2010-04-12

Scaling, returning, learning - mix of articles

Mike on Ads: The Challenge of Scaling an Adserver and Scalability Follow-Up ? The challenge customers impose on innovation. When a site/service gets big fast, it is as much about operating it as developing new features. Doing both, like Facebook for example, at the same time is always impressive.

Internet Retailer: Get Back - Return policies can win over customers, and there?s more than one way to do it. Zappo uses returns to drive average spend and thus revenue (as long as additional contribution dollars are less than cost of returns it works well).

Lessons Learned: Learning is better than optimization (the local maximum problem). It's important to keep the big picture in mind and not start to micro-optimize too early.

Venture Beat: China?s top four social networks: RenRen, Kaixin001, Qzone, and 51.com. The Chinese Internet is not like the Western Internet. Interesting data on four of the large social networks in China.

Reaction Wheel: Everybody's an ad exchange (The Thin Exchange, 1) and Open Source the Ad Exchange. Using the stock exchange and a 'perfect market' as the metaphor for an ad exchange doesn't seem like a perfect fit. The, not always perfect, electricity market is likely a better metaphor as an ad impression is not an asset but a flow.

Sticky Slides: CVs are coming to PowerPoint and Axiom One presentation. The way you say it always matters.The way to describe work history in the presentation gave me food for thought.

Google and China

Google's A new approach to China: an update. I didn't post about Google's March 22nd decision to stop offering a censored version of its search engine for mainland China, but it is one of the most interesting decisions ever made by a technology or media company.

It shows that a corporation doesn't exist solely for (short-term) profit maximization if the owners have other principles or objectives. It also shows that a media/tech company can come to the conclusion that sometimes it is not possible to do business if the price is that one has to accept censorship.

Tencent invests 300 MUSD in DST, form strategic partnership

Chinese Tencent has invested $300 million in Russian Internet investment firm Digital Sky Technologies for 10.26 % ownership (economic interest mainly, as share of votes is 0.51 %). Obviously DST owns a few percentages of Facebook and Tencent operates QQ, one of the largest Chinese Internet services.