On the money - Ericsson

Future of Money

Ericsson has got a beautiful series of what the connected world means to us. (This is going to be BIG, bigger than anything else). This video shows the future of money and shows cases that already proof these changes. 

Big fundamental changes coming up with how we use money and capital. Connections once again on the base of the shifts:

  • Crowdfunding
  • Bitcoin (and other currencies)
  • Collaborative or sharing economy

See this 16 minute video about the impact;

  • Crowdfunding

Not only getting finance, but an extra layer of community building and support. All done without normal financial institutions. Getting your working capital from the end-users. perfect way of doing business. The incentive of being first, getting a reduction.

  • Bitcoin (and other currencies)

This is really the one to watch. Not that it must be Bitcoin to be the currency to go. But the major shift is a currency that is not in possession of a national bank. One that cannot be centrally controlled.

  • Collaborative economy

What we use to call sharing or even bartering is now part of the collaborative economy.

We can share a lot of assets to others and get a small return for doing so. This will have an impact on a lot industries, We have to much potential value that wasn’t being used before because barriers to share were to high. But that becomes lower and lower. And trust is gaining on the internet. The reputation economy is going to start these days (will blog about that).

These changes are going to have enormous impacts on all different levels of the economy, for example:

  • Less taxes collected
  • Less income needed
  • Shift in power from government to the community (or just a few)
  • Another business model for financial institutions
Chaordic age

Death of the Chaordic Age?

I just finished this book, Birth of the Chaordic Age, from the founder of VISA. Dee Hock is actually telling the same principles as what we now like to call a social business in many ways. This book has been written in 1999 and the principles go back to even the founding years of VISA, which is the beginning of the 70’s. The world changes from an industrial age to a information age. But we still have the old paradigm of hierarchy and management by control. Dee Hock describes in this book what kind of opportunities and energy is lost by leading your organization in this way

I am pretty amazed by the fact that wikipedia got almost nothing so say about Chaordic, except this:

The portmanteau chaordic refers to a system of organization that blends characteristics of chaos and order. The term was coined by Dee Hock, the founder and former CEO of the VISA credit card association.
The mix of chaos and order is often described as a harmonious coexistence displaying characteristics of both, with neither chaotic nor ordered behavior dominating. Some hold that nature is largely organized in such a manner; in particular, living organisms and the evolutionary process by which they arose are often described as chaordic in nature. The chaordic principles have also been used as guidelines for creating human organizations — business, nonprofit, government and hybrids—that would be neither centralized nor anarchical networks.

And the NGO that was set up is not to find on the internet: www.chaordic.org is down. Really weird that nothing has come from this. No movement or anything else. (or it has another name). And that surprises me because everything comes together right now. The world is flat. The internet is a network that is a perfect foundation for this chaordic way of working. But somehow old methods stay in power.

This book is a must read. Trust an principles are key for the organization. Not the road to travel. It describes quite a lot about what a social business holds for me. Although the principles were written without internet existing. But it only made it more easy to organize now we have such a communication platform that connects almost everyone.

 

It is naieve to think we must organize our institutions in a different way?  

Linkedin Deck

LinkedIn – Human capital

LinkedIn did some remarkeble things last year. Investors noticed it too. The stock tripled last year and currently this online business network is valued at 25 billion dollar. So after Twitter and Facebook I am touching the surface of LinkedIn potential future and the investment case for LinkedIn.

I hated LInkedIn. It was irritating, not working, not properly designed, yet somehow it got tracktion along the business side. It was a better way to connect than with the paper businesscards. Nothing more than a rolodex 2.0. 

And than some big changes were made last year. Linkedin did something really really good last year. I was always hating this platform during my work at Social Inc.  But now I see endless opportunities in a B2B market that is an the edge of discovering online. Don’t even get me started on social. So much more potential.

But LinkedIn made some important decisions:
– mobile first (and building the mobile environment from the ground up; not looking at the current desktop version of LinkedIn)
– It gave way to more and better updates about business related items. It became more a content platform instead of just a tool for connections.

Somehow they still don’t get LinkedIn groups. and nobody does. It is a mess. You cannot do any good community management on these pages. But i think it is probably on purpose because the focus will become more on the company page instead of communities around a topic. That’s were the money is coming from. Company pages that are relevant and give great content updates. (and Companies will love to advertise these pages).

And that is way different than the other social media platforms: it has currently three revenues streams:

  1. Plain ads
  2. Hiring solutions
  3. Pro accounts

And yet the big B2B market still has to explore and move to these platforms.
Yes LinkedIn is also really expensive on the stockmarket. But somehow I see so much more potential in this environment. Human resources and toptalent will become scarce, or better. There will be a bigger fight for talent because of the transparency networks bring along. And this ‘fight’ between companies can be in LinkedIn advantage. Take the demographics of all the working force you can add to you advantage for your sales department and two major markets can be mined.

Current numbers are:

linkedin members

Out of 600 mln professionals worldwide available at this very moment.

Next year estimates for the LinkedIn company are ‘only’ just more than 2 billions in sales. and EPS (Earnings per share) of 2.20. which calculates back to a lot of future promises that are already discounted into the shareprice paying 100 times the profit of next year. Or to put it in other way: only getting a 1% return on your investment.

I know we Dutch were the first to take advantage and rank high amogst LinkedIn users, always eager to do some business and making connections. But to see the rest of the business world also connecting is really good. I don’t have a good view of what is happening in Asia but in the US & Europe there is now real compititor except Facebook (nNot that business minded) or Xing (slowly dying out in German territory).

What makes LinkedIn worth the 25 billion dollar? The richest part of the working class is on this platform.  People on this platform will not switch that easily like other social media platforms. And LinkedIn developed several different revenue streams. That makes a really good total package. And I have got the feeling that focus is an the long term, like Amazon.

Seeing these figures i might buy some shares these days, although I missed out a really big ride. There is still a lot of potential left I guess with LinkedIn members currently valued at the same valuation as Facebook.
(That is crazy, best thing to do is short Facebook and go long LinkedIn – be market neutral with these high levels of valuation)

See the full LinkedIn vision and potential here in this slideshare (also owned by LinkedIn);

Facebook waarde

Facebook – time to invest?

Facebook was going public last year like Twitter is doing now. And subscribers to the IPO are in positive territory right now. They have a return of 28% right now. That is really good for any share in one year! (it even gained 175% since the low at 18 dollar). Is it now a good time to invest in Facebook shares?

Belegger.nl interviewed me last year to make a call on the Facebook IPO. (Dutch). Reading back I didn’t say anything stupid. Good to know. Although I didn’t expect the Facebook share price to rise. If we look at current levels and revenues it is still ‘in the clouds’. Not anywhere realistic on the basis of good old Benjamin Graham grounds with fair value. Like I said with Twitter. You have to fill in the empty spaces of what it possibly can do. The database of knowledge and connections it can make is outrageous.

The current number is somewhere around 1.3 billion people. Facebook compared itself with a country. It is on the edge of overtaking China this very moment to become the number one country in the world. (How bizarre!).

The current valuation on the market is 120 billion dollars. This values every member just above 90 dollar. ( and yes there is a big divide between de US citizen and the one from Nepal). Compared to Twitter, Facebook has already there sales up and running and is indeed making a good progress on that. 2013 will end up somewhere around $7.4 billion in sales and EPS (Earnings per Share) of 0.72 (grand total of analyst estimates). Full year 2014 will bring in almost 10 billion in sales and 1 dollar per share profit. That’s what financial analyst expect. And so next years P/E (Price / earnings) will be 50. That is a lot. Normal it is somewhere between 10 – 25. So they still have a huge potential growth rate discounted in the shareprice.

I failed several times to oversee what kind of impact a growth rate can do to high growth companies. But then again. How big is the lock in with Facebook? I see quite a lot of people surrounding me not longer engaged to anything from Facebook. Maybe they check once in while but the amount of content uploaded seems to decrease.

Facebook has a gigantic dataset that can be used to their benefit. But in the end it still is dependable on their ad sales right now. But on a moment you don’t want to buy something. You want to be entertained by friends. It feels like what we have in Holland “teleshopping”, only really ridiculious items for unsecure people. That is weak and not sustainable for a longer period because people will get annoyed and leave. It happened before with social media platforms.

The lock-in is high for a free platform with all connections, data points and pictures inside but still. It doesn’t feel for me to be the best there can be online. I’m only waiting for the platform that will bring this new dimension. 

Back to the valuation of Facebook. That is high, with 12x next year sales and 50x next years profit. The monitization part can be increased a lot. but there is a fine balance between monitization of the product (you and me) that can run away really easy. It is in a way shifting more and more to explore more from us than ever before. No privacy will be left at all in the end. That will take time for Facebook to show off what actually can be done with all the data. Probably they can do it right now. But it is not culturally accepted right now. Meanwhile it builds up a profile that is really valuable for any company.

But only one too big a mistake and everything is ruined for Facebook.

So it must grow hard to meet the expectations of the shareholders and the same time Facebook must find a good balance to not let any members get away building this monitization machine.

I don’t see how they can outperform the current expectations with this fine balance.

Pixar birds

Twitter flies away

Twitter is going to be publicly traded (IPO), probably on November the 15th. That is going to be a really nice exit for the original investors and (co)-founders who will have huge returns. But how much is it worth?

Offtopic: I always think about this short movie from Pixar when I see the blue bird from Twitter.

I use Twitter. Maybe too much. But it has it own rythm. It’s own culture. it has its own style and you can perfectly curate your newsstream by choosing who to follow. And especially who not to follow (yeah, I create my own filterbubble plus any confirmation bias and the world gets really small in such a open internet space; true)

Anyhow: something special is happening to Twitter. It brings two worlds I am interested in together. It will be publicly traded any time soon.

But what will it be worth in a few years?

Co-founder Jack Dorsey (@jack) in the official filing:

The mission we serve as Twitter, Inc. is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly without barriers.

But like we also see with Facebook, it has to keep all their stakeholders happy. Including the shareholders. And so Twitter turned to advertising models a while ago. It is nowhere near their top saleslevels per user. The current numbers are just somewhere in between zero and what can be possible. Definitively not any point of reflection of its real sales level in the coming years. And that’s sales, Twitter is currently makes losses to finance the growth. So any oldskool P/E measurement can’t be done. In the end that’s what we want in a world of capitalism. Current value is the best estimation of the discounted value of all future cash flows. So we have to estimate a lot with Twitter being somewhere in between.

Current state is not that important, it is more what it can be in the future. But still the latest figues from the official filing: 218 million montly active users, growth of almost 50% compared to 1 year ago.

twitter growth

In an ideal world in which all things be going smooth and perfect for Twitter, what would be the upper limit? If you know that, you can judge on that for any further reasoning. Here is my shot:

  • Twitter to have in 5 years time 750 monthly active users
  • Every user is worth 100 dollar
  • Add a few per cent for data sales (access to Twitter firehose and other sources for selling data )

That will give Twitter a value of 80 billion dollars in 2018.
With a 20% discount rate it will give a fair value today of $32.1 billion maximum. With 472 million shares outstanding it will give a maximum share price of: $68.11

But these are perfect conditions and high numbers for both active users and value per user. These are really the upper limits with the current business. If they add new streams of revenue other than advertising it might be another story but i don’t see any right now (and they would have tought about them right now).

This is the perfect storm. Why it probably doesn’t get such a value is mainly because;

  • It is mainly mobile. And they still haven’t found a businessmodel that matches desktop revenues.
  • Twitter isn’t for everyone. It is for the top 10% of internet users that want to express themselves. Not everyone likes to tweet. A lot of people in my surroundings have tried it. Didn’t like it. And quit. Not so with Facebook, Not so with LinkedIn.
  • You go to Google to search for something. Go you to Facebook to be entertained. Same with Twitter. You are not there to buy something but more to get an update about the latest news/ jokes. An instant shot of bits and bytes. In “real” life. No buying intention at all. Maybe after a really good piece of content. But that is just pure luck when you click on such a link or Twitter Card.
  • Inflation and competition of eye balls business models (a.k.a. advertising).
  • Twitter forgot the demographics and profiling part when building up Twitter. and yeah they are building up target groups based on connections and content.

That’s why it worth less than current values of LinkedIn and Facebook users in my opinion. Targeting can be done, but not as accurate as other platforms. More reasonable numbers would give Twitter 400 million  users maximum and value of $75 per user (still pretty random).  

With those number you end up with a value of $12 billion (shareprice of $25.5) And even than I guess I won’t buy the shares because of the high uncertainty.

But what value will be good for Twitter shares?
I don’t know. And sorry to tell you. Nobody knows. Even those securities analysts don’t know (They are just contentmarketeers to let you trade).

To finish with Jesse Livermore, world’s greatest gambler stocktrader

“People who look for easy money invariable pay for the privilege of proving conclusively that it cannot be found on this earth.”

Are you interested in buying Twitter Shares? And for what price?

blijkbaar meer mensen die dit vinden

Don’t buy stuff from Asus

Edit: Asus, or better, DHL brought back my Nexus7 this week. No communication between giving my nexus7 to DHL a few weeks back and this week. I only had an URL from DHL where i could check that it has arrived in Slovenia. I works perfect now, I didn’t pay a dime extra. So I am thankful now. But come on Asus, do something about your communication! 

Ok, I don’t do this a lot, but it really irritates me. My Nexus 7 failed on me. Can happen, as long as the proces to get a new one is smooth. But no dedicated shop from Asus in the Netherlands, only an DHL courier that will pick your stuff for a fee.

I bought a Google Nexus 7″ (2nd gen). I got it from Canada, where my girlfriend went for some time and took it back for me. She bought it in Vancouver. I wasn’t available in Europe at that moment and I wanted a new tablet. It got great reviews so perfect situation for me. She used it there for a few games. Gave it to me. I’m happy. Checked out some apps and all, Installed my own profile. And now the shit; there was an firmware update on top, so i’ve installed it. And from that moment on I have a useless Google Nexus 7′. My touchscreen is just not responding. To nothing. Shit happens. Every top of the bill product can fail. That doesn’t really matter if you have a good service.

But my Nexus 7 is now broken and I cannot swap mine. Mine is now damaged although I have a beautiful screen saying ‘Welcome’ and asks me for the language I want. But thats it.

  • Software reset didn’t solve it.
  • Factory reset didn’t solve it.

These are the things you can do with the hardware buttons. And when you Google for it; quite a lot of nexus 7′ have touchscreen problems. They even did a software update to resolve the issues. But that won’t help me out this one.

Things can break down, that’s why we have warranties. But for Apple it doesn’t matter where you buy your iPad. If it fails on you, you immediately get a new one in an Apple store. Even if you bought it somewhere else. For Asus although it is stated in the warranty that you have a guarantee on the product for all countries including Europe that seems not to logical. They still have a minor point somewhere else stating that local warranties can be different. Not my point. I buy a product and than you need to deliver. I don’t care for your management accounting systems that a sale and a service is not in the same location. Location doesn’t count anymore in this global world. Management accounting did win it against putting the customer central.

  • Google doesn’t help you out (Makes sense, they outsourced the production of the hardware to Asus but still they should feel ashamed by such a service).
  • I called Asus and they actually told me to send it over to their service center. But because I have bought it abroad I don’t have any rights. So I have to send my Nexus 7 to their service center. I have to pay for it. And now I am waiting already for two weeks without any evidence that somethings happens to my device other than that DHL delivered it on September 26th. No further information so far.

I have bought a tablet and done nothing wrong with it. I have nothing right now. I got a hightech device that isn’t working and have all the trouble for making up Asus’s fault. Instead of helping me out, say sorry, they let me pay extra. Last time I have bought a device from Asus if they keep this service level, if you can speak about any level at all.

Will update about any progress. If any.

ifttt

IFTTT: Action is reaction

That’s what my track & field coach use to say to me when I was training hard for my javelin throw. “Action is Reaction”. But quite a lot of time this law doesn’t work on the internet. There is no physical energy to preserve and indeed energy can be lost. And; more important is lost online.

There are a lot of dead ends in all corners of this mights unvisible space. Although we call it a network. It has many road blocks or other barriers where energy is leaking.

Recent developments is that we connect more and more code to each other. Just a precursor of the machine to machine age. or Internet of Things. Every node can better communicate with other nodes in the network. Much of this is done via API’s. One such company and platform that made this really really easy to use is IFTTT (IF This Than That). It connects all these different nodes to each other. So it can communicate with each other and things ‘stay alive’ just a bit longer.

If an event on a internet connected device or online platform happens it will tricker an event on another one. This goes for a lot of different things. With this blog for example I use it to post automatically to my Twitter feed whenever I put a new blog online to post the subject line with the corresponding URL. (Not a huge fan of auto posting; but this one works for me, and only on Twitter).

But many other nodes (or channels likes IFTTT calls them) can be connected. 71 channels in total. Here is my public profile. Not that special, but makes my life just a bit more convenient. And yes, Evernote becomes more central in my life. It is in many ways kind of a back up system.

The more excentric examples are that you get an sms whenever your favorite sportsteam scores a goal.  Or this one. Or your Hue Light is going to shine a bit brighter whenever it is raining outside. This very last one is added just this year and is the very first hardware device that is actually connected via IFTTT. But that will be the way to go.

The internet of things is going to be big. Really big. And you can let it already work in your advance right now! The question is: How many channels will IFTTT have in 3 years?

Pocket

Pocket: reading when you can

I bump into many long articles that might be interesting during a day. On Twitter. On Zite. On Feedly. On Yammer. On LinkedIn. On Google+. and with good old email. The problem is, most of the time, you browse for something else or you just have a short timespan. So it got you trickered but you cannot coop with it right at that very moment.

The solution is here. But first a little detour. A few things count for me to judge in a few seconds if an article might be of interest;

  1. Who shared it (on which social media platform or blog)
  2. The title of the article
  3. and a few seconds of scanning the article.

That is actually weird to make a yes or no decision about a work which easily took a couple of hours to make. But at the same time. It is in this information overload age needed to be any functional online without drowning in all the data. Missing out as a solution.

Anyhow; if I have made the decision that I want to read this article later on I will send it to Pocket app. What use to be “Read it later”. It is perfect in many ways:

  • It removes all ads in the text or the surroundings. Plain text with visuals without any distractions from flashy banners or other irritating factors. (Advertisers; never choose CPM on these websites!)
  • Offline reading
  • Ready to read on any device
  • It remembers where you left of, and so you can continue reading on another device
  • Once again: It also has a channel on IFTTT.com so you can deliver articles easy to other places on the mighty internet.

And ofcourse many other options. Point is. You bump into many articles during a day if you are online. And can now read on the devices that are mainly for consuming content. A tablet or (the bigger screen) smartphones.

Works perfect for me!

rtm

RememberTheMilk and all other to do’s

I live with RememberTheMilk (or RTM). All things I have to-do in one system. It is always with me on my smartphone, tablet and laptop. Always nearby to get my head empty for actions I think of but cannot do anything about because of the location, time or other things that can influence the action. And like I wrote before. No short paper notes everywhere or tattoo like pen writing on your hands.

There are plenty of to do list tools and programs available. It doesn’t really matter which one you choose. You have Evernote, wunderlist, WorkFlowy and many more. I somehow have a little bit of vendor lock-in because I am used to RTM the system already.

And it proved their business model because I went from free to pro. (more on that in a later blogpost). I was using it more and more and suddenly it became a factor that I wasn’t always in sync. But for those few euros I have a system that tells me what I still have to do.

My stats right now: 1068 completed, currently 114 actions. (Not all actions, I have my bucketlist on there too. But still it isn’t that large a number if I must believe David Allen)

I learned a lot by reading “Getting things done” by David Allen. (Recommanded!) I used it wrong. Quite a lot of actions on my list were actually projects. Which means I haven’t actually made the items small enough to be an action. I haven’t given enough time to actually think about all different actions. It keeps floating around in the mind if it is still on the project level.

So stupid but it makes such a difference to think just a bit longer about a project beforehand. It makes it much more easy to do the action because it is such a tiny step. Just a call. An e-mail. An order.

Highly recommended to have such a system installed! Have you got such a system?

rapportive

Rapportive – personal social crm

Every time I send an email via Gmail on my laptop I’ve got extra information about the person I’m sending this email to. Really easy to see a picture, check on function, current employer / business and on which social platforms this person is. Indeed something  like a personal social crm.

Only available if you have gmail, chrome and on a pc/laptop. A lot of if’s. I know. But Rapportive gives you extra information about the one you send your email to. Somehow email missed out the part were you can add a picture to be more personal. This tool is perfect to better recognize in real life (scary I know ;)) the one you already talked to online.

You can see below what happens if I add an emailadress into the ‘send to’ box. On the right side the Google adds will disappear. Instead you get a picture and more information about the one on ‘the other side of the line’.

Rap capt

Extra plus: less chance to e-mail the wrong “Peter” with all your secrets.