Blog Archives

Siebel ecosystem being put out of its misery by Oracle for $3.6B net

Lots of buzz around the second mega acquisition of the day ($5.8B), seeing Oracle eating up Siebel Systems for dessert. Given that the company has about $2.2B cash on hand, Oracle is paying $3.6B, i.e about 2.7X Siebel’s trailing revenues.

The best quote about the deal comes from…’s Marc Benioff (who worked at Oracle, and made $25M or so as an early stage investor in Siebel if memory serves me right) in his note to employees:

Oracle put Siebel investors out of their misery today.  We have been doing that for Siebel customers for years.  Our announcement today at Dreamforce will accelerate that. It’s the end of software.  Client/Server software is being consolidated by Oracle just as mainframe software was consolidated by Computer Associates. Oracle’s strategy is simple, instead of innovating, buy as much installed software as possible, call it all Oracle Fusion, and make sure it all uses Oracle’s database.

Now, the same … Read more »

Data points regarding Google AdSense versus Yahoo! Publisher Network

Search Engine RoundTable points to a thread on WebMasterWorld related to the effectiveness, measured in revenues, of Google AdSense versus Yahoo Publisher Network. Message 9 provides a good summary:

I run Adsense and YPN on the homepage of my main site interchangeably to test which is better (equal pageviews at the end of the day, same weights). Both ad networks are both on target, although Adsense ads show more "less sophisticated" adverts (no brand name, mostly mom and pop operations); while YPN shows brand names. Google’s Adsense gives me double digit CTR, while YPN only gives me 1/10 of Adsense’s CTR. At the end of the day, even if YPN gives me higher earnings per click, Google gives me better revenues. It seems that G’s targeting is designed to show what ads fit the page AND what ads are most likely to get click (probably due to some historical data of my target audience or whatnot). On … Read more »

On this day, my birthday

Isn’t it a bit goofy to mention your birthday on your blog ? Well, I’ll do it anyway but will also point you to what (other more interesting things) happened on an Aug 29th (via the BBC), and to a list of celebrities and luminaries who were born on that “glorious” date (via Wikipedia):

1619Jean-Baptiste Colbert, French minister of finance (d. 1683) 1632John Locke, English philosopher (d. 1704) 1862 – Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian writer (d. 1949) 1915Ingrid Bergman, Swedish actress (d. 1982) 1920Charlie Parker, American jazz saxophonist and composer (d. 1955) 1923The Lord Attenborough, English film director 1936John McCain, American politician Read more »

Categories and Players in Contextual Advertising

As the growing number of Web 2.0 rely on advertising as their main source of revenues, I read with interest a great summary published by SearchViews, on the four types of contextual advertising.

Search-based Contextual: serves ads matching the content of a site/page as precisely as possible.Google AdSense and Yahoo Publisher Network are by far the two largest players, with AskJeeves having recently launched their own network. Channel-Based Contextual: serves ads largely based on the targets/demographics of the channel (site or portion of a site).Value Click is the largest player in the space. Behaviorally-Based Contextual: tracks users across a network of affiliated sites in order to build a profile, that is then used to target the user with relevant ads, as well as generate off-line sales leads.Tacoda and Blue Lithium are mentioned, and I would add Revenue Science. In-Line Advertising: these are the big, annoying, roll-over ads that pop-up if you get too close to them on certain site, … Read more »

Legitimate trackbacks and monitoring conversations

I was reading with a bit of amusement the exchange between Steve Rubel and Jeremy Pepper on what constitutes a “kosher” trackback or not. At issue is whether a five-months old post (Jeremy’s) can legitimately trackback a brand new one (Steve’s). In my book, if the old post is modified to include an update, and point to the new one as a relevant addition, then that’s fine. What does not work here (at least for me) is that Jeremy did not link to Steve’s post, but still trackbacked it. I would have done like Steve: check the post that sent the trackback, see that there was no link to my post, and delete the trackback.

Note that I am not saying that Steve is right and Jeremy is wrong in their particular context, but that it is also my policy: I only accept trackbacks that include a link to my post. Why ? Because trackbacks are a way to … Read more »

Bar Camp: Thoughts, Pictures and Thanks

Spent time with BarCampers on Friday and Sunday. Awesome crowd, great discussions, superb atmosphere. It was the will and the interest of the people that brought BarCamp together, in a construct that is hard to plan for or replicate. “I am interested, I attend, I contribute (and yo, I am a bozo :-)” they said.

There were a lot of great moments over the week-end, but the best  were the “3 words” rounds of introductions, the long chats I had with Mike Arrington from TechCrunch fame, the beercasting session on Friday night with Steve Gillmor, John Furrier and Chris Pirillo, private demos of Flock by Chris Messina, and WordPress 1.6 by Photomatt, and hanging out with so many cool people. I also enjoyed leading a discussion on Venture Capital and early stage financing – more on it later.

Thanks to Chris Messina, my buddy Andy Smith, Ross Mayfield and all the people who helped, … Read more »

Fracking comment and trackback spam

Like anyone maintaining one or more blogs, I really, genuinely, hate trackback and comment spam. Ever since I have turned on moderation on this blog, I have been inundated by hundreds of comments and trackbacks, a large percentage with the same format – related to porn sites. Since they are coming from a large pool of different IP addresses, they can’t be blocked, etc. So I have to spend time cleaning up my trackbacks every now and then. If some of your trackbacks get deleted as well, apologies in advance, but I don’t have much time to deal with this crap with nuance and finesse.

Every now and then, I also get the random, strange, stupid (?) spam like this one, coming from an IP address in Canada. Tres bizarre.

Actually, since the number of spam messages has grown so much, I wonder if the folks at SixApart still maintain all the spam filters that they had put in place … Read more »

Stop! You Shouldn’t Blog ? Pffhhh

I was on vacation when David Beisel posted this piece: Stop! You Shouldn’t Blog. The Risks of Professional Blogging, in which he related a discussion he had had with another VC about the negative implications of blogging (as/for a VC). The main points of contention were:

Blogging is viewed by many as a fad. Whether or not this ultimately bears to be true, the viewpoint is a real one. Should one associate their career and personal brand with a trend that perhaps may fall by the wayside? What will be the reputational effect if/when one stops blogging? Bloggers are sometimes perceived to have many negative attributes. Some believe that bloggers are overly-bearing “used-car salesman-types” in selling themselves or the extremely ego-centric people who speak the loudest but don’t really know what they are talking about. Professionals (especially VCs) should have a network already to leverage; blogging could signal … Read more »

In memory of the dot-com era

A good Sunday read from that features its Top 10 dot-com flops:


Not too sure how the list was compiled, since some of these companies did not go down the hole after spending “that much” money, but they were certainly icons of the bubble era: shutting down within a few weeks of launch, or that became famous through the feature film

They might also have done a top 50 including the likes of [email protected] (though one could argue that it was an ISP), – which raised about $100M – and sold its assets to eVineyard,  NetCentives ($130M VC/IPO – Chapter 11), ($120M VC/IPO – Chapter 11), ($100M VC – Chapter 11), etc.

Even though they were not dot-com themselves, I would also mention two firms that were closely involved with these companies, and had the same fate: lawfirm Brobeck Phleger and Harrison, and merchant bank Comdisco. Just to complete the … Read more »

My next phone ? Might be a Treo 670…

Whenever I meet with my friend Andrew Carton, the founder of Treonauts, he tries to convince me to switch from my SMT 5600 to a Treo.

After almost a year of using it, I like that phone and I *really* like Windows Mobile. Synchronizing emails and contacts, downloading podcasts automatically and listening them on the go, taking pictures and uploading them, it just works.

Oh yeah, and the phone part (dialing, answering calls, etc. – you know) also works great. So no reason to change, but for the VGA camera which snaps pictures of limited quality.

Well, looks like I can get in line for this one: Andrew posted that after a lot of false rumors and photoshopped pictures, the Treo 670 is “announced”, running Windows Mobile 5.

I just wish the camera was a 2 Megapixels. To anyone from Palm marketing listening: I am happy to be a beta tester!

SpaceStation to Houston: what are those BIDU shares that have shot up into the stratosphere ?

Note: When I came back from lunch, the stock had shot up again to close at $122.54. What’s above the stratosphere ? (BIDU) just made its debuts on Nasdaq, and went from an original IPO pricing of $14 to an pre-open price of  $27 to an open of $66 to $99 $122.54 in a couple of few hours. This chinese search engine, which is set to earn $12M on $30M of revenues, was awarded a $3.6B market cap – representing a 300x (forward) earnings multiple.

Bambi Francisco wrote in a note before the stock opened:

Due to healthy demand for the 4 million shares available — Baidu had intended to sell 3.7 million shares at $20 apiece — it’s hard to imagine this stock not trading at $30 or $40 some time in the near future, if not today.

Then a few minutes ago, in Baidu feels like Netcape redux, but where’s Meeker:

To the amazement … Read more »