Last year its [Amazon’s] revenues hit $88bn (£56bn) , but it made a loss of $240m (£153m). (Just as a comparison, Tesco’s revenues in 2014 were £71bn, on which it made a profit of £2.6bn – though this year it recorded a huge loss after writing down the value of its property. Oh, and right now the stock market thinks Amazon is worth roughly eight Tescos.)
One of my favourite annual Internet reports is out. It’s the KPCB report, from the Venture Capital company based in the US.
It’s 196 pages of fact-packed charts, and here are my favourites.
The US makes up ‘only’ 10% of the 2.8bn online users. 73% of the World has a phone, of which 40% are smartphones. So there are 2 billion smartphones.
The top 15 Internet companies (by capitalisation) consist only of American and Chinese companies.
The only company featuring in the top 15 companies in 1995 and 2015 is Apple, which has increased its capitalisation by over 190 times! The combined capitalisation of the top 15 has increased by 141 times.
There’s a new shake up happening in the sports industry at the moment, and in one of the main organiser’s words, traditional sports “Can’t see if coming”.
Last week BBC radio produced a great programme called “The Rise of the Cyber Athletes” – it’s one of those radio programmes where they place a camera in the studio which kind of converts it into a standard TV programme…
The audience for watching cyber athletes compete in international electronic games tournaments is growing very quickly. And that audience is bringing considerable revenues and investment.
Cyber athletes have sports nutritionists, sports psychologists, training camps, rigorous training regimes – often up to 16 hours a day, and attract large audiences to live events.
2014 has been another interesting year in the digital world. The end of a terrible recession has forced most companies to place digital at the heart of their strategy. #Fintech has become a recognised term for banks, insurance companies and other financial services organisations trying to update their systems to become ‘digital‘.
Yesterday someone asked me a question which I’ve been asked before but never covered it on this site… “What company do I think is the most consumer-oriented, innovative technology company?”
The context of the question related to Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple, who do I rate as the most innovative?
First we need to ask another question – “What is innovation?” To me, innovation is the skill to keep inventing new stuff, to keep redefining products and/ or business models. It’s the constant strive for change for the better, not just the sake of it. Continue reading Who is the most innovative Digital company?→
If you’d visited this blog over the weekend, you’d have received a WordPress error message. I only discovered it on Sunday evening when I checked the site for feedback. Google Analytics revealed the outage started from about 1am on Saturday morning.
I tried fixing the problem. I tried everything I could to fix it. One limitation I faced was that I have been brought up on Microsoft technologies (.net and SQL Server) and not php and MySQL – the technology that this blog runs on.
Frustrated, I went to sleep on Sunday night knowing the site was still unavailable.
After work on Monday I returned home and tried a few more things. I reached out to a WordPress guru I know. He offered some advice but I’d already tried everything suggested.
And then I came across one of the new types of one to one support websites where specific experts help other users.
I’ve always been interested in this area of consumer support. Graduating in Computer Science a couple(!!) of years ago earned me the natural honour of fixing anything within my extended family that had electricity flowing through it. Since my degree I’ve been asked to ‘programme’ the clocks in various cars, fix a microwave, tune in a TV and set up speakers – my university course appears to have been highly practical from an external perspective.
When family or friends call for help with real computer issues such as domain names, broken hard drive, email configuration, or Google Apps, I wonder who people call if they don’t have access to a friend or family member with a technical computer background.
So there I was on Monday evening, urgently wanting my site fixed, on Wizpert.com. I thought I’d give it a try. The sign up process was fast, and within a few seconds I was talking to a friendly chap from Romania (yes… I wondered whether there was an Endava link too, but no there wasn’t) who was one of their WordPress experts. At first we were chatting on Wizpert’s chat screen, and then I offered for him to remote on to my screen using Chrome Remote Desktop.
Naturally I was sceptical, and thought at some stage he might try to install some spyware somewhere, or change some passwords for access at a later stage. I watched carefully as he moved around my virtual server.
Just under two hours later he had fixed the issue and after thoroughly testing the solution I was a happier man.
The issue wasn’t straightforward, and required two types of solutions. We were still puzzled at the end about how the problem had started on the Saturday night at 1am – our assumption is that one of the WordPress components ‘auto-updated’ and broke the MySQL installation.
Wizpert is one of a number of new support models arising in the peer Internet age such as Amazon have with the Mayday button.
On Wizpert, payment to the expert is discretionary.
If you do decide to pay, users buy ‘coins’ using a credit card or PayPal, and then send these coins to the expert who helped. There are recommendations during the chat process “Most users who this expert helped gave x coins to thank them”.
I doubt these support models will be used for enterprise clients, but as devices and applications become more complex – and certainly more essential to our daily lives, end-user support will transform from the current model of phoning anyone you know with a Computer Science degree, to being able to ask someone sitting a few thousand miles away for some help and advice.
Alibaba had its record highest revenue day yesterday – a staggering $5.75bn in 24 hours during a promotional event. Or put another way, that’s $66,500 of sales per second. Alibaba is the biggest ecommerce business in China, and it will be interesting to see how it stacks up against its peers in the West.
Alibaba is planning to IPO soon, and rumours are that it’s value will exceed Facebook. And so it should. As a retailer, it has product sales and clear profits. It doesn’t rely on other organisation’s advertising and marketing budgets. Similarly to Amazon and eBay, Alibaba is a marketplace, bring sellers and consumers together, and the company doesn’t need to hold all stock itself.
This was the first keynote speech of ad:tech London. Here are my brief notes:
A key focus for WPP at the moment is China and the Internet
WPP has more staff in China than in the UK
Digital ad spend will grow from 95bn today to 180bn in 2018, at which point digital will exceed traditional ad spending
Digital will take revenue from print and other channels, not from TV. In fact, TV ad revenue may still grow very slightly to 2018
Key trends from Mark:
Mobile. Its beyond advertising. Mobile is a CRM tool rather than another channel for banner ads. E.g. the British Airways app provides branding on a phone, alerts and transactions
E-commerce will become ever more important. The uk is already the second biggest market for ecommerce to South Korea. The question is how to handle Amazon
Data driven. Every website you visit will leave a digital footprint. The question is how to join these footprints and cookies together into one story, or a single customer view.
Social. Many WPP clients see Facebook equals mobile. Mobile usage = Facebook usage. The top mobile apps are Facebook and YouTube (each with over 1 billion installs), followed by WeChat (in China), Google Plus, Twitter and LinkedIn.
YouTube. 1 billion users consumer over 6 billion hours of content per month. That’s 6 hours per month per person. Video equipment on the high street at affordable prices, not just for professionals. Brands are joining in by supporting user generated content with product placement (e.g. Ford supplying vehicles for travellers).
The Gatekeepers of the internet. Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft each have hundreds of millions, and some have billions of users. Working with them, or having a strategy of working alongside them, is key.
In the next 5 years digital will account for around 45% of WPP revenue, it’s currently in the mid-30s.
WPP have bought ecommerce provider Salmon who produce the sites for Argos and DFS.
WPP doesn’t want to be a an ad agency. It wants to become a full marketing implementation agency in the next 5 years, competing with the likes of Accenture and Deloitte Digital.