In 2006, you could hear Ed Zander (Motorola’s ceo) say that mobile phone penetration is a powerful engine for economic growth:
Every time you have ten more phones per 100 people, you have an increase in GDP (gross domestic product) of 0.6 percent.
The cell phone is experiencing an unprecedented market penetration in third world countries simply because it dramatically increases communications (and production) without requiring a heavy or costly material.
Last week, I’ve met John Poisson, founder and CEO of Tiny Pictures, to video interview him about his company’s leading product: Radar. Radar is a mobile social network service that lets you connect with your friends through mobile pictures. As you can see on the video below, users log on a stream of pictures from their friends, and discussions build up around those pictures. The system was designed to share experiences with your existing friends, and isn’t really the best tool out there if you seek to build new friendships.
Behind Radar is Tiny Pictures’ innovative technology, which allows to build mobile platforms that will be compliant with pretty much all types of cell phones. The mobile market is a world-wide opportunity. Tiny Pictures grabs this opportunity thanks to its universal mobile technology.
Radar has 800 000 users. Half are outside the US. Radar makes money with Galleries. Galleries are public rooms to which users can subscribe to receive content (pictures) directly in their lifestream of friends’ pictures. Artists like Will.i.am (who is now an advisor at Radar) benefit from such a consumer service because 1. it’s mobile and worldwide, and 2. it’s a form of advertising inserted straight inside your network of friends.