Cellphones in Emerging Markets

Knowledge@Wharton writes:

According to Ron Garriques, executive vice president of Motorola’s personal communications sector, markets in the developing world — especially China and India — are emerging as the battleground for mobile-device makers.

Today, Illinois-based Motorola leads in North America and is investing heavily in China, said Garriques during a talk at the recent 2005 Wharton Technology Conference. Motorola’s archrival, Finland’s Nokia Group, the world’s biggest cell phone maker, trounces everyone in Europe and has a hefty head start in the developing world. “The high-growth markets are India, Pakistan, the Middle East, Africa, Turkey and all of South Asia,” he said. “These markets are dominated by Nokia, with over 60% market share. Nobody else has more than 10%.”

Cell phones and other mobile devices such as Blackberries represent more than just additional gizmos that western firms can peddle to consumers elsewhere. They are also a way for developing countries to accelerate their growth by skipping over the lengthy, costly process of installing landlines and computer networks to support them. In many places, consumers can jump directly to wireless services without ever having used landlines.

Affordability is especially important in China, which is flooded with phones. “There are about 200 manufacturers of cell phones in China that are state-owned enterprises,” Garriques noted. “They believed that the market was a commodity business and created about 18 million cell phones that nobody ever bought. They are all being offered now for $5 a piece. [These companies] called the market wrong. The technology curve changed — from grayscale to full color, from candy-bar to clamshell — and all those phones are just sitting there.”

Affordability is less important in India, where consumers like more expensive clamshell phones, Garriques said. Motorola’s market research has indicated that Indians don’t want to be stigmatized as buyers of only the candy-bar phone. “People think about the Indian market as a lower tier. About 30% of the U.S. market is high end, and maybe it’s only 5% in India. But India has 1.1 billion people” compared with 290 million in the U.S. In gross numbers, that means India’s premium market is about half the size of the United States.

Local Newspaper

Jeff Jarvis has suggestions for newspapers: “Imagine a newspaper that is only local news — no sports, no business, little or no entertainment, and commodity national and international news treated as the I-saw-that-already commodity it is: only local news…Why? Because we need to seriously consider new business models for journalism…find new and efficient ways to get more local news: Harness the power of your public and get news and information from new sources that you help support with information, promotion, training, trust, and most of all revenue. Pay the person who covers the school board if the audience agrees it’s valuable. Become the meeting place , as Hugh McLeod says, for everything local, all the news that matters to you — and the conversation about it. Become a better local news operation than you’ve ever been with more news and more reporting and more engagement from the public you serve.”

del.icio.us Experience

Fred Wilson led a group that invested in del.icio.us:

del.icio.us is a really interesting web service that lets anyone who uses it “tag the internet”.

Most people, me included, go there for the first time, look at del.icio.us, and then shake their heads and say “I don’t get it”.

But for those who come back and actually use it, the experience is very different.

del.icio.us becomes a critical tool for them to manage their web experiences.

Simply put, tagging is the exercise of associating words, any words you want to use, with URLs. That’s all it is – a series of words and URLs. The words are the tags. But when lots of people start tagging with a similar tool and similar words, and the tags are shared, some very interesting things result.

I like to send people to the del.icio.us tag page to see what that result is.

del.icio.us made tagging popular, but others have used it with incredible results. The most obvious example is Flickr. I believe that tags and RSS feeds of the tags has made Flickr vastly superior to other photo sharing sites.

RSS feeds make tagging even more powerful. Because everyone’s tag can be an RSS feed, tagging becomes extremely viral and portable.

The Attention Economy

Dana Blankenhorn writes:

What’s news is how we’re bifurcating our attention — splitting it into parts — and how media must now compete for slices of it.

We often divide our attention while online. I’ve got several windows open on this computer. I can be running iTunes, I can have the TV on, I can be talking to my lovely bride, all at the very same time. Anyone can do this.

You can divide attention horizontally — doing several things at once — but you can also divide it vertically. There’s my conscious attention, what I know I’m thinking of, then there’s my subconscious attention, even my unconscious attention. My next item for this blog might be bubbling away in my unconscious right now, or I might be subconsciously considering my next meal.

Marketers, of course, want to play in all these areas but they can’t. There is always going to be an editorial side of your attention and a marketing side. We’re talking about our own internal space, and anyone who’s consuming ads on every level, in every channel, is worthless to those advertisers because none of their attention is focused on buying anything.

Brand Storytelling

800-CEO-READ Blog writes about “May I Have Your Attention, Please?: Building a Better Business By Telling Your Story” by Chris Hilicki. Here are Chris’ Big 10 Brand Builders:

1. Recognize that you already have a brand whether you know it or not. It’s time to take control of it to build an authentic powerful brand destined for great success.
2. Identify and examine your own story, experiences, and life-changing moments in your personal and professional life.
3. Attach importance to your story because it is real, unique, and the only thing that can’t be copied.
4. Connect your experiences to the things that are important to you–your values and beliefs.
5. Express these values as your brand values with corresponding elements that are visual and audial, as well as those characteristics that can be felt and make people feel.
6. Share these values in a way that incorporates as many of the human senses as possible.
7. Communicate these brand values so that they relate to your audience and can be easily remembered.
8. Reveal your authentic brand in a way that involves your audience, listens, responds, and maneuvers as you anticipate your audience’s changing needs and wants.
9. Write down a specific plan for your brand development and the results you will achieve.
10. In the fullness of believing you are worthy and valuable, turn the attention your brand receives back to the world to meet and exceed their wants, needs, hopes, and dreams.

TECH TALK: Good Books: Welch on Winning

Continuing with our management theme, there is another book from a practitioner: Winning by Jack Welch, with Suzy Welch as co-author. Newsweek did a cover story on the book and Welch recently, and carried an excerpt:

LEADERS RELENTLESSLY UPGRADE THEIR TEAM, USING EVERY ENCOUNTER AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO EVALUATE, COACH AND BUILD SELF-CONFIDENCE.

The team with the best players usually does win. And that is why, very simply, you need to invest the vast majority of your time and energy as a leader in three activities.

You have to evaluatemaking sure the right people are in the right jobs, supporting and advancing those who are, and moving out those who are not.
You have to coachguiding, critiquing and helping people to improve their performance in every way.

And finally, you have to build self-confidencepouring out encouragement, caring and recognition. Self-confidence energizes, and it gives your people the courage to stretch, take risks and achieve beyond their dreams. It is the fuel of winning teams.

Too often, managers think that people development occurs once a year in performance reviews. That’s not even close. It should be a daily event, integrated into every aspect of your regular goings-on. Customer visits are a chance to evaluate your sales force. Plant tours are an opportunity to meet promising new line managers. A coffee break at a meeting is an opening to coach a team member about to give his first major presentation. Think of yourself as a gardener, with a watering can in one hand and a can of fertilizer in the other. Occasionally you have to pull some weeds, but most of the time, you just nurture and tend. Then watch everything bloom.

This is what Jack Welch has to say on hiring people:

Before you even think about assessing people for a job, they have to pass through three screens. The first test is for integrity. People with integrity tell the truth, and they keep their word. The second test is for intelligence. The candidate has a strong dose of intellectual curiosity, with a breadth of knowledge to work with or lead other smart people in today’s complex world. The third ticket to the game is maturitythe ability to handle stress and setbacks, and enjoy success with equal parts of joy and humility.

I then apply the “4-E (And 1-P) Framework” for hiring that I’ve found consistently effective, year after year, across businesses and borders. The first E is positive energy. It means the ability to go go goto thrive on action and relish change. The second E is the ability to energize others, and inspire them to take on the impossible. The third is edge, the courage to make tough yes-or-no decisions. The fourth E is executethe ability to get the job done. Then I look for that final P, passiona heartfelt, deep and authentic excitement about work.

Tomorrow: Welch on Winning (continued)

Continue reading TECH TALK: Good Books: Welch on Winning