Monday, 24 August 2009

Gareth's thoughts: Truly pervasive B2C info.service, NOT from Internet! but a 26yrs old French company!?

I have had many conversations in the last week or so with my CXO contacts and Private equity friends.

Given the news of Skype vs eBay (this is a particularly good blog that highlight key issues), SpinVox (its investment has since been written off 90%) etc.

One thing was certain Hypes or even perceived success does not equal to 'true success' of the enterprise.

My definition of success is how much a service brings true value to the population (rather than niche early adopters or generation X/Y/Z, or ABC1)..

Therefore, I proposed that we should really focus energy on devising and bringing about a truly pervasive service (from access, to payment, to value delivered), in fact, we can learn from a very old service which was devised and delivered to a country BEFORE the arrival of internet.

In fact, this service is so pervasive that now even with the advent of internet, even the older generations (who might not yet use mobile nor internet) can engage with this platform at home or outside in the post office for both information or even transact..

Yes, it is the Minitel .com : services in France..

It does not look good, it is not sexy or on Techcrunch. but it gets the job done.

It might not have happened without the foresight and support from the government, but given the amount of money some of the start-ups is being invested in BEFORE even taking any revenue.. Surely some lessons can be learnt.

If old grannies know how to and can get benefit of say twitting.. the rest is really history!


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