Brand Evaluation Checklist

All Markets Are Not Created Equal: 10 Factors To Consider When Evaluating Digital Marketplaces  November 13, 2012 – 12:54 pm
Evaluation Checklist

Since Benchmark’s investment in Ebay 15 years ago, we have been fascinated by online marketplaces. Entrepreneurs accurately recognize that the connective tissue of the Internet provides an opportunity to link the players in a particular market, reducing friction in both the buying and selling experience. The arrival of the smartphone amplifies these opportunities, as the Internet’s connective tissue now extends deeper and deeper into an industry with the participants connected to the marketplace 24×7 – whether they are in the office, at home, or out in the field. It is a special experience to see an entrepreneur go from a PowerPoint describing a new marketplace opportunity to having established an online hub at the epicenter of a particular industry.

Following our investment in Ebay, we have been fortunate enough to invest in several companies that link consumers and suppliers through a successful online marketplace. Companies such as OpenTable, Yelp, Zillow, oDesk, GrubHub, 1stdibs, UShip, and Uber have all reached significant scale within their respective markets. But we have also invested in several companies that we thought had marketplace opportunities that simply did not play out as expected. Simply put, some industries are much more susceptible to the arrival and success of online marketplaces than others.

Source: Above the Crowd

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The nuclear puzzle

Diplomatic sources in Tehran say that despite all the protestations, Iran's intentions remain unclear. There are two widely held and opposing views.
The first argues that Iran is cynically stringing out the negotiations to extract more economic concessions from the US and the EU that it desperately needs to support its sick economy. At the right point it will compromise.
The second is that Tehran is secretly working on a weapons acquisition program but won't declare its intentions until it has assembled the necessary technology and know-how. According to this theory, Iran would rely on the backing of Russia and China to head off any retaliatory action by the EU and US.

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