“The disproportionate weight of US/UK income and the low growth of income from rest-of-world vs. the far faster growth of usage outside the US/UK means that the toughest nut for Google to crack is not penetration but emerging market monetization.
The disparity is enormous. US/UK revenue is on average $86/user/yr (2012) and rising. The rest of the world only manages $12/user/yr. That Rest Of World includes many wealthy countries such as all of Europe and Japan. So the problem for Google is that it has an order of magnitude less income per user in the part of the internet which remains unpenetrated and the trends show that they are not narrowing the gap.”
“Amazon doesn’t innovate by crafting new product categories, like Apple does. It also doesn’t make much money selling its hardware. Instead, it takes all the data it gathers as the world’s biggest online retailer, breaks down exactly what’s available and what consumers want, then produces a piece of hardware that it can sell cheaply in order to bring consumers into its ecosystem. Just as Netflix created House of Cards to satisfy the particular tastes of its viewers, Amazon made the Fire TV because millions of buyers are already looking for it. To understand the Fire TV is to take one glance at Amazon’s best-selling electronics list: two Roku models, Google’s Chromecast, and the Apple TV are the only non-Amazon devices in the top 10. The world’s largest online retailer just took on all three.”
As Om Malik and I discussed on a podcast a while back, wearables are not a tech product. They are a fashion product with some tech inside. Thus they need to be cheap and varied so a wide array of people can match them to their outfits. To that end I wonder if the focus on wearables from tech firms like Motorola, Google and Intel really makes sense.
The guts may come from a tech giant, but the actual product should come from the fashion or design world. Even though the tech world is getting design religion, I can’t see it overtaking Gucci or Prada when it comes to fashion.
That is exactly right. It also begs the question wether a more modular approach to wearables would make more sense then what we see now as smartwatches.
Bob O’Donnell at Tech.pinions on the need for standards for the Internet of Things to take off:
While it’s unlikely that all the specific needs for potential vertical industries can be determined by a single set of standards, there’s no question in my mind that to even start the process of reaching millions of new “things” (let alone billions of them), significant industry-wide standards efforts around communications protocols, data structures and more need to get started—and soon. We have seen a few interesting efforts—including the Qualcomm driven AllJoyn initiative—but we need to see other larger players either join this organization or drive the creation of alternative or, preferably, complementary initiatives that can start to build the links that will be necessary to fulfill the dream of IOT.
So for the next few years (I have no idea how long this search for what’s next will go on), a game to be playing is building a platform that can plausibly be the next big thing. It’s a risky game. But the payoff can be large. And you can even start by crowdfunding your first round. Man I love this business.
“by plugging into the address book, camera, photo library, notifications etc the frictional barriers to doing a new social app fade away: the smartphone is a social platform in the same way that Facebook is. The obvious expression of this is WhatsApp and similar things that directly address the core Facebook use cases. But it seems to me that there’s at least as much potential in doing things that use the platform without trying to take over a core use case – things like throwing sheep. That is, the smartphone social platform enables a lot of experimentation with new ideas and behaviors that don’t need to be your core comms channel and that would never have worked on the web, and (for a bunch of reasons) might not have been possible on the desktop Facebook platform.”
“My bet is Jeff Bezos will use lessons from Amazon’s Prime service. For Monday Note readers outside the United States, Amazon Prime is a special service from which, for an annual fee of $79 (€60), you get free two-days shipping, free video streaming and the right to borrow Kindle titles in a catalog of 350,000 (I can hear writers and bookstore owners faint…) The least we can say is that it worked: more than 10m people joined the Prime program (including a couple of friends of mine who quickly dumped their cable subscription — call it collateral damage…) And that’s just the beginning: Amazon expects to reach 25m Prime customers by 2017. Even more interesting: when you cough up eighty bucks a year to use the service, you also tend to buy more, that’s the juiciest psychological facet of the Prime program.”