|—||Wisdom courtesy of Niki Minaj|
Omar Hamoui (via sequoiacapital)
Hope I just had a fundamental insight ;)
Having hiked fares yet again (as a result of rising oil prices), airlines should be focused on delivering even better customer service. After all, if you dramatically increase the price of a product or service, you should find a way to justify it to your customers. Or maybe not!
In 2007, I was fortunate enough to attend the Interactive sessions at SXSW. It was a fantastic experience, chock full of energy, excitement and enthusiasm about the future of digital media. It also happened to be the public launch of an (at the time) unknown, quirky service called Twitter.
Spending a few thousand dollars to place a huge projection screen of live tweets in the entryway of the Austin Convention Center turned out to be a genius marketing move for Twitter. Taking a page from Twitter’s playbook, Foursquare launched two years later at SXSW 2009 and created a similar level of buzz and excitement.
Fast forward two more years to 2011, and SXSW has grown like a Texas tumbleweed. So much so, that every social/mobile/consumer service on the planet has a special Just-for-SXSW release, hoping to tap into the Austin zeitgeist and be crowned this year’s tech darling.
This would have made sense in 2007 or 2009, when SXSW was a place to “get discovered”, but now, it feels like one of the least effective ways to launch a new service or release. Renowned for its incredible live music scene, Austin has never been a noisier place for start-up attention.
If this trend continues, does SXSW risk jumping the proverbial shark and becoming SXSoWhat?
Before the emergence of smartphones, the mobile industry often complained about “fragmentation”. Conventional wisdom suggested delivering mobile apps/services at scale was too difficult because developers needed to build for several disparate carrier platforms. For example, a mobile service delivered on Cingular (pre-AT&T) needed to be completely re-configured to run on Verizon, etc. The thinking was mobile needed a single, universal app/service platform that worked well across all the major carriers.
Well, fast forward a few years to the current world of smartphones, and fragmentation is just prevalent as ever. Except now the carrier walls have been replaced with mobile OS walls: enter Apple, Google, Microsoft/Nokia, RIM, etc. So if mobile is still fragmented, why is it exploding?
It turns out the core issue was never about universal vs fragmented, but instead about open vs closed. In the old world, mobile platforms were closed systems, with the carriers serving as gatekeepers. Now, mobile is open, in that any developer can deliver an app/service directly to users without needing carriers to pave the way (yes, the mobile OS platforms still have an approval process, but it’s several orders of magnitude easier than courting carrier execs over a period of months).
Consumers have become the new gatekeepers, and that has created an explosion in the types of mobile apps and services being developed. This has also created a completely new animal: the mobile brand. More on that in another post.