- Rocking "thriftshop" as the time ticks down to #citrixsynergy keynote http://t.co/rsB7IX4qQQ 59 minutes ago
- Webinar 5/29: How do companies organize for content marketing? Register to learn abt best-in-class models goo.gl/EUXzq 2 hours ago
- Sand boxing of apps via SDK and selective app wipe via console means one persona, one UI for mobile users #CitrixSyenrgy 3 hours ago
- Wondering if @brad_peter_son 's "mobility jacket" is a @scottevest ? #citrixsynergy 3 hours ago
- Templeton talking mgmt of mobile: has to manage apps and devices, yes, but also data and custom apps #citrixsynergy 3 hours ago
Mobile strategy from Altimeter Group analyst Chris Silva, making mobile work for brands and business.
Category Archives: Events
May 20, 2013Posted by on
Amidst skydivers and stunt bikes, last year’s Google I/O keynote, a full hour shorter than this year’s 3-hour masterpiece, felt to many to deliver more in the way of products. If last year was aimed at showing the attractiveness of the Google ecosystem, especially on mobile, this year it was about assuring those who’d defected (users and developers alike) that the water in the pool was still warm and there was more to come.
Android, now the statistically most popular mobile OS worldwide, is still missing a few key features and I’d have liked to see them announced in yesterday’s keynote:
- Unified messaging. Yes Hangouts was announced becoming the de-facto standard for chat, G+ messages and basically rendering Google Talk moot as a standalone product, but where is SMS? With over 70% of Americans using text as far back as 2011 skipping integration of the de facto messaging standard on mobile was shortsighted. Sure over the top tools like What’sApp and others have begun to thrive, but having messaging that ties into the core function of a mobile device is key. Worse it’s actively being discussed that there’s “no time line” for addition of the feature. Have 900M activations obscured mobile users’ true needs? Catch is, many of those “7 Billion people in the world” that Sundar Pichai notes they’re targeting are very attached to SMS.
- A Concrete Android Roadmap. Less of a disappointment than the omission of SMS from the unveil of a major messaging product, no mention of the next version of Android was curious and sure to unsettle some developers. To others, it was likely welcome, a sign that as Android matures, the product cycles on which they base their products are slowing. This is likely due to a couple of elements at play, one, Pichai has recently taken the reins of the Android team from Android founder Andy Rubin and may not yet be ready to commit his expanded team to such a major deadline. Additionally, to Google’s credit, we’ve seen significant uptake of the Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean OS’es, arguing against delivering a new version and thus more fragmentation.
- No Dedicated Nexus Device. I’m listing these in order of importance because I actually like the fact that this year – for the first time – Google has taken the Nexus program to the market via one of the hottest smartphones, the Galaxy S4 (which I blogged about here) versus trying to bring the market to its devices. Many were surprised at the turn and bemoaned the lack of a “true” Nexus device this year let alone the cost at $649 but it’s easier to move the mountain to Mohammed vs. the reverse, as the adage goes.
Google Hasn’t Slowed Its Roll In Mobile, It’s Focused On Building A Market
All of the I/O news means this: Google has not abandoned or forgotten its focus on mobile, it’s looking to shore up its mobile house. It wants to provide better tools for a stronger set of apps on the platform to combat the app gap between iOS and Android. Expect to see less of a disparity in the quality of apps between Android and other platforms as developers embrace these tools. Expect also to see the myriad different sizes of tablets in the Android world addressed with great, consisten app experiences using the new Android Studio.
While creating great apps and providing better tools to monetize them is key to driving up the quality of the Android experience, leaving out key features (SMS in Hangouts) and glossing over critical milestones (squandering your one, big, live appearance in front of developers to update a critical roadmap) makes me think that Google still has some housekeeping to do among product teams and specifically within mobile. In order to present a clear and consistent vision of mobile to the world this should happen quickly and I hope in response to event feedback. One product manager I spoke with, when asked about their thoughts on the market around a given property said, “I’ve been too busy releasing X products to do that,” which sounds like an innovation trap to me – foregoing market intelligence in the service of more products. All that said, adoption of Google’s tools in the mobile space clearly continues apace.
Mobile Will Remain Fractured – And That’s OK
It’s also important to note – and this deserves more than the footnote it gets here – that mobile is, to borrow words from Larry Page’s speech, “not a zero sum game.” Across this week’s sessions at I/O and last week’s at Adobe’s MAX event I attended (both focused on developers) tool providers and the developers they serve were focused on taking a serious look at what can be delivered via the web. This focus stems from the fact that currently web is the only device and OS agnostic way to deliver apps and experiences to mobile customers. The big companies that serve developers know that’s going to be a battle for a while yet and their front-and-center showcase of web-centric mobile tools and the apps they can create is testament to that.
Page made another comment about “technology getting out of the way,” and, in mobile that means moving past the OS, the device and the app store from whence products come. Migrating mobile competition from a battle of OS native design and hardware specs to a true test of the services and experiences delivered will be what defines success of mobile tools vendors. The device and how it looks and works simply won’t matter as we continue to live in a market with a growing – not shrinking – number of mobile platforms. Don’t believe me? Look at the long tail of mobile OSes coming on to the market in the past year, there simply can’t be one “ring to rule all” 7B eventual mobile users but there already is one web on which to find them.
May 15, 2013Posted by on
By Chris Silva and Jeremiah Owyang, Industry Analysts at Altimeter Group
We’re live from the Google IO conference in SF with 6,000 developers, press, and media in San Francisco’s Moscone event center. We noticed a lot of Glass Explorer units (which surprisingly was barely mentioned in the keynote) we’ve purchased two to test, and will write up a detailed post on them after we’ve done a thorough test.
Today’s Google’s announcements were a wreck; a series of products flipping in front of you, rather than a well laid out showroom. To make sense of this patchwork set of announcements from a fragmented company, we’ve identified some top level trends:
Key Trends at Google I/O for the Executive:
Products enhanced and interconnected –no major new products announced.
- Google can coordinate across all of your screens, making multi-screen easier showing its ability to tie together all of your experiences across the Google-system.
- Ironically, Google did not mention Google Glass. We believe this is because it was overhyped last year, failed to meet production deadlines this year.
- Google+ had several enhancements including a new 3 column layout akin to Flipboard, deeper content with flippable content cards, Hangout now extended to multiple browsers, Google+ profiles have improved sign on capability–but no adoption numbers were touted in this flailing social network.
Google is virtually replicating planet earth, but “improving” the quality.
- Google maps is becoming a *Virtual World*. 3D experience with our uploaded photos. With virtual goggles like Occulus Rift you can walk through this virtual world, experiencing our world in just a few mouse clicks.
- The company announced the ability to use more granular location to allow better targeting of mobile users with apps and offers, finally bringing the inherently local capabilities to mobile that we’ve been awaiting.
- Retailers and hospitality should take note, Google maps now integrates photos of your stores from the inside. Internal decor matters to the search process.
Google knows what and who you love as we trade convenience for our data.
- Google announced that they could identify highlights of top photos in your albums, they were able to identify important photos based on facial recognition of your family, grouping these as important. Google knows who your family is –and what’s important to your heart.
- Google is becoming more like a media company, music streaming (Google All Access,) photo editing, magazine-ing of the G+ stream. “Google makes the world better with data.” Google+ becomes like a magazine,
- Speech recognition across the desktop and mobile and bringing personal context to all of their services, doing things like making everyone’s view into maps personal, with their important landmarks highlighted.
Unsaid contract: Google better organizes our world –and sells us back the experience
The big takeaway is Google is trying to let consumers experience as much of your brand before they buy it, for examples a search user can experience the inside of your store, the reviews, the photos and find the fastest way there –before ever leaving their chair. As such, Google or their advertisers, may influence the purchase decision.
In mobile, It’s about the services, not the devices: While leading with mobile products last year to get people into their sandbox. In social the story focused on rich media differentiating the Google+ network and it became clear that social-first products like Hangouts and Google+ sign=in will make a broader play across more Google and non-Google products. , across data and search – whether maps or analytics – Google wants to up the ante in the tools it offers developers and, in turn, the companies and brands they empower.
The Pithy Bottom Lines:
- For consumers, if you’ve bought into the Google ecosystem, expect the tools and products to get better but know you’re the product.
- For brands: If you want to play in Google’s sandbox, you’ll ultimately need to pay.
- For Google Competitors: As Google has entered media, any industry is up for grabs; they may be your competitor and just not have announced it yet.
April 4, 2013Posted by on
We all gathered amidst the rain and clouds at Facebook HQ, 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA to see what would be unveiled. A new flagship Android phone, tailored toward Facebook users? A new branch of the Android OS? A groundbreaking partnership?
Turns out it’s an application – a launcher to bring Facebook to the top of the Android OS on the devices it will run on and, in addition, some purpose-built hardware that will showcase the new Facebook Home integrated launcher and applications. Some will certainly label this a letdown, they were expecting more disruption, but here’s why this is the smartest move for Facebook.
- Facebook wants deeper engagement, more frequency of interaction from users. When you experience Facebook Home in person, you see just how front-of-mind the experience is. You’re device essentially becomes a billboard for interacting with Facebook when idle. Providing this at-your-fingertips ability to interact with the social network will drive more frequent and likely longer engagement with Facebook. Putting messaging at the core of its #home product. Integrating Facebook messaging as the layer through which SMS and Facebook messages are interacted with is a key example of driving more behaviors to the social network.
- The second half of the smartphone buyers in the US market are not looking for high-end devices. The first 50% of smartphone users in the US were buying iPhones and other top-tier devices. Many of these devices are largely used for business. The second 50% of the market, who are starting to come online now are younger, more price sensitive and gravitate toward mobile devices - specifically smartphones – for the social experience. Facebook’s announcement provides them with hardware that’s within their range, and centered on what they care about, and the apps extend to others who’ve already made an investment, its partnership with HTC and AT&T drive non smartphone users into the fold with a custom-built experience that matters to them because it’s based on social, and specifically, Facebook.
- Facebook wants to deliver an immersive experience. Facebook does not need to create a fork of the Android OS or build a phone from scratch to do this. That said, to create an immersive experience, they did need to focus on Android to start because it offers a much deeper level of integration. “We wanted this to feel like system software, not an app you run,” according to Zuckerberg. The open advantage of Android in this announcement is not to be underestimated. What was announced today is not – at least yet – possible on any other platform. The key to Android’s differentiation may lie in others making use of it to provide new, novel experiences. This is a best case example of what Google intended when making Android open source, and other platforms should take notice.
Why doesn’t the phone matter? It’s certainly a nice piece of hardware in the look and feel department and Facebook’s integration of system notifications alongside those from Facebook apps (not available if you install the Home app on your Galaxy SIII or other compatible device) is a nice example of tight integration but it’s a minor footnote to the story. Getting pre-briefed about the solution, I’d say the Facebook team spent about 60% of their time on the software with the remaining 40% on the device due only to my slew of questions about it.
“Our phones are designed around apps, not people.” – Mark Zuckerberg
In the end, mobile advancements for brands, social networks and imperative tools for us to get our jobs done are device agnostic. One of the questions I asked the Facebook team was why they were launching an app and bundled hardware at the same time and not staggering the launch. Their answer came in one word, “scale.”
“A great phone may sell only 10 or 20 million units, even if we did a great job with a phone… we’d still only be reaching a portion of the mobile community.” – Mark Zuckerberg
They’re also really excited to launch Home on tablets, devices with higher interaction times to begin with. Facebook will be launching Home for tablets later in the year. Lastly, using an app versus a new devicew or OS they’re able to iterate much more quickly, according to the VP of Engineering for the product.
Any mobile initiative that brands, internal mobile strategiests or others want to make waves have to go as broad as possible, that means multiple OSes, multiple form factors and multiple devices. We’re now buying mobile as tools and experience that make our lives better, not as pieces of hardware.
March 19, 2013Posted by on
I made the trip down to Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launch in New York City last week expecting the usual, some demos, lots of stats and an end to speculation on what came next in the chaebol’s smartphone lineup. What I came away with, instead, was an understanding of just how much of a threat to the Google Android ecosystem Samsung is, why the home is the next target for mobile, why OS matters less and less and why that’s all goodness. There’s plenty of coverage of the strangeness and potential offensiveness of the broadway-themed launch, so I’ll leave that to the reams of existing press – it was quite a sight to behold – and focus on the implications I see.
Sure it was a bit much to sit through for an hour, and my mind did wander, which is why it wasn’t until after the event that something struck me. This was a launch of a flagship Android smartphone and the word Android was barely uttered once, and in fact only appeared on the last slide shown as we were filing out to clamor for a glimpse of the smartphone from afar. Samsung in its launch showcased software capabilities in software and ecosystem features to paint a picture of Samsung as a go-to provider for all things mobile and cutting edge.
- S-Translate: Anyone who’s used the Google Translate app has marveled at the ability to speak or type a phrase in one’s native tongue and read or hear the translated version in one of 64 languages. It’s a great application of cloud-based intelligence for local tasks and in my experience came in quite handy when needing to translate to Costa Rican landlords that my water heater was on fire, but I digress. Translate is a core offering of Google’s mobile apps and well executed on Android. S-Translate from Samsung just introduced the capability as if it’s brand new, and invented by Samsung.
- S-Beam: Not a new one from the S4 launch, but a nice branding of otherwise overly-techy NFC capabilities that allow the sharing of photos, contacts, web page links and more by bringing two devices into close proximity. Once again, Samsung has chosen to re-brand an existing and relatively common smartphone feature, marketing it as a unique, Samsung-only offering. This has been offered on Google’s Nexus devices (one of its more recent one made by Samsung) since the 2010 launch of the Nexus S.
- S-Health and Home Sync: Announced initially at CES, Samsung is pushing the value of a family of connected devices which use the smartphone as the primary means of data processing – in the case of S-Health the S-band tracks body motion and sleep metrics to allow users to participate in the growing trend of quantified self. Fitbit, Nike and others have long ago trod this ground, but Samsung is marketing an integrated experience with its own hardware. Similarly, with the advent of Home Sync, media sharing that begins on the smartphone can tie into other Samsung devices in the home like SmartTVs or other sets hooked up to their Home Sync appliance. Today’s news of the company working on a Smart Watch continues this expansion. Beyond simply selling more handsets, Samsung is looking to tie together its many touchpoints in our lives to increase tighten user engagement. It’s a smart play for a company with an existing presence in many rooms in many homes that it’s looking to grow.
What does this mean for Google? It’s great news in that shipments of Android devices are being greatly increased quarter over quarter in part due to Samsung’s marketing machine. At the same time, Samsung’s brand becomes intrinsically linked with the features and capabilites above, none of which are truly unique. Bad news for Google and other Android handset providers who just took a backseat to Samsung who’s frankly doing a better job at marketing these capabilities in a way that resonates with buyers. This diminishes other partners’ ability to market similar features. Many of these tools and features are rooted in the Android OS and available to any device running it. Google is in a tough spot being in the hardware game as well as having to play the impartial role of ecosystem owner but needs to clearly delineate what’s special about Android as an alternative OS vs. what’s specific to any given handset. My gut tells me that Google will try and re-distribute the marketing “juice” in the ecosystem so Android stays a powerhouse in its own right with a rotating spotlight on various players, not least of which will be Motorola.
What about implications for the mobile as a whole? I was asked post-event whether I thought that Samsung would ultimately abandon Android and go its own route for a smartphone OS. I can argue both sides of this, on one hand Samsung would stand to lose a great deal of marketing and user-base momentum by switching to a new OS for its smartphones. It’s widely recognized that, as of the Galaxy S4 Launch, Samsung’s approach to the market is looking at lot more like Apple’s iPhone strategy – incremental innovation to a willing customer base over massive re-designs – a new OS would throw a spanner in those works. On the other hand if Samsung continues to distance itself from Android branding when debuting products and features, the OS becomes less relevant.
In the end, the mobile OS will matter less and less, eclipsed by what I can do with my device and across how many other pieces of kit that I already own or will buy. I can imagine a future where a phone is truly marketed for its capabilities, not the OS it runs. We’re already seeing some major brands in the space toy with porting apps from one OS to another, if this trend holds, we’ll be buying our smartphones on hardware and features regardless of what they run in the kernel. look at the iPod, a truly revolutionary device that has, in large part, become a feature of a whole new slate of items we can’t seem to get enough of. Expand this device-turned-use-case model to something that connects to everything in your home and it’s plain to see that winners in this market in 5 years will look a lot different than they do today. Maybe it’s Samsung, maybe it’s another vendor as-yet still not in the market.
What’s your take on Samsung? Flash in the pan or smartphone powerhouse about to steal the crown in this market – at least for a little while?
March 13, 2013Posted by on
This post originally appeared on Jeremiah Owyang’s Web Strategist Blog
By Chris Silva and Jeremiah Owyang, Industry Analysts at Altimeter Group
Technologies are Emerging at an Increased Rate –Making Tracking Harder than Ever
SXSW is no longer about disruptive technologies being launched, instead, it’s a mainstream, it’s a mainsteam festival, actually) and digital leaders at today’s large corporations are already present, and you should be too. In fact, the amount of data created about the topic had nearly double year over year. Altimeter Group was well represented with 9 analysts or researchers at SxSWi this year, with a large team in Austin tracking what’s disruptive. Long known for launches of big names such as Twitter and Foursquare, as well as those with more hype that long-term staying power like Highlight – would be past its prime and recycling yesterday’s news. If you weren’t able to attend, Altimeter has captured the salient highlights to showcase here:
Major Festival Themes
- Hardware was king. Hardware was king at an event long vaunted as a software and service launching ground, as evidenced by long lines for keynotes by Makerbot founder Bre Pettis, and Tesla, SpaceX founder Elon Musk who spent a lot of time devoted to how hardware-based endeavours like the recent Dragon rocket launch can disrupt an industry as complex as space and airline transportation.
- Android curiosity is getting the better of early adopters. We had many conversations with current iPhone users who were openly discussing their desire to “try the other side” and get an Android device. Interestingly, this curiosity was based more on their gripes with iPhone than with specific Android features they sought. Further, most of the users we spoke with were not working for organizations that had adopted Google Apps for Enterprise and were hoping for tighter integration, they simply felt that, as one person put it, “it has to work better than this thing,” while shaking a shiny new iPhone 5 in the air. Granted, as screen sizes on Android devices continue to trend up, Samsung’s battery-wielding bike messengers may be a needed accessory to make it through a day of SXSW with our new Android handsets.
- Software innovation continued, but mobile enterprise was a star. Software was not forgotten altogether, and from the festival that’s brought us many a fun app and game, this year the interest was in work. It seems the developers and mobile-centric brands are finally on-board the billion-dollar-bandwagon that is enterprise mobile development. Crowds lined up around the block to hear about mobile apps for major brands and to help people do their jobs. The era of Angry Birds millionaires while not quite over, is waning and the future is better tools for work that act like the toys we all enjoy on our mobiles. I’ve never been to a conference in a yoga studio – Austin’s Wanderlust Yoga played host to a packed Mobile Saturday event – no less one that’s populated by contorted bodies and over 100 degrees all due to the high demand.
- Brands were at SXSW in force –followed by the vendors who seek to cater to them. A number of brands were present, with sponsored pavilions or lounges including Samsung, Pepsi, Oreos, esurance, GE, American Airlines and Chevy. While many early adopters criticized the infusion of large brands, this event has gone mainstream as every company is a digital company. To cater to these brands, there were a number of enterprise software vendors present who had sessions, parties, lounges and concerts, including Oracle, Salesforce, IBM, PR agencies, and social software startups including Hootsuite, Sprinklr, Spredfast, Expion, UrbanAirship, MutualMobile, Dachis, Bazaarvoice, Gigya, ExactTarget, and on.
The Technologies That Matter from SXSW 2013
|Technology Showcased||Example||Disruption||What it Means|
|Our rating system includes: Watch, Experiment, Invest, Ignore.||Who’s doing it today?||Who will be impacted by this new technology if it comes to fruition.||Insights and forecasts from our perspective.|
|Gesture Based Interfaces. (Leap motion, Microsoft Kinnect)Our Call: Experiment||Leap Motion, a small, $79 USB device launching in May allows users to control their computers using hand gestures in mid air. It’s able to sense individual finger movements for fine manipulation of objects and apps on screen||Leap controllers have the potential to change the way we interact with our computers and will launch for Mac OS and Windows, immediately making the tech available to a wider audiences than Microsoft’s Kinect. Being able to physically interact with the digital will disrupt many software markets.||They key to this disruption taking hold is developer support. High levels of developer support, though, or a major buy in from a CE vendor like Samsung for TV use will make or break Leap. Expect to see heavy interest from software vendors in the creative space like Adobe; Corel was running live demos at the event.|
|3D Printing and Replicators (Makerbot, Factory.org)Our Call: Ignore||A number of 3D printers were on display both in the demo hall, and including one brave entrepreneur who wore one on his neck at parties while it was successfully printing. Among the vendors include MakerBot, Factory.org and others.||Every brand involved in electronics, consumer package goods, transportation, packaging, supply chain and beyond will be impacted as consumers start to act like producers.||Although Altimeter is investing in a demo unit to trial, this market is still very young. We’ve identified business model opportunities for brand marketers, IP creators and owners of CAD diagrams, and supply chain of the composite and plastic materials needed to print. We believe a significant ecosystem is required before this is a ready market.|
|Proximity Based Communications, Near Field Communications (NFC, Samsung)Our Call: Invest||Austin was awash in proximity based interaction points this week such as the Samsung tectiles; one can imagine that these same pieces of real estate were occupied by QR codes in years past, though the QR was also readily present this as well and not dead. NFC-enabled badges, stickers and posters were everywhere.||NFC, due to the potential for quick, almost passive interaction with a mobile device means potential for higher uptake, the problem? Not many devices yet support it and fewer users know what it does. This is still education time.||Companies with NFC-enabled products hawked them hard – see Samsung entry below – but users’ have yet to process the idea that, beyond payments, using NFC as an event control point or trigger can usher in instrumented environments. This is a key Android differentiator that we’d like to see more manufacturers support.|
|Collaborative Economy (Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Sidecar)Our Call: Experiment||Sidecar, Uber, and Lyft were in full force in Austin this year showing how shared resources can make getting around. A great deal of attendees we spoke to used AirBNB to find local rooms and houses to rent, as many Austinites skipped down to avoid the fray.||Austin, traditionally short on taxis and public transit – not to mention woefully unprepared for 20k+ visitors, is a perfect market to breed affinity for these tools. These services are disruptors to the taxi service, and hotel and hospitality space.||We’ll see many, many more of these services before the market shakes out. If transport, a leading industry in terms of getting to market early, is an indicator, users will have more and more need for distinct value props as many more “me too” services come online. At SXSW Tesla made motions to offer their car as part of the Uber fleet.|
|Android’s Rise (Samsung, Google)Our Call: Invest||The Samsung marketing machine was working overtime at SXSW attempting to show that a superior experience is possible to the still-ubiquitous iPhones many were carrying. This is good for Samsung and arguably drives Android awareness and interest. Samsung demo’d their TV and Phones were interconnected.||The awareness and interest in Android is great news for Google except that it comes from Samsung and, therefore, muddies the Android brand. That said, when users are shown extremely high levels of service – to wit, bike messengers delivering fresh batteries to Samsung device users – it’s hard to argue with this approach.||The Samsung brand is beginning to define Android. This will be difficult for other brands playing in the Android ecosystem like HTC and even Google itself. We can see why there’s some concern from Mountain View around Samsung’s reign in Android. Not investing in Android as an app player or a hardware concern is no longer an option.|
|Space Exploration (SpaceX)Our Call: Ignore||One of the highlights of the show was Elon Musk’s keynote where he demonstrated the privatization of space flight. His famed quote resonated throughout the event: “I want to die on Mars, just not on impact”||The obvious disruption is the impact to commercial airlines as well as government space programs. That said, the technology is out of reach for all but a very few, though the promise is inspiring.||The featured Grasshopper had VTOL capabilities meaning these space capable vehicles could land and depart from regular airports. While exciting, there’s little brands can do to interact with this trend, unless you’re a direct partner.|
|Augmented and Virtual Reality (Google Glass and Occulus Rift)Our Call: Watch||We had many discussions about Google Glass and its implications with many individuals at SXSW. Main concern? How will it work and what will the etiquette be?||Everyone from mobile device manufacturers to the purveyors of content on those devices will have to figure out how to play in the AR realm, we have not talked to anyone yet, either mobile developer, hardware player or content magnate that has a plan in mind. Too soon, they all say.||We’re bullish on Google Glass and, while we’ve not yet received our Explorer units to demo, we think the market will be very receptive to technology that augments daily tasks and does it in a lightweight way. We see a market emerging for AR-centric content and interactions and brands should be ready to play.|
|MicroMedia Video (Vine, Memoto)Our Call: Experiment||One emerging technology, that could grow is the Vine app that enables iPhone users to create 6 second video clips and share online. To experience this yourself, see this real time gallery. We also saw a lot of discussion on the Memoto camera.||Now that journalism has extended to all consumers and citizens, the simple addition of video can extend a rich media format to micro communications.||Expect marketers to enable Vine related campaigns and marketing to condense from the 30 second spot, to the 6 second spot. Then again people may simply adopt it as a way to “lazy tweet” as videos are so short. Twitter’s backing will certainly help|
|Quantified Self (Google Shoe, Nike)Our Call: Watch||Last year Nike debuted FuelBand at SxSW, this year the technology was everywhere, including a show that quantified activity tracking and encouragement, including a hotly discussed show by Google Shoe that gave recommendations on your fitness activity.||The traditional athletic manufacture industry is now inundated with tech companies getting involved.
To a lesser degree, health and fitness services and facilities now find that consumers are self-managing their health by using Google.
|We think this market is real and growing, but, much like we see in the enterprise space, a lot of data is getting created and the use cases for that data are lagging behind; further, this is a series of walled gardens that don’t talk with one another yet, and require user-lock in. Right now the data is dirty and not being aggregated into a way that can be digested.|
|Memes (Grumpy Cat, Harlem Shake, Meme Generator)Our Call: Ignore||Grumpy Cat live appearance, a number of meme generators, popular from the website Reddit. In particular, Edelman exec David Armano was prolific.||Traditional marketing communication may not resonate in the high churn of digital conversations.Harlem Shake, pretty much over with this hip cool kid crowd. Our take? Good riddance.||Real time marketing, while a buzzword, requires modern communicators to morph, bend, and make topics of the moment their own through curation or creation.|
Technologies on Life support
So what’s going away? We found that QR code will quickly be disrupted by NFC. While we saw a few QR codes present for marketing giveaways, we don’t believe this will persist year over year. This year, wifi and cellular networks were able to stand the high demand of network, as a result the stunt to make homeless wifi spots, will not re-occur. Location based apps, such as Highlight, Sonar, and Banjo were not the talk of the town, unlike the year before.
Altimeter identified a number of new technologies and tried to centralize in one comprehensive document. We will continue to follow these technologies and reference them in our upcoming research of disruptive technologies, for additional coverage, we found the coverage from Verge, of the highest quality, see their 2013 greatest hits. Companies who want to leverage and take advantage of these new technologies should do the following:
- Assemble teams to review the preceding list
- Weight, re-rank and rate the technologies as they may apply to your company
- Integrate into your existing roadmap for marketing, customer experience, and product roadmap
- Don’t try to do it all; many of these technologies will have a long “watch” period, some may never matter to your vertical. However, if you’re spending budget making office Harlem Shake videos, perhaps it’s time to re-allocate some budget to R&D on these new disruptors. Only, of course, if you’re interested in being ahead of what’s new.
We’d love to hear your point of view, what technologies and trends did you see that could matter, let’s start a dialog.
February 13, 2013Posted by on
I was fortunate during last week’s snowstorm here in the NorthEast not to have lost power, desipe 28″ of the white stuff (and much more in drifts) encasing my home and home office. Others were not so lucky and with a number of schools still closed, I’m also still seeing reports of “power just back this AM” as recently as today.
Snowstorms are kind of funny, because I think for many they represent a moment of youth recaptured instead of the potential massive disruptions they represent. I saw countless posts of “snow day!” on my various social streams and it made me laugh. I work from a home office, I have a fiber link to the outside world, it’s a rare day there’s a “snow day” for me or for most home workers.
Three-and-a-half years ago the H1N1 flu pandemic represented a serious IT challenge – ensuring capacity in remote access systems Employers, realizing that they had to provide for long periods of time where workers where not physically at work, scrambled to build out IT systems to support this temporarily mobile workforce. Sure, some needed some prodding (which I happily provided) but it seems that we take for granted that workers can “keep the lights on” by dint of smartphones, tablets and email and files in the cloud.
I was fine during Superstormblizzardmageddon Nemo partly due to luck and also because I’ve got a) control over my own infrastructure and b) a relatively nimble organization who chooses its tools for maximum access efficiency. I am the minority. I’m curious how many of you who were affected by the storm fared as well, take the poll below and let me know how it went.
If you had the chance to work remotely, please answer the following two questions:
I’ll be following up with a post on the results, and why I expect my hypothesis that those who weathered the storm did so despite, not because of, their company IT policy.
February 12, 2013Posted by on
Headed to Austin this March? Are you ready to brave the crowds and – if it’s anything like last year, the rain? If you’re going to SxSW, as I am, you’ve likely got some expectations of what you’ll see. My big expectation? This will be the year we see the formation of a context economy.
No, I did not come up with that all on my own and actually last year began to show us some rough hewn examples of how mobile’s next step will be toward context. Context is the hot topic, there are books being written about it as we speak and we’ve been talking about it for a long time – see friend and co-context conspirator Nicholas Scibetta’s piece on CNBC from last February on this. I think, however, this year, context and what we can do with it (other than stalk people in an airport) will get real. I expect to see a lot of activity around the following topics:
- Using our mobile as a conduit for connected systems. If Fuelband and Fitbit are the forerunners, a network of technology on and around us is about to come to life. Much of it will be designed or powered by scrappy startups that debut at events like SxSW. This is the infrastructure of the sentient world and I expect we’ll see quite a bit of it in Austin.
- Using sensors for good, not just creepy. Last year’s emergence of tools like Highlight showed us what’s possible when we unleash the network of sensors on our devices. It also showed us just how quickly such a use-case can turn creepy. This year, more pointed, purposeful use of sensors, along with (hopefully) a whole lot less battery drain thanks to use of things like Bluetooth 4.0 ultra low power will provide us interesting context that makes us say more than, “wow,” quickly followed by, “eww, please leave me alone.”
- Orchestration of services. OK, so not a technology in its own right, orchestration will be a major force that shifts context from interesting to useful. In order to truly have a dialogue among the things within and around us, services need to use open standards and have ways to invoke one another. The winners in the context battle will be open, the walled gardens will go the way of WebTV. Startups that have my attention will be talking (real) APIs and demonstrating a network of strong partnerships. They’ll look a lot like Box does on the enterprise cloud storage front. Know your strength and know better those than can extend it.
Altimeter will have some solid representation at the event, and we’d like to hear from you what you think of this context economy, how it impacts your use of social, development of content and affects your marketing. I’ll borrow from my colleague Rebecca Lieb’s post some of the details of where to find us while in the lone star state.
Come find us and tell us what you think of the context economy, here where we’ll be, officially:
Saturday, March 9th
- Professions Go Social with Rebecca Lieb, Courtyard Marriott, Rio Grande Ballroom, 11:00 – 12:00
Sunday, March 10th
- Data & Gamification: Value to the Enterprise with Jeremiah Owyang, Four Seasons Hotel Ballroom, 5:00 – 6:00
Monday, March 11th
- Brian Solis interviews none other than Shaquille O’Neal, Long Center for the Performing Arts, 12:30PMTuesday, March 12th
- Advanced Social Media Monitoring with Susan Etlinger (RSVP required) 3:30 – 6:00 PM
Links and abstracts courtesy RebeccaLieb.com
September 11, 2012Posted by on
I was thrilled to be able to share some of Altimeter’s latest research with the Citrix webinar audience to talk about how mobile, social and the complexities of the Dynamic Customer Journey – a major theme in Altimeter’s research – are changing the way marketers work.
The content, which relies heavily on the work of colleague Rebecca Lieb‘s most recent research report The Converged Media Imperative: How Brands Will Combine Paid, Earned And Owned Media available in full on our site, lays out the foundations for how marketers’ roles must change in order to coordinate across a growing number of channels with their success in doing so having a direct impact on their success.
The slides from today’s session follow, though the full report goes into much greater depth; a careful read will provide the building blocks of a solid strategy for converged media across channels old and new.
August 16, 2012Posted by on
This post originally appeared on the Altimeter Group blog.
Thanks to all those who helped us make our #AGMobileUP Tweetup a success last night in Boston. We had a great and varied group of attendees hailing from agencies, mobile startups and the VC community as well. We all had great conversations and great food (don’t believe me? See Joselin Mane of BostonTWeetUp’s amazing writeup) and a few themes stuck out to me:
- Social/Mobile Is Cool, But It Scares Us A Bit: Gathered around someone’s iPhone, as one does at a mobile tweetup, we all got to talking about social discovery apps. We all acknowledge the potential for the usefulness of apps like Banjo, Highlight and others, but the conversation is still lopsided toward the “creepy” factor. Seems not much has changed since we looked at this around SxSW.
- Mobile App Dev Is Getting Hotter: There were a lot of companies in the room that provided some level of mobile application development support or guidance and business is GOOD. These folks are very busy as their client lists are looking to take another look at how they invest in mobile, backed by a firm business plan and with differentiated approached. We’re going to be seeing a lot of action, and a lot of consolidation in this space. Local-area startup Kinvey has mapped out themobile back-end space quite nicely in their popular infographic.
- iOS Still Rules The Day: My colleague Jeremiah had his Google I/O issue Galaxy Nexus Android smartphone on him, it drew more than a few stares and drew out some questions, “does it have…” and, “can I run…” for the statistically most popular platform, most of the innovators we brought together saw an Android device as a curiosity. Are we too small a sample, all in the same demographic or is this indicative of the hybrid business/personal user? What are your thoughts?
- We need a roundtable: More than a few people acknowledged the need for more roundtables, get-togethers, and networking among the mobile community in Boston. Largely we all know of one another but don’t have a great place to meet. I’m proposing a TweetChat for #Bostonmobile once every month or two. I’m interested in thought in the comments on timing, location and format that people would be interested in.
- There’s a lot going on: We may not have the per-capita number of startups of Palo Alto, but there’s a rapidly growing tech scene in Boston and its surrounding areas. No surprise with over 50 colleges and universities and some receI can’t attribute the quote but someone noted that, “there’s a lot of VC and startup activity here, but we do it quietly.” I think that’s apt, but that doesn’t mean that what’s happening on the East Coast, particularly in Boston is of less import to the mobile landscape. In fact, with payers like Kinvey and Modo Labsredefining app design, Apperian re-envisioning app life cycles and Mobiquity reinventing the mobile development process this small market among many, many others will definitely leave a mark.
My thanks again to all those whose hard work made this event a reality, and all who came to make it a vibrant discussion. Until next time!
June 27, 2012Posted by on
I spent this morning at the Google I/O developer conference and, aside from people literally skydiving into the event – the news was largely tech-related and heavily mobile.
Google made announcements of its new Nexus Tablet, the JellyBean aka Android 4.1 OS and home media sharing features of its new Nexus Q device. Here is what stands out:
- Android grows up – It was no accident that the Android portion of the keynote opened on the idea of smoothness. Android’s latest iteration, Jelly Bean was introduced with a lot of talk of both smoothness and responsiveness improvements. Google went to the extreme of illustrating this with video of super slow-motion shots of screen animations using a RED camera, shooting at 300fps. And yes, Jelly Bean looked smooth. Google also took the chance to trot out some user and activation stats, showing that 12 Android devices are being activated every second, with 1M new devices coming online every day, up from 400K per day last year. That’s growth!
- Android gives iOS a run for its money with Jelly Bean – The first major upgrade here is Google Now, in addition to providing voice-activated search, the results of which are provided as constantly updating “cards” that will show information from sports scores to travel time to a destination persistently, looks like a mashup of Wolfram Alpha-powered Siri on iOS and constantly updated Android widgets. Siri may carry on a conversation with you, but Google Now learns patterns and will proactively notify you if your current meeting – based on calendar information – is running too long to let you be on time for your next, based on your established transit patterns.
- Tablets, Take Two (?) – Google unveiled its Nexus 7 tablet, a 7 inch, slim tablet, with quad core processor and 16 core GPU. It was demonstrated showing blazing fast rendering on gaming demos on stage, it also has a strong media presence, with the existing Google Music and Books service tied in alongside newly-launched Google Magazines. Google will be selling the tablet direct via the Google Play store (similarly to the Galaxy Nexus) starting at $199. With its media centric use case and low cost price point, this is the Amazon Kindle Fire killer that will let Google re-take the #2 spot in tablets, and raise Android tablet market share.
- Google Gets Ecosystems – The launch of the Nexus Q device, wow factor aside, had me and many in the crowd hemming and hawing over it’s $299 price tag. The unified media device, powered by Android, that allows for social sharing of video and music, is designed to live next to the TV and allow streaming video with group control when friends and family with Android devices are present. It seems odd that there’s no immediate tie-in to Google TV and many would argue – myself among them – that Google is not yet a media player so why launch… a media player? This is a move to show some serious commitment from Google of selling Android devices as an holistic ecosystem, across three screens: smartphone, tablet and television.
Some big announcements and a lot packed into their keynote, there was more to be said on the social front, which my colleague Jeremiah Owyang liveblooged here on Google+ naturally. What does it all mean for brands trying to capitalize on mobile and enterprises wondering what becomes of Android?
- Brands need to pay attention to Google’s media play. At present there are three players in the mobile media space, goliath Amazon with its small fleet of devices, music and movie catalog Apple with all that resides in iTunes and Google. Until today, I’d have argued that the latter was an also-ran and that reputation won’t change over night, however, their investment in three screens and amping up content relationships to cover print, movies and music will be intruiging to users if the new tablet and Nexus Q catch on. Google has a lot of work to do, and will need media partners to make its ecosystem “real,” but not paying attention for brands and media companies is no longer an option. If nothing else, Android remains a volume play and their media market execution is improving.
- Enterprises wondering when will Android standardize, there’s hope – We’ve seen a ton of fragmentation in the Android OS space, and we will continue to. Google is choosing to go direct with hardware to ensure that the latest, greatest software makes it to market on purpose-built devices. Sound familiar? It may have made iOS more palatable in the enterprise, even if initial versions were not work-ready, but Android has a lot of ground to cover. I see Google’s direct-to-market push at present as a temporary injunction, an infusion of good, working technology in a market that’s been plagued by the absence of both. If you can’t beat the carriers and device manufacturers, show them the way, that’s what I see happening here. The good news? This guerrilla tactic will smooth out the many bumps in the road to Android homogeneity.
- Get ready for another wave – Both carriers and electronics manufactuers will begin to see intense pull from users looking to get the newest features of JellyBean demonstrated today. On the carrier side, spiffs and other programs to push sub-par Android devices will begin to yield significant return rates as more of the general population begins to get educated on what Android can be. Be smart and align with Google and its hardware partners to offer the best, retention rates and lower churn will thank you. Enterprises? There’s going to be another wave of Android to get familiar with and work with management vendors to support, however, as homogeneity begins to take hold, I expect to see a slowing of the rapid OS refresh rate and an evening out of user device preference toward later-generation OS versions. Hang in there!
As I often like to remind clients and readers of my research, we’ve only just begun when it comes to mobile. Counting Google out of the game due to the multiple party quagmire that has been Android to-date is premature and naive. Expect this ecosystem to grow and stabilize and, as a result, many mobile power dynamics to shift. It’s going to continue to be a great ride!