20070626

Saint Hubert Mobile, pray for customer hunters

1.18% of the market, that was Frederic Nihous's score at the French presidential elections last April. Predecessor Jean de Saint Josse got 4.23% back in 2002. How much will Sebastien Harle d’Ophove get ?

The founder of Saint Hubert Mobile, the first MVNO by hunters for hunters, must be roaming the corridors of CPNT (Chasse Peche Nature et Tradition), the French pro-hunting pro-rural party / lobby who pushed Saint Josse and Nihous, not to mention 245 candidates for the recent legislative election.
"SHO", who used to work for Belgian MNO Base, needs to build another base from scratch. And the first logical step is to try and scare up a few preys among the 420,645 people who casted a ballot for Nihous 2 months ago.

Oh my deer... niche marketing if I ever saw one !

Saint Hubert, patron of hunters, is hosted by MVNE Coriolis... not much of a guarantee either. These days, fellow French and European MVNOs are hunting investors more eagerly than they are hunting customers. Bad vibes for Ten Mobile, debitel, TDC... not to mention Amp'd in the US (under cash perfusion from Verizon Wireless).

easymobile tries to survive by changing business models in a Blyk. I come for free, advertising can finance everything, I'll grow the helluva big customer base and be the king of the hill.

How many "free" ISPs survived ? At least those could bloom in a dial-up, non-broadband era...


Actual hunters won't waste time nor bullets for such poor game.




20070621

MySpace, My Yahoo!, My Sun

It didn't take long for Vulture Capitalists to start hovering above semelless Yahoo!*

For 25% to 30% of the bride, Ruppert Murdoch offers paper, and boy doesn't he have a lot of the toilet kind (tabloids, MySpace shares...) ?

Yahoo! may follow another lead, but this clearly reminds us the maverick netco has become a media among others, struggling to adapt to the times and spaces. And cheaper** than Dow Jones / WSJ... traditional papers with flesh on 'em.



* see "
Near Failed Communications" (20060619)
** people are mentioning $9-12 bn (based on Y!'s valuation), but Sir Ruppert would have spent about half a billion overall.



20070619

Near Failed Communications

Can you hear me ?

Qualcomm makes sure everybody heard about PCCW's MediaFLO trial. From May 14 to November 13, 2007 (including the kick off of the 2007-2008 Premier League season, a PCCW exclusivity), the Hong Kong leader will try "to assess the potential business model of a commercial mobile television service based on MediaFLO - an open, mobile broadcasting technology - if such a service were to be launched in Hong Kong".
The service will be launched, all right. With or without Qualcomm is another story, but PCCW is willing, as Vodafone would say, to make the best of now TV. This quadplayer is already a TVNO (PCCW Media Limited) and a TV-VNO (PCCW-HKT Telephone Limited), and now TV claims 800,000 subs and 130 channels 4 years after launch (September 2003).

Can you see me ?

SK Telecom introduced their "3G+ Streaming Video Customer Center" to Korea's 160,000 hearing-impaired people. In such a competitive market, the niche is big enough to justify a specific answer, not to mention the obvious PR / image benefits.
SKT clearly mean go beyond appearances : 4,100 W120 streaming video-enabled handsets donated in April 2006, consultations Monday to Friday 9 AM to 6 PM free of charge with operators trained for all the needed languages (and the possibility of streaming video chatting), SMS transmission rates and call traffic rates offered, 35% discount off monthly flat rates...

The path is difficult : "to date, about 1,800 customers are able to use the streaming video service". Not even 5% of the 36,600 hearing-impaired people registered to the regular SK Telecom Customer Center...

Can you copy me ?

5 years after IPO, Yahoo! hired Terry Semel as their top gun. 6 years later, Jerry Yang takes his job back.
Yahoo! failed to compete with Google, but the incumbent gets ready for new bold strategic moves / partnerships / sales / all of the above.
If I were Big G, I'd be careful of the Airbus Syndrom.

Can you read me ?

Wibree joins the Bluetooth SIG - less tooth grinding for Nokia's researchers. So long babee wibro wanabeee.
The NFC Forum just e-mailed me some very disruptive news : unlike the rest of my daily spam, their previous e-mail couldn't reach my mailbox. Near Failed Communications ?

Still looking for the sign "Big bucks stop here".



20070608

Y-Combinator, OutCubator, Germinator

Remember the bubble days, when people used to say the best way to make money in a gold rush was to sell picks and shovels ? We're back at it folks. The difference is today's diggers have less to spend on tools. Which doesn't mean the said tools are not getting any sexier...
Y-Combinator opened a catwalk for young models, basically providing speed dating services for VCious, older entrepreneurs.
OutCubator pushes virtual corporate hospitality to new heights. Stop struggling in your garage and let your Second Life avatar enjoy a red carpet for his pet projects !
Pimp my ride towards initial venture and IPO !



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