Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Kara Visits Netvibes in Paris

On my journey through the Europe Web scene, a stop at the Paris offices of Netvibes is a must, as it most resembles a Silicon Valley start-up. It has aimed at becoming the personal Web aggregation play and is among the more interesting and entrepreneurial in Europe.

The company was founded by former journalist Tariq Krim in 2005, who ran it with longtime European entrepreneur Pierre Chappaz until he left this past summer to work on another company called Wikio.

Netvibes is funded by the European VCs of Accel Partners and Index Ventures , as well as a smattering of U.S Web players like Marc Andreessen and others, to the tune of about $16 million.

Using a customizable ecosystem that allows a user to include any Web app–such as widgets, feeds, email, videos, blogs and now social-networking apps too–its goal of creating the personalized home page puts it in competition with other sites like Pageflakes, iGoogle and, of course, MyYahoo.

The site has upward of 12,000 feeds of all kinds and about 10 million registered users, aiming to make money via revenue sharing on the various apps used.

The business plan and the whole space, of course, is still developing, as a variety of players compete to become your first stop on the Internet with hopes of finding new ways to monetize that experience.

But here’s Netvibes CEO Krim discussing the whole thing:

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work