Monday, March 18, 2013

My New Startup: Namo Media

You may have been wondering what I've been up to since we sold DrawChat late last year.

The answer may not surprise you: I've been working on a new startup, Namo Media. I've teamed up with some fellow ex-Googlers, Nassar Stoertz and Tural Badirkhanli to work on a new solution for mobile advertising that's less disruptive and more elegant than those pesky banner ads you see today.

Today we're announcing our seed round, $1.875M in total from Google Ventures, Betaworks, Andreessen Horowitz, Trinity Ventures, along with some amazing angels: Kevin Scott, Seth Berman, Chung-Man Tam, Keith Coleman, Garrick Toubassi, Tikhon Bernstam, Michael Levit, Benjamin Ling, and Paul Buchheit.

You can learn more on the Namo Media homepage.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

App-to-App Handshakes

In a recent post on AVC, Fred Wilson talks about App-to-App Handshakes:
The cool thing about the Internet OS with web apps as features is that the features are interoperable. I post a picture to Instagram and push it to Twitter and it comes through as a picture (or it did until the kids started fighting). I find something I want to buy on Etsy and I check out on Paypal. You get the idea. Web apps pass data and users back and forth easily. 
That is not true on mobile today. Even on Android where sharing is baked into the OS. It is a lot worse on iOS. But its bad all over the place. 
If you post an Etsy item to Facebook and I want to buy it, I click on the link in Facrbook mobile and am taken to Etsy's mobile web app where I am not logged in and its a pain to buy. I want to go app to app to Etsy's mobile app where I am logged in and its one click to buy.
This is a very important problem and something that I've touched on in previous posts on this blog.

Doing app-to-app handshakes is doable today: Android's Intents model was baked into the OS from the very beginning and supports them quite elegantly. On iOS, you have to mess around with URL types and parameters, but that isn't rocket science.

I expect that app publishers will start paying a lot more attention to making their apps interoperable. This will likely start with e-commerce apps. When you're actually trying to buy something, as in Fred Wilson's example, real dollars are at stake, and deploying the engineering resources to build interoperability makes economic sense.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Facebook's Next Gazillion Dollars

Nicely hidden in a recent AdWeek article I found this:
"In September, the [Facebook] said it would begin testing a third-party mobile ad network that would let brands target users of non-Facebook apps according to those users’ Facebook data. Facebook safeguards the user’s Facebook ID, yet unlocking the mountain of data of that ID is key to ad targeting that’s more scientific than an app’s contextual environment."
This is huge. CPMs on mobile ads are currently super low. If apps can target ads to you based on your Facebook profile without making you authenticate, mobile ads will become much better targeted and CPMs will rise dramatically. Facebook can then pocket some of the difference between the previous CPMs and the new ones.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy 2013!

Happy New Year!

This is a great time to figure out to reality check what you've done in the last year, and figure out your goals for the next. The plan doesn't have to be perfect, but there should be a plan, and it should be yours. Go make one.