Three Blog Posts In Progress – Advice for Generalists, Why Marketplaces Rule, and Why Video is Tough

I’ve been really busy and sadly derelict in my blogging. I’m working on 3 posts that I’ll preview – if you have thoughts or info to contribute, let me know. Hope to get all three of them out in the next week or so:

1. Are you a “true” or a “new” tech generalist? It’s MBA recruiting season (for those with a more entrepreneurial bent, at least) and a bunch of folks have been pinging me with questions about the right entry-point (role, size of company, etc) for new MBA grads. I’ve done some new thinking about this and have been giving out slightly different answers if you’re a “new generalist” (new to a tech operating role in general) or a “true generalist” (someone who has excelled in generalist roles in tech in the past).

2. Why aren’t more people bemoaning the prospects for online video? If the largest video site on the Internet isn’t projected to do more than $100 million or so in revenue in 2008 with dominant traffic and leadership, shouldn’t we all be really concerned? Check out this brief article on how the head of monetization at YouTube just stepped down.

3. The marketplace is the best business model for the Internet. If you can become a marketplace, you should. Most of the biggest Internet companies out there are marketplaces (Google is an ad marketplace masquerading as a search engine. It’s also like a yellow pages company that can re-auction its inventory every time someone opens up the book). I have a few other ideas as to why this is THE (yes, I will say THE) business to be in if you’re on the web.

  • http://www.venturegeek.com ndintenfass

    I'm still trying to figure out the answer to #1 ;)

    Online video is still very much in the “one of these days” mode — people draw the curve of online attention vs. online spend and feel there is inevitable massive growth. At the same time we see consumers increasingly willing to pay money in various ways for premium content. The monetization channels for video are just now starting to feel like they have a path to “maturity” — and many of them are just getting started (even Google's efforts are fairly new), and the media buyers are notoriously slow to adopt. In short, it simply takes time to get the buyers comfortable with any new format, and the confounding influences of all the talk of new ways to measure engagement and rapid pace of change relative to the previous several decades create a lot of friction to rapid growth, but much of that could credibly be said to be “almost over” in terms of making the transition. If you buy that, online video is poised to be a substantially bigger market in just a handful of years.

    “Marketplace” seems to be defined very broadly here — look forward to hearing where you draw the distinctions.