Thursday, June 16, 2005


What a wonderful lyrical posting !
Many good points. First you ask how can I be sure. Obviously if you read my actual forecast posting at my blogsite (or were there in Ottawa to hear me) you'll see that I clearly state that I expect these forecasts to be wrong. All forecasts are wrong. You try to minimize the errors. But nobody can know the future.
And for what its worth, I was invited by the Canadian cellphone industry association (CWTA) to predict 20 years into the future. The reason they invited me is that I am the acknowedged global guru in this space, from chairing the various forecasting conferences to authoring the first business book on this topic to lecturing on the busines of cellphones at Oxford to my previous frequently sited famous predictions and forecasts for the industry, ranging from the 3G revenues forecasts to the global 3G association (UMTS Congress) and how services evolve from 3G to 4G which I was invited to do at the CTIA in New Orleans by the IEEE. So yes, I know these are guesses as much as those from anybody else, but I do have a history of being more right than wrong on my cellphone related forecasts in the past.
Item 1 - what is the present. I agree totally with you. The future will change MORE in ways we cannot anticipate than in any projections of trends from today. Even so, we can make many useful projections using Moore's Law, emerging technologies, disruptive business models etc.
Item 2 - What is content? What is good content. Patrizia, to save space I refer to my previous posting comparing fixed internet paid content and wireless internet cellphone paid content. I argue the cellphone kind is way better..
Item 3 - free. You state that "He didn't understand it" which I assume you mean is me, that Tomi Ahonen didn't understand free. First, I am totally a business and money person (all of my books have that as its guiding principle) and believe fervently in that there is no such thing as a free lunch. What is provided on the fixed wireline internet "for free" is not sustainable. If the content or service is sponsored or paid for by advertising, then it is not truly free. By truly free I mean shareware, freeware etc. That cannot sustain itself. But yes, advertising can sustain business, as we see in American TV, radio, newspapers etc. Of course. And I try to make it clear when I talk about truly free and when mean free inside quotation marks, ie "free".
I did discuss the free vs paid content and services again in great detail in the previous two replies to Martin, I trust you and I, Patrizia, can agree that I am not that ignoarant an Economist that I would propose free business models. And that my thread throghout all these postings is to seek actual payments (ie mostly via cellphone) rather than free.
Item 4 - Communism. Probably not really worth getting into a discussion of this mostly discredited economic model?
Next item (not numbered) on "commercial internet is coming... but why on a cellular phone". This actually is a very good point, and in my last two books and in most of my public speakerships I have repeated my theory of the bi-centric convergence. We have two convergence points. The battle for the pocket - already totally won by the cellphone. And the battle for the home living room - where the battle is only now being joined by Microsoft, Playstation, TiVo, the cable companies, the PC, the TV, etc.
Like I've been saying for three years, we have 30 minute tasks and 30 second tasks. Any 30 minute tasks we plan in advance, we do seated ie we want a confortable chair, we want a large screen and good keyboard (or control) etc. But 30 second tasks come interrupting our lives, we often multitask with them (ie drive car), do it standing, walking, on the small screen, in a hurry, with the avaiable tools meaning tiny keypads etc. Both will co-exist easily for the next 5-10 years. One will not subsume the other.
Not until we get projection ability from the cellphone (and thus large screens) and overcome the user interface (10-15 years into the future) can the cellphone take over from our plasma screens..
But again - my key point. THE MONEY will migrate to the cellphone. Check out Habbo Hotel and SMS-to-TV chat (and while you are at it, also Oh My News). These are all case studies in my latest book, Communities Dominate Brands. The cellphone becomes both the interactivity tool of preference and the payment tool of preference.
Dominate !
Tomi Ahonen :-)


what a good practical posting!

In principle I guess we look at the same thing, we see it in the same way, but you see one part (the money revenue) and I see the money revenues and the machine behind the money revenues.
I remember we sat on a Turkish cafe' and we sipped a nice coffee.
When we were leaving we also saw the kitchen.
If we had seen it before, I am sure we wouldn't have enjoyed the coffee that much...

I am an Italian, I live in Italy and I still have good eyes and good ears.
What you mostly hear, wherever you are, is an infinite miriade of ring tones and people talking about stupidity, not caring who listens and hears.

I begin to be really concerned, because on TV you just see Spots of this or that cellular provider promising this or that.
The reality is that they want, and they will be succesful with all the tools they have, is to drive the telephone traffic from fix to mobile.

It is exactly what they did in the last 50 years with cars.
Since Fiat and the other cars manufacturers had to sell cars, they neglected the public transportation in favour of the private transportation.
We have arrived to a point where traveling is getting a nightmare, because our towns are mostly 500 years old and more and our roads are made for pedestrians and carriages, while they have to handle so many cars.
Parking is getting impossible.
In addition we had the Mont Blanc closed for several years and the Frejus had a big fire some weeks ago and will be closed for several months.
They do not know where to put all the trucks and with the holidays season it will be better stay home.

Exactly the same will happen to the mobile industry.
I insist it is a fashion, because nothing is so important it cannot wait a few minutes necessary to find the nearest fixed phone.
The real emergencies are much less than what you can forecast.
But they built the infrastructures and they are enormously profitable.
So much that nobody talks about the possible danger to health.
Nobody knows for sure.
And that means many know it is not healthy, but the money behind is so huge it is better to ignore the subject.

I do not say that the cell phones are not useful or nice to use.
I say that when it is too much, it is too much.
And I also say that everything in life has a beginning, a middle and an end.
Also what looks ethernal.

All the nice things in life, to be really enjoyed, must be sipped.
Sex included.

Thanks for listening (even if not mobile)


PS And the Future? G.O.K.

That stands for:

God Only Knows (in every sense)
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