Spotify, MOG demonstrate digital music flux

If the on-demand music streamer Spotify is worth $3 to $4 billion, why is MOG, a similar if much smaller service, reportedly being sold for $14 million? The digital music industry is in flux, but it’s showing positive signs of growth. Are those two players really so different?

Can big data make Groupon profitable?

Groupon’s prospectus for an IPO started arguments over the company’s huge losses. Silicon Valley wants Groupon to look like a technology company, but right now it’s more or less in the Yellow Pages business. But by better applying big data analysis, Groupon could start seeing profits.

How to Rate Network Effects in Social Media

Part of the excitement driving LinkedIn’s IPO last week comes from investors associating social media with network effects. You know, the principle that the value of a network increases dramatically with the number of its participants. That’s the engine that drove Windows and eBay, not to mention the public telephone network. Markets with network effects tend to have explosive growth and can end up with winner-take-all market share. But not all effects are equal. Assessing the valuations and competitive positions of social media companies depends on knowing which network effects are actually at work, and how they could play out.

Why Browsers Don’t Matter Anymore

You might have heard, a company called RockMelt announced a browser last week. The even called it a “social browser.” It got a lot of media attention, partly because Marc Andreessen’s VC firm funded it. Big deal. Browsers don’t matter anymore. Here’s why not.