What have we learned from our mistakes? Will the local Israeli venture capitalist’s get in the game? With these questions in mind the Israeli VC Gemini Israel Funds gathered a group of former and current influential from the Israeli Internet scene.
There where people from ICQ, Speedbit, Hotbar, Aladdin, Netsnippets, Spearcast, Maxthon (guess who..) and others I don’t know. The event was opened up by Bob Rosenschein, CEO and President of Answers.com (formerly Guru.net) sharing some of his lessons learned over the years. Afterward Gemini Israel’s Daniel Cohen, gave a presentation to open up a discussion on why it is so quite on the Israeli Internet scene. Where is the next ICQ, Hotbar or Answer.com ? What are Israeli VC’s lacking that the US based VC are not? Why can’t Israeli VC spot an Internet success in the making?
Well, one of the explanations David gave was the geographical distance that somehow does not seemed to be bridged by cutting edge communication like Skype etc. We are just not there in the coffe shops of Paolo Alto or hanging out in Silicon Valley. I agree on that one, but I believe some of the main hurdles of Israeli VC’s are:
- Lack of balls – they are simply to afraid to follow their gut feelings (after having been burned by the previous bubble)
- An obsession with R&D based companies
- A fixation with patents and unique technology platforms
With this in their back heads, they are simply missing the lesson that successful Internet companies are not rooted in heavy R&D, patent and they often lack any particular cutting edge technology. Rather their DNA is made up by
- A cool brand that is community oriented and sharing based, or answers an immediate need (think Maslow‘pyramid) and are often disruptive.
Anyway, I think it was a very good initiative to organise the get-to-gether – and who knows, perhaps the next Internet success in the making is really just around the corner or right under their noses….
A new war has heated up on the IM market – Skype is releasing IM developer tools. This on the same day that Google Talk was launched – what a co-incident…If AOL, MSN and Yahoo got a bit nervous about Google Talk, I guess this announcement wasn’t too welcome either. Tuff days on the IM market – but very interesting too, competition is healthy and will bring out the best products, however I believe this will be the beginning of the end of the weaker IM’s that are already struggling to keep it up. The Skype IM developer tools will enable softwares and web services to integrate Skype IM to their offering which is really very welcome. Expect to see Skype IM on many desktop applications and web services like dating, social networks and blogs in the near future. And by the way, why not on browsers too?
The ink of my last post hardly had time to dry, before the rumors of Google’s upcoming Instant Messenger – Google Talk surged. It seems to have come with the Picasa deal (Hello) a proprietary IM used to share pictures and post to blogs, and according to Om Malik is based on the open source Jabber protocol and will be the worst possible news for someone like Skype, because now they will be up against not two but three giants who want to offer a pale-version of Skype. Don’t know about that, but they definitely have to watch out – it’s going to be a tuff challenge. I remember talk’s with the Google product people over one year and their keen interest in an IM. Like I said – definitely makes sense and very welcome (just hope that it will live up to the expectations) just hope that it will not be filled with all kinds of meaningless features.
Just a short advice to my old colleagues at ICQ. Learn from “Don’t Mess With the Lord– Mess With The Messenger” . They have a thriving community of developers to plug-in’s and add’ ons etc for MSN Messenger. You need to engage people – get them involved and give them [...]
Just a short advice to my old colleagues at ICQ. Learn from “Don’t Mess With the Lord– Mess With The Messenger” . They have a thriving community of developers to plug-in’s and add’ ons etc for MSN Messenger. You need to engage people – get them involved and give them tools to develop stuff for ICQ. Or even better – learn from Mozilla and the Firefox community.
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