Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Age of App Platforms

Internet businesses seem to set new management paradigms than their offline counterparts. Revenues are earned by sharing them with each other and costs are apportioned between competitors in innovative ways through clever use of hardware and software solutions. An important way of doing business currently is the App Platform. The App platforms are application servers that companies such as SalesForce.com, FaceBook, Apple, Amazon.com and others make available to people who want to target their audiences not through their products and services but through their own applications. App developers have a variety of business models to monetize including sharing application download fees with app platform providers and supplying advertising revenues and traffic. If you are a start-up seeking to build a large subscriber based business, then app platforms are a MUST as a component, if you wish to see better valuations for your business. Just as with other businesses, there are certain Internet-based businesses such as retailing where revenues may become stagnant in the new American "savings" era. Innovative revenue sharing and growth models may become a necessity now.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Biotechnology Financing

I was recently at the MIT-Harvard Health Program information session where I met a few folks who are active participants in the Biomedical/Biotechnology/health care start-up industry. When I queried them about the state of the health care start-ups and the financing trends, the majority response was that getting financing for new ventures is going to be a very difficult task during the next year and a half. Folks were of the view that established start-up firms have a much better chance of getting follow-on financing than new entrants. When I asked them about what areas of health care research are emerging, most pointed to medical devices/technologies that addressed nerve-related diseases and efficient localized delivery of drugs. Prosthetic body parts is another biomedical area where a lot of development is being financed by venture capital. Overall, it was an interesting session where I got to learn about the latest advances in immunology and biomedical devices.