Monetizacommercial ifuggedaboutit

An old colleague of mine who used to work at Microsoft told me that he once went to a global summit, to find people standing on tables shouting "Show Me The Money". As a business strategy, it doesn't work too badly. It fell out of favour in the 2000 bubble, but we're all older and wiser now. Right?

I went down to London last night along with Nick (CEO) to visit the Mobile Monday event, rescheduled from last week due to England's inability to cope with any snow. It was kindly sponsored by Ikivo and OMTP. Unfortunately we didn't take any pictures as we were all too busy playing with Optiscan on our phones, but we did listen to the speakers.

The general theme of the evening was the construction of a widgets platform supporting mobile, but not exclusively so, and incorporating all sorts of fun things. One aspect seemed to be lacking from the discussion though, and come the Q&A, both our hands shot up. Nick got the mike and said "Sounds great. But how do I make money out of it".

We just launched Optiscan on iPhone, and one of the key reasons for choosing that platform was the way we can talk to one person - Apple - and sell around the world. If we want to get operator tie in on just about any other platform we need to go talk to umpteen different operators, and maybe ship in six months time if we're very lucky. Apple takes a week or two. It's just easy, and lets us focus on development and on marketing.

An open widgets platform is fantastic - provided that all the operators and manufacturers get together and implement it in the same way, with exactly the same financial structures, and no subtle differences to APIs such as we see with BREW or MIDP. If it happens, great. But in the meantime, I won't be holding my breath. I'll be following the money.

Ben Blaukopf
in Opinion

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