Tag Archives: Steamboat Ventures

Oct. 15, 2008 SDF Digital Media

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On October 14, 2008 in Redwood City at Fish & Richardson hosted SDForum’s Digital Media Quarterly Series. There are over 3 billion mobile phones in the world. It is a more popular media device than computers or game consoles. Media companies are looking for ways to get applications and content to this potential market.

Mike Doran of Fish & Richardson moderated panelists Etay Gafni of Veodia, Beau Laskey of Steamboat Ventures and Louisa Shipnuck of IBM. They discussed the trends in mobile media investment. Text from DJCline.com.

Shipnuck said there are three categories of consumers. Early adopters drive the trends. These “gadgeteers” are the most sought after consumers but the most difficult to hang on to. While they are quick to buy they are quick to discard if the product poses any problems. “Cool kids” have more time than money and tend to follow the early adopters. Behind them are the “massive passives” that are still watching television at home. The Apple iPhone and Facebook are indicators of greater changes in generational consumer behavior to come. There is limit on change. She sees carriers and having a lock on mobile devices for the foreseeable future unless there is some regulatory upheaval. Text from DJCline.com.

Laskey said digital media is crowded with companies that are not profitable. YouTube is still not making money. Companies that offer real time video streaming or picture uploading paid with advertisements hold promise. He had a funny story about generational differences. He took his son and friends to a baseball game and they sat in the stands watching cartoons on their phones. Online games have low costs and generate income. Text from DJCline.com.

This market is currently creating over three billion dollars in revenue and will soon double. There will be more content and ads developed specifically for mobile devices. Ease of use and universal reception on fast networks will be drive demand. Creating barriers like DRM or proprietary carrier networks will slow adoption. The winners may be whoever attracts the most developers creating the most content on open standards. Text from DJCline.com.

Providing timely and relevant content will determine what they will use. If a consumer is at an airport, are they waiting for the next flight and killing time? Are they rushing from one plane to another and urgently want to know if their connecting flight is on time? The first may download a movie; the second just wants flight information. Text from DJCline.com.

Gafni advised developers to recognize the limits of mobile devices. Don’t try to cram a laptop or desktop experience on to a small piece of real estate. Remember that slow networks and caching will affect any flashy graphics. A simple flexible experience will attract users. Content is king. Technology just figures out a way to deliver it. WiFi holds great promise around the carrier network barriers but a device should be able to switch to whatever network are available. Text from DJCline.com.

Doran talked about how early television shows were simply radio shows in front of a camera. Most current mobile content is poor quality adapted from larger formats. New media means content tailored for the mobile device. The mobile specific content tends to have close ups of faces and runs only a minute versus an hour. He prefers having searchable text than a video but that is not the direction things are going. Text from DJCline.com.

Mobile SIG chair Joe Jasin encouraged the audience to look beyond America’s slow networks and slower adoption rates to the three billion cell phone customers around the world. These are growing markets hungry for new services and content. Screen size does not matter. Personal payment systems need to be rolled out. Korea, Japan, China, India and Israel are developing infrastructure faster than the United States. Stop complaining and start innovating. Start building infrastructure and standards now. The mobile market is a global market. Think billions, not millions. Text from DJCline.com.

Note: Bain Capital in Boston December 8, 2015.

Here are some pictures from the event.


Copyright 2008 DJ Cline All rights reserved.