China’s maverick entrepreneur Joe Chen may just have the magic touch for cashing out super rich with the IPO of the Facebook look-alike Renren he runs in Beijing. His venture investors have nearly $500 million riding on a successful public listing this spring on NASDAQ, which could be in the same league as recent Chinese Internet IPO hits Dangdang and Youku.
Why are tech IPOs such a big disappointment this year? The latest IPO, Zynga, is trading down from its Friday debut (currently around $9 versus its first IPO trade at $11). It's not just Zynga or the overall market (which is also down).
A couple of decades ago, you could invest almost mindlessly in any technology stock and know you’d evenutally break even. And because of the unbelievable success of firms like Apple and Microsoft, people have become millions solely from supporting their cause at their first sale of their stock to the public. As a result, investing in technology has become a buzz word of sorts, and investors take for granted that any technology firm, for instance, Facebook, will be their easy way to becoming a millionaire. But do those principles still hold true today? Should we still be so eager to invest in Technology IPOs?
Aaron Walker's insight:
Great infographic showing some of today's weaknesses of tech IPOs.
Gartner says marketing may spend more on tech than IT, but for what?
These technologies break down into three broad buckets:
Marketing automation. This includes content management and social media monitoring, as well as the automation, aggregation, and analysis of social data, not to mention established technologies such as sales-force automation and CRM. The goal of this category is to increase the effectiveness of the marketing processes themselves.Social technology and mobile technology. Both technologies produce fundamentally different interactions with and among customers. How marketers can take advantage of them is unclear. At one end is the monitoring of people's new behaviors -- what they comment on in social media and how they shop or look up information when not at a desk, for example. At the other is using these new conduits to customers to serve them actively, such as tapping into location data to provide localized recommendations -- marketers use the terms "geotargeting" and "hyperlocal" to refer to these new types of possible services.Analytics for real-time business intelligence. Historically, companies have used BI to assess the past, then roll out changes based on that assessment. But in a fast-moving world, that insight often comes too late. Also, it's typically based on data collected for very specific purposes, so the insights that can be gleaned from it tend to be limited to those original purposes. But new, often cloud-based technologies -- collectively called big data -- are providing ways to analyze information very quickly (even in real time), from multiple sources. Companies can adjust their operations and marketing more quickly -- and even more targeted to specific types of customers.
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