Tuesday, April 19, 2005

"Just Do A Softee!"

Sometimes it's frustrating to watch the old champs struggle. I see this in Microsoft. If I was Microsoft I would to hire Andre Agassi just to provide motivation for the boys in Redmond.

Andre was at the top of his game, fell to the lowest rankings and came back to dominate again. How did he do that? He changed his game.

Google became dominant and an institution when they provided an easy way to get search results on your PC. Google is a simple page and various options with relevant results. It is a platform for search. But it is also something else.

“Do a Google on it” and “Google It” have become common phrases. The word Google went from being a noun to a verb worldwide.
Google is a “verb” for information on your PC.

There is no “verb” for mobile info, yet. There is no simple platform that offers relevant results. When the computer and the Internet go mobile, it will require navigational/interactive results, not search. Users will want directions, movie reviews, coupons, weather, flight info . Users will want to interact with the physical world, the world outside of the office or home. The demands will be completely different.

Remember, consumer demand will create the killer apps, and advertisers will finance it. The hard part is determining what applications/uses will consumers demand. I have plenty of ideas. Microsoft, if you want to find the next killer app, start thinking like a consumer.

If cell phones were sold in a big Dell box, would Microsoft try harder to dominate this space?

Microsoft has a built in search application in their upcoming LongHorn OS. This will be holy grail according to them. It will threaten Google. Why? Because Microsoft realizes that making a search query as easy as possible for the user will keep people from going to Google’s site.

What Google did with their toolbar for free, Microsoft is going to charge big money (and require a ton of memory) for the same ability with LongHorn.

Continue that thinking for the cell phone. Make navigating and interacting as easy as possible and build a “search window” right into the phone. It can be called a “search window” or a toolbar. It does the same thing. A search window makes typing in a keyword, clicking on a barcode, a function of the phone, not a separate application.

So here’s my suggestion to Microsoft.

The mobile Internet and mobile marketing today is where the search engine was five years ago. It’s a new technology that consumers are still trying to adopt. When it becomes “accepted” by cell phone users, the advertising dollars will flock to it.

Search was a function that consumers needed. Consumers drove the demand, advertising followed. The same thing will happen with the mobile Internet.

So Mister Softee here’s where your opportunity lies.

Get the MS toolbar/search window on the cell phone. Create a navigational/interactive platform that allows many consumer killer apps (I know plenty). Advertisers will be paying YOU to get on that tiny screen. Once you realize this is where the advertising dollars will be coming, then you will dominate the mobile marketing industry.

You can make navigating or getting info on the cell as easy as “Just do a Softee”.

The first company that recognizes that THIS is what search will be on a cell phone wins.

Here’s ANOTHER massive opportunity coming, do you want Google, or someone else to beat you again? I assure you this opportunity is much bigger than search.

This is how Microsoft Can Beat Google


Anonymous said...

Bottom line, MSFT has the money, power and connections to regain its foothold in the Search arena. But as you've indicated, they need to think outside the box and permission based navigation employing a Go To Market strategy is both realistic and well within their reach. The only question is will they be too slow on the draw, again? MSFT may well need to give free reign to the sub-specialty group who is dedicated to this purpose and this purpose alone.

Gerry Garcia Lives

Scott Shaffer said...

2 things.
Isnt it Jerry Garcia with a J. or is this the ice cream king Gerry Garcia

2nd, what sub-specialty group are you implying