Monthly Archives: November 2010

Mark Zuckerberg: Social is THE Feature

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, predicts that “social” will rethink industries such as TV, news, music and film.

The clip is a bit long.This is my summary of his key points:

Facebook started their photo product after big names like Flickr were established. Facebook first photo-sharing service was very simple and lacked features like high resolution or sorting, that were available elsewhere. However, you upload a photo and all your friends get it. That is powerful and engaging.

Facebook realized that “the social feature was most important that all the other features put together.” […] “Social rethinks the whole space.”

That is why Facebook makes the platform open for others to build on. Zynga, Playfish and Playdom are examples of gaming companies built entirely on Facebook. Surprisingly, Zynga’s market value is larger than EA’s!

In Zuckerberg’s words, “gaming is just the first vertical to tip” as it happened in many platforms before. Game apps on iPhone and iPads are the most popular. Even for the early PC, one of the things that got PCs to homes were games.

What are the next verticals to come? TV, music, news, movies. Zuckerberg predicts “In 5 years some of these verticals will be completely rethought and their business rebuilt.”

Zuckerberg did not mention Telecom, but hasn’t Facebook already changed the way we communicate? Will “social” transform telecoms even further?

Video found via the Silicon Alley insider.
It is a one hour clip. See minute 16:50 for the topic in this post.

Apple and 1984

The chart posted under the title Android Phones Will Sell Well This Holiday Season might have been done to show that consumers still buy more computers than iPads and more smatphones (non-iPhone) than iPhones. But think twice…

Are you saying that 18% of people will buy an iPad vs 20% buying a computer? Almost as many iPads as computers! many of which will be Macs!!
Are you saying that 13% will want an iPhone, vs 19% any other phone, when the iPhone is only available in one single carrier in US?
Are we comparing the iPad to the total consumer computer industry (which includes a healthy portion for Apple)?
Are we comparing a single phone model in one carrier to the rest of smartphones across all carriers?

How far are we from complete domination by Apple?
How far are we from an Apple world, just like 1984, guided under our beloved master Steve Jobs?

I would not be surprised that in a few years kids start asking why we named a fruit after the name of the maker of the iPad.

Entrepreneurship 101

Successful entrepreneurship 1

View more presentations from Steve Blank.

A friend asked me about some book recommendations on start-ups, and I just happened to find this fantastic presentation in Steve Blank’s blog. It summarizes two excellent books in a few charts.

Combine that with some reading from Paul Graham’s essays and that is worth more than any single book on entrepreneurship.

How to Start a Startup
How to Fund a Startup

China’s Entrepreneurship Revolution

A clip from the new documentary film Win in China, by Robert Compton, shows how fast China is changing and how hundred of thousands of entrepreneurs are driving the growth of the second economy of the World.

At the same time, China’s state-own large corporations are buying foreign companies, such as Volvo’s, as the Economist reports this week.

Maybe learning some Chinese is not bad after all…

iPad Killed Wireless Unlimited Data Plans

With the coming of the iPad, we started to hear about MiFi, tethering and mobile hotspots.

The case for the MiFi is simple. You pay a single data plan for your MiFi (or your smartphone with tethering), and there you connect all your iPads, laptops,  iPods,  and any future connected mobile device with Wifi. As LTE comes, you just get one unlimited LTE data plan for your MiFi and that is all you need from the Telco! A single pipe that you take with you anywhere!

Heaven for the consumer!! Hell for the Telco!!

Still wondering why AT&T, Telefonica O2, Vodafone and other telcos STOPPED offering unlimited data plans soon after the iPad arrived? They have four good reasons for that:

  1. The obvious: Tiered plans avoid heavy users to congest the network  (e.g. with P2P traffic). It also creates affordable plans to lure more users.
  2. The not-so-obvious: video is what drives traffic volume. Capping give telcos an (unfair?) advantage to distribute video content, compared with over-the-top. Example: Let’s say Verizon offers 1 GB data plan for your iPad and a Video-On-Demand App to stream all the movies you want at $8/month. The movies that you see with the Verizon App do not count for the 1GB monthly limit. Would you take Netflix at $8/month, considering it will soon kill your 1GB limit? Or do you take the Verizon video App?
  3. The real game: Telcos want you to get one separate data plan for each mobile connected device: One for your smartphone, one for your laptop, one for your iPad, one for your connected car, one for each of the future Machine-to-Machine connected devices. Telcos will bundle packages, but they want you to value each device connection with its plan and its cap.
  4. Protect Wireline: Telcos must avoid that LTE replaces the Wireline broadband connection. All fiber investment and IPTV play could go to waste if put to compete with 100Mbps+ Unlimited LTE plans. The easy differentiation: Wireline broadband is unlimited. Wireless broadband is capped.

The telco end vision for a consumer:

  • One unlimited wired pipe for the home (bundling TV and TV apps)
  • Many capped wireless pipes for each of the mobile connected devices, phone, laptop, tablet, car…  (bundling TV and other value-added services)