1. Just because you have a great idea, doesn’t mean you have all the skills needed to take it to market.
Marketable mobile applications & services require a broad range of skills, disadvantaging the smaller entrepreneurs & inventors who currently drive mobile innovation. Mobile developers are a practical bunch, but typically lack the marketing & business development skills to fully exploit opportunities, conference attendees typically lack the entrepreneurial & technical skills to act on ideas generated & Corporates leave great ideas untouched when they do not fit into existing business lines or have a guaranteed market from day one.
Vision Mobile, Mobile Developer Economics Report 2010
“The key challenge reported by mobile developers is the lack of effective marketing channels to increase application exposure and discovery. Despite their commercial savvy, developers have not taken application marketing into their own hands…developers are relatively unsophisticated in marketing their applications …developers see exposure and marketing as the number one challenge for mobile applications today.” (Check out their Infographic of the report)
What we’d like to do is create an online community and collaboration platform that provides an accelerated route to market for mobile products & services by bringing together in one place the technical, design, marketing & commercial skills and expertise required to shepherd a mobile opportunity from conception to launch.
2. The Ecosystem is broken, making it damned hard to get started
There are a number of flaws in the ecosystem for mobile applications and services that make it pretty hard to make money working on your own ideas. First round funding is still lower than after the dotcom bust (Nesta 2009) & private sector investment is shrinking. Ad-funded revenues are still weak (Business Insider quoting an AdMob 2009 report) & the median iPhone developer earns less than $682 per year on the iTunes App Store (Tomi Ahonen, iPhone Economics, June 2010).
BVCA, 2010 Global Report on Trends in Venture Capital:
- VC Industry expected to contract in traditional markets (U.S. & Europe)
- Limited Partners expected to shift larger allocations to emerging markets
- Political, regulatory & market environments causing impediments to venture capital
- Number of venture firms expected to decline in traditional markets
Vision Mobile, Mobile Developer Economics Report 2010: “Dubious long tail economics. App stores are young & surrounded by a hype wave that distorts the reality of average per-capita monetisation. Only 5% of respondents reported very good revenues, above their expectations. Moreover, nearly 60% of iPhone respondents had not reached their revenue targets. Popular revenue models. Ad-funded models are only secondary revenue sources for developers employing app store & portal-based channels. Despite the hype, our research found ad-funded models lagging much behind tried & tested pay-per-download models. Subscription models, meanwhile, mainly apply where the application is distributed via an operator or content aggregator portal; they have made limited inroads into app stores.”
What we’d like to do is establish partnerships with all of the major channels to market, supporting the full range of revenue & business models available for mobile products & services, including alternate sources of funding.