Google’s latest offering Latitude has been receiving lots of coverage lately so I won’t go into anymore detail than explaining that it lets you share your location with selected contacts through your mobile device. It’s an opt-in service so there should be no real privacy issues. Of all the articles I’ve read Ewan on Mobile Industry Review has written the most interesting one. He questions Andrew, the guy behind Rummble, on his opinion on Latitude. Go read the article it makes for refreshing reading.
It touches on several points that I’ve been making for years.
- There is no “mobile Internet”, there is only same old Internet on mobile devices: if you’re great new thing is a service that only works on mobile devices you’re dead in the water. You might get VC money (if you’re lucky) but you will never make money.
- Location is not a product, it’s a tool: Nobody will make money be telling people where they are. The money is by taking that location and tying it to revenue streams. Now that Google will provide the tool it’s for you to use it and create something of value.
- The “cool” factor doesn’t pay your bills: Just because everybody on Twitter, Facebook or TechCrunch thinks your product is cool doesn’t mean that you will get rich. There are a spate of really cool apps and services out there that I love to use but will never pay money for. The consumer is fickle, by the time you find a way to monetise your “thing” it won’t be cool anymore.
- Remember; “we are not the majority”: Don’t base your product or business-plan solely on what you hear/read on blogs, tech conferences, Twitter, Facebook etc. The majority of consumer does not live in this world!
- It’s all about profit: While you can live comfortably of VC money it will only last so long. Business is about making money, not spending it. There are too many would be entrepreneurs who think that the are “made men” when they receive VC money. Here’s your wake up call: “YOU ARE NOT!”. VC money is only the beginning. It’s a financial vote of confidence for you to enable you to make money. Unless you can create profit your business is dead, period.
Note: This post has been getting lots of hits from US & Canada based educational institutes and I am trying to establish why. If you are viewing this and you’re form a college, university or other educational institute please let me know how you ended up here and what you think of this post.