It is a cliché to say that things move fast in the tech space. However, sometimes we don’t quite appreciate quite how fast. So the Missionaries have been back a week from the trip to Silicon Valley and LA. And it is almost as if we need to be out there again getting an update. Here, in case you missed them, are some of the headlines made by some of the companies we visited with over the last week or so.
Zynga previewed a new game when we saw them - CastleVille. A week later it is launched. It already has 5 million users. Yup in a week. A storm has blown up, as the company seems to have decided that it dished out too many stock options in its early days. The rumour in the press is that they are demanding certain employees surrender some shares or be fired. They are citing the Google chef, an early employee who came by some options and then found he’s made $20m on the IPO, as justification for the move. And surprise surprise Zynga files for its IPO.
Pam Kramer, Twitter's vice president of consumer marketing is said to be leaving the company after just three months in the role. This is less than a week after vice president of communications Sean Garrett tweeted to announce his exit from the company.
Files to raise $100m in IPO. Launches in Australia
Investor tips floatation for early 2012. Betting is on $100bn valuation. Facebook slashed six degrees of separation to 4.7 following research. Strong rumours resurface of the Facebook phone, code names Buffy. Facebook introduces ads to the ticker via sponsored stories.
Announce that it will sell additional stock in secondary offering. Shares slump 23% as insider dumps stock. LinkedIn announce R&D centre in Bangalore.
Google launches iTunes rival Google Music. Google+ (Google’s take on Facebook) launches pages for brands. Google launches GoMo to encourage brands to optimise for mobile.
Announced it would stop making Flash technology for mobile devices. This means it will move to HTML5, a technology supported by Apple, Google and Microsoft. Said that it would cut 750 jobs as it shifts investment to Web publishing and advertising. Sales forecasts are cut as it moves away from revenue model that generates licensing fees from large corporate clients.
Announced that they were the first enterprise cloud computing company to exceed a $2.3 billion annual revenue run rate. (Stock still took a kicking, as The Street wanted even more growth.) Launched do.com a personal productivity / life organiser app which will compete against project management apps like Base Camp or MS Project.
Announced that in the two months since Puffle Launch was released, over 100 million virtual coins earned in the mobile game have been transferred into the main Club Penguin world. Bob Iger the CEO announced a 30% year on year increase in profits said "fiscal 2011 was a great year financially and strategically, demonstrating the strength of our brands and business.” Walt Disney and YouTube announced a deal to spend $10 - $15m on an original video series. Disney spends c$40m to acquire Babble media Inc. a website that carries news for parents which includes influential blogs by moms and dads.
Netflix has agreed an exclusive multi-year deal with Lionsgate Entertainment that will make it the only online streaming service to offer first-run movies. Warner Bros signs rights deal with LoveFilm thought to be the first one with a major Hollywood Studio. Netflix strikes exclusive deal with Twentieth Century Fox to produce an exclusive revival of the cult classic series Arrested Development.
Each one one of these announcements could represent either a major opportunity (or threat) to brands. This is most definitely a space that you need to stay on top of.