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Building 'social' businesses in the shadow of Facebook

Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 02:09

The founder of Tumblr David Karp, Lady Gaga's manager Troy Carter and model turned internet entrepreneur Lily Cole speak at the Wired 2012 conference in London about why they see a big future for 'micro' services. Reuters Technology Correspondent Matt Cowan reports.

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Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face. That piece of wisdom, uttered by former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, has become oddly relevant in the tech world over the past year where once seemingly unstoppable companies have seen their value pummelled on Wall Street. These days, planning to turn popular services into profitable ones has become an ever more urgent priority according to David Karp, founder and CEO of the blog hosting platform Tumblr. SOUNDBITE: David Karp, Tumblr Founder and CEO saying (English) "I think it definitely does create more urgency around taking control of your urgency, building the business out earlier. We're a five year old company today, we've run 16 experimental ad campaigns over the past four years and over the last year we've been formalizing those campaigns and starting to scale and ramp those." Karp is in London to speak at the Wired 2012 conference, where the topic of building social businesses is a major theme. Lady Gaga's manager Troy Carter made the trip from LA to explain why he thinks the next big thing in social media are micro networks like Little Monsters, which is a community for the singer's fans. SOUNDBITE: Troy Carter, Atom Factory Founder and CEO saying (English) "Right now there are 1 million users on the site. So they're having this one fluid conversation through our translation software that's realtime and they're able to communicate with each other in all different languages." Model Lily Cole is currently working on a new startup called Impossible, which she says will launch later this year. SOUNDBITE: Lily Cole, Impossible Founder, saying (English) "A kind of social giving network, ie. a social network that integrates with others but with a specific emphasis on saying what you need and what you can do, making the option to give transparent and hoping people do." It's quite a leap from the catwalks of the world's fashion capitals, and helping her to make that transition is wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales who's acting as an advisor. SOUNDBITE: Lily Cole, Impossible Founder, saying (English) "He's a big believer in it. The philosophy is very akin to wikipedia." So while Facebook now boasts over 1 billion users, Karp, Carter and Cole are each betting that there's great value in more targetted services.

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Building 'social' businesses in the shadow of Facebook

Thursday, October 25, 2012 - 02:09