吸引眼球对创业者来讲不再重要

创业需要资金?其实不需要总在PPT上显示漂亮的图标表示用户已经被你牢牢抓住,风投的人对这些早已经审美疲劳了。他们希望听到你的收成比,而不仅仅是流量。

风投Hack的创始人Naval Ravikant提到,有太多的公司,即便拥有大量的用户,但并没有预算中赚那么多的钱,所以投资者常常需要重新评估。要举例子,首先开刀的便是Facebook,客户端显示已经有6000万-1亿的用户,但股票上市后跌得一塌糊涂,大大超出市场预期。

收入准则

新一代数十亿美元的互联网企业是建立在收入上的,商业公司像 Airbnb、GitHub和Dropbox 都有大量的用户,但比这点更重要的,这些都是现金牛公司。

另一方面,即便没有很大的流量,也可以吸引投资者的关注,只要它们有真正的收入。像Uber这样的公司,虽然没有很可观的用户,但却通过高价的移动汽车服务取得高额的利润,并且是高度循环的。

您现在需要2000万的眼球

用户基数依然是VC评估创业公司的一个标准,但这个标准已经不一样了。最新的情况是,过去的1000万只相当于现在的100万,以后对创业公司的要求也许只需要100万用户。

你可以回想一下,Instagram达到8000万用户基数时也只有6位员工,用户可以很快的呈现泡沫式的增长。但VC现在正调整评估方式,因为有许多公司都是在已经产生的用户基数上飙升,这些数字是不可持续的、没有回馈性、不牢固、也不能实现最终的价值转化。

拿Socialcam举例子吧,它已经有了很庞大的用户基数,但这些用户都实现转化了吗?Autodesk支付了6000万美金去做一个视频分享应用程序,这也算是一个答案:用户数永远是吸引眼球的一个估值基础。但如果你用足够长的时间去观察,还是会发现这个游戏不能带来利润。

早期收入最重要

所以现在很多VC都在强调公司的早期收入。

这是基于两个理由。首先,可以在早期的用户中收回部分成本。如果你的产品没人买单,500万的用户也会是个很大的问题。但如果说你需要每月2万美金的收入,你也可以仅仅抓住4-5个大的客户便可以了。其次,很多公司都是一个长期烧钱的项目,如果你能尽快的拿回部分成本,那代表着更长的持续性。或许你每月只要1万美金就够了,真正的去服务好那四五个最有热情的客户。

唉,用户……这是个神马概念!

via readwriteweb

 供雷锋网专稿,转载请注明来自雷锋网及作者,并链回本页)
http://www.leiphone.com/0914-s-why-eyeballs-no-longer-matter-for-startups.html

Why Eyeballs No Longer Matter For Startups

· SEPTEMBER 10TH, 2012

Need funding for your startup? Don’t load up your PowerPoint with nifty charts showing all the users your online service has grabbed. Venture capitalists are no longer impressed. These days, investors want to hear about the revenue you’re generating, not the traffic.

“There have been a lot of companies that had a lot of users and didn’t make as much money as they should have, so investors are reevaluating,” explains Naval Ravikant, founder of the startup advice site Venture Hacks and the investor-entrepreneur matchmaking site AngelList. “This became most apparent in the Facebook app craze, when lot of top-ranked Facebook apps showed 60 million or 100 million users but ended up being worth almost nothing. Even Facebook hasn’t been able to monetize as well as Wall Street was expecting.”

Revenue Rules

The new generation of billion-dollar internet companies is built on revenue. Businesses likeAirbnbGitHub and Dropbox all have plenty of users. But much more important, those users generate serious cash flow.

The flipside is that even companies without massive traffic can now attract intense investor interest – if they have real revenue. “A company like Uber doesn’t have a ton of users but they’re making gobs and gobs of money with their high-ticket mobile car service,” Ravikant says. “They have huge margins and high-frequency repeat business.”

You Now Need 20 Million Eyeballs

Users do still figure into the equation when VCs evaluate an Internet startup. But the bar keeps rising. The new thinking, as outlined in a recent blog post by Chris Dixon: 10 million is the new 1 million. And a few years from now the benchmark for consumer Iinternet startups could be 100 million.

“Think about it,” Ravikant said. “Instagram reached 80 million users with only six employees. User stats can get blown out very quickly. But VCs are starting to adjust. There are a number of companies that have come along recently that have generated huge user-number spikes – but either those numbers are not sustainable or they’re not reflective of engagement underneath or they’re not monetizable.”

Take Socialcam, for example. It has a lot of users but can those folks be monetized? Autodesk, which paid $60 million for the video sharing app, will have to figure out the answer. “Eyeballs will always be a proxy stat to get to valuation,” predicts Ravikant, who founded Epinions and [Vast](http://www.vast.com/. “But if you give it a long enough timeline, people will learn to game proxy stats. But they can’t game profits.”

Turns out that many of the highest-usage consumer Internet companies also have the thinnest and least monetizable engagement, which is a big disincentive for investors.

Early Revenue Matters Most

So a lot of Internet startup founders now emphasize early revenue when they pitch VCs.

“That’s for two reasons,” Ravikant says. “First, you can move the needle more on early revenue than you can on early users. If you have a product that’s not getting picked up by the marketplace, getting to 5 million users can seem like an impossible problem. But if, say, you need $20,000 a month in revenue, you can do that just by picking up four or five big customers. Second, a lot of companies have such a low burn rate that if you can get revenue quickly you can get to break-even and sustain yourself much longer. You can do $10,000 in revenue with just four or five really impassioned customers.”

Customers… what a concept!

 

Eyeball image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Posted in Venture Funding


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