About Me and This PresentationIm a product guy, but I can do engineering too.Earlier this year, I launched a group messagingservice for mobile phones. That experiencegave me a lot of insight about mobile.This presentation is a summary of my currentfeelings on mobile and where its headed.
Key Points● Traditional Voice/SMS will be obsolete● Cellular providers will become mobile internet providers● Mobile and Desktop/Tablet will be deeply integrated● Phone Numbers will be obsolete● There will be a monopolyNote: These changes will take years
Common MistakeBringing "social" tomobile is not the goal.Smartphones alreadyhave social integrationthrough Facebooksapplications.
The Real GoalThe real goal is to create more efficient andmore convenient communication channels.Traditional Voice and SMS suck, they are whatneed to be improved.Better communication channels WILL attractusers! The proof is in the startups...
Startup Highlight 1: GroupMeGroupMe created technology to add groupmessaging to SMS.Before being sold to Skype, GroupMe wassending over 100 million group messages permonth to millions of users in 90 countries.GroupMe created a more efficient and moreconvenient communication channel.Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-groupme?op=1
Startup Highlight 2: WhatsAppWhatsApp is an alternative messaging app thatuses the internet instead of the cell network.Messages are instantaneous and lack thearbritrary 160 character restriction.Despite its initial download fee, WhatsAppusers send over 1 billion messages per day.WhatsApp created a more efficient andmore convenient communication channel.
Startup Highlight 3: VoxerVoxer is an alternative Voice/Text/Picturemessaging application. Every media form isdisplayed inline, and can be viewed or playedback at any time.At the time of writing, Voxer is going viralWhatsApp created a more efficient andmore convenient communication channel.
To Reiterate...Consumers want better ways to communicate.3G and 4G data connections have created anopportunity to improve communication.New technologies like GroupMe, WhatsApp,and Voxer will continue to be developeduntil traditional Voice/SMS is obsolete.
Alright, so whats next?There is a clear trend towards improvedcommunication, but who will ultimately win?Can there be more than one winner?
Communication will be a monopolyThe goal is to create the most efficient andmost convenient communication channelspossible.To truly be the most convenient, there must beonly one offering. Using multiple applications isannoying.So yes, I suspect there will only be one winner.
Who Will Win?What company is in a position to create theMOST efficient and MOST convenientcommunication channels?1. Facebook2. Google3. Apple4. Startups5. Wireless Carriers
About the winner...The winner will create their own phone, there isno way around it.Applications simply do not provide enoughcapabilities to be the most efficient and mostconvenient.
1. Facebook - AdvantagesFacebook controls social. They have myconnections and anyone else Id want tocontact in their database somewhere.Agile company, wouldnt need to significantlyrestructure to make this happen.Very established userbase and tons ofdedicated developers.
1. Facebook - Advantages Cont.By having users port their number to Facebook,communication could be possible throughFacebook.com as well as a Facebook Phone.People already use Facebook.com constantly,so this wouldnt require a significant behavioralswitch from consumers.
1. Facebook - DisadvantagesBusiness relationships often do not exist onFacebook. This needs to change, or businesspeople will never buy a Facebook phone.Facebook operates on rapid iteration, Androidmakes rapid iteration very difficult. They wouldneed to find a way around this.
2. Google - AdvantagesGoogle has a very established userbase.Having a "Facebook Phone" might be weird,but a "Google Phone" would not.Through Android and Google Voice, theyalready have corporate partnerships andexperience to make this happen.
2. Google - DisadvantagesGoogle does not have a great history oflaunching disruptive products for consumers.Google+ may not be a large enough socialgraph to rely on.
3. Apple - AdvantagesIndisputably has created the best phone, andcan leverage that position to move into a socialproduct.iMessage is a startControl a lot of desktop/tablets for crossplatform functionality
3. Apple - DisadvantagesNo social graph to rely on.
About the Social GraphMobile should be deeply integrated with social.Facebook restricts mobile phone numbers fromdevelopers because of public outcry. Ironically,this prevents other companies from making amobile phone with great social integration.
Social RepercussionsBy using a phone that relies on the socialgraph, phone numbers become obsolete.Instead, adding someone on Facebook,Google+, or another service will be enough tocontact them on their mobile device. Woah.