Mobile, mobile, mobile

Tony Fish of AMF Ventures commented in his blog on Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google, who spoke about “mobile, mobile, mobile” as the next opportunity at the O’Reilly Web2Expo in San Francisco last month. It’s funny – you could pretty easily find the same types of things said about Web 1.0 during Bubble 1.0. For example, this is what the book Net Gain: Expanding Markets through Virtual Communities by two McKinsey guys in 1997 was about. Another book that discussed all this was Esther Dyson’s Release 2.0 from the same year. Plus ça change….. There are two big problems: “Assuming privacy laws and big brother objections can be overcome” (see Tony’ blog) is one. The other is how you can give average consumers control of that information in any meaningful way – it’s just way too complex and confusing. The issues are the same whether the device is a PC or a mobile whatchamacallit. We can see the latter problem being somewhat solved over a long period of time by increasing consumer comfort level with technology, but we don’t see how the former one goes away. By the way if you solve the “privacy police” problem, then DRM becomes a whole lot easier. Bill Rosenblatt, New York

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