Monday, November 24, 2008

The Value of Unlicensed Music “Shared” Worldwide on P2P Networks in 2007 was US $69Bn

Time to think how to create revenue channels from content maybe? (Source)

The Value of Unlicensed Music “Shared” Worldwide on P2P Networks in 2007 was US$ 69 billion

SMS cost a concern in FB buying Twitter

imagine FB did buy Twitter and really dig into their mobile strategy. How cool would that be.

Here's one reason it probably would not happen:
"Twitter pays for users' messages to be sent to cellphones. If Facebook were to offer the service to its 120 million members, that could be quite an SMS bill for the social net to deal with" (Source)

We need a new mobile alert solution. SMS is not it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

NYC Mobile Barcamp3 quick notes

This weekend we attended mobileCampNYC3. A bit of a drive from Boston but boy was it worth it. about 200 peeps showed up. Mind u, these are peeps with real life, jobs and plenty of stuff to do in the w/e. Still they were there. Great to see Dave Harper (taking QR codes the next step), Raul from QTrax, Keith from PadPaw and many other great peeps.

for the most part, geeks are geeks. stick together and feed each other with ideas. So the outstanding session which made my day was by Mike Young and Ted Roden from "The New York Times Company" (what a name eh?).
Simply put, they presented NYT mobile strategy, composed of mobile web pages rendered in 5 different formats, mobile resident application strategy and mobile alerts. It was fascinating to finally listen to someone "from the outside" lay out how they see mobile. For example, I asked about their alerts. They totally see mobile, and alerts specifically, as a valuable service to keep subs happy and grab new ones, despite the cost, which they agree, is high. (BTW, they use mBlox).
Their conversion from a link inside an SMS 'Alert' to a mobile page view is above 40% !!!
In a few months they achieved a couple hundred mobile subs and millions of impressions a month. Not bad.
I'm still waiting to get the ppt from Mike and learn more from it.

Then they presented SHIFD. Shift content between your PC and your device. Read something on your PC, mark where you left off, continue reading on the subway. Not only is it a cool idea, they get to work on it in the NYT lab!

Alexander Besher also brought some 'outsider' spirit to the game. He's an author and he discovered Dave Harpers' QR linking technology, using it in his book "Mangaman". Interesting again.

Perhaps the other session to mention was the moaning in the US about SMS costs and who controls the market as a result (being, the operators, not the services or the marketers). We were examining new methods to deliver SMS-like alert experience without having the operators in the middle of it (cost & control). One idea is to be embedded inside an application. Perhaps unrealistic if you want to have your own (distribution, development,...) but what if you used Facebook alerts for that?? Right, not everyone has Facebook on their phone, but most of those who have mobile internet phones are anyway in the teens or are geeks, and they'd have Facebook installed?. Similarly, a comment was made by Nick Clarey (brilliant brit from Airsource) about using RIM's Blackberry messaging technology (mind you that presents a slight reach problem, now that RIM aren't even 1st in US shipments). It completely works around the carriers and operated by RIM. The interesting comment was: "if the operators can control SMS, could they not have the same control over application messages or RIM's solution?".
I suppose the answer is 'Yes they could'. But there you really go into a power game. No one would shut down RIM, as no one would shut down Facebook. But they could twist Facebook to better control services using their messages to connect to their audience.

Anyway, great day in the big apple. Boston should have one of those too!

Friday, November 14, 2008

My notes on lessons in relations

One of the most enriching experiences I ever went through was when I became a product manager back at TTPCom. The reason was because it really opened my eyes to the nuances and importance of maintaining relationships. I was jumping to deep water: TTPCom was a company based out of England, I was based out of Boston. My mother tongue is Hebrew, theirs was English, adding Scottish or other accents. And last, I was a first product manager responsible for a rather massive product, in an engineering-oriented company who had the engineers own the products (with pride) from concept to retirement. Luckily, I had two wonderful mentors: my local CEO and my remote boss.

The lessons I learned during those times are invaluable. Here are some of them:
  • In conflict, remember the other side is shouting/screaming/beating or hurt, because they care. If they didn't care they wouldn't be doing it. If they didn't care, or you made them stop caring, you loose.
  • Conflicts usually rise from simple misinterpretation of messages. Sometimes from conflict of interest, but that's not the general case as those could be worked out. If one side interprets a message wrongly, the breakage depends on the follow up action. The best way to deal with it is to come there and then and simply ask: "what do you mean by..."?. the very worst way is to go away upset and 'store' it. Because it will burst in unproportional dimensions and usually based on subjective memory that twists the original message. Nobody remembers and so it's just a bad feeling all around. Misunderstandings should be resolved immediately, I think.
  • Cultural and language barriers are real, especially when comes to local slang or abbreviated messages. Without mutual understanding that the barriers exist and need to be worked out, one can guarantee conflicts will rise from misinterpretation of messages. Those barriers need to be acknowledged and sensitively handled to make it work.
  • Email is the worst communication medium on this planet. The worst. Few sentences misunderstood without immediate ability to feedback or query as to the meaning easily lead to a lot of frustration and conflict. Emails and documents should be used for directions, descriptions, manuals. Not for human communications.
  • Human communication should be done talking f2f. That's the best way to struggle, conflict and resolve challenges. That's why I strongly believe in building mutual appreciation and respect and basis for healthy work relations rather than authority-driven relationships. That's why relationships need to be personal, because the other side needs to know you care and motivated to their success as much as yours. Phone is no substitute. If you have to get on a jet, car or bike, do that. The price of not doing will turn much higher.
  • Focus on what you're trying to solve. If this is a partnership, friendship or whatever, if you busy yourself with the irrelevant details, you will convey the wrong messages. For example, if you are hurt, try to analyze what is it, what caused it, and try to resolve it with yourself or the other side. Throwing irrelevant accusations will only make it worse.
  • And last, remember why you started this relationship. There was a honeymoon at the beginning. Remember the time when both sides were happy. Remember the time when both sides could see and make the best of one another. Don't focus on the lows of the other side, everyone has those. Try to remember what you liked and see if you can make that happen again. It's about being better people and helping others being better by seeing the better in them.
If you follow my blog you think where this post came from. I may be coming out of a low period, loosing. Two very close people to me conflicted and got badly hurt. It saddens me endlessly. In retrospect it's amazing how one thing spiraled to the next without control. This could have been stopped and handled.

This is dedicated to them. I pray time will heal this. I have a lot of interest in it. But it sure is tough seeing it from here.

I saw a movie called 'Feast of Love'. Beautiful movie, if you like slow movies about real life. I don't think it ever made it. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dejavu: New Sprint 2D barcode reader paves way for mobile commerce

Sprint announces 2D barcode reader
MMarketer this morning has the story about Sprint's "New" 2D barcode tech from Scanbuy.

I think this story is interesting and can draw some conclusions because of the following 4 reasons:
  • If you recall, Sprint announced their 2D code tech about a year or so ago on their website...
  • Mobile 2D code scanning tech has been around, so it seems, forever. Early adopters of the tech as well, including mobile web and awerness. In other countries Mobile code scanning has flourished way back and they are now into next generations of the tech. Yet here, Sprint are the first (I think) the carrier to announce it, at the end of 2008.
  • Despite talks in the past that indicated CTIA was making hard efforts to align all carriers, “Sprint is the first and only U.S. carrier to offer direct access to ScanLife from Scanbuy,” said Emmy Anderson, spokeswoman for Sprint. That, to me, means this environment will have a hard time to survive. With exceptions, brands will be hesitant to put codes on their print ads until more carriers have this working.
  • And even then, there's no mention of Sprint preloading the app. I'm not sure how many people will end up downloading it themselves. I mean, if you compare this announcement to the TV commercials that show TMO's G1 scanning codes, who do you think the public is going to be aware of?
  • Scanbuy landed $9m series B back in '06. Back then it seemed attached to the Sprint announcement. Timing is everything and whoever gets it right is king. Boy time does fly, doesn't it?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Adva Mobile on Facebook & YouTube

Check out Adva Mobile's Facebook page as well as our YouTube shout videos. Twitter feed coming :-)

Adva Mobile provides mobile fan club service to emerging music artists so they can create and grow a community of loyal fans through a mobile phone experience

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Help yourself to those cuffs

Those of you who know me or follow this blog, know what I think of US operators and what that means for a US Mobile startup. Let's say I wasn't surprised by IDG giving $12M to mobile IVR player Mobivox.

The following Verizon brief, then, seems only natural. Not that I'm a big Android or T-Mobile fan but I truly think you should highlight your advantages, not play your opponent's downsides. Following that thought, it would be only natural to see Verizon disabling Blackberry Storm's WiFi feature. I could only wish subscribers would start opening their eyes and give power to those who really care about them.

Read my lips: Verizon's 3-cents SMS story is not over.

Verizon disabling wifi on blackberry storm and smear T-Mobile Google Android G1