Sunday, June 1, 2008

Straight from Silicon Valley

Customer Internet traffic has for the first time exceeded the Business Internet traffic, successful Internet (media) portals have 80% aggregated and 20% original content...More on that you can read on the latest from Silicon Valley in the interview with Tony Perkins. Here is his story:
Here is a video insert from the interview:
Q: Who is Tony Perkins?
Just a local boy (from Silicon Valley) trying to make a living…

Photo: Nataša Koražija

Q: How did "you" come about?
My first job was with a bank, where at a young age I was a manager of the IT department. I ended up working a lot with venture capitalists, trying to get money from them for my projects. So, I had to write a lot of documentation for them and as a result discovered I was good at it. After a few items, the way opened for me to become a journalist.

Q: Yet that was not your biggest project!
The first big media project was "Red Herring" which I sold at its peak and moved on to a new wave of Internet media. I created AlwaysOn. Yet, the global visibility I attained with my book in which I predicted the .com boost that brought me global recognition (because I was right).

Q: Your famous statement is "It is great to be an Internet entrepreneur today…". Why do you say this and, what do you really mean?
I have lived here (in Silicon valley) my entire life and I have never seen so much innovation happening at once. There is simply so much happening, and it is fun, too.

Q: Why now?
The major challenges for the first years of the Internet were to get people online, to connect them. Now it is a different story, now we can do things, invent, create…

Q: Yes?!
I can see, that we still largely use the Internet in an unimaginative way. However, lately, this has started to change. We have started to cover on the Net so many areas: feature movies, videos, text, and instant posters…. Whatever is happening in the world, we start by seeing on the Net… and that has created endless opportunities. So, yes, it is great to be an entrepreneur on the Net today…

Q: Can you give us one example of the progression you are talking about?
Check the abc.com… their latest interface is almost perfect… the quality of the picture on the Net is the same as on a TV.

Q: What is the biggest reflection of that?
Advertising on the Net is getting big… you can see it in the Valley. We have more companies involved in advertising than ever before; and that creates opportunities to make money.

Q: So, what is your latest project, AlwaysOn, all about?
It is a concept. That is my leading brand: 8 conferences, quarterly paper magazine, and daily on-line community. The idea is to combine group blogging with a social networking environment.

Q: What was your biggest challenge when you started?
Well, there was no quality software, so we first had to develop it. I did it in India. I spin it out. Now we are back in the valley. I am there a chairman. We are doing well. Our first customer was Forbs (CEO network)….

Q: So where are you heading with this?
At its core we are in the business of innovation. We follow where the VCs (venture capitalists) are investing. Currently, that is community software. We are building up a network of networks, geographically independent, a so-called, social network. It will allow you to keep your own profile, thus your own personal area will be your network. You'll be able to create your own space and at the same time this will allow you to integrate content from other networks that share the common social network.

Photo: Nataša Koražija
Q: Are you creating some sort of a pyramid?
The hierarchy is recorded at the back and is used for profit sharing from advertising. We noticed that this year a shift has happened, consumer traffic is exceeding the business. This is a significant change for the future development of Internet and the businesses on the Net.

Q: What is the future of Silicon Valley?
Ipod, Iphone, media related businesses.

Q: And the future of Internet?
One is "intelligent web" that will be able to predict your needs based on your track network. Here is a big potential. Another is an emerging customer segment – IM G (Instant Messaging Generation) that stands for "posting and sharing is cool". And finally consumer based innovation. That's where we are going….

Q: And the future of media?
80% will be aggregation (finding the right sources and collating different perspectives) and 20% original content. There is a growing part dedicated to personal opinions, dialogues, podcasts, video content seems to be the major driver of change… from a technological point of view – telephone seems to be the key consumer interface.

Tony is a simple boy from the Valley, indeed. However, at the same time, he is one of those visionaries that puts his visions into action; who puts his money in what he believes, and who makes things happen… We all have that sparkle within us… let it shine.

Tony Perkins is Creator and Editor in Chief of AlwaysOn. Tony earned this distinction as the creator and editor in chief of Red Herring, which he founded in 1993, and the AlwaysOn network, his current venture Even as Red Herring's revenues were soaring along with the rest of the technology sectors, Tony co-wrote The Internet Bubble: Inside the Overvalued World of High-Tech Stocks (HarperBusiness, 1999), a book that foretold the dot-com bust and warned investors to get out quick. The Internet Bubble became an international bestseller; a sequel was published in 2001. AlwaysOn (www.alwayson-network.com) is a highly interactive online network for technology insiders. Tony continues to chronicle the technology world in a regular column for the Wall Street Journal and as a television commentator for MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews, CNN, CNBC, BBC, and Bloomberg Television. His prolific editorial output consistently lands him on the list of top ten technology business journalists by AdWeek's Technology Marketing magazine. Tony's public activities include serving on President George W. Bush's Information Technology Advisory Council. He co founded and chaired Silicon Valley's premier business and technology forum, the Churchill Club in Palo Alto, California. Prior to launching Red Herring and AlwaysOn, Tony was founder and CEO of Upside Publishing and vice president of business development at Silicon Valley Bank.

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