Mobile Monday Madrid: being part of innovation
Today I had the opportunity to attend once again to the Mobile Monday Madrid. The topic for this meeting was Mobile Internet Platforms. For this occasion we had a great panel of speakers and also a great audience. The session was opened by Enrique Dans and after that we had speakers from the GYM (Google, Yahoo and Microsoft) who told us about their efforts to be the next biggest platforms for mobile devices.
After listening to their presentations about how they consider that the “new” connected life will be, and how they are positioning themselves to be the center of those connected lives, I was thinking about their strategies and took some notes that I would like to share with everyone.
Looking at the main players’ movements recently in the mobile space, I basically see two different approaches: To be an enabler of innovation by focusing on one’s strengths and to try to control innovation by limiting the possibilities for others. In my opinion, Google is currently trying to create an ecosystem that will let them focus on their strengths (especially searching and advertising) and, at the same time, to create value to users and other players. I see that the rest of the big players are still trying to create an ecosystem that they can control, which allows them to influence in the direction that it follows, but at the same time can prevent them from being part of the next big idea.
After the conference, I wrote down some questions that I would have liked to be able to ask there. For what I can see, everyone is currently trying to see where the next big idea is coming from but ¿are we really listening or are we just talking to ourselves?. And also, ¿are we building the “new” services looking at the wrong target? Most of the current users of the mobile services are power users, geeks or executives that use top end devices. But we still have to see what will be the next “killer app” that will become really mainstream.
Also, by relying on open source, Google reduces development costs and allows developers and users to “scratch their own itch”, assuming that they might not know where the next idea will come from but ensuring that it gets implemented on their platform (and can probably buy the creator’s company!!).
Finally, I would also like to comment about the recent launch of the Android’s powered T-Mobile G1. The first and obvious comparison that everybody does is with the iPhone (everything nowadays is compared with it) but Android was conceived with a different strategy. It was designed for mid-range phones where there’s a much broader market.
In my opinion, an open ecosystem that provides value to all their members can have an exponential growth, compared with the linear growth that we can see in most of the current mobile platforms. So we can probably expect an exponential growth in Android once the devices are massively deployed.I hope that you find these thoughts interesting and of course, I’m open to other opinions!!