Incubators in India

Sramana Mitra writes:

India needs Incubator Funds. 3-4-5 Partners with solid entrepreneurial experience, rolling up their sleeves, with strong ties to the valley, experience of the cultural nuances of the country, with strong understanding of product and strategic marketing, up-to-speed, current.

In some cases, these Partners would need to come up with ideas for new ventures, and recruit teams around them. Vinod Khosla used to do this at one time. This is not the job of analysts, bankers or professional fund managers.

LISTEN ALL YE VC GLITTERRATI WHO ARE ANNOUNCING BIG INDIA STRATEGIES : TAKE $25 MILLION FROM YOUR INDIA FUND, AND CREATE AN INCUBATOR WITH A GROUP OF EXPERIENCED ENTREPRENEURS, WHO CAN ACTUALLY MAKE A PIPELINE HAPPEN.

Mobile Advertising

Telecoms.com has an excerpt from a Pyramid Research report: “”When you consider that mobile is the only media platform currently lacking advertising as a revenue stream, it is clearly a very exciting greenfield opportunity for brands to get in front of a very large audience. For MNOs it is certainly a way of generating revenues and can be used as a way of augmenting mobile content to encourage uptake. Moreover, current generation handsets are more than capable of displaying advertising in a manner that is of an acceptable quality to brands and, as with internet-based advertising, [it] provides a high degree of transparency relating to return on investment. However, the potential to alienate subscribers with badly executed mobile advertising is not to be taken lightly.”

Web-based Collaboration Tools

Forbes writes about nine such tools, and adds a cautionary note: “Bear in mind before you jump in that you’re giving information to a third-party company to store. If you’re not in IT, you should talk to the IT department to be sure you’re not violating company policy by using these services. And, even if you’re in IT, before you use these services, you should talk to your company’s legal and compliance offices to be sure you’re obeying the law and regulations with regard to managing company’s information.”

GPS Handsets

WSJ writes about Nokia’s plans:

The new Nokia phones will have a global positioning system receiver, which uses satellites to determine a user’s location, speed and direction. Local maps come installed in the phones and additional maps can be downloaded from Nokia’s Web site, either directly to the phone or via a computer.

With its new phones, Nokia is trying to get the types of services that already are relatively common in Japan adopted elsewhere. It hopes that customers won’t only use maps and searches for local restaurants and hotels, which it will offer as free services for the most part, but also will pay for additional content such as city guides and the navigation service with spoken directions.

Sun at 25

InfoWorld writes:

Sun marks its 25th anniversary this week. To the outside observer, however, there may appear to be little to celebrate. Sun’s stock price languishes in the single digits, not even matching its performance of five years ago. Although the company’s product portfolio is brimming with innovative technologies, it seems unable capitalize on them. Sun stands poised at one of the most critical moments of its history, yet its ability to shape its own future seems doubtful.

There’s no doubt that Sun has superior technology. In the real-world IT market, however, superior technology doesn’t always win out. (Some of Sun’s competitors in the Workstation Wars can testify to that.) But the other card Sun has in its hand, after all, is sheer staying power. And as it marches onward toward its thirties, let’s not think of it as a company approaching middle age. Rather, it’s simply growing into maturity. As long as it carries on the cause of open source and open standards — both in name and in spirit — there will always be a future for it in the market, no matter what its shape.

TECH TALK: 3GSM 2007: Snippets (Part 2)

Mike Rowehl: The mobile world wont end up changing the online world like I had assumed it would. It really looks like the innovation is going to flow the other way around. People who are already working in mobile have had all semblance of initiative and innovation beaten out of them. You can lay a new business model down in front of them and explain in detail how it works, and generally they arent able to grasp it unless it looks enough like something they already know. However, people coming from the online world and looking to expand into mobile generally are accustomed to a shifting environment and taking in new opportunities and integrating them into their mental framework…The stage should be set for mobile to completely subsume the online world. But instead its the people from the online world staggering out into the sun and realizing theres no one trying to grab the potential of the new medium and just picking up the pieces waiting for them.

DSP DesignLine:

Existing subscribers in developed markets don’t have compelling reasons to increase their spending. Consider the current hot technology, mobile TV. Consumer interest in this technology is lukewarm at best, so carriers can’t count on it for a revenue boost.

Thus, it’s clear that the wireless industry is now driven by cost-cutting, not by cutting-edge features. Not that tomorrow’s phones won’t be high-tech: Just look at the Chinese market, where sales of low-tech PHS phones are rapidly cooling. It won’t be long before this market is taken over by cheap 3G phones.

The moral of the story? Designers must keep pushing technology forward, but cut costs at the same time. It’s a tough challenge, but one that must be met in the new wireless world.

VNUnet.com:

Handset manufacturers, application developers and operating system managers are all planning large-scale roll outs of GPS technology this year.

The popularity of the technology has been boosted by a new generation of GPS chips that are small enough to fit into mobile handsets, along with power management technology that offers increased battery life.

“GPS is definitely one of the key themes of the 3GSM show,” said David Wood, head of Symbian.

The main market for GPS systems is in Europe, but technologists believe that the US market will also take off in the next two years.

The Register: Fourteen mobile operators around the world have teamed up to create a standard payment system using Near Field Communications (NFC). To be called “Pay-Buy Mobile”, the standard is backed by AT&T and China Mobile, among others, and should lead to interoperability between suppliers’ equipment and financial companies.

Andrea Trasatti:

What did not surprise:
* Motorola: was it 2007? 2006? 2000? It seems like it’s still the StarTac from the Nineties. Aren’t their phones all clones of the RAZR which is a slim version of the StarTac?
* Nokia: same as above, where is the innovation?
* mobileTV was everywhere
* IMS was everywhere

What surprised me:
* SonyEricsson W880: imagine the already very good W810i, imagine it thinner, lighter, nicer, faster. If the price is reasonable, this is going to be a BIG hit. A lot of people I spoke to really liked it, it’s really good!
* LG KG800: we all know the phone, it’s not new, but the softkeys are really weird. You don’t feel when you click and you never really understand if anything is going to happen. Disappointing experience, sorry.
* mobileTV hardware vendors, integrators, solution providers were everywhere, but where is the content? Where is that thing that makes everyone want it? Where is that bit that makes it go from the current low-satisfaction state to a big service for everyone?
* Trolltech had a big booth with about 20 devices running their Linux-based Qtopia. I did not know so many devices use it.

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