Sunday, January 27, 2008

Full Steam Ahead

I've been so busy working on my first objective for January (below), on the other responsibilities (AMI COI Workshop) and Mobile Augmented Reality opportunities that I haven't had a minute to capture what's happening.

Travel also interrupts ones rhythm. I was gone to Holland on business January 17-21. While in Amsterdam I had some great meetings with people about all three lines of business. Was interesting to watch Sam jotting down notes of my segmentations and suggested metrics. It convinced me that I need to get busy building the presentation about the report's findings.

During the past two weeks I've also had the opportunity to really study and argue the model used in the report at a deeper level. This was thanks to an Informa analyst who may need to defend the revenue forecast. While the struggle on what, precisely, the revenue forecasts would be pulled a dark gray cloud over my mood, and delayed the completion of the edits by about a week, it was an important exercise.

We attempted to "rationalize" the size by estimating what portion of the total revenues would be available to mobile network operators. I venture that more than 80% of it is available in the near term because the services are largely paid for by users and the mobile operators have a stranglehold on the community operators, but as we move out into the forecast period, the portion paid by corporates will grow. I developed a User Pays Portion analysis and added it to the model.

The frustrating aspect of this exercise is that it highlights how much the corporates might (or might not) pay to support mobile social networking. The mobile advertising forecasts do not specify how much of future mobile ad spend might be towards mobile communities, but the general assumption is that brands will not be all that eager to support communities. To be seen.

There are other ways for corporates to provide financial support for mobile communities and content in those communities. For example, sponsorships and contributions to causes.

After many e-mail exchanges, the compromise position was to lower the 2012 total revenue forecasts nearly 20%. I am sure that the published forecasts will still raise a lot of eyebrows and skeptics will doubt but the real objective I have is to work through the model with as many people as possible/as time permits.

The forecasts were finalized Jan 22 (night) and the edits to the chapter took several days (57 figures!). In the process an error was caught (whew!) and corrected.

Once the forecasts were put to bed the remainder of this week was spent completing the edits to other chapters, developing the marketing materials (brochure and press release) and seeking quotes. I've also sent a special discount code to the 75 people who were interviewed for the report.

Now it's full steam ahead!

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