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1/ Great @BenedictEvans chart. Phones passed PC runrate pre-bubble. *Huge* lesson for me about disruption. Personal "what was I thinking"…
For at least a decade no-one in America understood this. Contributed to Nokia's complacency.
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2/ 1998—on sabbatical at HBS & Clay's Innovators Dilemma just forming. Was focused on web (Sharepoint!)/testing early Blackberry pager—❤️❤️!
3/ Laptops were finally working well enough that they could be primary computers and you didn't need a bag of batteries. 6lb travel weight!
4/ Everyone had Moto flip phone. Voice mail ruled. We called our voicemail between meetings w/ flip phones. SMS didn't work across carriers.
5/ PocketPC/Windows CE still a couple of years away as was Palm Treo (but everyone at HBS issued a Palm Pilot). Early HPC cool, but no Wifi!
6/ Nokia blanketed Europe. SMS everywhere. Always wild visiting EU subs, watching them triple tap all day. In US that was viewed as 😜!
7/ My biggest mistake: visiting my friends in Japan who were deep into i-Mode and were doing *everything* w/ their tiny "push" phones. wtf?
8/ Was literally perplexed. I had / loved blackberry. Felt it was specially tuned to email. No web access. Idea of web like iMode… puzzling.
9/ Great friends in Japan dragged me around showed me ppl using it for weather, trains, maps…I just couldn't see how that could really work.
10/ In US just getting things to work on PCs. Blackberry was perfect for email, even w/o server support (ran sync on dedicated PC) was 💯.
11/ Word/Excel files on tiny screen were a "stupid computer trick". Why? Just getting stuff to work on laptops. Just getting web working.
12/ I could go on about how dumb I was 12 years ago at a deep product level. I'm in Japan now reliving the absurdity of my POV in '99.
13/ OTOH, once Treo came out it became super clear web on phone was *the* thing, not a thing. I moved my whole workflow there…"overnight".
15/ Not jumping on mobile even while I was using it was massive miss. Will never forget my friends in Japan trying to set me right! // EOTS
The interesting thing is that neither PC nor mobile people got what smartphones would be.
That's only mildly comforting :-)
Bring back Blackberry!
could it be argued that people who got design + tech may have? vision of consolidated utility using tech. Jobs as most significant example.
more so than just PC and just mobile people.
Seems bc so many people/industries feel they "missed" mobile, they're trying to identify the next 📱 for good or bad. Lots more thought now
I recall back in '05 meeting Nokia folks at Media Lab- they showing a Web Server running on their device (Communicator?). Cool tech but ..
but they didn't know what to do with it. 🙄🤔 They thought it a cool tech gimmick. Didn't think apps to comm, etc
All too late by then. By years.
Noble for you to acknowledge👍
So what is Japan obsessed about now as to a new tech that we still do not get?
I worked at Docomo early 05. Was totally revelatory! Showed my exp to everyone who'd hear in US - no dice. Ppl dismissed it as gimmicky 🙄
We launched DIS content on iMode in fall 2000 - and I was convinced that every carrier would follow that model. Went around evangelizing
They were small thinkers and control freaks. Didn't get it and treated content services as minor oppty
relative to mobile, a $1.tr industry, it *was* a small opportunity for them. that was part of the problem.
Yep. The Disney and ESPN MVNOs were our (flawed) attempt to address directly
Why? What was structurally different that was evident at the time?
The experience that had already happened with HPC and the phone OS craziness already happening.
Again payment is an interesting parallel right there. Suica, Pasmo = super effective local/vertical solutions. What's next? Not AliPay.
Amazing that Apple bid their time after their Newton debacle, quietly watched where everything was heading and pounced at the right time
iMode was 🙏 afair it's chtml was a subset of html w/ a tolerant parser => you could (worstcase) open normal websites compare that to .wap…
Correct. Subset of HTML with some custom extensions. Foreigners always called iMode a 'walled garden', which was totally wrong.
Interestingly enough, since the demise of i-Mode Japan has no edge anymore.
Look at how China tier 1 cities are using mobile payment now. Like i-Mode 10 yrs ago. They leap-frogged cards, while we are stuck with them.
19 yrs ago, I've would changed everything except for one thing, my loved ones and when I met my first true love.
One factor causing people to missjudge was not anticipating how MIMO and a few other approaches would increase wireless capacity.
As late as December 2004 Sprint felt they had to have Nextel's spectrum. The spectrum crisis never actually appeared. That enabled new uses.
Without Apple, would we be more or less where we are with touchscreen smartphones and (more or less) open app store ecosystems?
There was also this...but without tv and radio yet! ☺
And a yr later there was full NBS support TV, RADIO and all in ASIA Pacific.
I still reject mobile for most things, the lack of control over my own device is particularly troubling, especially for privacy issues.
I remember my Samsung Blackjack and thinking how amazing it was to sync my Outlook Calendar to it
6+ years later than this thread :-)
Yes, 2005-6! US was woefully behind