Friday is a good day to reflect and I usually try to come up with the 3 lessons that I learned in the past week – so going forward I will share these on the blog here. So here is what I learned last week:
- The value of Facebook applications: the sale of iLike to MySpace for a rumored $20 million has shown that the value of such applications is not even close to any stand-alone site of comparable size. iLike might be in a vertical that is hard to monetize, they might even have been in worse shape than everybody thought but fact is that the insecurity about where the Facebook platform will evolve in the future depresses the value of such applications in a significant way. So the lesson learned for investors is to be extremely careful with Facebook applications plays (or any other platform for that matter: iPhone, Blackberry, Twitter, Windows). The lesson learned for entrepreneurs is that a stand-alone application might be too risky and that a studio approach is the only viable approach.
- Testing resources: testing is such a crucial part for every web company and I have yet to see a single one that has fully optimized its site messages, landing pages, monetization, etc. based on continuous a/b testing. So I was really happy to come across Which Test Won, a site solely dedicated to providing great resources on testing and immediately recommended it to all of our portfolio companies.
- Carpe diem: the shocking news of the death of Yapta co-founder and fellow board member Brett Allsop at age 38 reminded me how important it is to live life every day. As Horace says: Carpe diem quam minimum credula postero – seize the day and place no trust in tomorrow.