Ged Carroll

Ron Conway + more news

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Ron Conway

Ron Conway’s Confidential Investment “Megatrend” — “O2O Commerce” – for those of you who don’t know Ron Conway is a Silicon Valley angel investor who is hyper-connected and said to have the golden touch. Online to offline (O2O) commerce has been big in Asia where QRcodes provided the connective tissue between apps and the real world. QRcodes have struggled with adoption in the west, yet have been embraced in countries where mobile payments and smartphones co-exist for useful services. Ron Conway has been a feature of Silicon Valley since the early 1970s when he worked at National Semiconductor. He became a Silicon Valley legend by investing early on in companies such as Marimba, Google and Reddit. Marimba was a woman led start up that developed and marketed software change and configuration management solutions, which was huge at the time for corporates looking to have all of their computers running the most secure version of a software application or update network configurations. Ron Conway was one of the prime movers behind Angelgate; which discussed how to depress the values of investable startups in the face of competition from other investors. Due to his standing in Silicon Valley during the mid-1990s through to the 2010s, if Ron Conway offered a deal there would be strong expectations that you take it. Looking from afar, this felt more like The Sopranos than Sandhill Road.

Beauty

Plastic Surgery Among Ethnic Groups Mirrors Beauty Ideals – NYTimes.com – interesting divergence in consumer desires in the US

Consumer behaviour

It’s Not the Online Coupons. It’s the Psychology. – NYTimes.com – some people call it psychology, I’d call it targeting

Economics

Tyler Cowen’s Great Stagnation: The middle class is doomed. – Slate Magazine – and that’s just the case in the US

Beijing Goes on the Hunt for Hidden China Bank Lending – WSJ – economists trying to get a better understanding of lending in the economy

Finance

UnionPay: China’s Unloved Monopoly – WSJ – saying that, I can’t remember people loving Electron, Switch or Maestro either

Investors Ask, Where’s Home for Standard Chartered? – WSJ – this is more about a legacy of the empire’s trading history rather than business in many cases, though a presence in the UK is important

Hong Kong

Hong Kong-Listed Luxury Brands Faring Best In Mainland China: More To Come? « Jing Daily – mid-market to high-end focus and attention to Chinese consumer needs

Innovation

Need a really stable portable clock? Think atomic – this is insanely clever, a chip-sized atomic clock

Japan

Yamagirl.net – a community site for the latest Japanese style trend: yamagaaru – mountain-loving girls. Basically fashion influenced by technical clothing. There have been lots of Japanese technical wear brands like White Mountaineering and Burtons collaboration with Hiroshi Fujiwara iDiom so it was no surprise that it extended into women’s style

FT.com | Inside Business – Stigma of failure holds back Japan start-ups – (paywall) interesting article, completely at odds to what I would have thought given the stories about the founding of Honda and Sony – huge risk taking classic start-up archetypes a la Hewlett-Packard or Apple

U.S. Cites a Top Chinese Web Site in the Sale of Fake Goods – NYTimes.com – singling out Baidu is like singling out Google

Luxury

Revisiting The Prospects For “No Logo” Luxury In China « Jing Daily – it will be interesting to see how long this takes to play out

Ye Qizheng: Brand Acquisitions A Mixed Bag For Chinese Companies « Jing Daily – really insightful stuff here, expect Chinese companies to own a lot of troubled luxury brands

Paco Rabanne dresses for Bric success | FT.com – interesting how the Puig Group seems to be focusing more on India than China

Report: China to be Top Luxury Buyer by 2020 – WSJ – already overtaken Japan, only needs to overhaul the US. How much of the gap is due to Chinese buyers purchasing abroad to avoid sales tax and as part of general tourism?

Software

Elop is after me | Code diary – interesting how much of the Qt developer community want to fork the environment and move away from Nokia. This could adversely affect the plans to sell 150 million Symbian phones over the next couple of years

Technology

IPad and Other Tablets Make Push Into Corporate World – NYTimes.com“Of course, I still have a PC,” Mr. Benioff said. “But I am using it less and less and I am using my iPad more.” He called 2011 “the year of the tablet” and added: “If you call me next year, I will say it is also the year of the tablet. And if you call me in 2013, I’ll tell you it’s going to be the year of the tablet.” Of course, I could be cynical (but probably right) and say this is because the productivity argument of enterprise software and PCs is tapped out