Dopplr is an online service for frequent travellers that allows you to share your future travel plans with a group of friends so you can know if they are going to be in the same places you will be next. Before using Dopplr it was difficult for me to know where in the world my friends would be. But now with Dopplr, I found out, for example, that many of them will also attend the World Economic Forum’s meeting in Dalian, where I am flying to in a few hours. And they are many: Rodrigo Sepulveda, Tariq Krim, David Sifry, Joichi Ito, Joshua Ramo and Marko Ahtissari.
This is not an offering. It´s an enquiry. The companies that I invest in is public information. I am an entrepreneur and the full time CEO of Fon, but I am also the head of Jazzya, my VC company, out of which I both start my own companies (Jazzya comes from Jazztel and Ya.com) and invest in other companies, like Technorati, Netvibes, Joost and others that you can see listed on the right side of this blog. People have asked me to open up Jazzya for other people to invest with me, and so far I have taken only one investor.
If you would be interested in investing with me please send me an e mail. I don´t have time to go on a road show to see if there´s interest, so this blog can maybe achieve a similar objective. If I actually do a fund I would only take high net worth individuals or institutions, not because I want to discriminate in any way, but because what I do is very risky and I would need investors who understand this risk.
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I was looking at the TV Channels that Loic Le Meur built using the infrastructure of Vpod.tv and I was super impressed at how studio like quality, a one person effort can be. I also built my own TV channel but walking around with an Nokia N80 my channel is not as professional as Loic´s. Most of my films show poorly when blown up to full screen.
This week I ran into Chad Hurley of Youtube at Google Zeitgeist Europe and I mentioned to him my view that while incredibly successful and simple to use Youtube needs certain improvements to keep growing at its frantic pace. These are going multilingual, going live and greatly improving its editing tools. But talking to Chad I realized that his vision, (and who can prove him wrong as he has built the fourth most popular web site on earth?), is to keep things simple and massive. So so long as Chad is going for the Microsoft approach to video my take is that there´s room for a few Apples to grow. I have been investing in some of them as I see them very complementary to Fon the company that I founded and manage and in which Google and Skype are my investors.
When the definite book on the American Dream finally comes out, Anne Wojcicki and Sergey Brin deserve at least a chapter in it. I am not saying this because they just got married, nor because Sergey was the richest 30 something ellegible bachelor in the world but because theirs is a story of love that started well before the fame, went on in spite of it (not easy) and on top of this. Not only is this a story of his megasuccess anymore but Anne is now bringing her own potentially revolutionary start up to the relationship. 23andme Anne’s genetic mapping venture just got funded, and if she is successful not only will Sergey and Larry have delivered a world in which we can actually find things but Anne and Linda will deliver a world in which we can really know who we are.
First I want to thank my dear friend Loic, or come to think of it…. maybe I shouldn´t because somehow he made me disclose all the secrets at Fon and got to shoot our labs. Well I guess after this video…there are no secrets!
I invested in Sevenload, a European video platform. Some readers of my blog may not understand why I invested in Sevenload if I already invested in Vpod, but both services are great for different reasons. While Vpod is very good for video editing and mobile uploading, Sevenload is like the combination of a Flickr and a Youtube, which is something the internet space very much needed. But not only did I get involved with Sevenload because I love the site and how easy it is to use, but also because of Ibo, Axel and the fantastic team of developers they have.
Albert Armengol Bertrolí, Horaci Cuevas and Toni Salvatella Pont, the founders of eConozco, have decided to join forces rather than compete with Xing. This is a great move for both companies. eConozco has 150,000 professional members, which is pretty significant in the Spanish speaking world, a universe of 400 million people. To lead the Spanish market in business networking from the start is a good move for Xing.
Disclosure: I am a shareholder of Xing.
Fernando Espuelas, founder of Starmedia, a Spanish portal, who had to leave the company under difficult circumstances, now makes a comeback as a content provider, first for TV and now again through the internet via Joost.
Here´s a copy of the press release.
Gspace, a company I own, is a good illustration of the main difference between the Web 1.0 and the Web 2.0 is. And no, it’s not user generated content. In the Web 1.0, we used to advertise with old media to let our sites be known, while in the Web 2.0 not only do we NOT advertise but we successfully compete with old media.
I use Gspace as an example because it is the company with the highest reach to employee ratio that I have ever been involved with. Gspace, an application that sends files normally stored in your PC to be stored in the internet in the form of Gmail, is growing at a rate of 5000 new downloads per day. Gspace is also very useful due to two unique features of its application: one it grows without any advertising (blogosphere and word of mouth work very well); and two, it was built by one part time employee and now it is being improved by another part time employee. These two part time employees are the only two Gspace ever had. Think of this, a community that is adding around 100K new users per month into a platform that can be used for advertising that has never had a full time employee. That is the Web 2.0. And there are many stories like these: Flickr, Delicious, are two hugely popular apps and companies built by very few employees.