I've been traveling to Canada a lot for work lately. Air Canada has shown me many movies on demand, United has not given any choice, and both have shamelessly asked for $3 for headphones I haven't paid. None of the movies I saw moved me except for one. Ironically, it was the one I thought would be the worst and avoided consistently until the last leg of the final flight that I am writing this now.
I watched "Hancock", barely finished it. I watched "The Incredible Hulk", didn't finish it. I watched "Sex and The City" and couldn't finish it. The plane was landing. I watched Indiana Jones again, and again didn't like it as much as the previous one, "The Last Crusade".
The last movie I saw was "Swing Vote". It was a painful movie to watch in the beginning. It was also bad in the middle...but the ending. When Bud asked that question I couldn't help but cry. We need a president who wakes up every morning and asks himself the same question and spends his whole life building a legacy around answering it. I am not going to tell you what question that is. You need to watch the movie if you haven't yet. But this blogger believes that the candidate who can devote his life to answer it is Barack Obama.
P.S. This is not a political blog, but around this time, once every four years, there may be a politically inclined post :-)
For a new mobile technology, let alone an operating system, to go from announcement to shipping product is, however you look at it, a spectacular success. That's exactly what happened to Android with the G1 phone available from T-Mobile. It normally takes years for any technology to get in a carrier's network. Android did it in one year.
In addition, Walt Mossberg called it "a worthy competitor to the iPhone". Given the iPhone is one of the most impactful technology innovations of the last 3 years, that's is a big statement.
Now we are also hearing that Motorola is reorganizing around Android. Yet another sign of success in such a short period of time.
Last year I predicted that Android would be a success, I consider that prediction to have come true. Here is what I wrote then, still quite valid:
"1) The Success of Google's Android and the Open Handset Alliance:
This means that handsets will become more like PC's and wireless
carriers will become more like landline DSL providers. This is a bold
statement because both handset makers (like Nokia) and carriers (like
Vodafone) don't want this to happen. So why do I predict a change in
an industry where dinosaurs were surviving for such a long time?
Because a meteor the size of Texas hit the wireless industry in 2007
and it was called the iPhone. For the first time in the wireless
industry, the handset chose the carrier as opposed to the carrier
choosing the handset. The product was so impactful and well designed
that some carriers agreed to share 30-40% of their data revenues with
Apple in order to have the device on their network. That could be a
very meaningful $200 dollars to Apple. Why did carriers agree to
that? Because the carriers did the math and the revenue share probably
made up the customer acquisition cost that they no longer had to pay
which, in the US, is about $200. In return for that bargain they gave
up ALL revenue from applications, ringtones etc. The consumers wanted
it, they gave it, and doing so opened up the market an catalyzed the
next innovation which came from Google.
Android and the Open Handset Alliance, enables other people to
quickly create new iPhones. It creates an environment that let's
developers focus on what they do best, which is writing innovative
applications. So that somebody can come up with a device so compelling
that it too will chose their carrier (if carriers need a nudge Google
can share search revenues, if they need a punch they'll fund an open
carrier). Once that happens, the carriers become a dumb pipe, but a
dumb pipe with similar economics and no worries for churn.
The second reason carriers may embrace Android, is so they don't
have to be hostage to Nokia which is exerting a bigger and bigger
pressure on carriers. They are even building an ad network and making
carriers pay them a piece of their ad revenues. Especially European
carriers, are so dependent on Nokia that they may just welcome a cheap,
Android phone that has a few killer apps built by young application
Which brings me to my third and final reason why Android will
succeed; the developers. They are frustrated. It is frustrating to
write mobile apps if you have to test them with 100s of handset each
running a slightly different OS, in slightly different carrier
networks. Getting apps and phones certified is a big daunting, time
consuming and frustrating task. Palm will attest to that as they lost
25% of their market cap because they missed certification. Android, sets these developers free.
So between, independently innovative products, a tough supplier to
the market, frustrated developers and a tough carrier business model,
this industry is ripe for big changes, and I predict it will start
happening in 2008."
Congratulations Munjal and the rest of the like.com team on the fundraising! It is just one more testament to the fantastic product you are building. As an angel investor, it is a great pleasure to see the team grow, mature and become that great business that it deserves to be. What a wonderful ride to be a part of.
"Apparently the Nigerian government has warned its citizens that if they get any e-mails from Irish/UK/US banks, promising government-backed deposit security and seeking bank account details, its a scam..."