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Somewhat odd because some of the most valuable enterprise ventures recently have begun as consumer plays with a path to the enterprise. Dropbox is one example. The iPhone was consumer before enterprise. Github focused on individual debs before it made its enterprise play. I'd argue that AirBnB kind shows the same because I've noticed an uptick in the number of business travelers requesting to stay with us (i.e. they expense they Airbnb stay).

The enterprise is increasingly consumerized so any play that offers that opportunity should be interesting.

Great post, but I think when they talk about consumer they are talking about totally free consumer facing time-sink eyeball-monetization companies like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. I don't think they consider consumerised enterprise to be in the same category. I could be wrong though.

Yes, I (roughly) agree. The consumer companies Scott was talking about are ones where they need to generate a "lightning in a bottle" effect to work as investments. There are other kinds of consumer companies that are much more straightforward to analyze -- for example, those that pay to acquire customers and have a model to make money by doing that.

Two things are worth highlighting in your comment. One is that the examples are "yesterdays" companyies that are not all that new (in dog years;). Two, is that the entry point and the profit sweet spot were not the same. The Bet now (as per the article) is that markets that before were not likely adressable directly, are now so. Ie, there is a change in the enterprise maket (ie, latent demand) that is now directly accessable as a go-to-market strategy.

Agree. However I'd say that for technology (software and maybe now hardware), consumer to enterprise is the new normal. Meteor for example is going this approach. Individual developers are not exactly consumers, but before a platform is ready for production most users are tinkerers, which in my mind is a consumer that is part of the maker movement. Eventually those maker consumers help take something to maturity where it eventually gets adopted by the enterprise. With the Arduino, Raspberry Pi and Beaglebone, I think we're going to see consumer hardware startups mature and at least one will be a huge hit because it's a consumer tech hardware company that ends up having enterprise tech hardware relevance.

I'd say that the biggest change in the enterprise space is that individuals are increasingly responsible for purchases as opposed to some centralized purchasing department. Grassroots IT is the only adoption strategy with an element of virality.

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