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Anne-Marie Roussel
Head of Acquisitions and Partnerships for Sharp Labs of America
Head of Acquisitions and Partnerships for Sharp Labs of America

Anne-Marie's posts

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The Gender Gap In Silicon Valley - Let’s Apply Some Common Sense
Every now and then, the Silicon Valley gender gap issue makes headline news. The Kleiner Perkins harassment lawsuit, Sheryl Sandberg’s bestseller "Lean In," Google’s recent self-flagellation about not having enough women on staff, and in a lighter way, the season finale of the HBO series, Silicon Valley. These are examples of a complex issue which illustrates the ‘’darker side’ of Silicon Valley. It’s not the all-inclusive, cool and innovative meritocracy that outsiders dream of. Quite the opposite. It’s more similar to the rampant nepotism that one finds in “Old World” societies where a male-dominated tech elite calls most of the shots. It reminds me of the bankers crowd in my hometown of Paris where it would be hard to match the traditional, un-imaginative approach to diversity. But Silicon Valley’s tech crowd has managed to do it.

Granted, my perspective on the Silicon Valley gender gap is influenced by who I am and where I come from. Full disclosure: I am a woman, born and raised in France. I have been working in tech for 15 years in Europe and the U.S. I am not an engineer. I am a business type. I am the cofounder of a tech startup. In the recent past, I held executive positions at Gartner in Europe and Microsoft and Sharp Electronics in Silicon Valley. I’ve been a VC in a Silicon Valley firm. I have been based in Silicon Valley for the past eight years.

The following is my perspective, based upon my background. It’s uncommon in the sense that I am a French transplant in the Silicon Valley system. Take it as such.

To read more:

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The wait is over as Zeebox hits the US: 

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Comments posted on Twitter and other social-media websites about television shows have exploded in the past year. Even affecting how the writers approach scripts, in some cases:

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Social Media: TVs Secret Sauce
The 2012 Summer Olympics was the most watched TV event in history (see this article in the Huffington Post). What made this year’s Olympics so successful? Social Media.

The impact of Social Media on the Olympics shows how much television viewing has evolved in just a couple of years. We used to sit back and “watch” – the couch potato experience. Today people used a second screen to engage with athletes, broadcasters, and friends while watching the Games – the social junkie experience.

It’s simple: how can you resist flipping on the television when you see something like this come across your newsfeed? OMG! #MrBean is running on the beach in Chariots of Fire! #Olympics (By the way, the opening ceremony inspired over 9 million tweets.)

Despite complaints about NBC’s coverage across social platforms (as exhibited by the popular hashtag #NBCFail), online comments by Olympic athletes and average viewers resulted in a type of engagement around the games never seen before. One post by Michael Phelps was retweeted over 14,000 times!

Here are some illuminating stats from Bluefin Labs:
- The Olympics completely dominated the primetime social TV conversation.
- Over the 17 days of the Games between the hours of 7pm and midnight, 99% of all social TV buzz was attributed to primetime Olympics telecasts.
In total, there were more than 82M comments on Twitter and public Facebook about the Olympics from July 27 through Aug 12.

My take: Social Media is the secret sauce that is going to generate new revenue streams into the TV industry. At the same time, it will accelerate the consolidation that has already started in this market, which has too many small players. As larger players such as studios, networks, TV platform providers, device manufacturers, and the like, become more aware of the potential of Social TV to engage further with consumers and grow revenue, they will acquire the innovation from the outside that will help them do that quickly.

Here's a link to this blog:

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The Biggest Investors in Social TV: INFOGRAPHIC
It’s interesting to see that despite the lively ecosystem around “everything social” funding activity in Social TV — the intersection between social networks and TV viewing – is still limited. Only a handful of investors have several portfolio companies in that space.
However, that limited activity is counterbalanced by the fact that “smart money” – such as Google Ventures, Khosla, Kleiner Perkins, etc. – got involved early. Always a good sign.
Below is my latest roundup of the most active investors in Social TV, either by the amount they invested or the number of deals they made.
I welcome your comments.
Note: Please click on the chart to access links:

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Facebook and Social TV: Limited Steps
In May I posted a blog entitled Facebook and Social TV – In Stealth Mode?. I felt that it was odd that Facebook, which has shown it can move fast in other domains, had yet to position itself as a key player in Social TV. Facebook has so far let Twitter be the driver of social conversation around TV shows and except for integration with second screen applications such as Get Glue and Miso, it has not really staked a claim in the growing ecosystem that is Social TV.

Oddly enough, Facebook’s leadership position in social networking has not yet translated into formulating a coherent strategy around the other two fastest growing tech segments: mobile networking and socially-enabled TV. The fact that it has signed a couple of deals with CNN and NBC recently to facilitate social conversations around the US Elections and the Summer Olympics respectively, is a sign that Facebook is conscious that there are opportunities in Social TV, but it is amazing that it has yet to fully leverage its 900M user base to derive new revenue from the large overlap between that user base and the mass TV audience.

Facebook could be the platform around which audiences engage with TV programming – thus enabling Facebook to generate significant additional advertising revenue from brands that are looking for more-trackable campaigns around TV shows than the ones currently provided by broadcasters.

Yet Facebook’s cautious steps in the Social TV space so far indicate that, as in the mobile space, Facebook may still be in the process of defining its vision.

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How the Social TV landscape has changed in the past 3 mos (INFOGRAPHIC)
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