Archive | January 2010

Mobile Tech Developer Motricity Files For $250 Million IPO

Motricity, a Washington-based company that develops a software platform for mobile phones, has filed for an IPO of up to $250 million.

Motricity’s core product is the ‘mCore Platform’, which offers a mobile search engine, storefront, and channels that allow carriers to deliver content to their customers. The company often acts as “the brand behind the brand” as it builds mobile software. Motricity’s carrier clients include AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Virgin Mobile. Enterprise clients include TBS, Showtime, Vogue, and Yahoo.

I’ve heard mixed things on this company but don’t know enough to comment. The comments on the article are pretty tough though you never know when someone has a grudge. Read full article here and judge for yourself.


Profiting from Text Donations (follow-up)

In an earlier post I questioned whether the mobile operators were waiving their normal fees and payment periods in the name of the disaster in Haiti. Well, it looks like they are, mostly.

MGive (the company hired by the government to process the transactions) “waived the fees it would normally charge the Red Cross for processing texted donations. Some mobile carriers are similarly waiving their fees and pledging to forward the money donated right away, rather than waiting until customers pay their bills.”

This is from an article in today’s NYT. I have a problem with the word “most.” ALL carriers should waive their fees and lead times. This should not be used as an opportunity for any carrier to boost revenue.

Read the complete article here.

Profiting from Haiti Text Donations?

Has anyone checked to see that the mobile operators are not making a fortune on the text donations being solicited almost everywhere from the news channels to the football playoffs. I notice there are still disclaimers saying “standard text rates apply.” Since operators have arguably zero cost in sending a text message, and since presumably they too want to help Haiti, and since it would be pretty slimy to profit from this, my question is: are they?

In the normal messaging world if a company wants to run a campaign where the customer can accept and pay for an offer and have it added to their phone bill a number of things happen:

  1. The operators take anywhere from 40-60% of the gross.
  2. The operator pays the company in 90+ days after they have collected and it has filtered through their accounting etc.
  3. Standard message rates apply.

This would be very bad, disingenuous and creepy if this were happening with this humanitarian campaign. Bad because the money would be less going to the victims in need. Disingenuous because the average consumer has no idea this is happening. And creepy, because anyone that seeks to profit off someone else’s misfortune is creepy.

I should think the operators would want to mention (subtly) on all those Public Service Announcements that they have waived all such charges in the name of humanitarianism. That would be the opposite of creepy.

Help for Haiti

This is being promoted on the White House web site:

Donate $10 to the Red Cross to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999."

Beware of bogus online ‘help’ for Haiti – Security

The urge to help — and to give money — is powerful following a devastating event like Haiti’s earthquake, and one of the easiest ways to do it is online. It’s also one of the easiest ways to get scammed if you’re not sure what you’re doing or who you’re dealing with.

This looks to be a disaster on a scale with the SE Asia Tsunami. There are many ways to help and most involve donating funds unless you are trained in disaster relief. However for some, disaster is an opportunity. Read article here

Smartphones to dominate PCs – Gartner

By 2013, mobile phones could easily surpass PCs as the way most people hop onto the Web. Gartner’s statistics show that the total number of PCs will reach 1.78 billion in three years, while the number of smartphones and Web-enabled phones will shoot past 1.82 billion units and continue to climb after that. This trend will force more Web sites to revamp their pages to make them easier to surf on a mobile gadget.

Read the rest of the article here.…


Biz411 is now live! This means any eating/drinking establishment in the US can go to our website and have a full blown mobile marketing platform live in minutes. Special thanks to my development team led by Lead Developer Mel Stanley and Product Manager David Roach. Also thanks to everyone who provided me feedback both positive and negative along the way. It’s a work in progress and we have a ton more to do but we are officially in the game.

Here’s the link.