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Why Consumers Want to Buy Software as a Service (Part II of II)

Now that I have given my spiel about why consumers (myself included) want to purchase software as a service and will pay good money to do so, I will throw out an example of one product that I would like to see someone build for me. The product that I want someone to build and offer to me as a service is bill presentment. I know that there are companies (most notably PayTrust and their PayMyBills service — I also hear that Wells Fargo has a newly-launched service) providing this service, but there are a few things that people haven’t grasped about the way in which this service should be marketed and packaged.
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Why Consumers Want to Buy Software as a Service (Part I of II)

In the past few weeks I have had a number of conversations with my friends in the venture capital community that have convinced me that consumers really want to purchase software as a service and not a shrink-wrapped CD offering. It turns out that the marketing gurus for ASPs were on to something — they just aimed their sights on the wrong market at that point in time.
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Will There be Another Browser War?

Wireless News: The Next Browser War
Now that I have seen a handful of articles written about the coming “browser war” that will take place on mobile devices, I feel compelled to comment. I am not convinced that we will ever see another browser war on par with Microsoft vs. Netscape — at best we will see several skirmishes as companies jockey for dominance on a handful of platforms.
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Enterprise Wireless in Action

UPS all wrapped up in wireless | CNET News.com

CNET News has an interesting article about UPS’ new wireless device, which boasts an impressive SIX flavors of wireless connection in a single integrated package with enough battery life to last an entire day in the big brown truck. I have always been impressed by the way in which UPS has actually integrated wireless into its business operations. It shouldn’t be too surprising that a company whose business is all about logistics, speed, and efficiency would be one of the leading companies in the enterprise wireless space.
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Why I Want to Ban the Word “Data”

I am not picking on AT&T Wireless, but I wanted to have a familiar-looking graphic for this article (disclosure: I am an ATTW subscriber). I have heard lots of telecommunications industry analysts remark that it costs $250-300 to acquire a wireless subscriber in the United States. What does this have to do with my quest to erradicate the word “data” from carrier marketing literature? The overuse and misuse of the word “data” has convinced me that telecom companies are still learning how to market non-voice services to their customers.
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Out of Sync

My desk at work looks a bit ridiculous as it is awash in cradles for the numerous handheld devices that I use, carry, and test. At the moment, I have cradles for the following four devices on my desk:

Toshiba e740
RIM
Handspring Treo 300
Palm Vx

I am running three software programs to keep all of these devices in sync and I am constantly having problems keeping all of my data up to date. Why are all of these sync products so bad? I have a few ideas.
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Why Early Adopters are Dangerous Customers

I am a self-described (or perhaps self-confessed) early adopter of most high technology products. I care passionately about the products that I test and use and often have some pretty strong opinions about what can be done to make those products more useful. For those companies looking to get feedback from early customers, there are probably a few things to bear in mind…
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Why “the when” Matters for Cutting Edge Technology

As a venture investor, one of the really difficult questions to get my hands around is this real question of the market and when it will develop. You can read lots of market reports from Gartner, IDC, or Forrester that predict the elusive $[x] billion market for technology 4-6 years in the future. Nobody believes these research reports, for the most part, but every private company that I see quotes them extensively and puts them in their slide decks. If you really think about it, though, the question of “when” a market really emerges and is addressable has very real consequences for anyone involved in cutting edge technology.
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