Daily Roundup for 2008-03-10
The Internet bubble of the late 1990s ended with a painful pop. When today’s young entrepreneurs get together, the only bubbles they see are in their mimosas. Even as the rest of the business world frets about the gloomy economy, Silicon Valley is living the high-tech high life. Nowhere is that more evident than at Founders Brunch, a private, invitation-only gathering where new-boom kids and industry veterans pick up whispers of the next big trends, invest in one another’s ideas and push one another to think big. Every three months, these elites of the Web crowd pull themselves out of their beds or cubicles and pile into a different upscale home for a Sunday spread of community and conversation.
At the age of 40, King Gillette was a frustrated inventor, a bitter anticapitalist, and a salesman of cork-lined bottle caps. It was 1895, and despite ideas, energy, and wealthy parents, he had little to show for his work. He blamed the evils of market competition. Indeed, the previous year he had published a book, The Human Drift, which argued that all industry should be taken over by a single corporation owned by the public and that millions of Americans should live in a giant city called Metropolis powered by Niagara Falls. His boss at the bottle cap company, meanwhile, had just one piece of advice: Invent something people use and throw away.
U.S. e-commerce sales grew 19% in 2007 to $136.4 billion, while overall retail sales grew by only 4%, the U.S. Commerce Department reports. In the fourth quarter, e-commerce sales totaled $36.2 billion, 18% more than the same quarter in 2006, while total retail sales increased 4.7%.
IAB The Interactive Advertising Bureau has adopted consumer privacy guidelines to govern the collection and use of consumer data in behavioral advertising, and plans to submit them to the Federal Trade Commission by the end of the month.
Internet advertising revenue totaled an estimated $21.1 billion in 2007, a 25% increase from the previous record of $16.9 billion in 2006, according to a survey by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Online advertising in the fourth quarter of 2007 amounted to approximately $5.9 billion, a 13% increase from the third quarter and 24% more than the fourth quarter of 2006, according to the survey.
Next month, eBay intends to implement a controversial new policy that will entail holding payments sent through PayPal for up to 21 days for certain "high-risk transactions." Furious at the prospect of waiting to receive funds, sellers have been publicly speculating about how much money PayPal (and its parent company, eBay) makes off the accruing interest on funds under PayPal’s control – and whether a desire to retain those funds for longer spurred eBay’s holding plan.
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