- @bobegan thanks, really got a chance to enjoy it outside w family. Have a great wknd 6 hours ago
- A TX sunset I was not planning to catch. Stranded at DFW for the night. @ The Westin Dallas/Ft Worth… instagram.com/p/ZbzrLlAZXF/ 1 day ago
- @bobegan going to miss it. Only event that consistently get usurped by client events. 2 days ago
- @bobegan I'll try it for one trip. I'm LA/SFO alternating weeks this mo so whole month may be a stretch 2 days ago
- @bobegan it's specific app I saw today. I reached out to the demoer for name. I'm all west coast travel in May for my iPad experiment 2 days ago
Mobile strategy from Altimeter Group analyst Chris Silva, making mobile work for brands and business.
July 19, 2012Posted by on
So, we’ve officially crossed the 50% mark (according to Nielsen) of mobile phone owners in the US that are carrying a smartphone. This is an important milestone as it’ll be interesting to see how the second 50% of phone owners cotton to the idea of more expensive data plans, handsets and a new usage paradigm. Will we see adoption move as quickly as it did among the first 50% of smartphone buyers? Economic indicators would seem to point to the trend slowing, after all, the “average consumer does not have a rosy outlook on things, consider the following data points from October, 2010 to July 2012:
- Gallup Economic confidence index values
- Oct, 2010 -28
- July, 2012 -26
- While still negative, the peak value of – 15 still seems relatively well out of reach compared to recent data, we’re not in the trough of despair we have been in this time period but we’re still pretty bearish on things.
- Gallup US Mood values
- Oct, 2010 47
- July, 2012 46
- We’ve been happier, unfortunately, with the peak value in this time scale coming in at 67.
- Gallup Consumer Spending Index (14 day running average)
- Oct, 2010 59
- July, 2012 57
- We’re a bit more thirfty than at our peak spending of 103, big spending is not an everyday occurrence
All of that in consideration, then, we’re a little down, cautious and slow to grab the wallet, all except when it comes to smartphones, which in the same period have witnessed steady growth from a penetration of 25% to 0ver 50% in the same timeframe (http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/smartphones-account-for-half-of-all-mobile-phones-dominate-new-phone-purchases-in-the-us/) are $500 smartphones the true opiate for the masses in these bleak times? Could be. One can argue they’re hardly necessary purchases for the average consumer.
What’s driven you to join the smartphone toting masses?
Economic data sources
July 17, 2012Posted by on
I recently had two conversations a day apart between two organizations that are located in the same town, working in the same industry and likely potential partners. While a great find, what I later got thinking about was these two companies and their individual quests for financing.
One is a mobile application development platform, and one a set of libraries to be used to easily “amp up” mobile apps being built by developers and companies. They’re both located in the Boston area which, while heavy with tech firms and startups, has a limited pool of VC and they’re both calling on this community to get funding to grow. It’s clear that as heads-down startups it’s not in their interest to seek out collaborators early on and the zeal with which they jealously guard their value proposition would likely obscure any real potential to collaborate anyhow. Who, then, can fill the role of matchmaker? It seems to me the largest beneficiary would be VCs who are in a unique position to scan the horizon for synergies and make them happen. Increase potential returns, reduce the number and volume of cash outlay.
At what point does the VC’s role emerge as connector and not simply as financier? As an analyst, one of the key roles we play as part of being a trusted advisor is bringing together disparate teams and organizations. I enjoy being the guy who made the intro not just because I’m pretty firmly a “maven” as described by Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point but also because I feel there’s great potential when such a fusion of two sets of talent can be made.
As executives in charge of curating and then growing cohorts of new businesses, at what point does the connector role emerge as first and highest priority for the VC versus portfolio building curator? It seems there’s potential multipliers of revenue awaiting the first that do this right, though I’ve not come across any examples of firms that have a strong and consistent track record of doing this. Have you come across any? I’d really like any examples that readers can share in the comments, as well as thoughts from any of you who work directly in the VC space.
Two firms, a mile apart trying to get their start but both intent on pointing out the differences in markets they address versus exploring synergy troubles me with respect to how soon we’ll see truly new, different services and tools emerge in mobile, and likely elsewhere.
July 13, 2012Posted by on
We talk a lot about screens these days, so much so that for me to type the word “table” without appending a “t” onto the end has become somewhat of a difficult task. That said, there’s much talk about how it’s important to converse with customers across the multiplying number of screens we interact with daily, but little thought given to what the experiences on each screen, each surface really are.
In a meeting this week, friend and associate Joe Chernov at Eloqua, we got to talking analogies and trying to decipher what the proper metaphor for each would be for each screen that we interact with. I posited that it won’t be long before computing becomes so pervasive that we’ll be merely looking for a flat surface upon which to consume content, collaborate or compute. A colleague in the room said, “so, we’re really talking about tables as the analogy. There are conference room tables, desks, side tables and coffee tables.” It’s a great analogy and gets to the root of the issue not what we’re using be it iPad, Galaxy Nexus or Microsoft Surface, but what w’re trying to accomplish.
My counter to this is that we’re more likely to create a successful analogy thinking about chairs. We have our office task chair where we do most of our work as spend most of our midday time, often positioned squarely in front of our desktop monitor or laptop computer. We’re there to consume, collaborate and compute and create. It’s our most functional “seat” but one where we spend a finite amount of time and that restricts us from other associated but decidedly non-computing tasks. When we’re out and about, we may occasion upon a stool whether at the lunch counter of our favorite diner, a stool at our best after-work bar or coffee shop. We’re at these venues to do other things – namely unwind and socialize either with or outside of out work cohort but we want to connect, keep an eye on information and tasks and take care of the less involved of the latter. When we come home, it’s our favorite comfortable chair or recliner where we unwind. As we wrap things up, we may want to control more directly some of the content we’re consuming – evidenced by the X% of Americans use a tablet while in front of the TV – while having a moderately productive workspace that’s not as all-consuming as that focused task chair, after all, we’re doing other things but not quite on the run.
Whichever analogy you choose – and Joe’s continued to think up still more based on the same discussion – the imperative is that computing has become mobile first as the better part of our day is spent away from that task chair, even for the information worker and traditional “desk” worker. We all want to remain connected and productive outside of the task chair and desk scenario and, in most cases, by choice. So a strategy to provide content, access, and tools built for our various modes of consumption should be as fundamental as providing seating in a furnished space. Alas, we’re a ways away from this now, but those who choose to provide only one “seat” for their guests are likely to being viewed like a standing-room-only venue: whether an employer or a brand, nobody is going to want to stick around too long
July 9, 2012Posted by on
My colleague Brian Solis published a post today that looks at “Generation C,” the connected consumer and how these consumers are, increasingly, the workforce that CIOs are seeking to empower.
Brian, in his post referenced Altimeter’s latest research on mobile that dives into the various roles in organizations and what they need, but there’s a fundamental step that must come first, the mobile control plane. This is the set of security and management policies, governance and technology that makes all of mobility possible.
We’re looking to speak with the vendors playing in the space today for our research on how to build this control plane which publishes in early August. What do we need? 30 seconds of your time to provide us your information on your firm and 30 minutes at your convenience to participate in a research interview so that we can learn more
Our goal is to help CIOs understand where to start when building mobility management, it starts with devices, but goes far beyond.
If you provide solutions for:
- Mobile device management
- Data security and encryption
- Mobile application management
- Identity and authentication management
- Mobile service assurance
- Enterprise email/contact/calendar sync
We want to talk with you.
Please let us know a bit about your solution here, no details will be shared publicly: http://goo.gl/rVBGL
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!
June 19, 2012Posted by on
Thanks to all of those who attended last week’s webinar on my most recent report, “Power To The People,” presenting strategy for enterprises to enable the various roles that make up a mobile workforce. The active Q/A made it a more valuable event for all attending.
If you did not have a chance to make the session, I’ve included a link to the replay of the event below. Please share and spread as this is an artifact of Altimeter’s open research methodology. I also urge you to continue the conversation on Twitter, using the hashtag for the research and the event #empowermobile.
June 7, 2012Posted by on
Today marks the publication of my second Altimeter Group research report. My collaborator and editor Jeremiah Owyang and I began with a hypothesis that, as the age of mobile = email has come to a close, are mobile employees being served with the proper applications to make them be more productive? Our guess was that they weren’t, and largely, rollouts are just getting started but there are already some lessons to be learned. The most important is that different roles have different needs from mobility, and determining who is using mobile today, and what their needs are from mobile is the first step to a defensible mobility plan.
Companies that choose to embrace mobility are finding that certain tools lend themselves to certain types of users, and companies that refuse to act? They’re being pushed toward adopting tools as users bring consumer technology into the workplace on the devices they themselves own.
Our findings included the following:
Read more of this post
June 4, 2012Posted by on
As I wrap up the editing on my forthcoming report on mobile in the enterprise, I’m mulling the conversations, interviews and data findings I came across in writing this piece of research. It publishes on June 7.
One element of mobility that has stood out to me is just how early we are in the journey for mobility. Looking at data on how companies are expanding their mobile initiatives as users stream in the door with devices – most of them aren’t acting today with firm policies. This comes at a time when one in two mobile users is carrying a smartphone – at least in the US. Mobile to date has been a consumer trend and, due to the lack of comprehensive controls in many organizations, concerns around data protection and choosing the right apps and tools to properly empower users, many businesses have refused to act on the trend of mobility driven by Bring Your Own Device (BYOD.)
May 22, 2012Posted by on
Last summer, I took a look at the then-newly-announced combination of what Google and Motorola Mobility would mean for the mobile industry. Today, as the acquisition closed, I’d like to revisit some of the points to see where we go from here.
At the time the merger was announced, I predicted three things would happen, let’s see how I did. Read more of this post
May 18, 2012Posted by on
As Google moves back into selling its smartphones direct to consumers, and companies like Voyager mobile garner headlines (and, apparently, DDoS attacks) it seems we’re slowly starting to realize that there’s another way to go mobile.
I’ve been getting a fair number of questions from the press in the past couple of weeks about whether we’re starting to change the way that US mobile owners are going mobile. In the US today, just under half of the total population has a smartphone today, and more than half of those owners are new to smartphones. GRowth will ultimately plateau but there are forces at work that may just accelerate growth in smartphone ownership if consumers would embrace them. The two forces at work involve a new model for buying hardware and a different way to think about service. Google – who tried unsuccessfully to use a direct model for its Nexus One handset in 2010 – is revisiting the direct-to-consumer business model. With the recent news of new MVNO Voyager Mobile, there’s increasing pressure on carriers’ traditional lines of business from pay-as-you-go services that give 24-month contract plans a serious run for their money. High-cost, low-rewward carrier agreements pushing users to lower-cost rivals.