Check out this video from MobileDeveloper.tv. It’s a nice overview of our last location-aware app demo night in San Francisco on 5/4/09, and a preview of what you’ll see at our next event on 6/1 in Palo Alto.
MobileMonday Miami members can stay up to date with MoMo Miami news and alerts on your mobile phone, courtesy of SoFlo-based Myxer.
Announced at our last meetup by MoMo Miami board member Jeff Sass, Myxer’s VP for Business Development, the process is simple:
1) Go to www.myxer.com and open a free account
2) Go to www.myxer.com/momomiami and click on “Join Fanlist” at bottom right, or
3) From your mobile phone, just text “Join MoMoMiami” to 69937
That’s it! And, while you’re at the Myxer site, don’t forget to check out their catalog of more than 1.7 million ringtones, wallpapers, videos and games.
Recently named by FierceWireless as one of the ‘Fierce 15′ Wireless Companies of 2009, Myxer is the largest and fastest growing site for ad-supported mobile entertainment with over 20 million users and more than 50 million mobile downloads a month.
Mobile Monday Mid-Atlantic
This week’s sold-out Mobile Monday/PHIMA event drew nearly 400 people to Philadelphia’s most innovative high-rise, the Cira Center. Audience members listened as a distinguished panel of mobile executives discussed the current state of mobile marketing and advertising and where the industry is headed next.
A crowd of entrepreneurs, mobile executives, and technology professionals gathered to learn more about how companies are using the fastest growing advertising/marketing medium to more effectively reach target audiences with relevant messages.
Tole Hart, Research Director, Mobile Devices & Consumer Services at Gartner, began the program with a look at the current landscape of mobile marketing and advertising. With mobile advertising spending reaching $116 million in 2008 and expected to grow by 50-100% in 2009, Tole noted that several leading brands have become repeat advertisers in the space. He named three key drivers to mobile advertising growth; accountability, traceability and relatively low cost.
Steve Smith, author of Media Post’s Mobile Insider, moderated an impressive panel of executives from various facets of the mobile marketing and advertising industry:
- AT&T: Jordan Berman, Vice President, Media Innovation
- Millennial Media: Ethan Ross, Vice President Sales
- NAVTEQ: Shawn Gunn, Director of Business Development & Advertising Affiliations, Americas & EMEA
- PhindMe Mobile: Chuck Sacco, CEO
- Razorfish: Brian Werner, Senior Media Planner
- SmartReply: John Falcone, Senior Vice President
Highlights from the panel include:
- As marketers realize the unique benefits of mobile advertising in terms of reach, targeting and engagement, they are increasingly embracing mobile as a target outlet.
- Metrics for success are still being defined on a case by case basis, and may include click through rates, number of sign ups / opt-ins, click-to-call rates, number of store location queries, number of coupon downloads.
- Particularly in the current economy, clear ROI is vital. Industry-wide standards would help achieve this.
- Location based advertising offers huge potential and is beginning to come of age, under the caveat of “respectful engagement”. The opt-in model is the current standard to protect consumers’ privacy and maintain trust.
- Speaking to the growth of the use of mobile phones for purposes other than calling, Jordan Berman of AT&T referenced Nielsen Mobile figures showing that SMS messaging topped mobile phone calls in Q2 2008 and text messaging increased by 450% in two years.
- Ethan Ross of Millennial Media mentioned that MySpace predicts half its traffic will be from mobile devices in the next two years.
- Brian Werner of Razorfish commented on the success of mobile internet sites such as ESPN Mobile – which attracted more traffic than its web equivalent on one particular day during last year’s NFL season.
MoMo Chicago needs your help finding Chicago-based mobile startups for next month’s Startup Showcase. Our next event – June 29th - will feature 6 to 8 organizations who will each present a 10 minute demo/pitch followed by a short mixer.
To submit an organization or yourself for participation, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Deadline is June 10th for consideration!) Help us ensure our next event is a great success, spread the word to your network of startups and venture capitalists.
(And if you haven’t reserved the date yet, don’t forget: June 29th!)
An exciting spring season with many interesting events in the mobile business is reaching an end. And before the summer break starts we all would like to meet to discuss our experiences and the future of mobile. As we all meet for MMA in New York at the beginning of June we would like to invite you to:
“Mobile Monday New York – Passion in mobile!”
Taking place June 1, from 7-10pm in the fabulous studios of bnetTV!
bnetTV Studios: 95 Morton Street, 7th Floor, New York, New York, 10014
Further information and the agenda will be provided next week!
RSVP @ http://mobilemondaynewyork.eventbrite.com
bnetTV, Smaato and the Mobile Monday NY team
Mobile Monday Boston and MassMobile invite mobile application developers to a meetup over beers and apps. All mobile developers are welcome: iPhone, Android, Symbian, Blackberry, etc. This event is generously sponsored by Apperian and the Cambridge Innovation Center.
6:30pm – 8:00pm
Impact and implications of OS updates (iPhone 3.0, Android 1.5)
Expanding to new platforms (BlackBerry, Palm, Flash, etc.)
Pushing functionality to the cloud (e.g. Google App Engine)
iPhone core graphics demo
8:00pm – 9:30pm
Networking hangout time
Cost: Free, but registration is required to attend.
Location: Cambridge Innovation Center
Transport: MBTA to Kendall, for parking, take a right onto Third St. off Broadway and you’ll see the underground garage on the right.
MoMo Miami held a successful “re-boot” meetup on Monday evening in Aventura, marking a return to activity in the South Florida mobile scene with our expanded executive board and attendance at the meetup invigorated by growing MoMo Miami group activity on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Hosted by Global Roaming Group, with refreshments generously provided by Sensei, the May 18 meetup came right on the heels of receipt earlier in the day of a signed agreement from MobileMonday global CEO Jari Tammisto, officially making MoMo Miami the South Florida chapter of the global networking organization!
At the meetup, Florian Seroussi delivered a brief introduction to the activities of his Global Roaming Group, while Sensei’s Tim Dion gave an interesting talk about Sensei’s business model and experience in developing mobile applications and taking them to market.
A quick head count showed 40 attendees at this first meetup of 2009, which took place in the lobby area of the OneAventura Executive Center, a perfect fit for the size of the crowd, huddled inside amid a huge downpour that was the first of this year’s rainy season. The Aventura location also proved perfect for bringing in people from as far north as Boca Raton, west from Plantation and Sunrise and up from Miami Beach and Coral Gables.
Due to the current state of the economy, it's safe to say that in 2009 Americans will stay at home more, focus on cutting expenses, and limit purchases to products and services that promise a rational benefit. This has deleterious effects on many industries, but none more so than an industry that relies on persuading people to make more purchases - advertising. But perhaps mobile technology, with its always-on, always in your pocket nature, offers hope for advertisers.
In a recent study from Limbo and GfK Technology (pdf)
, 33 percent of Americans with mobile phones said they recalled seeing mobile advertising during the fourth quarter of 2008. Among those with iPhones, the figure was even higher, at 41 percent.
* 1/3 of those who recalled getting such ads said they "responded in some way."
* 1/7 also reported that they had "bought a product or visited a store" as a result of seeing a mobile advertisement.
Monday, June 22, 2009, 6:00-8:00
Qorvis HQ, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, # 600
On our Ning site, http://www.dcmomo.com
- Robert Samuels, Director of Mobile Products, New York Times
- Anurag Mehta, SVP of Sales and Business Development, Mobile Posse
- Marcus Startzel, SVP of Sales, Millennial Media
The event is free to the public. Members of the media are welcome to attend.
Thank you all for coming out. We know it was hard to get through the door and we apologize for the wait and to those that did not make it in.
The transcript of the event is below and you can find videos
on our Ning site.
* Samuli Hanninen, Director, Head of Ovi Product Marketing, Nokia
* Ken Burge, President of InfoMedia and creator of iFart, the wildly successful iPhone application
* Jason Siegel, Managing Director of Qorvis, creator of the Washington Post's Going Out Guide iPhone app
* Isaac Mosquera, Co-Founder and CTO of PointAbout
* Moderated by Viq Hussain, Consultant, Intridea Inc.
Transcription of Event:
[00:00] Kathie Legg: Let me first introduce our board. If you guys have any suggestions or any comments or want to speak at future events or become a sponsor, please come find us. Actually I will let our board introduce themselves.
[00:14] Suni Vaidya: Hi folks I'm Suni Vaidya. I'm with Distributive Networks as well as the dcMOMO Board. Thank you for all of your patience this evening. I'm glad the weather held up for us and we're really excited that you're here. Thank you.
[00:27] Maria Guidetti: I'm Maria Guidetti and I also work with Distributive Networks and I'm on the dcMOMO Board. I'm very excited with the turnout tonight and I think it's going to be a great event.
[00:40] Rich Leung: Hello everybody. Hi, My name is Rich Leung and I work for MITRE and thank you again for coming out and thanks for waiting in line.
[00:51 Mark Chernisky: I'm Mark Chernisky. I'm with Corsec security and I'm just the bouncer and not very good at it either.
[0:58] Daniel Odio: Hi everybody my name is Daniel Odio with PointAbout. I just joined MOMO Mondays because I believe in the group and everything they're doing. So it's a pleasure to have all of you here.
I'd also like to let you know that we have a hash tag dcMOMO on Twitter. So if you tweet to dcMOMO it will show up on the big screen while the panelists are talking and Viq will be taking questions from the screen. So Viq will tell you a little bit more about how that works.
Also we wanted to thank our sponsors for sponsoring this event. They are on the screen here. Do we have anybody from MobilePosse in the room? Please stand up real fast. Gentleman from MobilePosse and Box Tone. From Distributive Networks we have an entire crowd. Then Scott Suhy from PointAbout. Is Scott in the room? He's in the back. So thank you very much!
[02:10] Kathie Legg: Of course we want to thank the Embassy for hosting us and for the wonderful food and beverages.
[02:24] Kathie Legg: As well as the American Chamber of Commerce in Finland for coordinating with us. If you guys want to wave or stand up we really appreciate your work. Thanks.
[02:24] Kathie Legg: I'm going to turn the panel over to our moderator Viq Hussain.
[02:40] Viq Hussain: Hi, how are you doing? My name is Viq Hussain. Can you guys actually hear me? I'm going to channel a little bit of one half Billy Mays and one half Sham Wow guy tonight to kind of get you guys going a little bit.
[02:55] This event is called: "How to Make a Successful App!" To give you a little bit of history on this, in the last couple of years the App Store has taken off. If you look at some of the new statistics, there have been over one billion downloads in the App Store in the last nine months and well over $100 million dollars in revenue for Apple. They really don't share that information. That's a guesstimate.
[03:19] In the Blackberry App world there are about 1000 Apps going strong. In one of the newest players, the Android market, there are 790 applications.
[03:29] The newest group joining us is the Nokia Ovi group. I hope I said that correct. They're actually launching, from what I'm told, they're going to be launching with 20,000 applications strong which is much more than the Android store and the Blackberry store when they started as well.
[03:46] Also joining the group is Windows Marketplace very shortly.
[03:51] Across the board all of these new types of applications have been adding functionality to our most ubiquitous device which is the phone. So today we have a great panel here. We have three people in-house and one joining us nationally. Where are you located Ken?
[04:10] Ken Burge: I'm in Colorado.
[04:15] Viq Hussain: Colorado, OK. So we have Ken Burge, the President of Info Media and the creator of the infamous Apple iPhone Application, the iFart.
[04:25] Jason Siegel, Managing Director of Qorvis, creator of The Washington Post's Going Out Guide iPhone application.
[04:30] Samuli Hanninen, the Director and Head of Ovi Product Marketing with Nokia.
[04:35] Viq Hussain: So what I wanted to do is just kind of go across the board and if guys can do a quick introduction and talk for a few minutes about what you guys are doing and what you guys are doing in the mobile world, that would be wonderful.
[04:47] Jason Siegel: I'm Jason Siegel with Qorvis. The creative and interactive services are of the firm. We're integrating marketing fifth largest firm in the country, working with firms like Cisco, Sun Microsystems, Erickson, Intel, Adobe. We're doing a lot in Vocal. We recently did the Watchman post going out guide for Vocal. We're doing some exciting work for Amaco, BP, MCO. We're doing their mobile initiative, resource management and the nation of Mexico. So there's a lot of exciting work going on in the world of mobile. Our clients are really screaming for the mobile channels as a way to get the reach to the millennial and other audiences that really love digesting the content on the mobile phone.
[05:39] Samuli Hanninen: OK. My name is Samuli Hanninen, Product Directory for Nokia. Very interestig times ahead of us. We believe truly that the way people are communicating is about to change and the communication will be everything what we do as well as everything we don't do. So I'm hoping we can discuss that a bit today and then I think we have some nasty and non-nasty questions about the store as well.
[06:43] Viq Hussain: My apologies I actually forgot to mention Isaac Mosquera, co-founder and CTO of PointAbout is on our panel as well.
[06:50] Isaac Mosquera: My name is Isaac Mosquera. I'm the CTO at PointAbout. What we've been working on for almost the last year is a browser which gives you the ability to access features on the phone like GPS, local storage, camera functionality. It's all done through HTML and Java script. I bet 99% of you guys have done some sort of HTML stuff, so we make it accessible to people to develop applications on the web. Now we have been working on the iPhone for most of the time. We just recently changed over to platforms so it's been pretty good.
[07:44] Viq Hussain: Ken?
[07:45] Ken Burge: My name is Ken Burge and I'm the President of Info Media and the creator of the infamous Apple iPhone Application, the iFart.
[08:42] Viq Hussain: The format of this is we're going to be going through a short list of questions that are based around the mobile technology world and application development. We're going to be opening up the floor for about 20 minutes to questions from the audience so if you have a question, start thinking about it and how you want to ask it and we'll take it to the audience in a little bit.
[09:06] The first question we have here is about Geo-Location. The newest buzz word right now in the mobile media is Geo-Location. A couple weeks ago or months ago it's been a combination between social media and social media and Geo-Location. The biggest buzz right now is in Geo-Location services like Latitude and Bright Kite have taken off as well as others.
[09:34] In some other countries like Japan some of these technologies have been around for quite some time simply because the phones and networks have been pretty advanced. What do you think the next big thing in American mobile networks are going to be?
[09:53] Jason Siegel: I think with GPS technology, we're really seeing our clients personalization and the amount of time people have to work with your brand. The clients are wanting to deliver a more personalized experience as fast as possible. So the GPS continues to be, although a lot of people are using it, more and more the clients are screaming for as they use it more and more, a more personalized experience.
Sherm for example, the most used portion of their website is the jobs. They want to now have a mobile app where when people hit the jobs button on their mobile app it shows jobs closest to you.
[10:33] So they're trying to just increase speed and increase personalization, so I think although GPS is hot now I think it will continue to be more and more hot and using great technology like PointAbout where they allow agencies like Qorvis to tap into functionality like the camera. Our clients are asking for us to get more and more creative with the user experience to leverage these spring boards to deliver a better user experience.
[11:00] Samuli Hanninen: I would second your opinion on that. I think you just highlighted a couple of the most important things that what it does for the user experience. They are pretty small things which make the difference. It's pretty simple to make it based on location.
[12:09] Isaac Mosquera: What we noticed when PointAbout first started is that geo-location is important, but there are a lot of other features that have to come along with it, so it's not always just geo-location, it has to be geo-location with a camera and so forth. So I think it's a feature that is going to be part of everybody's product because it's going to be a necessary thing.
[12:54] Jason Siegel: I just want to add one more thing. This would be a really powerful thing for a politically driven campaigns where you're trying to inform and mobilize and have everyone take action. So to send an alert to an audience of application users and then have them being able to take action and then share that with everyone in their address book is another great way to extend the functionality of the core phone and deliver a more powerful experience for whatever action you're trying to drive.
[13:24] Viq Hussain: Any thoughts Ken?
[13:27] Ken Burge: Well I think the geo-location features are about building value. So primarily as marketers we're always working to provide relevant services to people within the application.
[13:48] Samuli Hanninen: Combining the people and place elements is very amazingly powerful. The amount of content it can bring to any application is huge. I think there is one thing that all of us need to keep in mind and that's the privacy. We need to make sure that we always keep the final choice with the consumer about what to share and what information to use. We just need to make sure that the control point is with the consumer.
[14:34] Viq Hussain: That's actually a great topic. I'm going to jump to a question I had about ads. So mobile ads seem to be the next big place for marketing companies to jump into. The statistics right now are that in 2009, the revenue from mobile ads is suppose to go up 36% to $229 million dollars. In 2011 it's suppose to go up to $409 million dollars. We think the next way that people are going to be looking to start mobile ad companies. How might they go about doing that and providing mobile ads to peoples phones that's not intrusive, the exact opposite of what Samuli was talking about.
[15:18] Jason Siegel: I think the key word there is obtrusive. There is only so much screen you have and when we're working with The Washington Post we're saying that we're going to monetize this application and we're spending a lot of money creating a great experience and they were thinking we're just going to have this whole application sponsored on the first screen. But then the whole way through it's just going to be ad free. But any publicly traded company isn't going to stand for that for too long. So I think that's going to be the constant challenge or opportunity for start up some sort of sponsorship to drive new forms of revenue. I think it's going to be sort of baked into the content. Some sort of branded experience inside where it's sort of like branded entertainment versus feeling like an ad because there is such limited screen space.
[16:20] Isaac Mosquera: I definitely agree with Jason that it definitely can't be intrusive. You wouldn't want that on such a small screen. A few other things I think will happen though is the ads are going to be way more interactive. I think the ads might actually become the application themselves if you look at some of the applications that are out there, the very popular one where you pop the top and drink it. What beer company was that? Was it sponsored by anybody? But no doubt we'll see a lot of companies coming out with these innovative types of applications that are the ads themselves and entice you to to use them. In turn they are advertising to you and you wouldn't even know what was going on more than just enjoying the application stuff.
[17:08] Jason Siegel: Just another point: Amaco is doing some interesting things because the phone knows the time of day or the actual date that it is so they're using that to serve coupons based on if it's in May turn on the app to get free road side assistance let's say. It's serving up the thing that says: "Free air conditioning tune up. That's sort of like very timely. It's not just throwing an ad in your face. It's May and a lot of people would look to get air conditioning tune up then. So a lot of the personalization in the phone allows you to deliver more personalized coupons which I think is a great opportunity.
[17:49] Ken Burge: Let me just jump in there real quick. One of the things that we've learned as we've done a lot of promotion on the Internet of other products as well is that the advertisements have to be relevant. What I mean by that is that the offers that you're presenting have to make sense to that consumer. So we went out and asked out customers: "Would you want to receive ads on your phone?" And the answer was overwhelmingly "no." When we revisited the question by asking: "What's your favorite restaurant?" and "Would you like to receive a coupon to that restaurant delivered to your cell phone?" You would just walk in, show it and overwhelmingly they said: "yes! We want that." So I think in a lot of places the gut reaction is that we don't want that. But if you can show value then they will definitely want that.
[19:05] Samuli Hanninen: I think that is certainly how it is based on our similar situations it's been exactly like that. The consumers are willing to receive relevant ads. Of course to define the relevancies is another debate. That can start with the small things. It pays to support mobile advertising. We have been talking about mobile advertising for at least 10 years, but it's still isn't any easier, but I think it's a new opportunity to define what mobile advertising really is because to me, it hasn't been done yet.
[20:23] Isaac Mosquera: One of the opportunities that we've been exploring as all of this is very break through is pay per action advertising. Originally it was pay per click, but if you're within 50 miles of the mall and you actually walk into the mall and buy something, the ad is free until someone actually purchases that and then there is a revenue share. It's like a whole new world based on the traceability of where the user is and if they actually had a successful, not virtual, but in the real world a transaction. So this is a whole new world of things that's happening. One of the problems is that apple's iPhone doesn't allow background processing so applications that can serve up pay per action ads unfortunately need to be running at all times which sucks the battery life. So agencies and firms like PointAbout and Nokia we're trying to work that out.
[21:17] Viq Hussain: In the last six months there's been a lot of attention on dc and I've seen the startup market really start to pick up. So what I want to do is really start digging deep into - I'm sure there's a lot of startup companies in our audience right now. So I want to look at the advice that you might give the startup companies when thinking about building a mobile product. The top five or six things that the should absolutely be thinking about when building a mobile product.
[21:55] Samuli Hanninen: I could try. You have to always take the first one. Sometimes it's the challenging one. How do we make services and applications contextual? This means that they are more relevant for consumers. It's almost like saying: how can we make the Internet personal on you device, whatever your device may be? If we are truly dedicated to change the way that people communicate, we cannot change it with proof of iPhone use, or a group of T-One users, or 1 billion Nokia users, but we have to do it together. What I am sometimes afraid of is that we are creating these kinds of micro things that I can communicate with my iPhone and FaceBook, but if I want to send a MySpace message, it's impossible. Open context are the two key words.
[23:27] Isaac Mosquera: I've got a couple. Most of my background will come from my iPhone success stories. The first one I think is don't put all your eggs in one basket and don't spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on any one application because the idea that you're going to make an iFart application a success like that is highly unlikely. It's probably not going to happen or the notion that you have the best idea and it's going to take off. So you're going to need a couple of tries. You're going to need a few iterations just for one app. So find the cheapest way to get it done. I think that's what PointAbout is trying to do. Secondly is don't just make one application. I've heard a lot of stories about people making multiple applications for their idea where it's just not one thing and then what happens is once one becomes popular, it helps support the other application. It creates a cycle. So create multiple applications. Get your name out there. It's much better than just having one application that you've spent a bunch of time and money on and it doesn't get much traffic.
[24:46] Jason Siegel: So two things: a lot of these strategies, iPhone applications around the personalized experience, but we don't see enough of is how to leverage the crowd to create a great experience off the phone. One example that we did and which actually we partnered with PointAbout was navigating a Washington application for the Obama inauguration and the strategy there was quickly poll everyone who is either at the inauguration or watching the inauguration and ask them questions. Things like: "Will Obama succeed in the first 100 days?" Have them answer and then show an aggregate map view of what people throughout the country or the world think of certain topics or questions. It will drive better opinions, thought leadership, and people get an understanding of where the aggregate view is versus everything always being about me, me, me. So I just think that there is a lot of opportunity there. Some other advice for startups coming from the PR side is: try not to be like everything for everyone. Try to really focus the message. Really get the message across and understand who your audiences are. Who is going to get the next platform? It's very hard to become an iFart over night. So just think of it that you're going to go from quadrant to quadrant and keep having low expectations and goals and just keep moving up. The message is that you're going to deliver to your first audience. You really want to get that tight and succinct.
[26:29] Viq Hussain: If I was a person in a start up and I came to InfoMedia and said: "I want to build a mobile application, what would you tell me."
[26:37] Ken Burge: Well there are a couple of things. First of all without a doubt the most important thing you can do if you want to have a successful mobile application is to do a good job in the beginning getting the right people on your team. You want people who are quick thinkers, flexible, people who have a sense of humor. Those were some factors helped keep our team together. So not only are they world class developers, they're just a regular group of guys who can really brainstorm. That would be number one for me. That's simple what we've done here. Iphone is an app that we talked about earlier. If you go to www.iPhonemobile.com you'll see what I'm talking about. We had over 60 million votes cast using the ivote application. That business model is not about selling the ad, it's about monetizing. With all of the different applications that we have out there, it just so happened that iFart became the model for all of the others. It had to have some things going for it obviously. People like to talk about iFart and how it became popular. It was a cross cultural phenomenon that is not going to happen everyday. The topic obviously was something was viable and one in which a lot of people were interested.
[29:52] Samuli Hanninen: I would be interested to hear your opinion about what is the right business model for mobile applications. It's getting more transaction based. We keep saying the same thing: "Let's be open with the business model," but how do we really do that.
[30:16] Ken Burge: Well I'll tell you guys what my thoughts are on that. With iFart it was 99% download. We had over 490,000 downloads so almost half a million downloads on that application alone. What we've also done with that application to further monetize it is we've put the ability to send a message directly to that application as it's running. So we actually push people to our other applications where there are other business models in place for those other applications. So that's something I'm going to throw out as one of the advantages of mobile application. Build in the ability to direct message your users and push them and move them to other applications you may have in the app store or other places.
[31:10] Isaac Mosquera: I just want to add to that every industry is sort of a business ecosystem and there are partners or other businesses that don't intimidate other businesses. So for example, Amaco is considering as a way of doing a revenue share to support the cost of creating this is to cross-promote Auto Zone Stores and any transactions that occur there is a revenue share there. Or get free roadside assistance, but there is an upsell opportunity there for someone to get a year. You get like one free roadside assistance, but every time after that you have to pay. So you sort of want to look at your business ecosystem and see who is not threatening to me and who I can share my users with to drive revenue, to support developing this application, and enhance your brand or to just expand the reach.
[32:07]Viq Hussain: The next question is also around the topic of startups. So if I was a person in the startup and I'm looking to build a mobile application - each native mobile application is going to cost you about $10,000 - $20,000 to build. If you're looking now at different platforms, that can really add up quickly. What are your thoughts on selecting the correct platform to invest in first, which native applications? Or is mobile optimization of web-based products an option?
[32:47] Samuli Hanninen: I think my reply would be in a bit different way. I would say the one that would be the most scalable one would be the one that appeals to the biggest audience. Like we at Nokia have multiple platforms because we want to bring the best solution for each consumer group. It would be impossible to bring exactly the same thing for everyone. It's something that we believe in. I think every mobile manufacturer or solution provider should support that.
[33:40] Jason Siegel: The way we're going about this is we're sort of modeling out the experience before we pick the platform. So for example Amaco really wanted that when you load the app you heard that "beep, beep." So the first thing we wanted to see was: what are the options out there to make sure we have sound? One of the things we find really compelling about PointAbout is that with Isaac's Company we can rapidly create applications and do it using a lot of our front end developers. We don't need a lot of objective seed development and it works across multiple platforms. So the "Navigating Washington" app worked on iPhones and soon will be working on Android and some of the Blackberry's. We think the best way to do this is to use a spring board that works across multiple types of platforms, multiple development, and anytime there's an upgrade you don't have to beg the user to redownload the application through the store. It's automatically downloaded because it's a hybrid native web application.
[34:47] Isaac Mosquera: I'm going to agree with Jay because it's our product! [audience laughs] So you gave out the original number $10,000 - $20,000. Actually in the end when you're really done with development it's probably going to be a lot more because $10,000 - $20,000 gets you your first initial version, but I like I said before it's probably not going to be successful. You're going to have to do it over and over again until you find out what works. And figure out what works in the marketplace; the ideal business model. But building to the largest audience possible which is multiple platforms iPhone, Nokia, the Android which is going to be taking over because it's going to become more popular soon. Applications that reach across the platforms are a good way to go. Plus the likelihood that you know somebody that can develop in HTML java script is a lot higher.
[35:52] Viq Hussain: Ken.
[35:54] Ken Burge: There's a couple of thoughts I have on that: I think it really depends on which target audience you want to go after. So for businesses, we are fairly new to the mobile game. Based on our research iPhone was the target audience; the most responsive and we could monetize in the most efficient way.
[37:21] Jason Siegel: I just want to answer that. Just echoing Ken's comment here is that in The Washington Post, the brand recall for baby boomers with The Washington Post is like 98% - 99% it's off the charts. The same thing with Amaco, but when you look at the Millennial generation the brand recall is more like 10%. So they said they really want to reach Millennial's which iPhone users are Millennial's, but when you look at a company like SHERM, The Society of Human Resource Management, these are business people and they're carrying Blackberries. So they're more Blackberry type carriers. So just like Ken was saying, you really have to look at the audience and the type of mobile device they're carrying. They're probably carrying Nokia as well.
[38:09] Ken Burge: Let me throw out one more thing guys. The activity that the applications gets helps me understand the users of my applications. So you although you can purchase an application for $10,000 - $20,000, if you really want to get into this and do it the right way there is a additional cost to really aggregate and analyze it and make sense of it. So I think that's something a lot of people talk about.
[39:11] Samuli Hanninen: I think that's the same like we are doing. You may need a higher investment in the beginning.
[40:04] Isaac Mosquera: Our agency just loves doing Flash stuff, are you guys going to be one of the first to let Flash run on the phone?
[40:15] Samuli Hanninen: We are looking for that opportuniy.
[40:46] Viq Hussain: So once again from a startup side the application is only one half of the battle. The other half is actually getting people to use it, adopt it, and become dependent on it and learning how to market that properly. Ken I want to start with you. What are your thoughts on properly marketing and getting usage on your mobile application?
[41:13] Ken Burge: Well that's a great topic. You know I think that just building an application and throwing it in the app store and hoping that people find it. Honestly I don't think that will work. We had a fairly extensive marketing campaign behind iFart and we did a lot of things: we were on blogs, we were asking our friends to blog, we had friends and family everywhere promoting iFart. We did everything possible to make sure iFart was in the news and being talked about.
[42:13] Jason Siegel: So for us we're seeing the most success from earned media. The mobile is so hot these days that pitching a really cool app to a New York Times, they will listen to you because that's what they really want to write about. So as Ken was saying, Social Media is key, getting bloggers, friend feeds that show your app. New age marketing which is still the most powerful form of marketing no matter how much technology is out there. But earned media and pitching to the press although the press is shrinking. Earned media - we're seeing a dramatic increase once we get that earned media hit. When the Navigating Washington App won New York Times App of the week, they put a post in their blog and the traffic went up 10 - 20 fold. It's really dramatic. So when you launch that app make sure you have a great earned media launch strategy.
[43:22] Isaac Mosquera: I'm going to have to agree with that about the media. The other thing is obviously starting out with a great app and making sure, like Ken said, it passes the "Would you pass this on to your friends? Test. I would say that 95% of things that I've downloaded are not because they were advertised on a website, it's because somebody told me or showed me the application.
[43:58] Jason Siegel: Also make sure you have the sharing functionality built into the application. Just a simple button that says: "share or refer." Something like that can really go a long way.
[44:08] Viq Hussain: If you were to monetize the amount of spending on building the application versus spending time and money on the market side of it, do you think they are equal or do you think that they are more on the marketing side or more on the development side?
[44:28] Jason Siegel: I think basically when mobile apps first started they were very expensive to build. You were looking at a six figure investment. That is going down more depending on the functionality, but it's more like $50,000 to $100,000 now per app. So as these become a commodity and the ease of use of creating these applications we're seeing much more energy going into promoting the application and the ecosystem that wraps the application than the app itself just because technology is making it much easier to rapidly create your first release.
[46:15] Another thing that we're seeing is Blue Tooth is a really up and coming exciting area because Blue Tooth is another technology built into the phone not part of the app, but you can Blue Cast technology and Blue Cast your message. That's sort of an advertisement to get people to install the app. So some examples of that, if SHERM is using their events as a way to Blue Cast to all of their members for them to download the application, people within 1000 feet get an opt in message on their phone and then they can download the app. Or every AMACO center is going to Blue cast 1000 feet around the center, so drive-by traffic, people usually have the jaw bone headpiece on and their phone is there and they're probably reading their e-mail while they're driving (unfortunately) and a message will come in right when you pass AMACO or your TomTom GPS device is also Blue Tooth enabled. That's going to shoot a message up. So you can try to leverage Blue Tooth to get free publicity or promotional reach to load your application.
[47:19] Isaac Mosquera: I think it's really the type of application that you're creating. If you're creating an application that's based on already created listing or website business, you'll probably spend less money on marketing this thing. But if you're application is solely geared to one of the platforms I think you'd have to spend a lot more time on marketing and grass roots that kind of stuff to get the word out there because right now the amount of applications that are being created for mobile are growing exponentially. So today it's already hard in another year it's going to be extremely hard. I would say probably getting out there with a good initial release that is financially feasible that gives you enough money to market it.
[48:16] Viq Hussain: Ken, any thoughts? Approximately how much money does it take to market the actual product once it's actually developed compared to the development side? What do you think the balance should be?
[48:18] Ken Burge: I'm not sure. I would say as minimum it needs to be at least $650,000. If you're not investing just as much in the marketing as you did in the development of the application, I think you're probably not going to see the uptake that you want. It also depend on how you're building your application, so if you're out sourcing your development then you have much higher development costs. We made the decision to go in-house. We give the developers a share for the apps they create so they came in for a lower salary. We give them shares based on the success of the application so we've got some very happy developers and shareholders now. By doing that we motivate the developers. You can get more apps out there and have apps that have a much higher chance for success.
[50:06] Viq Hussain: So I'm going to finish out with an abstract question before I open it up to the audience. There are a lot of people here and I'm sure you have a lot of questions. Hopefully it will keep these guys engaged. So in the past year or so there have been like leaps and bounds in the cloud computing world, specifically with software and services really taking off, Google applications, etc. There's a concept now that phones are going to be not a secondary device but soon to be a primary device; the sole place for all the information. It's going to be held as an individual as opposed to a personal computer. What are your thoughts about the phone turning into the primary functioning piece of hardware in the work world?
[50:54] Jason Siegel: The way I'm thinking is it's really just a presentation layer. I feel the future when you walk into a Best Buy there is going to be like 20 screens on a wall and you'll just pick the size screen you want and the experience will automatically reformat itself to the size of the screen. Kindle has got Kindle DX I think it's called so it's now a little bit bigger format for your newspapers and magazines. The next one will be for HD movies. It's really just coming down to the presentation layer and all of the processing and storage and brilliance is really all happening as you're saying I'm "in the cloud." These devices are turning into more than dummy terminals that are just presenting. I think that's where it's all going. There is a lot of processing power in the iPhone or these other mobile devices now, but I think more and more we'll depend more on the cloud and it will just be more and more screen size. Hopefully screens will start being full to full bendable and you can put them in your pocket and unfold them.
[54:27] Isaac Mosquera: If you look at it where everything is moving I would say that even today when I'm in the office I use the phone, when I leave the office, I use the phone so I would say that my phone is already that type of device. A friend of mine recently lost his job and needed to get a computer, but instead of getting a computer and the Internet he literally just picked up the iPhone and that's all he has in his home. There is no such thing as a computer to him other than his iPhone but I think you'll be seeing a lot more of that moving forward where people aren't even picking up laptops or desktops but just replacing it with a mobile device and using that for their everyday needs.
[55:37] Samuli Hanninen: Now I have to say it's a good computer if you don't have to type anything.
[55:40] Viq Hussain: Ken, thoughts?
[55:43] Ken Burge: With any application there's storage, there's user interface, what the users sees, and then there is the processing power that ties those two together. I think what's really interesting is that what we used to call phones are really so much more than phones now. We've started to call them mobile devices which is literally much more accurate. So when I hear somebody asking about my iPhone say: "How do you like your phone?" I just cringe and I have to sit down and explain to them: "This may be a phone, but that's 1/20th of the functionality that I now have in my hand. The primary benefit to me is that not only can it stay with me and render useful services to me 24 hours a day if I need it to, but it also now has the capability to provide processing power the user interface and also the storage that I need so if I am in a disconnected state, services can still suffice. I'm a big fan of cloud storage and I'm thinking that the interplay between cloud storage, your personal user data, and processing power is a very interesting kind of movement of all of those components from the desktop to the cloud to the mobile device. I think it's very exciting. I think it's a fantastic industry to be involved in right now and we'll see a lot of really fun stuff in the near future.
[01:08:44] Daniel Odio: Well thank you very much everybody for coming. Let's give a round of applause for our panelists and our moderator. Ken thanks for joining us via Skype. We're going to continue this discussion online, www.dcMOMO.com and we're having another event on June 22nd which is mobile advertising. It will be at the CORBA Center in Washington D.C. Then we're going to take July and August off and we'll be having a very large event in September with a very, very well know speaker. So thank you very much for coming.
What’s next in tech? Discuss, asks Scott Kirsner at InnoEcco. Here are four hot areas within the mobile and wireless tech cluster in Massachusetts.
Mobile Apps & Creative SMS
Boston developers are creating leading iPhone and Android apps. We also have a number of companies taking advantage of SMS engagement in creative ways. Like Geocade, Pongr, SCVNGR, Brring, Drync, Dinube, RunKeeper, FlightView, JitterGram, Kitty Canon, Locale, LocaModa, SnapMyLife, MocoSpace, Poll Everywhere, and TripChill.
Professional App Development
The Boston area is home to a growing segment of professional developers that work directly with brands to create mobile apps. Like 211me, Apperian, Bit Group, Raizlabs, and Silverware Software.
Mobile Advertising & Marketing
We have the legacy of Enpocket (now Nokia Ads), Third Screen Media (now AOL), m-Qube (now VeriSign). And now Quattro Wireless, JumpTap, LocaModa, AirWide, Velti, and more.
The Boston area is home a growing segment of mobile infrastructure Skyhook Wireless (location), Nuance, Vlingo (voice), Lilliputian Systems, A123Systems (battery).