Few Interesting Discussions (that you should be part of)

There are some very interesting chit-chat that I’d really like to reach out to a wider audience:

Sat Nav Guide for Indian Consumers

Piyush’s article on Why Sat Nav(s) are not for Indian consumers? has raised very interesting discussion:

Some excerpts (actually some of the comments make up as a post):

“US govt has released all the map data in Public domain (because data is collected by tax payers money!). And in India to get data from Survey of India will be more difficult and restrictive than mapping it your self.
In any case, PND should be best medium to make use of digital data, even better than mapping websites. This is a domain which requires goverment to open up and players with big big pockets. 
Road data comes from Govt nodal agencies (not in India). Then companies like NavTaq and TeleAtlas improve that data and add value by transferring Yellow Pages data to maps (not adequate Yellow pages data for India) and interestingly here they don’t have to actually map the POI, just record its standard address and it can be easily geocoded. Then call each business every year to keep data fresh. Now on that data company like google will provide its users an option to edit the POI to a greater accuracy by moving the point within 200 feet range (not in India) to solve your last mile navigation problem. This roadmap to get usable digital data in India will be a long walk.

Grading users in need of a PND based on Tier1, Tier2 location should be avoided. I will feel need of a Map/PND more while I am travelling the unknown parts. This means situations when I am feeling hungry and in a remote location and really don’t have somebody to ask for the nearest road side restaurant. In a big city you can even ask a autorikshaw guy without even stopping your car. In fact people paying visits often to Tier 1 cities will be more happy to buy the device as they have higher chances of getting lost as compared to local resident. And these people are from tier3 cities and other towns around the main Tier1 city.

Survey of India will not wake up, they are sitting on a data pool once collected by most competent people of the world but they are wasting it by not letting public freely use it. Things have a small hope of improving with NSDI coming up but that thing is just coming up since last so many years. No visible progress by govt on that front. – Anshul

“SatNav is for Indian consumers too, we have over 55000 people who have bought, and will vouch for the statement! While all the above concerns and suggestions are valid, the same is the situation anywhere in the world. A perfect city plan does not mean that navigation system will not misguide and a lousy planning / numbering sometimes actually makes the SatNav more indispensible. So bottom-line, every country in the world which has gone through this part of the adoption cycle has a lot of people thinking that their country is different and have reasons to believe why it will not work for them. They have been proved wrong, again and again and again and again, in every country around the world. So let us make the best of the situation, build better products, make adoption easier with better pricing and the market will grow exponentially in the next couple of years. “- Amit Prasad (Founder of Satnav)

Mobile Advertising and Hype

“i remember contacting 160by2 and they said.. "90p/sms ad and 1 Rs if you want to target it according to demographics.." this was a stupid pricing to pitch .. first of all i shouldn’t be paying any more for targeting and also shouldn’t be advertising without targeting.. and also their minimum buy was so high i couldn’t really think of doing so. same with way2sms and smsgupshup.. these companies should build ad tools like Facebook… choose your audience and set your budget as low as $5 and buy the space through a bidding system. people want a DIY tool and not talk to a sales representative who is going to talk shit for half an hour. this will give a lot of people a chance to test the waters.. may be actually adopt sms advertising permanently.
there are a lot of small vendors who would be willing to spend Rs. 1000.. and test if the system is really effective. its atleast better than not making any money on your inventory.
even if these companies sell ad space at 1 paisa per sms ie. Rs 10 CPM they will be getting a lot of clients and some of them actually will start paying more later.. this way they will be atleast cutting down
loss per sms by 20%(assuming sending cost around 5p/sms), they aren’t making any profit anyways. i dont think this would destroy user experience.

by offering something free you create a userbase on net similarly buy offering space cheap you have to first create advertiser base. almost like a freemium advertising. 160by2 did try this by offering free 5K impressions to its users. the tool would have been better if more targeting was allowed. they allowed to chose state only coz that is all they could determine through mobile nos.” – Naman

Have we run out of ideas?

“We are seriously deficient of some problem sovling ideas mann!!!! Looks like this market is getting more than its fair share of attention and effort.

The other day I found a bunch of guys coming up with yet another classifieds site. On dropping a mail I found that they were themselves not convinced about the idea of being yet another. yet they spent all the time and energy to do it.

I seriously hope we can do some creative soul searching than churning out site after site in the same domains. Seriously go out and do some legwork find out what problems retailers are facing, school going kids, parents, office goers, housewives, students, consumers are facing.

Why not start a pre-event networking sites( events like TIE are a fraction productive without knowing who is attending,) a Better business bureau of India on helping retailers follow ethicality issues. an offline ad-network for local retailers, of local retailers monetizing small spaces in restaurants, clinics, gyms.” – Aditya of Pureplay

Track the current active discussion page for more such insights (leave one, if you have one!).

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