In a research study that was published last month in the UK, customers had been asked about the future of mobile phones. In response to the question ‘Would you want mobile TV for 5 pounds per month, only 3% said they would be interested. 76% were not interested at all. The handset and network manufacturers had already presented equipment to support it in the last GSM Exhibition in Barcelona – so from a technological point of view, it was working. But the customers? What about them? They won’t buy. Is it realistic?
When TiVo, the first digital video recorder service, was first introduced, the sales went very slowly. It took TiVo years and years to reach mass market of millions of customers. And only recently did we get the final approval that this small initiative is changing the world as Conan O’Brien did a spoof at the 2006 EMMY awards about the problems of TV. TiVo and the skipping of commercials were the first mentioned.
TV is changing. The world is changing. But it’s taking time. It took TiVo about 10 years to reach critical mass. I am sure that at first only 3% said they would be willing to pay for it. So maybe it will take 5 or 10 years but TV and (and TiVo) will reach mobile.
This just in: Take a look at this hidden video found on TiVo.com descibing the origins of TiVo technology:
Interesting result in the poll Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad started just few days ago on his new weblog: Most of the site is in Persian, only the autobiography is in English. But there is a poll. Democratic. The question is: ‘Do you think that the US and Israeli intention and goal by attacking Lebanon is pulling the trigger for another world war?’ More than 200,000 votes and the current results are quite close: 49% Yes, 51% No.
I guess we just have to wait until the rest of the results are counted in order to see if Iran will push the trigger…
When I woke up this morning I felt quite strange. The bed was the same bed I had been sleeping on for the last five years, but for some unknown reason I was not able to get out. I looked around. It was my room. I tried to move my head and it moved. ‘Great’, I thought, ‘At least something is working.’ Before my eyes I saw a tunnel. I peeked inside and took a look around. Suddenly, out of nowhere, came billions of URLs moving all around me. My head was automatically drawn to one in particular. It was a blog. But I couldn’t understand what was written there. Only keywords that looked familiar. “Turing”. “Computers”. “Machine”. “Test”. There were also some links. “Wikipedia” – a good one. “Berkley University” – not too bad either. I wrote myself a note with the keywords, links and URL. The URL seemed familiar to me. I searched again and then I figured it out. I had already seen this link. On other site. The “Turing Fan Club”. Not a big site. I wrote myself one more note about this site. I tried to read the text but I couldn’t quite make out what it was all about. Fuck. What is wrong with me? Why couldn’t I understand the text? Why am I only able to find keywords, links and referring sites? Could it have been something I ate?
But then suddenly I realized. Suddenly it all became clear. I had become one of Google’s crawlers.
The internet advertising market looks like a golf club in every analyst presentation. If we compare the regular cost per 1,000 impressions on the net to TV we will find out the real amazing thing: TV is cheaper than internet CPM advertising. On top of that, if advertisers want to buy the homepage of the largest portals they would have to pay even higher prices (hundreds of thousands of dollars a week in large portals like Yahoo, MSN etc…)
Google, in comparison, offers a pay per click model, which although it might not be cheaper, guarantees you return the investment of your dollars (assuming you know to calculate it…) Smaller sites offer the advertiser a full ROI based model known as ‘pay per acquisition’ - the advertiser pays only if he gets a client.
The real question is what will be the future model of the main advertising medium, the TV, by the end of the decade. Will it be closer to Google, or will the advertisers continue to pay extra for the best spaces – whether it’s the Super Bowl or it’s Yahoo’s homepage?
Today’s internet experience is not quite exciting – text, graphics and video are in their early stages. Basically, it’s not much more than an electronic catalog. In order for the internet to become a major player in the advertising market, and to take up more than 20 percent of the pie, the experience should be much more exciting. Until that happens, only very few players will be able to charge premium from their audience. The majority of the sites will stay with an ROI based model – meaning no premium for their brand.
Pondering over the war between Israel and Hezbollah reminds me something about the world we are living in.
For years, Israeli Defense Forces have developed their ability to fight against Syria, Iraq and Iran. Billions of dollars were invested in new, state of the art, technologies. But when the day of war came, a primitive weapon from the sixties, the rockets, proved to be stronger than any aircraft. If the IDF had to fight Syria, they most probably would have defeated Syria’s military in less than six days. If Hezbollah had aircrafts or tanks, control centers and submarines, IDF would have easily defeated them.
For years, Microsoft has developed technologies and bought companies in order to maintain their control on the software business. And then came Google and beat Microsoft in a war that they just couldn’t fight. If they had to fight IBM on a new spreadsheet – it would have been a war they could win. They would have had the tools to fight with.
It’s definitely a new world than we knew in the past and older companies need to change their method of work in order to adapt to the situation. The bigger you are the more enemies can defeat you in tools and weapons that you can’t react to.
If companies and/or armies would like to fight and survive in this new world, they should think and act as a guerilla, or as a startup, themselves.