Thursday, October 15, 2009

Will SuperFan make it into the top ranks?

SuperFan is the name of the social media site It's a very interactive site that allows users (called Fans) to register their favourites (faves) from a variety of sectors like celebrities, schools, movies, gadgets etc. Users can become fans or even superfans of the already registered items, organisations, groups or personalities. Joining is very easy as one can use the Facebook profile and an own profile in SuperFan is created within a minute or two.

Everything is based on a points and credits system. Fans have to spend credits to become fans or superfans. On the other side they can earn points when their faves are picked up by others. It is also possible to set up battles between faves and let the other users vote on who's better or worse. An interesting feature is writing or taking quizzes on the faves. Finally, as here, one can write blogs on the faves or any other subject. Status updates can be sent also to Facebook and Twitter.

Sounds very interesting, doesn't it? You learn more about other fans or friends likes and dislikes and you can see the ranking of your faves based on the battles. In quizzes you test what you know about your faves and learn more about them through the feedback on correct or wrong answers. This should be something everyone is interested in.

SuperFan grew it's user base very quickly over the last few months. From virtually zero in 01/2009 to over 51k unique monthly visitors in 09/2009 measuerd by It more than doubled the unique visitors over the last month. As in all social media sites everything depends on how enthusiastic the users will be in spreading word of mouth to their friends and contacts and to invite them into SuperFan. Therefore the next few months will be decisive about whether the site makes it to the big names league. Will SuperFan be able to cross the chasm (I explained in another blog)? And what will the business model look like? Will it be based on ads or on user paid premium content? Tune in. And stay tuned.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Silicon Valley everywhere?

Why are almost all of the great websites and internet applications created in the Silicon Valley? Think of Google, Amazon, PayPal, Digg, eBay, Facebook etc.

Is it the proximity of the universities, Stanford and Berkeley? The venture capital powerhouses residing there? The inspiring environment? The multiple founder phenomenon (founders starting their 2nd or 3rd website)?

Probably it's a combimnation of all these. Certainly the universities have contributed a lot by fostering an entrepreneurial and creative climate. And the money was there to make the entrepreneurs think big. As well as the trial and error approach to founding companies. Many successful websites are the consequence of ideas taken from others that were not so successful or even went bust. Serial founders like Marc Andreessen, Max Levchin, Kevin Rose contributed a lot by being the living examples of entrepreneurs making dozens or hundreds of millions out of multiple companies founded by them. Very attractive and inspiring for other young talent to join their firms, found their own, having the ambition to make it there, too.

Will this climate also emerge elsewhere on the planet? Will the next big thing come from the Valley again? Or from Russia, India, China, Bresil, South Africa? Anyone could do it, anywhere. Web 2.0 makes it easy. Little investment is needed. So, let's see what comes next. Hot spots are the Web 2.0, the iPhone, the social networks, ...