whales plankton and the launch of openwaspa

whales.bmp plankton.bmp

After some initial teething troubles, we have finally relaunched Openwaspa

The concept of OpenWaspa was first mooted by us in OpenGardens

OpenWaspa is a showcase for innovative applications. Some of this outline is still ‘work in progress’ – hence we seek thoughts.

We address some key issues(as below) which emerging companies in this sector face.

We are addressing four problems

a) Lack of channels to market

b) Exposure to the ‘powers that be’ – mainly mobile operators

c) the ‘broken value chain’ and

d) interconnectedness – cross industry exposure

From the problems listed above, (a) and (b) are related in the sense that the operator is the best channel to market but also the most difficult to approach for the small developers.

Similarly, (c) and (d) are related.

We believe that the mobile data value chain is broken because of the ‘whales and plankton’ concept. In a nutshell – get rid of the middlemen! The industry depends on ‘intermediaries in the value chain getting a % of the revenue’. For example – in mobile games, we have the mobile aggregators, wireless service providers and so on. This model is fine in already established value chains but is no good when you have an emerging industry.

There is hardly any money for the innovator i.e. creator of the new service in a new service. What little revenue the new application gets – is promptly gobbled by the middlemen. Thus, taking a marine biology example – if the plankton die(the garage developers) – the whales die as well (i.e. the whole industry suffers). There is a related problem looking at it from the mobile operator. They simply have too many people knocking at their doors. While it seems that no one is interested in new/innovative applications – our research shows that’s not the case.

This is where the openwaspa (Open Wireless service provider association) program comes in. The idea is very simple – provide a ‘showcase’ for new applications. Don’t bother about trying to ‘restrict’ the access to the final developer. Anyone can look at the application and then contact the developer direct and do a direct deal. Thus, there is no incremental revenue share.

The operators like it since it provides a structured way to access new innovation. We will also ‘evangelise’ the application where we can.


Finally, there is the issue of interconnectedness. As mobility advances, there is the question of a lack of a ‘one stop shop’/ People developing video applications, TV applications, games etc need access to cross industry contacts and knowledge. we intend to provide that.

We see this site as ‘work in progress’ In it’s ultimate vision, we may evolve to a web services interface/common contracts for mulltiple channels to market and so on. But for now, its a ‘showcase for innovative applications’

Hopefully it will evolve over time.

Image acknowledgements:

whale: http://www.wdcs.org/dan/publishing.nsf/allweb/BC8357971AA88F2580256C46003543B6