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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Microsoft/Yahoo - let the exodus begin

AdUpdated - See new post for more info.

Back in November, Facebook launched their new SocialAds platform.  Like many other folks, I decided to spend $50 to check out the platform.  Like Fred, I decided to advertise for my fund - First Round Capital.  Unlike Fred, however, I decided to test Facebook's targeting mechanism by running targeted ads to employees of large Internet companies -- including Yahoo and Microsoft.   

One of the nice parts about Facebook's platform is their realtime statistics.  Back in November, I saw that my Yahoo ad received 21,291 impressions with only 64 clicks -- a clickthrough rate of 0.30%.  And my Microsoft ad received no clicks with 1,058 impressions. So when Microsoft announced they wanted to acquire Yahoo, it got me (and everyone else) wondering.  Specifically, I wondered if YHOO/MSFT employees were indeed more likely to "look around" for new jobs -- and if so, how much more.  Since I had baseline data from just 90 days ago, I decided to run the ads again.

On the Yahoo side, there was a 260% increase in clickthrough rate -- from 0.3% to 0.86%.  That is not surprising.  But on the Microsoft side, I was really surprised.  When I ran around 1,000 impressions before, the ad did not receive one click -- now the same advertisement received 15 clicks.  Microsoft's clickthrough rate increased from 0% to 1.19%.  Maybe it's not just Microsoft's shareholders who are unhappy


I acknowledge that this data is probably not statistically significant -- however, it probably is a good leading indicator of the exodus that will occur.  And, while there has been a lot of discussion of whether a Microsoft/Yahoo combination would help or hurt Silicon Valley, the impact of this coming exodus has been largely ignored.   

As talent leaves the big Internet/technology companies, there will be a flood of experienced folks looking to join (or start) startup companies.   And that's a flood I look forward to.