2010 Mobile Trends via Forrester


I finally had the chance to review the 2010 mobile trends predictions from Thomas Husson, a Senior Analyst at Forrester. The report hit on a fundamental concept: mobile performed exceptionally well during the 2009 economic recession. To reflect on this, the industry has really been bullish from an M&A perspective. As the year came to an end, the M&A market began to pick up with a number of acquisitions including the now-over-hyped Google purchase of AdMob as well as the Apple acquisition of Lala (music streaming service). Thus far, 2010 has seen continued M&A activity, with emphasis on mobile advertising companies including Quattro Wireless being acquired by Apple and Ad Marvel being acquired by Opera. Larger industry players are plucking companies to secure their seat at the table to reap the profits that the mobile industry is beginning to offer maturing companies. There is also a flurry of investment activity surrounding mobile games companies (which I will leave for another post).

The 2010 Mobile Trends report offers these high level statements:

  • More brands will start taking the mobile web into account in their strategies.
  • Innovation in mobile payments will accelerate.
  • Google will shake up the mobile navigation business.
  • Location will start enabling richer mobile experiences.
  • Social Computing and mobile phones will expand their love affair.
  • Live mobile TV will be hyped again.
  • The OS arms race will heat up.
  • Application stores will continue to flourish, but none will replicate Apple’s success in 2010.
  • Some operators will want to reduce their increasing dependency on Apple.

Read the Forrester blog for a deeper dive into these trends.

My $0.02 on the “Live mobile TV” Trend
If you’re a die-hard TV fan, getting live TV to your mobile phone has been around for a while from Slingbox, which allows you to stream shows from your PVR/DVR at home to a BlackBerry or iPhone. In 2010, I believe much more than live mobile TV is going to heat up in the mobile video segment. Since mobile carriers are now extending the capabilities of their networks beyond 3G, such as the multiple WiMax network deployments by Clearwire/Sprint, higher-quality mobile video finally has rails that can support its intense-bandwidth needs. This means more services that will bring consumers music videos, concerts, plays, festivals, live sporting events, tv shows (live and archived), movies (full length and in bite-sized snacks) — and my personal favourite — video-calling. I’m quietly keeping my fingers crossed that the iPhone 4G supports video calls! One last thing, mobile advertising networks will likely be the default solution to monetizing “lite” apps; as mobile video continues to build traction, watch out for hype surrounding mobile video advertising to heat up.

Switching from Blogger to WordPress


Over the last 2 days, I have undertaken the monumental task of switching my blog from Blogger to WordPress. To say the least, it was an experience. I thought I’d share my findings, and explain how to do this without losing any data, tags, RSS subscribers or Google rankings.

bloggertowordpress

First, check out the tutorial from Digital Inspiration; it saved my life. The tutorial covers WordPress installation, Blogger account import procedure, 3 steps to handle redirects from old Blogger pages to your new pages on WordPress.

It is particularly good for ensuring the 301 redirects from Blogger to WordPress successfully. It worked for me the first time with no problem. It will also be easier for you if you’ve been using a service like Feedburner to manage your feed, since that address will stay the same. Make sure to read below, because you may still hit a few walls with the tutorial above, as I did.

Permalinks

For example, you are probably going to want “pretty permalinks”. You can set these in the WordPress admin by going to “Settings” –> “Permalinks”; choose “Custom Structure” and type: “/%year%/%monthnum%/%day%/%postname%/” (no quotes).

If you are getting an error when trying to set this custom permalinks type, you probably don’t have the mod_rewrite function working. If you are running on an IIS6 machine, as I am, you can get around this fix by creating a file called “.htaccess” and storing it in your root folder on your FTP server. Add this into the “.htaccess” file, save and close:

# BEGIN WordPress
RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d
RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f
RewriteRule . index.php [L]

# END WordPress

Turn Categories into back into Tags

You may also notice that the Blogger import made all of my tags into categories. Luckily, if you go to “Tools” –> “Import” within the WordPress admin area, there is an option called “Categories and Tags Converter” that will get this fixed for you very easily.

If you’re going through a similar process, I hope you find this helpful! If not, I hope you enjoy the new blog layout and widgets. Please let me know your thoughts, as I always invite conversation below. Soon I’ll add Facebook Connect integration to make commenting much easier for my visitors.

Global VC Blog Directory


Attention all entrepreneurs and start-ups!

A comprehensive list of VC-authored blogs have been compiled by Larry Cheng, a Boston-based VC. The list was ranked by number of Google Reader Subscribers as of May 2009.

If you’re getting serious about pitching for venture dollars, I suggest that you start subscribing to some of these blogs (just add them to your Viigo feeds).

It’s important for entrepreneurs to know about a number of things before pitching for dollars:
1. Understand the psychology of VCs
2. Understand the business models of VCs
3. Understand how to pitch VCs
4. Understand how NOT to pitch VCs
5. Understand WHEN to pitch VCs
6. Pitch VCs with a focus in your business sector
7. Don’t pitch VCs with your competitors already in their portfolios
8. Know your pitch cold
9. Spend a few extra minutes on the slide deck
10. Know the risks associated with your business (model) and suggest mitigating strategies
11. The list goes on…

Many of the blogs listed in the index will give you lots of tips in these areas. Happy reading!

Google Wave


Google announced “Google Wave” at the Google I/O conference last week. Google says that their technology is a new tool for communication and collaboration on the web, coming later this year.

After watching the video and speaking to a friend at the event, I think this product is going to be hugely successful for a few reasons.

1. VERY Open API
2. Widget architecture to allow plug-ins like Firefox allows for dynamic functionality
3. Multi-faceted use cases (consumer, prosumer, enterprise)
4. Google already has a massive reach
5. The technology allows real-time updates to multiple locations (i.e. edits or updates to a wave will be shown in real-time to friends, colleagues, and places that the wave may be embedded such as blogs or a website)
6. Drag and drop from desktop to web
7. Ease of adding and removing(??) Wave participants
8. Playback functionality of Waves (I am excited to see how this gets further developed)

If you are reading this, and are from Google, I would love an invite to the Wave sandbox to give it a trial pre-launch!

Watch the video at http://wave.google.com/

World Innovation Forum


I’m planning a trip to California to do some business development and go to the World Innovation Forum amongst other things. The conference is from April 17-18, so if you want to join me, fire me an email because I would love a wingman on this mission! Seriously. (Oh, and there’s an unwritten student rate if you ask nicely …)

I ripped off a bit of content here from the HSM website for the World Innovation Forum, but I want to show you some of the people that are going to be speaking at this event:

CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN Disruptive Innovation

Author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, the business bestseller that outlines Christensen’s revolutionary theory of disruptive innovation

RENÉE MAUBORGNE Blue Ocean Strategy

“Blue Ocean Strategy challenges everything you thought you knew about strategy” (Business Strategy Review)

RAY KURZWEIL A Look into the Future

“The restless genius” (Wall Street Journal), “the ultimate thinking machine” (Forbes), “the rightful heir to Thomas Edison” (Inc. Magazine), and one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America” (PBS)

LYN HEWARD Creativity & Innovation at Cirque du Soleil

Lyn Heward is the creative fire behind Cirque du Soleil–one of the most innovative and creative companies in the world today–helping it grow to distinct 13 troupes that perform on a global stage

VINTON G. CERF Internet: An Engine of Innovation

Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist and widely considered to be the “Father of the Internet”

MICHAEL THIENEMAN A Model of Innovation: Whirlpool

Thieneman’s global position ensures innovative products and features across all of Whirlpool’s brands, reflected in an annual sales total of more than $19 billion

RICK RASHID Microsoft: Research, Product Development, and Future Technologies

As Senior Vice President, Research, Rick Rashid oversees Microsoft Research’s worldwide operations.

In November 2006 I attended the World Science Forum, which is another conference put on by HSM in New York. It was a great conference, where I had the opportunity to meet Francis Collins, Marvin Minsky, and listen to presentations made by some of the worlds greatest minds. I highly suggest getting the chance to get out to at least one of there.

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New Video 2.0 Website to come from NBC and News Corp


I’m not sure who would really want to go head to head with Google, but apparently the answer to that question is NBC and News Corp. who are launching a competitor to YouTube.com in Summer 2007.

The company, which has “yet to be given a name, or a managment team” already has distribution deals with AOL, MSN, Yahoo!, and MySpace and are planning on featuring TV shows and full-length films. Hmm … pretty good job considering there is no management team! More details on the venture can be seen in this NY Times article.

The unnamed company plans to generate revenue by making the video feeds free to watch, but subjecting the users to advertisements. How will they structure these ads?

My Thoughts
I’m not sure how the company plans to work advertising into the streaming video, if its alongside the video, or if there are interruptions within the streaming videos themselves. I can say right now that people are NOT going to like interruptions in their programs being streamed from this website; so, if that’s the plan, many people will surely be disappointed.

I wonder how long it will take before some 15-year old tech-geek programs a method of “PVR-ing” the streaming video, and either (1) cuts out the commercials and saves the video commercial-free on the computer for later playback when its convenient for them; or (2) saves the video allowing for playback with a fast-forwarding option.

I guess we’ll see what happens … either way, it could be an interesting service to check out.

Scientists Rejoice as Google Solves Data Management Crisis


Okay … so maybe “rejoice” is going a little too far, but scientists in the astronomy world are quite happy with Google’s innovative solution to managing their massive amounts of data received from imaging done in space, whether its infrared, gamma-ray, x-ray, etc…

The processes has been coined “FedExNet” by scientists who have already adopted and are using the new service. So what is this new service? I have highlighted some of the main points from the originating Wired article below:

  • Google acts as both a repository and courier for large data sets
  • Google ships both the PC and array to teams of scientists at various research institutions, which then connect their local servers to the array via an eSATA connection. Once the data transfer is complete, the drives get sent straight back to Mountain View, where the data is copied to Google’s servers for archival purposes. The idea then is that if other scientists around the world needed access to such a large quantity of data, Google would simply reverse the process.
  • Chris DiBona, the open-source program manager at Google, says “We make a copy of [the data], and then we can use the hard drives for something else. They’ll get banged around a little bit too much (to store the data directly on the drives). They’re not intended to be a long-term storage medium — they’re like envelopes to us.”
  • With a set of Google drives, Gorelick (who came up with the FedExNet moniker) can copy his team’s data in about 24 hours or less, something that can make a big difference when the time comes to collaborate with other research groups.

    See full article at Wired: Google’s Next-Gen of Sneakernet

Think of all the separate databases out there that manage genetic information. There are many independently operated bioinformatic databases and if they can all be centralized and indexed in a way that only Google can do, think of the potential implications for the scientific community working to progress the knowledge of DNA, RNA and protein interactions. This might be an essential step working towards the completion of the proteome and transcriptome …