Redeye VC

Josh Kopelman

Managing Director of First Round Capital.

espite being coastally challenged (currently living in Philadelphia), Josh has been an active entrepreneur and investor in the Internet industry since its commercialization. In 1992, while he was a student at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Josh co-founded Infonautics Corporation – an Internet information company. In 1996, Infonautics went public on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

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Monthly Archives for 2010

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Some more thoughts on innovation in eCommerce

I had the chance to speak on a panel about Online Shopping at a NextNY event this week. And after a great discussion, I started talking with some folks about my last blog post (which commented on how little has changed in online shopping since I founded back in 1999 -- especially given the vast amount of change that has occurred on the web outside of shopping).  

And I wanted to put a little more specifics/numbers to my thinking.  So I did a little digging on Alexa today -- and found some data that appears to confirm my perspective:

  • More than half of today's top 15 most trafficked websites today did not exist back in 1999.  That is not a surprise, as Facebook, Youtube, Wikipedia, Myspace, Blogger, and Twitter are all new -- and are representative of the massive amount of innovation and disruption that has occurred in the last decade.
  • Yet, of the top 15 most trafficked eCommerce websites today, just one of them did not exist back in 1999 (NewEgg - which launched in 2001).  Which means that over 90% of the top eCommerce websites are over 12 years old!  That is pretty remarkable to me -- and reflects an amazing lack of external innovation (and disruption).   

AlexaSlide12Year (2)

  • And if you compare today's top 15 list of eCommerce websites to this list from 2005, you'll see it's almost identical.  So not only have almost all the top eCommerce sites existed for 12 years -- there has been virtually no dislocation among the leaders.

As I said in my last post, I believe we've seen more innovation (and potential for disruption) in eCommerce in the last 10 months than we have in the last 10 years -- with group buying, demand aggregation, game mechanics, flash/group sales, leveraging the social graph for customer acquisition and mobile.  And, I believe that this is a great time to be investing in these disruptive models.

Anyone want to bet whether, in the five years from now, the top 15 eCommerce sites will look pretty different than they look today?