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Article from Techcrunch.

“There’s no doubt that as smartphone usage increases, geo-location is becoming an increasingly important technology in consumers’ day to day lives. The Pew Internet Research Project has come out with a new report showing the growing number of U.S. adults that are leveraging location-based technologies in social and mobile apps. According to Pew, 28% of adults use at least one of location-based service that exist in mobile and social media spaces. The report shows the most popular use case of location-based technology is using mobile phones for maps, directions, or recommendations.

Pew reports that 28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location (that works out to 23% of all U.S. adults). Only 5 percent of cell phone owners user their phone to check-in to locations using apps like Foursquare or Gowalla.

And 9% of internet users incorporate their location into Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn (7% of all adults). And 28% of U.S. adults do at least one of these activities either on a computer or using their mobile phones.

Unsurprisingly, smartphone owners are more likely to use location-based social networks on their phones. One in ten smartphone owners (12%) have used Foursquare, Gowalla, or a similar application and 55% of smartphone owners have used a location-based information service. Almost six in ten smartphone owners (58%) use at least one of these services.

Pew says that younger smartphone owners are more likely to use location-based services in their phone. And Pew says that geosocial services and automatic location-tagging are most popular with minorities. A quarter (25%) of Latino smartphone owners using geosocial services and almost a third (31%) of Latino social media users enabling automatic location-tagging. Pew says that only 7% of white smartphone owners use geosocial services, byt 59% get location-based information on their phones, compared with 53% of blacks and only 44% of Hispanics.

Pew reported nearly a year ago that only 4% of online American adults use location-based services. My guess is that number has increased since last Novemeber.”

Read more here.

 

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Here is a good read from Yahoo.

“Jeffrey Bussgang likes crazy entrepreneurs. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman and Sitrris Pharmaceuticals’ Dr. Christoph Westphal all share what Bussgang, a partner with Boston-based Flybridge Capital Partners, calls paranoid optimism. He defines it as an almost-arrogant belief in a world-changing idea mixed with a healthy fear of competitors. “You rarely see those two words together, which is why I like them,” Bussgang says. “They really distill the essence of the great entrepreneurs.”

He should know. Before he was a venture capitalist, Bussgang co-founded Upromise, now part of Sallie Mae and the nation’s largest private source of college funding contributions. In his new book, Mastering the VC Game, Bussgang offers a blueprint for entrepreneurs hoping to get funded: Be a paranoid optimist.

But even that may not be enough, given the state of today’s venture capital market. Total VC dollars invested fell 39 percent between the first quarter of 2008, before the recession began, and the first three months of 2010, according to data supplied by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association.

VC firms have gone tight-fisted, and limited partners–the investors who supply capital to private equity funds–are skittish, afraid of being burned again after suffering a decade of negative returns. Mix in a contentious debate over the taxability of profits derived from successful venture capital investments, otherwise known as carried interest, and entrepreneurs are being forced to clear hurdles not seen since the 1980s, says Roger Novak, a partner with Novak Biddle Venture Partners in Bethesda, Md. “I think we’re going back to the old days, and better companies are going to be born.”

In other words, venture capitalists are being more discerning about where and with whom they invest. Here are three ways to make sure your business passes the sniff test.

  1. Create the Market
    Much of that time was spent planning and talking with prospects; the founders didn’t want to build a solution before defining the problem, which they believed was big. Advertising affiliate networks were losing revenue each time a customer clicked on a digital ad but completed the transaction by phone. RingRevenue would fill the gap with technology, but only if affiliates could agree on the concept they had in mind.

    “Before we were going to commit all of our time, career, dollars and resources to it, it was important to [know] enough about the customers and their needs that we could feel good that we were getting it right the first time,” Spievak says.

    Each meeting brought changes to the design. But by asking prospective customers for feedback and then building to spec, RingRevenue created its own market. “We wanted to make sure that we understood the formula for growth, that we had satisfied customers and a scalable model,” Spievak says. Investors were impressed. RingRevenue closed a $3.5 million initial round of venture capital funding in June of 2009.

  2. Get a Big Idea
    If there’s a model for the sort of crazy entrepreneurs Bussgang admires, it might be the team at PhoneHalo. The company’s wireless technology plugs into a smartphone, making it a hub for preventing computers, iPads and other networked equipment from getting lost or left behind. But the vision for what it could be is much bigger.

    “Imagine that everything that’s valuable to you in your life is always connected to the network. And imagine down the road if every item in your refrigerator was somehow talking to the network so when you were low on milk, if it goes through PhoneHalo’s infrastructure, it can update a to-do list right as you’re in the grocery store, all on the fly,” says CEO Jacques Habra. Crazy? Sure, but according to Bussgang, the ability to press forth in the face of naysayers is what makes a great entrepreneur.

    PhoneHalo was still shopping for venture capital funding as of this writing. And yet Habra and co-founders Christian Smith and Chris Herbert are confident they’ll eventually find the right VC partner.

    “Since this is our baby, it’s easy to feel rejected and bruised by a no,” Habra says. “In reality, that time with an investor is hugely valuable: If you ask the right questions and apply the feedback to your business unemotionally, you make the company that much more investable and likely to succeed.”

  3. Work Your Network
    Finally, the venture capitalist who doesn’t know you isn’t likely to partner with you. “They see so many referred-in deals that it just doesn’t make sense for them to spend much time on the ones that come in over the transom,” says Spievak.

    He and his team were approached by potential venture capital investors in late 2008, during the height of a global financial meltdown, in part because backers of his earlier venture, publicly traded CallWave, earned back 30 times their investment following a 2004 public offering.”

Read more here.

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