I have written several times about the increasing options in the tablet market and the great opportunities they represent for social game companies. A recent piece on Techcrunch further illuminates this point and makes a great case on why developers should create first for tablets, then turn their attention to smartphones. The author, Tadhg Kelly, points out that Apple has sold over 100 million iPads and in 2–3 years there may be as many as 400 million tablets in the market. Moreover, price points for paid apps on tablets are higher, and Kelly expects greater monetization for free-to-play games due to longer engagement.
I am equally optimistic about prospects for tablets. Amazon’s new line of Kindle Fires will be a huge holiday seller. The devices are attractively priced, and the ability to focus holiday shoppers’ attention on the devices on the Amazon.com home page and through cross promotion ensures millions will see—and many likely buy—the new tablets. Barnes & Noble’s new Nook tablets share a similar advantage. Again, they are very attractive devices at even better price points. Barnes & Noble also has huge retail reach, with 689 stores and 667 college bookstores, all of which will be prominently showing the new Nook tablets during the holiday shopping season. In addition to these very attractively priced devices that will be in consumers’ faces this holiday season, Samsung (the second largest manufacturer of mobile devices) has a strong line of tablets (including the intriguing Galaxy Note Tab). Also, do not forget Google, that little California company, who has the resources to push its attractive Nexus tablet. Continue reading
To me, one of the most exciting opportunities in social media and gaming is in the truly emerging markets, the countries one or two economic tiers below what is currently considered the emerging economic group (the latter consisting of countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China). I wrote a few months ago about how interesting Africa is potentially to social game companies and I wanted to expand on those thoughts now that a recent TechCrunch article has highlighted the opportunity. Continue reading
One of the popular buzzwords these days is “Big Data,” but few people, even in companies that use analytics extensively, really know what this phrase means. A recent article, co-written by one of my favorite authors, Thomas Davenport, in the MIT Sloan Management Review titled How Big Data is Different does a great job of explaining the concept and showing how it can be applied to social media.
Big data starts with all the data your company is collecting but goes well beyond it. It includes clickstream data from your games, web analytics, social media content (Tweets, blogs, Facebook wall postings, Pinterest Pins, etc.), AppData information and even YouTube views. Big data, however, also includes everything from customer service requests to game development processes and learnings. As the article points out, very little of this information is formatted in the traditional structure of conventional databases. Companies do three things to capitalize on this plethora of data: Continue reading
A colleague of mine, Ana Echeverri, recently pointed me to a fantastic article on strategy from McKinsey, The Perils of Bad Strategy (based on the book Good Strategy/Bad Strategy). The theme of the article is that many organizations believe they have a strategy when they do not, which is particularly true in the social game space. The author (Richard Rumelt) refers to this as Bad Strategy, which is more of a consensus of conflicting demands and interests rather than a good use of choice and focus.
What makes bad strategy?
There are four hallmarks of bad strategy: Continue reading
I have written several times about the opportunities for social game companies to use analytics beyond just game development, balancing and monetization. An article in the most recent issue of the MIT Sloan Management Review, “Innovating with Analytics,” shines more light on how analytics can help build competitive advantage. Given that all social and mobile game companies already use data extensively to improve their games, the only way a social game company could thus gain a competitive advantage with analytics is to innovate.
In yesterday’s post, I discussed how the Oakland A’s baseball team pioneered the use analytics to build an advantage, but then lost that advantage when other baseball teams copied their approach. This year, however, they won their division by apparently finding an innovative way to use analytics to again build competitive advantage.
Monday night the Oakland A’s gained a playoff berth with a roster that most experts believed at the beginning of the season would not even approach playing .500 baseball. Although most experts in hindsight now see the quality of the A’s players, they are failing to realize their success is again the result of Billy Beane’s (Oakland’s General Manager) ability to use analytics to gain a competitive advantage.
I’m speaking at a Mobile App meetup in the Triangle tonight; join if you can.
With all the excitement around Amazon and Apple’s new tablet announcements in September, there was little attention given to Barnes & Noble’s plans for the Nook. There will be two new Nook tablets coming out later this year to compete directly with Apple and Amazon. One, the Nook HD (priced at $199-$299 depending on storage), is a 7-inch tablet that will compete directly with the Kindle Fire HD, Google’s Nexus 7 and the 7 inch iPad that Apple will announce imminently. Barnes & Noble will also have a 9-inch table, the Nook HD+, that directly targets the iPad and Fire HD 8.9 inch. Couple the potential and value of these devices with Microsoft’s major investment in the Nook division earlier this year, and it is apparent you should not ignore the impact of these devices.