Archive for March 22nd, 2013

Index of 2013 Disruptive Technologies


Lightning city
Above: Like lightning, digital technologies jolt us with energy, the savvy will harness their energy, those who ignore, risk danger.

 

 

One Line Goal:  List disruptive technologies in 2013 on one page, with your help in the comments.

The number of technologies that are creating disruptions to companies and ecosystems are increasing at an alarming rate. Even though Altimeter rated the technologies that matter from last week’s SXSW, we see even more technologies emerging on the heels of mobile world congress, and CES. Expect even more technologies to emerge, radically altering the power shift of those who use these technologies to gain power over existing institutions.

In an attempt to track and then analyze these technologies, I’ll host the following “industry index”, where I list out examples, and the community adds to it in comments. I’ve done this multiple times over previous years, which often results in discrete research projects, market definition reports, and ratings and rankings of technology vendors.

I’ve kicked off the list with 10 technologies I see (with help from colleague Chris Silva), and at Altimeter, we’ve embarked on looking at research themes that impact business. With your help through the comments, we can keep this list updated for the year.

Index: 2013 Disruptive Technologies 

Disruptive Technology Description Example
Proximity Based Communications Devices that capture and analyze a set of sensors, providing intelligence based on context of people, place, and time in a detailed manner Mobile devices that use Indoor Positioning Systems IPS, NFC, RFID, mobile/social data, and Wifi networks can identify a consumer as they move through a showroom floor, down to the inch.
3D Printing Technology that empowers manufacturing of 3D objects and production anywhere. MakerBot, 3D systems, Affinia, Formlabs, Stratasys, and nowreplicator technology quickly scans, and copies a 3D item.
Collaborative Consumption Web and mobile apps that enable users to share, rent, borrow, and gift products and services with low friction transactions. AirBnb, Lyft, Uber, see my list of 200, and brand examples.
Gesture Based Interfaces Technology that senses movement, and causes digital systems to respond.  Computer interfaces and sensors will emerge causing  keyboards and mice to fade away. Leap, Kinnect and other technologies give path to a minority report experience.  Eye tracking software such as Tobbi and retina tracking software even in store emerge.
Augmented Reality A layer of information is placed on top of our reality plan, using digital glasses, empowering users to access  and transmit real time digital information. Google Glass (we’re on beta test list) will emerge and empower consumers to access Google interfaces as they traverse world.
Virtual Reality Unlike Augmented Reality, this is an immersive experience across many senses that digital replicates sight, sound, feel. Oculus Rift, Stanfords VR Lab (I’ve visited) provide immersive headsets that simulate a world
Quantified Self Also called wearable computing, these body reading sensors harvest, analyze, and provide insight to how our bodies are working. Body API, Nike Fuel Band, Nike+, Fitbit Garmin, Runkeeper, most mobile devices track our movements.
Quantified World, Internet of Things Technologies that capture data from around the world, cities, and nature to analyze and predict future patterns. Open data economy, data in mobile networks and mobile devices, telematics in cars, Nest thermostat, and thousands of other sensors are actively collecting data and altering our world. hat tip Michael Fraietta for IOT reference.
Digital Screen Experiences There are evolutions happening to digital screens, from flexible screens that can morph to anything, to digital output devices everywhere, and 3D technology. 4k resolution (higher res than HDTV), 3D TVs, flexible OLED screens
Power Everywhere

Wireless power, solar power, and efficient power sources enable transportation, devices, enable more computing, sensing, and information spread.

 

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Powermat, Powertrekk, eCoupled provide wireless power
Drones and Automated Robots Technology is empowering for humans to man aerial drones to also create self-driving cars, warehouse robots, and more. The impacts to business, technology, government, privacy, and warfare are just starting to surface. ARDrone (I owned version 1), Google’s self driving car, and Amazon’s robot warehouse are just the start of the automated planet. Submission provided by Annalie Killian
Leave a comment below ? ?

Next Steps
These technologies will continue to arrive at an accelrated pace, while many corporations will not be able to react to these companies, there’s already a growing list of companies that are investing in physical innovation labs. I kicked off this list with 10 distinct technology sets, I look forward to reading your comments, and adding them to this list. I’ll be sure to credit those who participate.

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Social Networks by Revenue and Employees, Facebook Stands Above All


Facebook HQ
Above: Facebook’s employees hard at work in the open working conditions 

As an Industry Analyst my role is to identify trends, market forecasts and publish my findings in research reports. As such, Industry Analysts are different than Financial Analysts, which I’m not. While I cite where I’ve found the data in the comments, I can’t ascertain the accuracy of some of these sometimes 3rd party data sources. Note that the 2012 revenues are reported at a different time from the employee headcount was likely reported (Q1, 2013) The following is not to be considered for investment purposes.

With that caveat behind us, the following analysis takes into consideration the following consumer and public facing consumer social networks.  To see enterprise class and business social business software vendors, see my additional posts on VCs and investing. While many of these startups did not have public available data, I conduct a breakdown of these startups:

Automattic (WordPress), Branch, Digg, Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla, Groupon, Instagram, LinkedIn, LivingSocial, Pinterest, Reddit, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter, Yelp, and Zynga.  Here’s what I found:

2012 Revenue Per Employee
Comparing both revenue per employee, rate, we found some amazing efficiencies, in particular with Facebook, Zynga, and WordPress. Here’s a data table comparing the 2012 reported revenue over employee headcount, found from online public data.

Company 2012 Reported Revenues Employees Revenue Per Employee
Facebook $5,089,000,000 4,619 $1,101,753
Zynga $1,281,267,000 2,916 $439,391
Twitter $350,000,000 900 $388,888
Automattic (WordPress) $45,000,000 150 $300,000
LinkedIn $972,309,000 3,458 $281,176
Groupon $2,330,000,000 10,000 $233,000
LivingSocial $536,000,000 4,500 $119,111
Yelp $137,600,000 1,214 $113,344
Tumblr $13,000,000 151 $86,092
Foursquare $2,000,000 100 $20,000
Nasdaq 100: See how other companies fare Varies Varies Varies

Update: There are many comments coming in about Foursquare revenue, please see comment section, there is additional insights on fundraising, and their focus.

Facebook shows highest revenue per employee
As reported by public available data, Automattic, Zynga, Twitter, and Facebook are all making over $300k per employee, with tech salaries often ranging in 100k range, with additional costs, 300k is a benchmark number for revenue per employee that I often look for. For comparison, Facebook is pushing over $1m per employee, compared to Google (50b revenue for 53k reported employees) is about the same, at $946k per employee.  While WordPress team has a modest $45m their internal revenue per employee stands toe to toe with the big dogs.

Overall industry revenues in billions of dollars
Of these consumer social network, only eight had publically available revenue run rates for 2013, on average, they’re forecasting $3.7b. In total, they’re estimating revenues of $8.3b.  Last year, in 2012, ten of the consumer social network sites had publicly available revenues, which amount of $10.7 billion global revenues, averaged across the ten is $1.7b.

Some social networks boast rapid climb in revenues
These startups saw a rapid climb in revenues, on average these companies started in 2006, just seven years ago.  There were some startling accelerations in revenues, with Facebook achieving $5b in revenues in 8 years, reported by 2012 public revenues. While under business model scrutiny and executive change-up, Groupon started in 2008 and achieved $2.3b in revenues in four years reported in 2012.  Even with this acceleration, Facebook is still far behind Google, which boasts revenues of $50b in 13 years since inception.

Not all startups created equal, some have modest revenues
Many companies are no where near the $1b annual mark, in fact, several players are not on a growth trajectory.  Of the lower revenue performers of the group includes: Foursquare, (a low yield of $2m in revenues 2012), Tumblr blogging software ($13m revenues in 2012), and long time Automattic, the makers of WordPress ($45m revenues in 2012).

Industry workforce, over 28k professionals
We can’t look at revenues alone, as these numbers don’t take costs into accounts, and found that LivingSocial employs 4,500, and surprisingly, Groupon employs a whopping 10,000 employees.  All together, across these 17 consumer social networks, they employed 28,177 professionals.   Obviously, this number doesn’t take into account 3rd party software like social media management systems (SMMS) and digital agencies, consultants, and of course, industry analyst firms.

 

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The Law of Sharing


At a much anticipated press event yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg revealed a truth so simple and intuitive, we’re wondering why it’s flown under the radar for so long. Sharing is about to explode, Zuckerberg said, and we couldn’t agree more.

A few years ago, on the stage of the Web 2.0 Summit, Zuckerberg made a particularly accurate prophesy: “I would expect that next year, people will share twice as much information as they share this year, and the next year, they will be sharing twice as much as they did the year before.”

He was dead on.

To us, the exponential growth of Facebook and the ecosystem that fuels the social media behemoth is no surprise. While Zuck guessed that the trend he’s seeing applies to the internet at large and others are wondering what people will be sharing, we think we already have the answers to both those questions.

See, we were wondering the same ourselves: What is this sharing economy and who’s fueling it? What do people share and how are they passing along the information that matters most? To answer these questions, we took a look at 7 billion sharing signals generated by 300 million users across a million domains and turned up some stats that blew us away.

Sharing generates more than 10 percent of all internet traffic and 31 percent of referral traffic – half the volume of search – and while Facebook is the largest sharing channel, making up more than a third of the pie, it’s by no means the only one. And people are sharing about everything, from arts and entertainment to health and science.

What’s interesting, however, is which channels people use to spread which messages. We found that entertainment is primarily shared using social networks while content that is informative – i.e. relating to health and science or business and investments – is more likely to be shared using email and LinkedIn.

So when Zuck says people are sharing more than 4 billion things a day on Facebook, we see it as just another affirmation of the importance of sharing, this simple behavior that is making the online world go ’round.

 

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