Category Archives: apps

Weekly Round-Up 6/5/2011

It was largely the week of the API for us.

Speaking of killer apps and creativity, something about virtual world hopping into real world engagement pretty much ensures virality on YouTube–4mm views and counting for this top-app, Angry Bird in a T-Mobile video:

Weekly Recaps 5/30/2011

Google Wallet by far the biggest announcement to date this year with potential impact to create massive disruption due to:

  1. Android platform integration and influence on handset manufacturers–could be fairly easy for Google to make an Operating System specification require NFC on all future phones for common functionality and it’s 50% of all the world’s smartphones or 1/3+ of all sets globally running Google Wallet by end of 2013
  2. Trusted partners–they’re taking an ecosystem approach which will invite in more “wallet” use cases, partners, etc.–it won’t be just about giving Apple 1-click access for content, which has proven to be compelling enough for 200-million people so far. This will be about speed, content, access, etc. and will be marketed by some serious players in Telco, Payments, retail and more.
  3. NFC+a number of other Google innovations like Goggles, Voice Search, Voice, etc. will make the current state-of-the-art being talked into happening, QR Codes, look as dated as dial-up modem. Nostalgic but useless because they ask too much of users to really be great.
  4. Probably the biggest part of this announcement is how further enables the co-opetition between Google and Amazon to move from online to offline ubiquity–something I’m calling Googlezon. Keep an eye on all the way these two are exploiting the strengths of their combined platforms to win back share, utility and time with consumers from Apple. It’s really amazongle.
Here are the announcements and some related links:
Related: “Why would you buy an Android phone anywhere but Amazon?” Includes HTC Inspire for $30 w/contract.

Will Apps Disrupt Every Trad Media While Establishing a New One?

Perhaps the title question is too narrow and should focus on industries Apps will disrupt beyond Media, and my prediction is that Apps will disrupt nearly everything from the way we consume and engage with brands and media to how we transact, visualize, congregate and curate our daily lives and loves. With that thunderous prediction let me offer a couple of windows into the Apps EcoSystem which Gartner predicts will become $58 Billion in a few years and conclude with some thoughts informing these predictions:

  • AppNation Conference in San Francisco this Wednesday and Thursday, April 27-28, promises to deliver the “State of the Art” view of the EcoSystem. Register to attend in person and catch full-benefit of networking with founders and leaders in this emerging space or follow the hashtag on twitter: #appnationconf 
  • Spend an hour with Drew Ianni, AppNation Chairman and Founder, presenting his view from the top of the Apps Ecosystem. Former Wall Street and Jupiter Analyst as well as top guy at ad:tech, Drew created AppNation to provide the best and biggest conference for the space. You can catch his Briefing at Anthem San Francisco here:

  • And, here are the companion slides to the video:

Some additional thoughts to complement my prediction that Apps will disrupt nearly every business and consumer interaction:

As Drew points out the value chain is shifting from the hardware–although the most elegant hardware can win massive share as we’ve seen with the iPad and iPhone–to the software or Apps on these devices. This content spans devices and channels jumping from Social/Web to Mobile and PC/Tablets and eventually connected TVs. This shift has been swift and taken the most immediately associated/impacted industries by storm and surprise. PC veteran, Michael Dell, admitted yesterday that he didn’t see Tablets coming and PC-maker Acer reported 24% drop in sales as a result of tablet disruption.  The primary utility for Tablets? Apps.

As a result of this consumer draw, we can anticipate new, creative business models and entertainment forms to emerge and become as large a part of popular culture as anything Hollywood has ever produced. And, of course, Hollywood may spawn and will appropriate these new entertain forms.

As we’ve seen with Social Media, consumer adoption and new behaviors will inspire enterprise adoption as well. So, my prediction started in the title with Media, the most obvious place for disruption as we see media transformed with superior features, connectivity and transaction abilities to change how we think about distribution and engagement with Print, Radio, TV and even the Internet media that came before Apps. In establishing a new medium and channel it’s important to emphasize this is about disruption not replacing or destroying. Incombent business models will have to evolve and embrace the new medium to survive and thrive in the disruption.

Will Apps have their own mass-events like the Oscars, Grammy’s, Cannes or Tony’s? They already have their own conference. Hope to catch you at AppNation this week and every year going forward. Cheers!

Weekly Round-Up 4/25/11

Apps and Tablets

  • AppNation Conference hits San Francisco this week, April 27-28 at the Moscone center. Register now at Here’s a preview & taste of why this is such a big deal:

  • Like the smart phone, tablets are slowly but surely being integrated into everyday life.  We use them to watch movies, read books, and order a meal?  Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropout, Rajat Suri thinks that with his E La Carte we will all be doing just that.

Social Media

Global Social Gaming Overview

Two weeks ago, at AdTech, we presented a comprehensive overview of Social Gaming in the US.  The presentation was featured as a “Presentation of the Day” and Tim Chang of Norwest Venture Partners believes this may be the most current and comprehensive snapshot of the industry available today. You can also view the slides synchronized with the AdTech audio on Youtube.

Change Everything

This post presents the content and discusses the process in my journey to create the “This Can Change Everything” presentation for iMedia Breakthrough Summit on March 21, 2011. It was a 30-45 minute discussion where I covered So|Lo|Mo, Gamification, Maker-movement and Social CRM/Caring after a hat-tip to Moore’s & Metcalfe’s laws combined with the “People” coefficient. With an extra 15-minutes allowance, I may have added connected TVs as a potential “return to the Family Room” theme. Regardless, these themes are ones that I believe can change everything in the coming years.
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How are you planning your SXSW calendar? (Work in Progress)

Working on card-sorting SXSW interactive events is a bit of an art. In attempt to put some more science as well as to crowd-source some of the places I should be, I’ve turned to a couple of cloud-based tools. Plancast is a great social event tool that will likely be a breakout at SXSW this year in part due to its relevance for event-goers. It’s incredibly useful and plays nice with all your desktop, enterprise and mobile calendars. You can subscribe to my plans and see what plans my friends have as a way of prioritizing and planning connections. It’s discovery, serendipity and choice-meets-chance in an app.

I’ve also married plans that seem interesting with a Google calendar to see how over committed I am along with what events I’ll prioritize when I bounce from one to another. Here’s a handy peek at that Google calendar which should link to a live version of my plans:


Google Calendar of Plancast Schedule

Google Calendar of SXSW Plans, Agenda Format

Are you going or have had to organize similar complexity at an event with overlapping tracks. Have you found a better way to organize, prioritize and curate?

Look forward to your thoughts in the comments below.

Gowalla Embraces Buy/Build/Borrow for Greater Utility

In the check-ins space trade media casts Foursquare and Gowall as archrivals, in spite of principals from each service downplaying the competition. Both will compete for marketing dollars to be sure, but each consider their platform a departure from the others in focus, with Foursquare focusing on rewards and game mechanics and Gowalla emphasizing the discovery/touring experience. Gowalla further punctuated this point by integrating Foursquare into its latest release. This is a great move and should be directional advice for anyone in the space. By building great APIs Foursquare has advanced its role and value in the ecosystem as a platform. With Gowalla they get greater distribution and metadata passed back to its services on what consumers want. Gowalla also has APIs and it was only a matter of time before a third party integrated the two services into a mash-up app. Already, forward-thinking services like Geotoko are providing one-stop anaylitics and services for Foursquare and Gowalla. In the web2.0 space it’s smart to move quickly on the buy/build/borrow decision towards the goal of offering greatest utility.

Here’s a quick video with Andy Ellwood from Gowalla when he dropped into Real Branding back in July during the GeoLoco conference sharing their focus on utility, user experience and the social benefits of sharing those with friends and your networks:

We believe the geo-location space and services are nascent and that it is very early days. It’s great that we’ve got so many smart & dedicated resources working on winning solutions for consumers and ultimately marketers. That’s why I believe there’s a bigger story here than simply one versus another slugging it out for a single-winner scenario. Stay tuned.


Laws of Check-Ins & Facebook Places doesn’t have to be Spammy

There’s an inverse corollary I’m proposing regarding Geo-Location: the fewer friends that you have, the greater the value of a Geo-location notice from a friend and in your socialgraph. The more friends that you have, the less value your check-ins are to that larger group. There are a lot of dynamics to support this hypothesis including why people follow/friend, what more centralized networks suggest, etc.

Here’s another part to my axiom-in-the-works:  The larger your network, the greater metadata value your check-in may have and the smaller your network, the less metadata value your check-in may offer (unless millions of small-node networks are at work with the same behaviors, etc.). So if a celebrity checks into a place, it may bode well for that place’s popularity and relevance. If one of my friends checks into the taco truck down the road, maybe not so much value unless a hundred people like him do the same.

With these thoughts in mind, I needed to quiet down my check-ins on Facebook, Foursquare and Gowalla so that my socialgraph, twitter stream and other networks aren’t overwhelmed with irrelevant data. In Foursquare and Gowalla I rarely “shout” my location out to my followers in that network and even less often will allow that check-in to leak out to Twitter or Facebook. Both services have done a good job of making that behavior opt-in versus default to protect users from unintentional location announcements.

FB Places ExampleIn Facebook, you can also quiet down your Places activity. On your home or profile page, access the “Account” pull-down in the upper right corner (see image). Go into Facebook “Account” Privacy Settings (linked here). Check “Custom Settings” and edit “Places” to “only me” and whatever other person/group/etc you want to share with. It’s that complicated and easy at the same time. 🙂 Now you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of Facebook check-ins of discovering nearby deals, people, events and places without having it show up in your stream as you see in the image here.

Any other tips for maximizing Geo-Location’s utility and value while minimizing its noise-potential?

Weekly Round-Up 11/01/10




Google news – Expedia, Travelocity say Google has crossed the “creepy line”


Weekly Round-Up 10/11/10

Weekly links round-up:


Expect a consistent flow of activity around this theme in the next month. To kick things off, enjoy this “easter-egg” hidden presentation from Google’s Marissa Mayer on “The Need for Speed” from a consumer satisfaction/reality perspective.


Qualcomm launches augmented reality SDK in beta form, ready to rock your Android devices



Social Media

Other News–Crowdsourcing