1. Don’t focus on growth; focus on cash preservation
David Cowan, Bessemer Venture Partners, recommends companies move toward cash preservation rather than growth. “Spend less time worrying about what competitors will do in terms of features, it won’t be your biggest problem because competitors will have same issues in terms of growth,” he said. “Move toward cash preservation.”
2. Work out how to monetize social networks
Citi analyst Mark Mahaney said the opportunities he sees are in social networks. “At the moment, no one has figured out how to monetize them, but they can – absolutely,” he said.
3. Don’t make new commitments, look for opportunities in mobile technology
Cowan also recommends to avoid new commitments, and to make money he suggests looking at new ways to use media. Taking out his iPhone, he played a tune for the audience using the new Ocarina application. “Six people developed this and it’s sold tens of thousands.” This is only one idea; there are lots of creative ways to use the Internet and mobiles.
4. Strike while there is less competition
William Tai, Charles River Ventures, sees opportunity in going forward, and is most excited about Internet technologies, mobile and open source. “Everything is bigger and happens faster when stuff hits in this environment,” he said. In the environment of a few years ago, you’d have 20-50 competitors; in this market you have fewer competitors and an opportunity to shine.
5 Look to the virtual world and expect to nurture your product for 7 – 8 years
Basil Horangic, North Bridge Venture Partners said that they’re seeing excellent growth in companies that are working on social networks, virtual world space and the monetization for virtual goods. “There is a lot of innovation in those areas,” he said. As for startups looking to be acquired, he tells the audience that the data shows companies go public and get sold at seven or eight years of age.
Photo by clix.