The digital business week

20 Dec 2010

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

Industries of the future

We’ve spent so much time looking back at what went wrong in Ireland that perhaps it’s apt to look forward and figure out what growth potential is left to allow us to one day shatter the shackles imposed by our new economic overlords.

You see, after the shock, anger and the recrimination, the fighting characteristic that makes us distinctly Irish must surely come out and more and more people will have to realise it’s going to be a team effort to put this country on the right trajectory.

It is important to give future generations of school leavers – and their parents – some ray of hope and allow them to prepare for the industries of the future. So here they are:

  • Medical devices and life sciences
  • Nanotechnology
  • Food and agriculture
  • The digital economy
  • Cloud computing
  • Green tech

Facebook to generate $2bn for 2010

Facebook is reported to generate $2bn in revenue for 2010, much higher than was previously projected.

According to Bloomberg, sources have said that the figure is more than double from 2009, which saw sales at $700m to $800m.

This is due to the privately held social network attracting big brands to advertise on the site, thanks to its 500-million strong membership figure.

Twitter raises US$200m – valued at US$3.7bn

A bidding war to invest in Twitter has ended with a prominent Silicon Valley firm investing US$200m in the microblogging site in a move that values it at US$3.7bn.

It emerged in recent weeks that Russian firm DST and Silicon Valley investor firm Kleiner Perkins were in a bidding war to invest in Twitter.

Now, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is to put US$200m into Twitter, bringing the total amount of venture capital raised by Twitter to US$360m.

The company is to get two new board members – Flipboard’s Mike McCue and ex-DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt. It is clear from these appointments that Twitter is trying to strike the perfect balance between technological relevance and monetising via online advertising.

Kleiner Perkins is the only investor in this current round. Other investors in Twitter include Benchmark Capital, Union Square Venture Partners, Spark Capital and various angel investors.

Twitter launches a new online Business Centre

Twitter has launched a new version of its Business Centre, giving companies advice on how to enhance their Twitter presence and letting them integrate its API on their website.

The site gives business-related information on what Twitter is and what the best practices are for promoting a company on the site.

It gives case studies on companies who successfully use Twitter, offers widgets such as Tweet Buttons and follow buttons and gives resources on how to integrate its API on a company’s website.

The Business Centre also has an advertising section.

Most workers use video conferencing at home, not at work – research

Some 88pc of office workers use video conferencing at home to talk to friends and family, but 86pc of remote and office workers don’t use video communications for work, a survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted by Damovo in the UK among 1,000 remote and office workers, showed that 39pc of workers are reluctant to use video communications at work as they worry about how they look on camera.

Ten per cent of workers said they were too embarrassed to talk in front of a camera, as for them, it feels like public speaking.

Among those who were comfortable talking in front of a camera, 19pc said that because they work from home or on the road, they are aware that their location may not be suited for video.

In spite of this reluctance to use video conferencing at work, 88pc of participants said they used video services such as Skype, Google Talk or MSN Messenger to chat with friends and family in the country or overseas.

Avego introduces R&D investment programme, to create 35 jobs

Avego will expand its facilities in Kinsale, Co Cork, seeing the company undertake a major R&D investment programme and creating 35 new jobs over the next three years.

Supported by Enterprise Ireland, it was announced during an event when the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Innovation Batt O’Keeffe TD opened the newly expanded facilities for the company.

Avego provides software and hardware solutions for improving the efficiency of passenger transport. It has offices in Dublin, China and the US.