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I was going to respond to Fred’s post We Need A New Path To Liquidity in between my elephant meeting and my rocket ship meeting but I ended up reading all the comments as well as a bunch of the linked blogs (via TechMeme.) As a result I’ve run out of time. The comments are fascinating, as are some of the linked blogs. Well worth a deep read.
Fred Wilson has an incredible post up this morning titled We Need A New Path To Liquidity. I don’t agree with everything in it, but it’s a great, heartfelt post in the context of the gigantic Internet elephants stomping around trying to reconfigure themselves and consolidate things while accidentally crushing all the pretty little toys gathered at their feet trying to get (or having gotten) their attention.
I’m rushing off to go spend the morning with a bunch of my friends at one of the elephants so I don’t have time for a more thoughtful post – go read Fred’s to get a starting point for the discussion and I’ll try to join in later today.
Starbucks announced that today that you can hang out, drink coffee, eat high calorie baked goods, and surf the web for "free" for two hours (assuming you are drinking coffee and eating high calorie baked goods.) This is due to a very smart move on AT&T’s part where they have displaced T-Mobile as the WiFi provider at Starbucks stores.
I’m really surprised that T-Mobile let this deal get away from them. I happily pay $10 / month to T-Mobile for WiFi service – the two places I use it 99.4% of the time are Starbucks and the United Red Carpet Club. If AT&T takes the Red Carpet Club deal, T-Mobile is going to lose that incremental $10 / month from me. I realize that "free for two hours" at Starbucks might not have kept me paying this $10, but I probably wouldn’t have noticed (or done anything) for a while.
What was it that Apple announced again yesterday?
Here’s the start of the conversation:
Nerd 1: “Man – those Facebook ads really suck. They are completely irrelevant. And – well – embarrassing (e.g. almost porn.)” I can’t imagine that they ever get clicked on (except the porn.)”
Nerd 2: “Yeah, but it doesn’t matter. It’s all CPM based so all that matters right now are page views.”
Nerd 3: (also co-founder of a generation one search engine): “Yeah – that worked really well the last time around – until the economy went south. Then – CPM rates became asymptotic with zero.”
It went on for a while (along with additional sushi and saki consumption.) It was interesting. And important. And chilling for anyone relying on CPM-based ads only. Maybe it’ll be different this time. But that’s what “they” said the last time. Don’t forget to be sitting in a chair when the music stops playing.