Mobile Strategy: Unbundling of Native Mobile Apps (and how it impacts Asian companies)

digital tablet pc with app icons and cloudIn the past year, some companies have beginning to unbundle their native mobile applications and breaking their own major application in a few smaller ones. For example, Facebook have built additional applications in addition to their official big blue application: Paper, Messenger and Pages and acquired additional apps from the market: Instagram and Whatsapp. At the same, other companies such as Google and Evernote have done the same in launching single focussed applications to the apps marketplace independent of the mobile operating system (iOS and Android). What is the rationale behind this move because we are observing it happening from the very big (major corporations) to the very small (startups)? What is the impact to the mobility strategy for the company moving ahead? In this article, I share some thoughts and insights on this kind of mobile strategy and how it might impact Asian companies as a whole. [Read more…]

How to be a good product manager with business background

Geometric_Stacker_from_Melissa_&_Doug_for_my_daughterHere is an opinion I have held for a while: technical product managers in technology companies with scientific and engineering backgrounds are genuinely more superior against product managers who have come up from the business track. The only drawback is that the technical product managers lack three essential skills: business knowledge in sales and marketing, flexibility to deal with business constraints and management experience. Yet, those skills can be learned far more easily against a business product manager who simply do not have the technical know-hows. Even if this is so, it is not the end of the world for the business product managers. A few MBAs or startup founders with no technology backgrounds have posed this question to me, “If I want to be a good product manager in a technology, how can I become one given that I have no technology background?” [Read more…]

The Trouble with Two Sided Marketplaces (and how to deal with them)

Demand & SupplyRecently, I spent some time with the 2014A batch of startup companies in JFDI.Asia. Although their value propositions are different due to the nature of their challenges, I can basically break some of their questions into the following: (a) I am running a two-sided marketplace with demand and supply (or some may call it a chicken and egg problem), which side should I focus first? (b) How can I grow both sides at the same time and what are the ways to do that given that I have no control on either sides? To answer that question, I relied on my previous experience in running a two sided marketplace type startup and also fine tuned my experience into a simple principle as to how you can turn them from a two sided to a single sided marketplace. [Read more…]