Thoughts on 2007 from 2008

It’s mid-day Jan 1st here in australia. I’m not much for looking back but I do feel the need to reflect a bit on what 2007 brought us.

We got the social graph as a platform from Facebook and now everyone else who has some sort of social graph to offer the Internet. Developers have jumped on this new social platform with a vengeance and I think we are going to see so much new innovation from this that its hard to imagine. I am looking forward to see how Google and the other webmail providers react to this opportunity in 2008.

We also saw the future of the mobile device in the iPhone. Too bad Apple missed a huge opportunity to open the device to all networks and all apps. As a result, we are only seeing a small fraction of what’s possible from a mobile broswer on a mobile computer connected to a mobile network. In 2008 this is gong to change as we’ll get an SDK from Apple, new iPhone like devices from RIM and other mobile device innovators, and a truly open mobile device in Bug.

Another big deal in 2007 was the emergence of a truly open web to mobile to web communications system called Twitter. I know I am talking my own game here, but I think an open api based web and mobile notification system that functions much like the facebook mini feed is something everyone who is building web and mobile apps should tap into and so many have. As Jack Dorsey, the ceo of twitter, said in his happy new year twitter update, ‘I think 2008 is going to be a great year for Twitter’

Finally, and maybe most importantly, we saw both the consolidation and the opening up of the internet advertising business. Large third party ad networks and ad infrastructure have been assembled by the big internet companies and we saw AOL walk away from the content business in favor of its ad network opportunity. But at the same time we saw Right Media and ad exchanges in general become mainstream. With the emergence of advertiser side campaign management systems like Clickable that use the apis of these ad networks, we are going to see the online ad business become a true marketplace in the next couple years.

So what does all of this mean for 2008 and beyond? The web is becoming more open, more mobile, more social, more playful, more intelligent, and more monetizable every day.

Happy new year everyone. Let’s get busy because there’s so much opportunity out there I almost can’t believe it.

PS I posted this from my blackberry to this blog, facebook, and tumblr with one click while sitting on a beach in the great barrier reef off the coast of australia. If you want to see the new world, you have to live it.

#VC & Technology