Monday, September 25, 2006

DEMO Fall 2006


06/10 - So, I was granted temporary absence from the Innovation engine-room at Vodafone last week and spent 4 days in sunny San Diego for Demo Fall. In between the presentation sessions which consist of each selected company getting a 6 minute window to communicate their product benefits, I had a wander around the demo booths, checking out the full stories and hearing a bit more depth to what the companies have on offer. The overall event is very well organised with extremely slick timing, good topics and an engaging presenter and audience crowd.

There was a whiff of pre-crash exuberance in the air, noticeable by the amount of funding some presenters had already closed, ralph lauren company t-shirts and some questionable job titles.
The event clearly demonstrated to me the amount of mobile innovation that is ramping up in the valley. There is a rapidly growing wave of innovation which is initially focused on the US market, but with local validation and Series B/C rounds of funding, I expect these solutions to come this side of the pond next year. This should act as a motivator for European mobile innovation as we have a much more advanced market in terms of user adoption, awareness and device sophistication. Now is the time to get your products to market!!
Another observation was that many products are going to market directly, without the endorsement and distribution by the mobile operators/carriers. The long sales cycle, questionable marketing commitment and long NPD cycles of most operators has simply put the innovators off and made them explore new routes to market, most of which involve directly marketing the products to consumers. There was also quite a bit of predictable operator beating, which made me occasionally duck and dive to avoid being lynched!
A full list of the products launched can be seen here. Given that a number of competitor operators read this blog, I'm not going to divulge a detailed view on the very "hot" mobile products, but there was a lot of great blog coverage of the event, the best IMHO provided by Graeme Thickins @ tech-Surf-Blog

1 comment:

Graeme Thickins said...

James, many thanks for the Kind words! Glad you liked my DEMOfall coverage...

cheers,
Graeme Thickins
Minneapolis, MN