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My pal in London, Dean Bubley, is so insightful. Between he and Martin Geddes, when I'm over in London, the two are the master class leaders in delivering insight, perspective and opinion, or what I tend to call IPO in the realm of socialized media (i.e. using a blog, or other online technology to tell a story.) Grabbing tea with Martin or a tasty libation with Dean is always full of some new words of wisdom. Absent of a ten hour flight and some lost sleep, their respective blog posts, and the occasional Skype call, has to fill in the gaps.
Today, Dean-o has a very timely post on OTT (over the top) services and where the money is, and where it's not going and why. It has merit and validates the point that often times the money goes (you know..follow the money) not to the telcos or mobile operators from the players, but to the players from the operators.
Bubley's post about the two side business model in telecom is spot on. The operators basically wait for disruption to be eating into their revenues and then take things seriously. Case in point was Wayport being gobbled up by AT&T, and AT&T then making WiFi access basically a throw in to their 3G plans. Another was Verizon acquiring TerreMark for cloud services. You see, for the most part, what we're all passionate about --new services, with the emphasis on new, isn't what the operators want. They want sustainable revenue. So, develop a service, cut into their revenues, prove that the market is a lot bigger than it is today, and they'll snap you up the way a gator does. Table stakes are one thing, and that's usually VC capital. But the pot of money is what gets you to the table. Build a business that's based on the pot of gold, not the buy in rate and you'll get the operator's attention.