Here’s the latest action:
Feed Crier gets bought — Feed Crier, the service that lets you subscribe to blogs or other content within your instant messenger (IM), has just been bought by IMified. That company, meanwhile, says it plans to do more on mobile front. It’s just the latest in a crazy-full day of IM stuff.
VCs have produced less profit than they invested, since 1997 — In other words, the industry is negative for the past decade. The vast majority of profits come from a few dozen firms. Other firms are bleeding red ink. See NYT story: For instance, in the first nine months of 2006, venture firms invested $20 billion but paid out $10 billion; in 2005, they invested $23 billion but distributed $20 billion… Diana H. Frazier, a managing partner of Flag Capital Management, a limited partnership, who mediated the limited partner presentation at the venture capital association meeting, estimated that from 1986 to 2002, only 32 firms accounted for 56 percent of money distributed. Ms. Frazier and other limited partners said the success for investors depended on being among the top-tier firms. “This is an access class, not an asset class,” she said.
Facebook has launched classifieds — It’s called Marketplace, and it launched this weekend. We’ll be writing about it more. For now, here’s the NYT story. It will allow users to create classified listings in four categories: housing, jobs, things for sale, and other. Facebook told us over the weekend that Oodle and Jobster do not have exclusive classifieds relationships with Facebook, despite previously announced partnerships. Jobster does offer job related products that go beyond Marketplace’s listings. Facebook users who create classifieds can show them to only chosen friends or to anyone in one of their “networks” — their high school, college, company or geographic region. They can choose to make the listings appear on their profile pages, and send them out on “news feeds,” the automatic updates that appear when users log in to the site. Buyers will be able to see how they’re connected to sellers. Get ready for some serious Facebook road-kill: The handful of stand-alone college classifieds start-ups (we hinted this might happen, here).
MySpace announces “Take Down Stay Down” — MySpace said it is using the technology of Audible Magic, a Los Gatos, Calif. company to prevent users from re-posting video content at MySpace after that content has been removed at the request of the copyright owner. MySpace is the first company to launch this feature. Google reportedly also has a deal with Audible Magic, and says it offer similar filtering technology at its YouTube property, but hasn’t commented on specifics. It’s hard to believe YouTube’s traffic won’t get hit when it implements the technology.
Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, gets married — …quietly, to his girlfriend, Anne Wojcicki, in the Bahamas last weekend. Story here. As mentioned before, Wojcicki is a biotech analyst who just started her own company. She’s a Yale graduate in her early 30s. Her sister Susan rented her Menlo Park, Calif., garage to Brin and Larry Page — which became Google’s first office.
Last.fm announced video service — Here is the company’s announcement. Last.fm has gotten buzz for its music recommendation technology, and social networking that lets you connect with users with similar tastes. It will let users create personal videos channels, just as they can create music channels. Recommendations will come from its partnership with indie labels such as Ninja Tune, Nettwerk Music Group, and Domino. Now people are calling Last.fm the “MTV of Web 2.0.”
Tagged fastest growing social network? — Michael Arrington has an update about the Silicon Valley social network, Tagged, which is now profitable, and perhaps the fastest growing. However, it’ll be worth checking back to see if it is sustainable, because the traffic spurt happens mainly over a single month.
Shopping widget mania — Seattle’s Mpire is rolling out about 80 new e-commerce “widgets,” which allow bloggers and publishers to post shopping related content on their sites and make money by passing leads onto Amazon.com and eBay. More details here, by John Cook. The company is similar to Tumri (see our coverage).
Child porn ring on Second Life — Bizarre, but serious.
Wallstrip, a financial video site, sold for $5M? — So say the rumors, but venture capitalist Fred Wilson is emphatic he did not invest $500,000 into the company.
Amazon’s stealth company, Lab126 — The company appears to be focused on digital media for consumer electronic devices. And its president is Gregg Zehr who was VP of Hardware Engineering at PalmOne, VP Engineering at VA Linux and VP PowerBook Engineering at Apple.
Car engine redesign may reduce pollution — See story here, about Purdue researchers who say they’ve created the first computational model to track engine performance from one combustion cycle to the next for a new type of engine that could dramatically reduce oil consumption.
Clean-tech sector summarized — Here is a good summary of details from the Lux Report.
China is out of control — Pundits have been shouting “China bubble” for years, only to see China keep growing with no major setback. This time, though, the mania has hit and China appears headed into the equivalent of Silicon Valley’s euphoric bubble and burst. The stock market has tripled in value since early 2006, and is up 51 percent this year. There’s talk of shares in China’s Bank of Communications jumping 50 percent on first-day IPO trading Tuesday.
Blackstone’s bridge too far? — Orbitz, Blackstone’s latest IPO candidate, does look shaky. See Gigaom story here.
Google’s strategy in three words: “Our next strategy evolution is to really think about three components,” Mr. Schmidt said, in comments picked up widely. “Search, ads and apps.”
Who’s afraid of Google? — That’s the headline screaming from the San Francisco Chronicle, featuring a graphic of a scary Google creature. The real answer, of course, is that Chron itself just as scared of Google as the start-ups it writes about — reeling from a decline in advertising and more layoffs.
iPhones coming earlier — They’re already being sold on eBay for more than $1,000, and apparently coming June 14 or earlier
Blackberry fans, check out the Curve — Slimmer than the 8800, but fatter than the Pearl. Details here. No launch date or pricing yet, but it will launch with AT&T.