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News & Press: Colorado Technology Industry

Zeisser: No second chance for 'Net firms

Tuesday, October 18, 2011   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Wendy Nkomo
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Zeisser: No second chance for 'Net firms
By Michael Davidson

October 14, 2011 --

DENVER - Fierce competition and the relentless pace of innovation means there are no second chances for Internet companies that stumble, the senior vice president of one of the world's largest consumer Internet companies told a gathering of Colorado tech industry leaders Friday morning.

Liberty Media Corp.'s senior vice president Michael Zeisser delivered that message during his keynote speech at the Colorado Technology Association's 2011 DEMOgala conference and product expo at the Sheraton Denver Downtown.

Zeisser provided about 300 attendees a brief history of the past 15 years of the commercial Internet industry. He highlighted some of the once hot companies such as MySpace and AOL that have withered in the face of technical change and competition.

"Once they stumbled, they were not able to turn themselves around," Zeisser said. "If you miss a step, for whatever reason, or whatever the step may be, you fall back ... and because you are competing with so many companies, it's impossible to catch up."

While any company's failure can be attributed to unique reasons, companies that have proven successful in the brief history of the consumer Internet seem to share a handful of traits, Zeisser said. Foremost was a focus on their product, including user experience and ease of use. Successful companies also have succeeded at creating network effects, where users can improve the products with each use, such as Google's search engine, which updates its algorithms with each search.

This year's DEMOgala is the seventh hosted by ColoTech, which was known until earlier this year as CSIA. This is the largest event yet, with 41 companies or organizations hosting exhibits and more than 40 industry experts participating in about a dozen panel discussions.

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