Saturday, June 27, 2015

Give a little, get a lot!

A month or so ago I needed some better graphics for a series of keynote talks that were coming up, so I asked Franziska Mueller, an intern who was working with our Media Flow project, if she would re-design and illustrate several of our key ideas -- and she did a great job!  I wanted to pay for her talent and time, but she insisted it was not a big deal.  When I later learned that she and her husband had rescued an abandoned dog in New Zealand and wanted to take Pai (the dog) with them when they return to Germany, my wife and I decided to help them out a little. Giving on-line was easy, thanks to an on-line giving service provided by a local telco.

On-line social giving sites are showing up all over the web, and by coincidence the day after giving on-line, the New Zealand Herald featured this TEDx Auckland talk by Dale Nirvani Pfeifer, explaining the Maori concept of 'utu' and the importance of reciprocity (give and take) in our indigenous Aotearoa (New Zealand) culture.  I met Dale a few years ago when she was visiting the New Zealand Leadership Institute at the Business School. She recently has started a social giving organisation, called Good World, based in Washington, DC.

Dale's talk is inspiring.  At a time when there is a lot of fear and loathing around the Internet, it is heartening to be reminded that technology-enabled platforms are just another way in which the 'good' elements of traditional cultures and societies can and are being replicated on-line.

When we give to someone in need, it takes us back to our cultural roots, where 'give and take' bond us together.  Some would argue that there are also moral benefits from caring and sharing.  When we give a little, we get a lot.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The future of Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple

The four major on-line brands--Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple--get a rapid fire, informative and funny review by Scott Galloway of the NYU Stern School of Business.

Even if you don't care about these brands, but want to understand premium brands (like Apple), this video is a must-see!

The Four Horsemen brand overview and predictions for the Apocalypse.


Saturday, June 6, 2015

Connectivity trends in Asia

Last week Mary Meeker released her latest 2015 KPCB Internet trends, a highly recommended report on the state of the connected world.

This week, as a presenter and stream chair at CommunicAsia, the largest ICT and media conference and trade show in the Pacific region, I have been noticing the trends for this part of the world.

Internet trends in Asia, which are consistent with the Meeker report are:
- the rise and rise of mobile connectivity, i.e., smartphones vs. 'feature' phones; content and messaging continuing to shift to mobile; mobile ads finally getting traction
-the power and potential of emerging markets, i.e., the fastest growing markets are BIG emerging markets--and there are a lot of emerging markets, not just China
-the impact of ubiquitous connectivity on the nature of work itself

In the Enterprise Mobility track I chaired, we heard some great case studies and industry perspectives on the technical advances and challenges of liberating the workforce from the desktop.  The discussion ranged from BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) issues to data security and the trade-offs of mobility in terms of cost and ROI, and the question of what work will be like in the future.  I am grateful to the presenters and discussants:

Leon Jackson, Head, Healthcare IT, University of Malaysia
Arnaud Brolly, Mobility Portfolio Lead, SITA-Aero
Steve Nash, APAC Principal Mobility Specialist, Vodafone
Stuart King, Precision Workstation, Asia-Pacific, Dell
Shailendra Soni, Principal, ICT, Frost and Sullivan, Malaysia
Kristin Foss, Senior Director of International Product Management, ShoreTel, USA
Marie Petterson, Senior Product Manager, Symantec Asia Pacific

And, we heard some wild and clever advances in marketing, especially in terms of industry partnerships (Spotify), location-based marketing and how important it is for consumer businesses to have mobile-ready web presence, and hopefully a strategy for mobile media.  Ken Herron, digital start-up guru, hosted a lively and informative session with:

Joshua Steimle, Digital Marketing Guru and Forbes contributor
Sunita Kaur, Managing Director of Asia, Spotify
Asif Khan, Founder and President, Location Based Marketing Association

Media Flow Project
I shared our media analytics engine.  You can see a demo of our prototype at this address.
Or, paste this link into your browser:

Product launch - Huawei P8 
A good old product launch with thundering soundtrack, original graphics to highlight the great features of this new smartphone.  The challenge to other players is that Huawei represents the trend of customers being able to buy a good smartphone for the price of a 'dumb' phone.  Players like Huawei are not going to replace Apple at the top end, but they are going to challenge just about every other Android player (including Samsung).  Add to that, the fact that the Android business model is coming under significant price pressure.  To paraphrase Warren Buffett's observation on airlines, mobile is a great industry, but a tough business.

Google for Work
-Keynote address by Kevin Ackhurst, Managing Director, Google for Work, Asia Pacific
1. Mobile first
-restating the obvious
2. Reinvent the PC
-besides mobile, most of us have, on average, around 3 screens to work with at any time
3. Intelligent screens
-Google search and 'smart devices' will proactively provide information on our screens
4. Personalized collaboration
-easier collaboration through simple and affordable collaborative technologies
-collaboration platforms for a mobile first world
-team project management embedded in collaboration tools

-Keynote presentation by Peter Moore, Regional Managing Director, Amazon Web Services (AWS)
-102% increase year-on-year growth in data on Amazon Web Services in the past year
-Gartner ranks Amazon as the leader in Cloud infrastructure readiness
-Moore proposes that the Cloud is the 'new normal'
-new businesses start in The Cloud, because of low cost and low legacy effects
-companies of all sizes need to move faster and the Cloud allows fast infrastructure expansion
-companies will use data more than at any other time in history
-governments will likewise start focusing on using--not just controlling--data more effectively
-AWS has an education platform for schools
-'hybrid IT' involves local services coupled with the Cloud (off-premise storage)

Alongside the busy summit schedule, I managed to catch up and hang out with our digital partners, Unified Inbox.  CEO Toby Ruckert and Margit flew in from Germany, as did the design team from Flanke 7, Carsten Czech and Marcel Ronnfeldt.  Aby Varghese was there from the Bangalore team and Ken Herron made the trip from Florida.  And Camilla Urdahl was there from Auckland.  It was a chance to meet up face-to-face with folks we have been working with remotely--another not-so-new trend in global work, face-to-face 'meet-ups' to deepen working relationships.  It was fun!

Next month, Ananth Srinivasan and I will present our Media Flow work at a conference in San Jose, California in the heart of Silicon Valley, the epi-center for digital innovation.  The CommunicAsia conference, however, reminded me of the importance of this region in terms of ICT consumption and trend setting in our own right.  Moreover, it was a great opportunity to witness the state of the communications industry.

Watching those around me, I saw glimpses into the future, not just of Asia, but for all the world.