My friend Kitty Desjardins out here in Hong Kong who has recently started a blog about the DIY University wrote to me about a video of an interiew that Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave to Charlie Rose.
It is quite good stuff and as our readers know, Eric Schmidt has been saying pretty much the "right things" about mobile and the internet for many years and now in this interview is also saying just about all the right things about Communities (Dominate) that would be in perfect harmony with this blog. So the tenor of the intervew is appealing and in many ways familiar. What strikes me is that a CEO of the world's biggest internet company would say such things that you'd more expect someone from Nokia or NTT DoCoMo to say ha-ha.
The video is very good, check it out at the Fluid blog.
Kitty wrote to me because she sensed the similarity in what Eric was saying and what I've been writing over the years (Kitty is also a fan, has read all of my books ha-ha).
So a few quick quotes from Mr Google CEO:
"The phenomenon of user-generated content is the defining aspect of humanity in the next 10 or 20 years." (Cool. Alan and I said it a bit differenty in our book Communities Dominate Brands four years ago when we said community power was the biggest change in the past 100 years but the sentiment is the same).
"Transparency is how you keep a society honest." and "Communities act as a check and balance against those in power" - these are as if quoting our book ha-ha. Cool.
I do want to make a point. When we wrote that book with Alan and were working on the manuscript in late 2004, NOBODY said these things. We were literally the first book to draw this conclusion of digital community power. And we were RADICALLY controversial about it. What? That "communities dominate" ???? There were precious few forward-thinking experts who would accept those views in early 2005 and agree with us. Now Google CEO says this in an interview and strongly marries Google's future to these principles. Wow.
But he's also a mobile geek. Going far further back into my background and earlier books, check this out. Eric Schmidt also says:
"Mobile devices are the most important technology of them all." (wow, its like me in my book M-Profits seven years ago.) That is quite an extreme statement and yes, even more so when its by the CEO of a company that is not a handset manufacturer..
He adds "we expect that eventually the majority of the usage of the internet will be on mobile phones" (my exact same prediction in M-Profits) and he quotes all the big stats we all know here at Communities Dominate, 4 billion phones, SMS use, Africa etc etc.
So Eric Schmidt makes a few extreme statements - that user generated content will be the defining aspect of humanity in the next 10-20 years and that mobile will be the pre-eminent technology. Very good, we agree. He also says that in the future it is ever more about services (we agree) and that they must be personalized (its like he's quoting my book ha-ha)
But also, most significantly as guidance to that future, he offers some advice on HOW to do mobile services. He says that future mobile services "should entertain me". Not inform me. Not find me answers via search. Think about it. This is Google talking, the biggest search engine. That they should "entertain me". Go to page 103 of Ahonen M-Profits in 2002: "If at all possible, add entertainment to your information. When at all possible try to deliver infotainment, not only information."
Again, today this is not a radical view in digital service development. But in 2002 all major analysts - ALL of them - said develop sensible practical and useful services for 3G. All consumer surveys suggested that was what 3G users would want. To get maps with location-based services etc. But Tomi said - do the entertainment part, that is where the money is and the big opportunity is. Now Google CEO gives that same advice.
Yes, I am an arrogant son of a b*tch. Yes I tend to make many extreme statements. But hey, I have a track record. Over time I've been darn accurate, and most importantly for anyone considering these economic hard times - I've been brave to stand against the conventional wisdom - and still been proven right far more often than not.(and I'm open also about my mistaken predictions and have shifted my ground first away from a prediction when I've seen the signs the facts don't support my thesis and been very open about the change. Some experts stubborny hold onto outdated views for years, decades even)
If it comes to mobile, my forecasts have been more accurate than those of anyone else this whole decade. ...If you pardon my bragging.
So now, its not Tomi who says the web is going mobile; that mobile is the most important technology, (or implied that the mobile services space is the biggest economic opportunity out there) and that we need to make mobile services entertaining. I can refer to Eric Schmidt to saying that. Maybe now some of the people will pay more attention.
Now, if others had been as smart as Kitty Desjardns and bought my books like M-Profits which had 180 viable mobile service conceps sketched - and only launched a handful of those - but did it before Google CEO gets to notice this opportunity in 2005 - then they'd be rich rich rich...
Oh, and yes, please pay atention that my newest book, Mobile as 7th of the Mass Media does take the actual commercial opportunity in mobile the furtest into the future and gives you the road map and tools (and 18 case studies from 8 countries) to capitalize on your share of that eldorado that Google clearly is already focusing on. (And if you want to REALLY learn the 7th Mass Media from the masters come take our course with Alan Moore and David Cushman for two days at Oxford University on 22-23 April. Doesn't the Google CEO "validation" of my past bold - if not outrageous -statements make that investment of two days of your time at least a little bit more enticing..)