The Founder's Dilemma: To Compete or Unbundle | Andreessen Horowitz - Deepstash

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The Founder's Dilemma: To Compete or Unbundle | Andreessen Horowitz

The Founder's Dilemma: To Compete or Unbundle | Andreessen Horowitz

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Horizontal social networks: steal market portion or go vertical?

  • Big three (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) have deep network effects, making it hard to compete
  • Successful vertical approaches: Craigslist and eBay are ripped apart by specific search category platforms
  • Easier to branch out of a niche in marketplaces compared to social networks...

  • Example: Twitch and Discord can venture beyond gaming, possibly into livestream shopping
  • The leadership team sets the ambition and strategy
  • Potential for gamification in fitness industry

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Evaluating the potential of a social app can be complicated. Many factors must be considered. Using Apptopia, social platforms in the top 1,000 on the US App store were analyzed and ranked according to growth rate (see graphics in-article).

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While the traditional ad model has worked well for social platforms in the past, new entrants have found new ways to monetize beyond targeted ads.

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