There are a few new companies focusing on providing applications and services targeted at the mobile (wireless cell phone) user. One is a 2+ year old company, Intercasting Corp., who is using Web 2.0 social networking tools to build a community under the name Rabbletargeted at a 13 to 24 year old market segment. Tomorrow evening, Derrick Oien, President and Co-Founder will be discussing their Rabble application with a seasoned panel and looking for some advice on building a brand when the end user is controlled the wireless carriers. He is also looking for advice on how to plan better without having access to the cellular company’s handset roadmap.
Most companies building social networks are focused on building their brands by adding users and focusing on the community. However, Derrick says that this is a primary difference between Internet based companies versus wireless based companies. Another primary difference is that companies building things on the Internet believe that things should be free to the end user, while everything costs on the mobile phone network.
We also know that wireless carriers differentiate themselves by the handsets they offer. Take Cingular, now AT&T, and their partnership with Apple on the recently announced iPhone where Cingular seems to have a two year exclusivity on the iPhone. Companies like Intercasting need to both constantly upgrade their applications to meet the needs of the users while anticipating what new handsets and capabilities are on the horizon. So, you decide that mobile video is a next big thing, but what protocols will be used by what companies and in what timeframes?
With San Diego being a hub for wireless companies, as well as, companies focused on mobile media applications and services, I am sure that these topics will resonate with a number of local entrepreneurs. If you’re one and want to hear what the experts have to say, attend tomorrow’s event at the Salk Institute, 10010 North Torrey Pines Road. The forum starts with networking at 5:00 followed by the session that ends around 8:00. You can also read more about the event at the MIT Enterprise Forum website.
I hope to see you there.