New Questions in Mobile: An Asian Perspective

digital tablet pc with app icons and cloud Recently, Benedict Evans wrote a piece entitled “New Questions in Mobile” where he reset the conversation on mobile platforms. While there are the few who still harbour hopes for Windows, Blackberry and Sailfish (formerly MeeGo from Nokia), the ship has already sailed with our world living with two dominant platforms: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. Rather than rehashing his thoughts and arguments, my purpose for this post is to provide some insight to three of the five questions with an Asian perspective. Continue reading New Questions in Mobile: An Asian Perspective

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

Why Native Apps win the Mobile battle over Web Apps

digital tablet pc with app icons and cloudIn the digital realm, businesses are searching for a solution from the mobility space as an enabler for them to reach or acquire customers. Typically, they run into a basic question whether to choose building a native application (or app for short) on one or two mobile platforms (iOS or Android) or a web application (otherwise known as mobile websites) that seemed to be ubiquitous across browsers on different mobile platforms. In this essay, I explain why native apps is currently winning the mobile battle over web apps. Continue reading Why Native Apps win the Mobile battle over Web Apps

Apple should be a Louis Vuitton and not Zara

Apple_gray_logo Recently, I made a bet with a good friend (who is currently a CFO of a retail giant in China) on whether Apple needs market share to be successful. Our bet set the timeline about two years from now and the thesis is that Apple does not need market share to have high profit margins against the android operating system onslaught from Google and their original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and user adoption & retention. Obviously, you know which side I am from. Some analysts often drew their arguments that Apple needs market share to succeed based on the personal computers (PCs) and browser wars from 1980s to 2000s. I am going to draw on the metaphor on why the market share argument do not work in our world today and Apple should be Louis Vuitton and not Zara to be successful.
Continue reading Apple should be a Louis Vuitton and not Zara

Building a (Mobile-Web) Start-up: the 2011 way

The era of business plans and presentations to raise money for mobile-web start-up ideas is over. In Silicon Valley, the venture incubator, Y-Combinator led by Paul Graham and his team have crushed this old school way of building an internet start-up by mentoring teams (with co-founders coming from a software engineering background) to produce a prototype and take the beta product to market. Recently, in my duties as an entrepreneur-in-residence for INSEAD Business School, I came across one MBA student who has totally got it right about building an internet start-up in the 2011 way. He actually built a prototype, tested it with users work out exact market traction with good hypotheses and did at least one product iteration similar to exactly how my co-founder, Saumil and I built Chalkboard. Here are a checklist of things which you might want to do if you want to execute the idea and not just talking about it using powerpoint slides or business plans. Continue reading Building a (Mobile-Web) Start-up: the 2011 way