Friday, February 28, 2014

Not wanting to sell-off is key to being bought!

19 billion dollars for a company with one app & 20 million in revenue is of course a frickin’ big deal - No wonder that everyone from entrepreneurs to VCs to analysts want to have a go at cracking the code called WhatsApp.

Suvir Sujan in his latest blog post broached this quintessential topic & attributes the success achieved by WhatsApp to its founders keeping disciplined focus on superior product offering with an eye towards building a profitable and sustainable business – True, but I wished to be more direct and say an enterprise that starts with the intention of selling-off will probably never get this kind of supreme pay-off, my comment on Suvir’s post is as follows;   

WhatsApp indeed pulled-off a coup and got this eye-popping valuation. While I agree they keeping the product no-frills helped in making its adoption viral, I'm not sure it'd have helped the acquisition costs - after all a 19 billion pay-out would cover any quantum of unreasonable asset stock-pile (bells & whistles..)   

In my humble opinion where WhatsApp scored is on how it did not go after the formulaic 'Built to Sell' strategy and instead adhered to it’s probable original idea of 'Built to Solve/ Differentiate' - Let's not forget that most of us got attracted to WhatsApp primarily since it offered what FB mobile chat denied/ couldn’t assure viz., communication & data privacy.


Communication & data privacy, precisely what I’m edgy about right now as a WhatsApp user - Will this remain intact when FB eventually attempts to integrate the app with its own & monetize the user-base? If I were Zuckerberg, I’d be worried sick thinking how to prevent the edgy half-a-billion junta from waltzing towards Snapchat & likes - that would be a real bummer, wouldn't it be?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Isn't securing employee personal information equally important (vis-a-vis' company data) in a BYOD scenario?

The title of a recent article on W.I.R.E.D Innovation Insights asks "How Secure Is Your Company's Information With the Mobile-Carrying Social Employee?" - The apparent one-sidedness of this 'concern' got me thinking that somewhere in all this securing data of employers, the employee's is getting compromised.

Just may be, while designing the data-security solutions the product companies should simultaneously address another question "How secure is the Mobile-Carrying Social Employee's Personal Information with the Company?" - Not just for the heck of it, but so as to come-up with a compliance boosting mutual-data security feature! 

Below is the comment I posted against the above article:

An interesting observation in the second paragraph "The second thing that worried me was all the data on the phone, the contacts, the texts and all the account passwords that I had fed into the various applications and the data within those apps".... this aspect doesn't however figure in the solution though...

Sure while employers securing their data by way of ‘remote controlling information even after dissemination’ is probably necessary for justifiable business reasons, the technologies employed for this purpose must not breach the fine-line between ‘securing employers corporate data’ & ‘respecting employees social/ personal data' - as safety of personal data is an equally big concern for the individual in question as suggested by the quoted text above.

As a social corporate employee I personally would hate carrying two smartphones if not for anything else, for the sake of not sacrificing efficiency & convenience. This means my corporate mobile will have to double up as my personal device too & I suspect I’m with the majority in this matter. Given this and given the corporate decision makers too are part of this BYOD environment & since ensuring compliance (by employees) ideally should be a two-way transaction of trust, I believe whichever company develops technologies/ products that equally address both the above aspects will have a sure-shot winner at hand.