Mobile is hot. It’s time to mobilize. Recently 1000’s of people, 1000’s of exhibitors, and 1,000+ of media representatives gathered from all parts of the communications industry to explore mobile at Super Mobility Week (tinyurl.com/knktmss), powered by CTIA. This is North America's largest forum for mobile innovation and the most influential mobile marketplace that brings together the leading authorities on the connected life all under one roof at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. Here are few of the highlights:
During the Mobile Monday America event at the preconference: exploring “Investments in Mobile,” Mario Tapia, founder of Momentum Venture Partners & Accelerator, and his panel of Venture Capitalists (VCs) and angel investors discussed mobile investing trends.
- David Blumberg, Blumberg Capital, said. “We have moved from an Agriculture and Mining economy in the 19th century to an automated manufacturing economy in the 20th century. Now in the 21st century, the power of processing and communications has driven costs down and has moved us to a service economy and a sharing economy. Think of crowdfunding with regards to sharing.”
- Sean Kane, founder of F6S, shared, “No part of the economy is safe from mobile disruption. New ventures start and kill another part of the economy.”
Nielson (tinyurl.com/q39v56q) reports that 71% of Americans now own a smartphone with 85% of Millennials (those aged 18-24) and 86.2% of 25-34 year olds having a smartphone. “In Q4 2013, users spent 30 hours, 15 minutes per month using apps, a full half-day more than 18 hours, 18 minutes in Q4 2011. The average number of apps used per month, however, only increased slightly from 23.2 in Q4 2011 to 26.5 during the same period in 2012 and 26.8 apps per month in Q4 2013. This shows that while there may be an upper limit to the total number of apps users are willing to access within a given month, the amount of time they are spending on those apps is showing no signs of slowing down.” See Nielson at tinyurl.com/nradgkt
Mobile Internet Investment.
In the last 12 months, there was a record >$14B of mobile internet investment according to www.digi-capital.com. VCs love mobile internet with a 269% investment growth from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014. Travel was the largest segment with $3.4B. Other important segments were utilities, mCommerce (mobile commerce), and Games.
- Michael Terpin, angel investor with BitAngels, shared, “Where opportunity is the biggest, it is where the problems to solve are the biggest.”
- Jay Onda, VC with DoCoMo Capital, stated, “We can sit on the back of giants. As a company gets big, how can another venture leverage how the company has grown?”
One of the bases for entrepreneurship is a market need. If there is a market, then entrepreneurial ventures will follow (given they can find investment funding).
There has been a record >$47B in mobile internet M&A (mergers & acquisitions) in the last 12 months. The largest segment has been messaging: including Facebook IPO and What’sApp acquisition totaling $23.1B. However, finance, advertising, mCommerce, as well as games and music mobile businesses took part in these exits.
Mobilize now. Every business must ask, “How do we support mobile sales and support?” How many of our customers have a smartphone and use it to access our mobile websites and to call our call center. Each company, telecom reseller, and solution vendor must ask, “What can we do to proactively support mobility?” Can we add over-the-top offerings to compliment our current solutions? Imagine, for example, leveraging the true multi-media power of smart devices so that customer transactions with you are transformed into efficient mobile “voice with visuals” exchanges such as with ChoiceView. You don’t have to do it alone. Partner with entrepreneurial ventures (large and small) bringing out the new solutions.
Theresa M. Szczurek (www.TMSworld.com; www.RadishSystems.com; www.PursuitofPassionatePurpose.com)