much in Manhattan’s Silicon Alley as in California’s Silicon Valley.
Mr Beim reckons this industry expertise will mean that start-ups in “social commerce”, where there is a clear revenue model from the start, are more likely to succeed than those in social media, where no one knows where the profits will come from even when millions use the service (eg, Twitter). Three of the leading social-commerce firms, Groupon, Gilt Groupe (a luxury-goods seller in which Matrix has invested) and Zynga (a social-gaming firm), are increasing their revenues faster than any start-ups in history, says Mr Beim. That is why this time may be different. Of course they say that during every bubble. 

Source : Economist

March 8, 2011

February 26, 2011

February 23, 2011

Steve Jobs photo mosaic from Apple products




I found this interesting at Coolinfographics and a purely Fun Stuff, showing Apple CEO Steve Jobs's T Jobs portrait photo mosaic made from Apple products and icons from OS X. Another version of this from the same artist was used in the March 17, 2008 issue of Fortune magazine.