Archive for November, 2006

Recent Research: November 2006

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Research is good. Free highlights from expensive research reports are great. Here are some recent headlines:


Business Models: November 2006

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

As the Mobility Era matures, obviously a key question will be “how to make money?”. I’m increasingly seeing discussions in the blogosphere of business models for the new mobile economy. Since these discussions will be of interest, I’m going to start providing links to these discussions. For now, I think this will probably be a monthly post. I am going to be very inclusive and provide no editorial functions, so don’t take from my selections, ordering, headlines, etc. any indications of the interests or plans of my employer (if you do, you’ll undoubtedly be disappointed when they don’t play out):

Big Bell Dogma: November 2006

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

As we work to build mobility into every product, service, and process, our greatest inhibitor is the mindset represented by those who defend the tethering of products and processes to specific places. This mindset is fueled by the investments that have been made that establish power in the companies, departments, and individuals that stand in the way of mobilizing our lives and our businesses. These investments are not always in hard assets, but often are investments of time and experience to establish intellectual and relational assets. We should expect our assault on these “fixed” ways to be defended to the death. Here are recent examples:

Complete list here.

(For more context, read the Mobile Declaration of Independence.)

Beyond the Phone: November 2006

Monday, November 27th, 2006

Converging products into a cellphone is one way that mobility is getting built into every product, but it’s not the only way. This month I’m introducing a new focus on devices that are integrating the power of mobility into products themselves in ways that create new value for the customer. Power up!

Slow Week and End of Month Converge, Readers Rejoice?

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

Apparently, a holiday week (in the U.S. anyway) translates into a slow news week in the mobile world. Looking ahead at the posts I’d normally do during the coming week, the content is a bit thin, making it feel to me like a waste of your reading time to post a list with only one or two items.

But fear not, each month end I post a growing collection of items that don’t (yet) justify weekly attention. I’ve got four of them queued up for November month-end, so posting one a day will get us through to Friday when hopefully at least one of my normal weekly posts will be robust enough to share.

Please don’t get carried away with your celebrating…

3’s Promise

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

Over the past week or so, the most talked about announcement in the global mobile world has been 3’s announcement of the X-Series.

What is the X-Series? Well, it’s a new pricing plan for broadband mobile. It’s new “cutting edge” handsets. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s a bundle of disruptive applications.

Mostly, folks are talking about the pricing plan. 3 isn’t yet saying what the price will be, although speculation is that it will be “just over 10GBP.” By my calculations, that would be around $19 or so. But that’s not the big news. The big news is flat rate data pricing – no usage charges. Others are making a big deal out of the “Open Gardens” approach that 3 is taking – not limiting what subscribers can access. This is in conflict with the approach that 3 has taken in the past – an approach often referred to as a “Walled Garden.” In a walled garden, the mobile operator limits what web content the customer can access through the service in hopes that they can charge a premium for something that others might give away, and by so doing, maintain an overall profitable service.

The problem with this whole discussion is that it’s nothing new. Some carriers already offer flat rate pricing with no usage charges and already less than $20. Some carriers already provide their customers with open access to anything on the web.

Cutting edge handsets are nothing new either. Wait a month and 3’s new handsets will be as dated as everything currently on the market.

No, the real story is the bundling of disruptive applications.

As Oliver Starr notes at MobileCrunch, “…I have NEVER seen an application that was not on a single carrier deck get the kind of massive broad based adoption that would make it a success…” The disruptive apps that 3 has bundled are nothing new – they’ve been freely available to mobile customers for some time.

The problem is that it’s intimidating to find, install, configure, and troubleshoot applications. For almost everyone, it’s just not worth the trouble. Skype, Sling, Orb, eBay, Google, Yahoo, MSN – they’re all really cool capabilities, but that doesn’t mean I want to invest hours trying to find them and get them to work on my device over my service provider. Mobile apps are simply not yet as user friendly and plug and play as the standardized Windows world.

So, maybe 3 really will have a big impact on the mobile industry. But not in the form of a new pricing model (that model already exists). And not in the form of opening the walled garden (access to the web has already opened that wall). In fact, it is specifically the bringing of applications that previously were outside the wall into the garden so folks can actually enjoy them that is breaking new ground.

But, I wouldn’t call this revolutionary. Many of the commentators have referenced 3’s move as “finally taking the Internet mobile.” And that’s really all that it is. These moves are merely an incremental improvement on the fixed web. The applications are nothing different from what already exists on the fixed web.

The real mobile revolution is happening with applications that do things that are impossible with the fixed web. Specifically, applications that leverage contextual information (where am I, who am I with, what’s on my calendar, etc.) create revolutionary value.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m thrilled with the excitement that 3 has generated and the increasing adoption of these applications in a mobile world.

But let’s not take our eye off of driving a true mobility revolution.

Enabling Technology: Week of 11/19/06

Friday, November 24th, 2006

The Law of Mobility talks about value increasing with mobility. The impact of this law is being felt because the barriers to building mobility in are being obliterated week after week. Here are examples of technology advances enabling this to happen:

Full list here.

Indicators: Week of 11/19/06

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

More and more, the world around us reflects the growing assumption of the law of mobility. Each week we will track indicators of Mobility’s growing importance in our businesses, our lives, and our society:

Full list here.

Capturing the Power: Week of 11/19/06

Wednesday, November 22nd, 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:

Complete list here

Managing the Danger: Week of 11/19/06

Tuesday, November 21st, 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:

The complete list is here.