Internet Industry Going Mobile
I have 200+ mobile news sites in my aggregator, but some of the best sites out there don't have RSS feeds. Every once in a while - usually on Sunday evenings when I'm jonesing for news before the Euros wake up - I go back and open up a set of Mozilla Tabs and go through my list of sites without feeds.
Invariably I find info out that I hadn't noticed before. Including this bit of info from last month that CNet has purchased Wireless Game Review!
Wow. WOW! That's a major wireless play from CNet and I totally missed it. In case you don't see the significance of this, WGR is the site I wrote about back in January: They have an mobile website with game reviews on Sprint's network, which at the time had referred over 600,000 game sales - each of which I'm sure they earned small fee.
WGR was to me, a mobile-publishing success story. But now it's something else - a harbinger of the things to come. These guys sold out (in a good way) to an established Internet brand, and now CNet is an instant player in the new exciting mobile internet space. We may all think of the Yahoos, CNets, eBays and others like them as new fangled Internet busineses, but they're all established multi-million dollar (billion in some cases) companies now and they're all going to want to get into the mobile industry as soon as possible now that its obvious there is real money to be made there.
Once again I go back to my pitch: There are 700 million internet users. Not all of them actually paying for the privilege of using the internet. There are, however, over 1.25 billion cellular users and each one of them is a paying subscriber. And all those cellular customers are going to be wireless data services consumers within the next few years. It's an enormous opportunity with volumes that make the established Internet industry look pale by comparision.
And this is the opportunity! Have a new mobile idea or business? Get it out there! Just like in the mid 90s when there were was venture capital and companies looking to invest or buy, the time has come again. CNet's purchase of WGR is a watershed event that is going to open the floodgates for Internet Industry players to invest in the mobile internet space, if they haven't done so already. It's an especially good time for small companies like WGR. Establish a basic business model, land a decent customer, then wait for the quick pick up by increasingly voracious established brands. Seems like a no brainer to me. Think about it... Is Yahoo going to continue to expand it's mobile portal? Or will it look around for those small companies that know the industry, are making some money and buy into that area instead - just like it did with RocketMail, eGroups and others.
The big companies have already been on the lookout for technology companies - Sun bought Pixo, for example, to get a hold of their J2ME Vending Machine solution. But what makes the CNet purchase of WGR such an event is that the there was nothing super-technical about what WGR was doing. It was just a basic publishing-business that happened to be in the mobile space and CNet grabbed it. I'm positive there's going to be more wins out there like this waiting to happen.
Very cool... I can't wait to see what's next!