Where is the opportunity in anywhere computing?
We are deep in the trenches with mobile as an M&A advisor and investor. Recently we helped launch a mobile asynchronous gaming company, Tap Saloon, starting with the release of Skinz Golf. In addition, we are in the market with several companies innovating in mobile through advertising technology, new content distribution vehicles, ecommerce and data.
There is no question mobile is “hot” with record consumer adoption. TechCrunch recently reported: “The unstoppable rise of smartphones and tablets will see 1.2 billion of the devices being bought worldwide next year, analyst Gartner is predicting. It also forecasts sales of 821 million of the smart devices this year — which is says will account for 70 percent of total devices sold in 2012.” According to Yahoo mobile data traffic has doubled over the last couple years and digital game sales –including social games, mobile apps, and digital downloads – has increased by 47 percent since the third quarter in 2011.
We hosted leading mobile executives, investors and founders to discuss these consumer mobile trends and opportunities at Alfred’s Steakhouse in San Francisco last week in conjunction with the Open Mobile Summit, as part of our firm’s executive dinner series.
Jim Moore kicked-off the evening asking, “What’s the key thing that hasn’t been figured out yet in this sector?” Without hesitation, Niko Bonatsos, Associate at General Catalyst Ventures, quickly interjected, “mobile monetization on every level.” Once the floor had been opened up dinner guests including the head of mobile from Demand Media, as well as founders from start-ups including Socialize, Sparkart, YogiPlay, and Hook Mobile explored a number of subjects relating to mobile. With a strong focus on monetization as a key determinant of growth, topics from user experience, mobile “language,” and cross-platform compatibility were discussed in depth.
It was established that consumer usage and engagement drives mobile innovation. Mark Curtis, Co-Founder and CCO of Fjord, a UK-based digital service and design company, stated, “You have to simplify, focus on and understand what to leave out…if you have hundreds of different services you interact with on a daily basis you’re going to preference the ones that are easier to work with.” While guests agreed simplification is essential for brands moving to mobile, the discussion of what type of content, payments, and advertising practices was in question.
By the end of the evening it was clear the opportunity is open to engage and monetize the mobile consumer. Join the conversation: where do you think there is real promise—and what is just hype?
J. Moore Partners’ Executive Roundtables are confidential forums for industry leaders and entrepreneurs to connect and discuss business opportunities and insights in emerging technology fields. Company details discussed at dinner remain private.