Coupons.com Goes Public

Coupons.com went public on February 8, 2014 and raised $168 million in its initial public offering. They originally planned to sell in the $12-$14 price range, however on Thursday the 7th they ended up pricomg 10.5 million shares at $16 each. They are listed on the New York stock exchange with ticker symbol COUP (NYSE:COUP). As of the writing of this article the shares are trading at $27.00 and the market cap is $1.98 Billion. To learn more about Coupons.com go to their corporate site here Coupons Inc.

A direct competitor of theirs is RetailMeNot.com which as of the writing of this article has a market cap of $2.04 Billion. RetailMeNot trades on the NYSE under the symbol SALE (NYSE:SALE).
RetailMeNot raised $191 Million in their IPO in July of 2013.

logo of coupons.comIt is interesting that both Coupons.com and RetailMeNot.com both raised a similar amount, $168 million and $181 million respectively, and both are around a $2 Billion market cap. However while they have coupons in common, they both have different strategies. Coupons.com has primarily focused on printable coupons while RetailMeNot primarily focuses on the online coupons.

Does Chris Christie Want His Own Tesla Dealership in New Jersey?

I have been a long time fan of Tesla and wrote about how they are redefining and industry in 2012 and their petition to sell direct to consumer in 2013. Not only have they been selling electric cars when many said they could not mass produce viable electric cars that consumers would want, they also changed the model and sell direct to consumers. Obviously whenever there is a major change in an industry it can upset a few, particularly car dealerships in the case of direct sales, not to mention the car companies that Tesla surpassed with their award winning Model S. Now in 2014 after Tesla has been selling direct to the consumer in their own stores, and has sold direct to consumer in New Jersey.

New Jersey Proposal
Now it appears that New Jersey governor Chris Christie has decided to back a proposal that keeps Tesla from selling direct to consumers and must sell through dealers. According to the CNN article (Tesla lashes out at Chris Christie) “..the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission is considering a proposal at a meeting in Trenton on Tuesday that would block automakers from selling to consumers.” Read the entire article which speaks to the battle between Tesla and the New Jersey legislature.

Chris Christies New Jersey Tesla

WhatsApp with Facebook? Smart move Zuckerberg?

Facebook Pays $19 Billion for WhatsApp

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 Billion in 2012, and now they are buying WhatsApp for $16 Billion, sort of. The total as I understand is an initial $12 Billion in stock and $4 Billion in cash, then $3 Billion that vests over 4 years. So that is $19 Billion in total.

For those of you that do not use WhatsApp, here is how the now $16 Billion dollar acquired company describes their service:

whatsapp logo

How it works…WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. WhatsApp Messenger is available for iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows Phone and Nokia and yes, those phones can all message each other! Because WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing, there is no cost to message and stay in touch with your friends. In addition to basic messaging WhatsApp users can create groups, send each other unlimited images, video and audio media messages.

Is Mr. Zuckerberg Crazy?
Maybe, maybe not. Let’s look at some of the knowns. He has to maintain market leadership. His stock has done well lately and one could argue it is in large part due to their mobile revenue. If that is the case and mobile growth as well as market leadership are two of their many goals, then WhatsApp may have been a bargain. Here are some WhatsApp numbers, 450 million active monthly users of which 70% are active on any given day. Wow. Here are some Facebook numbers from September 2013, 1.19 billion active monthly users and 728 million daily active users. In comparison form:

Facebook:
1.19 : Billion Active Monthly Users
728 : Million Active Daily Users
$171 : Billion Market Cap as of today 2/20/14
$143 : Value of Each Active Monthly User
$234 : Value of Each Active Daily User

WhatsApp:
450 : Million Active Monthly Users
315 : Million Active Daily Users
$16 Billion : Sold ($19 Billion including the $3 Billion vesting for 4 years)
$35 : Value of Each Active Monthly User
$50 : Value of Each Active Daily User

whatsapporfacebook


what-do-you-think

Note on User Value Calculations: there are other factors to take into account, such as a big one – Revenue. However it gives a rough comparison of value based solely on active users.

What is the Prince Lawsuit Really About and Why is it Relevant

There seems to be a little confusion about who Prince Rogers Nelson (“Prince” the singer) is suing and why. I have seen multiple articles entitled “Prince sues Facebook users” which leads you to believe that he is suing people because they are Facebook users, which is not the case. Sorry if my take on it is boring, as a lawyer that has a comp sci degree who used to practice intellectual property law – I love this stuff.

prince complaintYou can read the entire complaint here on scribd in which he has filed a complaint against 22 individuals. A couple things to note, the plaintiff is indeed Prince and there are two individuals named as defendants and 20 others named using their online names. Prince is doing business as Controversy Music and has over 600 copyright registrations. In other words he has intellectual property which are assets like any other type of property. So he hates Facebook users and is suing Facebook users right? Wrong. He is going after 22 individuals that he believes engaged in infringing on his intellectual property rights. Here is where it gets interesting and why this could be a ground breaking case that may change the online behaviour of many individuals, depending on how this case is decided.

What Are the Individuals Being Sued For?
Here is why I find it so interesting. These individuals are not being sued for making copies of his works, in other words copying his songs, but instead are being sued for linking to the songs. The defendants posted the links on Facebook pages and Blogger pages. So the link to Facebook is simply that the users posted links on some Facebook pages. These links pointed to file sharing services that have the individual songs.

Claims against Each Individual
The complaint goes on to discuss what Prince believes each individual did.

All of these individuals are accused of posting links that directed others to where the file was to a Prince copyrighted work on a file sharing service.

In the claims against each individual it does not state they were direct copyright infringers, in other words made copies of the songs and distributed. However they do claim in general that all Defendants have reproduced and distributed copies of the songs, but they do not point to any one individual. That is what is confusing, since it seems as if they are looking for a charge of contributory infringement or direct infringement from a link to a songs source even if they have not had any control over the song or the source.

Damages of $1 Million Each?
Prince is asking for all the damages he can obtain under law. The $1 Million that is being reported on is a statutory amount since he registered his copyrights federally. He is also seeking other damages including but not limited to profits.

Why is this so Interesting? Why You May Want to Be Careful

It is possible that some of these defendants may be guilty of putting links on their blogs to songs on a file sharing service and found guilty of copyright infringement but have not actually made copies, or reproduced, the actual songs. Here is part of the claim that is most interesting:

prince sues

“When Defendants posted the infringing and bootlegged material to their blogs and Facebook accounts, they knew that the users of those blogs and accounts would download such material in violation of Prince’s rights.”

What does this mean for you? If these individuals are found guilty of copyright infringement by placing a link on their web page that points to copyrighted material, knowing it is copyrighted material, then you better:


Be careful what you link to.


How to Advertise on Twitter

Determining how to target your advertising on platforms such as AdWords and Twitter Ads can be confusing. I recently received this image created by twitter showing examples of a broad match term. It is an excellent example of how the search term love coffee can be matched in tweets.

In other words if you want to advertise to individuals that tweet the term love coffee there are two types of targeting.

Phrase match:
Matches on Tweets containing keywords in exact order only. Specified by quote marks around the keyword. Example: “love coffee”. In this case you will only be showing your advertisement to individuals that have the two words love coffee in that exact order. Your advertisement will not show for tweets with the words coffee love or love the coffee, as an example.

Broad match modifier:
Matches on Tweets containing keywords in any order, including other words in between. Specify with a plus sign before all or selected words in the keyword. Example: +love +coffee. Here is the image with examples.

Broad Match on Twitter Ads
advertise on twitter

Notes:
The most interesting thing about the board match are the bottom four examples in the image:

  • I really love coffe
  • I really luv this coffee
  • I really adore coffee
  • I am really loving this latte

Notice that none of the examples above have the exact words love and coffee which is what the example shows was entered as a search term. With related terms, stem variations, synonyms, misspellings and slang the above examples will all shows your advertisement. This may be good and it may be bad.

Twitter is attempting to increase their revenue and wants to have your advertisement show as often as possible, they are also trying to help you reach your audience. There are often misspellings and slang that you may not have thought to target, so these variations can be helpful. On the other hand you need to be careful about your broad match terms as it is possible you are targeting items you may not intend to target at all.

Visit Twitter Help Center for Advertising for more on how the twitter ads work.