Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DC meetups for tech founders and entrepreneurs

Are you thinking about starting a tech company in the DC area? Do you want to meet with other entrepreneurs, see what they are doing and meet interesting people? You should because it is one of the fastest way to learn what you need to know in order to be successful as well as make useful connections that might be helpful later for your company.

There are a ton of different meetups and events available to you and there is no way I can list them all here. Instead I have made a very short list of the ones I fairly regularly attend, with a brief description of their focus.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Three spheres of engagement for early-stage founders

When you have just started your new company with your co-founders, many entrepreneurs are at "peak happiness". They have a great idea. They have just founded a company and nobody has yet to tell them that their idea/product is lacking or the team they have assembled may not be optimal to execute whatever grand vision they hope to bless the world with.

To stay at peak happiness (after all, it is a great place), some entrepreneurs make mistake #1. 

They decide that they can not tell anyone outside the bubble about what their plan is, and must instead focus on building this divine product and polishing it to perfection before it is ready to receive the standing ovation from an enchanted market of customers they have never met.

If they get that far, in 99.9999% of the cases, that is the end of peak happiness.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Can you see the next big thing already?

According to the gospel of innovation on the Internet, there was search before Google, social networking before Facebook and music playing devices before the iPod and yet these services and devices completely changed the way we think about the Internet and content.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Speak up! If you are a budding entrepreneur, let the world know

Many first-time entrepreneurs make the same mistake. They do not use their network to help them out. They may be afraid of failing or that people will tell them that it is time to "get a real job". In any case, it will seriously hurt their probability of future success.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Your startup needs a pitch deck

If your startup has left the idea stage and you are in the process of realizing your business idea, you need a pitch deck. You are not in the process of raising funds at the moment, you say?  It does not matter, a pitch deck is the most  important communications tool (besides your 30 second pitch) you have, explaining why your company should exist in the first place.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

iPad Mini, what iPad always should have been.

Photo: Niklas Munck

Friday I had the opportunity to briefly use an iPad Mini for the first time and I have to say that I am very impressed. Apple has taken a lot of flack recently, for anything from disappointing specs to releasing the iPad Mini at all, but my guess is that the Mini will go on to be the first choice for most of the new iPad customers.

Here is why:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

iPad Mini will change retail forever

Apple today released the new iPad Mini as well as an updated version of the iPad with Retina display (iPad4).

We have already started to see innovative retail use of the larger iPad both in large scale deployments within major corporations as well as within small businesses, but I think that the new iPad Mini is going to be the accelerant that will make these kind of deployments ignite everywhere.

iPad4 and iPad Mini today, iPhone6 and iPhone Mini this spring?

When Apple today released an updated iPad4 and an all-new iPad Mini, halfway into their normal release cycle for iPad, one has to wonder, what else do they have in store?

While this most likely was the last major announcement from Apple this year, at least regarding hardware products, it is not impossible that they would shift the release cycle for other products during the spring season.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Mobile device data growth is slowing down, fast!

According to this GigaOM article, recent data points to a rapid slowdown in mobile device data consumption growth, challenging the idea that the rapid data consumption growth will continue forever.

While this may be good news to wireless carriers, it does question whether there really is a spectrum crisis, and whether the wireless carriers really need all that future spectrum they have been demanding. This has been questioned in the past but this is one of the first time we have seen data that appear to confirm that the data growth may not be permanent or at least hitting a plateau at the moment.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

What led Nokia to abandon MeeGo for Windows Phone?

I recently read this great article about what was going on inside Nokia before the decision to abandon MeeGo as the future OS and instead partnering with Microsoft and their Windows Phone OS.

The article is a translation of an article by Finnish publication Taskumuro which have interviewed a bunch of people with inside knowledge on what happened.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Nokia is more focused on ecosystem growth than WP8 competition

Nokia CEO Stephen Elop recently said on an investor call that Nokia is not worried by potential competition from partner Microsoft if they would release a "Surface Phone". Elop said that this could instead be a boost to the WP8 device ecosystem.

Apparently Elop said "We're encouraging of HTC and Samsung and Microsoft to have devices in the market and to be making whatever investments that helps spur the ecosystem on".

Friday, October 12, 2012

Sprint buying merged T-Mobile & MetroPCS?

Lately there has been rumors that Sprint is considering placing a bid for MetroPCS that would compete with the already announced merger between MetroPCS and T-Mobile. On top of that, rumors have circulated that Sprint may even consider making a bid for the merged entity of T-Mobile and MetroPCS.

I say, don't hold your breath.

Verizon, why wait ten years?

Verizon Wireless recently announced that they estimate to keep their CDMA 3G network alive for another ten years before shutting it down. At the same time they expect to have full LTE 4G coverage by the end of next year.

Why wait another ten years to shut down a network which is based on an already largely obsolete technology?

Friday, October 5, 2012

The solution to Sprint spectrum woes is not a bidding war over Metro PCS

After the announcement that T-Mobile is buying Metro PCS there has been rumors and speculation that Sprint is considering a counter bid to avoid being left out of the final stages of market consolidation.

If these rumors are true, they on the one hand point to another missed opportunity by Sprint, but on the other hand a lucky escape, it all depends on what the motivations behind going after Metro PCS would be.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Peace between carriers and OTT players?

A recent study by Amdocs appear to hint at the possibility of a peace between wireless carriers and OTT players (like WhatsApp etc). The study has surveyed wireless carriers and OTT players about their sentiments towards collaboration and other related issues.

Not surprisingly, wireless carriers are to a large degree willing to see OTT companies as potential partners but equally unsurprising, the carriers have no plans of ceding the customer relationship to the OTT companies.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Clearwire is up for grabs.

T-Mobile and Metro PCS today announced their merger and in related news, gaining less attention, Comcast announced that they were jumping ship from Clearwire after last months announcement that fellow cable operator Time Warner Cable was doing the same.

While some people probably see this as reflecting poorly on Clearwire, I would say that there are two major forces at play here.

T-Mobile and Metro PCS. Why Yes!

In May I wrote this post about why T-Mobile and Metro PCS should not hesitate to merge and not be too discouraged by the failed Sprint and Nextel merger. Today the companies finally announced their merger.

As expected, T-Mobile and Metro PCS have chosen a much more agressive merger time table than Sprint did. But in all fairness, T-Mobile and Metro PCS has an "escape route" in their common use of LTE as their 4G standard. This will make it possible to merge their networks in an efficient way and quickly shut down the Metro PCS legacy CDMA network. For Sprint and Nextel, there was no such common path forward which complicated matters in addition to management problems.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Cell Tower radiation, how does it work?

When you read research about the dangers of radio signals from cellphones and cell towers, most of the research focus on investigating whether radio signals from cellphones are dangerous, not much is said about whether the signals from cell towers are dangerous.

But it is not uncommon for new cell tower construction to be delayed because of perceived fears of harmful radiation to neighbors.

Why is it that so much controversy still accompany positioning of cell towers when almost everybody today own a cellphone or smartphone? You rarely see anybody complaining about somebody using his or her cellphone in the vicinity of others, at least not because of radiation fears.

In order to understand why radiation from cell towers rarely raise any alarms in scientific studies you need a basic understanding of how cellphone networks work and how radio signals travel through the air.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Entrepreneurs, it takes a village...

Today Bob Dorf delivered some harsh but important words for budding entrepreneurs working on their product in seclusion. His main point was that by not involving others, for example possible customers/users, early in the development process, you do not know for a fact that you are solving a problem that needs solving. Or in a way that potential users find attractive. In essence, what Bob is saying is that you are willingly forgoing a lot of knowledge, either because you are worried to let the secret out, or to actually test your idea and have it fail.

No success for NFC payments without Apple

When Apple recently launched its iPhone5 without built-in NFC capabilities, it was in effect pushing NFC payments at least another year into the future.

As I have said in the past, I don't think NFC payments will become a success mainly because I think the problem can be solved in a better way through an app that would require no hardware.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

T-Mobile, this is what you have been waiting for!

This week, Time Warner Cable announced that they are about to get rid of its 7.8% stake in Clearwire. The reason for this deal appears to be that the Clearwire stake represents somewhat of a conflict of interest when Time Warner Cable now are cooperating with Verizon on their AWS deal and acting as a reseller for Verizon.

This deal could not have come at a better time for T-Mobile.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Did Nokia get a lucky break with the iPhone5?

When Apple yesterday launched the highly anticipated iPhone5 it felt like a lot of observers in unison went "meh". Not that anyone is disputing Apples claim that this is the greatest iPhone yet or that it will probably sell millions and millions. But we had expected more from Apple.

How could EU lose out on LTE for iPhone5?

When Apple launched the new iPhone5 yesterday, most observers, including myself, were convinced that the new phone would launch with global LTE silicon inside. I became even more certain of this when Nokia Lumia 920 launched just a week before with a chipset compatible with most LTE bands globally.

Somehow Apple, and so far for unknown reasons, managed to miss out on LTE for a large portion of the world, again.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Facebook came, saw and conquered Wall Street

There has been a lot of talk about the declining stock price of Facebook since its IPO and much doom and gloom has been written about the company and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg.

Amid all this talk about disaster IPO, one tiny issue has been forgotten. It was a great IPO for Facebook!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sprint & T-Mobile, wake up and smell the network sharing!

When Vodafone and O2 recently announced the merger of their 2G & 3G networks in the UK, as well as collaboration on 4G build-out, it meant that four out of five carriers in the UK are now part of network sharing JVs. This is part of an ongoing trend among wireless carriers in Europe and elsewhere, but so far, this trend has not reached the major carriers in the US.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Google Fiber, in defense of the open internet

Since Google Fiber was launched in Kansas City the service has gotten a lot of attention for its speed, ease of use and social approach to coordinating the roll-out. While I am sure that Google intend to make money on the service, I think the most important reason for Google to do this is separate from potential revenue on the actual service.

I believe that Google Fiber is a warning shot across the bow of the entrenched forces such as cable companies, wireless carriers, the entertainment industry and others that have for varying reasons worked in unison to roll back the openness of the Internet.

Companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and even Apple can only flourish in an environment where the users have unencumbered access to the internet.

Remind me again, why do we have online piracy?

I'm sure you have an idea of why by now but even so, read this great summary in Scientific American, on how Hollywood is promoting online piracy.

Basically it comes down to protecting their existing "disc delivery system". This term may sound somewhat unfamiliar but I'll walk you through it.

Why Kickstarter is one of my favorite startups

Since crowd funding site Kickstarter launched about three years ago we have been able to follow the explosion of successful projects raising unheard of amounts of money without VC or angel involvement.

As an entrepreneur I find the Kickstarter success especially interesting, and probably in a way you had not thought or heard of.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Does Ouya spell trouble for Wii and later PS & Xbox?

Ouya, the Kickstarter gaming console startup which ended up raising about $8,6M is part of a new breed of startups like Pebble and TikTok. What sets Ouya apart from most other Kickstarter projects is that it appears as if it could have major strategic impact on existing market players such as Nintendo Wii, Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox and cause further disruption within the gaming industry.

The gaming industry have seen increased competition and disruption over the past years, especially in the handheld segment where iOS devices have rapidly taken a large share of the market.

Startup ideas come in all shapes, forms and materials...

Check out this great article in Wired about wooden sunglasses startup Shwood. It may take a village sometimes, but apparently also a forest to build sunglasses. These guys are most definitely thinking outside the box.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The future of POS

According to a 9TO5Mac post, AT&T is testing out their next generation Point-Of-Sale (POS) environment in a number of stores and expect to complete the roll-out over a couple of years. The new environment would mean that AT&T moves from a desktop environment to an all-iOS environment where the store personnel are equipped with iPads as support for all tasks.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Is the "new" MS Outlook webmail a threat to Gmail?

Microsoft yesterday launched the long-needed update to its webmail platform Hotmail. The webmail platform was also renamed to to give it a fresh start. In addition to the very well received user interface updates, Microsoft released a statement that they promise to refrain from scanning the users email for ad targeting.

It is obvious that Gmail is in Microsofts crosshairs but are the interface updates and the privacy promise enough for users to start leaving Gmail?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Verizon find out where FCC draws the line...

Today it was reported that Verizon settled with the FCC for having blocked tethering apps on Android devices that circumvented the Verizon pricing plan and essentially provided tethering for free.

This is of course good news for users of these Apps but also an indication that the FCC is taking its responsibility of monitoring the carriers seriously. It is especially encouraging that the FCC is takes this kind of position on behalf of users but also the tiny outfits that create the apps (in comparison to the giant Verizon).

Monday, July 30, 2012

Microsoft reboot starts October 26th.

Microsoft recently announced that Windows 8 and the Microsoft Surface tablet will both launch on October 26th, and will be part of the reboot of the company, together with the expected launch of Windows Phone 8 devices from Nokia and other manufacturers within the coming months.

The coming launches, in addition to existing Xbox and Kinect products, are part of an attempt to make Microsoft not only relevant again, but give it a shot at claiming bragging-rights as one of the companies at the forefront of innovation. This comes after what has been billed as a lost decade within the company, where Microsoft seemed overrun by competitors as Google, Apple and Facebook.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

NBC got things backwards with Olympics coverage

Starting with the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics in London, the wrath of the Twittersphere and bloggers started to rain down on NBC which broadcasts (in a loose interpretation of the word) the games in the US.

The complaints have been many but the main grudge have been that NBC no longer broadcast many of the events live, unless you stream them online. In order to be able to do that you also have to have a paid cable/satellite/fiber subscription bundle expensive enough to include a bunch of NBC channels.

A large portion of these complaints can be ascribed to disappointment among people (like myself) who no longer pay for cable and would want everything to be free and preferably without commercial interruptions. But even if you discount those kind of complaints, I think the wave of frustration is a clear sign that NBC have totally misunderstood the role of broadcast TV vs. online streaming.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Entrepreneurs, get over yourself when dealing with investors!

Steli Efti yesterday wrote this great post about how many entrepreneurs get insecure when dealing with investors, even though they in most other circumstances are very confident in their idea and ability to execute. Read it! It is both fun and true.

I would add to Stelis post that this kind of insecurity often expands into a larger problem in the phase leading up to different funding rounds for a startup, where a lot of choices seem impossible or inevitable based on the premise of getting funded. "If we don't sign this deal or hire this person we will not get fundning!"

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Two great reads about the experience of Digg founder Kevin Rose

If you are involved in an IT startup, or thinking about launching one, take some time to read these two articles about Digg founder Kevin Rose. The stories and interviews lists some of the experiences of the Digg team from launch to recent sale.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Is the fourth curve the next step for carriers?

Chetan Sharma in a great GigaOM pice recently presented the challenge facing the mobile carriers of today as they are facing more and more competition from Over The Top (OTT) players in every possible area they are present in today.

Chetan argues that if carriers are to stay relevant, once the revenues from providing data access will follow the already dwindling voice and messaging revenues, they have to aggressively move into the OTT space themselves. If not, they will either die or become utilities with low margin operations.

While I agree with this conclusion, I think Chetan may be overestimating the probability of success a strategy like this will have for carriers.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rumors of AT&T charges for FaceTime could be another challenge to FCC Net Neutrality regulations

Rumors that AT&T will introduce special charges for users that want to use FaceTime over 3G have surfaced in the last couple of days. The rumors appeared after Apple released its third beta version of iOS6. For beta testers using an AT&T iPhone, a message appeared when they tried to use FaceTime over 3G. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Does special interest legislation like the DC TSE Act make or break budding startups?

Evan Burfield, a prominent member of the DC startup community, yesterday posted a passionate endorsement of the DC Technology Sector Enhancement Act introduced by disgraced former council chairman Kwame R. Brown.

The TSE Act, which in essence is a special interest tax cut on capital gains for angel investors in the district is currently pending before the city council. The goal is to increase angel investment in technology startups in the district by lowering the local tax on such capital gains from 9% to 3%, thereby undercutting neighboring states of Virginia and Maryland.

While I'm not averse to tax cuts in general, and especially not when I'm part of the special interest group (entrepreneurs) who are supposed to benefit from it, I think it important to first establish that this tax cut actually will have any impact at all on the issues it is supposed to solve.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CTIA borrows a page from the banking industry playbook

CTIA, the Washington, DC based lobbying organization for the wireless industry, today released a statement where they questioned the FCC authority to regulate the wireless industry on privacy issues. 

The carrier lobbying organization in essence argues that because much of the personal data stored in and communicated by wireless devices reside in or originate in third party applications over which the carriers have little or no control, there should be no regulation at all. Except voluntary commitments by carriers.

How do you attract tech companies or startups to a city or region?

Yesterday I read this interesting blog post by Ken Archer, editor of Greater Greater Washington, about the challenges of attracting tech companies to a city or region through incentives like tax breaks or subsidies.

Ken focuses on the difficulties of defining what really is a tech company in this day and age when most companies appears to have digital strategies. He comes to the conclusion that companies that innovate are the ones that cities, like Washington, DC should focus on attracting.

I think it can be helpful to look at a recent presentation about startups by Steve Blank where he talked about how different startups work. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Change in mobile handset market makes new entry difficult for Jolla

Last week we could read rumors about Nokia drop-outs Jolla, launching new handsets based on the discarded Nokia/Intel MeeGo OS or some kind of Linux derivative. These rumors stoked predictable excitement among people longing for the good old days of Nokia as well as general interest in the tech community. 

But so much have changed in the past few years in the mobile industry which makes success, on a scale larger than a small dedicated community, for new entrants like Jolla increasingly difficult.

There are two major trends that have contributed to this change.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

"Maybe" from Ballmer means "If Nokia fails"

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was quoted, saying "Look, we'll see what happens" when asked if Microsoft would build their own Windows Phone 8 handsets.

This most likely means that Microsoft is aware of the possibility that Nokia might fail in staging its comeback.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Hard times for specialty hardware. iPhones replace hotel phones. What is next?

Yesterday we could read reports about Opus Hotel in Vancouver replacing their guest room phones with iPhones.

I bet that this to many people sounds like a publicity stunt that makes no business sense. I will explain why this makes perfect sense and how it is part of a larger ongoing trend that will radically change the whole specialty hardware industry.

Why Spectrum Planning and Allocation Matters

Cellular-News writes that a recent GSMA/BCG report states that nations across Asia/Pacific can make GDP gains in the range of $1Trillion through 2020 by harmonizing the adoption of LTE in the 700Mhz band.

The report arrives at this figure by calculating the positive effects on economic growth, jobs and businesses in the region. Government spectrum auction revenue appear to play a very small role in total gains.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another day, another network sharing agreement

Vodafone Ireland and Hutchinson Whampoa (using brand name 3 for their operator in Ireland) are in talks about combining their wireless networks into a joint venture and consolidating the infrastructure to achieve cost savings and better coverage.

This process of operators deciding to share networks have been going on for years, especially in Europe, but have yet to catch on here in the US. Maybe it is time to revisit this issue for the US carriers?

The lost decade at Microsoft.

Vanity Fair has recently released a preview of an upcoming article about the decline of Microsoft. The preview exposes bureaucracy and destructive internal incentive evaluation systems. It also makes me wonder, what is the right level of "order" in a company?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Learning by failing leads to success!

This great Wired article about PaletteCase is telling the story of how startups iterates and pivots when finding that their current way of doing business does not work. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"You can not out-Facebook, Facebook"

Matt Fischer, VP of product management and development at Malaysian WiMax operator YTL communications recently said at CommunicAsia "The biggest threat to [telecom operators] is venture capitalists", according to TotalTelecom.

I agree with his conclusion that operators cannot out-innovate the OTT players for several reasons. 

Microsoft Surface, the race is on and Google may be in trouble

After the Microsoft Surface tablet announcement today it is clear that Microsoft is pulling no punches in the mobile space!

While Microsoft still after the presentation have everyone guessing about pricing, release dates as well as some of the specs, most people who were there appear to think that the device itself, its design and UI is definitely up to par.

Monday, June 18, 2012

WhatsApp channels Fight Club in anti-advertising manifesto

I just stumbled upon this great blog post from the WhatsApp team, explaining why they do not advertise.

More competition and smartphone subsidies are needed, not less.

Yesterday I read this great comparison between the UK and US smartphone markets in The Guardian. I think it fairly well outlines how far the US wireless market has to go to become competitive and reach wider smartphone adoption.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rumors of fed investigation into cable industry data-caps

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Justice Department has initiated an investigation into possible anti-competitive practices by US cable companies through their introduction of data-caps.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lenovo brings no-contract broadband to laptops. Thinks outside of the box.

Lenovo recently announced that they would bring no-contract 3G connectivity to their laptops. The service which is available immediately on select models and in major markets.

Consider this hiring strategy for your startup!

Today I read this great article in Forbes by David K. Williams and was impressed by how well he made the case for hiring "under-qualified" candidates versus superstars.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

LightSpeed raise $30M on their way to make purpose-built POS HW obsolete.

VentureBeat reports today that LightSpeed, the App-based point-of-sale (POS) startup has raised $30M in funding.

Recommended reading for budding Kickstarter entrepreneurs

Wired yesterday posted this great article outlining the potential for failure for even the most well prepared and staffed Kickstarter projects. It follows another wired article about a month and a half old.

AT&T CEO promotes increased and transparent regulation of wireless spectrum.

Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T recently published an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal where he raises some valid points about how wireless spectrum is awarded in the US.

The three main points Mr. Stephenson is making (which I agree with) are: 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Traders use social media big data trends as market analysis. From now on, only positive tweets!

I recently read this article in the Post about how financial analysts and traders are able to use information about what is trending on Twitter or Facebook to assist in their trading decisions. It is a great example of what is possible when harnessing big data.

Have you developed a mobile App? Watch this presentation about App Store strategies!

If you have developed a mobile App or are planning to do so, you should watch this great presentation by Todd Moore. I was able to attend the MoDev Meetup this Wednesday at TeqCorner and watch this first hand.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

AT&T promotes a future of even less competition

In this recent ZDNet article by Larry Dignan, AT&T CFO John Stephens waxes about the inevitability of consolidation in the US wireless carrier market. While I definitely think he has a point, what struck me as quite astonishing was his conclusion that the right market size was “two or three and certainly not six or seven competitors in any market place”.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Does Vodafone even know what Amazon is good at?

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao recently said, “Vodafone wants to be the Amazon of telecos”, not in terms of selling but top-class customer service (according to WSJ). While I think that the presented strategy of vastly improving service at store locations combined with making it easier to buy Vodafone services and handsets online makes perfect sense, what threw me off was the Amazon reference. Does Vittorio even know what Amazon is really good at?

Friday, May 18, 2012

What is the problem with the Verizon AWS deal?

Over the past weeks, operators and other parties have lined up to question the rationale behind the Verizon bid to purchase AWS licenses from a consortium of cable operators. FCC have also started to ask questions.

What is all this fuss about? The AWS licenses owned by the cable companies have mainly been unused since the mid 2000s when they were awarded and would complement the existing Verizon LTE 700Mhz licenses very well. The 700Mhz licenses while great for coverage are unfortunately not very useful for data capacity which will become very obvious if there is a 4G iPhone in the pipeline. It all seem to make perfect sense. To prove their case even further, Verizon is offering to sell off some excess 700Mhz licenses to make the AWS deal pass regulatory muster.

If it only was this simple. There are three main problems with the Verizon - cable deal which different parties have raised.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

How do you measure success in the mobile App space?

MoDev recently hosted a great MeetUp in Arlington, VA featuring a couple of App premiers by local entrepreneurs. I was treated to really cool presentations even though the room was steamy because of no AC!

T-Mobile and Metro PCS. Why Not?

There has recently been rumors that T-Mobile is on a shopping spree and might take over Metro PCS. While there has been quite significant skepticism accompanying this rumor, primarily based on the fact that the two carriers use incompatible network technologies, I think there might be reasons to give this another look.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Apple continues smartphone dominance in the US market

According to this post at TechChrunch, Apple has significantly increased their dominance in the US smartphone market since the iPhone became available on Verizon and Sprint in addition to their launch partner AT&T. According to TechCrunch the iPhone accounts for a whopping 78% of the AT&T smartphone sales with solid numbers at Verizon and Sprint as well.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The path to smartphone success for Nokia

Since Nokia recently launched the Lumia 900 together with AT&T here in the US there has been a lot of discussion about what Nokia is doing and whether it is enough to stage a comeback in the smartphone market. I think that the opinions in this matter are very influenced by two things.

How do you define success for Nokia and where do you see them starting off from?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Zuck shows the way! Management by not wasting time.

I read this interesting story by Paul Sloan at CNET yesterday which stipulates that Mark Zuckerberg is not meeting his upcoming IPO bankers because he has more important things to do.

More important things to do. Wow.

10 Mistakes you will make as a first time entrepreneur

Check out this excellent presentation by my friend Anders Fredriksson. The presentation details some very basic mistakes we all make as first time entrepreneurs. At least I did. There is no shame in admitting that because many of the mistakes seem so intuitive before you have really figured out how the process of starting a new business really works. What is important and what is not.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Is Apple becoming a slave to the financial market?

Apple just announced that they would initiate dividend payments as well as a share re-purchase program. Is this the first step away from Steve Jobs vision and towards the inevitable toil towards the quarterly report experienced by all other companies?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Optimal spectrum use for whom? Certainly not the consumer.

In an opinion piece in Fierce Wireless the other day, Anna-Maria Kovacs argued for “ and fully competitive auctions that maximize proceeds and make spectrum available to any wireless carrier...”.

To sell her message of how important it is to allow AT&T and Verizon to further limit competition by amassing larger amounts of spectrum I think she uses a number of faulty assumptions. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

T-Mobile to update network in preparation for iPhone and LTE

T-Mobile today presented its Q4 earnings as well as a new strategy for how to proceed after the AT&T merger failure. What got most attention in the new strategy was that T-Mobile has committed to launching 4G/LTE services during 2013 in the AWS band. They are able to do so with the new spectrum they received as part of the break-up of the merger with AT&T.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Anything not moving forward is moving backwards

As this Lexus commercial clearly states, if you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards in relation to everybody else. This is especially true in technology intense industries such as IT and Telecommunications but is true in every industry.

If the industry you are in, let alone the company you work for, is not innovating at the proper pace, be prepared for surprises and worst case scenario, extinction. Unfortunately for you, the pace of innovation may not be set by one of your closest competitors or yourself but a completely different industry.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Why the opposition to SOPA and PIPA was so effective

A lot of people feel like the world, or at least the Internet, dodged a bullet this past week when SOPA and PIPA were finally shelved. What is very interesting is how it came about. Everyone connected to the Internet probably noticed the black-out-day last week and quite a few people contacted their representative or senator to let them know what they thought of these bills.

News outlets have since written about the awesome power of Internet companies like Google, Reddit, Facebook and organizations like Wikipedia. There may be something to that line of reasoning but I don’t think the Internet companies would have had nearly the leverage they did this time unless public confidence in congress was at rock bottom and public confidence in the entertainment industry, non-existent.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome

One of the topics that came up today on the funders panel at Startup Outlook 2012 was “Pivoting”. The question was, what does investors think about their investments pivoting etc? While most of the panelists had experienced pivots either in their own entrepreneurial backgrounds or among their investments I think Prashanth Boccasam nailed it by implying that gradual adaption to feedback and changing environment should occur on a daily basis in a startup but that 180 degree mission changing pivots should be the exception.

Friday, January 20, 2012

AT&T data plan price hike is yet another sign of lack of competition

AT&T Wireless recently announced a price increase on their add-on data plans for wireless devices. While the increased prices were accompanied by an expansion of the data allowance, this appear to be mere window dressing. According to reports from 2010 the vast majority of the users are not using their data allowance even under the previous, lower, allowances. This means that AT&T is charging for something that is technically free to them since the increased data allowance in most cases will go unused, while still increasing the prices on both the entry level plan (300Mb) and normal usage plan (3Gb).

I guess this is somewhat more finessed than Verizon's recent debacle when they tried to charge their customers a fee for paying their bills online or over the phone.