Corporate Background • Founded in April, 1998, by Michael Yang and Yeogirl Yun . • Virtual Learning Agent (VLA) technology was created by Yeogirl . • Acquired by CNET Networks in 2000 for $736 million .
Simply Put… • mySimon.com is a comparison shopping service that allows users to search the internet for the best prices of a wide-array of products. • Users can browse specifically, or by category and are able to sort their search results according to several different pertinent characteristics of the product (i.e. popularity, price, etc…).
Business Objectives • Exclusive, innovative, automatic information discovery system is ideal for an e-commerce Web shopping service. • Empowers consumers to find the best values for virtually any product on the Web. • Presents price information in a format that is easy to read and sort.
Company Sophistication • Announced partnership with Britannica.com in 2000, linking Britannica sites to related mySimon pages . • Partnered with USAToday.com to be the site’s exclusive provider of comparison shopping services . • Struck a deal with About.com to incorporate mySimon’s shopping engine into About’s network of 460 sites .
Innovative Technology • Uses intelligent agent and advanced parallel search technologies to automatically comb Web merchants' sites for product and price information . • Creates mass quantities of intelligent agents that mimic human behavior and can be "trained" to extract specific information from any merchant Web site .
Simplicity • mySimon’s user interface is very simple. • Hundreds of categories can be easily searched. • Results are nicely tabulated and sorted as the user demands.
Awards and Honors • mySimon.com is a winner of the “Forbes favorite” award . • Won the EPpy award for “Best Internet Shopping Service” . • Has been rated as one of Time’s Top 50 websites. Winner of the best comparison shopping site .
Competition • mySimon does face competition from services such as those offered by Yahoo! and the new Froogle (by Google) . • Still, rated the number one comparison shopping portal on the internet and continues to grow.
How Money is Made • Bulk of their revenue comes from generating buyers for their e-retailer clients . • MySimon makes anywhere from a few cents to almost a dollar on each consumer that clicks through a link on its site to one of its merchant partners . • Also makes revenue through deals with merchants to provide advertising, etc.
Customers?? Inventory?? • Because comparative shopping sites such as mySimon.com make the bulk of their revenue by generating buyers for their e-retailer clients, customers, in a sense are their inventory . • A lot is invested into managing user behavior and traffic.
Parent Company Profile • CNET Networks, Inc. is a global media company. It manages a vast internet network, has print publications, and manages a huge technology product database. • You may have heard of CNET Reviews.
Business Plan • CNET’s (thus mySimon’s) business plan is sound in that they deal primarily in the business of information. • There are no great overhead costs associated with administering their business. • Extensive staffs are not really necessary.
BUT… • Despite a solid business plan, CNET (including mySimon) was hit hard by the bursting of the e-commerce bubble. • The company has not been profitable for the last few years . • Recently, they significantly readjusted their workforce through laying off employees .
How Then in the Sweet Spot? • Although not recently profitable, CNET has been significantly rising as of late, and promises to be one of the companies at the head of the tech rebound.
How Then in the Sweet Spot? • In releasing their latest quarterly reports and guidance, CNET executives have shown gradually curbing losses, and forecast profit as early as next year . • CNET has been upgraded to outperform by many traders, including Solomon Smith Barney .
The Future • New categories are being offered such as the newest music category . • New services such as Gift Finder and Shopping Guides continue to be added to enhance the robustness of the service .
Random News • mySimon co-founder Yeogirl Yun has made the news again recently by heading up the development of the newest search engine WiseNut. This search engine was highlighted by Time magazine, and is expected to compete with Google .
References • http://eurozdnet-de.mysimon.com/corporate/index.jhtml?pgid=backgrounder • http://siliconvalley.internet.com/news/article.php/448741 • http://siliconvalley.internet.com/news/article.php/915511 • http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1106-977042.html • http://www.internetnews.com/IAR/article.php/382701 • http://www.internetwk.com/ebizapps/ebiz072400-3.htm • http://www.time.com/time/2002/tech/best/search.html • http://www.sdtimes.com/cols/webwatch_024.htm • http://www.cnet.com/aboutcnet/0-13613-7-20096942.html • http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&prev=/search%3Fq%3DCNET%2Bstock%26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8&q=stocks:CNET+ • http://www.mysimon.com/ • http://www.multexinvestor.com/