Four short links: 28 January 2011

RSS Dashboard, Hardware Filesharing, Making is Learning, and Revenue/Customer

  1. NiftyUrls — open source elegant wee RSS dashboard. I haven’t looked into the source yet, but I’m already thinking of applications.
  2. The PirateBox — small piece of hardware that creates a wifi network for local filesharing. Not connected to the Internet. (via BoingBoing)
  3. More Hammer, Less Yammer (Julian Bleecker) — If you’re not also making — you’re sort of, well..basically you’re not doing much at all. You’ve only done a rough sketch of an idea if you’ve only talked about it and didn’t do the iteration through making, then back to thinking and through again to talking and discussing and sharing all the degrees of material — idea, discussions, conversations, make some props, bring those to the discussion, repeat. Why O’Reilly prefers makers to fakers.
  4. Revenue per Unique Visitor (BusinessInsider) — Amazon makes $189/user, Google $24/user, Yahoo! $8/user, Facebook $4/user. (via Greg Linden)
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  • Canuck

    Re: link #4.

    If I buy a computer for $999 and sell it to you for $1,000, I book $1,000 in gross revenue. If I buy ad space on someone’s web site for $19 and sell it to you for $20, I book $20 in gross revenue. If I sell a text ad on my web site for $1, I book $1 in gross revenue.

    Note that the net revenue is the same in all three cases ($1), but the resellers can claim to have a lot more gross revenue. That’s why Amazon scores so high (always reselling others’ stuff), Google is in the middle (reselling ads for others and selling their own ad space and services), and Facebook is at the bottom (selling mostly their own ad space).

    So basically, the chart isn’t all that useful. Comparisons have to happen within the same business categories.

  • Matt

    More important is the net margin, which takes overheads into account. Revenue is interesting but largely irrelevant. I could take $1m in sales (gross revenue) for something I bought for $500k giving a net revenue of $500k, but if my overheads are $125k then my net margin is only $375k.

    I’m guessing that facebook probably has the lowest overheads (the ramshackle way in which its run implies low process definition and quality control, doesn’t need much in marketing, support, etc) so it could well be the most profitable even though it has the lowest revenue per visitor.

  • @Canuck: Good point. Gong straight to the heart of the discussion on valuation.

    @Matt: The ramshackle run site is one of the most valuable in the world. Could there be some cause-effect here :) ?