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Global Mobile Internet Conference, San Francisco : Tech Event Report

Tech Event Report - 2013 - Written for Orange Silicon Valley : https://www.orangesv.com/


Essentials


· There is an impending showdown between OTT messaging platforms and social giants. Although some OTT messaging apps do not see themselves as a threat to social media platforms, Vaughan Smith, VP of Mobile Partnerships at Facebook, made it very clear that they are. While it is true that there are a spectrum of messaging apps, ranging from utility apps such as WhatsApp, to complete content distribution ecosystems such as Line, Smith said that Facebook plans to do a lot more around private, small group sharing over the next year or so. Add this to the rumor that Google is planning SMS integration with Hangouts and you have social and OTT messengers at direct odds with each other. When you consider the footprint of the two groups, Line’s 270-million user base versus Facebook’s 1.1-billion, the battle may be may be the giants’ to lose.


· Healthcare companies are using new technology to meet changing customer expectations. Providers and companies in the healthcare are employing social, mobile, analytics, and the cloud to create more individualized care that is portable, more transparent, outcome-based, and consumer-driven. In one instance, Merck Sereno employed a novel model moving away from volume sales to a results-based integrated solution in Germany. They gave away diagnoses, devices, and data, and got paid based on how well they improved health to hospital patients suffering from growth hormone deficiency. By taking this “owning the disease” approach instead of a pure sales volume approach, Merck Sereno increased their market share in the growth hormone thereapy market from 10 to 50% and went from negative profit to 20% profit. Patients are also demanding more immediate and transparent record-keeping and data sharing. The Open Notes project from Harvard, which made a patient’s doctor notes available almost immediately after a visit, was trialed in the Boston area and showed huge improvements in patient well-being and medicine compliance, simply from the sharing of data. These were but two examples of how mhealth is changing the face of healthcare in the US, and a sign of things to come.


· ‘Consumerization’ of enterprise applications will continue to improve user experience and reduce learning curves. As more enterprise applications adopt a freemium business model, they are relying on mass consumer adoption before approaching corporate clients, and this requires a honed UX and seamless interoperability. The consumer-first strategy has worked very well for startups such as Dropbox and Yammer, and now companies such as Apple, Salesforce, Evernote and Dropbox are collaborating to make the transition from personal to professional even easier. Collaboration between major enterprise players not only means the availability of simple and powerful tools that employees can use and enjoy, but also retention of the security and data analytics capabilities that corporate clients desire. Furthermore, the more enterprise applications mimic the consumer user experience, the less businesses will have to invest in employee training, because the experience is familiar.


Notables


· Software licensing on the cloud is compressing the software industry’s sales cycle. Licensing models are increasing in the software industry with the development of cloud infrastructure. A majority of the open stack clouds are being built on the license model, which means the model is becoming less and less proprietary. The economics of being an enterprise software startup used to be terrible because of the excessively long sales cycles, now profitability is increasing because the cloud is compressing the sales cycle.


· Mobile app monetization models are evolving. The new paradigm in mobile apps is native advertising. Although the “freemium” model, where an app is free but customers can pay for extra options, dominates the OTT communication apps marketplace. Additionally, a new model has emerged, the “super app and light app” monetization model: customers download ‘super apps’ that act as platforms (e.g. Line, WeChat, etc.), and playable light apps can be added to them (e.g. games). Nevertheless, according to Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote: “the best monetization model is making customers happy and offering them a gorgeous experience.”


· Mobile security is an increasingly important concern of consumers. Mobile users are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with their usage data being sold. What’s more alarming, desktop malware threats are starting to transfer to mobile (e.g. phishing). As a result, app and data protection is a new opportunity for developers to differentiate their products. However, as Jesse Lipson, VP and general Manager of Data sharing at Citrix, noted, “we have to recognize that there are some tradeoffs between security and usability. If you lock down a device too much, consumers will either not use it or just find a way to break into it.”


Quotes


“The biggest opportunity in technology is conveying personality and intent, unfortunately the current generation of startups will fail, and so will the next, but the third generation of startups will completely change the way we interact with our devices.”


- Matt Thompson, General Manager of Development & Platform Evangelism, Microsoft


“In the mobile domain, the majority of money will be made through non-traditional methods, not through obvious ways.”

- Paul Graham, Partner, Y Combinator


“Messaging allows us the unique opportunity to interact with users on a daily basis, many times a day, and this brings us closer to the user than other services.”

- Martin Lau, President, Tencent


“Stickers are a globally understood language.”

- Akira Morikawa, CEO, Line



Numbers

$13.7B


Current combined valuation of Y Combinator investments


-Source (Paul Graham, Partner, Y Combinator)

150


Number of social relationships the average brain is capable of maintaining at a single point in time

-Source (Nate Johnson, VP Marketing, Path)

20%


Percentage of total time spent on Android smartphones globally that is on Facebook

- Source (Vaughan Smith, VP Mobile Partnerships, Facebook)

40%


Percentage of in-app purchases abandoned due to excessive user data requirements

- Source (Ray Anderson, CEO, Bango)

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