Facebook is a powerful advertising platform

You can see from the charts above (originally on Techrunch) that Facebook is getting stronger and stronger as an advertising platform. So long as advertisers are spending rationally, which is a good first order assumption, then if ARPUs are rising then ads are becoming more effective.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, none of this is happening by […]

Social network usage is starting to drop

2014 has been a great year for social media marketing. A number of our companies have enjoyed great success advertising on Facebook and they’re not alone. Facebook is forecasting Q4 revenues of $3.6-3.8bn, up 40-47% on the year ago quarter. Yet, paradoxically in some markets social network usage is starting to drop:

As you can […]

A big industry is born and peaks within 13 years

It’s been widely reported this morning that music downloads are now in decline. If you take the launch of the first iPod as the date when music downloads started to become a meaningful market then the time from inception to decline is a meagre 13 years.

As an indicator of the significance of the download […]

Facebook now a mature and stable partner

Yesterday Facebook showed what a mature and stable partner they have become. At F8, their annual developers conference, they made the following announcements which make me comfortable that entrepreneurs building businesses on top of Facebook face relatively little platform risk. Here’s the list of announcements, taken from a GigaOM post:

Facebook’s “stable platform” guarantees: Developers will have […]

The key to Whatsapp’s success? Focus on product


When I talk about our approach to investing I often say that the next generation of successful companies will be most notable for their amazing products. That contrasts with previous eras where great sales and marketing capabilities and great engineering were often more important than product (think about the great enterprise software […]

Mobile now accounts for 53% of Facebook’s ad revenues

Two years ago Facebook had $0 from mobile and everyone was wondering if they would survive the transition away from the desktop. As you can see from the chart above 53% of their ad revenues now come from mobile. That’s an amazing story of business transformation, and their share price is now around […]

Facebook remains the dominant social network

It may be that teenagers are deserting Facebook and that their future prospects aren’t as rosy as they were maybe a year ago, but the chart above makes it clear that Facebook is in a much stronger competitor than any of it’s competitors. LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram are all great businesses that either […]

Facebook is winning the identity war

I know a lot of people won’t be happy to hear this, but new data out from Facebook suggest they are becoming the dominant provider of online identity. The numbers are a little hard to interpret but my read is that 850m first time registrations to services are made using Facebook Connect each month, […]

LinkedIn and Facebook – two very different approaches to going public

I just read How LinkedIn became a Wall Street juggernaut on Techcrunch. The article lists four things, three of which relate to being a great company (multiple growth vectors, a product that gets better as it gets bigger, deep competitive advantage). The fourth describes how their approach to the market, which was to under […]

Facebook turns in a great set of results

Facebook reported strong Q2 results yesterday, bucking the trend in what has generally been a disappointing earnings season for large companies. For many people, Facebook is the company they love to hate, I suspect because of privacy concerns. That dislike often manifests itself in criticism of the company’s business model and long term prospects. […]