There has been substantial and increasing chatter in the tech blogosphere about location based services as we continue to see more groundbreaking functionality on mobile phones. What is interesting is no one seems to know what “location based services” are or how they will be monetized – the assertion is simply that these services will usher in a new era of mobile applications and services. What is concerning is the substantial and growing startups which receive venture funding for map based communication services.
Admittedly, I’m probably not in the target demographic of these map based communication services, however I see no value creation in the ability for me:
a. to see where my friends are on a map, and to chat within the map context
b. what my friends (or others) think of businesses identified on a map using push pins
c. to chat with people I don’t know who are in my vacinity according to a map
The common problem in these sorts of “location based services” is obvious, in each case the user has traveled to a given location. The decision that user faces is one of what destination to choose, and what are the decision criteria for selecting the destination. According to the emerging “location based services”, I can ask my friends, ask a stranger, or look at recommendations of friends and/or strangers. These “location based services” do not account for the user’s behavioral preferences, nor do they account for the user’s choices independent of other users of the “location based services”. In this case, the location is being used as the value proposition when there is no value offered as it pertains to the decision criteria required to select a destination in that location. The decision criteria is constrained by location, and not the other way around. So ask yourself, why are investors pouring money into these companies where “location” is the product?
- Brand Marketing
- Internet Marketing
- Product Design
- Venture Capital
- Web 2.0: Stupid is as Stupid Does
- Location Isn’t A Product, Location Is A Constraint
- CBS buys CNET for $1.8 Billion
- Costly Brand Marketing
- Mobile content isn’t new, “mobile internet media” is new.