Resources

The future of tech is outside Silicon Valley

Peter Thiel – known for his investments in Paypal, Facebook, AirBnB and Palantir – spoke in Saudi Arabia about his strong views on the topic of ‘the future of tech’ this week.

He believes tech will increasingly be created outside the US and California has lost their monopoly.

This reinforces the views we have long held here at Cooper & Co that while California led the way for decades and wrote the tech startup playbook initially, in the future global tech startup formation will increasingly align with population distribution that has education, capital and a thriving local tech startup ecosystem.

Asia is the world’s largest population region and has many of the fastest growing economies in the world.

New Harvard Research shows how to put a big rocket under your startup portfolio performance

Diversity and diversification are the keys

Investing in tech startups is hard, particularly global ones. Finding these gems in the wild takes unique insight, experience and a huge network of specialists.

On the same day that Elon Musk unveiled how he is going to take us to the Moon and Mars within a few years and across our world in half an hour it seems fitting we now have even more science around startup investing.

We are very happy to share some new Harvard research to help guide thinking. The short story to exceptional returns based on a study of 300 companies. More women. More education. More cities. More specific experience. More youth.

The importance of female entrepreneurs in a traditionally male-dominated industry and the benefits of a good education and pre-startup experience are clear. The leveling of the geographic playing field gives credence to the development of startup-friendly areas in cities nationwide. And while fit, gut feel, and due diligence will always be critical, this study points to the value of data in making equity capital decisions. Successful companies and their portfolios would be well served to understand their investments more deeply through longitudinal data collection and analysis. Smart companies will use this to create competitive advantage for themselves and for the startups they invest in.

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Facial recognition goes mainstream

Home and office facial recognition is now a plug and play exercise set to go mainstream (thanks to crowd sourcing) in homes, small businesses and maybe even departmentally in corporates and government from as little as $200.

Combine this with integration services that are now also rapidly becoming cheap and simple and cost effective tailored service and security systems are within reach for each family and business.

Software Entrepreneurs Must Go Mobile-First Or Die

Mobile has long been the catch cry for startup and enterprise Business Technology experts alike. This article originally from TechCrunch gives a very well prioritised list of how and why with examples.

Internet Trends Analysis

Here at Cooper & Co we have a long standing appreciation of the work of Mary Meeker who is now @KPCB and continues to produce her excellent Internet Trends report on a semi regular basis.

Here are our top points extracted from the rather wonderful 164 pages of charts Mary and her team provided.

Many of these points are stating the bleeding obvious but now they are fact not opinions. Most are underlined with not just 50%+ pa movements but often by 2x and 4x trends.

  1. Real-time and personal is the new norm.
    Daily/Weekly consumption of information e.g. email, facebook is moving to mobile and realtime as the new norm for most people led by you guessed it – the young and trendy and connected millennials.
  2. Intimate and easy is the new norm.
    The social graph (and associated broadcast of information) as represented by facebook is being replaced by the contacts list on mobile with more frequent communication to a smaller more intimate audience as represented by whatsapp, snapchat and the like. Larger sophsticated apps and sites and being smashed by simpler single function apps that (often in the background) get used more often.
  3. Mobile has won. Globally. Led by US firms for now, but soon CN.
    The move from web to mobile is happening much faster than expected with more than a third of traffic now mobile and growing at 25% pa and accelerating. This is accompanied by the real-time trend and powered by an explosion of sensors (from 1-3 in early smartphones to 5-10 now) which is driving a new age of transparency, privacy challenges and also safety and market insights. All major companies are leading with mobile, simple functionality, multi-platform apps. US leads operating systems but challengers are expected especially from China which dominates with 80% mobile and 4 of the top ten firms garnered in just a few short years. Media channels are increasingly consumer more as apps than linear TV with multi-screen consumption now the norm. Cameras are dead, phones won years ago, the new messaging apps are underlining that with three orders of magnitude.
  4. Integrated commerce wins.
    Destination shopping is fading fast, integrated content plus community plus commerce is winning. Audiences (consumers on linear timelines) are being killed by fanbases (who share, comment, curate and create) all the time.
  5. Cloud wins.
    Cost reductions year on year of 30-40% (repeatedly for decades now) mean all three major inputs to innovative technology enabled businesses are being smashed: processing power (CPU), persistence (storage) and passing stuff around (bandwidth) means big data, disruptive mobile startups and cloud computing have never been more competitive and hence easier and cheaper. Amazon web services is winning with innovation, volume, market share, investment, pricing and product range – for example just their s3 persistence service has 3 trillion objects (files, movies, photos etc) in that product alone now.

Thats about it, the report is information dense a wonderful read if you get time. We loved it as usual. But most of the themes fit in above.

Just one last note on China, in the 1820s it was a third of the world’s economy now it has overtaken India and Latin America combined again and is about to overtake US and Europe but more importantly will exceed all four combined in less than 20 years on current trajectories.

http:/kpcb.com/InternetTrends is the latest report, happy reading. Or call us and we can help you adjust your business to incorporate these and other meaningful insights.

New Tech Landscape

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The New Technology Landscape Guide by Cooper & Co

All stereotypes are wrong we can confidently predict with tongue firmly planted in cheek. When it comes to technology industry classifications this is certainly the case but we decided to publish this New Information & Communications Technology Landscape Guide to help people understand the changes the industry is undergoing.

No longer is it simply enterprise/business with their major suppliers and smaller nimble suppliers.

Now the position of the major suppliers is no longer disputed, they are at the top of the stock exchange food chain and are the leading enterprises in their own right dominating markets globally.

What is not clear and is consistently underestimated is the role of the digital creative (typically entertainment or ex-advertising and marketing centric and usually providing services or services bundled with a complete deliverable e.g campaign, game, movie, television advertisement – of which they only do a relatively small number each year) and the tech startups (typically disruptive innovation and product centric and since it is standardised/productised and usually internet software and software/hardware focused they are typically scalable to very large numbers).

Think of the difference between ‘digital creative’ and ‘tech and tech enabled startup’ to be something like the differences between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. Or in the case of advertising perhaps New York and Silicon Valley. They both have some level of entrepreneurship and technology but the differences are stark when it comes to scale, productisation, mindset, methodologies, talent portfolio and language.

To all you industry observers and commentators in all sectors, we hope you find this useful. Comments very welcome.

Note: Originally published Mar 12, 2013. Revised to correct typos and add more context (language, timeframes, stakeholders).

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The RSA

The RSA

The RSA is a registered charity devoted to innovation as a path for improving humanity best known for their series of short high impact educational videos on a variety of timeless important topics.

More formally, to quote them directly – ‘The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce): an enlightenment organisation committed to finding innovative practical solutions to today’s social challenges. Through its ideas, research and 27,000-strong Fellowship it seeks to understand and enhance human capability so we can close the gap between today’s reality and people’s hopes for a better world.’

We particularly like their videos (and their collegaues using similar techniques) on –