Executive Briefing

The Noma experience, Direct-to-consumer deals follow-up

Also: The New Consumer is out of beta.

While researching last week’s piece on direct-to-consumer e-commerce brands — and how few have been acquired for more than $1 billion or have gone public yet — I kept thinking about a similar situation in the mobile apps industry almost a decade ago.

After Instagram launched in late 2010 and was an instant hit, there was a boom of lookalike mobile photo-sharing apps: the Instagram for Android, the Instagram for food, the Instagram for video, the Instagram for whatever, all fueled by venture capital.

But after Facebook famously paid $1 billion for Instagram in 2012… that was basically it. Instagram become the Instagram for all of those purposes. Other than Tumblr, there weren’t billion-dollar deals for many other mobile-social apps. The ones that thrived did so with new mechanics (WhatsApp, Snapchat) or geographical focus (WeChat, Line). Most are gone.

Is that, I wondered, how it’s going to play out here, too?

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is a newsletter and website supported entirely by your membership. Thanks in advance.

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