6. The Pondering Primate on Mobile Opportunities
The Pondering Primate had two stand-out posts one discussed how Microsoft could beat Google, and the second speculated on how Google could increase its domination. Both are full of fascinating ideas.
In January, TPP wrote about ideas for Microsoft to best Google in the next phase beyond search:
Bill Gates had the vision to see every PC would need an operating system and elected to get a piece of every pc sold w/ DOS/windows. Let the Hardware guys decide what else to put on the pc and how to market it.
Windows and IE was THE platform for the connection to electronic world. It was true visionary thinking and it took many years for the competition to catch up and offer alternatives. MS literally dominated Phase1, the connection of the electronic world.
Phase2 is the mobile PC (cell phone) and the physical world.
Phase 2 is coming and it will take some forward thinking to create the next OS that will be required on every computing device. Phase 2 will be 1000 times larger and more lucrative than Phase 1.
Phase 2 is connecting every physical item to the Internet. People want more, they want interaction, immediate response. Phase 2 will create more killer apps than Phase 1 because you have taken the internet outside the box and have a vast amount of items to search/link. Phase 2 takes the internet in 3-D and creates an infinitesimal amount of data to search/link. But the only way to connect these items is through a unique tollbooth (IP).
Every physical item WILL BE connected to the net. It will be done through a barcode, an RfiD tag, a Zigbee chip, a word, a sound, a fingerprint, a magnetic strip, a phone number.
Phase 2 is different than Phase 1 in many ways. Phase 1 involves surfing the net, sending email, instant messaging. Phase 1 is the communication of computing devices through the Internet. Phase 2 adds an exponential factor. Now take EVERY PHYSICAL ITEM and connect it to the Internet and all of these computing devices. The Internet will now multiply exponentially. The growth curve of data and applications will be a hockey stick.
In April, TPP wrote about the next big idea for Google:
Would Google be able to command more dollars if advertisers knew their site would come up based on location versus guessing the correct keywords? YES.
Will Google create a few billion dollar revenue streams from this? YES
Heres how they do it.
Google unveils a Mobile Words division and mobile search takes off. All generic words are available for sale, except trademarks and brand names. That is another problem that can be resolved with Googles Mobile Words. They sell, not auction/bid for keywords for a mobile search.
Remember mobile search is really navigation.
How can Google re-sell the same keywords again?
The search for pizza on a PC versus pizza on a cell phone is completely different. It also is done from a completely different device, and Google can determine this. Google can tell from the server info that a search query was coming from a cell phone.
So a cell phone search query accesses a completely different database, the Google Mobile Words.
7. Financial Times on the Mobile Revolution
In November, Richard Waters of the Financial Times wrote a brilliant article on the impact of mobiles.
Tools such as e-mail and instant messaging may have been around since the dawn of the internet era, but it has taken a wireless communications revolution to turn them into a constant and inescapable fact of life for a growing part of the population. WiFi networks – a low-cost technology that can beam large chunks of data over short distances using part of the radio spectrum that was previously the preserve of gadgets such as garage door openers and baby monitors – assure the digitally addicted of a permanent and ubiquitous connection to the wider world. At the same time, more versatile mobile phones have turned text messages into the communications tool of choice for teenagers in Asia and Europe, if not yet the US, while also bringing e-mail to many handsets. For those in the grip of these new networks, life has changed. There�s no such thing as solitude any more, no fragment of time that cannot be filled with digital chatter.
It is hard to deny the extent to which mobile phone communications have already crept into many, if not most, corners of our lives: children texting from the bus stop; suburban streets clogged with housewives on the phone while at the wheel (at least in countries where it is still legal); executives bowed, fetishistically, over their BlackBerries. In equal parts liberating and intrusive, the mobile phone has changed the way many people relate to their work, or to their friends and loved ones. It seems a fair bet that its next incarnation will have a much deeper and wider impact.
Next Week: The Best of 2005 (continued)