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Niklas Zennstrom Documented@Davos Transcript

Niklas Zennstrom Documented@Davos Transcript

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Pete Cashmore of Mashable interviews Niklas Zennstrom at the World Economic Forum 2012.
Pete Cashmore of Mashable interviews Niklas Zennstrom at the World Economic Forum 2012.

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Published by: DocumentedatDavos on Feb 03, 2012
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NiklasZennstromisDocumented@DavosTranscriptDocumented@Davos2012
PETECASHMORE:I'mPeteCashmore,founderandCEOatMashable.We'rehereatDocumented@DavospresentedbyScribdandMashable.We'retryingtofindoutwhattechnologyleadersthinkaboutthefutureoftechandwhat'sgoingonhereatDavos.SoI'mdelightedtobejoinedbyNiklasZennstrom,very,verylongandprestigiousbuyer.You'rethefounderofAtomico.It'saventurefund.Alsoco-founderofSkype,co-founderofKazaa,co-founderofJoostaswell.WhatelseamImissing?Rdio.Agreatmanyinternetcompanies,digitalcompaniesthathavereallychangedtheworld.SoI'dlovetostartonAtomico.Whatyou'reworkingonrightnow,whatkindofinvestmentsareinterestingtoyou?NIKLASZENNSTROM:So,firstofall,Ithinkthatit'sneverbeenasinterestingtimetobeinthisindustryandtofindcompaniestoinvestinbecausewe'relivinginaworldwhereforeverydayoreveryyear,therearemoreandbetteropportunities.Andthesearethingsthataredrivenbyafewbiggertrends.There,obviously,continuestobemoreandmorepeoplecomingontheinternet,usingtheinternet.Butifyouthinkbackjustafewyearsago,wedidnothavethemobileinternet.WithiPhone,andAndroid,andthetablets,thewholeparadigmisshifting.Soyouhaveallnewsetofcompaniescomingupwithnewinnovativeproducts.Sothespeedofinnovationishappeningfasterandfaster.Andalso,todayit'smucheasierforanentrepreneurtobuildacompanybecauseyoucanutilizethecloud,allthestackofexistingtechnologies,soitbecomesmorecapitalefficient.Soforus,whatwe'retryingtodo,we'retryingtofindcompanieswhotakeadvantageofthesebigtrends,whotrytobeglobalcompaniesandtakeadvantageofsomeofthesetechnologytrends,andtrytobebigcompanies.PETECASHMORE:Isthereacommonthreadtothestartupsyouinvestin?NIKLASZENNSTROM:Yeah,Ithinkthereare.Thebiggestcommonthreadwouldbethefoundersthemselves.Becauseattheendofthegame,thisisaboutthepeople.It'salwaysaboutfounderswhoarepassionateaboutwhatthey'redoingandhaveanideatochangetheworld,andwanttomakesomethingbig.SothatIthinkismostimportantthing.Andthen,theotherthingforusisthatourfocuswouldbe--yourgraphicalfocus.Sometimeswejokeandwesay,wearerestoftheworld,i.e.we'renotSiliconValley.Andthatisbecauseme,I'mcomingfromSweden,andwe'rebasedinLondon.Butwhatweseenowisthatthere'ssomanymoreopportunitieshappeningeverydayoutsideofSiliconValley.
 
SowhileSiliconValleyisandprobablygoingtobeforaconsiderabletime,themostimportantgeographicalareafortechcompanies,buteverydaythere'smoreandmoreopportunitieselsewhere.We'retryingtofindcompaniesinotherlocations.We'retryingtohelpthesecompaniestoexpandinternationally.Becausecompaniestoday,onceyougotitworking,onceyoufigureouttheproduct,it'simportanttohaveinternationalexpansionprettyquickly.PETECASHMORE:Wellyou'refamouslyaninvestorinRovio,whichlaunchedAngryBirds.IsthereanotherAngryBirdssittinginEuropethatwedon'tknowaboutthatwe'reallgoingtobeplayingonouriPadsandiPhonesinthenextfewyears?NIKLASZENNSTROM:Rovioisanexcitingcompany.Theyhadover600milliondownloadsandIthinktheyhadafewmilliondownloadsjustoverChristmasDay.It'soneofthefewkindofappcompaniesthathavereallybecomeaglobalbrand.Andnowwhattheyneedtodoistotakethisandtobuildthismuchmoreintoaplatform.Butit'sinteresting.Thereareseveralothercompaniesthatwe'dseearoundEuropewhichareprettygoodgamecompanies.Soitjusthappenedtobethatthemostcommonactivityonasmartphoneisplayinggames.PETECASHMORE:It'sgames.Ilookatthetop10,it'sgame,game,game,games.NIKLASZENNSTROM:Thechallengeforthesecompaniesisdownto,cantheybeasustainablebusiness?Becauseifyou'reanetworkeffectbusiness,thenyouhaveabetterchancetobecomeasustainablebusiness.PETECASHMORE:Isgaminggoingtobecome--becauseyoudolookattheAppStoreandeverything'sagame.Isthatgoingtobecomepartofotherapps?Isthatthewaytogetothercontentorthiswholegamificationtrend?Orisitjustafad?NIKLASZENNSTROM:Idon'tthinkit'safad.Thereasonwhygamesaresopopularisthat,youthinkaboutyou'resittingwaitingforyourfriend,forameetingorinabus,inthetrain.Andeitheryoudoyouremail,youcheckyourtweets,orwhatever.Butit'salsobeennicetojustplaygamesforafewminutes.Sopeoplefeelgoodaboutit.Andbeforeyouhadtogoandsitinfrontofyourcomputeroryourgameconsoletoplaygames.Nowyoucandoitwheneveryouhavesomeminutestokill.SoIthinkthat'swhygamesareimportant.Butwhat'salsointerestingtolookatnowisalsocompanieswhicharealsopartofthetransactionstreams,whichareapartofmonetization.BecausesometimesoneofthebigchallengeIseewithappcompaniesisthatoneofthegreatopportunitiesisthatyoucanjustputupanappintheAppleAppStoreandyoucancharge$1forit.Andit'sgreat.Ifyou'redevelopers,youcanmakeprettygoodincomeonthat.Butthentobeasustainablebusiness,youneedtotransformthattohavearecurring

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