Explaining Southern California's economy

All I want for Christmas is an Apple iPad...or maybe an iPad Mini...but a iPod or iPhone would be OK, too

A third or more of U.S. kids between 6 and 12 would very much like to have an Apple device this holiday season.

Former Internet analyst Mary Meeker has produced another of her "state of the Internet presentations," as venture capitalists (and avid blogger) Fred Wilson called it. Meeker is  a VC too now, at the blue-chip Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyers. 

The presentation that Fred notes can be viewed on SlideShare and is 88 slides long. It covers a lot of ground. But the slide above is particularly interesting, heading into the the crunch period of the holiday shopping season. You know, the time of wish lists children write and, in some cases, mail to rotund, bearded figure of legend who lives in the northernmost reaches of the planet with a band of industrious elves and a group of reindeer capable of impressive aerial feats. 

Meeker notes that American kids between 6 and 12 want iPads and iPad Minis in impressive numbers. They want iPod Touches and iPhones in nearly equally impressive numbers. 

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Venture capital has shifted to funding business software

CFF VC Panel

Venture Capital in Southern California panel, moderated by the DeBord Report's Matt DeBord. These guys may be looking for different types of startups to invest in.

Fred Wilson, in typical clear and direct fashion, nails the shift as venture capitalists withhold additional rounds of funding from consumer-web companies and pivot toward the search for "enterprise" opportunities — ways to invest in software for businesses, not for the masses. Here's Fred:

[I]nvestors have moved from consumer to enterprise. there is a large pool of money in the venture capital asset class that is opportunistic, momentum driven, and thesis agnostic. this pool is driven largely by the public markets. this pool of capital was "all in" on consumer web/social web in the 2009-2011 time frame. it drove a lot of activity throughout the venture capital markets because each layer of the VC stack...needs to be aware of what the next layer up wants to fund. when the momentum/late stage wanted web/social, the layers below gave them web/social. Now that the momentum/late stage wants enterprise, we should expect the layers below to give them enterprise.

The combination of these three factors is making it harder for consumer internet companies (web and mobile) to get funding.

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Peter Chernin joins Twitter board: Will Hollywood and Silicon Valley finally get along?

Malaria No More International Honors Fifth Anniversary Benefit

Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Malaria No More

Peter Chernin speaks in New York City. The former News Corp. executive was just named to the Twitter board.

Twitter announced last week that Peter Chernin, a former News Corp. executive who has morphed into an entertainment investor, will join its board. Given that Twitter is perhaps better integrated than any other social network or microblogging site with the entertainment and news businesses, this is a pretty interesting development.

It also shows that Twitter could be getting serious about bolstering its financial credibility ahead of a possible IPO. This has long been discussed, but so far Twitter has lagged behind some of its peers, including Facebook and LinkedIn.

From the L.A. Times:

Chernin had been mentioned for months as a likely new Twitter director. He joins Chief Executive Dick Costolo, co-founder and former CEO Evan Williams, co-founder and Chairman Jack Dorsey, venture capitalists Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures and Peter Fenton of Benchmark Capital, among others, on the board. He takes the place vacated by Flipboard CEO Mike McCue.

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Copyright Wars: Google does what Hollywood wants

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

The Google logo is seen at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. The company has announced a change to its search rankings, intended to protect copyright.

Last week, Google announced that it's making a change — or more accurately perhaps, a modification — to its search algorithm. This is the explanation, from Google's search blog:

Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results....

Only copyright holders know if something is authorized, and only courts can decide if a copyright has been infringed; Google cannot determine whether a particular webpage does or does not violate copyright law. So while this new signal will influence the ranking of some search results, we won’t be removing any pages from search results unless we receive a valid copyright removal notice from the rights owner.

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LA startups: Tech makes all the difference

Gaikai Screen Shot

Gaikai, an L.A.-based gaming startup, just sold to Sony. It was engineering talent that made the company successful.

Nate Redmond, the managing director of L.A.'s Rustic Canyon, an early stage venture capital firm, had a must-read piece at TechCrunch over the weekend. Taking as his jumping-off point Sony’s purchase of of gaming startup Gaikai for $380 million (Rustic Canyon was an investor), he makes a case that something important is happening on the Los Angles startup scene:

LA has once again become a hotbed for technical leadership, as indicated by the flurry of investment activity. Entrepreneurs in the LA region attracted $567 million in venture capital in the first quarter of this year, 50% greater than the NY Metro area in the first quarter of the year, according to PriceWaterhouseCooper’s Money Tree report. Between the outstanding technical talent and the passion and vision of great founders, those dollars are being invested into technology-driven companies that break the stereotype of startups in LA.

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