Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Back in action, mostly

A belated happy new year to all mega-uber value readers. Still trying to locate my brain through a jet-lag fog, but normal posting should resume soon. I'll spare you the typical "2009 predictions" post, because my view is that all bets are off for this year, apart from rising corporate defaults and human misery, which are dead certs. Working through a mountain of email today, I came across a couple of items on companies near the top of Santa's naughty list in 2008, so I will content myself with these for now:

According to this article, Phorm (a company which has succeeded in inspiring a jaw-droppingly unique level of negative press and public disdain) is apparently considering financial incentives to secure user acceptance. I wrote something recently wherein I speculated that this might be one approach, but one which is at odds with the company's business model, which is based on share of incremental ad revenue with ISP and channel partners. I'm not sure I really understand what's going on here, if anything. I think a company like Phorm really only has one incentive to attract users, and that is the promise of greater relevance in ad content, though I think consumers are far from comfortable with this proposition at present. Perhaps advertising fatigue has not reached the critical level yet. 

Elsewhere, Sandvine, the people who brought you the great Comcast Controversy, have started off the year with six major customer wins, though I'm not really sure what constitutes a "tier 1" DSL operator in Japan, where DSL is in terminal decline. If anyone has any ideas about who the European mystery company is, please let me know.

Finally, I've been commissioned to write a report for a major international organization, on the topic of broadband's role in stimulating and enabling innovation. This is a very broad remit, and I have lots of ideas, but I'd be very interested to hear yours, no matter how unusual.  

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