Assumption-driven Entrepreneurship

Alex Krupp writes:

Much better to wait until you’ve discovered something new about human nature. Something that makes your assumptions more accurate for more people, more of the time, in more places. Something more useful. Something more actionable.

Call it assumption-driven entrepreneurship.

The best part is that theories are invisible so they can’t easily be found and copied. Your theory of human nature is your hidden sustainable competitive advantage. Make sure you have one. And use it wisely.

India’s Mobile Internet Market

ContentSutra interviews Rajiv Hiranandani of Mobile2Win, who offers some interesting stats: “around 15-16 million are CDMA with access to premium content. 7-9 million GSM handsets are GPRS enabled, and 40 percent (3-3.5 million) of these use operator WAP sites. So thats around 18-20 million potential targets for WAP based advertising. The situation with WAP is similar to that of Internet advertising in 1999-2000. The 14-25 year old age group is on WAP, and even the 10-11 year olds are now coming on to the mobile platform.”

Advertising’s New World

WSJ writes:

“The biggest innovation in the advertising industry during the last 70 years before digital was color TV,” says Ajaz Ahmed, chairman and co-founder of independent digital marketing agency AKQA. “The agency of the future will be half a software company and half an entertainment company because that’s the new landscape.”

A host of newer firms from outside the traditional ad mainstream dominate the technology-rich process of making and delivering ads to the Web. And while TV networks, magazines and newspapers have a presence online, much of the Internet media is controlled by companies such as Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc.

Presence and Micro-blogging

Eric Rice writes:

Lately, Ive been paying attention to an onslaught of new applications and how they fit into my normal flow of must-read-every-bit-of-information-that-exists-EVER. Such apps involve conversational presence web sites like Twitter and Jaiku.

Everyones experience may vary, as well as peoples loyalties. A good number of the hot, cool web sites out there are very clique-driven, while other hot, cool web sites, are driven by the general public (and the hipster kids hate em (read: myspace, youtube, et al).

Mobile Devices and Data

Tony Fish writes: “Our mobile device is not only with us, it is increasingly part of us; it has become for many users the most personal thing. Published research suggests that we notice the loss of the mobile device faster than our wallet. The mobile device, if capable, can capture your Digital Footprint [My first impression of this was described as the slug trail in Being Digital by Nicholas Negroponte 1996. Digital Footprint is also known as a Lifestream. Lifestreams will soon be structured using APML as a common data interchange format for attention or iPALS – identity, Presence, Attention, Location and Services.] which is our daily actions and activities; when we start moving in the morning, what information was searched, requested or delivered, where we have been, where we stayed and for how long. Relationship analysis using our contact base would detail who we were with and who was nearby. Other Screens of Life [Screens of Life is a phrase explored in Mobile Web 2.0 as a mechanism to describe how we interact with media; both as a consumer of content and as a creator. The screens of life being Cinema, TV, PC, HeadRest (Airplane or Car), Mobile Device, Informational (iPod)] will be unable to repeat this data collection feat, at best a fixed access Web model may get 10% of the available data of your daily pattern, TV maybe 1%, but the mobile device opens the possibility of 90%.”

TECH TALK: Facebook: Looking Ahead

Fred Stutzman writes:

Facebook seeks to become a starting point for its users web experience. In essence, it is solving the “what’s next” problem by providing users a potentially endless set of experiences to encounter within the Facebook framework. Facebook knows that it has limited resources, by ceding some control of its space to third-parties, it retains users while enabling them to spend more time exploring the endless depths of the Facebook experience. In a sense, this is Second Life applied to Facebook; Second Life is only as interesting as the environments developed within – Facebook is no different.

Sounds like a great plan, right? I agree, it does sound good on paper. But how it shakes out in the real world is still left to be known. Facebook users engage with the service to have social needs answered; while Platform adds a bunch of new capability to the service, does it actually answer social needs? I think you could argue that the diversification of information presented on a profile is a relevant social need, but what about an Amazon marketplace? Is that a relevant social need? The ultimate question revolves around how these applications enable mutual disclosure between friends – how they help friends learn more about each other. That’s been the killer app of Facebook since day one, and just because the audience has changed somewhat I don’t believe it is no longer relevant.

Read/Write Web thinks Facebook will go in for what could be the biggest IPO since Google:

We may never know the full story on why Yahoo and Facebook couldn’t agree terms on a $1Billion deal. But you have to commend Facebook for its brave move of going it alone and building out a development platform themselves. It would’ve been much easier to go the MySpace route and sell themselves to the highest Bigco bidder.

Could we eventually see the biggest IPO since Google, when Facebook puts its hand out to the public for cash? It’s looking like a good bet now. And as Facebook’s current stats show, they are growing at a remarkable pace. They have the vision, the user base, and 3rd party developer support. It seems the monetization isn’t quite worked out yet, which could still end up spoiling the party. But one thing is for sure, Facebook has gone well beyond what MySpace has to offer – and is looking distinctly threatening to not only MySpace, but the other big Internet companies. Facebook has grown up!

While Facebook is not officially in India, its user base is starting to grow. While Google’s Orkut remains the dominant player in the social networking space in India, Indian start-ups like Minglebox (which received funding from Sequoia) and established players like MySpace are also likely to be forces to contend with. My belief continues to be that in India social networking will need to take a mobile-centric rather than a PC-centric approach. So, from that perspective, the space still remains wide open.

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