Roundup of the latest tech action in Silicon Valley:
Young start-ups pouring into the South of Market (SOMA) area in San Francisco. Deja-vu? — The region’s real estate prices are lower, at least where large companies like Looksmart are able to sublet expensive buildings to new copycat video sites like Cuts. With the territory comes late-night sleepovers, punching bags and yoga. See story in WSJ. Deja-vu, the same thing happened during boom #1.
Yahoo’s assumptions on Facebook — Techcrunch has scoop on Yahoo’s acquisition talks with Facebook, and Yahoo’s assumptions about Facebook’s performance. Notably, Facebook will have about $50 million in revenues this year, and would hit $1 billion in profit in 2015 according to projections — and thus justifying a $1 billion acquisition price. More remarkable is that Yahoo predicts Facebook will have a penetration rate of 60 percent among all young Internet users, up from 18 percent his year. Unfortunate for Yahoo, this justifies Facebook CEO’s Zuckerberg’s inclination to hold on to the company.
Do VCs cut good entrepreneurs? Perhaps, but rough going — Here’s a good story about latest on VCs-turned-entrepreneurs. Poor guys. They have to decide what chairs to put in their office.
Google’s smokescreen innovation — There’s an insightful piece in the Chronicle, printing a Q&A with Google’s Sergey Brin in 2000, where Brin says Google wouldn’t do anything besides search. Brin also made a statement several months ago that Google was rolling out too many features, and not honing the ones it already has. And remember CEO Eric Schmidt saying Google Payments wouldn’t compete with PayPal? Right. There’s a pattern emerging here. Google is releasing as many features as possible: There’s Google Maps with Wikipedia and user notations (see icons). There’s Gmail Fetcher, which lets you get email from other non-Gmail accounts in one place, just as you can do with Outlook. Only thing missing now is getting your Gmail offline. And there’s very extensive additions to Google Finance, worth checking out for all the tools it offers. And, of course, there’s radio advertising.
Although perhaps Google isn’t as innovative as you may think — Yahoo’s Jeremy Zawodny says Google copied its IE7 download feature, and has pretty good evidence. Google has since changed the look, but we’re wondering if someone’s head is rolling as a result. And the radio program looks similar to Voice.com’s. Suppose there’s a chance Google merely didn’t see it, though that’s unlikely because Google’s radio product managers surely would have soured the market.)
61 video sites compared — This is a nice effort at taxonomy, but somehow not too helpful.
iTunes sales collapsing? — The Register is a notoriously unreliable source. But it cites a Forrester analyst here, who may or may not have pinpointing evidence of a collapse in iTunes sales. If true, could it have something to do with all the innovation going on, music rights getting cut with other sites, from YouTube, to Grouper?