Twitter, Facebook and the IPO Pop

In light ot Twitter’s IPO yesterday, here some really insightful reading materials on both Facebook & Twitter’s IPOs and what they mean for the industry & who’s cashing out behind the scenes:

  • Dan Ariely: “[…] they probably believe in their own definition of a “successful” IPO, which in their terms is one where the stock is priced at $40 and quickly trades up to $50. In the case of Facebook, this process simply redistributes $4 billion from Facebook to the banks and the large fund managers. For Zuckerberg and his team, I have to wonder whether the emotional value of a first day share price “pop” is worth $4 billion […].”

  • Matt Phillips: “[…] Either way, Twitter’s IPO was done on Wall Street’s traditional terms. And for an industry that boasts relentlessly about its ability to act as a disruptive force in American business, it’s hard not to see that as a loss […].”

Tesla's earnings out - comparing valuations with GM

Reports were somewhat mehh….Wall Street was underwhelmed with Tesla’s Q3 performance and the share price was down a whooping 16% after the annoncement. 

Let’s look at the hard facts for a sec: revenues up (higher than analyst expectations) & 5.5k model s cars sold (exceeding expectations)..Not too bad.

For context, with a revenue of $600M, Tesla’s market cap is slightly under $17bn. Putting in contrast GM’s revenues for Q3 - $39 bn - their current market cap of $50bn is a clear indication for where the car industry is headed toward. Super excited…thinking of selling my fiat, put some more money down for the next 5, 10 or 50 years and then finally buy a model s as well! :)

More info & reading material here: 

WiMo Wi-Fi hotspot network

With over 50k registered mobile device users after just 4 months of beta testing, WiMo’s Wifi network is looking to expand its access points, which currently include shopping malls, transport terminals, banks, libraries and restaurants in and around Tehran.

The service is compatible with Iranian mobile operators MCI, MTN Irancell, Taliya or Rightel.

TEDx is coming to Tehran

Farscrunch is back. Thanks to Sebastian Blum for consistently pushing me to keep this little project going. Now enough for the sweet talk, let’s get back to business.

TEDx is coming to Tehran. For the very first time, TED is drawing everyone’s attention to the great capital of Iran. The independently organized event hosted by Tehran’s AmirKabir University of Technology will bring together speakers and national & international entrepreneurs alike.

Unfortunately, I find it pretty confusing and poorly communicated what the main focus and topic of the event will be. It seems the focus is around Creativity, Sustainable Energy, Prosperity, Innovation & Entertainment. All in all a bit too vague for my taste, but there is still some time to work on that.

As unique and valuable this event may be - not only for Iran, but for the whole Middle Eastern region - there are still elements that could be worked upon to gain greater momentum and increase Iran’s status globally: provide clear incentives for startups to attend the conference, getting internationally renowned speakers to help build credibility and better use of social media to attract Iran’s youth and international attention.

All in all, this is a great step in the right direction. Hope we can get Cooliris and topics like photo, mobile & the private social network up on stage for next year’s TEDx Tehran (check out Cooliris at &

You can follow TEDx Tehran on Facebook or via their website.

2011 Internet Trends!

This is a very extensive slide deck by Mary Meeker, Partner at Kleiner Perkins, on the overall Internet trends for the next years to come. Very extensive, still worth reading through.

Mary Meeker | Internet Trends | San Francisco 2011

Particularly slide 7 of the presentation presents some very relevant data on Internet usage in Iran.
In 2010, around 37 million people in Iran were using the Internet with a growth rate of 31% Y/Y. What’s even more interesting is the fact that Internet is being used by 49% of the overall population - with this, Iran has the 2nd highest penetration of all top 10 countries listed, which make up for around 54% of the world’s overall internet users.

And it even gets better: within the last 3 years, Internet usage has been steadily growing in Iran to the extent that Iran has added more Internet users within the last 3 years than the US. 

Would be interesting to see how the smartphone and mobile internet landscape in Iran can compete against the top 10 countries. More to come on that topic soon … 

Dropbox - How to realize your vision!

Great article posted yesterday on Forbes magazine, covering one of Silicon Valley’s hottest companies: Dropbox.

The company, which was founded by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdousi (a fellow Iranian, my friends), just raised their B round of financing valuing the company to around 4bn. However breathtaking these numbers might appear to you, the Forbes article actually focusses on a different story happening some two years ago:

It’s the story of two founders who are so convinced and in love with the vision of their own product that they would turn down an offer coming from The Man himself, Steve Jobs.

You can read the full article here:

All new LiveShare by Cooliris - what is really under the hood?

LiveShare by Cooliris recently introduced the all new version of their mobile client for Android and iOS. Below this post, you can see the web element in form of the 3D gallery tha’s embedded onto this page. 

For those not familiar with the concept of LiveShare, the app allows users to create intuitive temporal or ad-hoc groups on the fly and share rich media within those (private or public) groups. LiveShare currently supports photos only, but the vision of the product crystalizes into two things:

  • Content is highly contextual - even though the concept of a loud news feed is working for facebook or twitter, you can clearly see trends in contextualized content sharing - not all of my friends are interested to learn what I was eating for breakfast this morning. Being able to consume and share your media based on interest, time, space or relationships gives full power to the user. Here’s an article outlining LiveShare’s new features
  • The LiveShare service is currently supporting photo sharing only, but will soon extend into a full rich media communication suite, where users will be able to interact around photos, videos, links, maps, voip, etc. Here’s an article on the next gen LiveShare.

What’s the added value for the Middle East you ask?

LiveShare’s clear advantage compared to all other media sharing apps available is it’s powerful web presence. Internet consumption in the middle east and especially in Iran is mainly limited to the desktop computer, with smartphones not having found their way into the mass market yet. Take a look at the service and tell me what you think. 

Welcome to the First Persian Blog from Silicon Valley - Made by a Persian, for Persians (and the rest of the World)

What a great day to start off this little diary. With Apple launching their new iPhone series, the whole world has shifted it’s attention to Silicon Valley to witness Apple’s next step to world domination.

First and foremost, the idea of this blog is to be a source of information for all my fellow Iranian people, who are deprived from all the daily, nay, hourly developments in the tech world in the western hemisphere.
Obviously, the content in here will be as subjective as any other blog or news paper inherently is, with the writer adding his own little ideas and thought processes to the news that is being posted.

The idea though is to add a little Iranian flair to the news, in short, make it more fun and sexy….just kidding. Being an Iranian with roots in Europe and now working in Silicon Valley, I’m hoping to provide an insider’s perspective on all the hot topics.

Right now, in fall 2011, Iran is experiencing it’s facebook boom with the millions of millions of young Iranian’s signing up to the service and communicating in a world, where social media is becoming almost as important as the air you breathe (admittedly this is a bit radical, but hey it’s all subjective). This is happening more than seven years after facebook was first launched and after the occident had for many many years already understood the benefits and the impact of social communication. My goal is to bridge that gap so that in the future Iran’s tech-savvy youth can learn about these technologies in a much shorter period of time and through that inspire innovation in Iran.