Corporate Development MEGA The Precinct

MEGA sessions 3 & 4: market analysis

In the last two MEGA sessions we’ve been spoken to by some industry professionals in of the mobile/online “space” (this is the word ICT people use, and who am I to do different) about what the market’s currently like for mobile phone/devices and related services, where money comes from for the development of these, and what might come next.

The talks raised some questions in my mind, most notably:

  1. how do you interest people in funding an animated cop show when it is not something anyone actually NEEDS (in the sense that there is a need for a digital scheduler, or medical emergency services, or a good-tasting orange)?
  2. will Apple’s continued disinterest in supporting Flash on the iPhone make much difference to our approach to mobile?
  3. why make “apps” for specific mobiles/operating systems when a web app can (theoretically) work identically on any web-capable device?

In session 3, Brad Birchall spoke about (among other things) venture capital, and suggested VCs might prefer you to sink your own cash into your project before coming to them. Jennifer Wilson gave me a phrase I didn’t know: “on/off deck”, which in mobile terms refers to the “magic portal” your phone provider shows you when you start your phone. They use the “deck” to push their preferred content at you. My “notes”:
mega0304_ondeckIn week 3, there were many more concepts to get my head around. I interpreted them on paper but may have missed some of the subtleties:

Data/devices, Evil corporate content

Other things I found interesting:

  • Telcos lose money subsidising iPhones for their customers.
  • In the future, telcos hope to be the fat, rich middleman between you and everything you buy (by virtue of their serving up the platform by which you buy it).
  • Big time venture capitalists wouldn’t spit in the direction of a project our size (too inexpensive for them to bother with).
  • The business model we envisioned for our online choose-your-own-adventure story has a name, and the name is “freemium”.
  • Almost 35% of Americans answer the phone while they’re having sex.

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