Archive for 2007

Sub-prime making news; Video and Mobility making progress

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

- Please don’t ask about the extent of the aftershock of foolish borrowing and careless lending.  On so many fronts in our globalized marketplace, at both the individual and enterprise level, we’re probably going to have to heed the advice of Tancredi in The Leopard:  “If you want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.”

Meanwhile, other engines maintain their hum and will move closer to the center stage of widespread technical adoption in 2008.  Two examples that I track are video as a story-telling device and the elevation of the 3rd screen to our 1st screen.

– Last Christmas season my high school son and two of his classmates won a contest at the local upscale mall by producing a sixty second video to promote the shopping season.  They won $400 in equipment for the school and $600 to split three ways.  The recently concluded 2007 contest enjoyed a threefold increase in participation and a tenfold increase in prize money: $6,000 in equipment and $4,000 to split.  Clearly, the mall, the merchants and the aspiring film-makers see solid business value in consumer generated, good-enough, easy to deploy video to tell their stories. 

– So much is happening on the mobility front that it may not be obvious, although GPS features and related acquisitions (Navteq by Nokia and Tele Atlas by Tom Tom) are getting plenty of press.  With the $10b that Yahoo, Microsoft, and Google spent in 2007 to acquire search and advertising related companies and the popular reception to Apple’s iPhone, we will soon have the sort of mobile computing capabilities that consumers in other parts of the world have enjoyed for several years.  

The driving force behind all of this activity is control of search on the mobile device.  The revenue model is that Location Awareness facilitates Search and Search enables targeted Advertising.  Curious is our notion that the 1st screen is the TV and the 2nd screen is the PC, yet we all carry a 3rd screen nearly everywhere we go.  “Can you hear me now?” will rapidly migrate to “We know where you are and can help you to find and to pay for what you want. Just text me.”

cp

High Definition Web experience & broadband adoption

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

My friend in the Duke University IT shop sent me a link to  www.thehdweb.com.  I have resisted the idea that I’ll watch television programs on my PC via Slingbox or Apple TV as I spend too much time at my computer already.  However, if the experience would be as I see on this site, I might be interested.  Not for watching CSI or American Idol, but to read newspapers on-line (I’m still a hold-it-in-your-hand reader) or to pursue other sorts of education from my desk.

And did you realize that our country ranks #15 in the world in broadband penetration, a drop of 11 spots between 2001 and 2006?!   Our ratio is 20 households per 100 (just below Japan and 50% less than Denmark or South Korea).  The average South Korean apartment building has 15x the connection speed as a typical American household, for example.

Imagine the commercial capabilities when most US household enjoy inexpensive, broadband access. Meanwhile, we’re a long way from the benefits of www.thehdweb.com.  In a globalized and highly competitive marketplace, we need to accelerate the pace of broadband availability.  cperrien

All Souls Day – Social Networking of the 11th Century

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

I grew up in New Orleans where parochial school children enjoyed two entertaining annual holidays:

– the well advertised Mardi Gras, a Tuesday day-off in mid Winter

– the Wednesday after Halloween to celebrate All Saints or All Souls Day

The headlines are occupied by the rise of oil, the fall of the dollar, the kick-off to the presidential race (so far it’s been preseason) and the finale to the sub-prime collapse.  Amidst the dour mainstream news, consider the escalation of the Microsoft vs Google campaign which should influence our own 2008 planning: 

- Microsoft invested $240mm investment in Facebook (1.6% stake) last week and Google countered immediately with an open standards alliance, Open Social, including LinkedIn, Ning, and Orkut (Google’s own social network).  Google does not want Facebook to become the operating system of social networks.  Quick aside: News Corp.’s 2006 100% acquisition of MySpace for $580mm looks brilliant.

Are we blindly returning to Act II of the dot-bom?  I think not and I believe that Social Networking or Community Building as promoted by Facebook and others could be adopted by our own kinds of enterprises to better connect our widely dispersed knowledge bases: employees, customers, partners, supplier in the spirit of ‘What if we knew what we all knew?!’

Right now I have eleven (11) applications opened to manage my work inside and outside of the firewall: email, sms, two types of instant messaging, two browsers, plus the associated tools for calendar, address book, word processing and a mobile phone.  I would value a workspace where I could link all of my activities to ‘connect those who know with those who need to know, regardless of their employer.  I see a Facebook-like model helping me to achieve this.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, is quoted in Monday’s NY Times:  “One of the things to say, very clearly, is that social networks are very real.  If you are of a certain age, you sort of dismiss this as college kids or teenagers.  But this is very real.”  Google closed over $700 today, up 54% YTD.

‘Start small, grow fast, get involved‘ might be a productive way to explore the potential of Social Networking or Innovation Networking in 2008.   No holiday required.

Perrien

Changed title – spam magnet

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Was MBAs, Soulja Boy and Obama

I spoke with MBA students at a prominent New England business school last week. Impressive was their understanding and interest in Internet technologies to achieve both business and social objectives. They seemed to care a little less about employers offering titles and briefing binders and a lot more about how to find employers who want to use Web 2.0 to change the relationships between the enterprise and it customers.

Closer to home, I observed the ever-increasing popularity and capability of on-line video. My youngest son, age 11, prepared for his first middle school dance by watching an instructional YouTube video by Soulja Boy Tell Em! (kind of like American Bandstand on demand). Same approach for preparing for a Show ‘n Tell at school: he learned a couple of magic tricks off of YouTube and then turned on his Mac computer’s camera to record himself practicing these tricks.

The ANA, Association of National Advertisers, met last week. Largest attendance of CMOs in the 97 year history of the conference. Their concerns are how to keep up with consumers as we continue to decentralize our sources of personally relevant information (the notion that marketing has evolved from ‘dozens of markets & millions of participants’ to ‘millions of markets with dozens of participants’). What inhibits CMOs from taking better advantage of Web 2.0:

– less than 24% consider their organizations to be digitally savvy (needed talent hard to find)

– 51% cite lack of organization support as a barrier to the use of new media

– 80% say that consumer insights (customer communities) are more important today than they were 5 years ago.

Related Booz Allen Report available: www.boozallen.com/media/file/HD_Marketing_2010.pdf

So much is happening in this amazing world of Web 2.0 that I do not have space to discuss Virgin Airlines‘s foray into the peer-to-peer financial arena (majority stake in Circle Lending) or talk about the potential of the just announced partnership of Skype (owned by eBay) and MySpace (sister company of Dow Jones).

As we think about 2008, we might agree that the conversation about Web 2.0 evolved in 2007 from ‘What is it?’ to ‘How do I get started?’ I am confident that there is talent eager to help us; inexpensive and simple examples to guide us; and compelling business reasons to act sooner rather than later.

c.perrien

Chad Vader, day shift manager

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Been around for about about 15 months in an eight part series. Clever and my tip to get the week started.  On a serious note, the pace of video adoption is picking up.  Good news for storage vendors, I suppose, and better news for those seeking lower-cost, good enough ways of getting their messages to their audiences.  My eleven year old launched his video instant messaging system over the weekend (iMac) and is enamored this capability to see himself on ‘tv.’  ‘Appearing larger than you are’ is one benefit of YouTube-like capabilities.  To me, adoption at this stage is more a matter of thinkingdifferently than it is about technical capabilities.  At any rate, you’ll get a couple of good laughs out of it. cperrien

Web 2.0 lessons-learned this summer

Wednesday, September 26th, 2007

Welcome to Autumn,

1. Mobile Search with related advertising opportunities remains the investment rage amongst Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.   Apple’s iPhone campaign fueling this fire (stock up 80% since announcement in Feb. 2007).

2. How to get started, not Why is the theme of the customer discussion. A shift from the spring due to notable F500 investments such as News Corp acquisition of Dow Jones (parent of the Wall Street Journal) and Microsoft offering $300mm for just 5% of Facebook.  Agreement that there is something to this notion of Community Building or Social Networking.  Starting inside the enterprise to harness collective wisdom of employees, with a goal of improved innovation, is compelling.  Existing business processes and right mix of staff are inhibitors to taking advantage.  Is the benefit in early adoption or fast-following?!

3. Not much of a wow factor in related tools: blogs, wikis, feeds etc as judged to be the basics but not project justifiers.

4. Positive reception to IBM’s own related experiences: Jams, Think Place, Technology Adoption Program, and quantity of internal blogs, wikis etc.  A concerted offering would be valued by marketplace.

5. Mash-ups of enterprise data could be a big winner; need cohabitation story with portal capabilities.

6. Appear Bigger than You Are via Web 2.0 (YouTube, Community Building) is an attraction to mid-market customers.

7. Mid-sized firms attracted, increasingly so, to hosted apps by likes of Google (e.g. Google Pack, NetBooks)

8. Web 2.0, as the friendly face of service-enabled architectures (SOA), is not yet obvious to customers and to sellers. Remains a tough, internal sell from IT to its business sponsors.

9. Information Security is top of mind, well beyond a traditional IT control point:  ‘If I move outside of enterprise with Web 2.0, how would I handle InfoSec and legal hurdles?’

10. Not much Web 2.0 budget in ’07 and being budgeted for TBD projects in ’08.

Amplifying remarks at your request; comments welcomed.

Christopher Perrien