Archive for June, 2006

Capturing the Power: Week of 6/11/06

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

Mobility is a wonderful thing. As mobility gets built into all products and services, businesses need to learn how to both capture the power of mobility and manage the dangers introduced through mobility. Here are some examples of how the power of mobility is being applied to create competitive advantage:

Managing the Danger: Week of 6/11/06

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

In order to be winners in the new mobile era, businesses will not only need to capture the power of mobility, but also manage the danger. Highlighted below are recent examples of the danger of mobility and how some firms are beginning to manage it:

Converged Products: Week of 6/11/06

Friday, June 16th, 2006

The most convenient way that mobility is getting built into products is through the convergence of capabilities that previously existed as standalone products into the cellphone. That way, those products are now with you and available for your use whenever you need them wherever you go.

Cameras: Mobility vs. Disposability

Friday, June 16th, 2006

Techdirt has a great piece this week on the continued market strength of disposable cameras. They identify the logic behind this as “the best camera at any given point is the one you have with you.”

This, of course, is very close to the logic behind the Law of Mobility – that the value of any product (with cameraphones being one of my favorite examples) increases with its mobility – where mobility is the % of time the product is fully available for use.

Therefore, it’s a pretty logical conclusion that the same thing that makes a cameraphone valuable – the fact that you have it when you realize that you want to take a picture but didn’t remember/think to bring your “real” camera, is the same thing that drives sales of disposable cameras. I’m sure the makers of disposable cameras are all over this and realize that if sales of cameraphones continues to take off, then that’s bad news for them. I would guess that very few disposable cameras are purchased by cameraphone owners.

However, this is probably a good time to (once again) acknowledge that cameraphones generally don’t take very good pictures. The $5 disposable camera will almost always yield better results than the $200 cameraphone! A recent In-Stat study reported that phone buyers are fed up with the poor resolution and lack of storage options on cameraphones. Perhaps just in time, handset manufacturers are introducing cameraphones that may start to deliver. Of course, one of the hold-ups has been the time it would take to upload multi-megapixel photos over a pre-3G network. Especially as carriers roll-out even faster upload capabilities, the overall customer experience with these new devices may drive yet more change in photography market trends.

This past Saturday, at the Greenhouse event, Techdirt’s Mike Masnick commented that the value of a camerphone is not only that it is with you, but also that it’s connected. I certainly agree with that, and as those connections get faster in more places, the value of cameraphones will undoubtedly increase. Sitting amongst that collection of, admittedly technology early adopters, it was enlightening to see the broad use of cameraphones, accompanied immediately by sending e-mails (e.g. sending a photo of the CEO presenting out to the troops) and uploading to Flickr, as if to prove Mike’s point.

In trying to bring a thoughtful close to what has been perhaps my most rambling post ever… Perhaps we in the mobile industry should feel good, as stewards of creation, that the products we are bringing to market may some day make disposable products unnecessary (we can only hope and pray).

techdirt greenhouse

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

Yesterday was the second techdirt greenhouse in Sunnyvale, California. I was pleased to be able to participate and really enjoyed the interaction.

In the spirit of the event, modern tools are being used to capture and extend the day beyond the bounds of time and space:

As the token “big company” at the event, I hope I brought some different perspectives and I certainly benefitted from hearing fresh voices different than what I normally encounter wandering around our corporate campus in Kansas.

I set up the discussion with a very brief intro to the concepts of the Mobility Era and how the Law of Mobility is driving change into business. We then split into groups of about 10, with two assigned specifically to address the questions of how mobility would change how businesses operate and compete.

Some of the comments that resonated with me:

  • Mobility creates convenience.
  • Mobility also creates immediacy, which has tremendous value for any form of communications, so clearly mobility will be built into all modes of communications – even more than currently.
  • Even when mobility is used for business, it’s intensely personal.
  • A poor quality camera can have value because it’s mobile, but the mobile applications available today (in at least one person’s opinion) “suck” and making them mobile doesn’t create value.
  • For mobile applications, the key will be whether the network is open or closed.
  • The fact that carriers require you to sign up for at least a year before you can use the network will limit businesses’ willingness to experiment with new mobile applications.
  • WiFi is an interesting study in the power and danger dynamic of mobility. In general, IT departments deployed WiFi because of the “danger” (or more accurately the cost and hassle) of running cables. But once there, people discovered the power of mobility, working in ways previously not imagined to create tremendous new value for the company.

If anyone was there and has additional comments, please feel free to share them!

Enabling Technology: Week of 6/4/06

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

The Law of Mobility talks about value increasing with mobility. The impact of this law is being felt because the cost of adding mobility into products is falling, making it a no-brainer for mobility to be built into everything. Here are examples of technology advances enabling this to happen:

Capturing the Power: Week of 6/4/06

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

Mobility is a wonderful thing. As mobility gets built into all products and services, businesses need to learn how to both capture the power of mobility and manage the dangers introduced through mobility. Here are some examples of how the power of mobility is being applied to create competitive advantage:

Managing the Danger: Week of 6/4/06

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

In order to be winners in the new mobile era, businesses will not only need to capture the power of mobility, but also manage the danger. Highlighted below are recent examples of the danger of mobility and how some firms are beginning to manage it:

Converged Products: Week of 6/4/06

Friday, June 9th, 2006

The most convenient way that mobility is getting built into products is through the convergence of capabilities that previously existed as standalone products into the cellphone. That way, those products are now with you and available for your use whenever you need them wherever you go.

IT = Mobility Management?

Wednesday, June 7th, 2006

A column this week by Richard Martin, senior editor of Unstrung, highlights the key points made by panelists in a session Martin moderated at the Globalcomm conference.

The panel included Dr. Pat King, head of global electronics strategies for Michelin; Luc Roy, the vice president of product planning for Siemens AG ; and Nate Walker, the senior director of product management for Meru Networks Inc.

Martin referenced a slide by Siemens’ Roy as saying “the overarching responsibility of the traditional IT department moving from ‘information technology management’ to ‘mobility management.’ In other words, the entire job description and world view of IT are being shifted by the larger transition to mobility that we are seeing in enterprises today.”

Although I totally agree with the general direction of movement – that mobility will be a dominant focus for IT in the coming decade – I think he’s going a bit far.

What do you think?