Posts tagged ‘Mobile Monday’

Wireless Startups and Entrepreneurism in Vancouver

I attended the Mobile Monday event at Granville Island brewery last Monday. In their words…

MobileMonday puts on events every month that bring together industry influencers from amongst its roughly 25 thousand members to set trends, debate developments, foster cooperation and cross-boarder business development, and to profoundly network with peers locally and globally.

The event was a good one. I must admit that I’ve been on the periphery of BC’s wireless scene for the past decade, even though it is definitely the backbone of the BC technology industry. With most of my background spent in enterprise software and internet marketing, I kind of just put my fingers in my ears, closed my eyes and went “nanananana” I can’t hear you every time colleagues spoke about the advancements in wireless.

I guess you could say that I was/am a bit of a laggard user of wireless technologies. Perhaps I have a hard time envisioning full-featured applications on small screens. But a lot has been happening while I was sleeping, and some of this was fully on display when speaking with Michael Bidu (Exec Director of WINBC) and some of MOMO’s other participants. It was actually Michael who extended an invite out to me to “check it out” (Michael and I go back a good eight years now… we met during my first path through this startup thing).

I think what has kept me away from wireless applications (and the hardware side) for so long, was the fact that very few people were making money from this space. The old model seemed to be build a product and shop it around to a carrier with the hope that it they were going to push it. I remember somebody saying that if you only get a few cents on an application for each use, and a few million people try it only once, well that makes a lot of cents. But really… unless you were dealing in ringtones, adult content [on a small screen…that’s just weird], etc., there wasn’t much of a market for you. And silly me… I like following the money.

The theme for this event was “Entrepreneurship and taking products to market” — definitely right up my alley. They even talked about some of the “what’s coming” following what appeared to be half the room’s attendance the week prior at CTIA Wireless 2008 in Las Vegas, NV. What I found interesting was a comment that came out of a question I asked of a panel. Immediately after saying that mobile advertising “wasn’t there yet” to a person, this was how the majority of companies were going to be making money in the next year or two (or at least that was the paraphrased answer given by Luni Libes of Medio)… but that was to be expected seeing as how they position themselves as the “Mobile Search and Advertising Leader”. I don’t know enough to confirm this statement.

One company that does look intriguing, and for which I can see some real world “here’s-how-you-can-make-money-in-this-wireless-thing” business, was Razor Technology. I spoke for about 10 minutes with Ray Walia, Razor’s CEO, and then checked out their site after returning. Razor is pitching a product called FireTonicâ„¢ RIMMP (Razor Intelligent Mobile Marketing Platform). It sounds intriguing and I have to follow-up with Ray to continue our conversation.

Overall, wireless innovation and marketing seems to be finally coming around. I think I better pay closer attention in the coming months and years.

April 14, 2008 at 8:37 pm Leave a comment