First rule of first principle thinking, do not use first principle thinking when a mental model is available

Killer article from TechReview

              Very intriguing stuff on ubiquitious computing by senior editor of MIT’s Technology Review. Read the article/post titled Social machines, it is from Aug 2005 issue of the maganize but I got around to read it now.

Mobile music growth

I had penned a few thoughts( pretty basic & rough) quite some time ago on how to align incentives in music downloading and got reminded of that when I saw this piece about the growth of mobile music in contentsutra. I am pretty sure that the big telcos would instead waste huge sums of money on DRM & other such tactics that users will come to hate.

3 launches see me TV

I got the link to this from so many different disparate sources today. These are the kind of services that will take of in a big big way. This is going to be huge because the incentives are aligned very well.

It’s being dubbed as the most democratic reality TV. In this anyone can be a content creator(prosumer) in the network & he gets paid a cent every time a downloader downloads the clip. This is taking prosumerism to another new level where the producer gets a good share of the value(money) that he creates.

More on mobile

    Was going through some of my referrer logs , many of the hits to my blog site has been search on web 2.0 ( ok !! majority has been about  the iipm war redux but after that it has been about  web 2.0). I also happened to go through sanyam‘s blog post where he mentioned that theme of my blog is ” about web 2.0 on everything else on the net”. Well thats true but not complete. I intend to post  a lot on the mobile / telecom ( wireless) space as well.

     The above  two fact indicates that I have been only blogging about web (as many blogs out there ) as that has been the raging buzz. I am going to include a lot more on the mobile topics.

   Two blogs that I follow very closely for the mobile space in India is & I like them both but I like more because it more focussed on mobile space and many of the times it has news one day ahead of contentsutra.

     Also I recently joined this forum called indiamobileforum, hoping it will be a good place to hang out to converse about the mobile space.


Net is a giant switchboard

      I was there at the TiE ISB connect a few months ago & was witnessing the elevator pitches over there and as I have mentioned before I went away after 2-3 pitches as they were quite squib. Recently I came across this website called ResolveQuery which mentions that it was a contestant in the elevator pitch. Looks like the good stuff(meagre) happened in closed doors or happened after I left the place. I think this is a good concept but what is not clear to me is this services revenue model and its scalability. This service addresses a niche & also that internet penetration is not very huge atleast in India.

      It is an obvious fact that any web based business is bounded by the internet pentration. (In India TRAI mentions that the number of broadband users stands 1.5 million  & there are a total of 4.1 million internet users. Also according to ISAPI the average growth rate of internet users in India is 25% ( 54%[highest in 99] – 4% [ lowest in 2k1])/2. About ~80 % of the internet users are of the age group 18- 39 which can be deemed as the target audience of this service. If resolve query is trying to go the route of many of the recent internet startups in the west[ b-model] where they provide free service and  in a couple of years they plan to get acquired by an incumbent ( ex upcoming, weblogs,myspace, flickr etc based on the user base that they have built) then they have to build a user base of ~1 million users (which is the typical size of these acquired startups) in a period of 2-3 years.

 Using the above data[ 4.1 users, 25% growth rate]  if we calculate then in 2 years the the internet penetration would be about ~6.4 million. About 80 % constitute the target audience which gives us the figure of ~5.12 million. Out of which roughly about 1 million has to be capture as I mentioned earlier.

    Not a very easy task but not an impossible one as well given the nature of a compelling service that they offer because it uses net’s (or for that matter technology ) inherent nature/advantage – it is best at connecting people ( ala switchboard). To get good returns they have to keep their costs to very low ( should not make the mistake of spending huge money on irrelevant marketing like Ads [ anyone !] etc)

    Now discussing this with a friend he commented how is it different from that Sabee bhatia had floated few years ago which connected problem solvers( programmers) to problem seekers around the world. I said I have to figure out why arzoo did not take off but I like any idea which leverages this basic premise of internet – connecting people [ ebay, google – they all excel at this basic premise ]. There are some other advantages also that they have but I think I will stop here otherwise the post would be way too long here 😉


Ok now some delta’s  The site design though good(esp UI) could be still much better ( It looks very old school, particularly I don’t like the back ground colour 😉 ).

     I think that any web based startup( of this nature)  should take about 3 months to go from idea stage to beta(/soft launch) and I find no surprise there. Especially when the technology cost for building web based startups is crashing down ( LAMP , RoR etc). the only significant costs involved is the design.( User Ex/ IA)
     Good User-Ex {atleast in India} is still expensive(relative to technology) and very scarce.

Rajesh Jain

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